I’ve been asked by several aspiring models whether it’s worth joining an agency. So I decided to write two blog posts on this topic. My immediate response is usually you are better off self-managing yourself. But I realised it took me a while before I was confident enough to make this statement. And perhaps a few years back I would not have felt this way. You really do have to look at both sides of the coin.
When I started out modelling a modelling agency was useful for the following reasons:
- I’ve made some great friends, this might not be an essential for some but it’s a huge reward for me.
- Agencies can be a great way to meet other models in the same position- so those starting out as models. You will also come across those who have been modelling for a while so you can find yourself a mentor.
- Models are multi-talented. It’s more than likely you will come across a model who is also makeup artist, motivational speaker, event’s organisers, ambassador of a women’s network, dancer or hairstylist. Make use of these useful contacts.
- An agency manager can manage your jobs. Managing time can be stressful if you have another job or just struggle to manage time. Managers can schedule jobs for you based on your availability. They can be on the lookout for upcoming jobs and email them to you. All you would need to do is respond to the email and your manager will set this up if you are accepted.
- A manager can contact photographers, makeup artists, designers to set up test shoots. Test shoots are key when starting out. You may need to do a few just to get pictures for your portfolio. An agency manager will have built contacts in the industry. They will know who to contact to set up a shoot up for you and this can be done for free.
- A manager has knowledge of the modelling industry including some people you should avoid. You will come across some individuals who will take advantage or waste your time. A few people are now well known to do so and your agency can highlight these people right from the start.
- A manager can motivate. I have felt like just leaving everything to do with modelling and feeling like I am not getting far with modelling. Just a phone call with your manager can change a lot. Your manager knows what you have achieved and where you can go if you put hard work in. Sometimes you just need this pep talk. Sometimes family members or friends don’t really understand why you are getting into modelling in the first place or they are the first to knock you back or mock you. It’s good to have someone in the industry that understands the knockbacks and will help pick you up when you are feeling down.
- A manager can advise you on what to charge for a job and your legal rights. You might get DM’s, emails directly asking how much you charge for a music video shoot or a full day photo shoot. You may get an email asking for you to do this for free. There is nothing wrong with doing a few collaborations (or free work) especially when you are starting out. Even when you are well established you may still work for free to raise your profile. Assess the nature of the job and who you are working for. In some cases you may have collaborated with someone once and they want you to work free for them again. This is when a manager is useful because they can step in and negotiate payment for you. Certain people will try taking advantage and making you work for free each and every time. If you want to progress you will need to start negotiating some payment – expenses as a minimum. If you are not ready to have these conversations a manager would be useful.
- Some agencies run coaching sessions for dancing, runway coaching etc. which are great in terms of training. These workshops are the best way to learn from the leaders in the industry. They are also a good way to learn a new skill and explore something you might have never tried before. I learnt to dance at a modelling workshop where they were running dance classes alongside runway coaching.
For further new model advice please go to : http://www.topmodeluk.com/newmodeladvice