Forums > Model Colloquy > Age Range For Commercial Work

Model

CRIMSON REIGN

Posts: 813

Baltimore, Maryland, US

I seem to be at a stand still here. I may have asked this before, but here goes...

I have tried out for a few commercial jobs in the past and have been fortunate enough to get 1 or 2; however, it seems that I'm caught between looking to young to be old, and too old to be young. There are plenty of jobs for senior ( disability, life insurance, Hover-Round, etc.) and younger models ( Old Navy, Covergirl, etc), but where in the world do I fit in?  I've been told that my "look" and "bone structure" is too high fashion for commercial stuff, but realistically, I know that I won't be on the cover of any high fashion magazine. Any advice would be appreciated.

Jan 06 13 09:13 pm Link

Photographer

Tony Lawrence

Posts: 19225

Chicago, Illinois, US

You are stunning first of all.   However I would do more commercial styled images.   Young mom.   Business person.   Walking a dog, etc.   Start with a commercial head shot.   Big smiles.   Your photos are very cool and well styled but a bit dramatic for the commercial market.   My guess is you aren't referring clients to MM so lets move on.   Are you signed anywhere and if so what are they saying?   Have you contacted any of the local advertising agencies?   llamaing agencies are the place to start of course.   Are you doing any acting?   If possible get a reel together.   http://www.backstage.com/advice-for-act … demo-reel/

Always remember its not always the best llama/actor who gets the work but sometimes the most persistent. 
I really meant my compliment but beauty means nothing without effort and being seen.

Jan 06 13 09:33 pm Link

Model

Lanna_

Posts: 829

Seattle, Washington, US

What's your commercial book like? 

Just by browsing your portfolio on here, I don't see much work in the commercial/lifestyle genre.  Most of your images have more of an editorial/fashion feel. (not a critique, just an observation) It may not be the age that is prohibiting you to find work, but your portfolio. (Or you might just not have any of your commercial work on MM?)

You may need to invest in a session with a good lifestyle or commercial photographer recommended by your agency.  They'll know the market and will be able to get you images that will sell you better to the clients.

Commercial/lifestyle is hard to shoot well and often MM photographers aren't interested in it.  The ones who excel at it likely won't be doing TF.  Stuff that seems boring to most people (going for a walk with your dog, being a business professional in a cafe, running by the lake, a big happy smile) is lifestyle/commercial gold. 

It may be easier to find fashion/editorial for TF, and it may be much funner to shoot, but to appeal to commercial clients you need a really specific book for it.

Jan 06 13 09:41 pm Link

Model

CRIMSON REIGN

Posts: 813

Baltimore, Maryland, US

Tony Lawrence wrote:
You are stunning first of all.   However I would do more commercial styled images.   Young mom.   Business person.   Walking a dog, etc.   Start with a commercial head shot.   Big smiles.   Your photos are very cool and well styled but a bit dramatic for the commercial market.   My guess is you aren't referring clients to MM so lets move on.   Are you signed anywhere and if so what are they saying?   Have you contacted any of the local advertising agencies?   Modeling agencies are the place to start of course.   Are you doing any acting?   If possible get a reel together.   http://www.backstage.com/advice-for-act … demo-reel/

Always remember its not always the best model/actor who gets the work but sometimes the most persistent. 
I really meant my compliment but beauty means nothing without effort and being seen.

Thank you so much for your compliment and advice. There is a commercial that I am in that's been running for 2-3 years ( I'm a person suffering from depression- non speaking role). I have signed up with the local agencies in the past, but I think that I should reconnect with some of them again.

Jan 06 13 09:41 pm Link

Model

CRIMSON REIGN

Posts: 813

Baltimore, Maryland, US

Lanna_ wrote:
What's your commercial book like? 

Just by browsing your portfolio on here, I don't see much work in the commercial/lifestyle genre.  Most of your images have more of an editorial/fashion feel. (not a critique, just an observation) It may not be the age that is prohibiting you to find work, but your portfolio. (Or you might just not have any of your commercial work on MM?)

You may need to invest in a session with a good lifestyle or commercial photographer recommended by your agency.  They'll know the market and will be able to get you images that will sell you better to the clients.

Commercial/lifestyle is hard to shoot well and often MM photographers aren't interested in it.  The ones who excel at it likely won't be doing TF.  Stuff that seems boring to most people (going for a walk with your dog, being a business professional in a cafe, running by the lake, a big happy smile) is lifestyle/commercial gold. 

