For some reason I have been receiving a lot of modeling inquiries lately from people who are aspiring to become one. Instead of replying to it all, let me list the proper steps of approaching modeling in our city. I am not a modeling agency, even though I work with a lot of them, so contacting me really does not accomplish much. This post applies to real-world, commercial modeling in Seattle, not for amateurs or those who only want to do it for fun. Remember, modeling is a business.
- You should go to one of the three major modeling agencies in Seattle’s websites to see when their open-calls are and what requirements you need to meet (height, measurements etc.). The three agencies are TCM, SMG and Heffner.
- Open-calls are castings open to public, you do not need to make an appointment to go nor do you need connections.
- You only need to bring two photos: One “headshot” and one “full-body” photo. Snapshots will do.
- You do not need to have professionally taken photographs to get signed if you meet the requirements and have the specific looks that the agencies are looking for.
- You definitely do not need to go to any modeling school.
- Once, and if, you are signed, your agency will give you a list of photographers whom they have already vetted to get photos taken. It is not free, every one on the list does not need to shoot for their portfolios. Any business would require some investment, your book/portfolio is your investment. In the Seattle area, a test costs about $400-600, depending on the experience and caliber of the photographer. A test should never cost over $2,000, that’s absurd and a sign of a portfolio mill.
- Once you have your book, your agent will create your composite cards (big business cards with your photos on it), put you on their websites etc, both of which you generally have to pay for. You do not pay to get signed, you only pay for the promotional materials so they can do their jobs on your behalf. After that, with some luck, you will attend some castings, and you may get work as a commercial/fashion model.
I hope this is helpful for someone out there. Best wishes to your adventure, and may be I will see you at a job or test soon.