By Alexandria Ceranski, Scout Contributor

Ah… the allure of the fashion industry. From mysterious creative directors to whip smart producers, edgy stylists, and yes, the elusive models…. Ever wonder how some models, well, become models? How they land those big campaigns? How did they get to be so confident behind the camera? Is it as easy as it looks?  Behold, the Agent.


New faces Destin Williams and Teagan Fisher


Like anyone entering any new field, models have to start somewhere…and sometimes literally from nowhere. A professional portfolio is not necessary to become a model. There are different pathways and points of entry along with different markets that ask to different looks. All of this may sound like a perpetual paradox. We sat down with the agents from Scout are providing some insight to their side of the industry.

We all know the “Discovered a star” stories of supermodels Kate Moss being discovered in the JFK airport and Gisele Bundchen found at a mall in Brazil. These are stories of scouting. Scouting is when agents attend events, go to local hang outs, or casually pass a potential model in their day to day and ask if they are interested in being a model. This is how someone can “get discovered” . Scout agent, Becca Mikesell, recently attended Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco to look for new faces. She says, “I don’t tend to look for anything specific because you never know who you will find! I seek out all ethnicities and sizes.” For both men and women, height and defined bone structure is an eye cater. Another way to become a model is through your social media.


New faces Jacob Myer and Sara Wada


Scout is a very inclusive modeling agency in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Another Scout agent, Jada Ogden, says, “We work with a wide range of clients, that request various types of models.” To cater to those clients, Scout does not have a defined “look” they go for. “We are constantly looking for all sizes, all ethnicities, and people that could work as ‘editorial models’, ‘beauty’, ‘e-commerce/catalog’, ‘athletic’ or ‘commercial/lifestyle’.”

Being scouted is not the only way to become a model, you can submit yourself on an agency’s submissions page on their website. The difference here is when you perk the interest of a scout. In a public setting, it is an immediate face-to-face interaction. Submitting allows them to see your face and any information you include. Either way of getting discovered is valid, and both lead to a common next step.


New face Haley Logan


If our agent(s) think you are a good candidate for the agency’s curated board, they will offer moving forward with another meeting. This time it will be more informational and allow the modeling agent to see your personality and get to know you. It is also a time to ask any questions the model may have. Some tips from Jada on how to have a successful second meeting: “We prefer the girls and guys come as natural as possible. For girls [this means] little to no make-up and wear form fitting clothes that show their body/shape. For guys, jeans and t-shirt is fine.” Jada’s major no’s are: come with a full face of makeup on, wear heels you can’t walk in, and lie about your height and measurements. “We’ll measure you when you come to the meeting anyways.”


Great digital examples of new face Olivia Larke and newly scouted Olivia Matthiessen


An important thing that Jada advises to remember is that signing with a modeling agency doesn’t mean you will start getting job after job right away. The phrase “grow in your craft” is a very active statement in the modeling industry. This process is called development. It includes a lot of test photoshoots, runway lessons, workouts, etc. “We are helping develop them into a model. That process could take weeks, months, or years, depending on that person’s ability and growth.”


Great digital examples of new faces Sara Wada and Olivia Larke


There a long and ongoing discussions in society and in the industry about models being more than pretty faces. “If you are dull or have a bad attitude, the chances of you getting booked are slim,” Becca says. “At the end of the day, modeling is a job. Clients don’t want to be stuck on set for 8+ hours a day with a model who is a stick in the mud!” There are numerous amounts of girls with brown hair, blue eyes, and freckles or men with blonde hair, brown eyes, and are 6’. If a client has a hard time with a model on set that day, they can easily find a replacement. Each booking is a precious and fragile place to be. Jada says, “In order to get repeat bookings with a client- they’ll want to book with someone that is on-time, easy going, hard working, nice to everyone on set, and grateful for the opportunity!” Recommendations and precautions are given between clients in this industry about the models they work with. The fashion industry is very small despite its global reach. Reputations and personality are a high selling point when you are on a board of other model options being cast for a job.

The question of how to be a model is answered by throwing back the veil of the modeling industry. This industry really is a craft that is developed and practiced. It is not all glamorous. The people you encounter and the creative mindsets that you experience make the process so worth while. Our agents are part of the end image as much as the model is. If you are interested in becoming a model, Scout is one of the best modeling agencies in San Francisco. If you are in Southern California, we also have an office in Los Angeles.