Portraits of Hollywood Actress, Melissa Roxburgh

Celebrity Portraits

Melissa Roxburgh

Los Angeles Fashion Photographer Sergio Garcia

Canadian actress, Melissa Roxburgh, current star of NBC’s hit show ‘MANIFEST’ and Diary of a Wimpy Kid shot with LA fashion photographer Sergio Garcia to create these stunning new portraits.

TEAM CREDITS

Talent: melissa roxburgh

Stylist: sara borgese

HMU: tara thompson 

Light Tech: Craig Thomas

 

Series shot with the Nikon D750 and was lit with Profoto lighting by Los Angeles fashion, modeling and editorial photographer, Sergio Garcia Photography.

Sergio Garcia Photography provides services in Los Angeles and the Greater Los Angeles areas: Downtown Los Angeles, Chinatown, Koreatown, Macarthur Park, Hancock Park, Fairfax, West Hollywood, Hollywood, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Cheviot Hills, Brentwood, Century City, Mar Vista, Santa Monica, Venice, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Marina Del Rey, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Rancho Palos Verdes, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Montebello, Alhambra, Pasadena, Glendale, Arcadia, Rancho Cucamonga, San Dimas, Covina, Glendora, Baldwin Park, Burbank, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Calabasas etc We also serve Dallas.

 

How To Become A Model in LA (Updated)

How To Become a Model in LA


The steps on how to become a model can seem confusing at first. Where does one even start?

There is misinformation on how to become a model, so it is important that you do research. Your information should come from reliable sources who are familiar with how to start modeling in LA. Otherwise you run the risk of being scammed.

As a fashion and model photographer, I have worked with beginner and professional models for over 14 years. These modeling agencies recommend and trust us to work with their models. So when their models come to us we have a team of hair stylists, make up artist and wardrobe stylist that help us capture new modeling photos that the models then use in their modeling portfolios to gain new clients.

Some of the modeling agencies we have worked with are top tier modeling agencies including IMG, Wilhelmina, FORD, DNA and L.A. Models and ELITE Models.

This Modeling 101 Guide will provide you with everything you need to know when looking to pursue a career as a model. This guide covers all type of modeling, including: fashion model; plus size model; teenage model; male model; or female model etc.


Where To Start When Becoming A Model

Best Cities for Modeling

The best U.S. cities to live in if you want to become a model are:

  • New York City
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Chicago

These major modeling cities offer the most work for all professional models due to the clients that are headquartered there or that frequently shoot campaigns, e-commerce and editorials there. If you want to become a model you have to live where the industry is thriving and where you can be exposed to the most modeling work and opportunities.

However that is not to say that you can’t “break into” modeling in mid-size markets or smaller. Other cities where you can become a model include Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, and Las Vegas. Some of these cities have their own market where models can get started and make a decent living. For example in Dallas, TX you have numerous brands headquartered there that need models. These include Neiman Marcus, BELK and JC Penny.

These mid-size cities are a great place to develop your modeling portfolio, whether for plus size modeling, commercial modeling or for male models etc. They also allow you to get to know the ins-and-outs of the modeling industry before you (or your agents) decide to get you placed with another modeling agency in a major city.

Male and Female Modeling Agencies in Los Angeles

Modeling Requirements

  • Model requirements for women: 5’8 – 5’11 and ages 13 – 25
  • Model requirements for men: 5’11 – 6’2 and ages 15 – 28

Sometimes these requirements vary by modeling agency or the market you are in. For instance, smaller markets may be more flexible with their model requirements as the local clients have different needs.


Open Calls and Model Searches for Male and Female Models


What Are Open Calls For Models?

If you fit these requirements modeling agencies typically offer what is known as “open calls”. Which means they usually have 1-2 days during the week, at a specific time, where model hopefuls can show up and meet with the modeling agents.

