Modeling is one of those extremely competitive careers complete with its own fairytale-like model discovery stories. We’ve all heard about how Kate Moss was discovered at JFK airport or how Gisele Bundchen was found in a shopping mall.
However, actually getting yourself signed to an agency and booking modeling gigs can be (and usually is) more similar to getting any other kind of job with applications and interviews involved.
Below is a list with descriptions and links of the top modeling agencies in the United States, followed by useful actionable tips for aspiring models.
Photographers who are into model and fashion photography will also find this list useful as a reference.
Sure, we all dream about making those millions of dollars, strutting our stuff down the runways of Paris, London, and New York Fashion weeks, and landing the cover in the likes of Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines. Yet there are so many other types of modeling out there that will suit almost anyone. The key is in finding the right agency for you.
Being signed to a reputed agency is often the key to getting those dream editorial shots and catwalk opportunities that help bolster a model’s portfolio and boost their visibility in the modeling world. But how do you find these modeling agencies? How do you get signed and how do you make sure that you’re not getting scammed? Well, read on because not only have am I going to share with you 65 of the best modeling agencies in the US but I’m also going to share with you my top tips for getting signed.
Top 65 Modeling Agencies in the US
There are an abundance of modeling agencies across the US and the world. To help you get started on finding the perfect agency for you here are 65 of the top modeling agencies in the US:
Modeling Agencies in Los Angeles
Storm is one of the top agencies in America and have represented names such as Kate Moss and Cindy Crawford. At the forefront of the industry, they represent both model and artistic talent.
A boutique agency with offices in LA and New York, Q Management is renowned across the world having collaborated with some of the world’s most successful brands including Chanel, Apple, and Nike.
The Largest modeling agency on the US west coast LA Models are one of the most powerful agencies in the world. They have casting calls every Wednesday for both women and men plus online submissions are accepted.
Launched in 2012 by industry veteran David Todd it is one of the leading boutique agencies. With a strong emphasis on developing their talent it already boasts collaborations with GQ Magazine, Paco Rabanne and Ralph Lauren.
A relatively new agency with offices in LA, New York, and Chicago. State prioritizes diversity and inclusion and spans several different types of modeling including kids, classic, plus size and sports and fitness.
Freedom is a women’s fashion agency who are committed to a higher standard of service to global and local markets alike. They also have offices in Miami.
A high fashion and boutique agency dedicated to discovery and development of fresh, unique talent. They represent both men and women fashion and commercial models.
A high-end management firm representing models and talent for advertising, catalog, e-commerce, and editorials. They also have offices in Copenhagen, Barcelona, and Toronto.
Modeling Agencies in New York
Founded in 1946 in the home of Eileen and Jerry Ford, Ford Models has offices across the world. It is recognized as one of the top male modeling agencies in the world and has worked with all the major fashion houses and publications.
Elite has offices in New York, LA and Miami and claims to be the creator of the Supermodel.
Known for launching and supporting their models at every stage in their career they hold an annual fashion camp which preps models for agency life.
Wilhelmina represents, men, women, and children along with full-figured and fitness models. They have offices in New York, LA, Chicago, Miami, and London and is one of the most well-respected agencies.
Known as the Marilyn Model Management in New York, it is an extension of the prestigious French agency. It has represented talent including Claudia Schiffer and Adam Lundquist.
Click has over 30 years of experience and represents over 1000 models focusing on women, mean, plus size, runway, showroom, FIT and tv commercials.
Established in 2017 by John Crawford, this is a passionate and driven new agency that is dedicated to developing fresh, diverse faces from around the world.
A sister agency to Gossip Models Copenhagen which represents both male and female talent. They believe in long term relationships with both models and clients.
One of the top global agencies for representing both men and women, clients have included Dior, Estee Lauder, Gucci, and Ralph Lauren. They represent both male and female models and also have offices in Miami.
Founded in 1995 it is the sister agency to LA Models. they have represented names such as Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson, and Andrew Cooper.
VNY pride themselves on finding diamonds in the rough and have developed a vast network of connections around the world. They are responsible for creating the careers of names such as Nick Snider, Marcus Hedbrand, Nina Maria, and Irina K.
