Tips for Submitting Photos to Modeling Agencies

Tips for Submitting Photos to Modeling Agencies

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SDS has received a number of submissions over the last view weeks, which we are beyond excited about. However, we’ve noticed a few bad habits of our submitters. To help you gals (and guys) out, SDS has put together a list of do’s and dont’s for submitting to a modeling agency. See the breakdowns for form information, photos, and understanding follow-ups below.

1.  Fill out all the information accurately

Tip number 1, while maybe obvious, is to fill out every question asked. There’s a reason an agency is asking specific questions. For example, SDS asks for your social media pages to see if your overall vibe and professionalism fits our brand. Some agencies may ask for your measurements because they work with a lot of fashion designers. If you don’t know the answer, still don’t leave it blank. An agency could conclude that you don’t care, don’t follow instructions, or are ignoring their requests if a spot is left blank, and those aren’t good first impressions. It’s better to at least put some sort of answer. If you don’t know the answer, don’t have the appropriate social media, or just aren’t prepared to answer a question then try these 2 answers:

  • “N/A or n/a (Not available)” – this is a simple and quick way to let someone reading your form know that you saw the question but it doesn’t apply. For example, if you don’t have a Twitter, you can put “n/a” on the Twitter spot on the SDS form
  • “I don’t know the answer, but I will find out” –  I like this answer. It is an easy way to answer a question that you don’t know the answer to. It goes a step further to let the agency know that you are dedicated to finding the answer.

Finally, if you don’t know an answer, or you simply don’t want to answer – you may consider not submitting it. There are questions that certain agencies may ask to ensure you fit their branding approach. Some questions are strategically put in forms to ensure only people who match that brand apply.  Agencies expect a level of professionalism or even look, so if you don’t want to answer a question it may be because you don’t match their requirements.

2. Photos – Be smart here

Whether it’s the Snapchat filters or the inappropriate submissions, photos are the hardest part for SDS to comb through. Here are some general guidelines for submitting photos to a modeling agency

  • Snapchat filters – let’s tackle this one first. Do not, and for those in the back, DO NOT submit photos with filters, color overlays, or overly processed photos. The reason modeling agencies ask for photos is because they want to see you. Filters are not an accurate representation of you (no matter how cute the floating birds are.) Simply put, SDS will not consider an applicant who uses a filter.
  • Variation – Include as many shots with as many poses, or views, as possible. Don’t include photos of just your face, unless of course, it’s for a face only gig. Agencies need to see what you look like and if that makes you uncomfortable, maybe reconsider modeling. That may sound harsh, but in modeling, you are judged constantly and if you can’t simply submit a natural photo online where you won’t receive face to face judgment, well, maybe modeling isn’t for you. No one is saying it’s easy, but SDS wants to see variations in photos. Every follow up is an investment and time, so we need to know what we are investing in before we follow up. You wouldn’t buy an outfit without trying it on first, would you? Model submissions are the same – agencies need to see if you match our style, branding, and whether or not we can place you on assignment.
  • Nudes – Simply put, you should never be asked to submit nudes. It shouldn’t be a requirement unless it is in the “Adult” industry. Also, you don’t submit nudes either. SDS has not and will not ask for nudes. If the only photos you have are artistic nudes – be sure they are tasteful and right for the brand you are applying for. Nude selfies, selfies flashing a camera, and other sexually explicit photos are not acceptable photos to submit.  Selfies in your underwear, while not sexually explicit,  does not count as professional lingerie shots and lack the professionalism required by most agencies. If an agency accepts this sort of photo – ask yourself why.
  • Selfies – Selfies are generally a bad photo to submit. If you lack any professional photos – at least have a friend hold the phone/camera and take a normal straight-on photo of you. Selfie angles are not flattering and do not give agencies a good idea of what you look like.
  • Full body shots – Don’t submit only face photos. This is similar to the variation mentioned above, but it worth mentioning twice. SDS gets a lot of submissions that are just a face shot. Agencies may feel that you are trying to deceive them, or lie to them if you don’t include body shots. Modeling, for the most part, is a full body activity. If you are a larger person and trying to mask that by not submitting full body shots, then you are wasting yours and the agency’s time. Large people CAN be models, however, the opportunities are different, and for SDS, fewer. Part of modeling is knowing where you fit in in the modeling world – are you a fit/active female great for fashion, apparel, or fitness? Maybe you’re a mom great for family roles or appealing to an average female audience? Maybe you’re overweight or + size and are trying to make a statement or want to do + size modeling. Whatever your role is – an agency needs to know whether or not they can place you. If you are too uncomfortable to submit a photo showing who you are – an agency will have a hard time knowing if placing you.

3. Follow-ups. Not all agencies will follow up all the time.

Part of applying is understanding that you may never hear back. SDS for example in one day could get 20 applicants, and sometimes we can’t follow up with everyone. SDS may only have time to follow up with those we know we can place or that fits our brand. If an agency doesn’t follow up, it doesn’t mean its because of you. While SDS tries to follow up with everyone – sometimes we don’t have time to get to you.

However, sometimes an agency won’t follow up for reasons other than time. For example, if you don’t follow directions in submitting the form, don’t include variation, don’t include all the information, and if an agency feels you don’t match their level of professionalism or brand.

If an agency doesn’t follow up, no matter the reason, don’t feel discouraged!

I hope that you can take these tips, apply them, and find success Good luck!

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