A modeling agency is a company that finds jobs for models, usually operating on commission.The top agencies work with big-budget advertising agencies and fashion designers. They invest money into developing their talent so they can increase their status within the industry. These top agencies will help train models, get test shoots, layout portfolios, and put together comp cards (composition photo cards) and other printed materials models need.
They find work by making contacts with photographers and agencies, booking the jobs, billing for the jobs, and eventually paying the models for their time. By handling the details, an agency allows a model to focus on modeling and not on the business end.
Because modeling is a very competitive, fast moving business that extends beyond the traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. working hours, an agency generally conducts business 'round the clock to handle emergencies, such as cancellations or rush jobs. Most agencies have a service or an operator to direct emergency contact after hours.
Modeling agencies use booking departments to keep track of who uses models. The agency has a phone that is manned and an office that a client can visit. These agents also send out reminders for fresh comp cards. They advertise, do lunches, do cold calls and turn over stones to find available modeling gigs
Most agencies sign their top talent to contracts, which vary in length based on the model's industry status and experience. However, because a good agency finds their models work and negotiates top price for their talent, they earn a commission (between 10% to 35%) of every job they book on a model's behalf.
Auditions and Open Calls
Modeling agencies will require new faces on a regular basis. The number of models in an agency depends on the demand brought in by its agents and changes throughout the year. To this end, modeling agencies advertise in local phone directories in order to remain visible.
Each new model-screening process is different from one agency to the next:
A dry call is where models mail unsolicited comp cards to an agency. While this may work with smaller agencies, larger agencies are constantly being inundated with these cards and frequently discard unsolicited comp cards.
Another option is the walk-in, where a model calls for an appointment at an agency and receives and interview on that particular date and time. The model then has an opportunity to quickly review with the agent past experience and show his or her portfolio.
The most popular process is the open call, where an agency will advertise that on a certain day, they will allow anyone to show up for an interview. Depending on the popularity of the agency within the industry and the advertising done by it's agents, anywhere from several dozen to hundreds of candidates could attend an open call. It is not uncommon to have a line extending for several city blocks.
Because of the necessity for an agency in a constantly changing industry, where old agencies close or merge and new ones pop up in their place, scam artists have many opportunities to prey on new, unsuspecting models. A legitimate modelling agency should have knowledge of the market place and honestly evaluate models for their market. It will have contacts with photographers, graphic designers, and printers to prepare a models marketing materials.
In the United States, the Better Business Bureau registers complaints against agencies that conduct dishonest business practices and scams.
Scam artists and untrustworthy agencies generally demand long-term contracts up front and use high-pressure tactics to con models into committing to high-commission percentages or signing over unnecessary rights. They will often ask for cash in advance that disappears after several weeks.
Modeling Agencies in India
Akimbo Modeling Agency
14,Eldams road,2nd floor, alwarpet,chenn, Chennai, India
Telephone: 91 9884082752
Elite Model Management India Pvt. Ltd
B-55, Greater Kailash-I, N Delhi, India, New delhi, India
68-D, Oshiwara Industrial Centire,, Bombay, India
134/3A BIDHAN SARANI, Kolkata, India
Telephone: + 91 9830165588
FAX:+ 91 33 22803344
B-VI/1376, Modern Colony, Yamuna nagar, India
C-108, Shivalik, Malviya Nagar
Ph.: 91-11-41041080 / 81 / 82
New Indian Models
201, Mayur Plaza,LSC-6,Mayur Vihar-I, Delhi, India
1, Mallika, Makarand Soc Savarkar marg, Mumbai, India
Star Model Management
SCO 139-141, 2nd Floor,
(Opposite Mehfil Restaurant),
Sector - 17C, Chandigarh 160017 (UT) India
Phone: +91 172 5000 900, 3941 942
Fax: +91 172 5000 900