All model hopefuls need someone to notice just how amazing they are, and one of the biggest hurdles is to catch the attention of a model agency or model scout.
Do your homework and research online the most reputable agency in your local area. It’s a good place to start, but in the age of social media, it has never been easier for scouts and agents from the top tier agencies in NYC, Paris, and other major markets, to find the most promising “new faces” online, no matter where they live.
There are several ways hopefuls can be in contact with agencies: online submissions on agency websites, social media, open calls at agencies, and through contests or model conventions and showcases. Let’s break it down to find the best approach for you to get your face in front of the decision makers in the agencies:
Open Calls: this is a set time at an agency where they will meet drop-ins. You should come exactly on time, do not wear makeup, wearing skinny jeans and a tank top or t-shirt. Make eye contact, be yourself, and put your best attitude and personality forward.
Online submissions through agency websites: go to agency websites and look for a menu item that might say either “Be A Model” or “Get Scouted”. There you will find their submission guidelines with a questionnaire and a place to upload specific photos of yourself.
Social media such as Instagram: agencies maintain social media accounts, especially on Instagram. Make sure you are following the verified account of the agency and not a fan account. The best working models have very active social media accounts with images that show their personality, interests, behind the scenes shots, and sometimes they show their tear sheets from work. Think about your own account and remove any images that might make a potential agent or scout leave your account, such as nudity, club life or party images, duck lips (!), wearing too much makeup, and pictures that are missing a head! All the best agencies check Instagram every day and most of them have a hash-tag # that you can add to three or four of your best pics, that they will check. Just as a matter of protocol, hash-tag only one agency at a time on a photo, and edit and change the hash-tag to a different one from another agency after about ten days if you have not received a direct message from them.
Conventions, showcases and contests: often these events cost money – a lot of money - and promise to put a model in person in front of agents and scouts, but your chances are no better than if you submitted online, or went to an open call or hash-tagged an agency online – and these are free!
So ... Key things to remember:
Be natural with a fresh face without makeup, have clean hair worn in a normal style, and show the real, genuine “you”.
No professional photos needed – phone pics are preferred. Use good, natural lighting and avoid a busy background behind you.
Modeling schools are not necessary and do not qualify you to be a model.
There should never be a fee to apply to submit yourself to agencies. Ever.
Girls should wear skinny jeans and a tank top and guys should wear jeans and a plain t-shirt for online submissions to agencies so they can get an idea of your proportions and figure. Every agency has different requirements so make sure you read the guidelines.
Don’t lie about your age or height – imagine if you get to actually meet the agent in person and you are caught in a lie?? It’s not the way to begin a business relationship.
Finally – don’t get discouraged! Keep in mind that many top models were rejected by one or another agency along the way to building their careers, due to timing, their particular look, their age, or just being the right type for that market. It’s business, not personal.
“No” might mean “not right now” or “not this agency”, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for you in the industry! Don’t give up!