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  • Writer's pictureKamla-Kay McKenzie

What to Wear to Open Call & What to Expect

When wanting to become a model, there are various routes in which an aspiring model can go about getting in front of an agency with the hope of getting signed.

One common way that aspiring models can have the chance to meet with a modeling agency, is through what is called an agency Open Call.

Unlike if a model submits to an agency via the agency's online portal, an Open Call is when aspiring models are allowed to meet with an agency face to face in person.

In many ways, this method can increase the odds of you getting signed versus should you only submit online.

The Pros of Attending Modeling Agency Open Calls

Agencies love when models have personality - positive, confident personalities.

When meeting with an agency in person versus trying to only submit static images to them via the internet, they are able to more readily ascertain your personality and how that would fit in with their client list.

Attending in person also allows the agency to better gauge how serious you will be about your career and how responsible, respectful and punctual you would potentially be when meeting with their clients.

In addition, sometimes when models try to take their own digital images for online submissions, they do not always turn out the greatest.

In that sense, if your photos do not do you justice in comparison to how you look in person, you can increase your odds of the agency being willing to work with you once they see your true potential and drive in person.

Should you have the opportunity to visit with an agency in person, always opt for that method to increase your potential to getting signed and for a faster response time. This is because online submissions are sometimes never looked at by an agency or can take weeks or months to get a response due to the high number of submissions that they receive online daily.

It should go without saying that anytime that you meet with a potential agency in person, that it is imperative that you do your research ahead of time to confirm their legitimacy for the sake of your safety.

What to Wear to Agency Open Call?

In a prior blog post that I wrote titled "How to Take Modeling Agency Digitals and Polaroids", I detailed out how to present yourself when submitting to an agency.

Be sure to read that article prior to submitting to an agency online or before meeting with them in person for a thorough guide on how to present yourself.

The attire mentioned in that article for digitals/polaroids will also be applicable for attending Open Calls.

Quick Attire Overview Includes:

  1. Making sure you are wearing solid, muted colors, no patterns, form fitting clothing. All black is preferred

  2. Skinny heels or black pumps

  3. Little to no-makeup

Despite what appropriate clothing that you choose to wear to the Open Call, always have a bathing suit or swim trunks (as applicable) in your bag or underneath your clothing since some agencies will request to take digitals of you in swimwear to better evaluate your body.

Can You Attend an Open Call Without a Portfolio?

When attending an agency open call, it is often helpful if you have some images that you can bring with you.

Many of the top agencies require that models do bring their portfolio or images of some sort.

If you have a professional portfolio, then great. Bring that with you with the images printed and placed in a large black portfolio book or have them on a digital iPad.

However, if you do not have professional images, that is ok as well.

Simply follow my guide on how to take modeling digitals and print those out as 5x7 photos and bring those with you. While many agencies will help develop a model's portfolio should they choose to sign you, you still never want to show up to an open call without any images to show the agency.

NEVER attend an open call and try to show agencies photos on your cell phone.

The agents will take your images, review them with the other agents, also known as bookers, and then they will also take digitals of you on their own camera to later review with their team.

Finding Modeling Agency Open Calls Near You?

If you are trying to find some local open calls to visit as a way to not break the bank on travel (or even if you decide to take a trip to attend one, here are some tips on how to find them.

  1. Visit the website of the agencies that you are interested in working with

  2. Click on the tab on their site that says "get discovered", "become a model" or similar subject matter

  3. Read through that page and see if the agency lists their Open Call information. In most cases, agencies will list the days and times of the week or month in which they host an agency Open Call.

Keep in mind that not all agencies have Open Calls. Some rely strictly on other agencies, often referred to as Mother Agencies (MA) to find and submit models to them for consideration.

Should an agency have Open Calls, there is no need to make an appointment. Simply arrive to the agency within their stated days/time-slot and bring any images that they may request.

Just be sure that you do not arrive too early before the start of Open Calls and definitely do not wait until the last 10 mins of Open Call end times to show up.

Open Calls and the Pandemic Lockdown

You may be wondering, "Why is understanding open calls important right now when many modeling agencies are still in partial lockdown/quarantine model?"

You see, there are many agencies that are currently scouting models online as a result of social distancing practices.

Therefore, this means that there are many more submissions happening online.

If you put 2 and 2 together, you will conclude that while you can still get signed and get the attention of an agency online, that the huge influx of online submissions also means that there is a possible likelihood that your submission will not be seen by the agencies due to them receiving sometimes thousands more submissions online as a result of models not being able to be seen in person.

Therefore, although many modeling agencies are not yet back to doing open calls, many are starting to make this option available again. Therefore, you should be prepared with the steps below so that you can immediately jump on the Modeling Agency Open Call opportunities as applicable.

The Take-Away While Waiting to Get Agency Signed

  1. Create a list of agencies that you wish to visit when they are back open to the public for Open Calls.

  2. Write down the measurements they desire, the photo specifics they request etc.

  3. Use this is time to practice getting good digitals and to further work on your portfolio so that when the opportunity presents itself to meet with an agency, that you will be READY.


Want more details on what it will take to get the attention of a reputable agency to get signed, booked on paid work and developing a strong professional portfolio?

Be sure to download my latest modeling ebook called "How to Become a Model".

You can also Book a 1:1 private model mentorship session with me.

Xo, Kamla-Kay


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