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The role of a Modelling agent is to try and find as much work as possible for and manage the models on their books. They are usually very well connected and have experience working in the fashion industry.
First of all, an agent will meet a model and decide whether they will be able to find enough work for them to warrant having them on their books. They will usually have regular client lists of photographers, designers and any other companies or individuals that regularly require models. A client usually will contact an agency and ask them for a model or models that meet a certain criteria for a specific photo or video shoot. The agent will then contact the model and send them on a go-see to meet the client, show off their portfolio and hopefully get booked for the job.
Agents either train models themselves or they hire industry specialists to prepare models for shoots and shows. They will also organise headshots and composite cards for new models.
If a model is given a job through an agent then they will pay the agency a commission, usually between 10% and 30% of a model’s earnings. The agent will be responsible for sending invoices to the client to receive payment for work a model has done. They will then need to pay the model.
Some agents who have been in the business a long time will work alone, as opposed to working for an agency.
A job within an agency is a Model scout who will search the streets for people who look as though they have serious modelling potential.
Scouts will spend their days and evenings patrolling the streets, going to places where young and stylish people are likely to be seen, such as busy shops, bars and nightclubs. If they spot someone who has model potential then they will approach them, get their contact details and try and convince them to go to an agency to meet with a booking agent.