You want to model and become a model in one of the top agencies? In the new interview we talk with model agent Stephan M. Czaja we talk about the expectations of a model agent and any good model agency to you as a new face model. Today we take you behind the scenes of a model agency. Stephan’s agency is one of the best addresses and was voted one of the 10 best in Germany by Bravo and Bravo GIRL! just a few days ago! Check out the second part, where we talk about model scouts and model building.
Modeling with agencies: How to build your modeling career
FIV: What are the advantages of a model agency for young models?
Germany - Spain - USA
The most important department in every model agency are scouting and booking. That is, the main task of model agencies is a good, high-caliber network of photographers, magazines, model scouts and customers, but also, the constant discovery of new faces. For me, every morning starts in the café or in the office. Next to me, the first cappuccino is already on the table. I check all email accounts and sort out information from the day before and new requests. My job is model management. As a model agent I communicate with clients, negotiate conditions and contracts or plan trips for models. After a long time I know every model very well. I have spent a long time with many of them and have accompanied them from the first casting to model coaching, first test shootings, jobs and the first campaigns. To see how models grow over the months and years with our help, that’s what makes the job so fascinating for me!
Your model agency is the most valuable partner for you as a model, even on the very first day. With their mix of personal, sometimes exclusive contacts, the top-class network and their own model selection, agencies are the intersection between advertisers and models. So if you as a new model are represented by an established agency, the chances are high that you can get a big job right from the start. Because many employees in advertising agencies, production companies or photographers, always look at the agency site and inform themselves about new models.
Inquiry, casting and contracts: Model agents take over the management
FIV: How does a booking request work?
Many model requests come through the personal contacts of the agency, which have grown over years of trustful work. These customers often call your model agent directly and ask for proposals for productions. Many requests, especially from new clients who have become aware of the agency, but also come through the agency site on the Internet. No matter if personal contacts or agency website, most requests come to the office via email.
Emails are still the best means of communication today. As a model, you will also write many emails. Here, a lot of information can be collected and sorted. Therefore, customers also send their requests, almost exclusively directly via e-mail. Here you can place all information very clearly. Be it details like location and date but also more complex attachments like dispositions as PDFs, flight bookings and tickets but also photos and videos are quickly available.
When a booking request arrives, it usually contains the framework data of the photo shoot or the advertising shots. But it also contains the concrete (or less concrete) ideas of the model. The statements are quite different. Some customers have exact ideas of their model, but many only give broad information, such as body size, clothing size and skin and hair color.
Model agents structure your requests and career plans
FIV: What else do you have to consider as a model agent when placing young models?
Model agents and agencies use their experience to filter the good jobs from the less lucrative ones. That is, they calculate whether the amount of the fee is appropriate in relation to the media output (the use afterwards) of the shooting or advertising shoot. Is the job worth it for you? Are buyouts (usage rights) taken into account? Is the client in line with your career plan? Is the type of shoot helpful to you and your portfolio? After all these initial considerations, the shooting information is neatly summarized. The booker then makes the selection on his own and decides which model fits the job and which does not. The selected models now get the request.
If the conditions of the job are not right in advance, your model agent will always first contact the client to negotiate the fee. Many models think of jobs only in terms of working hours. But it is much more! In reality, you are advertising with your face for 360 days in a one-year campaign. Every single day, you represent the brand with your appearance. That’s why agents don’t only think about the single working day, but also about rights of use!
Internal competition in model agencies
FIV: What are the selection criteria for New Faces and experienced models?
The selection criteria for jobs differ between new faces and professional models. While New Faces are also sometimes mediated for “relatively” smaller jobs, only large jobs come into question for professional models. The experienced model has the absolute advantage that he or she gets bookings solely through the meaningful photo material in the book, through proven talent and experience. So customers ask directly for this one model (direct booking), not just a selection.
