This post requires no prelude. However, this is the opinion of several experienced models and not just myself. We are all in agreement. Here are some pros and cons of being an agency represented model.
10 PROS of Being an Agency Represented Model:
- You are, or should be, constantly busy with castings, test shoots, and jobs.
- You can make great connections and work with well known clients.
- You can be requested and sent to exclusive (closed) castings.
- If you are new, an agency is a great segway into the industry. Getting signed means, in a general sense, that you have what it takes. You are an unpolished gem.
- You have guidance available to you.
- You feel like an important asset to your agency.
- Your agency handles all transactions as well as your schedule. You don’t have to worry about prioritizing if you’re bad at those things nor do you have to worry about difficult clients.
- An agency helps you build an image and promotes that image to clients.
- Your agency is legally bound to the same contract that you are. This can be to your mutual benefit (it could also be considered a con).
- Lets face it, it can feel good to feel legitimized by an agency!
Now, lets get into the cons. The nitty gritty. Maybe I’m biased, but a lot of these can cancel out some of the pros. I know many other models who have had identical experiences.
10 CONS of Being an Agency Represented Model:
- Your paychecks are less predictable than if you were freelancing and managing your own invoicing because you are not in control. You have to continuously ask and rely on your agency for accounting statuses. You may not receive the money (at all, or in a timely fashion) unless you fight for it.
- There is a commission taken out of your paychecks.
- The image your agency promotes for you may be specific and limiting to your abilities.
- You will be encouraged to loose weight and be under regular scrutiny.
- Lets face it, some bookers can be intimidating. Nothing personal!
- You do not have the freedom of a freelance model. Freedom is good when you know how to utilize it!
- Extra work and modeling gigs are discouraged, especially in New York. These agencies like keep you busy and keep you for themselves!
- You have little to no control over your schedule and you don’t know when you may be asked to go somewhere.
- Your growth as a model may be hindered by relying on an agency to handle your career.
- You are tied by a legal contract and a specified amount of time with your agency, generally 2 years.
In conclusion, it is best to see for yourself! Measure your successes, roadblocks, and downfalls during your journey as a model decide which route you prefer: agency, or freelance? Share your thoughts below! Do you find your experiences similar? Different? Do you have anything to add? Comments, please!
As for myself, I am currently choosing the freelance route and I’m loving it! I still do consider agency offers that come my way. However, for the time being, I am a New York freelancer and available for hire! (Email me for rates if you’re interested! My portfolio may be viewed in the uppermost navigation bar. I suggest checking out editorial first!). If you would like to learn more about what it is like to be a freelance model, check out Sierra Mckenzie’s Freelance Models blog!
Briauna Mariah (: