I have a friend who wants to model but she asked a question I couldn't answer. She wants to do fashion, lifestyle etc but not the higher levels. She may consider internet modelling as well but wants to look at joining an agency.
If you want to join an agency, do you need a reasonably comprehensive portfolio before you approach the agency or is it not necessary?
If it's a decent/worthwhile agency no you don't. Most have a regular walk-in day - check their website for details or give them a call. Obviously she's wasting her time/money if her look/stats don't meet their requirements.
Just make her aware that there are a lot of 'agencies' that are nothing of the sort but simply set up to fleece the gullible. They promise all sorts of work, butter you up about how marketable you are then close by suggesting you need to get a proper portfolio.
Naturally they know a photographer they recommend. (Any images you happen to have will never be adequate of course)What they don't mention is the this photographer is the owner of the agency and you portfolio will set you back at least a grand. Agencies are no longer allowed to charge a joining fee so this is the way round for all the fake ones.
The other thing to watch is sites that give all the appearance of being agencies but are carefully worded is such a way that they never claim to be. Again you pay a membership fee and monthly but will rarely find work.
Finally of course there is the testy subject of photographers who offer to be a models 'agent' in the guise of being a white knight that ensures she does not get caught by any of the above or take up offers that underpay her. Needless to say none of the work that comes through sites like this will be suitable but of course that photographer will kindly work with her for free developing that killer portfolio that will bring in hundreds an hour in due course.
As has been said a genuine agency does not charge. (It's illegal)and only requires a few simple photos to decide if your friend is worth an interview. They are also quite brutal. If they do not think she is model material they will say so in ways not good for the ego.
Finally of course there is the testy subject of photographers who offer to be a models 'agent' in the guise of being a white knight that ensures she does not get caught by any of the above or take up offers that underpay her.
Expanding on that.... most of the time these so-called agents seem to poison models' minds with nonsense about who to work with, what levels to do and how much to charge. Whenever I see this I see these girls being 'abused' by these photographers in getting crap images from these 'guardian' photographers, having levels pushed when working with them (and massively lowering them for others) and they (the models) also have unrealistic expectations about what to charge due to what these guys tell them. These photographers often get very protective of their girls also and can often turn ugly when other people point out their unhealthy relationship.