Above: Beautiful Blonde Fashion Model Lindsay Ellingson Modeling For Allure Magazine Endless Summer Fashion Editorials Modeling As One Of The Highest Paid Models In The World. Photographed By Regan Cameron. Beautiful Hair By Hair Stylist Ken O’Rourke. Makeup By Makeup Artist Francelle Daly. Fashion Styling By Siobhan Bonnouvrier.
One of the most common questions that our fashion modeling agency gets on a daily basis is the question about how much it costs to become a model. In particular, the area that can create the most confusion for new models is the topic about the fees and expenses involved when starting a modeling career. There is a lot of inaccurate information on the Internet regarding modeling fees and modeling expenses and what a model should and should not pay for when joining a modeling agency and starting her fashion modeling career. In fact, the information regarding how much money it costs to become a model can be so confusing and overwhelming that many new models decide to simply give up and never follow their dreams.
Starting Your Modeling Career – What You Need To Get Started As A Model
When you first start on your journey to become a fashion model there is only one very important thing that you will need (besides being beautiful, having a wonderful personality, and meeting the minimum requirements of the modeling agency where you are applying) and that is to have great looking Polaroids. Polaroids is the term that was used when people would take instant pictures in the 1970’s (the camera would print out the picture almost instantly so you could show them to your friends). When you walked into a modeling agency during an open call the agents would take your picture with a Polaroid camera (the picture would just come out of the camera) instead of having to send the film somewhere else for processing and having to wait several days for the modeling agents to see and review the images of the models.
Today, thanks to digital cameras people born during this century are probably not familiar with the term Polaroids but the word stuck and is still used today by modeling agents to mean basic snapshots or digital pictures. When applying to your favorite modeling agency these Polaroids should be clear images of you wearing simple clothing and no makeup.
One of the most common mistakes that new models make when applying to ZARZAR MODELING AGENCY is to send blurry images of themselves (pictures that are not very clear) instead of taking the time to have a relative or a friend take the picture with the model posing in front of a nice white background (highly recommended). Even worse is when a new model applying to our modeling agency says that she has been dreaming all of her life in becoming a fashion model but she will not even take the time to have a friend or a relative take clean and clear Polaroids of her in order to increase her chances of admission to our modeling agency so that she could become a fashion model and start her modeling career.
Above: Beautiful Blonde Fashion Model Lindsay Ellingson Modeling For Allure Magazine Endless Summer Yoga Fashion Editorial Modeling As One Of The Highest Paid Models In The World. Photographed By Regan Cameron. Beautiful Hair By Hair Stylist Ken O’Rourke. Makeup By Makeup Artist Francelle Daly. Fashion Styling By Siobhan Bonnouvrier.
Are Professional Photographs Required To Become A Model And If They Are Required How Much Money Do Professional Pictures Cost?
Modeling fees and modeling expenses can be a very confusing and overwhelming subject for new models, parents, and the relatives of new models and probably nothing is more confusing than the issue of whether professional pictures are required to apply to a modeling agency and the costs involved with obtaining those professional photographs and images. Fortunately for new models, professional pictures are not required to apply to a modeling agency and any modeling agency asking you to pay for professional photographs in order to be considered for admission to their agency is probably trying to steal your hard earned money (or your parent’s hard earned money) and profit from your lack of knowledge about the fashion modeling industry.
The reason why professional pictures are not required to apply to a modeling agency is because modeling agents want to see the real you and not some retouched version of you (thanks to advances in Photoshop and retouching software for the fashion industry). In other words, modeling agents want to be able to see all of your physical imperfections (if any) in the Polaroids that you send them so that they can make an informed decision about whether you should be admitted to their modeling agency.
Above: Beautiful Brunette Italian Fashion Model Bianca Balti Modeling For L’Oreal Paris Excellence Legendary Brunettes Ads (L’Oreal Advertisements Inspired By Sophia Loren) Modeling As One Of The Highest Paid Models In The World. Photographed By Peter Lindbergh. L’Oreal Paris is a ZARZAR MODELS client.
How Much Does It Cost To Become A Model?
You may have noticed that up to this point the costs to become a fashion model are practically zero. Once you have your beautiful Polaroids ready you basically have four options depending on the modeling agency: you can mail them by postal mail (the old fashioned way assuming the modeling agency still accepts modeling applications by mail), you can e-mail them to the modeling agency, you can upload them to their website, or you can take them with you to a modeling agency open call (model casting open to the public) but it is important to note that once you arrive to a modeling agency open call the model agents will take their own Polaroids (a lot of top modeling agencies do not have open calls and instead do modeling interviews by invitation only). Thus, in general the most that it will cost a new model to apply to a modeling agency to become a fashion model will be the price paid for the stamps and the cost of transportation to the modeling agency (so that she may attend the model interviews).
How Much Does It Cost To Become A Model And What Happens When A Modeling Agency Wants To Sign You As One Of Their Fashion Models?