It may be easier to find fashion/editorial for TF, and it may be much funner to shoot, but to appeal to commercial clients you need a really specific book for it.

Bless you, Lanna for sharing some awesome advice. I will definitely look into that. I have a few photographers in mind that would be perfect for just that.

Jan 06 13 09:44 pm Link

Model

Lanna_

Posts: 829

Seattle, Washington, US

CRIMSON REIGN wrote:
Bless you, Lanna for sharing some awesome advice. I will definitely look into that. I have a few photographers in mind that would be perfect for just that.

Best of luck to you smile  You have a gorgeous look!

I know it was a bit of an eyeopener for me when I first started doing commercial/lifestyle work.  Some of the images I thought were great (more editorial/fashion) my agency took out of my book. "This is going to scare Eddie Bauer away" (direct quote!)

Most of my commercial/lifestyle images I leave off MM.  A great lifestyle shot is too "boring" for this site.  But it will do a world of good in your casting calls!

Jan 06 13 09:52 pm Link

Model

CRIMSON REIGN

Posts: 813

Baltimore, Maryland, US

Lanna_ wrote:

Best of luck to you smile  You have a gorgeous look!

I know it was a bit of an eyeopener for me when I first started doing commercial/lifestyle work.  Many of the images I thought were great (more editorial/fashion) my agency took out of my book. "This is going to scare Eddie Bauer away" (direct quote!)

Most of my commercial/lifestyle images I leave off MM.  A great lifestyle shot is too "boring" for this site.  But it will do a world of good in your casting calls!

Thank you so much. I'm taking a whole new approach for 2013. Now to see which one of my cats will be obedient enough to shoot with me...lol!  big_smile

Jan 06 13 09:56 pm Link

Photographer

J D s Artistic Images

Posts: 72

Port Angeles, Washington, US

As one who has spent several years shooting stock photos, I would jump at the chance to have someone like you in front of my lens! I love what you have on your port here, (and if that is who you are, don’t change it!) Just accept you might have to modify your style while earning a living… Find a stock photographer in your area, find out what they want, do a TF shoot and start a separate port for that type of thing.  I know if you would be willing to take on the roles needed to create the images a photographer wanted/needed they could make some bucks with them! I would have been willing to pay you a modeling fee that is for sure!  Good Luck!

Jan 07 13 01:05 am Link

Photographer

Cherrystone

Posts: 36706

Columbus, Ohio, US

Given how you look, and I surely know, with your face you should do well if you find the right people.

Jan 07 13 01:32 am Link

Model

CRIMSON REIGN

Posts: 813

Baltimore, Maryland, US

Thanks you guys! smile

Jan 07 13 08:38 am Link

Model

angel emily

Posts: 1020

Boston, Massachusetts, US

There are kids who work in my agency, like 5-6 years old - sometimes younger -- and people who are 60+.

Jan 07 13 08:42 am Link

Photographer

kevinLi

Posts: 214

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Commercial is not about how old you ARE but how old you LOOK, and they use people from kids to old granny so you are never too old for it. Although the most popular range are people who look 20-30.

Jan 07 13 07:45 pm Link

Photographer

Marc Damon

Posts: 6562

Biloxi, Mississippi, US

Commercial work is all about playing a role (acting). With your looks and at your age, you need realize that you're not a young hot babe anymore. You've moved on to roles playing either a mom or district attorney. Go for the jobs that fit your age range.

If your agency isn't getting go-sees/auditions for you that are not appropriate for your look/age range, etc then it may be time to find another agent. Remember that you don't work for an agency. The agency works for you. As a model, you are self employed and the agency is merely who you hired to sell your product.

Jan 08 13 06:20 am Link

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Photographer

Rays Fine Art

Posts: 6308

New York, New York, US

Don't feel too bad--I'm too old to be old!

--Most of the castings, both acting and llamaing, that I see seem to consider anything past 65 too old to be marketable.  Worse, a number of casting agents insist on actual age rather than apparent age as the operative factor.

Jan 10 13 02:59 pm Link

Model

Misty R H

Posts: 471

Anaheim, California, US

I am a mature commercial model as well and I agree with the about doing stock photos.

I started out with doing stock photo shoots.  I just did various searches on-line to find local photographers that did stock photos.  I went for the soccer mom look, jogger, dog walker, doctor, business executive.