The model agents will take your measurements and take “polaroids” of you (In the “old days” they were actual polaroids; nowadays they are taken with a digital camera). The photos they take are a full-length shot, a 3/4 shot, a close up photo of your face straight on and profile. They make take a photo of the woman in a swimsuit and a photo of the man in briefs (this is so they have a sense of your body type).

This is also a great time to show off your personality! Some of the most successful models also have contagious personalities that keep clients re-booking them on modeling jobs.

Sometimes attending open calls is all that’s needed for you to “get discovered” in modeling.

What Are Model Searches?

Some modeling agencies have annual “model searches”. A model search is where you can submit your photos online or physically show up to the search (assuming they are being held somewhere). During a model search you will be able to meet the agents, walk a runway and partake in whatever other activities they may offer.

One of the most notable model searches is the Kim Dawson Model Search. They have discovered men and women who have gone off to be highly successful models.

Both open calls and model searches are typically free. If you find that modeling agencies are making you pay to show up to an open call or model search, proceed with caution.

Do’s and Don’ts For Open Calls

WOMEN

When you show up to an open call you should wear:

  • fitted jeans (dark blue or black)
  • a simple tank top or spaghetti strap (black)
  • show up with absolutely NO make up on (only moisturizer and lip balm). modeling agents want to see your natural beauty.
  • your hair should be up in a simple pony tail.
MEN

If you attend a open call, make sure to show up wearing:

  • fitted pair of jeans (dark blue or black)
  • a simple crew neck (black)
  • arrive with a clean shaven face or lightly trimmed and make sure you moisturize and apply chapstick.

Modeling agencies want to see your natural beauty. So don’t cover yourself with make up. If you are looking to be a teenage model, pimples are expected. So don’t be shy or embarrassed about them. 

Do I Need Professional Modeling Photos?

No and yes. Let us explain.

If you attend an open call or model search, you do not need to show up with professional modeling photos. Modeling agents will know you’re new so they won’t expect you to have modeling photos with you. If the modeling agency decides to sign you on as a “new face” model, they will then refer you to their agency approved modeling photographer for professional modeling photos.

On the other hand, if you show up with modeling photos that are shot correctly by a professional modeling photographer, you may score brownie points. If you do end up getting signed to the modeling agency, they will more than likely use some of the photos you already have in your modeling portfolio to market you and add them to the agencies website.

Again, this is assuming that you worked with a professional modeling portfolio photographer that has experience with the type of photos that models need.

Read our detailed article on what types of photos a model needs in their modeling portfolio.

How Much Is A Photoshoot For Modeling?

You can expect a professional modeling photoshoot to cost anywhere from $600-$1000+ all in. This varies by city and the experience or “name” of the photographer you are working with. A photographer with more experience or a bigger name will typically command a higher rate, as will their team. 

A professional modeling photoshoot will include more than a photographer. There will also be a hair stylist, make up artist and wardrobe stylist. In order to get the best modeling portfolio, we recommend you budget for the entire team.

You may opt to bring your own wardrobe and do your own hair and make up, but the quality of modeling photos may not be the same.

Agency Preferred Modeling Photographer

If you get signed by a modeling agency, they will have you “test” with their preferred model photographer so that you get images for your modeling portfolio. These “agency approved photographers” have been vetted by that modeling agency. Meaning the agency has met with them in person to verify that they aren’t shady characters.

Additionally the photographer has shown that they can capture the exact photos needed by that modeling agency in order to start getting the model work or seen by clients. When you shoot with an agency preferred photographer, you will know that your money is well spent.

Modeling agencies typically work with model photographers that offer their own strong point. For example one photographer may capture the ideal swimwear photos, another fashion photos, or lifestyle photos. So in order to get a 100% “strong modeling portfolio”, you may have to test with a few different photographers.

This is why you can’t shoot modeling photos with a wedding or baby photographer. These photographers may not have the knowledge to capture modeling photos that work.

So if you decide to use another photographer that is less expensive or that the modeling agency does not recommend/work with you run the risk of capturing modeling images that will not work (and you’ll have to eventually pay to work with the preferred photographer anyway to capture the right photos).

