There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Friday, June 6, 2008

What's the Big Deal About Being a Signed Model?

There may be some of you who might not recognize the significance or the importance of having agency representation. Getting signed to an agency is, for many models, the ultimate goal. Modeling agencies play a vital role in the success of the modeling industry as a whole. While having an agent isn’t mandatory it is something that can greatly help you in your career.

So what makes a modeling agent so important? For one thing, it is because of the efforts of modeling agencies that we have so many successful supermodels and top models. The biggest designers, the largest clients and others in need of models automatically go to modeling agencies to find the men and women they need for their shows and campaigns.

Do you know how hard it would be for a client to find a model on their own without the aid of agents? Modeling agencies pride themselves on offering the best models so the client knows they are getting quality work as well as their money’s worth.

Not only do modeling agencies find their models work, they nurture, build and foster their models’ reputations to get them the most exposure. Your agent won’t book you for a job unless it’s paying top dollar and will be great for your portfolio and their company. Agencies handle all calls, requests for models, arrange the schedules, deal with paperwork and are responsible for getting the model paid.

Not all models have good experiences with their agencies but this is normal. There is such a thing as “the right fit” when it comes to a model and his/her agent. It isn’t uncommon for a relationship to go sour or for a model to be with a top modeling agent but not be happy. It’s about finding the right agent, not just any agent to represent you.

Do you have to have agency representation? Definitely not. There are many freelance models that find their own work and are successful, however, the freelance world comes with many challenges. Freelance isn’t for everyone.

If you aren’t familiar enough with the industry or are underage and can’t make decisions on your own legally, it would be in your best interest to find an agent, unless you’re willing to do the research, get out there and network and know how clients and photographers operate. Having a modeling agent takes care of the hassles that freelance models deal with on a daily basis.

Agencies are also there to protect their models. From legality issues to working with legit clients, your agent is there to ensure that you aren’t wasting your time. Any client you work for that is booked through your agent will almost always be professional, courteous and safe to be around (mind you, these are strangers.

Dealing with someone you’ve never met on your own can become a scary situation, whereas clients that agencies deal with have good reps and aren’t there to take advantage of you). Freelance models often deal with clients who want models who work for free, for little money, or who don’t want to pay the agency fees or the high rates signed models demand—not to mention there are some sleazebags out there who prey on young, unsuspecting models. This can be very frustrating. With an agent, you don’t have to worry about any of that because they will check out each person who wants to work with you.

Agency representation won’t really hinder a modeling career. Of course if you aren’t getting work and are locked into an exclusive contract, that could be a problem. But if you’re in an exclusive contract with an agency that gets you loads of work then there will be no issues. Non-exclusive contract models can also get more flexibility since they can sign with more than one agent in more than one area. Many models also find their own work on the side while having an agent.

Of course you will have to be aware of your contract and what guidelines you must follow. You can work with anyone you want and enter modeling competitions if you wish but be sure to read the fine print. If the contest is offering a modeling contract, this may conflict with your current contract with your agent, so it’s situations like those where you’ll need to make sure you aren’t breaking any rules that could get you in trouble with your agent.

Being a signed model is the dream of many but it isn’t mandatory. However, if you want to get the most out of your career and network with legit people, then having an agent standing behind you will be a great help.

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