As a model, you may be wondering if it is worth it to seek representation from a modeling agency. If you’re already getting booked on your own, it may seem unnecessary to fork over a 20% commission fee from each paycheck. Plus, social media is totally changing the modeling world, and many rising models are making their careers happen on their own, one Instagram selfie at a time.
When you’re just getting started, being represented by a top modeling agency opens door, facilitates national and global connections and provides you with guidance, support and people who want to get you booked. Modeling agencies will want you to work; because the more you work, the more they earn. It turn sout that many of the Instagram models you see are actually represented by an agency. An agency can give you the visibility and experience you need to stand out in a sea of beautiful models.
Depending on the type of modeling you do (runway, catalog, fitness, body parts or plus-size), having an agency represent you can be deeply beneficial as you start your career. If you are a model in Ohio then you are in luck, because this state is filled with brands who are looking to collaborate with models. The Midwest is sometimes forgotten in the industry, but that is changing as it becomes a crucial as a halfway point between both coasts.
We’ve put together a list of all the modeling agencies in Ohio to know about. Some even offer classes to prepare you for the industry. And, don’t let the location fool you; these Ohio agencies have placed models in the pages of Vogue, GQ, Esquire and Cosmopolitan and regularly book campaigns with the high-profile fashion houses internationally.
Here are our top picks for modeling agencies in Ohio:
John Casablancas has locations all over the United States and internationally; their Ohio locations include both Cincinnati and Columbus. These centers are designed to prepare aspiring models and actors with the skills they need to be successful in the entertainment business. In addition to tangible skills, the centers work with each model to improve their personal image, self-confidence, portfolio and body image. Some people who are not looking to model professionally elect to attend John Casablancas Center as a way to grow their confidence.
John Casablancas is the founder of Elite Model Management, one of the largest and most celebrated modeling agencies in the world. His centers have gained popularity as a way for aspiring models and actors to learn more about the industry and gain valuable skills before starting the audition process. Their website says that they are different than other programs because they have “developed the most ambitious and comprehensive professional modeling, acting and personal image development programs for our students benefit. For those seeking the John Casablancas experience, we are proud to give our students the benefit of our 30+ years of experience in modeling, acting, beauty and personal image development.”
The programs meet once per week, typically for 2-6 hours at a time. There will also be opportunities for students to go on castings and auditions.
One graduate of the Columbus program wrote, “Within months of arriving in Ohio, I reached out to a few talent agencies, and it was John Casablancas that embraced this South African in her mid 20s. Not only did they believe in my vision of becoming an actor, [but] they [also] helped me mold it with their comprehensive classes, which have helped me gain confidence. By the time I attended the New York Talent tour with John Casablancas Columbus, I was ready to show the talent scout from the New York Film Academy just what I had learned during my acting classes with Kim and Robert. The scout loved my performance and offered me a scholarship to the New York Film Academy. None of this would have been possible if John Casablancas had not believed in me.”
While John Casablancas Centers are thrilled to work with kids of all ages, they ask that their students make education their first priority; all students must maintain an acceptable grade point average. The centers do not accept everyone, and they want to be sure that everyone accepted is truly interested in learning new skills and has the natural potential to thrive in the industry. You can start the “online audition” here.
Pro Model and Talent Management (PMTM) has been a crucial player in the modeling industry since 1989. They work tirelessly to place their models and talents in the tri-state area, though their talents also works nationally and internationally. PMTM was awarded an A+ rating from the Akron Better Business Bureau, and they are in excellent standing with the International Model and Talent Association (IMTA).
This modeling agency in Ohio has placed model and talents locally in print, runway, promotions and television. Some of their well-known local clients include the The Cleveland Browns, Cedar Point, The Cleveland Cavaliers, The Cleveland Indians, Harley Davidson and Wayside Furniture.
PMTM is also proud to act as a “mother agency” for models seeking work in the broader national and international markets. Their models have worked with Louis Vuitton, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue and Dior and have been featured in many feature films and tv shows.
This talent and modeling agency is located in Akron, Ohio and they are always scouting for new faces. If you are interested in learning more, you can reach out directly to email@example.com.
Sigal Models, a modeling agency in Gahanna, Ohio, is owned and directed by Karen Sigal. She is passionate about giving her models the tools they will need for success in the industry. With over 30 years of combined experience as both a professional model and an expert booking agent, Sigal knows how tough and full of rejection the industry can be. She and her team (family members Monica Sigal, David Sigal, and Kevin Sigal) care deeply about their models on a personal and professional level.
