Why blue chip clients only book through modeling agencies.
Major brands, designers and advertising agencies won’t book models outside of modeling agencies except for low end promotional work. Even if they can stand to save a lot of money and get similar talent. Why?
There are a number of reasons; the most notable being that they cannot risk their production on an individual. Consider this:
When producing an ad or editorial for a major client, the model may make a few thousand dollars, but it’s just a mere fraction of the entire production cost. The photographer likely makes more than the model, and the photographers’ expenses for assistances and support staff are even higher. There are stylists, makeup artists, a producer, a creative or art director and all their assistants, location fees and permits, and often times the client may fly in from a different city as well.
The cost of a major production can easily exceed $100,000, and is almost always at least 5 to 10 times the cost of the model(s). Can you imagine the risk being taken when booking an independent model? Model agencies do more than find the talent; they manage it and stand by the production. If a model was suddenly ill the day of the shoot, they’ll replace her.
Moreover, the model agency handles billing. Big companies and advertising agencies don’t want to setup an account payable and all that goes with it for an individual only to be used one or two times. The modeling agency is likely going to continue doing business with them and supplying models for other projects.
There are other reasons, in fact many. But you need not go further than these to see why any major client is going to use a modeling agency vs. hiring independent talent.