- 12 Dec 2021
Mai, you look photogenic today. Have you considered career modeling products in print? If you can assemble a portfolio of high-quality photos and have the stamina to become a model, you can make great (and flashy) appearances in newspapers, magazines, catalogs, and more.
The commercial print industry is constantly looking for talent – both actors and models – to grace the covers and pages of publications advertising goods and services. Unlike fashion or runway modeling, print does not adhere to a strict set of material requirements. Instead, agencies and brands are looking for just the right look. Depending on your appearance, special skills, and commitment and perseverance, you could have achieved that look.
Cheyenne Brink is a print agent at Bella Agency, a boutique Los Angeles-based modeling agency that sends its roster of models to the "casting director to provide the best options for their clients." These include Walgreens and Walmart, Brink says, the types of large companies that regularly need new faces to advertise their products. "We are also in the realm of hospitality, hotels, resorts, casinos and cruise lines."
To sign with Bella, interested models can contact via the company's website or by phone. But unlike other agencies, Brink points out, their job is not to develop or groom talent; When submitting yourself, the models should be ready in advance. “Having the best image for me is the biggest factor. I am most impressed when someone is most prepared, when they are asking questions in a meeting versus sitting there staring at me. ,
A print model's first priority should be photographs.
Joe Thompson, fashion and commercial print agent for Abrams Artists Agency, underscores the importance of a "really strong, accurate headshot." Especially for actors getting into modeling, he says, the first shot that captures your look and your personality is the place to start. "I recommend just getting a good headshot, as clients don't necessarily open every portfolio."
"It's a good idea to keep your photos in some kind of Dropbox or online portfolio," says Brink. "And it's important to have different types of images, different types of looks." If you're hoping to model athletic products and can play specific sports, fill your portfolio with shots of you playing those sports. "There's a big health and fitness scene here in LA, a lot of lifestyles, so the images should be geared toward that."
For any photo in a model's repertoire, Thompson says, "A good shot is going to best capture you in a natural state. There are many photos we see that pose extremely well." Other submissions are out of focus or blurry, he says, or lack a direct, intentional connection to the person's eyes. Photos of amateur models look like they're "not attached to anything — like someone said, 'Wait, don't move,' and took the picture. Conversely, the person is looking straight at you."
Both agents agree that aspiring print models should do as much research as they can, find out which magazine and newspaper ads capture their attention, and ask themselves where they might fit in. "You have to know the market," Brinks advises. "Are you in the right market, presenting yourself for the right stuff? How would a company visualize you in their ads?"
Once you understand which brands or genres might best suit your talents, it's time to use Backstage as a career-launching resource. Read up on advice from industry professionals, find hiring agencies in Backstage's call sheet, browse our casting listings for modeling, and find a variety of jobs by searching and saving searches.
One Last Pro Tip:
Network via Instagram. "Instagram is such a big factor now," Brink says. "It's an extension of your portfolio." Models are still using the app to meet new and emerging photographers. “It might be good for them to start together. Nobody has to pay anything, [so it's] beneficial for both parties. Just keep taking photos and meeting people and taking feedback."