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Model
WhitneyNoelle
Posts: 6
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US


I just do not understand how people get anywhere without being signed to an agency, I know a ton of people do it but I just have no idea how to go about doing it by myself. I do not do glamour/nudes or lingerie so it is harder to find REAL paying jobs! I need advice/help! And I would just apply at an agency but they need a certain height which I am not
Jan 31 13 12:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
DivaEroticus
Posts: 14,553
Fayetteville, Arkansas, US


Network, network, network.  Work your ass off and network some more.
Jan 31 13 12:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Loki Studio
Posts: 2,943
Royal Oak, Michigan, US


WhitneyNoelle wrote:
I just do not understand how people get anywhere without being signed to an agency, I know a ton of people do it but I just have no idea how to go about doing it by myself. I do not do glamour/nudes or lingerie so it is harder to find REAL paying jobs! I need advice/help! And I would just apply at an agency but they need a certain height which I am not

The real world answer is that 95% of paid fashion work goes to agency models in most markets. There may be some boutiques that pay models for advertising work that may be more flexible about height, but most are not.  Glamour, swimwear, nude, and promotional work is a much better opportunity for paid work for most models under 5'8".

Jan 31 13 12:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jeffrey Blake Adams
Posts: 607
Miami Beach, Florida, US


DivaEroticus wrote:
Network, network, network.  Work your ass off and network some more.

+100

great info in the "notes" section on our facebook fan page
http://www.facebook.com/adamsphotographics

Jan 31 13 12:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Silver Mirage
Posts: 1,560
Plainview, Texas, US


DivaEroticus wrote:
Network, network, network.  Work your ass off and network some more.

That. Work the social media for all it's worth. The successful non-agency models I know all keep very active on Facebook, Twitter and the rest. Be sure you have a FB modeling page, work to build a fanbase, and update regularly at least 3 or 4 times a week. 

As you say, if you do not do lingerie or nude that closes off a lot of the non-agency business - especially for photography models. Look into companies that use promotional models for personal appearances. You can find them in most cities of any size. If you have any acting or performing abilities look into TV commercial work.

Be prepared to travel. Unless you are in a very large city there may not be enough work in your local area to make paid modeling worth the trouble.

Good luck.

Jan 31 13 12:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,927
Santa Ana, California, US


Well, you're in Milwaukee besides the other things you've and others have mentioned.

Chicago is just 1.5 hours away.
Jan 31 13 12:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Images by MR
Posts: 7,562
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


I think with your height limitations & the fact you're not willing to shoot glamour, lingerie or nudes you'll find it very hard to get paid work.

Just my thoughts ~ MR
Jan 31 13 12:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,116
Tampa, Florida, US


1. Pose nude.
2. Network.
3. Travel.
4. Impress every photographer you work with.
5. Network more.

= $
Jan 31 13 12:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


Michael Pandolfo wrote:
1. Pose nude.
2. Network.
3. Travel.
4. Impress every photographer you work with.
5. Network more.

= $

+1

You forgot "fit" modelling wink




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Jan 31 13 12:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,116
Tampa, Florida, US


WhitneyNoelle wrote:
I just do not understand how people get anywhere without being signed to an agency, I know a ton of people do it but I just have no idea how to go about doing it by myself. I do not do glamour/nudes or lingerie so it is harder to find REAL paying jobs! I need advice/help! And I would just apply at an agency but they need a certain height which I am not

Then I would have to ask...who would you expect to hire you? You don't meet fashion standards. You don't shoot glamour, nude or lingerie. What is left? Fitness? That's a very small niche so unless you're a bodybuilding or published national champion fitness competitor, I don't see the demand.

Look at it from a client's perspective. What do you have to offer that other models don't?

Jan 31 13 12:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,116
Tampa, Florida, US


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:
+1

You forgot "fit" modelling wink




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Nooooooooooo! I hear Eliza C's footsteps coming!

