Modelling is a two way traffic. This means that you will need to demonstrate a high degree of seriousness, loyalty and dedication if you wish to succeed in what is in effect a highly competitive industry.
Below is some impartial advice that will stand you in good stead when applying to any agency:
- Free modelling portfolios - this is a misnomer in that some aspiring models feel that if an agency likes the look of them, there's no reason why they should have to pay for their professional portfolio. This is not the case. After all, if you were applying for a job, would you expect your would-be employer to prepare your CV for you? Of course not so why should modelling be any different. Granted that a modelling portfolio can cost quite a lot of money unlike a CV but the fees models command are often quite high so you will need to be prepared to speculate if you want to accumulate.
- TFPs and TFCDs - Quite often photographers will offer to do you a 'free' portfolio in return for you giving your free time. These are known as Time for Prints (TFPs) and Time for CDs (TFCDs). Whilst such a proposition may sound attractive, what they will not tell you is that whilst you're free to use the images to be represented on an agency's books, any revenues earned from the images 100% belongs to them as they (and not you) own the rights to the pictures. So beware and only go for this option if you are happy to relinquish any money you may earn down the road. As the saying goes, there's no such thing as a free lunch.
- The Photographer - Quite often, many would-be models feel that any professionally looking pictures will do for their professional portfolio. This is simply not true. Quite often, the photographer and thus quality of the images are key to the calibre of agency who will accept them. So do not go and make the frequent mistake of spending a lot of money using any photographer/studio as it could be a wasted expense.
- Makeover company's - We've heard countless horror stories of aspiring models who pay upwards of £1000 to get their professional pictures done. Our advice? If you want to do modelling, make sure you go to a reputable company who use only the best photographers and know exactly what a modelling agency needs in terms of photographs. Also, they will suggest the best studios to use as in this industry, quality of image is everything.
- Putting their money where their mouths are - It's easy for any modelling company to say they like you and are happy to welcome you on board. However, bearing in mind that we only make money when you (the model does), how many (agencies) are prepared to put their money where their mouths are and fully pay for your studio time AND the cost of digitally enhancing and professionally airbrushing your portfolio images yet relinquish the entire copyright to the model? In being accepted onto our books, this is what Century Models are prepared to do?
IN ALL, BE PREPARED TO INVEST SOME MONEY, TIME AND EFFORT INTO GETTING ON THE MODELLING LADDER AS IT ALSO DEMONSTRATES TO THE AGENCY THAT YOU ARE SERIOUS MINDED AND ARE UNLIKELY TO LET THEM DOWN WHEN ASSIGNING YOU TO JOBS AND CASTINGS.