Can't figure out why you're not getting any modeling jobs? "IT'S YOUR BOOK."

Not sure why you're not getting booked as much as you would like? Are you wondering why someone else always gets the high paying jobs?

Most beginner models are walking around with amateur photos featuring glamorous makeup, low cut tops, floral print dresses, large hoop earrings and outfits that don't quite fit properly. In other words, most of them have spent a lot of money and/or have put a lot of effort into photo shoots that will ultimately prove to be worthless.

Beware of "TFP" photo shoots, school photographers, "photo day" photographers, student photographers, glamour photographers and the like as the resulting photos will invariably turn out to be too amateurish, too glamorous and/or very rarely in the style needed to qualify you for paying jobs in the real world.

Beginning models often convince themselves that by shooting with amateurs they are saving money or they are getting something for nothing but - in reality - amateur looking photos will do you more harm than good.

Your portfolio should sell YOU - not sex, not clothing, not jewelry, not makeup and DEFINITELY not some amateur photographer's concept of what a model should look like.

Make no mistake. If you want to work on a regular basis, you will need to visually prove you can pull it off.

amateur photos (top row) - professional photos of the same models (bottom row)

Why do I need a portfolio and a comp card?


Modeling agencies aren't just looking for attractive people. They need people who have the right tools to get hired - incuding a strong portfolio and a comp card that show the model is capable of portraying a range of ages, emotions and characters.

How you present yourself is EVERYTHING so don't expect casting directors or other potential employers to take some huge leap of faith that you will look like a real model in their catalog, advertising campaign, commercial, etc.

When you go on a casting for print work, the first thing the interviewer may say to you is, "Can I see your book?"

If you say "I don't have one." you are not going to make a good FIRST IMPRESSION and you are not going to be taken seriously.

(The interviewer will be thinking, "No book? This can't be a real model, they are not serious about working, he/she might not show up on time, he/she might not show up at all, etc.

In England it's called a Zed card and in the U.S. it's called a "comp card." Whatever you want to call it, however, you need one. Here's why:

Whenever you walk into a real agency you will see at least one or two walls with display racks filled with comp cards.

1.) Several times a day, bookers will get calls from clients asking for a certain type of model. The booker will then walk over to the racks and start "pulling comps" to send to the client via mail, Fed Ex or courier.

2.) Of course, if you don't have cards on the rack your card will never get pulled and it will never get sent to any clients and you will never be seen for any bookings.

3.) If the booker does not see your name and face every time they look at the rack they will very quickly forget about you.

4.) On many castings, you will often find yourself sitting in a reception area with a dozen or more other models - and someone will come out and say, "Ok everyone hand me your card." They will then take the cards in the back to the casting director or whoever is actually hiring the models. (If your card is not in that pile you will not be seen and, in effect, you don't exist.

5. On other castings, you may see a decision maker without first handing cards to an assistant. At the end of the interview, however, they will usually ask you to leave your card. If you don't have one, you not only look unprofessional and unprepared, the interviewer will probably forget all about you within 20 minutes of you leaving and for sure won't remember you were even there the next day.

A strong book and a strong card says: I am a professional." "I will show up." "I will be on time." "I can pull this off." "I'm worth $2000 a day."


How to avoid spending several hundred to several thousand dollars

If an agency is interested, they will typically will ask you to leave at least 10 to 20 cards with them.

If you don't have a card, a real agency will not ask you for money to have cards printed for you, but they will instruct you to go to a printer and have 400 to 500 cards made with their contact info on them - and this will cost you anywhere from $400 to $500.

Then you may walk into 4 or 5 other agencies and they will all say the same thing.... and you will end up being faced with the decision of spending $2000 to $2500 or more on cards to make them all happy - or you will end up with no one willing to book you because you don't have cards.

Fortunately, however, you can avoid this problem (and avoid hearing icy comments like, "Do you have a problem having some cards made?") by having "temporary cards" made that the agencies can put their sticker on until you get your first booking or two.

(Temporary cards are inexpensive, they will get you through your first month or two until you get your first booking and they are perfectly acceptable.)

What makes a model?

Some people say it's a certain look or a sense of style or an attitude - or maybe all three.

Others will point to eyes, hair, cheek bones or other physical attributes. Still others might say confidence and charisma are what matters most.

Runway models can distinguish themselves by how they carry themselves, while commercial models add expressions of like-ability and enthusiasm to their presentation.

All of these characteristics are important in establishing and evaluating a model's potential, of course.

But no matter how important these traits are, it is - and always will be - a model's photos that will make or break their career.

There is an old saying that still holds true: "A picture is worth a thousand words."

Photographic images can capture the individual aspects of a person and present them in an artistic, inviting and compelling manner.

Pictures are a universal language that can transcend all barriers and reveal a personality, tell a story, share a secret, stir the senses and capture the imagination of the viewer in an instant.

Placing more value on "quantity" instead of "quality" is a huge mistake - as four or five great shots can do you more good than a hundred bad ones.

Amateurs working with other amateurs tend to stay at the amateur level until they are either asked to leave or give up entirely.

That is why it is so important to get images of the highest possible quality.... Images that show what makes you special, unique, and memorable.


More tips

Also, you cannot go around thinking that you will get every job you audition for....

Even top models and actors don't always get the part. It's simply part of the business and you should never take it personally.

Always keep in mind that the client does not see you as yourself, they see you as the image/character that you are portraying.

Part of being a professional model is being able to understand and accept that if you do not get the job, it is usually because the client is searching for a certain type of look.

You could go to your next call and be hired on the spot, simply because you have "the look" they need for that particular job on that particular day.

Be persistent, be on time, and never give up.

Once you start booking regularly, your name and face will become better known and you will start to get more work.

Also, you can't realistically expect to go out and make tons of money right away - so be prepared to work for low rates when first starting out.

Under the best of circumstances, it can take two or three months to get started and begin working consistently.


Regardless of whatever situation you find yourself in - you will always be expected to appear as though you are comfortable and having a good time and you will always be expected to get the job done.

Griping, even a little, will brand you as a complainer and make it very difficult for you to get work - and the same goes for parents.

Never forget: Good test shots and a pleasant and cooperative attitude is - and always will be - THE quickest way to jump start your career.



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There are thousands of fake modeling and talent agencies and a relatively small handfull of real ones - especially in the state of Florida - so feel free to send an e mail with your name, stats and a small jpg photo or two and we will try to point you in the right direction.
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