My agent wants me to get a frumpy frazzled house wife, tough hard look, ditzy neighbor lady look.  He said my commercial portfolio is all "pretty lady" shots.  A commercial model needs versatility.  They have to be able to be a sophisticated business exec or a hard tough prison guard or a frazzled housewife frustrated with her floor wax or even someone that is sick with the flu.  These aren't "pretty" pics but adding these to your port makes you more versatile and marketable.

I am working on what I call the "not pretty" shots. I have a photographer that does stock photos that wants to work with me so I just need to do it.

You are beautiful so showing that you can do the non-pretty shots for commercial work is what will be most beneficial and make you more marketable.

I know it isn't as glamorous as the pretty fashion shots, but this is the life of a commercial model.

Jan 10 13 09:45 pm Link

Model

Melodye Joy

Posts: 542

Rancho Cucamonga, California, US

Commercial modeling is a broad aspect as it can change with YOU.

Your young looking, therefore you can still pull some younger clothing brands, sell tech gadgets, accessories line...

Your over the "standard" model age, so you can be versitle and be a young mother, do a workout sesh, sell the local grocer brand!

As a commercial model, you can maintain and continue forward as you get older...
When your a grandmother, you can sell health insurance, depends, ensure, be a hot grandma in a fabulous clothing brand!

Depends on what YOU want to do as a commercial model, how long you want to push your career, what range you have (do you do any acting, voice overs, ect)....

Also, keep forward with your portfolio and what genres you want to work in, concerning commercial/brand modeling.

Good luck!

Jan 10 13 10:05 pm Link

Model

Misty R H

Posts: 471

Anaheim, California, US

I am going to add to my previous post.  Get some magazines and check out the ads with people in them. Not fashion or car magazines or magazines like Seventeen or Cosmo, but issues like Reader's Digest, Travel and Leisure and Better Homes and Gardens.

In these magazines you will see adds for pharmaceuticals, food, home gadgets/appliances, travel destinations, computers, pet products etc.  Add pictures like this to your port...
...business person traveling on the run or someone that looks like they are traveling on vacation
...executive on computer.
...someone suffering from allergies or headache
...you gardening or maybe with hammer and nails fixing somthing
...you cooking in the kitchen or making kids school lunches

Get different looks, corporate, frummpy, frazzled, frustrated. These are the type of pics that can help casting directors see you in the role for their product.

Now I need to follow my own advise and that of my agent and add more of these to my port as well.

Jan 11 13 07:12 am Link

Model

CRIMSON REIGN

Posts: 813

Baltimore, Maryland, US

Marc Damon wrote:
Commercial work is all about playing a role (acting). With your looks and at your age, you need realize that you're not a young hot babe anymore. You've moved on to roles playing either a mom or district attorney. Go for the jobs that fit your age range.

If your agency isn't getting go-sees/auditions for you that are not appropriate for your look/age range, etc then it may be time to find another agent. Remember that you don't work for an agency. The agency works for you. As a model, you are self employed and the agency is merely who you hired to sell your product.

According to the roles I've applied for which fall in my age range, I don't look old enough ( see my previous statement above)

Jan 11 13 07:41 pm Link

Model

CRIMSON REIGN

Posts: 813

Baltimore, Maryland, US

Misty R H wrote:
I am a mature commercial model as well and I agree with the about doing stock photos.

I started out with doing stock photo shoots.  I just did various searches on-line to find local photographers that did stock photos.  I went for the soccer mom look, jogger, dog walker, doctor, business executive.

My agent wants me to get a frumpy frazzled house wife, tough hard look, ditzy neighbor lady look.  He said my commercial portfolio is all "pretty lady" shots.  A commercial model needs versatility.  They have to be able to be a sophisticated business exec or a hard tough prison guard or a frazzled housewife frustrated with her floor wax or even someone that is sick with the flu.  These aren't "pretty" pics but adding these to your port makes you more versatile and marketable.

I am working on what I call the "not pretty" shots. I have a photographer that does stock photos that wants to work with me so I just need to do it.

You are beautiful so showing that you can do the non-pretty shots for commercial work is what will be most beneficial and make you more marketable.

I know it isn't as glamorous as the pretty fashion shots, but this is the life of a commercial model.

Thanks for the advice. I have tried to come in for the roles my age with little to no make up, but with my slender build and high cheekbones, they say I have a high fashion look. I always send in pics, but you know how that goes... they want to see the actual product (you ) in person. They gasp when I tell them my age, and the few grey hairs I have don't show. Gotta figure out how to ugly it up a bit...lol!

