After a hard day’s work yesterday, I logged into one of my email accounts only to find a request for my appearance at a casting call today by the talent agency I am signed with. “Uggggh,” I muttered. “I am tired. Can’t make it.” It would be almost a 2hr drive to the city, not one I was willing to take, during the week. Logging off, I logged into my Facebook page and VOILA! Ms. Yetunde Taiwo of ICY PR’s photos, someone I have had the good fortune of working with for my publishing business for the past three years, appeared on my newsfeed. Taiwo an entrepreneur and fashion model just did a photo shoot that was colorful, exciting and creative. The colors and creativity jumped at me sending waves of excitement through me. Creativity excites me to no end. *Sigh* Before I knew it, I was missing being in front of the camera. I knew I would still not make it to castings but it inspired this article.
Quick Model Background
I have been modeling since high school, ran my own model agency, have counseled numerous models, drafted model agreements and of course I have signed several model agreements as a model!
What Do Model Agreements Do?
It outlines the terms of your engagement as a model with your model &/or talent agency.
Basic Types of Model Agreements
1. Vouchers– Vouchers are the modeling industry’s timesheet for models. As a model, you take your vouchers with you to your job, the client signs it, confirming work done. You return the voucher to your agency who routes it to its accounting department, bills the client and issues you a check when the client pays your agency. A voucher is technically not an agreement but it is incorporated into the main agreement you will sign as a model.
3. Model Booking Confirmation Agreement (outlines the terms of how you work with the agency’s clients: clothing, fees, transportation etc. It is very straightforward)
4. Talent/Model Agreement- The “meat and potatoes” of agreements used in modeling world.
What Are Typical Clauses in a Model/Talent Agreement?
Expect to find clauses that deal with the following issues:
- Exclusivity: If you are signed with a large agency like Elite, Ford etc., they will want exclusivity since they have branches across the USA. Smaller agencies are willing to limit exclusive representation to the local region or state where the agency is located.
- Agent Duties
- Model/Talent Duties
- Compensation (Standard is 20% of all income earned). As a caveat, the issue that typically arises here is whether an agency should be compensated when they haven’t done “diddly squat?” If a talent/model “hustles” and books a client by him/herself, why should the agency share in the proceeds? Some agencies, nevertheless, include this clause. As a model, you want that clause stricken.
- Model Release (permits agency to republish your photos, image or likeness for advertising, promotions, exhibition etc.)
- Independent Contractor (Agency clearly states you are an independent contractor responsible for your own taxes)
p.s. Isn’t that a fantastic shot of Ms. Taiwo? The expression is simply awesome!
Photographer: Sidney Etienne
Makeup: Stephanie West
Hair: Theo Hanson