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The players of the Industry

To be a model it is important to know more about the key players in the industry. Who can help you, who can guide you and who you should avoid. We will give some tips so you can find out who is who in the modelling business.

The Mother Agent:

The Mother Agent (who might be a man, or a corporation, and might be called a “Personal Manager” instead) is going to prepare you for the market and introduce you to people who can get you work. A good Mother Agent will know how to evaluate your look against the various types used in modelling, and advise you on the styling changes you need to make to appeal to the market.

Models Connect can be placed in this category as we offer all the preparation and guidance you will need.

The mother agent will have a stable of photographers who can shoot in the style you need and, if necessary, a printer who can make composite cards for you. So the Mother Agent sends you offstage to see the Test Photographer.

Test Photographers:

Test photographers have to make you look like what you need to in order to get work in that market. If the Mother Agent (or you) has chosen him well, you will get what you need. If she hasn’t, or if you don’t insist on what you need, you may end up simply with what the Test Photographer likes to shoot, and be worse off than you were before.

The Mother agent will also have contacts with booking agents or model agencies.

When a company needs to advertise their product they will look for a advertising agency to provide them with the image they want.

With the idea of the campaign defined it is time to look for the team and the model that will represent the client.

An Assignment Photographer and the Casting Director will be entitled the job of looking for th right girl/boy and the right team (In the real world photographers often act as casting directors) Assignment Photographers are much higher in the food chain than Test Photographers (although some Test Photographers sometimes get assignments, and they get whiplash from bouncing up and down the food chain). Assignment Photographers may get a vote on whether you get hired (they may even make the decision). Most important, they want to have an ongoing business relationship with the Client, so they will be careful to deliver whatever the Client wants.

The Photographer works together with a team of support staff. A Makeup Artist and a Hair Stylist to make the models look as the client wants ; a Stylist to pull together the clothes, accessories and props that will add to the effect wanted for the image.

Meanwhile, the Casting Director is assembling a group of candidates to be the models in the storyboard. She calls Model Agents, tells them what she needs, and the Agents send emails, composite cards, portfolios or models over to see the Casting Director. The Casting Director may do an initial screening, or may simply present all the candidates to the Ad Agency, photographer or Client for review.

Models will be looked at, photographed, discussed and sent home. They may be asked back for another look. Someone may decide to hire them and put them on hold, while someone else in the food chain decides they aren’t right for it, and substitutes another model. It can be a frustrating process when there are so many people in on the decision.

From the model’s standpoint, every one of those people in the food chain is part of their team. Most of them (Mother Agents, Model Agents, Clients, Photographers, Ad Agencies, Casting Directors) have the power to keep them from getting the job. Makeup Artists and Stylists may get a vote too. The model needs to understand who these people are, how they affect her career, and learn how to make each of them part of her team.


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