‘Agency Standard’: Odds are, if you’re not signed to an agency, you’re not agency standard…

Before the lovers’ tiff broke out, this thread had a reasonable point, or at least the beginnings of it.

Every other modeling profile seems to say ‘agency represented’ or ‘agency standard’ – we’re drowning in bullshit, which means that these terms mean less and less. Unfortunately, a lot of girls online aren’t so hot on the objectivity (or eyesight) front, and can’t reasonable assess whether they are or aren’t agency standard. So here it is.

Agency standard: of a standard that will/is/would be signed by a major and legitimate agency.

But, as always, there are issues with this. I’m going to try to help to clarify some of them.

How can I tell if I’m agency standard?
Go to an agency website (check out my list if you don’t know where to start) – are you the same build as the girls there? Do you have the same look? Do you have good skin and hair? Can you actually model? If you look like an agency model, then you’re agency standard. If you’re orange and 5’2”, you’re not – even if Dodgy-Rodger’s Agency signed you two years ago and took some pictures of you in your underwear for £280. If you are agency standard, it’s probably worth looking into getting signed if you’re not already. Basically, I don’t think you should use this term if you’re not signed. If you’re agency standard, you’re agency signed – it’s pretty much that simple.

What agencies count?
There are some agencies that will fleece you and ‘sign’ literally anybody.  Basically, if your agency has never sent you on a casting or tossed you a scrap of work, they probably don’t count.

What are agency standard and agency signed models doing online then?
Quite a few things actually:

Different genres
A model may be with a commercial or fashion agency, and want to work in genres that aren’t catered for by agencies. I know models that just book, say, art work online and all other work via their agencies.

Extra work
Online may not have the same rates, but you can book consistent work or supplement when it’s slow at the agency. I know a few models who got jittery at the beginning of the downturn and made online profiles because agency work was slowing down – a model from Elite worked the odd tutorial studio day (seriously…I’ve seen the photos), another model from Boss found out she was pretty good at the erotica stuff. Work is work at the end of the day – not many self-employed professionals are going to turn their nose at it when they’re scratching for jobs.

There are some models and photographers on sites like MM (mainly MM actually…) who have never, and will never book a paid shoot online. They’re just around for networking and shit and giggles, maybe with a bit of testing thrown in. 

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