TIP: The word “test” is industry lingo meaning a photoshoot for your modeling portfolio.


Using Social Media To Promote Yourself As A Model


Marketing Yourself As A Model: Social Media

As a model in todays society, it’s a must to be on social media. Modeling is no longer only about your looks. Clients are looking for models who have a social media presence and following.

Why is this?

When a client has the option to book one of two models, both of whom fit the bill for the project, they are usually going to go with the one with a stronger social media presence.

The model with a stronger social media presence will provide more eyeballs to that client and project, which could result in more sales. A model with a bigger social reach may also be able to command a bigger rate because of this added benefit.

Top models are no longer only sharing their modeling adventures on social media. They are also showing their unique personalities. From those who love to bake, exercise, sing, dance etc. It is all about standing out and sharing your point-of-view.

Those with privacy concerns who choose not to participate on social media may hinder their chances of getting signed to a modeling agency or getting booked by clients.

Dealing With Rejection in Modeling

Modeling agencies have certain looks they are looking for based on current trends and what they know how to market. Likewise there is only room for so many male or female models that have the similar features, eye color, hair types etc within that agency.

This is why you may have all the requirements needed to model, but you don’t get signed to a modeling agency. They may already have 10 people that look like you. So it does not make sense for them to sign a new model when they may be struggling to get jobs for their current models. 

So if this is happening to you try submitting to that same modeling agency again in 6 months. During that 6 month period some models may end up being dropped by the agency or quitting all together. Another route may be to submit to a different modeling agency in the city you live in, if that is an option.


Modeling Scams To Look Out For


Pay Money Upfront Modeling Scam

Be cautious if a modeling agency is requesting that you pay money upfront for classes or a school. 

Even if these model hopefuls don’t fit all the requirements, these “modeling agencies or schools” prey on individuals who are eager to model or act. They do this by building you up with talks of industry connections, classes and schools you “need” in order to succeed.

This is not true and most of these modeling scams have no clients. They thrive by having beginner models pay thousands of dollars directly to the company for schools and classes.

Google Fake Modeling Agencies Scam

If you are not feeling right about the modeling agency, do a thorough Google search. We recommend that you type the name of the company into Google followed by “scam” after it. This will usually provide a list of online complaints by other beginner models who may have been cheated by these modeling scams.

At the end of the day, trust your gut and ask questions. A professional modeling agency will not be irritated or put off by you being inquisitive about the industry.


Conclusion On Becoming A Model


While the modeling industry may seem confusing or intimidating, it is also a fun creative industry filled professional photographers, hair stylist, make up artist and wardrobe stylist.

At the end of the day, we all want to work with professional models and to create great fashion and editorial photography.

Most of the modeling scams you here about are due to the individuals not doing enough research or asking enough questions.


Ready to start modeling in LA?

Email us to book your male or female modeling portfolio photoshoot.

Caroline Belhumeur of VINCE for Neiman Marcus

Fashion Portraits of VINCE creative director

Caroline Belhumeur

LA Fashion Photographer Sergio Garcia

Neiman Marcus commissioned us to photograph Caroline Belhumeur, creative director of LA based VINCE, for Neiman Marcus’ October book.

Shot on location at their design studio in LA.

TEAM CREDITS

Model: caroline belhumeur

Stylist: lauren paterni

HMU: tara thompson

Light Tech: Craig Thomas

 

Series shot with the Nikon D750 and was lit with Profoto lighting by Los Angeles fashion, modeling and editorial photographer, Sergio Garcia Photography.

Sergio Garcia Photography provides services in Los Angeles and the Greater Los Angeles areas: Downtown Los Angeles, Chinatown, Koreatown, Macarthur Park, Hancock Park, Fairfax, West Hollywood, Hollywood, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Cheviot Hills, Brentwood, Century City, Mar Vista, Santa Monica, Venice, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Marina Del Rey, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Rancho Palos Verdes, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Montebello, Alhambra, Pasadena, Glendale, Arcadia, Rancho Cucamonga, San Dimas, Covina, Glendora, Baldwin Park, Burbank, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Calabasas etc We also serve Dallas.

