South Florida has a reputation for glamour to rival that of any fashion center. Moreover, its gorgeous beaches seem to boast an endless supply of leggy beauties, many of whom would appear to be true model material. But to become a model in South Florida takes more than a pretty face and slim figure. It takes tenacity, focus, drive and determination--in short, the same qualities you would need to get into the business anywhere. That said, modeling opportunities are plentiful if you can find good representation.
Acquire clear snapshots of yourself. Irene Marie, former owner of Irene Marie Agency in Miami, cautions against spending lots of money on your images. Get a friend or relative to shoot snapshots of your face only and of your full body (clothed, of course). What is important is how you look in an image, not how much fabulous lighting the photographer has chosen. Simple is best.
Look for a modeling agency. This can get tricky, because in South Florida, as elsewhere, scads of organizations exist to take financial advantage of modeling hopefuls. If you don't know anyone on the South Florida entertainment scene to make a recommendation, visit the websites of area modeling agencies. If the website touts classes, workshops or, worse, trumpets certain photographers, go directly to the next website. Your objective is to find an agency whose business lies in procuring work for its roster of models. Auxiliary classes, products and services are a red flag for any serious model-to-be.
Send your photos to the agencies that seem reputable. Agency websites typically prominently feature an email or postal mail address for models seeking representation. The era of the "open call," during which agencies would open their doors to public walk-in, have come and gone in South Florida, states Irene Marie. To make the best impression on paper or electronically, be sure your initial letter or email is proofread, spell-checked, brief and direct.
Look for a return communication from the agency. Professional model agents are short on time and receive many new submissions each week. It may take weeks, or even months, to get a return call. In addition, you are only likely to receive a response if the agency is interested in representing you. Modeling agencies make money when their models book assignments. If an organization believes it will be able to profit from your look, you will get a call.
Put your best foot forward. If an agency is interested, it will typically set up an appointment to meet with you in person. This is not the time to experiment with wild makeup or clothing choices. You want to look fashionable, but you don't want to appear to be extreme in any way. Though modeling is known as a glamorous field, agents and clients place a premium on reliability and professionalism. Needless to say, your hair, makeup and nails should be immaculate for your first agency meeting.
Choose a Plan B. If you have waited for eight weeks or more and heard nothing from any of the agencies you contacted, keep in mind that many different types of modeling exist. The Green Agency, for example, represents commercial print models for newspaper, magazine and billboard ads, as well as catalogs. Its clients include department stores, clothing manufacturers and corporations. Commercial print models do not have to have high cheekbones or be super-thin. In fact, many clients ask specifically for a more everyday look. So try approaching a commercial agency, using the same steps you used to find a fashion agent. In addition, South Florida does have plus-size and promotional/tradeshow modeling agencies.