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, March 25, 2012

Applying to Modeling Agencies is Like Applying to Colleges

Before you start getting panic attacks about the educational requirements to pursue modeling through an agency, let me set the record straight: there are NO educational requirements, degrees, diplomas or certification needed to become a model. The purpose of this blog post is to explain the similarities between modeling agencies and colleges in regards to the way you prepare your submission materials to them (so if you were having a panic attack just now by reading the title of this post, you can take that much-needed deep breath and exhale now, lol).

Many new models have no idea where to start when it comes to finding a modeling agency for representation and that's totally normal. How can you be expected to know about something you've never dealt with before? However, the risk with being a newbie and trying to find your way in modeling is that sometimes it can lead to making innocent mistakes, such as the way you submit yourself to agencies.

Some may think that if they get professional pictures done and send them all blindly to a bunch of random agencies, they'll get results. Wrong. I like to think of submitting to modeling agencies like submitting to colleges. For those of you that are currently applying to colleges or are close to reaching this point in your life, this post will make it a lot easier for you to see the connection between the two and why I chose to write about this topic. Those of you that are far from thinking about college can still benefit from reading this post because it will give you a better understanding of the way things work so that you'll choose the right steps to get the best results.

When applying to colleges and universities, there are some important factors you need to seriously consider in order to know where you'll apply to:

- Location: Will you attend a college close to home or do you plan on going to another state?

- Major: Do you want to become a lawyer, nurse, journalist, etc.?

- Requirements: What are the materials and info the college needs from me so that I can apply?

- Submission Instructions: What steps do I need to follow so that my submission will be reviewed and accepted? Do they want me to mail my application or can I send it electronically?

It's safe to say that these four categories for deciding on colleges can be directly compared to modeling agencies:

- Location: This is important when applying for representation because you have to consider if the market you're currently in will get you the exposure and opportunities you want for your career or if you'll want to relocate to where the action is. So many newbies ask me what are the best agencies to apply to...I can't give an accurate answer because I don't know where they live. The best agencies are in places like New York, Los Angeles, Miami, etc. but if you don't live anywhere near there and you're not in the position of relocating, knowing that info will be useless. What will get you results is knowing where the best agencies are near where YOU live.

- Major: For modeling purposes, this can be translated to what type of modeling you not only want to pursue but that you realistically meet the agency standards for. Are you hoping to do high fashion, runway, commercial/print, parts modeling, etc? If you don't know what answer, you're not going to know which agencies will be the right ones to submit to.

- Requirements: Not just anybody off the street can snag an agency. There are requirements that must be met before you can even consider sending a submission to a modeling agency. Don't meet all of the requirements listed on an agency's website? Then don't apply. Simple as that. Doing otherwise would only be a waste of your time and the agency's.

- Submission Instructions: Some agencies have several different ways for you to send your submission. Other agencies will say they only allow submissions sent by regular mail. It's vital to know the correct/preferred method(s) for each agency.

You wouldn't just blindly send a bunch of stuff to colleges and hope they accept you, right? So why would you do that for modeling agencies? Sure, there are tons of colleges and universities that are in the same category but does that mean they're all exactly alike? Definitely not. Again, it's the same for modeling agencies.

Whenever I say "prepare your submissions accordingly," that means treat each agency you're considering as if they're the only people you're submitting to. Sure, agencies are all out to achieve the same goals but that doesn't mean they want generic submissions from prospective models. They have their own specific submission requirements and instructions for what to send and how for a reason.

It's understandable that you'll have misconceptions about entering the industry as a new model but when it comes to agencies, there isn't going to be much room for excuses when it comes to not preparing your submissions the way they're supposed to be done. Just as you wouldn't want to do anything to jeopardize getting accepted into a great college or university, don't be so quick to jump the gun and treat all agencies the same when preparing your pictures and information to send out.


Anonymous said...

Is it 'unprofessional' to wear nicer shorts to an open call? Like white, denim shorts? Or is it better to always wear a skirt/jeans? And if shorts are fine to wear, should I wear heels with them too? Thanks!

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #343." Thanks for reading!