Modeling Agencies in Miami
FRONT is a boutique agency that represents fashion women, men, plus size, big and tall and children. Clients have included Versace, Ralph Lauren, and L’Oréal.
CGM is committed to equality of representation across fashion, fitness, and influencers. It also boats its own in-house studio and technical staff.
With offices across the world, MP Management has been shaping the modeling industry for over 40 years. It has represented names including David Gandy, Stella Tennant, and Michael Ward.
Posche is an international modeling agency with offices across the world including Miami and New York and accept online submissions.
Located in Miami Beach, this agency represents English and Spanish models, actors, and voice over artists.
Modeling Agencies in Atlanta
Representing fashion, commercial and lifestyle models BMG has 7 offices across the country including Chicago, LA, New York, and Miami.
AM&T represent models, child models, actors and voice actors and accept applications through their website.
With a reputation for an exceptional talent pool, Houghton is a full-service agency – in TV/Film, commercial, voice-over, industrial, print, and live events. However, they only accept submissions by mail.
Modeling Agencies in San Francisco
Boom is franchised by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). It represents models, actors, lifestyle models, musicians, and pets!
Founded in 1986 Look specializes in providing a superior service for clients and models to help ensure the success and happiness of both.
Scout has offices in both San Francisco and La. Their small, detail-orientated team is well known for their inclusion and receptivity towards new models.
One of the original “real people” modeling agencies fostering diversity, authenticity, and inspiration. Clients have included GoPro, Airbnb, Uber, and Facebook.
Represents models and actors in commercials, print work, fit modeling, voice overs, industrials, motion pictures and live presentations. They work with hundreds of local and international clients.
One of the most prestigious modeling agencies. Known for taking great care of their models they represent a range of talent from fashion and lifestyle models to theatrical and film actors.
One of the most well-known and respected agencies on the west coast they manage everyone from models to athletes to influencers.
Modeling Agencies in Denver
This is one of the most well-known and respected agencies in Denver. They represent models, actors, voice, and stylist talent.
Eden Talent Agency represents a wide variety of people including adults and children of all genders and even whole families!
With over 30 years of experience and locations across the country this agency has worked with a multitude of clients including Hugo Boss, Kellogg’s Levi’s, and Vogue.
Modeling Agencies in Chicago
10 MGMT represents men’s and women’s fashion and lifestyle models, influencers, and creative artists. They are recognized as an industry leader and are one of the most diverse and inclusive agencies.
Founded by former model Lily Liu, this agency offers 24-hour availability, an online database plus a casting space. It is also a minority business enterprise certified.
Representing men, women, kids, teens, and non-binary gender models they accept admissions via email or traditional mail.
The Rock agency represents models from 3 months old upwards. It is the oldest and most well-respected agency in the Midwest.
Representing adult, kid and teen models, film, voice over music and comedy they have offices in Chicago, New York, LA, and Atlanta.
Modeling Agencies in North Carolina
Carolina’s longest running modeling agency, representing everyone from top actors to professional models and even animals.
Evolution has offices in both Charlotte, New York, LA, Atlanta and across the world. They specialize in actor and model talent with appearances in Friends, Modern Family as well as Vogue and Cosmopolitan.
Based out of Greensboro they represent professional models, actors, stylists, and hair & makeup artists they actually have divisions which include families and product/food designers too!
This is a full-service agency serving a national roster of clients across models and tv/film talent. They accept submissions on their websites.
Based in Hickory, this agency represents males, females, children, and families. Covering a range of areas including models, actors, athletes, and voice over actors their talent has been featured in film, tv, commercials and print.
Modeling Agencies in Charleston
This agency put a strong emphasis on mentoring newcomers to the industry. Their models have featured in local and national campaigns and offer workshops and camps too.
This is a boutique agency which serves the Low Country of the Carolinas. Their talent, however, have been known to work around the world.
Modeling Agencies in Austin
Formerly Wilhelmina Austin, this agency has offices in Austin and Dallas. They have seen their talent working for brands such as Louis Vuitton, Toyota, and L’Oréal as well as New York Fashion week.
