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12last
Photographer
elementfoto
Posts: 447
Venice, California, US


I know a girl with an amazing look, who meets every modeling requirement. Very photogenic, moves well, and is plenty tall enough.

The thing is, she's 24, and thinks she's too old to start.

I know she could get the odd gig through MM, but if she went to an agency, would they have an issue with her age?

The only other obstacle I see is that she has really cute, but stylized haircut. She has bangs, which REALLY suit her and frame her face nicely, but I could see this cutting down her options with some clients.

Any thoughts?
Oct 25 13 09:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Paul Ferris
Posts: 3,504
New York, New York, US


How old does she look?
Oct 25 13 09:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
elementfoto
Posts: 447
Venice, California, US


Paul Ferris  wrote:
How old does she look?

Early 20's.

Oct 25 13 09:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
255 West
Posts: 6,468
New York, New York, US


I laughed when you said she was 24. I thought you were about to say she was in her fifties.

An agency will represent anyone they think they can make them money. Money is all that matters for the agencies, nothing else.
Oct 25 13 09:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
elementfoto
Posts: 447
Venice, California, US


255 West wrote:
I laughed when you said she was 24. I thought you were about to say she was in her fifties.

An agency will represent anyone they think they can make them money. Money is all that matters for the agencies, nothing else.

That's what I told her!

Although I have another friend who WAS a model, quit for a while, is still gorgeous and probably the most talented girl i've worked with, and she's having trouble getting back into it at 27.

Oct 25 13 09:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Don Garrett
Posts: 4,316
Escondido, California, US


This woman was 45, (almost twice the age of the woman you are talking about). She was exquisite. As far as I know, this was the first time she posed for the camera. Is THAT too old to start ? The point is, if she is as amazing as this one was, pretty nearly any age is fine.
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/1005854
-Don
Oct 25 13 10:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
wendy haigh
Posts: 517
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Don Garrett wrote:
This woman was 45, (almost twice the age of the woman you are talking about). She was exquisite. As far as I know, this was the first time she posed for the camera. Is THAT too old to start ? The point is, if she is as amazing as this one was, pretty nearly any age is fine.
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/1005854
-Don

She is amazing,, well done to her, and yourself the photographer,, great to see not all models are 16!!! smile

Oct 25 13 10:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,939
Santa Ana, California, US


It completely depends upon what market you're after.
Oct 25 13 10:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cherrystone
Posts: 36,421
Columbus, Ohio, US


Look....blah blah.
Make money from....blah blah.
Anything's possible...

But hold your breath even longer than if she was 15-17.
Oct 25 13 10:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
imcFOTO
Posts: 579
Bothell, Washington, US


elementfoto wrote:
I know a girl with an amazing look, who meets every modeling requirement. Very photogenic, moves well, and is plenty tall enough.

The thing is, she's 24, and thinks she's too old to start.

I know she could get the odd gig through MM, but if she went to an agency, would they have an issue with her age?

The only other obstacle I see is that she has really cute, but stylized haircut. She has bangs, which REALLY suit her and frame her face nicely, but I could see this cutting down her options with some clients.

Any thoughts?

It depends what you mean by 'get into modelling'. Most of the models I know are just locals, photographic models mostly and not interested in what an agency might think.

I think there's a market for models of all ages - some may be more competitive or lucrative though.

I just did a debut time shoot with a beautiful girl aged 27 (WaterLilly) - she could end up being very successful - at least in MM terms. So I say anyone should go for it no matter what their age - as long as they are realistic in what their ambitions are.

