How to Submit Your Photos to Modeling Agencies

Essentially, there are four ways to send your photos to local and international modeling agencies. You can send them yourself by email or mail, have your existing mother agency send them, have an online model scouting company send them for you, or try your luck with social media. 

Having an experienced agent or professional model scouting company do the work for you is always the best and most professional way for you to get your photos seen by top modeling agencies. However, if you want to do it yourself, it's important to do it properly.  

Many new and even experienced models think if they just pop their photos in the mail or attach them to an email that’s all they need to do. But, many of them don’t realize that it’s not only the photos that agencies are looking at. It is also HOW a model's photos are presented to them. How you send your photos says a great deal about you, and it’s always something that agents consider when a model presents their photos. 

If you send your photos in a sloppy fashion, then it makes agents wonder if you are sloppy as well. If you don’t pay attention to detail, or you are too familiar or casual in your email or letter, rather than professional and business-like, it makes agents wonder if you will be too familiar or casual with their clients.  

Here are the top 7 tips for submitting your photos to modeling agencies.

Check How the Agency Accepts Submissions

Model using tablet computer at shoot
Cultura RM Exclusive/Marcel Weber/Getty Images

Before sending your photos out to multiple agencies, check to see how they accept photo submissions. Some may only accept photos by email and others only by mail. Follow their instructions to the letter. If you send your photos by email and they only accept mailed submissions you’ve gone to a lot of effort to show the agents that you can’t follow directions.

Check That the Agency Accepts Your Type

Be sure to only send your photos to agencies that accept your particular type. There is no sense in submitting photos to male modeling agencies if you are a female model and vice versa. You are just wasting your time and the agency's time.

Just the Facts

As tempting as it may be to tell the agents how long you have dreamed of becoming a model and the rest of your life story, in the beginning, all they want to know are the basic facts, which are:

a) Your Name

b) Age

c) Height

d) Measurements (bust, waist and hips for women, and waist and jacket size for men)

e) Current Location

f) Contact Information (phone numbers, email address)

f) Citizenship (where your passport was issued)

g) Agencies currently representing you, if any

When sending your photos by email be sure to include ALL of this information in your email. If you are mailing your photos it is important to have this information on the back of EACH photo. That way, if your photos get separated from each other or your cover letter, then the agents will still know who you are and how to contact you.

Check the Size of Your Photos

If you are sending your photos by email, be sure they are not too large. 1MB per photo should be the maximum, 500 KB is better. If your photos are too large, they can take too long to download and your email could end up being deleted before your photos are reviewed.

Do not send your photos in a zip file or send just a link to your personal website. No one wants a virus on their computer, so agents will probably never open the file or click the link.

Address Each Agency Individually

Take the time to address each agency individually in your email or cover letter. For example, begin your letter or email with "Dear XYZ Models,".

Never, and I mean never, send out a generic email with the email addresses of numerous agencies listed in the "Cc" section of the email. No one likes to think they weren't your first choice and that goes double for agents. Besides, it's just plain unprofessional, no matter what industry you are in.

Pay Attention to Detail

Agents like smart models. So, be sure to check every detail such as, grammar and spelling (use your spell check). If you are mailing photos, the way you address the envelope is also important. If you are handwriting your envelope or cover letter be sure it is neat and legible.  Do not put your photos inside a binder, photo album or folder.  No heart stickers, fancy colored paper or cute messages on the envelope or inside.

Update Your Voicemail and Check Spam Folders

After you've taken the time to submit your photos and you've paid attention to every detail, don't screw it all up by having an unprofessional voicemail message or by missing an email.

Your voicemail message should be short and sweet. Have a message that basically says your name and that you will return their call as soon as possible. Make sure your mailbox is not full or make agents listen to 5 minutes of Kanye West, Celine Dion, or a personal prayer before they can leave a message. Also, check your email spam and junk folders regularly for emails that may have been filed there by mistake.

Be a Professional at Every Stage

Remember that modeling agencies are looking for a complete package. It takes more than just good looks to be a successful model. Models need to be professional and business-like at every stage of the game. If an agency is trying to decide between you and another model the more professional model will always win out.