Whether you’re a photographer in San Francisco looking for models to shoot, or a model looking for representation with a modeling agency in San Francisco, some days, the process of finding the right agency can seem daunting and overwhelming. To make things even more intimidating, you live in a world that is saturated with Instagram models, and if you live in San Francisco, you live in a city which is known for many wonderful things like restaurants, and fog, and cable cars, but is not known, particularly, for its modeling industry. Some may be surprised to find out that there are many viable modeling agencies in San Francisco, all boasting websites with glowing reviews. But, it can be difficult to know where to start. So without commuting to Los Angeles or driving cross-country to New York, how do you cut through the noise to find the best modeling agency in San Francisco which caters your specific needs and wants?
Let’s be honest, when you think of the top modeling agencies in the US, you probably think first of Los Angeles, New York, Florida and maybe even Texas. The good news is that while San Francisco may not be top of mind when it comes to modeling, however, there is a robust selection of modeling agencies in San Francisco, each offering a diverse profile of seasoned industry veterans and promising new faces. One of the wonderful things about being a model in San Francisco is that there are ample opportunities for representation. Not only is San Francisco a photographer’s dream to shoot, in the creative and technical hub that is the Bay Area, but there is also always a need for models in a wide array of shapes, sizes, ages, and ethnicities.
Whether you’re looking for a model to shoot, or you are a model yourself, there is modeling agency in San Francisco hoping to find you. With a broad range of modeling agencies to choose from, and so many modeling styles ranging from runway to editorial, catalog, fitness, or plus-sized, finding the right fit can sometimes be time-consuming and tedious. But lucky you! Dust off your portfolio because you’re ready to go; we’ve done the research for you, and whether you’re an aspiring hand model, a photographer looking for talent, or a seasoned fitness model, we’ve rounded up the 11 best modeling agencies in San Francisco.
Address: 166 Geary St Suite 1401, San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone: (415) 781-2822
Established in 1986, Look Model Agency has delivered top-tier talent for over two decades. With an emphasis on timely responses, attention to detail, and consistently finding the right person for the project, they have a track record of providing excellent service to both their models and their clients. Look Model Agency was founded by Marie-Christine Kollock, who is highly-regarded and experienced, having spent the entirety of her career working in the modeling industry.
One look at Look’s Yelp reviews paints a picture of a modeling agency in San Francisco which provides its models with the tools necessary for long-term success. One happy model wrote,
This agency has my heart. Marie-Christine and all of the look staff took such good care of me when I was working with them. They always had my best interest in mind, cared for me, and really enforced the values of being professional, smart with money, and timely.
The small agency of just 4 dedicated employees represents both men and women, and one of the things that sets Look apart is its inclusion of a “Timeless” division for women, which represents older women in the industry. Look has local models on their roster, as well as direct book models they have scouted in other locations, and partnerships with many premier agencies around the globe. They host Open Calls each Monday (excluding holidays) from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm which is an excellent opportunity to be discovered.
Address: 3178 17th. St. San Francisco, CA 94110
Not your average modeling agency in San Francisco, The Blackwell Files were founded in 1999 by Susette Blackwell as one of the original “Real People” modeling agencies. The impetus for the “real people” model movement was to foster diversity, authenticity, and inspiration; values that Blackwell has held themselves to for nearly 2 decades. Located in the Mission District, The Blackwell Files manages talent placement for commercial photographers, producers, and ad agencies and has a database of over 7000 people. Blackwell’s roots are in connecting high-profile companies with real people who will fill their needs for genuine-feeling advertisements, and their impressive client list includes Airbnb, Uber, Hermes, Subaru, Google, LinkedIn and more. If you’ve seen a commercial or advertisement featuring a “normal person” there is a good chance that The Blackwell Files is the agency behind it.
In the spring of 2016, Blackwell opened a Professional Model division, and now, in addition to representing real people, this top modeling agency in San Francisco has a roster of experienced lifestyle and commercial models. No previous experience is required for their Real People Division, and applicants for their Professional Division must have previous modeling experience.
The Blackwell Files has a intimate, hands-on staff of just 4, and offers a straightforward and streamlined application process.
Address: 2124 Union St # C, San Francisco, CA 94123
Phone: (415) 563-9213
Marla Dell Talent was founded in 1988 and has since represented models and actors in “commercials, print work, fit modeling, voiceovers, industrials, motion pictures, and conventions/live presentations.” Michelle Mokala served the as the Fit Modeling Director for Marla Dell Talent for 5 years before buying this modeling agency in San Francisco in 2012. Marla Dell Talent stands out as a leader in the fit modeling industry, a division that many people forget about when entering the modeling field or looking for models to shoot. Fit models work closely with designers, manufacturers, and buyers and are an integral part of ensuring that a garment fits well and is visually pleasing on a body. The Marla Dell Talent Fit division works with local and international fashion powerhouses including Banana Republic, The Gap, Levi-Strauss, H&M and more.