Assuming that your pictures look amazing, that you are granted a model interview or multiple modeling interviews, and that the modeling agents and modeling scouts find you so beautiful and charming (meaning that they arrive at the conclusion that you have an amazing and wonderful personality), then and only then will the modeling agents on behalf of the modeling agency offer to sign you for modeling representation. Around this time or sometimes even before the modeling agency offers to sign you for modeling representation is when the topic of modeling fees, modeling costs, and modeling expenses is first discussed in detail. It is during these conversations with the modeling agents that you will likely be told that you need to hire fashion photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, fashion stylists, and manicurists.
You will also be told by the modeling agents and agency representatives that you need to make prints of your photos for your modeling book (modeling portfolio), create composite cards for clients (composite cards are very big fashion modeling cards with pictures of you), etc. Some modeling agencies may even tell you that you need modeling classes such as runway training in order to improve your modeling skills. It is at this point in time that you need to stop what you are doing, take a deep breath, analyze and discuss with your family what the agency is asking of you, and decide if what the modeling agency is recommending for you is in the best interest of your fashion modeling career.
Above: Beautiful Blonde Russian Fashion Model Natasha Poly Modeling For L’Oreal Paris Excellence Legendary Blondes Ads (L’Oreal Advertisements Inspired By Grace Kelly) Modeling As One Of The Highest Paid Models In The World. Photographed By Peter Lindbergh. L’Oreal Paris is a ZARZAR MODELS client.
Modeling Fees, Modeling Expenses, And The Costs Of Becoming A Fashion Model When A Modeling Agency Wants To Sign You
Many new models have heard modeling experts say “if you have to pay for anything it is a scam” or “if a modeling agency likes you they will pay for everything”. While this is certainly true in many cases that involve fake modeling agencies or new modeling agencies (with no clients and no bookings) that make their money by convincing new models to take photo shoots with their own photographers, this is not always the case, and it is never as black and white as some people would like you to believe.
A few very important things to keep in mind about modeling fees, modeling costs, and modeling expenses are the following:
What Is The Reputation Of The Modeling Agency?
Is the modeling agency a top modeling agency known around the world for developing top models, supermodels, and getting them bookings with very prestigious fashion clients? If they are a small local modeling agency do they at least have connections to the larger modeling agencies in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, and Milan?
As a general rule (there are always exceptions), the longer the modeling agency has been around (measured in decades) and the stronger the quality of its fashion models, the less risk there is to you. The modeling agency may not represent any supermodels because it is a small local modeling agency, but if the quality of their model roster is stronger than the quality of the model roster of the other local modeling agencies in your area, then it is probably for a very good reason, and if in addition to having the best model roster of all the local modeling agencies in your area they also have been in the modeling business for decades then the chances of that local modeling agency trying to scam you and take advantage of you are greatly reduced.
Should The Model Or Her Modeling Agency Pay For Professional Modeling Pictures And Professional Modeling Photographs? Who Pays For The Modeling Pictures Needed For The Model’s Fashion Modeling Portfolio?
A large number of modeling agencies make their money by selling their fashion modeling services (runway training, modeling pictures, etc.) which can cause new models to easily spend thousands of dollars within a very short period of time. Large established modeling agencies make the majority of their money not by selling their fashion modeling services and charging extravagant fees to their models but by earning a percentage of the earnings from the models that they represent (this makes sure that the interests and long term goals of each model and her modeling agency are aligned).
The standard in the modeling industry is for the modeling agency to earn 20% of what the model makes from her fashion modeling jobs (fashion advertising campaigns, runway fashion shows, etc.). Thus, if you notice that the modeling agency that you are considering to join as one of their fashion models focuses more on selling fashion modeling services to you instead of focusing in developing your fashion modeling career and getting you paid modeling bookings, then it might be a sign that you could do a lot better with another modeling agency with a stronger and better reputation in the fashion modeling industry. In other words, paying your modeling agency for expensive fashion modeling services such as photo shoots and runway training (modeling classes can be beneficial to beginning models, but are never a requirement for you to get signed to a modeling agency) could be a warning sign that the modeling agency probably earns more money selling photo shoots than getting paid bookings (paid modeling jobs) for their fashion models.
Above: Beautiful Blonde Swedish Model Frida Gustavsson Modeling For The Nina Ricci Les Delices De Nina By Nina Ricci Perfume And Fragrance Fashion Campaign Modeling As One Of The Highest Paid Models In The World.
Do Top Modeling Agencies In Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, And Milan Advance Modeling Expenses And Modeling Fees For New Models?
This is probably the area that causes the most confusion with new models (beginning models) because they might have heard stories about how a big and very prestigious Los Angeles or New York modeling agency paid for a model’s flight tickets, apartment expenses (rent expenses), food expenses, transportation expenses, etc. and the model did not have to pay a dime upfront. Thus, this is where it gets tricky and the short answer to the question is that it depends on who the model is and how the modeling agency views her potential in the fashion modeling industry. In other words, if a fashion modeling agency believes that the model will be a successful high fashion model that will earn millions of dollars per year than the modeling agency will view a few thousand dollars as an insignificant cost of doing business. However, what models new to the modeling industry might not have heard is that big prestigious modeling agencies may advance your modeling fees and modeling expenses but you will be expected to pay them back once you start booking paid modeling jobs and making money. In other words, once you start booking paid modeling jobs and making money your modeling agency will deduct what is owed to them from your fashion modeling account.
