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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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Modeling Agency Representation: Pros & Cons

Seeking agency representation is the ideal way to kick off a modeling career. However, modeling agencies and the system they follow isn't always perfect. Just as with freelance modeling, getting signed to an agency also comes with its own list of pros and cons. It is important that aspiring and established models have some kind of idea as to what to expect, should they find themselves with a modeling contract on the table.

Agency Representation Pros:
  • Legal protection from the agency: Modeling agencies serve as a model's protection and almost like a guardian, who has the industry expertise to negotiate rates, ensure the safety of their models while on assignment and deal with any legal issues that may occur.
  • Deal with only reputable and legit clients: 99.9% of the clients agencies book for their models are certifiably legit, reputable and (most times) recognizable by name. This means no worries about dealing with shady scammers or individuals with ulterior motives.
  • Secure the highest pay rates: When models make money, the agencies make money. It is the agency's job to find and secure top pay for its models. If the client is unwilling to pay what the model is worth or has a small budget, the agency won't bother with them and will continue on to the next client.
  • Greater chance of exposure: Needless to say, modeling agencies are experts in their field. They know the right people, have the best connections and the kinds of reputations that attract clients and give them business. With the right agency, a model can gain much more exposure than they could through their own efforts.
  • Have the work done for you (looking for gigs, payroll, etc.): Agencies have the resources and manpower to do the bulk of the work that it takes to get a model recognized and hired for assignments. The models themselves don't have to do anything but make sure to go where they're told and perform well on any gig they're booked for. Even when it comes to getting paid, the agency takes care of this process--all you have to do is wait for your check to arrive in the mail.
  • More pampering: The majority of the gigs agencies book for their models automatically come with a crew, whose job is to make sure the model is camera-ready. This means having a hair stylist, makeup artist and wardrobe stylist on hand. 
Agency Representation Cons:
  • Must be available on short notice for castings and gigs: Clients don't always plan ahead and castings often come up very last minute. Models with agencies must be ready and available for such last minute notices. You could be notified within as little as 24-48 hours of a casting or gig you've been booked for.
  • Have to deal with a contract: Regardless of the type of contract signed (exclusive or non-exclusive), models are entering into a legally binding agreement. Contracts come with guidelines and clauses that contain information as to what their responsibilities are. Breaking the terms of the modeling contract can result in legal consequences.
  • Deal with agency commission: Each time your agency books you a gig, they receive a commission. The rates are adjusted over time but currently agencies are able to command between 20% to 25% per booking (5-10 years ago the commission rate used to be 10% to 15%).
  • Being under the command of someone else: Unlike freelance modeling, those with agencies are playing by someone else's rules. While agencies work with its models, the models themselves may feel like they're being controlled, pushed around or limited to doing only what their agency allows them to do, as it relates to their career.
  • May not receive any work: Agencies cannot promise or guarantee work for its models. However, it is still discouraging for any model to have a contract signed and be with an agency for a period of time without securing any type of work in the industry.

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