The Shed

Modelling an agent relationsh­ip

Got a fashion shoot lined up and going to need model talent? Aaron K talks to booker Marijke Van Dillen of 62 Models and Talent about the relationsh­ip between photograph­er and modelling agency

- Aaron K

If you want to produce high-end advertisin­g or fashion imagery for premium brands, you have to work with agency-represente­d models. Asking a good-looking friend to step in and model simply won’t cut it — not by a long shot. In addition to having all the physical attributes that discerning commercial clients expect, an experience­d profession­al model also knows how to perform in front of the camera. This makes the photograph­er’s job a lot easier and produces a far better end result. So, when your client has the budget, and the shoot calls for a subject with the X factor, getting in touch with an agent/ booker at a leading model agency should be at the top of your to-do list.

With this in mind, I interviewe­d Marijke Van Dillen — one of the five bookers at 62 Models and Talent. 62 has been representi­ng incredibly attractive people for over 20 years. You may not know any of its models by name, but you will definitely recognize many of their faces.

The Photograph­er’s Mail: Can you outline the range of services that top model agencies like 62 provide profession­al photograph­ers with?

Marijke Van Dillen: At 62, we provide high-end local and internatio­nal models for a wide variety of jobs that can range from editorial and high fashion to catalogues and TV commercial­s. We represent males and females who are experience­d or in developmen­t. We also have a creative division, so we can provide stylists, hairstylis­ts, and make-up artists for shoots as well.

What does your role as a model booker involve — what exactly do you do?

I facilitate the process of securing a model for photograph­ic shoots, fashion shows, TV commercial­s, and films. I negotiate the model’s rate based on the determined usages and time frame of the work required. It’s an agent’s job to ensure that a model is being paid appropriat­ely for their time and the use of their image. Once the fee and usages are confirmed, I ensure that the model has a clear schedule for the job and send through all the relevant details to the model so [that] they arrive on time and [are] fully prepared.

In addition, we nurture and train the models to excel in their career. We are generally available to models 24/7 should they have any questions, need advice, or just want someone to talk to. I believe a booker can be a friend, counsellor, taxi driver, and agent all at once. The relationsh­ip between a model and their agent can be incredibly strong, particular­ly if an agent has worked with a model from a young age and been a large part of their modelling evolution.

What can photograph­ers do to make your job easier?

From an agent’s perspectiv­e, the best thing a photograph­er can do is be clear and concise with their informatio­n. Keep a firm shoot date; pass on usage details; ensure that the model is looked after on set. A good agent can book a model under tight time constraint­s provided we are given a secure shoot date and call time. Personally, I like photograph­ers who are succinct in their details: tell me what sort of model you’re looking for, give me a shoot date and some reference images, and then stick to these. There’s no need to send me an essay about the shoot. I just want to give the model enough informatio­n for them to be their best on set: what team they are shooting with, what the vibe is, how many hours they’ll be on set, and what are they going to be paid.

When hiring a model for a shoot, what attributes should photograph­ers be looking for?

Obviously, I would recommend that the first thing a photograph­er … do is request a model from a reputable agency. That way, the photograph­er can be sure that they’re going to be working with a model who has some industry experience. A profession­al model (even if they’re still in a developmen­t division) will know what to expect and how to behave on set. Depending on the level of modelling required, photograph­ers should always look at the portfolio of a model to gauge how much experience they have. And I always recommend checking out a model’s Polaroids/digitals, too. This shows what a model looks like without make-up, styling, retouching, etc.

What can photograph­ers do to get the best results from the models they work with?

At a big shoot, there will be a big team, and the last thing a booker wants is to have their model disappear among the crowd. Without the model, a photograph­er isn’t going to get very far. Call me biased, but I consider the model to be the most pivotal aspect of a shoot. Despite being beautiful people, models are human, too! They can get tired and hungry, and they value their privacy. Providing a secure changing area and ensuring a model is given enough time to eat and rest are all non-negotiable aspects of booking a model. Be reasonable! A model will give you their best if they are being looked after adequately.

Can you help photograph­ers starting out in the industry who need profession­al models for their portfolio shoots?

Yes, we can. This is a two-way relationsh­ip. In order to progress, a new model needs experience behind the camera, and, to build their portfolio, they need great photos. However, before we work with an emerging photograph­er, we need to know that they can produce good-quality imagery that we can actually use. Anything too obscure or artistic, while beautiful, is probably not appropriat­e for a modelling portfolio.

 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia