MELISSA ALICIA
I'm a fashion editorial and portrait photographer based in Florida.

My Model Mantra

I will say these same things over and over again till I’m blue in the face to anyone who wants to break into the modeling and fashion world. It isn’t easy! It’s hard work no matter how tall or how strong/unique you look! Do your research! Be informed! Know the laws! Don’t be naive! Be extremely realistic about yourself! Compliments are compliments and not an invitation to an agency. 

DO YOUR RESEARCH! DO YOUR RESEARCH! DO YOUR RESEARCH!

The modeling industry is ran through agencies. All the large clients work exclusively through agencies. Photographers do not represent models, Florida law prohibits it, you must have an agency license to manage more than one person. Be sure and ask for a state licence number before signing any agreement with anyone wanting money and pretending to be able to get you work through a website or “model” book.

**Know what type of modeling you can do.**
Everyone can be a model, but not everyone can be a high fashion model. Knowing what type of modelling you are fit to do will help you in planning your shoot as well as your aim as a model. That can be commercial, glamour, swimwear, high fashion, lifestyle, alternative, etc.

**Decide on the type of images you want in your book.**
What images do you want future clients to see in your book? This is important in helping let future clients know what type of model you are and what type of images you can do. Use magazines and other publications as reference guides for the type of images you’ll want to include in your portfolio. For signed models, your agent will advise you as to what types of images should be in your portfolio. Freelance models have more flexibility; the choice is yours!

AGENCIES DO NOT NEED PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS
You will only need headshots or polaroids (depending on the agency; DO YOUR RESEARCH). Agencies only want to see you. They do not want to see make-up, wardrobe or photoshop. The agency will then advise you on test shoots. 

YOU DO NOT NEED WORKSHOPS OR CLASSES TO SIGN TO AN AGENCY!
You have a strong look, or you don’t. 

MODELING AGENCIES DON’T ASK YOU FOR MONEY FOR ANYTHING!
Modeling agencies get paid only if you get paid. They will not ask for money for comp cards or pictures. They will give you photographers who they’ve worked with and trust and you will pay the photographer their fees to test. NOT THE AGENCY!

LOOK FOR TEARSHEETS AND LICENSES
A good modeling agency gets their models jobs! A good way to know an agency is doing such is tearsheets of paid jobs they’ve gotten, photos of paid runway shows, or even videos of paid commercials or any other paid media work they have landed. If an agency fails to have any of those on their webpage or by request, then they aren’t finding their models any work. 

Modeling agencies almost everywhere are required to have a talent license. If they don’t, it’s a 3rd degree felony in the state of Florida. Agencies that refer to themselves as a referring service and yet “represent” their clients as an agency are acting like an agency. If they’re not licensed, they’re illegally conducting business.  

THE BIGGEST ONE OF ALL…
Any photographer telling you if they shoot you, put you in a book or any website, and you will get signed is telling utter lies. It is not up to them, but the agency!
  1. My Model Mantra

    I will say these same things over and over again till I’m blue in the face to anyone who wants to break into the modeling and fashion world. It isn’t easy! It’s hard work no matter how tall or how strong/unique you look! Do your research! Be informed! Know the laws! Don’t be naive! Be extremely realistic about yourself! Compliments are compliments and not an invitation to an agency.

    DO YOUR RESEARCH! DO YOUR RESEARCH! DO YOUR RESEARCH!

    The modeling industry is ran through agencies. All the large clients work exclusively through agencies. Photographers do not represent models, Florida law prohibits it, you must have an agency license to manage more than one person. Be sure and ask for a state licence number before signing any agreement with anyone wanting money and pretending to be able to get you work through a website or “model” book.

    **Know what type of modeling you can do.**
    Everyone can be a model, but not everyone can be a high fashion model. Knowing what type of modelling you are fit to do will help you in planning your shoot as well as your aim as a model. That can be commercial, glamour, swimwear, high fashion, lifestyle, alternative, etc.

    **Decide on the type of images you want in your book.**
    What images do you want future clients to see in your book? This is important in helping let future clients know what type of model you are and what type of images you can do. Use magazines and other publications as reference guides for the type of images you’ll want to include in your portfolio. For signed models, your agent will advise you as to what types of images should be in your portfolio. Freelance models have more flexibility; the choice is yours!

    AGENCIES DO NOT NEED PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS
    You will only need headshots or polaroids (depending on the agency; DO YOUR RESEARCH). Agencies only want to see you. They do not want to see make-up, wardrobe or photoshop. The agency will then advise you on test shoots.

    YOU DO NOT NEED WORKSHOPS OR CLASSES TO SIGN TO AN AGENCY!
    You have a strong look, or you don’t.

    MODELING AGENCIES DON’T ASK YOU FOR MONEY FOR ANYTHING!
    Modeling agencies get paid only if you get paid. They will not ask for money for comp cards or pictures. They will give you photographers who they’ve worked with and trust and you will pay the photographer their fees to test. NOT THE AGENCY!

    LOOK FOR TEARSHEETS AND LICENSES
    A good modeling agency gets their models jobs! A good way to know an agency is doing such is tearsheets of paid jobs they’ve gotten, photos of paid runway shows, or even videos of paid commercials or any other paid media work they have landed. If an agency fails to have any of those on their webpage or by request, then they aren’t finding their models any work.

    Modeling agencies almost everywhere are required to have a talent license. If they don’t, it’s a 3rd degree felony in the state of Florida. Agencies that refer to themselves as a referring service and yet “represent” their clients as an agency are acting like an agency. If they’re not licensed, they’re illegally conducting business.

    THE BIGGEST ONE OF ALL…
    Any photographer telling you if they shoot you, put you in a book or any website, and you will get signed is telling utter lies. It is not up to them, but the agency!

  1. 10 notesTimestamp: Saturday 2012/10/06 10:35:00Source: melissalicia.commodelsmodeling agenciesdo's and don't's
  1. bellawholey reblogged this from melissalicia and added:
    Important info!
  2. melissalicia posted this