It is important to remember that while a big prestigious fashion modeling agency in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, or Milan with dozens or even hundreds of modeling agents and thousands of fashion models located around the world may offer to advance your modeling fees and modeling expenses, modeling agencies in smaller markets simply do not have the financial resources to finance and lend money to new models. If you have the opportunity to work with a good local modeling agency in a smaller market do not pass it up (unless a bigger and more prestigious modeling agency wants to sign you) because they can be a valuable asset to your fashion modeling career. Most importantly, please do not give up on yourself or a specific modeling agency when the topic of modeling expenses comes up. Instead, think about what is best for your fashion modeling career and what the modeling agency is asking you to do, then discuss the subject matter with your family and loved ones, and then and only then sign with the modeling agency if you feel that doing so would be in your best interest and the best interest of your fashion modeling career.
Above: Beautiful Blonde Model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Modeling For The Cover Of Vogue Japan Modeling As One Of The Highest Paid Models In The World. Photographed By Giampaolo Sgura. Fashion Styling By Anna Dello Russo.
Every Model And Every Fashion Modeling Agency Is Different And Unique
Most fashion models beginning their modeling careers do not start at the big multinational modeling agencies (fashion modeling agencies with offices and fashion models located around the world). Instead, new fashion models learn about the modeling industry, develop their look and their modeling skills, and build their fashion modeling portfolios (known as their modeling books) in the smaller local modeling agencies. With time, and if successful in the local area where they model, they eventually get signed to the bigger and more prestigious modeling agencies located around the world (including the major fashion capitals such as New York, London, Paris, and Milan). Even then, when these top fashion models are signed to a top modeling agency they are still considered independent contractors, which basically means that these top fashion models are not employees of the modeling agency, but instead their fashion modeling services as a model are contracted by their modeling agency. Thus, all the modeling expenses incurred by a top fashion model will be her responsibility even if her modeling agency provides an advance and lends her the money for her modeling expenses.
Even after you start working for a top modeling agency and booking a large number of paid modeling jobs, just like all the other supermodels, you will have ongoing modeling expenses and modeling fees such as new photo shoots, printing expenses for your fashion modeling portfolio (your modeling book), FedEx and other shipping expenses, couriers, taxi drivers and other transportation expenses such as flight expenses (except for direct bookings in which case the client generally pays for your flight and hotel expenses), the 20% agency commission, travel expenses, long distance telephone charges, etc. However, even after paying for all of these modeling expenses it is likely that these will be considered small expenses in relation to the amount of money that you will be making from modeling.
In addition, please note that agency commissions may vary substantially when you model in foreign countries, specially in countries located in Asia, which is why it is extremely important for you to have a world class mother agency representing you (a mother agency generally represents you worldwide and is responsible for negotiating the best commission rates for you with foreign modeling agencies located around the world that would like to represent you in their local jurisdictions). This is the reason why supermodels have one mother agency representing them who through skill, experience, and negotiation are able to sign their supermodels with additional modeling agencies responsible for representing them worldwide (ZARZAR MODELS would be a perfect example of a mother agency that represents several hundred fashion models worldwide through its vast fashion modeling network of top modeling agencies and modeling agents located in different countries around the world).
There are probably thousands of aspiring models who have had the opportunity and potential to be famous, extremely successful, and very wealthy fashion models, but they never fulfilled their true potential because they were stuck in the belief that someone else should have paid for their fashion modeling career expenses. The problem with that line of thinking is that you will almost always have the opportunity to make a few thousand dollars back but you will never be able to get back the lost opportunity of a lifetime. Thus, when it comes to fashion modeling fees and fashion modeling expenses it is important to keep in mind that every model is unique, that every situation is different, and that every fashion modeling agency is different. If you had the opportunity to ask the 21 highest paid models in the world how they got started in modeling you would probably get 21 different fascinating stories, which is exactly the point to this story, and that is that you should follow your dreams, believe in yourself, and most importantly, enjoy every single moment of your fashion modeling career, for it can truly be a once in a lifetime experience and adventure that you will never forget.
Above: Beautiful Blonde ZARZAR MODEL Jessica Modeling In Los Angeles County Southern California Modeling For Beautiful Spring Summer Fashion Ads. ZARZAR MODELING AGENCY Fashion Model.
ZARZAR MODELS is one of the top modeling agencies for women in the United States representing models in print fashion editorials, high fashion runway, film, television commercials, and promotions. The agency represents top models in all of the major fashion cities and counties including Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Orange County Southern California, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Miami, New York, London, Paris, Milan, Sao Paulo, and Tokyo and recruits and represents models throughout the world through its global fashion and modeling network.