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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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Answering a Reader Question #102

Kirstin Wrote: 

hey! im 16, 5'9" and have a body like a VS model. ive wanted to be a VS angel for a long time. ive sent in photos to local agencies they called me back but i never went to any of the things. is it possible to be signed to ford or other agencies in NY without going there? & Do you have to put a lot of money out to become sign with a good agency? 

Hey, Kirstin! First you have to know that you cannot do modeling for VS until you are 18. So until then, you can pursue fashion/runway and editorial modeling. That's great that you were contacted by the local agencies in your area but why did you not go in for interviews? It is extremely difficult to get agency representation so the fact that agencies have shown an interest in you is a good sign that you shouldn't neglect. Local agencies are a great way to build your portfolio and career until you can move on to a larger, more prestigious agency. Never count the smaller agencies out since they have the resources to get your foot in the door as well as book you paying work.

If you do not live within a 2 hour's drive from New York, they won't consider you as a serious candidate for agency representation. They will want you to relocate to NY in order for them to sign you, begin developing your career and submit you for work. If you do not have a place to stay in NY, many agencies in the area offer "model dorms," where they provide you with housing. You'll live with the other models signed to the agency and basically will stay there until you are able to afford your own place or leave the agency. So that is an option.

You don't have to spend tons of money if you get a good agency and go about it the right way. For example, if you are new/inexperienced in modeling, the agencies will not expect you to have a professional portfolio with pro pictures. Instead they will ask for digital snapshots of your headshot and full body shot. So there is no money involved there. Legitimate agencies will not charge you upfront fees for anything before offering you a contract. Reputable, successful agencies train their newly signed models for free so you don't have to worry about paying for modeling classes or anything like that. In the NY market if the model they sign has a strong look that they know is marketable then they will cover the cost of putting together your modeling portfolio and will later take the money out of the commission they charge for getting you paid work. Again, you don't pay anything in this stage. Other agencies may let you put your portfolio together yourself by doing free test shoots with photographers.

So there are various ways you can pursue modeling in a way that won't put you into bankruptcy. But if you are not willing to relocate or make the effort to travel to NY to interview with the agencies there then you should stick to modeling locally.

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