Want to succeed in modelling? knowing a few good agencies might help but first you need to know how the industry works. This is my first blog post where I break away from just sharing photos to offer assistance and insights with the knowledge I have acquired over the years in the industry as a photographer.
Modelling agencies are companies that represent models and find work for them. For every work that a model gets through the agency, a certain commission is deducted usually not less than 15%. The industry however, is a wash with phony agencies and GWC (just a guy with a camera) which has frustrated many models as it mostly turns out to be just pure exploitation or something that never goes beyond exciting your peers, social media validation, and give your conservative aunt a reason to throw fireballs at you :).
So how can one succeed as a model in Kenya?
The first and most Important thing is getting very good photos done by a skilled photographer like me :). Approach Modelling agencies, photographers, create profiles in websites like modelisto, modelmayhem etc.. with proper branding,continuous learning, a killer portfolio and deep passion success will be within reach. Kenyan Modelling Industry is fast becoming a career option as there are many opportunities in TV, billboards, magazine features, fashion and catalogues,runways,product demos and PR/sales events etc. Its advisable that you specialize in those that favour your ability i.e. If you have height/petite physique fashion Modelling would be your best bet. If you have a “generic” yes i just used the word to define a person..as in your looks are hard to pin to a region/tribe/race/religion have an natural beautiful smile etc you are best suited in commercial modelling either electronic or print..etc. it doesn’t mean though that my suggestion are a rule they are just rough guides.
Another good way of getting jobs is networking with Professionals(going by the caliber of their work) high on the list are photographers, Other models (who can alert you when their is a casting/audition). fashion stylist/bloggers, advertising agencies and just generally just having good relation with people.
Who hires models?
For most big Gigs models are hired by advertising agencies through modelling or casting agencies. But you can also get hired by Photographers who headhunt for their clients..like I did Here or here Where I suggest models for my clients or send them portfolios of several models for them to make a choice.
Here are Modelling agencies in Kenya that i can recommend
There are many but I only listed four that have had good reviews from people I know and the ones I know for certain.
City Models Africa :This was started by Kenyan Super model Ajuma in conjuction with City model Paris with the aim ooof managing and naturing kenyan talent
Mochez modelling agency : Mochez is owned and mananged by Dorothy oliech who has had aa successful career before opening up the agency
surazuri models:Surazuri is one of the oldest founded in 1987 by Kenyan model, Lyndsey McIntyre, after her involvement with Miss Kenya pageant Khadija Adam that led to Khadija’s international discovery. The agency has helped models like Tess Njuhi, Eva Ndachi and most notably, Ajuma Nasanyana.
Imanady models located in Hazina house Imandy Models is also a notable modeling and casting agency
Modelling Terms and lingo
MUA: means Make up artist
TFP: Means no one is getting paid either the photographer want to shoot a project and instead of paying the model he gives her the photos to use in her portfolio and vice verser.
Model Release Form: This is a document, usually one page, that lists the conditions agreed to between the model and the photographer.
Casting Agency: This type of agency is responsible for contacting the agent with potential auditions, gigs and bookings for their models. Casting agencies do not represent models or talent, nor do they deal with modeling contracts, although many do allow models and actors to upload their photos and resume onto their database/website in order to notify them of upcoming projects. Casting agencies do not charge commission fees, although they may charge a small monthly fee to have your profile on in their database and/or website.
Open Casting Calls: this reffers to casting on specific days and times out of the week where you can just walk in without an appointment and get auditioned. but its always good to check first if there are any requirements that may lock you out
Tear Sheet: A tear sheet is a page torn out of the publication in a print you appeared in. Its also a good thing to have in your portfolio if you have its good proof of the work you`ve done. like in some of my blogpost you`ll see scanned tearsheets on my published images.
GWC: This is an acronym for Guy with A Camera and most likely a bit of other gear but label themselves photographer though they have no sound techinical knoowledge or experience.
Implied Nudity: this means you can guess the model is nude but can`t see any private areas
Glamour Modeling: This is the type of modelling where the model is not showcasing/advertising anything but herself either skimpily dressed, in implied nudity, partial or full nudity).
Comp Card : It is the model’s calling card, which is used by agencies to pass around their models to potential clients. usually bears the model’s headshot, name, measurements, complextion,eye color etc and a selection of her best photos that showcases her.
Buyout: This is a pay that ussual happens before or even after the shoots where the clients buys exclusive limitless rights and can use the images which everway they like without making any other payments in future
Lookbook : This reffers to photos resembling a catalogue that used to market/showcase a product.
Camera-Ready: Whenever a model is told to arrive “camera-ready,” this means they come to the set ready with make up and wardrobe set.
- Willy paul`s new photos
- Glamour shoot: adore