Commercial Print Work

An American reader who has recently moved to London from New York emailed me a few questions this week. I thought I'd answer them separately to keep things clear. Here's the first:

Q: I used to have a commercial print agent in NYC, and thought I'd investigate it here. You mention its called "photographic modelling" here [in London]. But everyone I ask in casting looks at me blankly and says "I have no idea about that", or "actors don't do that here." I'm curious about your experience with it here, and what you may suggest I explore on my own, or suggest to my agent.

A: I am now represented by MOT Model for UK print work. (I just got a the call yesterday on the back of a print job on Monday) They have a good reputation and are one of the largest and most popular modelling agencies. I'll be in their 'Real' group which includes actors, characters, comedians, dancers, etc. MOT also gets called for commercials and presenting jobs. Until now, I've gotten all my print work through notices on CastNet and CastWeb. A lot of it has been for stock photography e.g. Getty Images, and a few jobs have been for brands such as Humanscale and Heinz. I did a fair amount of print work while in Baltimore/Washington, DC so I have a fairly good portfolio to show casting directors and photographers. Mind you, I don't yet have a proper portfolio book; I've just been emailing JPGs of my work. Now that I've joined MOT I will invest in proper 10x8 prints and a nice book to show photographers at castings.

As for how to get started, I'd try the following first:
  • Apply to MOT Model via their website here
  • Join CastNet* and/or CastWeb for daily/weekly casting notices
  • Some agents have a separate commercial arm - you might look through Contacts 2008 to research
  • Call Getty Images, based in Camden, and say you're an actress and you'd like to attend the next general casting so you can be added to their database. Their details are:
    Getty Images, 101 Bayham Street, London NW1 0AG
    Media Manager: 0800 279 9257 (I'm guessing this is the right person to call)
* If you do join CastNet, I'd be v. grateful if you told them I recommended you. I get 2 weeks free for each recommendation.


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