What are Agencies?

What are Agencies?

Agencies are "go-betweens" that arrange the connection of models with possible jobs.

They have many different models on hand, each with difference characteristics, and those who need models will come to the agency to find the look and style they may be looking for.

Agencies are not "employers." Rather they are like commissioned salesmen. When they sell "you," you have to pay them a "commission" on the sale (for their role in lining up the job for you). Generally this commission is between 10% and 25%.

Also, agencies try to negotiate the highest possible price for the models (because the amount they make is tied directly to what the model makes). While this might seem like a good strategy, it often hurts models. This is not always best, because the few who can afford to pay those rates only want to work with the best and most experienced models (often leaving newcomers without any prospects to get jobs). That is why it is beneficial for many models starting out to get as much experience (whether paid or unpaid) as possible before signing up with an agency, so that they will be able to compete well against the other models at the agency.

Agencies are very helpful, and they have their place. For national campaigns and large advertisers, there is no way to get an audition for a commercial or print job without having the agency recommend you. Also, having an agency makes you appear more legitimate and sincere than the thousands of other people all claiming to be models.