More about modelling agencies

What is a modelling agency?

A modelling agency is a business that represents models. Modelling agencies can help you find work, negotiate a fee, and look over the details of a contract to make sure you're getting the best deal. They take a commission on any fees they negotiate for jobs successfully booked.

Modelling agency photos
Modelling agency photos
How do modelling agencies work?

Modelling agencies make money by charging a commission on the fees they negotiate on behalf of their clients. Commission can vary from agent to agent, but is typically around 20%.

Who are the best modelling agencies?

The short answer is, whatever is right for you! Think about what kind of modelling you may be suitable for, and look for agencies that focus on that area. Most agencies will describe what they specialise in on their website, so do your research.

A good model agency will:
  • Help you find work as a model.
  • Submit you for auditions.
  • Help you make casting choices.
  • Stick up for you and support you.
  • Advise you on what photos to include in your model portfolio.
  • Help you meet people in the modelling industry.
  • Assist with organising contracts and signing them.
  • Protect you so you are fully informed about a casting, including how to look and act, and anything else you need to know, such as reasonable payment for any work.
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What types of modelling agencies are there?

There are many different types of modelling and often modelling agencies will choose to specialise in one or more of these areas.

Some types of models include:
  • High fashion models
    High fashion models
    High fashion models — otherwise known as catwalk, runway, editorial or fashion models. You'll need to be tall for this! Watch our video for tips on how to walk like a runway model. Browse catwalk model jobs.
  • Fitness models
    Fitness models
    Fitness models — if you love activewear and keeping fit, this could be for you! Browse our latest model jobs.
  • Fit models
    Fit models
    Fit models — not to be confused with fitness models, these models are used by retailers to make sure their clothes fit standard sizing. Retailers need standard and plus sizes and this can be great steady paid work. Browse our latest model jobs.
  • Child models
    Child models
    Child models — confident kids of all shapes and sizes can make great models! Hear about child modelling straight from some lucky kids who were cast on StarNow in a major retail campaign. Browse children's modelling jobs.
  • Promotional models
    Promotional models
    Promotional models — sometimes referred to as Brand Ambassadors, these models are hired to promote a particular brand or product. They attend events on the brand's behalf and interact with people. If you're outgoing and love people this type of modelling could be a good option for you. Browse promotional model jobs.
  • Commercial and Catalogue models
    Commercial and Catalogue models
    Commercial and Catalogue models — commercial and catalogue models don't always need to fit the strict height and shape requirements of high fashion models. A huge range of looks and ages can be suitable for commercial modelling. As a commercial or catalogue model, you could find yourself working in a TV commercial, a print campaign, a stock photo shoot and more! Hear hot tips in this video interview with a commercial model. Browse our latest model jobs.
  • Curve or Plus Size models
    Curve or Plus Size models
    Curve or Plus Size models — curve, or plus size models, are very popular in today's industry. Hear from some real people who got started in Curve modelling. Browse our latest model jobs.
  • Body part models
    Body part models (eg. hair, hand)
    Body part models (eg. hair, hand) — to specialise in hair or hand modelling, be sure to take great care of these areas! Tidy, well cared for nails, and hair in top condition is a must. Browse our latest model jobs.
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Get signed by a modelling agency

How do I get signed to a modelling agency?

There are many different ways to get in contact with model agencies near you. Often agencies will hold open casting calls where anyone who is interested in becoming a model can attend. Hear from a Head Booker at top model agency Vivien's about what they look for when signing a new model.

Every year StarNow, in partnership with major international modelling agencies, hold a worldwide Global Model Search to find fresh faces. This is always a great opportunity to get your face in front of an agency, so keep an eye out and apply – it's a must for any aspiring model.

One of the best ways to get signed to an agency is to check out our latest agency casting calls for models. This way you'll know the agencies you're applying to are actively looking for models to put on their books, so you're more likely to get signed.

Modelling agency photo shoot
How do I know if a model agency is genuine?

It's important to research a model agency thoroughly before meeting with them. Search for them on Google, check out their website and their social media channels. See what models they have on their books and the type of work they get.

Trust your instincts, if something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't. Be wary of anyone who claims they will make you a star overnight, or who asks you to pay a fee. Find out more about common scams, and how to avoid them.

Many model agencies will ask you to attend an open call. Always make sure to:
  • Check exactly what is required of you before attending the open call.
  • Check the location of the open call. If it's in a hotel or bar, or at someone's house, that should raise some red flags.
  • Take a friend, parent or colleague with you to the open call.
  • Don't be afraid to say 'no' to anything that you aren't comfortable doing.
  • Always read contracts carefully before signing them.

Check out these online audition and safety tips to help keep yourself safe.

What kind of photos do I need to get started?

If you're starting out as a model, good quality photos are a must, but they don't necessarily have to be taken by a professional photographer as long as you can be clearly seen.

  • A nice clear close-up of your face. Wear little or no makeup.
  • A long, full body shot. Dress in simple, plain, close-fitting clothes like skinny jeans and a t-shirt.
  • Your photos don't need to be professional. As long as they are nice and clear, make sure they're in focus and use natural light if possible.
Modelling photo examples
Modelling photo examples
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London modelling agencies
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About StarNow

StarNow is the leading auditions and jobs website for actors, extras, models, dancers, photographers, crew, stylists, and musicians.

StarNow was launched in 2004 in the UK. After watching an actress friend struggle to find work, the founders decided to create a site to connect talent with casting professionals. Since then, StarNow has grown to over 4 million members worldwide and works with some of the industry's top players.

For more details, click here.