How to Find a Modeling Agent

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Before you start your search for a modeling agent, you need to understand what type of agent you need. There are two major divisions of modeling: fashion and commercial.


Commercial vs. fashion modeling

Commercial and fashion modeling

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Fashion models are the people you see walking runways at major shows in New York and Paris. Fashion models often have to fit certain height and size requirements from designers. Designers believe their samples will look best in certain sizes, so models have to fit the samples. They don’t make the samples to fit the models.

Commercial models are the “regular” looking people doing print ads in a variety of formats, including magazines, newspapers, brochures, billboards, posters on the sides of a bus, on packages, and the internet. Unlike fashion modeling where people often have to already have had success by age 21, commercial models come in all ages, sizes, and types.

How to find a fashion modeling agent

Selfie picture


If you want to find a fashion agent, it’s a simpler process than finding one for commercial modeling. 

1. Review fashion agency requests. You can visit any fashion agency website to find out how they want you to submit. 

2. Take selfies. Each agency has their own submission requests, but, typically, they want to see selfies; they don’t want to see a professional photo. In your photos, keep your hair out of your face and wear no or almost no makeup. They want to see how you look naturally. 

3. Upload photos to agency websites. The photos you take can then be uploaded to their site. Simply follow their instructions and if they’re interested, they’ll contact you for a meeting.

How to find a commercial modeling agent

Modeling agentKateryna Onyshchuk/Shutterstock

1. Find commercial agents. There are a number of ways to find commercial model agents—and the Backstage Call Sheet is a great place to start. There are tons of agents listed and a short description of the types of talent they represent. 

2. Network. Another way to find commercial modeling agents is to attend some local theater. After the play, ask the actors which agents in your area represent commercial models. It’s also helpful to use social media to create professional profiles on Instagram and other social media platforms that highlight your unique look. Use hashtags like #commercialmodel, #plussizemodel, #fitnessmodel, #seekingagent, #modelagent, and #printmodel so that you show up in searches. You never know which hashtag or post might garner you the attention you need to get an agent.

3. Search agents in your area. You may find that agencies in smaller markets work with both actors and commercial models. An online search for agents in your area will help you understand the specifics.

4. Submit. Like with fashion agents, most commercial modeling agencies have an online portal for uploading photos. One big difference in the commercial modeling sphere is that models may have a better chance for getting representation with an effective headshot as opposed to a selfie. Even better? If you have the experience, upload some commercial photos.

What to look for in a modeling agent

Modeling agent

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It’s important to know what to look for in a modeling agent. View the agent’s website and if you have access, look at photos of the actors and models they represent. Even if you don’t know much about photography, you can tell if the photos are professional shots, the talent is in focus, the lighting is clear and sharp, and the people look good in the shot as opposed to someone having their younger brother take a picture of them in the backyard.

Some agents will post a list of clients they work with, or projects their actors and models have worked on. This is helpful information to know. Beware of agents that require you to take their class or shoot with their photographer in order to qualify for representation.

How to prepare for a meeting with an agent

Agent meeting model

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If you’re invited to meet with an agent, here are a few tips to to prepare for your meeting:

  1. Go through the agent’s website.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the names of the various agents and their responsibilities at the agency.
  3. Make a list of questions to ask the agent during your meeting. Try to get a sense of the scope of auditions the agent can send you out on. Will they be submitting you solely for print work, or can they also send you out for commercials, film, and TV? It’ll also be helpful to know how they see your range. What is your type? Are they viewing you as the guy next door, leading man, handsome guy, doctor, teacher, etc.? Agents know the business, so you can learn a lot about your type by asking for their impressions. Knowing how professionals in the business view you will help you decide what types of projects to submit yourself for, for modeling as well as acting and other performing arts. Before your meeting, also be sure to find out if they want you to bring anything like a headshot or résumé, and come prepared. 
  4. Be prepared to take notes, and be ready to answer a few typical types of questions. You could be asked why you want to model, or to talk about your hobbies. Don’t give one-word answers. Share short stories with them so they get a better sense of who you are. Prepare for this by looking up the agent on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Learn about the agents. Maybe you know people in common. Perhaps you lived in the same city or have similar hobbies and interests. Being able to have a memorable discussion will be helpful. Charisma goes a long way. 
  5. Most importantly, show up on time, be prepared, and don’t sound desperate. Always keep this in the back of your mind. If you sign with the agent, great. If not, that’s fine because you’ll find another agent down the line. What matters most is that it feels like a great fit for everyone.

Remember, models can get work without an agent, but agents can’t make a living without talent. If after your meeting you don’t get an offer for representation, that doesn’t mean you’ll never find one. Just move on and find another agent to meet.

The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

Author Headshot
Aaron Marcus
Aaron Marcus has been a full-time actor for 36+ years while living in a secondary market. He has booked over 1,290 jobs. He is the author of the Amazon 100 + 5-star rated book “How to Become a Successful Actor and Model.”
See full bio and articles here!

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