Updated: Aug 29
By Aaron Marcus
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Most people don’t know how to break into the modeling industry and get modeling jobs. The biggest problem is that both actors and models don’t understand how to create eye-catching photos that grab the attention of agents, photographers and art/creative directors at advertising agencies.
example of a strong commercial modeling test shot
Ingredients for Eye-Catching Photos
So many actors and models spend a lot of time and money shooting test shots (not ads, but photos they create for their portfolio) that are only “nice pictures” and not effective shots.
Every test shot should look like an ad. When you look at the
photo, you should be able to identify it as an ad for a specific
company or organization.
The shot above could be an ad for 529 plans (college saving plans)
or reading programs for infants.
Never use a logo or brand name in your shot. You could lose out
on working for a competitor.
How to Have Success
What Types of Photos Should You Create?
You need to know “your type.” What characters will you realistically be considered for. As you can see in the photo below, at that time, I wanted to be cast as the young business man and dad. I combined both ideas and created a shot that could be an ad for life insurance, (the times you won’t be there,) or Big Brothers/Sisters. It was not a coincidence that after creating that photo, I began booking more jobs in that category.
test shot that got me work as the young dad/business man
Techniques to Use When Working With Photographers
You want to use the “Aaron Recall Method.” This is a technique
that allows you to use basic acting skills to show believable
expressions and emotions.
Think of an experience in your life that will give you the emotion
that is called for in the shot. Then, slightly turn your head away from
the camera. Say a word or two, or make a sound that will help bring
back the experience.
Then look towards the camera or wherever you
are told to look. Watch this technique by ordering this video:
Use The Aaron Recall Method at Go-Sees
When you are at a go-see (the audition for models,) ask the photographer what emotion is needed. Then use this technique. It will make your shots have energy and stand out – avoiding that blank/model type look.
Thank Your Agent
After attending the go-see, send your agent a quick email thanking him/her for submitting you for the job. This is a nice way of letting your agent know how much you appreciate them working for you. Those little things go a long way.
Retain the Contact Information From the Go-See
I have a spread sheet with around 1,100 contacts. After every go-see or booking I try and get the names and contact information from those on the set. This allows me to stay in touch with people I have previously met. If I met them through my agent, then I will always send any direct booking I may get through my marketing to the agent.
Market Yourself and Get Modeling Jobs
Even if you have an agent, I would recommend you market yourself. If you have an exclusive contract stating that your agent has to handle all of your jobs, then you certainly need to have your agent involved in any modeling job you find. Even, if you don’t have an exclusive contract, it is still in your best interest to have your agent handle all of your bookings. Although you will give up a 20% commission fee to the agent, it is a smart investment for 3 reasons. 1. Your agent will make sure it is a legitimate job. 2. Your agent will know if the fee being offered for the job is a fair offer. And, if not, your agent can negotiate much better than you. 3. When your agent sees you are bringing in income to the agency, he or she will submit you even more.
Who Should Receive Your Photos
You should send your new photos through the mail (not by emailing unsolicited attachments) to:
Photographers in your area
Art and Creative Directors at ad agencies
Directly to clients
Other Ways to Find Modeling Jobs
Research online to see if there are modeling Facebook Groups in your area. Sometimes job postings are listed there. You can also look for photography groups. Some of the photographers might need models for upcoming projects
Learn 5 Ways to Get Modeling Jobs
If you really want to learn 5 great ways to get modeling jobs you want to watch this video: https://howtoactandmodel.com/book-modeling-jobs
Not Reading/Watching This on YouTube?
If you aren’t reading/watching this on YouTube, you should subscribe to my free Acting and Modeling Quick Tips Channel You will find nearly 250 incredibly helpful quick tip videos on the channel. Click the notification bell, so you will told when I upload a new video.
Any Suggestions on How You Book Modeling Jobs?
If you have booked any modeling jobs on your own, please share the information here so we all can learn from you as well.
Share This Information With Others
My whole purpose in giving you this information is to create a large
community of actors and models helping each other.
Share this link: How to Get Modeling Jobs
throughout your social media platforms so we can
continue to build an acting and modeling family
who truly want to share and help others have success.
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