When people think of modeling agencies, the stereotype of slender women’s figures or a fitness build for male models comes to mind. Don’t forget about the many other types of modeling agencies.
Many people aspire to break into the modeling industry but aren’t confident that they have a place there. The most common belief is that this type of industry is only for tall, slender individuals with a specific set of facial features. The truth is, however, that there is a large handful of different types of modeling opportunities that you can pursue. For this reason, there are specialized modeling agencies, especially for beginner models, that help connect modeling talent with relevant opportunities.
Although the name would suggest differently, this type of modeling agency does not focus on physical fitness. Instead, fit models work behind the scenes within the industry to help determine how certain clothing should fit. For example, a designer or clothing manufacturer could work with a handful of fit models that represent their target demographic. From here, they could fine-tune the proportions of their clothing so that it has an ideal fit for that type of individual. As you can tell, this type of professional is extremely important to the industry as a whole despite not partaking in conventional photo shoots.
If you’re like many, the dream of getting started as a model seems like a fantasy. For most, it is. That’s where the dream stops. Why is that? Because getting started as a model especially in a major market like New York City is very, very difficult.
Besides the fact that it’s a lot of hard work, it does take a little bit of luck in getting right in front of the right people. This guide will tell you what experience you should expect as an aspiring model getting started.
No one is going to help you if you don’t help yourself.
That’s right, just because you want to be a model doesn’t mean that an agency or modeling scout is going to go out of their way to help you. Like any career changing opportunity, you have to make sure that you are invested in the right materials and education on getting started. Many models make the assumption that walking into an agency and getting signed it as easy as that. That is completely wrong.
Modeling agencies, which are referred to as model management companies in New York City, manage the career of existing models. Now that doesn’t mean that because your new model you won’t get signed an agency. Of course you can, it happens all the time. Just like winning the lottery happens.
Many models that don’t meet the strict requirements of editorial agencies, which are really tall and really thin, are referred to as commercial print models. Getting started as a commercial print model is similar to acting. You have to build up your portfolio however. The truth is you can build up your portfolio working with local photographers in your market. If you are located in or around New York, and wanna get signed to a New York agency, you need to work with a New York photographer. Taking photos of yourself or having a friend or family member take pictures is not professional. While it may help you build your experience in front of the camera, an agency wants to make sure that you have the actual look before they going to sign you.
Spending tens of thousands of dollars on photographs will get you nowhere. There are many scouts that claim to help you by simply getting you on the photo shoots, that will help build up your buck but it won’t help you get in front of castings. The truth is you’ll know whether or not you’ll become a successful model if you can land casting calls.
Covid has changed the way how agency scout. Before Covid some agencies will have open casting calls, typically on Tuesdays or Wednesdays in New York. Since Cove it happens many agencies are not opening the doors to the public. They may require you to come in for a personal evaluation or they might scout you online.
As a new model, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting the best help possible. Who do you know you can trust? How do you know a company is legit? You have to make sure you do your homework and read real reviews from actual talent, not reviews from people that want to get signed an agency or have been declined from an agency, it happens all the time.
There are many services and websites that can help connect to free casting calls. However you should always expect to subscribe to casting call websites. Some are more expensive than others.
Getting signed to an agency is your ticket to become a model. Here are the best ones in New York to get started with.
As a beginner model it is very important to get as much exposure as possible. Whether that is consistently posting on Instagram or submitting your photos to a variety of modeling agencies, New York has some of the top Modeling Agencies for Models Actors and Talent of all backgrounds and looks. There has been a huge increase in alternative modeling agencies which represents talent of all luxe and backgrounds. This is great news for models that don’t fit the typical mold of being super tall and super thin. In fact at Latitude Talent, we are seeing more models that have a unique look get casted for casting call projects and agents than the standard model that once was the norm back in the early 2000s. If you can’t travel to NYC, Miami has some great models agencies and Model Boot Camps to get started with as well!
VNY Models The NY models is a powerhouse boutique modeling agency that specifically works with a diverse group of editorial male and female models. They are ranked as one of the top agencies in New York for models.
Ford Models Not much needs to be said about Ford models as they are one of the top legacy model management companies in New York specifically working with editorial and commercial talent.
Latitude Talent Studios While they are not an agency, Latitude Talent helps work with beginner models, actors and influencers by creating the best marketing materials and accessing the best casting notices in New York.
If your goal is to become a model, you have so many choices on getting started. It is always best to research any and every company that you reach out to prior to meeting with them to ensure that your goals and objectives align with their company.
Searching for open calls for models is very hard, especially in 2021 and beyond as now castings are all practically done online. Prior to covid, very few agencies allowed models to come in their doors for an open call evaluation as most scouting can be done online. Here is an updated list of Modeling Agencies and open call times.
Boon Modeling Agency – 1441 Broadway Suite #3157, New York, NY 10018 (No Open Call Dates, Submit Online
Exxcel Models and Talent – 1460 Broadway 11 fl, New York, NY 10036 (Currently Closed, Not accepting any talent)
DNA Model Management – 555 W 25th St #6, New York, NY 10001 (Will not host open call to public, submit online)
Latitude Talent Studios – 545 8th Avenue, Suite 1270 New York NY (Evaualtion for Service by Appointment, No Open Call)
VNY Model Management (Website Lists Open Calls on Tuesdays however please contact directly to confirm)
Did you know that becoming a model is actually possible, if you have the look, drive and ambition. You know you can do it, but how are you going to prove to a modeling agency you have what it takes? As a beginner, it can be really hard to get started. Who do you trust? Is a modeling agent legit? Those are questions you need to ask yourself when getting started.
There are some pretty big differences when it comes to modeling agencies, photographers and modeling schools. Pretty much all modeling schools cost a lot of money to become their student and with good reason. Education is very important however, to become a model you need access to real casting calls. Thats where an agency comes in. Agencies that represent models on an exclusive basis solely book work for models and actors. They do not focus on development or management. An agency takes 10% from models, plus any expenses FRONTED to the model (test shoots, travel, postage and more) Managers focus on management of new models, mainly editorial types and work with a models existing portfolio. They will typically charge a model for their photographs if they are in a smaller market. Photography can cost anywhere from $100-$1,000 if the model is in a smaller market. Is it worth paying to become a model?
As a new model, you have to prove to the agency you have the look. Having a strong portfolio is what can get you signed to an agency, as well is landing casting calls. As a new model, you want to ALWAYS pay for your own marketing. Want to become a model? learn more about getting started with Latitude Talent Studios.
Is it hard to get into a modeling agency? Well if it was that simple, everyone would have a modeling agent! Here is the truth on the realities of getting signed to a modeling agency and how to get the attention of a modeling scout. To break it down for beginner models, remember to understand this industry is hard and the client chooses who they want for their own project. Never expect an agent to pay for you to start out, that is a common misconception uneducated models have, from how bookings worked in the past.
While it used to be that getting signed to an agency was the only way a model could get gigs, now a days because of social media and the internet, many models and actors alike can find free casting calls and gigs online. Getting signed to a modeling agency is very, very hard since any legitimate modeling agency will only work with an experienced model.
If your goal is to land a modeling agency, a great and easy way to get signed is to get the attention of a modeling scout is to have a portfolio built with some casting calls under your belt. It isn’t worth breaking the bank over, many companies will be reasonable to help you start. Always research who you apply to before the fact, not after.
Should you pay a modeling agency? What should you do if a modeling agency wants you to pay them? Is it normal to be required to pay a fee to join them? There is such a hype and misconception on who pays for what when a beginner model gets signed. This is the real truth no one will tell you. Back in the 1980’s a model could be expected to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars for bookings. Major agencies like Ford Models were at the for front, discovering models in malls and subways. Back then, it was normal for the agency to pay to develop the model starting out, in hopes of earning it back when they book something. Fast forward to 2021 – NO modeling agency is going to pay for your portfolio! Period. Like another career, you have to have actual experience in front of the camera. Regardless of what you heard online, any real model signed with an agency will tell you they all charge hundreds of dollars on website fee’s and marketing. If you are signed exclusively with a big agency, some of these costs may be fronted to you however, this is rare and only reserved for editorial models. Have you applied to agencies and not heard back? Well the truth is model managers manage the careers of established talent, they do not help you start or grow.