Oct 25 13 11:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marin Photography NYC
Posts: 7,105
New York, New York, US


Too old, well in NYC, for fashion, probably yes. You know how many teens they have to compete with?
Oct 25 13 11:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Elisa 1
Posts: 3,344
Monmouth, Wales, United Kingdom


I started at 27. Done a wide variety of modelling across several genres and never had a problem filling my diary with paid work. So I think age is not an issue for journeyman freelancing. Don't think anyone has said I am too old. 32 now and pick and choose; had a nice 4 page fashion  editorial published this month and one commissioned for Feb shooting end of this month. Spoke to a model in her early 60s a few weeks back who does mother of the bride fashion and catalogue stuff. She does boutique fashion shows too. She didn't begin until late 30s. So age needn't be a barrier at the journeyman end anyway.
Oct 26 13 01:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kent Art Photography
Posts: 2,740
Ashford, England, United Kingdom


20 if you're female and white.  Bit older if you're female and black.  Bit older if you're male and white.  Bit older still if you're male and black.
Oct 26 13 02:06 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mortonovich II
Posts: 705
San Diego, California, US


elementfoto wrote:
Any thoughts?

Depends on her target market.

If she's thinking agency, then the ONLY people that can answer that are
the ones at the agency(s).

If she's thinking just taking pretty pictures (and there's nothing wrong with that), tell her to get cracking.

Oct 26 13 02:22 am  Link  Quote 
Model
T Pike
Posts: 33
Macomb, Illinois, US


24??? damn I am way to old then wink
Oct 26 13 04:21 am  Link  Quote 
Model
MatureModelMM
Posts: 1,002
Detroit, Michigan, US


Is she planning on trying to make a living at it, or just wants to be out there for whatever offers come along?

I never wanted to be a professional model although if I had started when I was young I probably could have got more work back in those days since that's what the market wants.

I didn't start till age 35 and am currently 61.  I think 24 is not late at all unless she wants to be a professional model in which case it is probably really pushing the limits.
Oct 26 13 04:42 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Eugenya
Posts: 1,064
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


I'm 42 and model all the time, most of it paid.  I had an interview with an agency that contacted me last week about signing with them.  There is a lot of commercial modeling available out there, way more than fashion modeling.  It doesn't matter how old you are for commercial modeling.
Oct 26 13 04:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


elementfoto wrote:
I know she could get the odd gig through MM, but if she went to an agency, would they have an issue with her age?

A commercial agency might well be OK with her age if she meets all their other requirements.

Her chances of getting a start with a fashion agency probably expired a couple of years ago unless she really does still look about 15.



Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Oct 26 13 04:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Lewis
Posts: 218
Farmington Hills, Michigan, US


Can you identify the two models over fifty in my MM portfolio by just looking at the images?  There is also one delightfully photogenic forty year old.  No cheating and looking up models' ages.
Oct 26 13 06:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marc Damon
Posts: 6,562
Biloxi, Mississippi, US


It's not how old you are. It's how old you look.

You don't hire a 16 year old fashion model to be in a magazine ad for Depends diapers.
You don't hire a 60 year old grandma to promote a hip hop or techno dance club.

Can she be successful through an agency? Yes. If they like her look and age range and have clients that will hire her and... and.... and..... and..............
Oct 26 13 06:57 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJ_In_Atlanta
Posts: 12,684
Atlanta, Georgia, US


There is a need for models of all ages, however the commercial agencies who represent these models are not in the business of developing them.  They expect them to come to the table already knowing how to model.

So there are opportunities for models over 21 but not so much for starting/learning.
Oct 26 13 07:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GER Photography
Posts: 7,759
Imperial, California, US


Don Garrett wrote:
This woman was 45, (almost twice the age of the woman you are talking about). She was exquisite. As far as I know, this was the first time she posed for the camera. Is THAT too old to start ? The point is, if she is as amazing as this one was, pretty nearly any age is fine.
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/1005854
-Don

Gorgeous!! But then she's oriental so, 50=25! :-))))

Oct 26 13 07:06 am  Link  Quote 
Model
T Pike
Posts: 33
Macomb, Illinois, US


Christopher Lewis wrote:
Can you identify the two models over fifty in my MM portfolio by just looking at the images?  There is also one delightfully photogenic forty year old.  No cheating and looking up models' ages.