Owned by husband-and-wife Tanni and Alan Foreman they use their combined modeling, talent recruiter and fashion photography experience to help models make it big.
Founded by Fashion photographer Devin Mazza this agency focuses on developing talent for placement in high fashion, editorial, commercial and runway markets.
Modeling Agencies in Dallas
Founded by Nancy Campbell in 1989, her experience in the industry and marketing has helped propel the agencies to become one of the top agencies in the southwest.
This agency focuses on the individual career path of their models and works with national and international high fashion clients and agencies.
A smaller boutique agency which focuses on the career development of their models. They claim to be a popular scouting location for larger agencies and have had models placed in New York, London, and Paris.
Representing both new talent and big stars for men, women, and kids for fashion shows, print and tv. They have discovered talent including Bridget Hall, Selena Gomez, and Demi Lovato.
Modeling Agencies in Houston
Houston’s leading modeling agency specializing in fashion and commercial modeling for the southwest.
This agency is well known and respected for discovering and developing talent. Their models are often seen in Vogue, GQ Chanel, Prada and as well as NBC and Disney.
Modeling Agencies in Nashville
Representing fashion/commercial print models and actors as well as hair & makeup artists, stylists, and manicurists they develop new talent as well as marketing establishes talent.
This agency specializes in creating and nurturing relationships with their talent so they can grow to be successful within the industry.
Modeling Agencies in San Antonio
Representing from age 1 up to senior citizens Entourage places talent in commercials, magazines, billboards, fashion shows tv, film and even radio. They represent models and actors from various backgrounds including bilingual and death talent.
Modeling Agencies in Seattle
Heffner Management are dedicated to providing personalized development and support to the diverse talent they represent. Models have been featured by brands including Tom Ford, Dolce and Gabana, Nike and Target.
Operating in Seattle for more than 40 years SMG is known for their honest approach and fair representation for their fashion, lifestyle and commercial talent who have been featured by brands including Calvin Klein, Prada, and Vogue.
Owned by former model Terri C. Morgan and has well established relationships with clients such as Nordstrom, Amazon, Starbucks, and Nike. Their boutique style also allows them to give models hand-on coaching.
Modeling agencies in St. Louis
A division of Talent Plus, Centro is known for its passion and integrity. They represent male and female models, actors, and voice talent.
How Do I Find the Best Modeling Agency?
Finding the best modeling agency for you is a very subjective matter. An agency that might be a great fit for one person may be totally the wrong agency for another. So, it’s important that you do your research before you even approach an agency.
A quick google search for “modeling agencies in (insert town/city)” will quickly allow you to find out who your local agencies are and what kinds of modeling talent they are after. It is important to remember that not all agencies cover all kinds of modeling and while a lot are set up to bring on brand new talent some agencies only deal with established models.
Once you have created a list of possible options you can then begin to do a deeper dive into each of the agencies. Just by browsing their websites and social media you should be able to easily work out the kinds of clients that they work with and the types of models they are using.
This research should help you get a feel for the agency and whether you think that it might be a good fit for you. There is no point approaching an agency that is in high end fashion if that is just not you.
Do You Have to Pay to Get into A Modeling Agency?
A legitimate agency will NEVER ask for money. Modeling agencies make their money by taking a percentage of what you make for your modeling jobs. If you are asked to pay for a joining fee or membership, lessons, or any other type of service with them then I would recommend that you politely decline and run away as fast as you can.
There are many scammers out there that pretend to be modeling agencies and asking for money up front is a key indicator that they are not legitimate. However, some agencies do offer workshops, training sessions and even camps for aspiring models but these are completely optional and not a caveat of being signed to that agency.
What Do Modeling Agencies Look For?
Once upon a time all models were that tall, slim, white, and beautiful kind of person. Luckily, times have changed and now there is so much more scope for so many more different body shapes, skin colors and heights.
Exactly what a modeling agency is looking for usually comes down to the type of clients they are working with and the type of modeling work that is on offer. For example, for commercial jobs, agencies will look for someone with that attainable success. Someone that has that boy or girl-next door appeal that allows those viewing the commercial to see themselves in the clothes or using the products being modeled.
