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The first step to becoming a model is finding an agency. Choose carefully in order to start off on the right foot.
Look up modeling agencies in your area and then visit each one personally. Make an appointment or go to an open call.
Inquire about models who have gone on to successful careers and how the agency finds new talent.
Ask to see some work samples or tear sheets of the photographers used by the agency.
Find out how portfolios are put together.
Check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure the agency is reputable.
Visit at least five agencies before signing with one.
Sign With an Agent
Choose a respectable agent and look over the contract before you consider signing it.
Keep in mind that the agency shouldn't get more than 20 to 25 percent of your payment.
Make sure the contract states that the agency will work in your best interests. This includes recommending photographers, setting up photo shoots, helping you find work and answering any questions you have.
Avoid signing an exclusive contract. It is OK to work with only one agency, but you may be limiting yourself.
Try to steer clear of contracts of more than two years. One or two years gives you a chance to get established. After that time period, determine whether you want to re-sign or become freelance.
Sign the contract if, after careful review, you find the terms acceptable. Begin to put together a portfolio and go on casting calls to get work.
Consider taking a short friend to the interview to see if the agency will sign just anyone. If it does, you might want to find another agency. If possible, have an attorney review your contract.
Avoid agencies that put together "one-stop" portfolios. Portfolios are put together over time. Avoid agencies that want registration fees or try to sell modeling classes. Reputable agencies will train you for free. Be very wary of agencies that guarantee work or say they will have you working immediately.