They respond very quickly to emails and provide images immediately upon request. If the agency needs spontaneous photos for a request, for example of the hands, for a new beauty campaign, then they immediately make a few snapshots. Answers come immediately and without many queries. Some of the professionalism you need to bring right from day one! This is who you need to be: Straightforward, fast and always available. Why? This increases your chances of getting a job!
Model agents, agencies and their clients have a huge choice at New Faces. When your model agent gets a request from a client, he feels the same way you do: the faster he answers and makes his suggestions, the higher the chance that the client will make a positive decision. If someone from an advertising agency or a photographer, is assigned with the search, he already makes his thoughts about the production during the search. If a model agency sends early proposals, producer already makes his thoughts. If he finds a model particularly great, he already plans with the face. If proposals from other model agencies come in the next day, the chances are high that the client, after all the thoughts, will decide directly for you. Speed is everything!
The same goes for you. As already mentioned, there is a lot of choice, especially with New Faces, for clients and agencies. New models are coming in all the time. Every year there is a new generation. So if your model agent asks for fifteen models for a job and ten respond within the first hour, the proposals go out to the client. But if you leave it until the next day, it’s very likely that your portfolio won’t be considered.
This reduces your chances of getting a good job! Therefore, you should always set the most important communication channels on your mobile phone. This includes an email address but also social networks and services like WhatsApp or Facebook. Since you always have your mobile phone with you, you are always informed about the latest news from your agency! Even if you won’t get a new request every hour, it’s still worth checking your phone regularly to see if there’s a new request from your modeling agency. That way you can react quickly and get the best options.
Also your model agency honors it very much if you always report punctually and quickly to inquiries. This way you can guarantee high standards in the placement of models towards your clients. If you always take too long as an agency, the client will eventually just not get back to you. It’s the same with models. If you always take too long to respond, eventually you’ll stop getting requests and sooner or later you’ll get the notice. Especially as a new face you have a lot of competition in a model agency in the beginning. The agencies have their regular models for months or years and know them very well. As a new model you are, even after the agency acceptance, only one face among many. New models come in all the time and not all of them will stay! The model agent knows that, the model agency knows that. That’s why it’s so important for you to show the highest commitment right from the start if you want to become a model.
Model applications in agencies
Do you know how many models apply to a good agency every day? When a model agency has reached a certain level of fame and status, its name stands for first-class clients and a very good job, hundreds of model applications are received every day! Every year thousands of young girls and boys want to become models. As I said, the competitive pressure is very high!
Permanent accessibility for the agency
FIV: That means that models have to be available all the time and everywhere?
You should be available, ideally seven days a week. Because the team in the agency also work not only at regular times. Good model agencies are also occupied in the evening and on weekends, even on holidays. Because if a model spontaneously drops out or a new job comes in, you have to react quickly.
If you are going to be away for a longer period of time or on holiday, inform your agency in good time so that they know that you will not be available for a longer period of time. This way, your bookers know that they can make allowances for a few days if, for example, you can’t answer immediately. Ideally, however, you should always be available even when you are on vacation. As a model you are self-employed and therefore always responsible for your success! If you don’t stick to this and let the communication slide, it can quickly happen that someone else takes your place.
Many thanks for the detailed interview to Stephan M. Czaja, Head Booker and owner of CM Models. Here you can learn more about his model agency.
The new book by Stephan M. Czaja: Become a Model & Modeling
Model agent Stephan M. Czaja (CM Models) is very busy. Nevertheless, we were able to meet the 29-year-old for a short interview and ask him three questions! Since today his new book is available in stores: The Model Book. The 264-page book is for up-and-coming models and answers all the questions young models have, that young models have. Just in time for the new season of Germanys Next Topmodel, it now hits the book market and is available in German stores as of today. Stephan M. Czaja is a model agent and with his team he places models internationally with top clients. Among his clients are brands we all know: Prada, Tom Tailor, Calvin Klein, Dior, Peek&Cloppenburg, and many more. Not only fashion, also customers like Microsoft, Opel or Mercedes Benz have the agency in the portfolio.