AVOID REJECTION!!! How to become a Model #3…Emailing The Agency Your Pics

How is this even worthy of a post? I hear you ask. What possible need for help could a person have to send a simple email?…


Agencies get hundreds of emails every week from hopefuls, and, frankly, some of them are jaw droppingly bad. Firstly, the shocking amount of sexy/nude pictures that get sent to agencies that represent fashion models is unbelievable. They want to see your bone structure, not your fouf. And most bookers are gay men and hetero females, so it’s not going to curry any favour.

Then there are the people who do not fit one single criteria for modelling. I don’t mean whether or not they are pretty – I’ve already said that being beautiful doesn’t come into it: most models have an original and even alien face. Some models are under 5”9, but we’re talking 5”7 at a push. If you’re barely touching 5 feet, this isn’t the industry for you (remember Kylie is knee-high to a gnat’s arse, as is Tom Cruise, so there could be a career in Hollywood or popdom for you!)

Short-Tom-Cruise--68363Awwwww, just look at him

The choice of outfit and make up that girls go for their pictures can work against them. Poorly applied black eyeliner, gelled, tight, Croydon facelift pony tails or Van Der Graaf Generator boufs won’t get a bookers attention in the right way. Red lipstick all over the lip line and dry looking powder look terrible.

Unless you’re Robert Smith.

robertsmithOnly Robert Smith can do dragged-through-a-hedge hair, unearthly pale skin and badly applied lipstick.

Lastly, it’s the poses. Everyone looks good from the Myspace Angle ©, i.e. dramatically overhead so your eyes look like a Manga comic’s. But you’re fooling no one: this is about an honest representation of your face, and if the booker can’t see what you really look like, your mail will go straight to trash.

MspaceyThe Myspace Angle isn’t gonna get you signed.

I don’t want to make anyone feel bad here with all this criticism – but it’s worth knowing what not to do before I help you with what to do!

Emailing your pictures to an agency this is probably the kindest method. It’s not face-to-face, so there’s no cost involved in travelling to London. That also means that, if you’re rejected, you don’t have to pretend to smile and not care – there’s less pressure all round.

Here are my step-by-step tips for taking successful to send to an agency…Or indeed, to taking a good selfie…

1) Choose your Agency

They’ve got to be on the AMA! Otherwise they’re rubbish and you won’t get paid – or any decent jobs, nor will you be protected by law.

2) Choose your Outfit

I see every day as fancy dress day. But not when I’m modelling. My booker at Select when I was younger, Sarah Leon, despaired of my ‘suburban grunge’ look (fleeces, baggy jeans, a trillion bangles up each arm) and took me into ‘The Room’ (every agency has ‘The Room’ – in which they lead you and tell you scary things, like ‘you’re dropped’, ‘you need to lose weight’, ‘let’s get you a new look and shave your hair off’ etc). On this occasion in ‘The Room’ she told me to start looking at what I wore to castings as my ‘school uniform’, and when I wasn’t modelling I could wear anything I liked. That worked for me, as I didn’t feel like I was losing my image or identity (even though I really needed to lose those fleeces).

So, if you feel proud of your clothes and see them as your identity, don’t feel as though you’re casting them to the side with your character. See it as like a school or work uniform – you’re just being professional.

agency polasI feel boring in this outfit, but you gotta do what you gotta do!

I recommend, for your pictures, a plain vest top (this shows your arms and décolletage) and underneath, wear a normal, not-too-padded t-shirt bra. Even though magazines are full of celebs hoiking their bosoms around their chins, it’s less about the cleavage in modelling. Team this with a pair of skinny jeans, which will help show the shape of your legs. You can team it with a pair of Converse or, if you want, a pair of heels (but nothing too crazy, just a little bit to give you some height). Above shows me in my ‘Polaroid Look’ which is nothing like my usual ‘Bag Lady Look’ that makes my bookers despair…

I MUCH prefer looking like this….

3) Choose your Location

Don’t stand in the kitchen next to the cat litter tray. Don’t stand in front of the bathroom mirror so you can see a reflection of your Grandma’s pained expression as she tries to figure out how a digital camera looks.

Choose a nice, plain (white if possible) wall to stand against. If there is an absence of well-lit, plain walls, choose a garden up against the wall. And if you don’t have a garden? Go to a nearby park (you’ll have to get used to posing in public!) and find an area with a plain background.

4) Natural Lighting

Once you’ve found your spot, see where the light comes in and when it’s best. You want a lot of light, so that your skin isn’t too shadowy – but not so much that you’re blinded. Natural light is honest, whereas flash can be too flattering and dishonest – the bookers want to see the quality and tone of your skin, and colour of your eyes.

agencypola2Polaroids in my agency are always with natural light

5) Choose your Photographer

Choose someone who’s going to be calm and patient. This would be my mental rundown of those I could pick:

Mum: Will get stressed out by the camera and give up within two minutes, after taking lots of blurry shots as she moves the camera and says ‘I don’t think it’s working’.
Dad: I love my dad, but he takes so long choosing an angle he takes pictures of bored, double chinned, blinking people.
My brother, Andrew: would laugh at me for ‘being a poser’ and tell me to copy catalogue poses like this.

twosomeThis actually looks a bit like my boyfriend and me.

I would get stressed and start crying, ruining my natural make up.
My best friend, Vicky: A serious contender, she wouldn’t make me feel self-conscious. However, I fear we’d talk too much and forget the task at hand…
My boyfriend, Theo:
Understands good lighting. Can work a camera. Won’t laugh at my posing because me earning money means he gets fed nice food.

His granny taking this pic sort of ruined the vibe he was going for here…

If I had to send my pictures in, I’d choose Theo, because he understands what takes a good photo – and I’d feel comfortable, which would show in the pics.

6) Natural make up

A tiny bit of light powder (I recommend Pixi, as it’s talc free and super-light), a curl of your eyelashes and a bit of lip balm on your lips is all that’s needed. If you feel self-conscious, don’t. Everyone looks more beautiful natural, and if you want to be a model, you’ll have to get use to it.

pixiPixi powder is the BEST bar none!

7) How to Pose for Polaroids

The bookers want to see your shape and look. Don’t worry about doing mad poses at this point – that comes later!

Pose 1: Stand completely straight

Pose 2: Stand completely straight, sideways on (both sides)

Pose 3: A close up, front on

Pose 4: A close up, side on

Pose 5: A close up, side on but looking to camera

Pose 6: a smile – if you feel comfortable!

Some agencies have a form to fill out where you just add your contact details and photos, whereas others you can email. If you’re able to put in some text, make sure you write a friendly little intro to yourself. Say hello, tell them your name, age and measurements, but add something to make it memorably – what is a notable hobby of yours, what interests you? Get your lovely personality through into your email to them.

Remember – a good model doesn’t just have lovely bone structure, she’ll have oodles of personality, too. Bookers are always looking out for a gem like that! Good luck!

Rebecca x

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