How to Become a Model Part 2: Submissions
The next step to becoming a model is submitting your pictures to modeling agencies. Below are a few things to keep in mind when submitting your pictures to IZON.
What makes an IZON model?
Rebecca: That’s a pretty broad question. There are several things we look for: age, look, size, personality.
Lisa: A fresh, clean look. We want models who are responsible, punctual, easy to work with and have good communication skills.
How do I become an IZON model?
Rebecca: As with all agencies, you need to submit photos, stats and contact information. Photos are usually a headshot and a full body shot. They don’t have to be professional. Many models just getting started haven’t had a professional shoot yet. So, digitals in natural light are best. Hair and makeup should be done naturally. Nothing over styled.
Lisa: We take most of our submissions online. You would go to the submissions page on our website and fill in all the required information fields.
Does it cost anything?
Rebecca: There should never be a fee to be seen or to submit. But, eventually, the model will need to have a portfolio shoot done by a professional photographer and have comp cards made—whether digitally, printed or both. These are a model’s tools; like professional chefs have their cutlery or a musician has his instrument.
Lisa: In order to model with any legit agency, you will have to provide us with proper, industry standard photos. We do not do the photos ourselves, but we do have several photographers we recommend. The cost of the photoshoot would be between you and the photographer. We at IZON have a one time fee of $75 to cover the cost of maintaining our website, along with two casting sites. It also covers setup of a comp card.
What about tattoos, piercings, or hair color?
Rebecca: Tattoos, piercings (other than ear) and wild hair color can be the end to a model’s career. Unless you are working in a large market (New York, Miami, LA) and with an agency that represents “different looks,” a model will have a hard time getting signed with an agency or booked for jobs because clients want a clean look. When we talk about tattoos, we often get the same response from people: “can’t they just airbrush over my tattoo or photoshop it out? Yes, they could. But, will they want to take the time to hire someone to come in and do the airbrush and schedule the extra time into production or the extra time of photoshopping into post-production? No. Not if they can find someone that requires no maintenance.
Lisa: No facial piercings, no visible tattoos, no too unnatural hair color.
What types of models are you looking for?
Rebecca: For IZON, we basically have two different types of models we are always on the look out for: 1) potential fashion models that we could place in larger markets with big agencies and 2) commercial models to work in our market. Commercial models for our market run from age 5 to 95, have a clean, fit look, and are all ethnicities.
Lisa: Because we do placement as well as local bookings, we are always looking for all kinds of models. Our local market is very commercial. Teens work the least, so we keep our teen board smaller. Our 30s & up and kids 5-9 years work the most, so we are always looking for those age groups, all ethnicities.
What if I want to be an actor?
Rebecca: Acting is a completely different world from modeling. Actors need to constantly train and work on their craft. It is not something you can wake up one day and decide you want to do and expect to be booked immediately. There is a fine skill to it. Even your most well-known stars still work with acting coaches. There is always something to learn: dialects and the differences between them all, crying on the spot, making any emotion look real, responding and reacting naturally, improv, physical comedy… it goes on and on.
Lisa: To be a serious actor is a completely different ballgame. There are not a lot of opportunities for actors in this local market. A serious actor should be constantly working on their resume and their craft by taking acting workshops and classes, doing local plays etc.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about modeling?
Rebecca: That it’s easy. And, if you are tall you can model. Height isn’t everything. Being pretty isn’t everything. You have to have a personality, confidence and the right attitude to go along with it. You have to know how to respond to the camera and make that attitude and confidence show through on print.
Lisa: 1. That modeling is glamorous. Many times you are shooting outside in uncomfortable weather conditions, wearing uncomfortable clothing.
2. That modeling is sexy. In a commercial market, there is no place for sexy. Big smiles, one piece, not so fashionable bathing suits, khaki capris and polo shirts are the main staples for most commercial models.
Rebecca: Do I need professional pictures? No. Not for submitting but you will need them eventually.
What kind of pictures should I submit?
Lisa:Natural, clean snapshots. Clothing should show body line. Don’t submit photos that have other people in them. Stay out of the bathroom. Pictures taken of you in the bathroom do not belong in an agency “inbox”.
What are some poses/faces to avoid?
Rebecca: Fish face, pouty face, any big goofy grins, overly sexy poses, selfies, and soaking wet poses. For some reason, people think they look best right when they get out of the shower or pool.
Lisa:Duck face, kiss face and sexy poses should all be avoided.
After getting signed:
What if I want to change my hair or look?
Lisa:Once you are signed and have photos taken, you should not change your look. If you change your look, for instance, hair cut or color, you will have to have new photos at your expense and you will have to be taken off the agency website. You will not be submitted for any work since the agency can only submit photos that represent how you currently look.
How much work will I get?
Rebecca: That is the magic question. If we could look into our crystal ball and answer that, well… we’d probably retire rich and happy on a private Caribbean island somewhere. Ha! In all seriousness, it all goes in waves. Sometimes, it’s kids that are booking and not adults. Sometimes, it’s the 25 and over. Sometimes, it’s only ethnic looks that are being booked. We never know. We had a 30-something, African-American female that didn’t book a single thing her first year with us and then all of a sudden, she was the model everyone wanted. You just never know.
Lisa:If we only had a crystal ball… Just because an agency believes you have a marketable look, it is up to the clients as to what they are looking for.
Will I get work right away?
Rebecca:Again, you just never know. We can tell you that if you are over 25, you will have a better chance of getting booked than a teenager in our market. Adults just work the most here. Teenagers work the least.
Lisa:The only thing for sure in this industry is that nothing is for sure. Some people will get signed and work right away others may take months to get a job and others can take even longer. There are so many factors in booking a shoot you just never know what the client is looking for.