What is a model agency?
The traditional way for a model to find work is through a Model Agency. Modelling agencies usually sign a model to their books if they feel that they can match them with work.
A professional agency will network and build up a strong client list of companies that are looking for models to advertise and promote their goods or services.
Therefore signing with an agency means that they will do the leg work for you. They will put you forward for castings for modelling roles and if the client thinks you are right for the shoot then they will book you in. The model agency will then take a cut of your pay once the shoot is complete as a finders fee, this is called their commission.
There are a number of different types of model agency in the UK
High Fashion Agencies
These agencies provide models for the fashion catwalks and fashion magazines. They have very rigid requirements for the models they take on in terms of height, looks and ability in front of the camera and on the runway. High fashion agencies will normally scout their models and will work with new faces to create and build a portfolio which they will pay off in addition to the commission that they take from the work that they find you.
Commercial model agencies provide models for advertising campaigns. Companies will often want an individual to be the face of their service or to be photographed using their product. The adverts then may appear on billboards, leaflets, in magazines or online. There are no minimum height requirements or a typical look that agencies will be looking for when signing a commercial model, they will just be looking for models that they believe that they will confidently be able to match with future castings.
Catalogue agencies match their models with clients looking for someone to advertise their latest clothing range. This may then appear in a physical paper catalogue or on their online shop. Like commercial models there is no specific look or minimum height for catalogue modelling. They also just want to be confident that the models they sign will be what their clients will be looking for from season to season.
A promotional agency will not just be looking for pretty faces, they want confidence, personality and energy. As a promotional model you will be will be the face or one of a few faces representing a brands latest brand or endorsing their advertising campaign, this could involve giving out samples, attending trade shows and creating a buzz at events.
Here is a very useful info graphics we put together to illustrate the types of modelling agencies,
So you have an amazing portfolio, how do you get noticed by a model agency?
There are 2 main ways that an agency finds their models.
The first and most traditional is to be “Scouted” this means to be spotted buy a professional model scout who are employed by a model agency to find their new faces. This is how high fashion agencies traditionally work, however they also have open days and you can apply to them directly.
If you do not fit the criteria of a high fashion agency, which very few of us do, then you will be looking for a commercial, catalogue or promotional agency. To apply to these agencies you will need to visit their websites and apply online. Be warned that if you Google Model agencies chances are that it will not only bring up professional agencies but also casting directories, hosting sites, companies that are trying to sell you images or model training so make sure you do your research before applying.
How can UK Models can help you get noticed by an agency?
UK Models are here to help anyone looking to break in to modelling, whether you are a parent looking to get your child started or you taking the first steps to find out if you may have what it takes.
We are hear to take the confusion out of how to get started by providing advice support and even practical help in building your professional portfolio.
Register with us today to see if you show potential and make use of our professional support service.