 

Andie Case | Bubblegum and Cigarettes Album Cover

Fashion Portraits

Feat. Andie Case

Los Angeles Fashion Photographer Sergio Garcia Photography

We were commissioned to photograph the new album cover for Andie Case’ single, Bubblegum and Cigarettes.

TEAM CREDITS

Model: andie case

Stylist: manny jay

HMU: rolando aqui

Light Tech: Craig Thomas

 

Series shot with the Nikon D750 and was lit with Profoto lighting by Los Angeles fashion, modeling and editorial photographer, Sergio Garcia Photography.

Sergio Garcia Photography provides services in Los Angeles and the Greater Los Angeles areas: Downtown Los Angeles, Chinatown, Koreatown, Macarthur Park, Hancock Park, Fairfax, West Hollywood, Hollywood, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Cheviot Hills, Brentwood, Century City, Mar Vista, Santa Monica, Venice, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Marina Del Rey, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Rancho Palos Verdes, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Montebello, Alhambra, Pasadena, Glendale, Arcadia, Rancho Cucamonga, San Dimas, Covina, Glendora, Baldwin Park, Burbank, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Calabasas etc We also serve Dallas.

 

Sun kissed in Malibu!

Fashion Portraits

Feat. Leaone

LA Fashion Photographer Sergio Garcia Photography

Leone is a dear friend; I texted her and asked if she was willing to let me photograph her and her first response was “I have to warn you – I am very awkward in front of the camera”. 

By the shots we captured below, I beg to differ. 

TEAM CREDITS

Model: leone islam

Stylist: self

HMU: self

Light Tech: Craig Thomas

 

Series shot with the Nikon D750 and was lit with Profoto lighting by Los Angeles fashion, modeling and editorial photographer, Sergio Garcia Photography.

Sergio Garcia Photography provides services in Los Angeles and the Greater Los Angeles areas: Downtown Los Angeles, Chinatown, Koreatown, Macarthur Park, Hancock Park, Fairfax, West Hollywood, Hollywood, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Cheviot Hills, Brentwood, Century City, Mar Vista, Santa Monica, Venice, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Marina Del Rey, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Rancho Palos Verdes, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Montebello, Alhambra, Pasadena, Glendale, Arcadia, Rancho Cucamonga, San Dimas, Covina, Glendora, Baldwin Park, Burbank, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Calabasas etc We also serve Dallas.

 

Fashion Portraits of Actress Antonique Smith

Fashion Portraits

Antonique Smith

Los Angeles Fashion Photographers

Antonique Smith, most notably known for her role as Faith Evans in ‘Notorious’, is the new star of Marvels hit show ‘Luke Cage’ (Netflix) playing detective Nandi Tyler.

I had the opportunity to photograph Antonique and capture new PR images, shown below.

TEAM CREDITS

Actress: antonique smith

Stylist: ashley wilson

Hair: connie downs

Make Up: sean harris

Light Tech: Craig Thomas

 

Series shot with the Nikon D750 and was lit with Profoto lighting by Los Angeles fashion, modeling and editorial photographer, Sergio Garcia Photography.

Sergio Garcia Photography provides services in Los Angeles and the Greater Los Angeles areas: Downtown Los Angeles, Chinatown, Koreatown, Macarthur Park, Hancock Park, Fairfax, West Hollywood, Hollywood, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Cheviot Hills, Brentwood, Century City, Mar Vista, Santa Monica, Venice, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Marina Del Rey, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Rancho Palos Verdes, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Montebello, Alhambra, Pasadena, Glendale, Arcadia, Rancho Cucamonga, San Dimas, Covina, Glendora, Baldwin Park, Burbank, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Calabasas etc We also serve Dallas.

 

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