Opportunities for older professional models do exist in today's market. The trend is driven by the $2-trillion spending power of baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964, who make up 26% of the population, as stated in L.A. Times. If you've always wanted to be a model, Jenna Adams, Agency Director of Reinhard Model and Talent Agency in Philadelphia, PA offers some insight and tips on how to get started, the right attitude to have, scams to avoid and more.
The Modeling Forecast Is Bright
When it comes to promoting a product, savvy marketers have become wise to the fact that the promotion of a brand is not one size fits all. Companies interested in targeting the boomer market have been promoting their products and brands with the use of older models. From fashion to medical related products and beauty products, the demand within the senior market is steadily growing. According to PRB.org, The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060. Within this market, those in the labor force, are projected to rise further by 2022. Overall, as the boomer market continues to grow, they will hold a significant amount of the buying power.
Consequently, the demand for boomer models is promising within a wide range of industries. "There is a great deal of financial and pharmaceutical companies in particular that are looking to hire "boomer" models," says Jenna.
Types of Modeling
While planning your modeling goals, you will need to consider the various types of media you would like to pursue. While there are several industries, products, and brands that exist within the senior modeling world, take into consideration the type of work you would like to do:
- If you are interested in promoting clothing on the runway, catalogs or editorial publications, fashion modeling is the area you should consider.
- Print modeling will consist of working for newspapers, magazines, brochures and billboards.
- Models who use their talents to promote products and brands or sell services are known as commercial models.
Modeling First Steps
Now that you have figured out the medium in which to model - you should begin to get your photographs together for your portfolio. Even if you've been told that you have a great look, Jenna suggests models have to photogenic and comfortable in front of the camera. If you're uncertain of how to pose, practice makes perfect. Jenna states, "If we see potential, we will then call in that individual for a one on one meeting with the Agency Director."
Agencies don't necessarily want glamor shots or special pictures of you to be submitted for consideration. There's no need when breaking into the business to spend a lot of money on a portfolio. Wait until an agency shows interest in you before contacting photographers.
Jenna's Simple Tips for Introductory Images
- Provide current images
- Take images in natural light
- Images should be both close-up and full-length
- Have images of you both smiling and nonsmiling
Finding the Right Agency
A successful partnership between both you and an agency is imperative. Finding the right synergy may take time, so try to meet with more than one agency. Jenna says, "Submit to all agencies within reasonable proximity, and interview with as many as are interested. The agent/model relationship is very much just that, a relationship. A model should feel comfortable and be trusting of those she is working with."
Whether you are petite or curvy, there is an agency for you. In fact, boomer agencies are open to a diverse range of models. Jenna shares, "The boomer demographic is more open to varied body shape/height than the younger demographic. Typically a more mature model is modeling for advertising for general products (not fashion), so a relate-able look is most marketable. All ethnicities are welcome for model submissions, always."
Jenna's Tips On Avoiding Scams
- Be wary of initial fees or required classes.
- A model can expect to invest in professional portfolio images once represented, but that payment should go directly to the photographer and not through the agency.
- It is wise to google any potential agencies to see any Better Business Bureau complaints or model experience complaints that may exist.
Agencies for Mature Models
From the start, and throughout the duration of your modeling career, finding the best modeling agency for you might take some time. This list of five agencies that represent older models is a good starting point to find your ideal match.
Located in both New York City and Los Angeles, Bella Agency represents a diverse range of boomer models within the Bella Lifestyle divisions. Those interested in applying should submit their size and body measurements, as well as a headshot, mid length, and full-length images. One of Bella Agency's most notable senior models is Lea Lea Sorensen who modeled in a Tommy Hilfiger fashion ad campaign.
Sophisticated Women's Division at Wilhelmina Models
Since 1967, Wilhelmina models has been one of the top agencies representing various types of models, including senior models. Wilhelmina is located in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, and London. Those interested should submit a headshot, a side profile image, a full body shot, and a quarter body image. Potential models should also share their height and measurements. The agency represents model Nicky Griffin, who is the oldest to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated.
IMG Models is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Paris, London, Milan and Sydney. Here, professional boomer models are represented, such as the mature model Maye Musk, who starred in Beyonce's video for Haunted. IMG welcomes prospective models to provide measurements, as well as a headshot, a full body shot, a side profile and a quarter body shot. Interested models are also expected to provide a 30-second video in a simple outfit. Think of the video as an introduction to your personality proving you're ready to take on the modeling world.
Founded in 1968, Models 1 has been one of the most reputable modeling agencies in the UK. Models 1 has a Classic Models division that represents well-known senior models such as Carmen Dell'Orefice and Daphne Selfe. Senior models applying for the Classic Models division should provide a headshot, profile image, and full-length image. At Models 1, they request that models interested in applying with their agency be at least 5 feet 8 inches.
Launched in Paris in 2012, the Silver Agency represents senior models exclusively. One of the agencies most notable faces is that of Jacky O'Shaughnessy who appeared in a campaign for retail brand American Apparel. Models interested in joining the Silver Agency roster should upload a headshot image, a quarter body image and an image of themselves in a swimsuit.
Lights, Camera, Now Take Action
Now that you are armed with information to take your first steps go ahead and put yourself out there. Many realistic older models are needed for all types of modeling jobs. As the Baby Boomer generation ages, the demand for the representation of mature images has never been greater. Companies are seeking lovely older people to become models to attract new customers.