Catalog Modeling In Detroit…

Detroit Michigan Modeling Portfolio Photographers Mary DuPrie

They are few and far between… in a nutshell.  Models are not being flown out of Detroit to do many shoots.  Lucrative shoots will be booked out of  New York, LA, Chicago or Miami.  So unless you are signed with an agency in one of these cities those jobs will not be coming your way.  Victorias Secret will not come knocking if you live in Detroit.

I get various calls during the week from potential models or parents of models and occasionally the conversation goes to what OTHERS have suggested they qualify for.   Ahhh, oh, I see.  Further conversation might establish the model is 14 and 5’1″… plain and simple… not gonna happen.

One Source Talent, The Event, John Robert Powers, John Casablanca, these businesses have reasons for saying you quality… and they are all financial… that is, to part YOU from YOUR money.  Saying or inferring just about anything to string you along. If they  mention they can shoot a comp card for you… step away from the buffet!

When I start talking about how the business really works it seems that I am the enemy… NO… I am just the first person talking about how the industry really works.   Ouch!  Well, being honest can/is a drag.

I am going to be taking another route, that you, as a model or parent have done your due diligence and know what you qualify for in the Detroit market.  My past blog posts will help with the legit modeling agencies in the Detroit area.   I don’t have the time to educate everyone who calls about the modeling world nor do I want to be the bearer of bad news;  that the $2,000+ that you’ve spent was unnecessary.

Stringing  you along saying that you qualify for blah and blah, oh and then there’s blah… oh, you’re 5’4″ and weight 180 lbs then you could do plus size modeling… hummm, no.    So sad indeed, few people embrace the new info well.  Every plus size model I’ve ever shot has been at least 5’10” and about 185 lbs.

I will look at it this way… there is always promotional modeling and perhaps you can quality for that category.  But if you out and out ask me I will tell you the truth, but that is only if you ask.  A two look shoot can pretty much cover anyone and everyone who wants to get into some aspect of the modeling world.

If you are not signed you DO NOT need a comp card or portfolio… there, I’ve said it for the last time.  A simple headshot and body shot will do.  Whether the photos are professional or amateur you can submit them.  Will professional photos help, absolutely, but bookers are skilled at seeing a potential model in bad images too.   No fancy lighting, flattering angles or the miracle of all miracles… Photoshop!

It can sting when mentioned there are no catalogs being shot in Detroit and a newbie 15 year old wouldn’t be given the job even if K-Mart was still here.  But my daughter is way cute!  But your daughter is 5’1″.   I know of two catalogs booked through Detroit of any merit, Carhartt, the work clothes company, and Moose Jaw the outdoor clothing company.

Magazine editorials generally pay zip… as in $0.  A magazine editorial is what is in the middle of magazines, the spread.  Yep… $0.  Commercial print models generally make the most money here.  A commercial print model is generally very pretty with great teeth, good skin and very easy to photograph, in all types conditions, soft or hard.  Age is not so much a factor but experience is.

Potential models:  Clients find bodies that fit their clothes, which normally is a sample size 6.  They make one sample that is a size 6 in every new piece in their line… hence this is why you need to fit a sample size.  Clients use a fit model or mannequin that is on average 5’10” tall.

The shortest female model I know of signed in Detroit is over 21 and 5’4″.  She does a variety of TV and a few print jobs.  The perfect height for men is 6′ to 6’2″.  Detroit is a smaller market so our heights can be shorter, men are always in demand in the Detroit market.  So guys if you’ve ever thought about modeling, please do!

Height is important for men because if you are paired with a tall female model in heels you don’t want to look over shadowed.   Occasionally  a shorter model will be signed but they will have an exceptional face… beautiful skin, great teeth and be very photogenic.


On the other hand if you are on the shorter side for modeling there is always the category of  “Promotional Modeling”.  Promotional modeling is kind of like what it sounds.  The catch is most “Promo” models are 18, in Detroit you need to be 21 for  alcohol or casinos.  Promotional models are cute hot chicks and guys with bubbly social personalities.  The normal pay is by the hour, not by the job.  The average rate is $15-$40 an hour.  Some promotional models will be under contract and are required to travel around the country representing a company, examples would be alcohol, power tools, tires… mostly geared to the male market.  On the other hand you could be standing in a store passing out ice cream samples.  To submit for a promo model you only need a headshot and a body shot in our market.

There is also the category of promotional work that just about anyone can quality for… for instance the folks who pass out those yummy samples at Costco.

I hope this post helps out to find the right fit for you and avoid signing with companies that can’t really help you.   I suggest not giving someone your credit card number to bill you of several people that have had to cancel credit cards to stop the payments.  I’ve heard it’s easier to stop payments if you use a debit card btw… but my advise is to use nothing!

When you have to get out your check book… get your cute little butt cheeks out of the chair and run.  Never give out cash and don’t fall for deadlines.  Modeling agencies generally don’t advertise, they don’t NEED to.  They especially don’t do radio ads.  They don’t want to be overrun with tons of people because they are selective.  Take your time and do your research.  Best of luck.

Detroit Michigan Model Photographers Mary DuPrie




4 comments category: commercial,Comp cards,Headshots,modeling,Modeling Agencies,Photographing models

1 Michigan Makeup Artist March 15, 2012 at 9:14 pm

This is fantastic advice, Mary. So often I get requests from men and women who just don’t have the right measurements.


2 Best Senior Pictures in Oakland County,MI-David Roberts February 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Good straight info . You are always on top of the industry. Thanks


3 michelle January 16, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Great article! I’d like to get your opinion on this: Apparently this agency “leases” the use of the Wilhelmina name. A couple of years back, I made the huge mistake of submitting my photos and info. per their guidelines listed on the website. I received a phone call about three weeks later; they wanted to meet me in person and scheduled a day/time for me to go out to the agency.

The scary thing is, this agency comes across as legit due to its name, professional website, etc. The agency building itself was extremely professional looking. At the end of the day they wanted to sign me….and naturally sign up for their FIVE THOUSAND DOLLAR modeling “bootcamp.” What a joke! I could go on and on about the BS they were feeding people, myself included.

The icing on the cake is when they called and emailed, wanting to know when I would be sending in my signed contract–along with the payment for “bootcamp.” I was so repulsed I never responded. Then I received an email stating how unprofessional it was that I didn’t respond. Hmm. Pot calling the kettle black? I find it horrible that these “agencies” are basically BSing people to take their money, selling false realities and hope to people, especially in this economy when money and jobs are so hard to come by.

Don’t get me wrong–people should be educating and researching the industry; however, there’s no excuse for the type of bad business these “agencies” run.

Just thought I’d put this all out there and let people know about my experience. Keep up the great work!


4 Mary DuPrie January 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Thanks for the info Michelle… they are masters of spinning info.


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