http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/31760577
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/28543966

smile

Oct 26 13 07:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Fisher
Posts: 1,857
Miami Beach, Florida, US


http://www.johnfisher.com/images/redchicmaria1s.jpg

I get asked this frequently: "am I too old to get started?" The answer is complicated. First, here in Miami we are a commercial location for fashion models. Huh? (I said this is complicated.) Here is how it works, during our "season" (which started this weekend if the weather is any indication) clients from all over the world come to Miami (South Beach, Miami Beach, not really Miami) to shoot their advertising, catalog, look books, etc. There is some limited editorial work (because of the weather), but the work is really for fashion models doing commercial work. Tall, thin, beautiful, and not necessarily fifteen. In fact, the better part of the better paying commercial work for fashion models in South Beach is for models in their mid twenties-early thirties.

http://www.johnfisher.com/images/1SJ-INGEAR-080608-SUNLABfs.jpg

But here is where it gets more complicated, it's the whole "getting started" thing. A beautiful twenty four year old wants to gets with a major agency here and the problem she (and the agent) face is castings and go-sees. She will be standing in line with models that look like her but have been in the business five or six years, and have books that are fully developed. So what does that mean? That the pictures are "better" than the ones our new girl has? Maybe, but that's not the real issue. Those other girls have tear sheets, lots of them. This shows they have done the work before, showed up on a specific day and produced published images. When you are spending serious bucks as an advertiser, this is a big deal.

http://www.johnfisher.com/images/commercial1.jpg

What the new model needs is some work, any published work regardless of pay that says: "I've done this before". Smaller agencies can help, they are more interested in the beginning model, particularly the girls with that fashion look because the models coming into the market first go to the "usual suspects" (Ford, Elite, Wilhelmina, Next, etc.), so they don't get a look at the premiere models until others have seen them and passed. Photographers can help as well, they may have smaller clients who want the fashion look, but don't want to pay the fashion price. Clients like this may be willing to use a model with limited experience if they have the look the client wants. And once the model has a few of these jobs under their belt, the bigger agencies will be more receptive.

http://www.johnfisher.com/images/ingear36.jpg

Now I am talking about traditional commercial work that fashion models do (advertising, catalog, look books, etc.), and not the big "campaign" work that a fashion model might do for Guess, Bebe, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana et al. This work is reserved for fashion models that started early, built a substantial editorial career, walked the big shows, and there is no way an older girl getting started can have that opportunity. (Every thousand years there is an exception, Isabella Rossellini comes to mind, but this is normally based on special access to the market based on who you know. No surprise there.)

Is it possible for an older (over twenty) model to get started? Yes. Is it easy? No. Understand the problem, evaluate your commitment to taking the necessary steps, select an appropriate market (New York, Miami, Chicago, maybe LA) and you have a chance.
Oct 26 13 07:58 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Elisa 1
Posts: 3,344
Monmouth, Wales, United Kingdom


John Fisher wrote:
http://www.johnfisher.com/images/redchicmaria1s.jpg

Okay, I get asked this frequently: "am I too old to get started?" The answer is complicated. First, here in Miami we are a commercial location for fashion models. Huh? (I said this is complicated.) Here is how it works, during our "season" (which started this weekend if the weather is any indication) clients from all over the world come to Miami (South Beach, Miami Beach, not really Miami) to shoot their advertising, catalog, look books, etc. There is some limited editorial work (because of the weather), but the work is really for fashion models doing commercial work. Tall, thin, beautiful, and not necessarily fifteen. In fact, the better part of the better paying commercial work for fashion models in South Beach is for models in their mid twenties-early thirties.

http://www.johnfisher.com/images/1SJ-INGEAR-080608-SUNLABfs.jpg

But here is where it gets more complicated, it's the whole "getting started" thing. A beautiful twenty four year old wants to gets with a major agency here and the problem she (and the agent) face is castings and go-sees. She will be standing in line with models that look like her but have been in the business five or six years, and have books that are fully developed. So what does that mean? That the pictures are "better" than the ones our new girl has? Maybe, but that's not the real issue. Those other girls have tear sheets, lots of them. This shows they have done the work before, showed up on a specific day and produced published images. When you are spending serious bucks as an advertiser, this is a big deal.

