Can a modeling agency tell just from a snap shot if I have what it takes to be a model?
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- eAnswers...Feb 8, 2013
First the YES part. Reviewing snapshots of potential models is a normal screening practice used by modeling agencies. You send them a couple of snapshots of yourself, usually a head-and-shoulder shot and a full-length body shot in a bathing suit or tight clothes. Some say they can tell from these snapshots whether you have what it takes for modeling. You should send good, clear, properly exposed, properly composed photographs in which you are properly positioned. They can use these photos as a screening tool. This means that if there is an opening for someone with your look, the agency will be interested in meeting with you in person to see if, in fact, you look like your picture. This does not necessarily mean that you have or do not have what it takes to be a model. It just gets you an interview and maybe on to a test shoot. Now the NO part. Most would-be models send bad pictures, or they may look great but they don't meet the agency's needs at that moment, or the agent guessed wrong. Modeling agencies say, "Don't spend money on getting photos taken; a Polaroid by your friend is just fine." But when they talk about sending in a simple snapshot, what they are really looking for is at least an advanced amateur level of photography or a would-be professional photographer level. Having taught photography for a number of years, I know that most beginners have problems with exposure, focus, and composition, let alone knowing how to position models for their best look. You may not want to trust your career to your best friend's ability as a photographer unless they meet the advanced amateur criteria. You should try sending your photos to several modeling agencies to see if they are interested in you. One agency may be full of blue-eyed blondes while another may have none and be in need of one. It can be as simple as being in the right place at the right time. For example, one agency or photographer may tell a would-be model that he or she doesn't have what it takes; that wannabe model then goes to another agency and becomes a star model. I remember photographing a young 14-year-old whom I thought just didn't have the classic beauty look and told her I doubted if she would accomplish much in this field. Fortunately, she did not listen to me. She started working out, kept up her modeling and beauty work, switched over to the pageant side of things, and became Miss Oregon. The initial snapshot, interview, and test shot are just screening processes to find those who would have an easier time in modeling. A special few may still find some measure of success in modeling by hard work and developing special talents. They may not become superstars but they can find enjoyment and financial rewards pursuing a modeling career.
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