The hot and cold life of a freelance model/artist.
One of the most frequently asked questions I'm presented with as a model is what agency I belong to.
Living in Southern California and having the experience I do as a model, it only makes sense that I'd devote my time to an agency right?
Unfortunately, 5'5" isn't an ideal height for models in the United States. Fortunately for me, I've been able to work around it.
"You look so much taller in your photos!" - That's a common one.
I don't believe my height makes me any less of a model than the next. The brands and photographers who hire me for shoots typically find me on Instagram and many have had NEGATIVE experiences finding models through agencies! I've even heard the terms "unprofessional" and "inhospitable!" I still can't wrap my head around some of what I've heard of agencies I've actually applied to!
This is a post to bash agencies in any way/shape/form.
I simply want to shed light on the positives of being a freelance model because although it may be an overwhelming struggle (loads of e-mails to respond to, dealing with unprofessional reach-outs, etc.), There are may positives that keep me in the scene.
I never have to split the money I make on a shoot with an agent. I also have the option to work with whoever I want to work with. You cannot work with artists/companies outside of the artists your agency picks out for you to work with. I've shot many times with models from agencies and they've had to keep the photos a secret so they wouldn't get in a bad spot with their agencies. Although you're provided with enough work to get you by with an agency, I absolutely love that I'm able to get creative with whoever I want without having a worry in the world. Another bonus I've found with freelance modeling is the beauty of networking. I say this frequently but I have met SO many talented and beautiful people through modeling all of which I would have never ran into if I didn't do strictly freelance work.
I can't say if I'll ever work with/for an agency in my life. I suppose even soon, perhaps, I'll start applying to agencies again and testing the waters. Until then, I just wanted to let you all know that "freelance" isn't so bad when you've got a consistent base of work at your feet!
The best advice I could give a freelance model just starting up is to keep yourself consistent. Not everyone will be impressed with you or into your work. You can't let it get to you. Keep rocking your style, keep pushing your limits and keep consistent with your work even when you get down on yourself! Work though the struggle or you'll never get to where you want to be. As long as you like what you're doing and enjoy the work you're producing, it really DOESN'T matter what anyone else has to say or think about it. Always consider criticism but never let it make or break you.
Photos by Alandra Michelle for Wild Dove boutique in Downtown San Diego, CA