I get asked a lot about shooting photos for submissions to Agencies. I think there’s a lot of misinformation out there.
Talent Agencies usually require 1 or 2 photos to submit yourself for possible representation:
- If you’re an Actor, all you need is a good, professional Headshot – along with your talent, shown off in some sort of monologue or other performance.
- If you’re a model starting out, you need a good Headshot so agencies can see what you look like, and a body shot so they get a general idea of what your body type is. That’s pretty much it.
Periodically, I get asked to shoot a Portfolio or Comp card for aspiring models, and I always suggest not doing those things. Let me explain – First off, once you have an agent, they will work with you to develop a strategy to best ‘sell’ you (I’ll come back to this). Once there’s a direction, then photos should be created to fit that strategy. If you’re best option is as a lifestyle model, maybe you don’t need a book full of swimsuit pictures. I believe that your whole portfolio shouldn’t be shot by the same photographer. You should have a variety of different photographic styles that show that you can look great no matter how you’re utilized. So I suggest working with a few photographers to build your book once you and your agent have decided what kind of work you can get.
Back to selling you. Make no mistake, over time you may build a great relationship with your agent, but to get in the door, you have to have something they feel like they can ‘sell’ to potential clients. They only make money by getting you work. A reputable agent won’t try to sell you photos – they will make their money on fees from clients, not from you.