The most important aspect of this agency is a model’s success. Sigal Models work with new faces to hone their talent and cultivate a successful career in the industry. They also use their extensive network of connections to place seasoned models with top-tier clients. Their local clients include Express, A&F, Jo Ann Fabrics, DSW, The Limited Brands, Lane Bryant and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Beyond the state of Ohio, Sigal Models is well-connected and works with other agencies including IMG, Women, Ford Chicago, LA Models, MC2, Success Models Paris and Visage Switzerland.
In addition to representing male and female models in the fashion and commercial sector, Sigal represents kids. They also offer special Model Programs including books, videos and other helpful resources created specifically for aspiring models looking to advance their careers. Models are also able to book a shoot directly with in-house photographer, Kevin Sigal, who helps models develop diverse and artistic modeling portfolios.
The Sigal Agency is often referred to as “the New York modeling agency of the Midwest.” The Sigal family is consistently described as professional, honest and caring. One of their models wrote,
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Active Image now called Sigal Models for seven progressive years in bridal runway, lifestyle and fit modeling. The entire Sigal family has proven to be genuine, professional, upstanding and accommodating in all their efforts to promote quality bookings in the Central Ohio market and beyond. My experience has always been pleasant and rewarding when working with Sigal models, which is why I regularly refer my friends and family to the Sigal Model agency for opportunities in creative income bookings.”
They represent models of all ages, shapes and sizes, and you can learn more about becoming a Sigal Model here.
New Views Models (NV) has been a successful modeling agency in Ohio for over 30 years. The Cincinnati-based agency is proud to place models in local, national and international markets.
President and CEO, Joe Guerrera, is a former model with New Views, and he took over the agency 31 years ago. He has maintained connections in Paris, London, Milan, Tokyo, Australia and New York; it is largely these connections that make New Views one of the most respected modeling agencies in the Midwest. Guerrera works alongside a team of people, including an Agency Director and three New Faces Directors.
The team works to represent a diverse roster of models including lifestyle, fashion, preteen, children, curve, classic and new faces. Actors and voiceover talent are also represented. Their models have appeared in Elle, Vogue, Self and countless other publications.
One of the few agencies that develops, represents and books talent all in one place, their space houses three audition studios for photography and headshots, styling and coaching sessions.
NV conducts daily interviews with aspiring male and female models ages 12 and up. To schedule an interview, you can contact email the New Faces Division or fill out this form.
Wings Model Management in Cincinnati, Ohio, is an acclaimed model and talent management company. Wings knows how competitive the entertainment and modeling industries are, and they work to train their talent to become key players in the industry.
With guidance and a realistic approach, the team of industry professionals at Wings is very knowledgeable about what it needed to achieve success in the industry. Their models have appeared in the pages of national and international magazines and have been photographed by world famous photographers. Their model divisions include fashion and print for both men and women and lifestyle adults, teens and kids.
Because the team at Wings is well-connected in international markets, many of their models work internationally and experience a quick rise to success. Many of their models have found success in booking major fashion campaigns including Jil Sander, Prada, Burberry, Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen. To see the full scope of their models’ successes, you can check out their blog. Jimmy, one of their models who was scouted at a school football game, wrote,
“I love traveling it has been the best experience of my life, I’ve grown up and seen so much that people my age may never experience. It’s made me a much better person and I couldn’t have done it without Wings.”
If you are a model interested in seeking representation by Wings, they ask that you either mail or email two current color photos — one headshot with minimal makeup, and one full-body shot. They do not expect the photos to be professional quality and ask that applicants include name, phone number, birthday, hair and eye colors, height, weight and dress and shoe sizes.
Not a typical modeling agency in Ohio, Model Ohio mentors talent looking to get a leg up in the industry. Their classes are affordable and teach aspiring models about all sides of the industry including photography, business, and technical. Established models gain access to job networking opportunities, professional headshots, portfolios, seminars and techniques. New models learn about how to seek jobs, avoid scams and how to style themselves for auditions.
Roger, the owner and photographer behind Model Ohio, has 30 years of industry experience. He and his team of experienced people work to build portfolios and ready their models to appear in print and at live events. Their website says,
“We understand that every model and customer have different interests and needs. We listen to our models and clients to make sure that they each get a great match. New models are encouraged to learn from our mentoring process. We screen, photograph and train potential models and take time to get to know them and understand their aspirations. Our goal is to have professional models who can meet and exceed the requirements of our customers. Our team consists of a professional photographer, working model educators, hair and make up artists and industry consultants. Each team member is currently working in the modeling industry and knows what it takes to be successful.”
