To Sign or Not To Sign: A Model’s Decision

Photo by Alex Tan

“Having an agent to submit me for jobs would be so much easier! Right?!” Ehh, let’s chat about that. The short answer is, “yes and no.” While an agent would keep you from doing the dirty work yourself, there are a few things you should consider before you decide to sign with agency.

Should You Sign With An Agency?

They better have your best interest in mind

Let’s be honest for a moment. Ethical lines are frequently crossed in the modeling industry. If you’re not interested in taking nude jobs, then make sure that your agent understands that. Put it writing.

If you’re under the age of 18, agents often push to quickly make an adult out of you. Don’t let he or she throw you the line: A job is a job. You are in control of the jobs you take. Don’t feel pressured to take a job because your agent wants a paycheck. Make sure your agent respects you and your creative boundaries — enough said.

Don’t pay a penny until you’ve made 10 cents

Some agents will request a fee before they sign with you. Skip that agent. Any major modeling agency would tell you the same. Agents work for a commission. They know this, you should know this.

In a fair practice, you should never be signed unless the agent believes in you. If he or she believes in you, then he or she will invest the time to submit you for jobs. Your agent will make ten percent when you start booking. End of story.

Observe the game of reputation and attention.

The bigger the reputation, the slimmer the scope of client attention. Big league agencies focus on big league models. While joining the roster at Wilhelmina sounds ideal, make sure the agent really wants you! If your agent has Gigi Hadid, she probably doesn’t need your commission check.

Agents prioritize their top clients, so be one of them. Otherwise, if you’re just starting out, find a smaller agency that welcomes a hustle.

Are you two exclusive?

Before you sign the contract, read the fine print. Make sure you have the freedom to expand your resources. For example, global models have agents in different countries.

On a smaller scale, you may have an agent in New York City and in Los Angeles, and that shouldn’t be considered a breach of contract. If your agent has your best interest, he or she shouldn’t own you.

So, now that you know some of the pros and cons, what do you think? Are you ready? If you feel you lack work experience, apply to join The Hub! Models use The Hub to get in touch with photographers, videographers, and other models. Collaboration is a great way to start a portfolio!

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