Their talent feels consistently well taken care of, and one newly signed model wrote, At MDT, I feel cared for by a professional team of agents with a keen and sense of the business. Located in a stylish neighborhood similar to Beverly Hills or Madison Avenue, MDT has a savvy and hip awareness of today’s entertainment industry and a great eye for nurturing talent.
Marla Dell Talent is an excellent resource for new-comers as they are receptive to new talent and do not mandate previous experience or professional pictures in their application process.
Address: 355 Bryant St #206, San Francisco, CA 94107
With experience working for top modeling and talent agencies in San Francisco and Los Angeles as a New Faces/ Scouting agent since 1998, it became the logical next step for Ryan Lippert to start a successful modeling agency in San Francisco of his own. Thus, Scout Model & Talent Agency was born. Ryan and his small, detail-oriented team are well-connected with others in the industry, have a keen, cultivated eye for spotting new talent and developing the skills new models need for success in the industry. Boasting an incredibly well-rounded roster of models, Scout Model & Talent industry works with lifestyle models, influencers, youth, and male models of all ages and sizes.
Known for their inclusion and receptivity toward new models, one reviewer wrote, I had been searching for an agency for a very long time before I stumbled upon Scout. Because I am only 5’8, most other agencies in San Francisco hadn’t given me a chance. Scout was amazing to me right off the bat, seeing my potential they signed me about 5 months ago giving me the chance to model that I had been wanting for so so long.
In-person meetings are by appointment only, and you can begin the easy application process on their website.
Address: 155 Montgomery Street, Suite 805 San Francisco, CA 94104
Located in Union Square, JE Model Management sets itself apart from other modeling agencies in San Francisco and is renowned as one of the most prestigious top modeling agency. Founded in 2003 by longtime model, Phillip Gums, and entertainment industry veteran and the man behind JE Talent, John Erlendson, this top modeling agency keeps a laser focus on the growth of the San Francisco fashion scene so that models and talent stay relevant for years to come. JE Model Management is driven by a “strong belief in business as family, strong working relationships, a healthy work ethic, attention to detail, and a superior level of caring for both their models and their clients.”
With vastly spanning divisions including Classic, Curve, Parts (hands and feet), Lifestyle, and Fitness, JE Model Management has successfully carved a niche for each of its models’ diverse talent to shine. With equal attention paid to growing the portfolios of novice models and expanding the career of veterans in the industry, Je Model Management prides itself of serving the unique needs of both their models and their clients.
For a fully curated experience, they also offer Artists’ Services including wardrobe, props, and hair and makeup. JE Model Management is one of the best modeling agencies in San Francisco because of their ability to consistently satisfy both their models and their clients. A recent photographer said, I’ve been working with JE as a photographer for well over a year now and they have never let me down. The agents are friendly, get the job done, and never take more than a day to respond to an email. It’s been a pleasure.
Reviews from clients, models, and parents’ of models are equally glowing.
Address: 23 Grant Ave, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108
One of the most well-known and respected talent agencies on the West Coast, Stars Management has been in business for over thirty years and is regarded worldwide. The large, full-service modeling agency in San Francisco offers a wide range of services including the representation of men, women, children, influencers. This premier agency also offers a Family and Body Parts division.
Stars Management is perhaps best known for its Sports Management Division which represents athletes in endorsement deals with powerhouse companies including Nike.
The agency is consistently given a 5-star rating with one reviewer writing,
[Stars Management] knows the industry, both local, and at large, and they excel at matching a model’s strengths with professional opportunities. They provide honest and direct instruction, feedback, and coaching so that models can grow and learn without diminishing a model’s self-esteem or setting unrealistic physical expectations.
Stars offer an open call for model every Tuesday from 3:00 pm until 4:00 pm in their Grant Avenue office.
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Address: 414 Mason Street, Suite 705 San Francisco, CA 94102
In a short time, RAE Model and Talent agency, has been able to cultivate a broad range of clients including MAC Cosmetics, W Hotels, and Harley Davidson. RAE Model and Talent Agency is one a newer agency and already one of the most successful modeling agencies in San Francisco. RAE offers representation to models, dancers, and those with “specialty talents” including aerial arts and cirque performance. RAE started in 2011 as an event staffing service and has since transformed into a full-scale modeling and talent agency.
A simple and straightforward online questionnaire is required as step one in the application process which is reviewed based on photographic talent and potential. The next step after the initial review is a pre-selection interview which assesses the professionalism and personality of those hoping to be represented. While RAE does operate a “New Faces” division, Open Calls are no longer conducted, and their two-tiered interview system ensures that RAE models are not only talented, but dedicated and professional.
