On this page you will find information and advice on model agencies and what to look out for. You will also find tips for being a successful model.

Portfolio Advice

Before I go any further I want to tell you that to get an agency to consider you, you do not need an portfolio of professionally made images. In fact most agencies only want a head shot facing forward and one to the side. These images should be natural without make-up and in colour. If they are a decent agency they will want to meet you and will make a decision on how you look in person. An example of shots to send will be added shortly.

If they want to take you on they will send you to a professional for a test shoot. It would seem that in telling you this I am putting you off hiring my services for a portfolio. Quite the opposite, in being honest and up front with you, you know I have your best interests at heart.

Most decent agencies in the UK are represented by the AMA (Association of Model Agents) this is a good sign that an agency is legitimate.  

So if I don’t need a portfolio why should you shoot with me?

Do you know if you enjoy modelling? Do you feel you could step onto the set of a million pound shoot and pull of amazing images? If the answer is no, then you need to get some experience.

Modelling is VERY competitive, top agencies are generally looking for female models over 5ft 8 tall and approx. measurements of 34-24-34ins. Male models at least 6ft tall with a chest of 40ins and inside leg of 33ins. To find a model with the require measurements who has the right look and attitude is pretty rare.

So if you don’t quite fit into those measurements it doesn’t mean you are not going to be a great model. In fact some of my favourite models are not even close to those measurements. It is their look and ability as a model that makes them stand out.

If you cannot find a major agency that wants to take you on, you may have to market yourself. There are many Model network sites that you can find paid work on, however for this kind of work you will need a good portfolio.

This kind of work can lead to published images and your reputation starts to build. Keep in touch with agencies and they may change their mind. Not a guarantee but they will certainly be impressed by your determination.

Advice for Models

  1. A reputable agency will NEVER ask you to pay for your shoot! So if they offer to sign you on this basis, walk away. Chances are you will never hear from them again let alone get any work.
  2. Beware of people posing as agents for agencies. By all means take their card, but go and find details of the company and call their office direct and not the number on the card.
  3. Only meet agencies at their office address and always take somebody with you.
  4. Agencies will not ask a third party to get in touch with you, only deal with them directly.

Types of Modelling

Fashion Editorial – Usually photographed for magazines and newspapers promoting designers and fashion brands. This also includes features on shoes, bags, hair accessories, jewellery, and the full range of clothing garments. 

Fashion Catwalk – Modelling clothing in fashion shows. Generally the arena of the tall, thin and young model unless you are a famous supermodel. 

Commercial – This covers selling everything and anything although it doesn’t include the fashion editorials. Being healthy, with good skin and smile is usually the key. This is usually about presenting the right image for a product, service or business. There is no specific measurements however females under 5’5 and males under 5’10’ may struggle. 

Glamour – More about the model rather than what they are wearing or endorsing. It can range from swimwear and underwear right up to nude. This should be agreed prior to the shoot. Images are about presenting a provocative images and creating the right mood. You need to be at least 18 to enter this field. There is no size issues in this form of modelling.

Body Parts – As it sounds, could be for hands, feet, teeth, eyes, hair, or anything else. Usually for advertisements for certain products. If you become successful at this, look after the part you are known for.

Fitness – Anything to do with fitness, sports clothing, fitness magazines, healthy living supplements, protein shakes, etc. For this you will need great muscle definition and generally you will need to work out regularly. 

Plus Models – Models between size 12-18. This is a growth areas with the increase in awareness of super skinny models. 

Catalogue – Generally this is modelling clothing for websites and catalogues of retails stores. Models in catalogues are selected to fit the target audience of the clothing being modelled. Shoots can last anything from a couple of hours or over the period of weeks. Depending on the amount of outfits to be covered. An advantage of this type of work is you can have a longer career. You could model up until you are in old age as clothing companies aim ranges at all age groups. 

Character – exactly as it sounds, the model is required to look like some sort of job could be anything from a builder to a solicitor. Just depends what is required for the images. Can be very lucrative. Celebrity doubles can make 

Model Release Form

A model release is a legal waiver signed by the subject of a photograph to waive their rights to the images and grant permission to the photographer to publish in one form or another. There are three types:

Adult Release: This is the form most commonly referred to as a “model release”. The language of this release is intended for use by models over the age of 18 years.

Minor Release: This variant of the model release contains language referring to the model (who is a minor) in the third-person, and required signature by a parent or other legal guardian of the model. A release which is not signed by a parent or guardian affords no legal protection to the publisher.

Group Release: This is a modified version of the Adult Release which includes additional signature lines to accommodate use by multiple models or subjects in a single image.