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Agents Information & The Jargon
Finding an agent - Do not spend huge sums of money on so called professional photographs before joining an agency as the agents will want to see you or your child looking natural.
Simple photographs with a plain white background is all you should need to send. These should ideally be 1x head & shoulders and 1x full length no smaller than a6. If you are going to get them proffessionally taken ask the agency what type of pictures they like to have by calling them first.
You should also include details of your age, height and date of birth. In addition girls over 16 years old should include details of their bust, waist, hips and dress size. Guys over 16 should include their chest, waist and suit size. Make sure you include a large correctly stamped addressed envelope so the agency can reply or return your pictures.

Oska's advise against agencies that charge a consultation, interview, administration or registration fees. Genuine agents only earn their money by charging a percentage (commission) of the fee you are paid. Administration costs such as faxes and courier delivery of documents are paid out by the agency and then these costs and the agency commission fee is taken out from money paid by the client to the agency for the work that you have done. You are always free to "shop around" for the best agency and do compare their charges to models such as commission and any other fees which would be deducted from your earnings. Some agencies will only audition for new models to join their agency every 3 months and they also limit the number of models who they have on their books. It is advisable to telephone your choice of agencies and find out when they will next be auditioning for new models to avoid missing that slot.
DO NOT just turn up on the agency doorstep and expect to be seen, you will only be wasting your time. It is advisable to telephone and book to see more than one agency on the same day. Try to book interviews with agencies in the same geographical area and allow yourself enough time to get to the appointment without having to cut it short to go elsewhere. If by the end of your first day no agency has taken you on, then do not give up or despair. It may be that your type of `look' was not what they were looking for, but it could be perfect for another, so if at first you don't succeed, try again. You may simply have been turned down because you are too similar to model already signed up with the agency. An agent may suggest that you change your 'look', hairstyle and gain or lose a little weight and then go back to see them.

Once you have been successful and joined a good agency, they will suggest various photographers who will take test shots of you for a small outlay. In some cases the agency may pay for the pictures for you and then deduct the cost from your fees once you are working, however, as a model (either child, teen or adult) you are technically self employed and therefore liable for your own costs. These are tax deductible so remember to keep the receipts. You should not use just one photographer to photograph your portfolio as the pictures will all look the same. The idea of a portfolio is to show you in different ways, by using different photographers each one having their own style. If you join a top London agency you will be required to phone in at least once per day to see if you have any work or castings to go to. Smaller provincial agents usually require a call once a or twice a month or they will call you to ask if you are available for the work.

The Booker - Agencies have people called bookers and these people tell you whether you have a casting or assignment and the details of them. You must tell them if you want to book yourself out for any time, be it a day or a holiday, in advance otherwise they may pre - book you for assignments.

Payment To Models - Some clients do take their time paying and it can take months before the agency gets paid. By law the agency must pay their models within 10 days of receipt of the fee from the client unless otherwise agreed in writing between the agent and model in a contract. Administration charges and commission will be deducted before a cheque is issued to the model.

Education & Modelling - Anyone currently in full or part time education should continue with it and take the modelling opportunities when they are available. Do not forfeit an education for the sake of what appears to be a glamorous - get rich quick occupation. There are no promises that a model will succeed and make it rich overnight. It took Kate Moss 3 years before she got her first big break. So be realistic and achieve some useful academic results, which later in life can never be taken away. Beauty is only skin deep and through accident or illness a person can loose the ability to model. EXAMS PASSED NEVER FADE

Castings and Auditions - Once you are accepted onto the books of an agency you will be sent to numerous castings and auditions. Many other models who are after the same assignment as you will attend these. It can mean a boring wait in a very long queue, and after all that waiting you may only be seen for a moment and you may not even get the job. The castings are usually held over a period of a couple of hours or more and you have to turn up between those times stated (say 2pm till 5pm) and wait your turn in the queue with everyone else. If you do not attend, then you will not have a chance of getting the job and your agent will not tolerate laziness and lateness!

Every model even Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell had to go to castings and stand in queues to get where they are now on the modelling circuit and they had to be able to cope with rejection. Kate Moss has admitted that although "discovered" at 14 she went on many casting & auditions for years before getting her big break at 17.

Requests - These are a different type of audition as your booker may have sold your look to the client saying that you will be perfect for the job in question. Sometimes the client has picked out a model either from a model index card or from the agency's model directory and then specifically requested the models that they want to see in order to make their final choice. You are given an appointment time to attend - so be there!

GO Sees - Your agency will have a good contact list of casting directors, magazines and clients and will want to get you out and about and seen. The go sees get your face known amongst these and they may help to get you bookings in the future. You will be given a time to be there and you must be on time, you might have to sit and wait but do not be late.

Options - If a client feels you could be right for the assignment and may want to book you they will ask your agency for an option. This puts you on stand by for the assignment. If another client asks to confirm a booking on the same day whilst you are already on option, then the agency will call the client with the first option and ask if they want to book you or not.

Confirmed Bookings - When a booking is confirmed your agency will telephone you and give you details of the assignment including the date, time, place and what the fee will be for completing the assignment. Stick to this and if any alterations crop up at the job you can always call your agent to confirm the details. Often shoots can run over time and if you were specifically booked for 2 hours on an hourly rate and spend four hours there, then you will want the appropriate fee, so discretely call your agent.

Be Well Prepared - When your agency tells you of a castings, request or go see or better still an assignment, you will always need to be well prepared and make sure that you have certain items with you. So in order to save panic in the morning take some time to decide what clothes you are going to wear and prepare them in advance. Whether you are going to a casting, fitting or assignment it is essential that you are well prepared. Do not leave it to the last minute and then blow the whole thing by being late.