Friday, November 11, 2011

Ask Joey: Contracts

Most model management contracts are the same. Notice I say 'management' because most agencies are management companies. All top agencies, if they like you will have you sign an exclusive 2-3 year contract. This means you will only be handled by them. Most contracts have a 90 Day Renewal Clause for an additional 2-3 years. Make sure the clause is mutual.

Some models work freelance that means they get work from different agencies (management companies). There are models out there that claim they prefer this, but to be honest they are not the top models - all top models or the big money makers have exclusive contracts. Being freelance is good when you are starting out, as this is a great way to network and find out which agencies you really want to work for. But you should not be doing this for too long. If no one wants to sign you then maybe you need to rethink this career.  

I just got offered a two-year exclusive contract for print with a well-known talent agency in the L.A. area, but I don't see an "escape clause" in the contract -- any way for me to get out and move on if things don't work out (in other words if I don't get work through the agency)? Do you think this is standard, or should there be a way for me and the agency to find a way out of our arrangement if we end up not making money together?

In the same contract, clients agree to pay costs and expenses that the agency may incur in connection with reproductions, portfolios, marketing, etc. that they may do on my behalf. The problem is it doesn't appear that I need to pre-approve the expenses. This sounds like a bit of a blank check to me . Is this normal? I get a really good feeling from the people at the agency. Still, I have to wonder whether these are standard practices or whether they can be, or should be, negotiable? Any advice?

First of all, congratulations on your signing! You do not need an escape clause, there are none until your two or three years are up. Know that an agent does not sign a model to have him not work. They sign you to make money. If they made a mistake they will drop you or you will ask to be let go, which they will oblige. An agent does not want to rep a model who is not working and therefore unhappy.
All of what you are asking is normal in a standard modeling contract. Give it a shot, ask to approve all expenses, if it would make you feel better. You are in a good place – Good Luck!
It would be lovely if you could check out my portfolio, I would be grateful.

You do not have much of a portfolio as you only have 4 photos in there. You need to find yourself a photographer to work with and build up your book. Know you do not look like a fashion model so gear your photo shoots to be more commercial.

I would like advice on Modeling from an experienced model like yourself.

The first step is getting yourself a portfolio. That means working with a ton of different photographers. That is exactly what you need to do. You have a commercial look and a long way to go, so start networking with some photographers, makeup artists and stylists on MWN.
I am interested in doing Print modeling. However, I have acne on the left side of my face. I feel that my chances of obtaining print work are slim because of this. Please take a look at my profile picture and tell me if you think my chances are slim. Should I just focus on acting instead?
I have tried everything to get rid of it but it will not go away.

Your acne doesn’t show in the picture I am looking at, but you only have one. If you serious about being a model then you need to have more photos taken and you need to see a dermatologist– there are remedies out there. Start finding some photographers who can take some great commercial photos for you.

I would love to get some direction, as to what my portfolio needs and which area I should focus on. I would like to do glamour modeling however I have tattoos and that seems to hinder the process. I would also like to get into high end fashion, or any other print modeling. Any advice you can provide me would be greatly appreciated. Currently I have been having trouble getting picked up by an agent. Do you have any advice for me?

You need to forget about high fashion! You are only 5’0”. I would also never advise someone to get into glamour modeling. Start taking pictures with your clothes on and don’t show the tattoos. You need to find a commercial television agent with a print division – so start studying acting.

In the meantime,

Have a successful day!


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