Model casting & portfolio tips

Ok, my frustration started when I went in to help a fashion client at last minute after her usual model became unavailable.

Sure I know loads of models, have a big network of unknowns and have cast loads of them before.

After a quick flick though my memory bank, I thought of 2 who may fit the style for this shoot and what the client loves. The good ones we know well and remember always get put forward first. There's a tip, it pays to network!

The next step was to post the job in our Aussie Models group on Facebook. Very specific requirements mentioned to narrow it down. The group has thousands of members and always gives a broad selection of applicants, so should be a breeze, right?  Wrong!

Seconds later, reply posts start popping up, then Facebook inbox messages and emails start to flood in. Gee, it’s  great job on offer, and competitive out there, but these Aussie Models are on fire.

I found myself spending many hours trawling through profiles, asking for more information, replying to questions and being frustrated by the lack of professionalism by some who claim to be models.

Thankfully I did see a couple who really impressed and will certainly have us calling again. If you can see it from our perspective, you’ll be way ahead of the pack and get more work.  Read across for our top 10 tips…




To wrap up, this is just general initial casting advice and requirements do vary a little between jobs on offer.

Be aware that many amateurs try casting and do a happy dance from any models applying who reveal a bit of leg or cleavage for a TFP shoot…. But we are talking real professionals here. Some roles may also be all about certain body parts, so try keep it specific and impress.

We also can’t emphasise enough, the importance of learning to stand out professionally.  YOU ARE A BRAND AND A BUSINESS, learn to act like one when it’s time to.

Misinformation is everywhere, so spend a little money on educating yourself via real professionals, and you will make that money back in a flash.

It is so easy to spot quality models who gain our respect instantly then go on to be recommended. These models jump out within a few seconds of viewing the profile, while we question the rest.

A portfolio can open doors or close doors…. and you often only get 1 shot at the big jobs. *Check out our ADVANTAGE professional portfoilo service

Are you making these mistakes and need some help? Do it now before you miss another one! It's competitive out there, so be wise and be a winner.

Contact us if you need some professional assistance. We can even make you a killer comp card - 50 cards edited and professionally printed just $110.  See - ADVANTAGE MODELS PAGE

The TOP 10 hottest tips direct from casting agents to help you get noticed and win more online jobs.

1.      Where to apply:  Read the casting details properly. If it says email to an address, do not comment “pick me” on Facebook and expect a reply. Seriously!

2.      Send more details:  Don’t just send a few images, but  ALWAYS include your height, sizes, etc.  Don’t make us ask for it or have to search for it… present yourself ready to go.

COMP CARDS are great for this!  If I needed experienced models, impress me… tell me about your experience and the great jobs you’ve done too.

3.      Fit the brief:  There is not much more annoying than being specific about ‘must have’ casting requirements, then to have models apply who are completely the wrong shape, hair colour, etc.  Do you really just want to be annoying… you will be remembered for that. Just like good model names stand out to us, so do the bad ones.

4.      Time to impress:  You have about 10 seconds to initially impress us. Maybe even less if it’s a good job and we get stacks of applicants with little time to look through them 

5.      First impressions last:  If you want to be treated seriously, don’t instantly turn me off by using a selfie in the mirror which you like, a duck face, or even dark semi nude shot as your profile pic. It’s best to be clear, friendly, and naturally you… no over photoshopped stuff either.

6.      Quality images a must:  Get professional shots done, not by your brothers mate who shoots cool skating pics, but by a real professional who knows the industry and shoots with models regularly.

Good models invest in these striking images to start with. You may not see the difference, but we do. A proper professional portfolio will trump an amateur type one every time… it’s soooo much more impressive. Beware that apparent ‘pro photographers’ are everywhere, but that doesn’t mean that they know what shots you need either. Talk to a well known industry professional or let us refer you to one 

7.      Send a killer portfolio:  Sure have your general comp card or portfolio to send out quick, but if you know the brief and style of shoot, send images to suit.  No point sending a bunch of swimwear images if we need to see that you have fashion experience or can be comfortable posing with 40 handbags for a full day shoot. We did try a swimwear model once who was very uncomfortable in clothes… FAIL!  L

Don’t send me pouting or serious high fashion images if the shoot is all about ‘fun in the sun’ either. Look cute and laugh a little…. It’s contagious, so always good to have a few in the mix. You would be surprised how many models don’t have fun shots in their folio.

8.      Out with the old and in with the new:   Please update your portfolio.  Yes, delete and update those old pics from when you started or had different colour hair. Don’t make me guess what hair colour you have now… I don’t like that game!  Models do get better with age, experience, and when you go on to work with better creative teams or photographers. These more impressive pics need to be on display.

9.      Show your best assets:  For a specific casting portfolio, 10 images is plenty…. But make it appropriate like item #7.  If legs are your thing, sure show them pins off, though we do need to see your face well in a tight shot, your full length and body shape in others, then some great posing ability helps. Don’t show trashy naked pics… we can see your body shape well in swimwear or tight clothing.

10.  Keep it simple:  A very easy system is a creating a website page for your modelling – they’re free!  Or join and agency, Starnow or similar, where you can have an online profile. I love this!  All your sizes, experience and best images in one place.  This means 1 mouse click and we’re there!

- by Dean Marzolla (Industry leading professional)