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Wanna Be a Models Booker?

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Job Overview

Model Agency Booker.

Duties and Responsibilities

The booker is on hand in the office to organise and deal with models. This includes informing them about casting (model job interview), jobs and shows. The booker must make sure the models have the right information and to attend on time. It also involves having a personal touch and excellent communication skills to deal with models.

On the other hand the candidate must be good with clients. This involves excellent communication skills, customer service and also sourcing new clients. Also invoicing clients and sorting out payments.

The role is full time and working hours are flexible but the opportunity is there for the correct individual to create a name for themselves within the industry. As the opportunity is office based you will be required to work from the office with regards planning etc.

This could be a great opportunity for the candidate to work within a growing company and also later manage the agency.

Skills / Qualifications / Experience Required

Good customer service
– Manage people and communication skills
– Good telephone skills
– Basic Word processing and IT knowledge
– Good Telephone manners
– Able to source clients
– Office management
– Able to work alone and take incentives
– Good decision maker
– Experience from: Recruitment Industry, Fashion Industry, Model Industry.

A booker is basically a sales person … who’s got a “book” of models who are signed with the agency. They promote their models to prospective clients … by knowing who is casting for ads and commercials, etc. and sending out the models’ marketing materials … comp cards, and if requested, their portfolios. A booker needs to have a huge “rollodex” with lots of contacts in the fashion and commercial industry. If one or more of that booker’s models are hired for the gig, the agency gets paid a percentage, typically about 20% of the billed amount for the models’ work, from both the client and the model.

In order to do this effecitvely, a booker has a variety of responsibilities.

First the booker must find and select models to represent … models that meet the typical client requests. So they need to understand the market that they work in and be sensitive to clients’ shifts in what they usually need. They must have strong models with the right looks for the market, but not too many of any “type” … so they don’t compete against each other.

Models are usually found by holding open calls, often held for a couple of hours every week at the booker’s office. Very few of them are ever selected … only ones that fill the booker’s current needs and the rare model who is just so strong that the booker knows that her look would get her a lot of work. Some agencies have mail in submissions only, asking for a couple of photos and the model’s stats and they call any one that they might be interested in. Very few agencies go out and scout … no need to. Aspiring models come to them in groves. People who cll themselves model scouts, are usually working a scam.

Once a model is selected, the booker and the model often sign a contract, laying out what the terms of representation are … what the commission to the agency is and whether or not the model may find work through other means or not. The model is more or less employing the agency to find her work … and in return pays them a commission.

The booker works with the newly represented model and helps her to put together a strong portfolio … making recommendations to good photographers that they know can produce the right kind of images for the booker’s market. This is done at the model’s expense … she pays the photographer directly.

The booker also has accounting duties. Any expenses that the agency incurs on beholf of the model will be charged to the model such as shipping portfolios, copies, postage, etc.

And the booker is responsible to make sure the models show up, prepared and on time to castings and gigs. Most models are still teenagers, and not always responsible. If a model fails to show, the agency stands to not only loose money but credibility. So a good booker is always aware of what is going on with the models, and always has a back up plan. He/she’s sort of a parent and a faux employer.

What I don’t know is exactly how a booker is paid, but I suspect it’s commision related … the more business heshe creates, the more pay is earned.

So … you can see that a good booker must have strong business skills, able to multitask, be skilled at networking, have a good eye for the right models, have the patience and skills to work with rookies and teenagers, and be able to sell the client on the fact that his/her models are the best for their needs.

>>> You don’t need a degree but you do need experience. Agencies are looking for someone who already has a lot of contacts with ad agencies, stylists, photographers, magazine editors, designers and others who would be looking for models.

Most bookers either started as interns/assistants working for an established booker for a few years before getting a booker job. Otherwise they sometimes come out of the fashion or PR industries or even advertising where they have previously worked with models and have a lot of contacts in the industry

Being a booker is a tough job – the base salary is very low and most of your income comes from your commission. If you can’t get a lot of high paying jobs for your models, you won’t eat. An editorial shoot for a new face might only pay $300-500 so your commission would be $30-50. But if you can book one of your models a $1 million Estee Lauder contract, you get $100K just for that one job.

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