Model Agent Q+A - Darrin Judkins
Darrin Judkins - BMG Models NYC, Women's Board Booking Agent
AW: How long have you been an agent?
DJ: Dear God, longer than most of the people I represent, 20 years.
AW: How did you get your start?
DJ: I started as an intern at IMG when I was 19.
AW: What advice do you have for first time photographers trying to get models to use to build their portfolios?
DJ: Best advice I can give is to look at the trends in that field. Market yourself that way but ad a bit of your style to it as well. People like to see new fresh ideas and the business is constantly changing. Depending on the kind of photography you're geared to, especially high fashion, go spend some time in Europe, the UK, and Spain. There are more magazines in those places and people are more apt to use new photographers since they take more chances and like fresh ideas.
AW: What do you think about amateur model sites like model mayhem and one model place?
DJ: I don't think of them.
AW: How do you suggest to get a model to loosen up and get comfortable?
DJ: That's a tricky one. Depending on the level of experience a model will know what to do. If she's seasoned and you already have a concept of what you're looking to do, let them know beforehand at a casting, go over the idea with each and every one. After choosing who you're planning to shoot, she's already prepared and knows what to expect and what's expected of her. If she's newer be prepared to give a lot of direction.
AW: How do go-see's castings etc work?
DJ: All go sees are made after an agent introduces a model to any client. It's like selling a brand that a client must have or at least see for future projects. It also introduces new talent to industry people so they know who's out there.
Castings work in a different way. Usually a client sends out a breakdown of certain kinds of talent they're looking for. Agencies submit this to the client. From all the different agencies the client will call in who they'd like to see for said project. There are also castings where a client will ask to see everyone an agency has to familiarize themselves with the kinds of talent an agency represents.
AW: Say you have a client that wants to book a model (for pay) for a shoot, what are the steps and what can you expect to pay?
DJ: Well the steps would be what was discussed in the previous question. As far as pay this is it depends on the job. If it's for editorial (magazine work) payment can be for tear sheets (pages in a magazine) up to 150-250. If it's catalogue to advertising, many clients have rates already allocated in their budget, but can also depend on the model. Seasoned models have set day rates already. With new models, agents usually have to work with the rate stated in the breakdown (what a client is looking for and what to expect) of a job.
AW: What do you look for in a photographers portfolio when you want them to test one of your girls?
DJ: I like to see that a photographer actually knows how to use a camera especially with lighting. If models in a photographer's book look bad that's a sure sign they DO NOT know what they are doing?