http://www.johnfisher.com/images/commercial1.jpg

What the new model needs is some work, any published work regardless of pay that says: "I've done this before". Smaller agencies can help, they are more interested in the beginning model, particularly the girls with that fashion look because the models coming into the market first go to the "usual suspects" (Ford, Elite, Wilhelmina, Next, etc.), so they don't get a look at the premiere models until others have seen them and passed. Photographers can help as well, they may have smaller clients who want the fashion look, but don't want to pay the fashion price. Clients like this may be willing to use a model with limited experience if they have the look the client wants. And once the model has a few of these jobs under their belt, the bigger agencies will be more receptive.

http://www.johnfisher.com/images/ingear36.jpg

Now I am talking about traditional commercial work that fashion models do (advertising, catalog, look books, etc.), and not the big "campaign" work that a fashion model might do for Guess, Bebe, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana et al. This work is reserved for fashion models that started early, built a substantial editorial career, walked the big shows, and there is no way an older girl getting started can have that opportunity. (Every thousand years there is an exception, Isabella Rossellini comes to mind, but this is normally based on special access to the market based on who you know. No surprise there.)

Is it possible for an older (over twenty) model to get started? Yes. Is it easy? No. Understand the problem, evaluate your commitment to taking the necessary steps, select an appropriate market (New York, Miami, Chicago, maybe LA) and you have a chance.

Well you said you weren't talking about Versace etc so no point in talking about Rossellini etc. As I said I started at 27 and thrown on a runway for a top fashion house at 29 alongside Premier models. I'd done a few catalogue and look book shoots, a half dozen small lifestyle mag tears. But I was a fit model. So it depends on the route. I doubt I'd have got anywhere at castings for things like that were it not for that so your point is taken at 27 otherwise as I'd have been lacking in the tears and experience to do anything remotely like that. But even if that opportunity hadn't come my way I'd still have been able to make a living as a model. Would have had to do more at Art institutions, showroom, promo etc but I don't think that inferior to fashion stuff anyway. It's regular and all paid for a start. So it's not all about fashion modelling. Depends on what the expectations are. Miami was never on my agenda. But London is not so bad for journeyman models year round. Agencies will take models with the experience if they are older granted. But freelance I think 24 is not too old if the op thinks her good enough she will likely get more than the odd MM gig if she us prepared to do varied modelling, and can build up a reasonable port/tears in a couple of years. I know a few models who have signed with small agencies after that in their late twenties.

Oct 26 13 08:58 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andrew Thomas Evans
Posts: 24,078
Toulon, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur, France


elementfoto wrote:
Any thoughts?

It's up to her, not you, and it's up to your market. The first step is that she needs to want to be a model, the next step is her talking to local agencies and seeing if there is any interest. Submitting to agencies is free, they are always looking for new models, and they know the local market.

Most of the working models I'm friends with here are around 25-30's.




Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Oct 26 13 12:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
JoJo
Contest Queen
Posts: 25,032
Clearwater, Florida, US


elementfoto wrote:
How old is too old to START modeling?

There is no "too old".

Clara Peller didn't start until she was 81 when she did the "Where's the beef" commercial for Wendy's
http://patriciahysell.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/clara.jpg

Oct 26 13 02:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marin Photography NYC
Posts: 7,105
New York, New York, US


JoJo wrote:

There is no "too old".

Clara Peller didn't start until she was 81 when she did the "Where's the beef" commercial for Wendy's
http://patriciahysell.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/clara.jpg

I disagree...that is way too old! big_smile

Oct 26 13 02:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Philip R
Posts: 581
Agoura Hills, California, US


John Houseman actor from "The Paper Chase" and many other movies and commercials also didn't start until he was 70.
Oct 26 13 02:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
K I C K H A M
Posts: 14,630
Los Angeles, California, US


Depends on the market AND depends on the girl.