Interested models should send 3 pictures (they do not have to be professional) from the front, side, and back. They ask that you also include:
- Eye Color
- Hair Color — natural and current
- Experience level
With offices in both Cincinnati, Columbus, and Louisville, Heyman is one of the best modeling agencies in Ohio and the Midwest. The Short North District office in Columbus office includes “a large studio space for actors in commercials, films, and industrials as well as voice over and print projects. We offer national representation for fashion, runway, lifestyle catalog and industrial print.”
Heyman Talent specializes in representation for SAG/AFTRA and non-union actors and voiceover artists.” The Cincinnati office is located in the historic Longworth Hall building. Heyman “has a great space which includes two private audition studios where actors audition for commercials, industrials, feature and independent films, voiceovers, host/presenter projects and runway shows.”
Heyman believes in the principles of ethics and integrity, and they have a loyal cohort of models and clients. They are dedicated to giving back to their communities. Their models are represented nationally and internationally in commercial and runway markets. Models looking for representation with Heyman will need to provide professional photos and digitals. You can start the application process here.
LeModeln Inc. is a full service modeling agency in Boardman, Ohio. Established in 1984, LeModeln places models in print ads, catalogs and TV commercials. TV and radio voiceovers, industrial on-camera and voiceovers, fashion and runway shows, trade shows and feature films.
Lemodeln offers an on-site casting facility for audio recording, still photography and video auditions. As an convenience to their clients, they are happy to audition talent for submission via video or audio. Their website explains, “This saves our clients valuable time and reduces production costs. Our clients can review the tapes at their leisure without having to factor in time and travel constraints. LeModeln also provides casting services for feature films and television projects.”
Their models and talent have appeared in over 4500 commercials and 100 feature films including The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers. Models and clients are both consistently happy. One client wrote, “Thanks to your agency, we were able to get everything we needed, and more. Your people were great, and everyone was willing to go the extra mile…Your resources, professionalism, and ability to help us avoid problems is greatly appreciated.”
LeModeln is always looking to expand their New Faces division. You can learn more about their open roles here.
CAM Talent, a modeling agency in Ohio, was established in 1985. Their philosophy is to market the most qualified local talent to national markets. Diverse talent is of the utmost importance to the agency, and they see many repeat clients and direct referrals.
Carol A. Mosic is the president and director, and she has over 40 years of industry experience. She and her skilled team of 2 others work to know their clients and their talent so they can quickly assess who will work well together.
Their models and talent have worked for G.E., Visa, Folgers and more. They have placed talent in major feature films including Rain Man, Traffic and The Shawshank Redemption, and they represent both kids and adults.
Aspiring models are encouraged to fill out this form on the CAM Talent website. Because of the volume of submissions they receive, they may not be able to personally respond to each inquiry.
The Talent Group is a modeling agency in Ohio and Pennsylvania with offices in both Cleveland and Pittsburgh. They represent models, actors, voiceovers and live promotional talent.
Founded in 1994 by Stephen Black and Richard Kohn, the pair has over 75 years in combined experience. Black worked as an actor, director and “highly respected acting teacher in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles. Mr. Kohn was a voiceover agent at J. Michael Bloom & Associates in New York then worked in Los Angeles as Director of Program Development for D. L. Taffner, where he developed television pilots for all four major networks.”
Their models works with top advertising clients, recording studios and production companies as well as internationally recognized fashion brands.
Open Calls in both the Pittsburgh and Cleveland offices take place on the first Monday of each month from noon to 1 pm and again from 5:30pm to 6:30 pm. Models are asked to bring their portfolios and/or comp cards and 3 snapshots including one face and one full-body shot
The Docherty Agency is a premier modeling agency in Ohio. The agency was founded in 1987 by Deb Docherty, who had a vision of creating a unique and highly diverse agency which represent “a mirror of the multicultural world we live in.”
Their experienced team is described as passionate, caring and loyal to both their models and their clients, many of whom are repeat clients. They have models available in the following categories:
Docherty works with a huge and diverse client roster including ABC-TV, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Fisher-Price, Holiday Inn Express, Under Armour, Nickelodeon Studios and many other well-known names.
They have a 4.7 star rating on Facebook with one client saying, “Worked with your models for the Cleveland Bridal show, very easy going, beautiful girls. Amazing bone structure and so happy that one of them is going for a Ph.d! I’d work with your agency again anytime.”
Their Cleveland office holds Open Calls on the last Tuesday of every month from 9:30am to 11:30am. Males must be 5’10” or taller and women must be at least 5’6”. Women are asked to arrive makeup-free with hair down and wearing leggings or jeans and a fitted dark tank top. Men should wear a fitted dark t-shirt and dark jeans. Don’t forget your portfolio, and be prepared to have digitals taken. Aspiring actors should take a look at the Docherty Agency FAQs before submitting.