To some, finding a modelling agency can be quite a challenge. This is because there are so many different sub-categories of agency out there, it can difficult to find the one that is for you, if you don’t fully know what type of modelling you want to specialise in. Others will likely not even realise the benefits of being signed to an agency, or simply don’t want the hassle.
Professional agencies are constantly networking to build up their brand image and client base. This also means that large corporations, or companies, will go to these agencies first, as they are the professionals of this field, and can do all of the legwork for them. Therefore, while you can easily make a good living being a freelance model, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever be featured on the front cover of Vogue, as an example, without an agency.
Table of Contents
What type of agencies are there?
Most agencies will specialise in one or two niches, which helps them to become the “go-to” agency for that niche. It also means that the majority of the models they sign will have a similar look, although certainly not identical. Agencies will usually only sign a model who they feel will match the broad requirements of their niche. Some are easier to gain entry in than others.
Once you have established what type of modelling you’re interested in, you can then start to narrow down your search for finding an appropriate agency.
High fashion agencies
High fashion agencies are notoriously difficult to get signed with, as they are the ones who supply models for fashion magazines and catwalks. Their requirements are rigid, as each model needs to be of a certain height, a certain look, and have a natural ability in front of the camera.
High fashion agencies are prone to paying all upfront costs for new models, as it will be paid back relatively quickly due to the jobs that will be acquired.
Commercial model agencies are those that supply models for the various advertising campaigns that you see on a daily basis. It’s common for these companies to choose a specific person to be the face of the product or service, and are likely to end up being featured on billboards and magazines.
Commercial agencies typically won’t have a height requirement, or have a certain look criteria, as the needs and wants will constantly change depending on their clientele. However, you will still need to prove that have confidence.
Being the face of an advertising campaign can bring in some serious money.
Catalogue agencies supply models to clothing brands, so that they can advertise their new apparel. These images can appear in physical catalogues, or, as is more common these days, are used on their online store. Similar to commercial models, there are usually no specific requirements on height and look; you just need to be what their clients are looking for.
The season can affect what type of person gets hired, as certain people may look better in summer wear, whereas others may look better in winter clothing, and vice versa.
Promotional agencies are for recruiting the “foot soldiers” of the modelling industry. As a promotional model, you can find yourself representing a brand or advertising campaign, by attending trade shows or giving out samples to people.
This type of work can be as simple as a singular day event, or all the way to travelling the world, and visiting different countries.
How do I find agencies near me?
After establishing what modelling niche you’re interested in, you can now start to search for agencies via social media websites and search engines. I wouldn’t bother adding a city to your search, unless you live in, or near a large city, but a decent search term would be “commercial modelling agency London”, as an example.
Once you have found some suitable agencies, check out their list of signed models, and see what sort of look they have already signed. This should give you a confidence boost, as you will soon realise that you don’t need to be an aesthetic god or goddess to be a signed model; although, we aren’t saying that you aren’t one!
Find their contact information on their website, and work out how you plan on contacting them. If the agency is fairly close to you, it might be worth dropping by and having a face-to-face chat with someone there, rather than just emailing or posting an application.
A lot of agencies will have social media accounts, as does the majority of the business world. Under no circumstances should you ever use this form of media to conduct enquiries. It will be deemed that you are either not confident enough to contact them directly, or that you aren’t serious about the work. Real contact details are always easy to find, so there is never an excuse.
Approaching different agencies
You should always try and keep your options open when applying to agencies, and to not just apply to one. Even if you’re the perfect model for your chosen niche, it could be that the agency has specific clientele that they are currently catering for, and that, at this specific moment in time, your look is not what is needed. However, another agency of the same niche could be desperately looking for your look, so don’t be disheartened and don’t take it personally if you don’t get accepted on your first go.