The Model business can be a confusing profession for those just starting out.
There are so many unwritten rules, not to mention the scams that ruin the dreams of many potential models. However, going into a modeling career armed with knowledge will help minimize the confusion and maximize the success.
Many beginning models mistakenly think that “model agent” and “model manager”/“mother agent” are two names for the same job. Actually, they are very different, but in a similar way. The best way to explain the differences is to tackle the job responsibilities separately, giving models a good idea of those differences.
When models are “scouted”/ found or walk into a local agency the models professional abilities are analyzed, from physical characteristics such as age height, body structure facial features and personality. Once convinced the model has the potential to work in the model industry a general plan will be laid out and a contract of representation will be offered to the model.
If the model is a minor the contract will be shared with the model and her parents or legal guardians. This agreement will be headed as “management agreement” or “mother agency agreement” or “personal management agreement” or “finding agent agreement”
These contracts give model managers the right to represent the model and introduce the model to model business partners such as model agents, clients, photographers, designers and editors.
Once signed that management company becomes your “manager” aka “mother manager”/ formally aka “mother agent”.
A model manager’s focus is more on managing models career than with arranging auditions. Model managers keep in close touch with model agents to ensure a shared vision for the model, but a manager stays mostly on the management end of the models career. Sometimes a model manager may set up an audition for a model, but that is not their focus. A model manager will not guarantee auditions for a model. Securing auditions is a model agent’s job.
So what are the differences between model managers and model agents?
A model managers job includes finding the model “scouting” ,introduction and guidance of the model to the model business, development of the model including the initial models portfolio or digital photos to be introduced to partner model agents and clients, public relations companies, and helps to make a career plan and keep the model on a path toward success.
Managers juggle the model business professional demands, placements with the right partner retail agencies and model agents, travel documents, visas, contracts and appearances that come with a prominent career.
Managers are not regulated nor are they required to have a license. Under law, managers may not in some countries or states procure employment for models /artists or negotiate without a licensed agent, and any person who renders Agent services without a license may have their contract invalidated and be forced to relinquish any commissions paid
A model agent works for a retail model agency where they use their contacts to arrange auditions for the models represented by the agency.
Models need a model agent to supply job opportunities. A model agent is able to provide a model with auditions they would not otherwise know about. Without the appropriate modeling auditions a models career will go nowhere.
When securing a model agency/agent, with the help of the model manager , models should seek model agencies franchised with The Mother Agencies of Models Association (MAMA). This means the agency and its agents have signed a contract agreeing to accept ethical and professional business practices.
The differences between a model agent and a model manager vary, but their responsibilities are geared toward the same goal… advancing a models career and getting the models more modeling jobs so the model makes more money. The bottom line is that when a model succeeds and gets paid, everybody gets paid. Both model agents and model managers will work hard to make that happen.