On the other hand, if the agency works more with high end fashion clients then they look for taller, skinnier models. They can often be more experimental and prefer models with strong features such as high cheekbones, birthmarks, or freckles etc.
Here’s the good news though, if you’re looking to get into modeling then you don’t need to go out and fork out for a fancy photoshoot complete with new clothes and full hair and makeup. In fact, that is probably going to hinder your chances of getting signed. Modeling agencies want to see your natural beauty because it’s easier for them to see if you have potential and if they can work with you to mold you into an awesome model.
Here are Fresh Pepper’s top 5 tips for getting signed by an agency:
Besides how you look and your measurements there are a few other things that most modeling agencies will look for when deciding whether to sign you or not:
Your Instagram Account
According to Forbes, modeling agencies are more and more turning to Instagram to scout new talent. So not only is it important that you have a decent following but that it is set up to be scout friendly. That means it’s clean, professional, and fun. Your account needs to be a mix of images and videos that show off your personalities, best features and to let the modeling agencies know that you have the basic skills to market yourself.
Consider adding the hashtag #WLYG (WeLoveYourGenes) to your photos. This is a new face scouting initiative with a dedicated account and hashtag for the public to use. It has already successfully scouted over 50 individuals and can help you to easily get in front of worldwide development scouts.
Whether applying online, in the mail or attending an open call session, most modeling agencies will require you have some kind of portfolio of photographs. Each modeling agency will have its own requirements, but most include a head shot, a top half shot, and a full length shot.
However, as I mentioned earlier you don’t need to book a professional photoshoot to get these shots. In fact, most agencies actually ask you not to. Instead, they are quite happy for you to get a friend or family member to take the photos. They want to see actual real-life photos of you where your natural beauty and personality shine through.
The Right Attitude
Whether you are still a child or a full-grown adult, modeling is still a job and as such modeling agencies need to know that you can act appropriately. After all you are representing their agency and how you get along with the client could have lasting consequences for future opportunities for not only you but your agency. So, ensuring that you show the agency that you are professional and are great to work with is important.
Agencies also look for someone who is confident in themself. If you appear shy and shrink into the background not only are you not going to stand out at auditions and are therefore less likely to get the job but having unconfident body language on a job isn’t (in general) going to get the client the intended results.
What Type of Models Get Paid the Most?
As a rule, female models earn more than male models. This is because most modeling falls into the fashion category of which there is a vastly higher female interest. Its also the same reason why there are more female models than males.
In general models that work in high fashion and on runways have the opportunity to earn the most. You can earn about $20,000 per show or an hourly rate of $200+ although this can often include expenses such as flights and accommodations.
How Much Do Models Make Per Shoot?
Like other jobs, the amount you earn will depend on your experience. It also depends on the kind of shoot and whether you are working on an hourly rate, day rate or per shoot rate.
For a photographic model shooting photos for catalogs or advertising agencies you could be earning anything from $100/hour up to $10,000 per day. Hand or foot models on the other hand generally earn a bit less around $100/hour but as long as your face is not shown you are able to model for products of a similar nature thereby opening up more work for you. Child and teen models usually earn less than adult mainly due to legal restrictions in working hours and parents generally do the negotiating on their behalf.
It is important to consider a few factors when negotiating fees for various jobs. The first is obviously what expenses are included or not included. This is especially important if you need to travel for a shoot or a show.
You also need to bear in mind the percentage cut that the agency will get so that you don’t end up earning a tiny amount that you can’t even live off. There are also a couple other payments that may be applicable depending on the type of shoot. For example, if shooting for stock photos, it is common to agree upon a percentage share. This is where the model is given a share of all future sales revenue from the photos and is usually between 10% and 50%.
The other common kind of payment is known as buyouts. As a model you have rights to photos and videos taken of you and so the client needs to acquire the rights to these in addition to the service and this is called a buyout.
The client is basically buying the rights to use your image for a certain amount of time in a certain way. For example, they could buy the rights to use the photos and video from the shoot in a nationwide television advertising campaign for the next 2 years. If they then wanted to go and use the material in a different format or for longer than the 2 years, they would need to give you further payment.
I hope this article gives you a head start. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Want to get ahead of the competition? Learn how to pose like the hottest model here.