RAE is still small, but scaling up consistently, and many appreciate the intimate familial vibe that is facilitated by a small agency. One reviewer wrote, I‘ve been with the agency for over 5 years and can’t express how grateful I am to have a family out here that supports my visions and encourages me to grow in all aspects. Through them I have developed my model portfolio and dance resume in a significant way.
The RAE agency boasts an in-house dance studio and specializes in training models, dancers, and influencers to become thriving professional brand ambassadors and promotional models. They train their talent to be versatile and adaptable in the constantly changing world of modeling.
Address: 2121 N. California Blvd, Ste. 290 Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Phone: (415) 683-9569
While technically not in San Francisco, NYLO Model & Talent Agency is just east of Oakland and is one of the top modeling agencies in the Bay Area. The SAG-AFTRA Franchised agency is a premier talent agency representing both youth and adults in print modeling, film/TV, and commercial work. NYLO has a strong reputation as a detail-oriented and dedicated agency with strong business practices. Efficiently managing time is paramount to NYLO and models are expected to adhere to the agency guidelines of having strong, current photos, updated resumes, as well as accurate measurements. Professional photos are not required for the application process, but they are encouraged. As with all reputable top modeling agencies in San Francisco and beyond, there is no upfront cost and models will only be charged a percentage of their earnings as they begin booking projects.
The highly-regarded agency is revered for their broad range of models from as young as 4 months old to over 65 years old.
Address: 2370 Market St., #360 | San Francisco, CA 94114
Models, Inc founder, Sherrie Neeves, has been in the industry since 1988 when she worked with a leading talent agency in San Francisco. Her experience is not only from working in the industry for thirty years, but also cultivated by managing the careers of her two (now grown) children in printwork, television commercials, motion pictures, fit modeling, hand modeling, and promotional modeling has given her a first-hand look into the strengths of the industry, and areas where it can evolve and become more efficient.
With clients including Old Navy, Vans, American Express and Pottery Barn, Models, Inc prides itself on representing models of diverse sizes, ages, and experience-levels. Though at first-glance their website may look bare bones, the page full of success stories is a true testament to Models, Inc devotion and success as a top modeling agency in San Francisco. With experiencing representing both individuals and families, Sherrie and her team have created an environment of professionalism while deeply caring for the individuals and families with which they work.
The father of two children represented by Sherrie and Models, Inc had nothing but positive things to say, writing, Our family has been with Sherrie and Models,Inc for nearly five years and we couldn’t be happier. From day one the Models, Inc team has shown professionalism unmatched in the industry. Plus they keep us busy, which is great. We’ve booked jobs with California Lottery, Covered California, Pottery Barn Kids and Old Navy, among others. More importantly for us, though, is the family environment that Sherrie and her team have created. They have our best interests in mind and are always on the lookout for the perfect match.
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Address: 2339 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107
Boom! Agency was started by John E Hutcheson (Jack) and has been in business for 20 years. John and his seasoned staff have combined industry experience of over 40 years. After working for 14 years as a male model John with photographers & creatives from GQ, Vogue, M, and many other well-regarded global publications, John has the intrinsic ability to see the industry from the side of the model, the client, and the agency. BOOM! operates skillfully and efficiently so that all three facets of the industry can work in harmony. BOOM! agency is regarded as a prestigious modeling agency in San Francisco, and even globally through its partnerships with affiliate agencies that place models and talent in European and Asian markets.
Boom! is renowned for creating quality work and longlasting relationship while working with a wide range of budgets, logistics, and model needs. Boom! has a history of reviews that showcase a hands-on, loyal company that is proactive and prolific with job placement. One reviewer wrote that he was sent on at least 2 auditions a week, adding,
I highly recommend this agency: they will get you out there. Boom! represents women, men, parts models, fitness models, as well as a diverse range of lifestyle models from all corners of the globe.
Address: PO BOX 47509, San Francisco, CA 94123
8×10 Models sets themselves apart from other modeling agencies in San Francisco by providing representation only to children ages 3 months to 17 years old. Founder, Whitney Dolittle, began her agency career in Los Angeles, where she trained her eye and gained valuable experience before making the move to San Francisco. Whitney used her vast experienced and natural talent working with children to focus her own agency on placing children in fashion and commercial print. She loves working with families and has a strong understanding of kids and what it takes to be a success in a competitive industry. 8×10 Models does not represent adults.
Because the boutique agency 8×10 is so niche, Whitney and her small team have a deep knowledge of the logistics involved in minors’ modeling and are able to guide their clients though the process of securing a work permit and setting up a Coogan account (which is a bank account required in the state of California that cannot be touched by anyone until a child turns 18). Children will need to submit 3-5 recent, non-professional photographs as well as measurements.