We invited a special guest, the Director of the Modeling Agency MMG New York - Talia Perregaux, who has a huge experience in the modeling world for over a decade and helped many models to get job offers from popular brands in the industry. Her agency, MMG New York, is a highly successful talent and model management company that is well-recognized nationally and internationally. The company is most famous for commercial and print work. However, Talia, throughout her career, has also booked tons of television shows, movies, and runway shows and overall gained experience in any part of this industry.
But she is most known for being one of the Top Agents for modeling work in New York.
In this webinar, she shared her knowledge about where to start in your modeling career, how to present yourself, and how to become a face of Top Brands.
- How to Start a Modeling Career?
- Types of Modeling:
- Model Picture Standards.
The first fact you need to know is that having no experience is not something you should be concerned about. Agencies, brands, and clients are always looking for fresh, new faces, and in fact, many agencies would prefer to work with someone with no experience. That way, they can then expose the potential of their future modes instead of working with someone with a history of working with low-budget brands that are actively published online, which might diminish their image as a model.
Nevertheless, to put yourself out there in the fashion world, you need to be well-prepared and knowledgeable. Let’s dive into the main steps you need to consider when starting your modeling career.
1. Model Comp Card.
You need to prepare a Model Comp Card with your digitals and consider the most important attributes of it - face, hair, and clothing.
- Face: Authenticity is the key here. Therefore, you will need digitals of your face with no makeup. Agencies need to see what they are working with, so make sure your facial features are visible and presented.
- Hair: The same applies to your hair - natural and as it is. But feel free to add a few digitals with your hair tied up as well, so you can properly showcase your face.
- Clothing: With clothing, for agencies to see your body shape, make sure to wear fitted clothes, those that show your figure and highlight your body features. Keep it simple colorwise as well, you don’t want any item on you to steal way too much attention.
Remember that good lighting is very important for the quality of your digitals. The best lighting to catch would be during a sunny day, but alternatively, you can invest in a proper light ring as well. Choose a plain background, preferably white, and get those digitals done!
Besides the picture standards, there are other important points that must be mentioned and also avoided in your Comp Card.
The biggest mistake that is constantly made is listing your age in Comp Cards. We are all familiar with the phrase ‘age is just a number’, which fits very well in this case, as our age does not actually define how we look. You might be 20 years old, but your facial features make you look older, which would make you a great fit for jobs where the age range of 25 to 30 is required.
But if you mention your exact age, it will automatically put the idea of how you look into the client's head, and the list of possible jobs you could get will significantly decrease.
This is why you should always put the age range and feel free to make it bigger that way, more opportunities will be opened for you.
The next step is your measurements.
Only basic ones are required, no need to get into every detail. Which for women are: height, bust, waist, hips, dress and shoe size, eye, and hair color. And for men: height, waist, inseam, suit and shoe size, eye, and hair color.
Your Comp Card also needs to have your contact information: phone number and email address.
Agents always communicate via email, so make sure you have a professional-sounding email that you are constantly checking.
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Last but not least, add your socials, specifically Instagram, but only if you are using it for career purposes and it looks professional. Having many followers is something that is also acknowledged nowadays, if your content is engaging, it already tells a lot about you to the client.
The next step to focus on - is your social media accounts, as it plays the same importance as your digitals and is the current biggest tool to market yourself to the clients.
You will need to consider your Instagram as your website. It needs to be clean, simple, and properly show your appearance. Make sure there’s no profanity and nothing that could be perceived as negative, you need to present yourself in the best way possible, as the first impression does matter.
Another extra tip that you can consider and include in your portfolio, submitted together with the Comp Card, is Test Shoots. This is a great way to show your movement, how photogenic you are, and what you can bring to the table that other models can’t.
Test Shoots are also a great way to familiarize yourself with what it is like to be on set and pose for the camera. Don’t forget - it is essential to hire professional Fashion Photographers for Test Shoots since this is the photo material that agencies are looking for.
Building up your portfolio is the next step you should work on. This is why applying to jobs through websites like ‘allcasting’ is a terrific first step - a great way to gain experience with legitimate companies that won’t damage your brand as a model. New positions are opening daily, so definitely give it a chance.
Also Read: How to Create Modeling Portfolio?
Once your portfolio and experience have leveled up, you can go ahead and submit your applications to the agencies directly, through their websites. As well as, always keep an eye on Open Modeling Calls, as those happen annually, for example, during every fashion week and many more opportunities will open for you.
Your Comp Card will be different based on what type of modeling you are planning to do. Therefore, to be fully prepared, it is important to familiarize yourself with the main types of modeling.
For these two types of modeling, a very small percentage of models will aim for. Simply because High Fashion modeling is the least attainable due to its strict standards, unattainable measurements for most men and women, and lack of inclusivity. And even if you are well-experienced and have been modeling for years, your measurements and looks will still be more important due to the set standards.
As well as, realistically, you need to have good connections in order to get to the High Fashion and luxury brands. This is why most of the current High Fashion industry is represented by so-called ‘Nepo babies’.
There are many more other types of modeling that you can succeed and focus on instead.
With current online and offline markets and their rapid growth, models are needed everywhere. This is why you should pay attention to Commercial Print and Ads Modeling.
There are no high requirements for commercial modeling, and anyone is welcome to apply. Most importantly, commercial campaigns are the best-paying projects that any model can get.
However, there is one important difference between Print and Ads Commercials. For Ads Commercials, neither height nor size plays a big importance since every size or height can be a great fit for the specific Ads Commercial.
For Print Commercials, agencies do pay more attention to the size rather than height, simply because by the print you can’t really tell how tall someone is. So when applying for Print Commercials, you will see that the size requirements will always be mentioned.
Also Read: How to Become a Print Model?
There are many even smaller groups for types of modeling, and everyone can find their perfect fits - such as Fitness, Glamour, Plus-size models, and many more. The market is out there for you to explore, but always remember that for each type of modeling type, there are specific requirements that you need to familiarize yourself with before submitting your application.
To make your applications look well-prepared, picture standards and rules need to be followed in your Comp Card.
For your Comp Card, only 4 images are required:
- Face picture - hair up, chin up, eyes in the camera. The main goal is to showcase your facial parameters.
- Another face picture, but this time with your hair down and in front. The goal is to showcase your authentic hair. For men or women with short hair, your alternative here would be a corner shot, but not the side profile shot.
- ¾ Headshot, from head to knees, this is your chance to present your body features.
- Full body shot, the focus is on your height.
That’s all the pictures you need for your Comp Card - keep it simple and clean, but try to make it look expensive and chic. Remember - only color images are allowed!
Black and White photos can be used in your portfolio for artistic purposes, together with other shots you have done.
Don’t put too much material into your portfolio or Comp Card, so it doesn’t seem overwhelming or messy. Stand by the rule - quality over quantity!
To sum it up, there are many opportunities out there waiting for you! All you need to do is prepare the essentials and keep your eyes open for updates.
You need to accept that rejections from castings will also appear on your path, but this is an important part of your modeling journey. So don’t give up and keep applying for new modeling jobs and gaining experience. Consistency and hard work will lead you to the career you desire!