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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.
Monday, April 9, 2012
The 411 on Getting Signed to a Modeling Agency
Hi Dania! I was wondering, what's the whole "process" of getting signed to a top agency? Does it take a large amount of time just to get signed, what is the process? Thanks!
For aspiring models looking to get their careers started on the right foot, getting an agency for representation is a step in the right direction. It's no question that having a good modeling agency is ideal for maximizing results as they relate to being marketed properly, gaining exposure and securing opportunities to work in the industry, as well as receiving a nice paycheck for your efforts.
Many of you--especially newbies that have yet to interact with an agency in any way--might be wondering just what is the process of getting signed? What can you expect? How long does everything take from beginning to end? There is no black and white formula for exactly what happens for each model that gets signed to an agency but there is a general process involved, which I'll describe below.
1. The Agency Tells You They're Interested:
You'll know an agency wants to sign you because they'll tell you so. This part is pretty straightforward. If you're not right in front of them when you're given this news, they'll notify you via email or phone and will arrange for a day and time for you to come into their office to discuss things further. Typically they'll want you to come in at the soonest possible date to get the ball rolling.
2. You Meet With the Agency & Receive the Contract:
This is an informal meeting so dressy casual/casual is fine. You'll have a meeting with the agency staff, where they'll give you a basic breakdown of what to expect and how they plan on working with you. At this time, you'll receive a copy of the modeling contract as well as any other related documents. Everything you're given will be explained to you by the agency. This is also the time to ask any questions you might have.
In most cases, you won't be required to sign the contract right then and there. Agencies (legit ones, anyway) will let you take the contract home to review and give you a time frame for when to get the signed paperwork back to them.
3. Look Over the Contract & Sign It:
After you've taken the contract home to look over and are interested in working with the agency, sign it and return the contract to them according to whatever method(s) they tell you is acceptable. This could be via snail mail, dropping it off at the office in person, etc. Make copies of the signed contract to keep for your records beforehand so that you can go back to refer to it if needed.
4. Begin Working With the Agency:
After the contract has been signed and returned to the agency, new models with little to no experience will work closely with the agency staff to begin working on setting up their first test shoot in order to create the images to be used for their portfolio, headshots, comp cards and other marketing materials. Experienced models with these materials already in place move through this process a bit faster, since all the agency has to do is look over their images and decide which ones to use, unless they advise them to get newer, updated pictures.
For new models dealing with their first test shoot, the time frame for getting this done depends on when the photographer chosen for the task will be available. Getting the test shoot together could take anywhere from 1-2 weeks or a bit longer, plus the additional time for retouching and getting the images to the agency for review/approval.
5. Start Modeling:
Once the portfolio has been put together by the agency and your headshots/comp cards are ready, your booker (this is your assigned go-to-person at the agency that you'll be in direct contact with) will begin submitting your pictures and info to clients and lining up castings and go-sees for you to attend. At that point, you'll be contacted by your booker via phone or email whenever a casting for you comes up. From there, it's a matter of attending those castings and making a great first impression so you'll get booked.
The actual signing of the contract doesn't take long at all. Depending on how soon you sign the paperwork and get it back to the agency, this part of the process can take as little as 3-5 days.