A successful step to getting a modeling job is obtaining a modeling agent. How do you go about finding a good agent, and how do you know if the contract you are getting is really working for you, or just making you work?
First off, look for agents in the area, as they’ll be the easiest to find. Now, you can either go to an open call, or you could call and schedule an appointment. Both meetings can be different, as one pits you directly against other models, and the appointment is more personal. However, the open call tells you that they really need someone, as an appointment may be a waste of time. Think of the pros and cons, and meet them.
Once you have a chance to talk to them, ask about their record. How many of their clients have gone on to have successful careers. While some agents may be very new and not have any yet, if an agent says they don’t know of any you will want to be a little weary. It could just be bad luck, or it could just as easily mean they are a bad agent. Generally though they will know at least a few who are professionals and making enough to support themselves.
After that, ask to see their samples, and what type of modeling you will usually get. That way you will know if you are comfortable with their usual work, and you will see if they are qualified to represent you.
Now, even if they look good now, make sure you check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure that they are the real thing, and not a scam artist. If they say the agent is not reputable, don’t even think of taking their offer.
If everything is still good, you will get a contract. Having a lawyer will be great for this part. Make sure the contract says that the agent will be working in your best interest, obtaining photo shoots, and that they do not get more than 20-25% of the profit. If you are with a really high level agent, they may ask for more, but even in the higher ranks it is rare to go beyond this standard percentage.
Also, if at all possible, try to avoid exclusive contracts. You may want to work for another agent at the same time to obtain more modeling gigs, unless you really have confidence in this one agent. In addition, get a contract for one or two years, so after that time you can really judge if it is worth renewing the contract or moving on to freelance, or another agent.
Remember, getting the agent is so they can help you, not so you can work as a mule for them. If they’re not doing their job, and if they seem shady, don’t bother getting a contract.