Becoming a model scout for a reputable agency takes time, hard work and connections. There is no short cut to "getting there" - the scouting business takes such a trained eye that experience is necessary. Stay clear of scams and sites that promise a booming model scouting business for fees, as well.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Digital camera
- Agency business card or pay stub
Collection information about the modelling world. Avoid websites, books and courses on model scouting. Most of these tout outdated information that will do little to build your credibility in the modelling industry. The end result is lost money and lots of frustration.
Contact reputable leading model agencies and ask about work or internship opportunities. If they don't have anything available, set up a time with a booker or scout for an informational interview. At the very least, this sets up a relationship with someone who is actually in the business, and you learn something from your time.
If there are jobs or internships available, apply. Make sure that your resume has organizational and managerial skills. Theatre and customer service experience is also good. Emphasise a hard-working, humble attitude. Show up to the interview well-dressed, sophisticated and stylish.
Work your way up. Perform tirelessly, be punctual and be trustworthy. Modelling agencies often have high turnover and can be stressful. If you have the patience and level-headedness to pull through, then you have a future in the business.
While working, study the ins and outs of the fashion world. Just as clothing goes out of style, so do looks and models. Get to know what's hot and what's not
Go out and start looking at faces that fit the fashion. You're not actually going to formally "scout" anyone. Be honest and say that you're working at an agency and keeping an eye out for fresh faces. To prove you are who you say you are, keep a pay stub or business card on you. Be sure to get contact information. It also helps to take a picture of the prospective model with a digital camera or camera phone.
When back to the agency, inquire about scouting opportunities. Ask what the commission is for a successful contract signing and mention that there are already a few good prospects lined up - would a booker or agent like to see them? Show the pictures to back you up. At this point, absolutely don't turn over contact information to another scout because they could take your prospective booking, along with the commission. If they're interested, they'll extend a scouting agreement to you. If not, you'll know right away, and it may be best to play it cool and wait for another opportunity with another face.
After signing the contract, leave the rest to the prospective model and agent. Contractually, the agency must now compensate you for finding talent. You're now a model scout, although it will take a few more successes to make a solid reputation.
Tips and warnings
- Another way to become a scout is through modelling. Some past models become scouts after they've retired from actively working. If your looks are suitable, try this avenue.
- Scouting takes patience and persistence. It could take several years to get a break or to be taken seriously. Be ready to work hard towards the end goal.
- Don't ever talk about money when speaking to your prospective model. This is the mark of a scammer, and cash isn't even part of a scout's life till the agency has her signed and working.
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