Hey FashionPhotographyBlog.com readers!
A LOT of people have asked how to approach agencies to work with their models so, here’s a crash course in testing with agency models! First things first, you have to have the type of images an agent would like to see. Agencies like to see clean photographs:
– Images that aren’t too shadowy or weirdly lit
– Photographs with nice hair and makeup- keep it simple!
– No intense, crazy eye-shadow
– No big, teased hair
– NO NUDITY
The whole idea behind testing with an agency is that they want clean, beautiful images of their models to put in the models portfolio. This means images that show the model as they naturally look, not images that show the model with 15 pounds of makeup and Photoshop’ed past recognition. Make sure all your images aren’t of one or two people, have a variety to show the agency that no matter who they send you you’ll be able to take a damn good photo!
Have those clean portrait/fashion portrait images already? I suggest having a website you can link the agency to. If you don’t have a site yet, no worries. Attach around 5 images in your email to the agency so they can view your work and get a sense of your style. (Make sure you have 10-15 good images to show, in case you’re asked to provide more.)
Now you’re ready to reach out!
1. Call the agency you’re interested in working with and ask who you should speak to in regard to testing with their new faces. You’ll probably be given the email address to a booker (model agent) and asked to send over your portfolio.
2. Email the booker:
– Start with a nice introduction, explain who you are and that you’re looking to test with their new faces.
– Include your portfolio: Link the booker to your website or attach 5-6 photos.
4. Got a response? Congrats! You’ll most likely be sent a package (a listing of available models in need of images for their book) and will have the opportunity to choose who to work with:
– Sometimes the booker will ask if you have a team (aka creative team – hair, makeup and wardrobe stylists) Be honest with them. Don’t lie and say you have a team if you don’t. It will show in the final images you produce. The agency wants to make sure they’re sending their girls out on shoots that will help their books, not waste their time.
– Sometimes you’ll be asked for a mood board. What is a mood board anyways? (Well get into that in another post) In short, a mood board is a compilation of images that show what it is you’re trying to accomplish. Inspiration for hair, makeup, wardrobe, overall outcome of the shoot.
5. No response? That’s okay. Just be persistent, keep shooting and try again. Never take “No” for an answer! There have been plenty of times that I’ve been turned down but I kept shooting and eventually was given a break. I’m currently testing with agencies that had previously not responded to my emails. Believe in yourself and someone will come along who believes in you too!
Did you find Alana’s post useful? Please leave your comments below in the comment section. We would like to know what you thought about this post. If you enjoyed this article, do stay tuned as Alana has another post just around the corner on FashionPhotograhyBlog.com. If you want to know more about shooting with models from agencies, check our upcoming post on Tips For Working With Agency Models.
Feature image & images 1: courtesy of Alana Tyler Slutsky.