I'm New, Now What?
You just signed a modeling contract and you are ready to get to work. Your agent understands that, and will submit you for jobs that you are qualified for. Modeling is a competitive industry and success doesn't always happen overnight. It is important to be patient and determined while waiting. Just because you're listed with an agency does not automatically mean you will be booked. Becoming a working model is more than being photogenic and in camera-ready shape. There can be overwhelming scrutiny from clients, measurements or requirements that must be met, experience that may be needed, a height or size requirement, or they simply may need a certain hair color, and no matter what you do- they're not going to book you for that casting. Do not take this process personally. Understand the nature of the industry, it's not about rejecting you, it's about what is needed for a certain job and the many factors involved in booking talent.
While waiting for your first booking take this time to hone your skills. We have posted several articles here on just how to do that, so take a look around. Also, take this time to work on developing your portfolio. In smaller markets, clients may not want to take a risk on new talent. What does this mean for you? It means it's time to practice, work on your skills, and grow a portfolio that shows your range and let's you stand out from the competition. Remember to keep your agent updated regularly with new photography. What is the point of new work if you're agency hasn't seen it? If this is you, now is the time to email your updates here (firstname.lastname@example.org). Don't just submit photos once to your agency- it's not a one and done. Test with photographers and build a solid portfolio. Demonstrate to your agent that you hustle by taking this opportunity seriously, which boosts their confidence when submitting you for jobs.
Being new to an agency is also a testing ground. It is tough for an agent to trust a model they have never booked out. They do not know your work ethic, if you are reliable, or if you will show. Demonstrate initially to your agency that you are trustworthy and reliable. If you handle things well from the start, it greatly improves your chances of success. When you receive word from your agent, reply in a timely manner. Jobs can often be cast in a matter of hours- if you haven't replied to your agent- then you're not being submitted for that job. If you change your phone number or email- you need to let your agency know immediately. Even if you have specifically been requested for a job, your response time is everything- you can lose out on a job you otherwise would have landed.
Remember modeling is a business first and foremost. Treat it as such and approach it seriously as you would any other job. Maintain professionalism, understand it's highly competitive- many models vying for the same pool of jobs, and try not to take rejection personally. Embrace the realities of this business and be persistent. Again, its not a one and done thing. It's a job, work at it, and work to get noticed.