I have a friend who keeps getting signed to international FASHION agencies (major ones) and she's 27. She looks great-- great skin, no wrinkles-- but she definitely looks 27. Your face shape at 20 is just rarely the same 7 years later.

It's not the same game as it used to be, but again, it really depends on the look. There are more fashion jobs now or older girls than there used to be, but many times they'll use the girls who are still modeling that have been signed since they were 15-17.

I say she should go for it-- because why not. But she should go in in person-- if she fills out an online form that shows her age, then she'll probably be filtered out immediately.
Oct 26 13 02:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Silver Mirage
Posts: 1,561
Plainview, Texas, US


Mid-20s is not too old for commercial modeling, and there may be more possibilities depending on looks, height, build, etc.

As others have said, a legit agency will sign anyone they can sell. (Some agencies will sign anyone who can pay a sign-up fee, but she wants to avoid those.) So depends mostly on your location and market.
Oct 26 13 02:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ImagineAerie
Posts: 402
Plano, Texas, US


How old is too old?  Tomorrow.
Oct 26 13 09:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Pacific NW Photography
Posts: 167
Redmond, Washington, US


IMHO it is more dependent upon ability to pose and express emotion. I have photographed women from 18 to 40+
Oct 27 13 04:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Wardrobe Stylist
Alannah Jones Styling
Posts: 934
Long Beach, California, US


elementfoto wrote:
I know a girl with an amazing look, who meets every modeling requirement. Very photogenic, moves well, and is plenty tall enough.

The thing is, she's 24, and thinks she's too old to start.

I know she could get the odd gig through MM, but if she went to an agency, would they have an issue with her age?

The only other obstacle I see is that she has really cute, but stylized haircut. She has bangs, which REALLY suit her and frame her face nicely, but I could see this cutting down her options with some clients.

Any thoughts?

The best thing for her to do would be to go to an agency casting call in person.I think Wihelmenia has as a division that represents "older" models.They mostly do print ads for beauty products and catalogs though.

Oct 28 13 06:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
JM LA NYC
Posts: 481
New York, New York, US


I started modeling professionally at the age of 24 yrs old. It can be done.
Oct 28 13 07:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
JM LA NYC
Posts: 481
New York, New York, US


He's absolutely right

Pacific NW Photography wrote:
IMHO it is more dependent upon ability to pose and express emotion. I have photographed women from 18 to 40+

Oct 28 13 07:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
sweetcheekscouture
Posts: 427
West Palm Beach, Florida, US


JoJo wrote:

There is no "too old".

Clara Peller didn't start until she was 81 when she did the "Where's the beef" commercial for Wendy's
http://patriciahysell.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/clara.jpg

She's not really a model.

She would be considered an actress

Oct 29 13 01:26 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
sweetcheekscouture
Posts: 427
West Palm Beach, Florida, US


elementfoto wrote:
I know a girl with an amazing look, who meets every modeling requirement. Very photogenic, moves well, and is plenty tall enough.

The thing is, she's 24, and thinks she's too old to start.

I know she could get the odd gig through MM, but if she went to an agency, would they have an issue with her age?

The only other obstacle I see is that she has really cute, but stylized haircut. She has bangs, which REALLY suit her and frame her face nicely, but I could see this cutting down her options with some clients.

Any thoughts?

Is she in or close to a major market? She's too old for a career in fashion but as an agency lifestyle or commercial model she is not too old. The only way to tell is for her to go to an agency.

Oct 29 13 01:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ed Devereaux
Posts: 603
Portland, Oregon, US


Every age group has a market, you just need to have a portfolio for that market.
Oct 29 13 01:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Farenell Photography
Posts: 17,956
Albany, New York, US


The age to which a person is to old to start modeling is the day they die.
Oct 29 13 06:59 am  Link  Quote 
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