Jan 11 13 07:45 pm Link

Photographer

Marc Damon

Posts: 6562

Biloxi, Mississippi, US

CRIMSON REIGN wrote:
According to the roles I've applied for which fall in my age range, I don't look old enough ( see my previous statement above)

I hate statistics, but I remember reading somewhere that the average age (that a model looks like not her/his birth cert. age) is 37 for women and 39 for men. That should mean you are in your prime as a commercial model.

You don't hire a 25 year old girl to sell depends and you don't hire a 65 year old guy to promote a hip hop dance club. You have to find roles that fit your age bracket and get a port together that markets that range/genre. You won't be a good fit for everything. You may get 100 'sorry, we hired someone else' for every 1 'you're perfect for the ad and hired'.

If you're not getting work, revamp your port and comp card because it's obviously not working for you. Talk to different agents and agencies and lie about your actual age until they force your hand. Agencies often lie about a model's actual age to everyone. Put yourself out there by going to as many open cattle calls as you can. Get one actual tearsheet that shows you as a 35-40 year old commercial model and maybe you can begin to build some street cred that will get you a 2nd, 3rd, etc.

Jan 11 13 08:33 pm Link

Model

CRIMSON REIGN

Posts: 813

Baltimore, Maryland, US

Marc Damon wrote:

I hate statistics, but I remember reading somewhere that the average age (that a model looks like not her/his birth cert. age) is 37 for women and 39 for men. That should mean you are in your prime as a commercial model.

You don't hire a 25 year old girl to sell depends and you don't hire a 65 year old guy to promote a hip hop dance club. You have to find roles that fit your age bracket and get a port together that markets that range/genre. You won't be a good fit for everything. You may get 100 'sorry, we hired someone else' for every 1 'you're perfect for the ad and hired'.

If you're not getting work, revamp your port and comp card because it's obviously not working for you. Talk to different agents and agencies and lie about your actual age until they force your hand. Agencies often lie about a model's actual age to everyone. Put yourself out there by going to as many open cattle calls as you can. Get one actual tearsheet that shows you as a 35-40 year old commercial model and maybe you can begin to build some street cred that will get you a 2nd, 3rd, etc.

LOL @25 year old selling depends...hahaha!
Yes, the age game is interesting, but I think that location has a bit to do with it too. Not much going on here, so I would have to find time and money to travel to other markets.

Jan 12 13 09:09 am Link

Model

CRIMSON REIGN

Posts: 813

Baltimore, Maryland, US

What are some LEGITAMATE agencies that I could sign up for that hire for commercial work?

Jan 12 13 09:12 am Link

Model

Misty R H

Posts: 471

Anaheim, California, US

Here is a website with a listing of agencies in Maryland and other states.  I found my agent by using this list for the Los Angeles area.

http://www.bobpardue.com/model/agency/

See if you can find a website for the agencies. If you do, you can see if the represent commercial models.  Sometimes you can apply on-line.  Other times you need to send a letter with a head shot/comp card and resume. 

My agent asked me to do a commercial acting workshop as well so I would be more marketable for TV commercials as well as print work.  You should look for a commercian acting workshop in this area as it makes you more marketable.

FYI, I think your look would be fabulous for travel brochures/websites. 

I know it is tough because you always want to look your best, but you might want to "ugly" it up a little bit to show versatililty.

Jan 12 13 10:33 am Link

Photographer

Jhono Bashian

Posts: 2432

Cleveland, Ohio, US

Its not about the age of the talent.  Its the "LOOK" that he/she has or can get into that's a match for the product/service being sold.

Jan 12 13 10:45 am Link

Model

CRIMSON REIGN

Posts: 813

Baltimore, Maryland, US

Misty R H wrote:
Here is a website with a listing of agencies in Maryland and other states.  I found my agent by using this list for the Los Angeles area.

http://www.bobpardue.com/model/agency/

See if you can find a website for the agencies. If you do, you can see if the represent commercial models.  Sometimes you can apply on-line.  Other times you need to send a letter with a head shot/comp card and resume. 

My agent asked me to do a commercial acting workshop as well so I would be more marketable for TV commercials as well as print work.  You should look for a commercian acting workshop in this area as it makes you more marketable.

FYI, I think your look would be fabulous for travel brochures/websites. 

I know it is tough because you always want to look your best, but you might want to "ugly" it up a little bit to show versatililty.

Thank you so much. Yes "uglying" it up is a definite must. The commercial I'm in that's been running for more than 3 years has me looking so depressed that the camera man said he almost wanted to cry while shooting it...lol! Hilarious!

Jan 12 13 06:51 pm Link