Jan 31 13 12:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Paige Morgan
Posts: 4,058
New York, New York, US


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:

+1

You forgot "fit" modelling wink




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

I just choked on my coffee laughing at that. ~Shakes fist~ Damn you! big_smile

Jan 31 13 01:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
WhitneyNoelle
Posts: 6
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US


Thank you all for replying! You are absolutely right- beggars can't be choosers! I need to be more open to different types of modeling
Jan 31 13 01:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
WhitneyNoelle
Posts: 6
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US


I should have said published work instead of paid - I don't have rates, I just love the idea of ny images being published but its hard to land those "published gigs" without an agency, networking is my best bet
Jan 31 13 01:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Wynd Mulysa
Posts: 8,597
Berkeley, California, US


Basically, you are going to have to spend a lot of time online.
Jan 31 13 01:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Raoul Isidro Images
Posts: 6,099
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


WhitneyNoelle wrote:
How do I get anywhere without an agency!?

There is no magic answer for that.

It is the same question asked by many others, like you, in similar circumstances, and in other fields as well, not only modelling and photography.

All the best wishes to you.

.

Jan 31 13 01:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marc Damon
Posts: 6,562
Biloxi, Mississippi, US


DivaEroticus wrote:
Network, network, network.  Work your ass off and network some more.

You know... every once in a while Diva says something really smart! tongue


Have you read everything at www.newmodels.com ?

WhitneyNoelle wrote:
Thank you all for replying! You are absolutely right- beggars can't be choosers! I need to be more open to different types of modeling

yes. Don't do anything that goes against your morals or that you really don't want to do. But the more you're willing to do, the more opportunities you will have coming your way.

Jan 31 13 05:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
grandart
Posts: 731
Chicago, Illinois, US


Milwaukee is quite an active "fashion" town with a lot of work for Carsons (and all their sub brands) and Kohl's being shot there. Many times they look for the "every day girl" type from the agencies and there are a few of those in Milwaukee. If that doesn't work for you try working with the top drawer people such as Taylor, etc. And then there is Chicago, about an hour south. There are tons of good people here, photographers as well as agencies. 
I like your drive and dedication that you feel for your baby; even half of that energy poured into your work as a model is going to pay off. Go make a lot of different pictures with new photogs.
Jan 31 13 05:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
B R E N N A N
Posts: 4,093
Charlotte, North Carolina, US


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:

+1

You forgot "fit" modelling wink




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

*dies* lol

Jan 31 13 05:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Kelleth
Posts: 2,512
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Most successful freelance models generally live in decent sized markets and/or travel extensively. Location is really important.
Jan 31 13 05:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Good Egg Productions
Posts: 15,305
Orlando, Florida, US


WhitneyNoelle wrote:
I just do not understand how people get anywhere without being signed to an agency, I know a ton of people do it but I just have no idea how to go about doing it by myself. I do not do glamour/nudes or lingerie so it is harder to find REAL paying jobs! I need advice/help! And I would just apply at an agency but they need a certain height which I am not

I don't know much about the greater industry, but from what I do know, the bold part is the trouble part.  If you DID do glamour/nude, you can make a perfectly good living without representation.  But to really get into the fashion/commercial work without a reputable agency, you're going to need to know the right people, be at the right place at the right time (and be available for it) and hustle your butt off.

Jan 31 13 05:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Miss Leilani Jade
Posts: 2,513
Decatur, Alabama, US


I beg to disagree somewhat, I do have a couple non exclusive agencies but my Mom actually gets me most the work I do.  Am I making bank...no but hey my shoots are paid enough to suit me for now, I model for companies all over the world, have fun and make some at workshops- trade shows- do extra work on tv and film- and do portfolio shoots at art colleges.  But you do have to network your butt off to get noticed and hired

Oh, and clothing stays on too lol

oh and one last thing I live in Po-dunk Alabama haha
Jan 31 13 05:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,322
Salem, Oregon, US


one of my models does art nudes and has been exhibited in a gallery. she works both the west coast and the east coast and travels frequently between the coasts.

what kind of magazines are you hoping to get published in?

WhitneyNoelle wrote:
I should have said published work instead of paid - I don't have rates, I just love the idea of ny images being published but its hard to land those "published gigs" without an agency, networking is my best bet

Jan 31 13 05:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Miss Leilani Jade
Posts: 2,513
Decatur, Alabama, US


WhitneyNoelle wrote:
I should have said published work instead of paid - I don't have rates, I just love the idea of ny images being published but its hard to land those "published gigs" without an agency, networking is my best bet

Have also been several times published nationally

Jan 31 13 05:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
I M N Photography
Posts: 2,326
New York, New York, US


WhitneyNoelle wrote:
I just do not understand how people get anywhere without being signed to an agency, I know a ton of people do it but I just have no idea how to go about doing it by myself. I do not do glamour/nudes or lingerie so it is harder to find REAL paying jobs! I need advice/help! And I would just apply at an agency but they need a certain height which I am not

You will understand when you look at it from the point of view of your potential clients, or at least the market you are trying to attract.

If you want to model clothing or products (i.e., commercial advertising), then unless you are well connected with smaller venues that need models for catalog work, AND you have a look and skill that can compete against agency talent for a smaller fee, then you are out of luck. This type of freelancing relies a lot on REPUTATION. The moment you flake, your reliability is put into question and businesses will look for other models, or go the agency route.

Other forms of modeling (e.g., nudes, and glamour in its many manifestations) are more about the model than the products/garments being sold. That is the main category where freelance models are likely to thrive, because they are contacted directly based on their distinctive look and not so much on how they fit into a standard look.

There is no "secret formula" to becoming a successful freelance model. A lot of those models that appear to be successful (because they have been published in the past) have to work long hours (aka lots of promotional gigs) to break even - OR - they supplement their income with semi-regular, normal jobs that have little to do with modeling.

Your goal is not to be published. That's a side effect.

Your goal, as a commercial, clothing model, is to be identifiable with your demographic, while being somewhat unrecognizable or anonymous.

This isn't a critique forum, and you seem to be very aware of your limitations, therefore if I had to give some advice that won't conflict with your morals, I would suggest:

1.Print out some business cards. Compcards work best.
2. Put together a sales pitch.
3. Go to a lot, if not ALL, of the businesses in your area that would benefit from hiring a commercial model, and tell them WHY they should hire you (bring your marketing materials and your confident sales pitch). This includes clothing shops, but consists mainly of advertising agencies.
4. Forget about social media. Brick and mortar (i.e., Face to Face) is the best way to build a network of paying clients (targeted marketing almost guarantees that you don't waste a lot of time and effort effort promoting yourself to people that would probably not hire you for legitimate, regular work.

Jan 31 13 05:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
WhitneyNoelle
Posts: 6
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US


Thank you all for replying!! You have helped me a ton!!
Feb 01 13 06:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Aaron Lewis Photography
Posts: 5,083
Catskill, New York, US


Work hard and develop a product that someone needs. Agencies are able to give you work because they have a team of people out getting the work through networking, crafty marketing or whatever. You have to be all of that yourself.

It's like owning your own business. There's no company writing you a paycheck each week. You have to go find the work and make the check yourself.
Feb 01 13 06:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JOEL McDONALD
Posts: 608
Portland, Oregon, US


All starting out Creatives have the same issue, how to be noticed and get work.

If you're an independent/freelance model then you're in the same boat as the average independent/freelance (semi) professional photographer, MUAH, artist and the like.

You have to sell yourself. You have to knock on doors and you have to be assertive in making yourself known.

I always recommend creating images of yourself that are representative of your versatility and commercial appeal. Have images made of you with products and props. Create situational scenes and cosplay for images of you.

Create images that emulate the successful ones that you see in publications and online.

Network like crazy. If you see models in ads, promotions or publications produced by local businesses, look into who is responsible for booking the models for those ads. Many family friends, acquaintances and friends are business owners that may give you a break.

Your MM profile states:
Art
Fashion
Fitness
Hair/Makeup
Lifestyle

But your portfolio shows none of these except one b/w for that's sort of safely "art".

Something to quickly read and save: http://www.purestorm.com/elements.aspx
Feb 01 13 08:38 am  Link  Quote 
Model
V for Victory Modeling
Posts: 436
Roseville, California, US


Silver Mirage wrote:
That. Work the social media for all it's worth. The successful non-agency models I know all keep very active on Facebook, Twitter and the rest. Be sure you have a FB modeling page, work to build a fanbase, and update regularly at least 3 or 4 times a week. 

As you say, if you do not do lingerie or nude that closes off a lot of the non-agency business - especially for photography models. Look into companies that use promotional models for personal appearances. You can find them in most cities of any size. If you have any acting or performing abilities look into TV commercial work.

Be prepared to travel. Unless you are in a very large city there may not be enough work in your local area to make paid modeling worth the trouble.

Good luck.

Great tips! I used to have a FB page and then deleted it, but my day job is working social media, so I probably should get it back up and get it promoted (One of the big benefits about having two jobs in social media marketing) I also live in one of the nations biggest cities...so no issue there. I definitely agree that commercial and promotional are the ways to go. No agencies will sign a model under 5'9" unless you are extremely lucky.

Feb 01 13 09:56 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fotografica Gregor
Posts: 4,071
Alexandria, Virginia, US


an aweful lot of models don't really get anywhere *with* an agency either....

my area is at best a secondary market but I know quite a few models who have opted for free agency and been more successful as a result...
Feb 01 13 10:02 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JOEL McDONALD
Posts: 608
Portland, Oregon, US


In my experience with legit modeling agencies, only about the top 10% of agency models actually make a living and/or money. The rest are basically filler to allow the agency to have "possible" options in the event that the 10% isn't available or isn't exactly what a client needs or can afford.

Few of the other 90% make a living from it, and if anything end up paying the agency for ever new head shots, portfolio images, and "classes".

If you're going to make modeling a living then it's going to have to be on your own. If you're going out on your own you're going to have to be smart and be assertive. If you're not making it after being smart and assertive then make it a hobby and make a living another way.
Feb 01 13 10:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,099
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


You'll find the very best answers to your question here:

http://www.modelmayhem.com/489446


Several of my model friends highly recommend this book - and one told me that, if the book had been available when she started out, it would have kept her from wasting the first five years.

If you look at it that way, the cost is $2 for each year you'll save.

If you want to know more about the author, you can read her MM EDU interview here.

http://www.modelmayhem.com/education/mo … ie-gabriel
Feb 01 13 10:31 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Raven-Lily
Posts: 77
Eastbourne, England, United Kingdom


Most published work comes from doing Glamour/Lingerie or if you can fit into Alternative Modelling and know how to dress for Gothic/Steampunk/Pin Up projects then you can get into lots of specialist magazines, Im doing published work for SteamPunk on Sunday.

these specialist themed magazines dont care about height/weight etc as long as you can rock any outfit they put you in

just a thought
Feb 01 13 10:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AgX
Posts: 1,221
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:

+1

You forgot "fit" modelling wink




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Now _that_ was funny!

Feb 01 13 10:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Hero Foto
Posts: 878
Phoenix, Arizona, US


Lil Miss Jade wrote:
I beg to disagree somewhat, I do have a couple non exclusive agencies but my Mom actually gets me most the work I do.  Am I making bank...no but hey my shoots are paid enough to suit me for now, I model for companies all over the world, have fun and make some at workshops- trade shows- do extra work on tv and film- and do portfolio shoots at art colleges.  But you do have to network your butt off to get noticed and hired

Oh, and clothing stays on too lol

oh and one last thing I live in Po-dunk Alabama haha

so your MOM is acting as an Agent would ... YOU are not getting the work yourself, she's acting as AGENT ... managing your work ... totally NOT what the OP is asking ...

Feb 01 13 10:38 am  Link  Quote 
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