Best Modeling Agencies in Portland, Oregon
As a prominent and well connected photographer in Portland Oregon, I have worked with many models over the years. Some signed and well established and some just starting out. For those just starting out I'm often asked for any advice on finding a local modeling agency and who I'd recommend. I'll go into detail on how to get into modeling and what to expect in a future article but for now this article will focus on the 5 talent agencies in Portland, Oregon that I recommend.
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My recommendations are strictly based off opinions from models, designers, and stylists I've worked with in the past that I trust, testimonials, and personal interaction with these agencies. I am not a photographer for any of these agencies nor am I affiliated with them in any way.
Questions to Ask Before Signing with a Modeling Agency
Before I get into my 5 recommendations let's identify what you should look for in an agency and red flags to avoid on your quest to becoming the next Kendall Jenner or Gigi Hadid.
Once you've selected an agency and schedule an interview be prepared to answer questions like, "Why are you interested in becoming a model?" What type of modeling are you interested in?" "What made you choose their agency?" and "What value do you bring to their agency?"
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Just as important as the questions they have for you are the questions you have for them. If you want to stand out among the countless other beautiful faces you need to show the agency you’re professional, engaged, dedicated, and take your modeling career seriously. Keeping in mind you can find the answer to some of these questions yourself online here are some important things to discuss during your interview with the modeling agency to make sure they are the right fit for you:
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On your quest to find a reputable modeling agency It’s imperative that you do your homework first. If you're looking for a reputable modeling agency in Portland this article is where your research will begin but not where it will end.
Red Flags I tell new models to lookout for include:
Truth is, most modeling agencies are legitimate and safe, but you can never be too careful. I suggest when you find a modeling agency that looks like a good fit go through their Instagram feed and contact some models they have featured and ask them about their experience with the agency. You'd be shocked at how open people can be to sharing. Now, let's get into my recommendations.
1. The Option Agency
The Option Agency is searching for a whole range of shapes, sizes, and colors to help fuel the narrative that being active is a lifestyle, not a look. Option is an elite collective of veteran agents that has honed its sights and skills on the freshest, most focused talent. Option seeks a balance between offering boutique, white-glove service and bold, gloves-off representation. I appreciate the variety in their portfolio.
The Option Agency represents influencers such as: Hailee Lautenbach, Angelina Yasmeen, Chad White, Nic Palladino, and Nick Kent.
Who they are Accepting :
What you will submit:
• 1 smile headshot
• 1 no-smile shoulder up
• 1 full-length body shot
• 2 two-piece swimwear full-length body shots, one with hair up, one with hair down (teen/adult females only)
• 1 shorts-only full-length body shot (teen/adult males only)
@theoptionagency on Instagram
2. Muse Model Management
MUSE Model Management is a fashion and athletic modeling agency based in Portland, Oregon that represents models to clients in Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco. Some of these clients include: Nordstrom, Hollister, Abercrombie, Macy’s, Nike, Adidas, Jordan, Fred Meyer, Columbia Sportswear, Reebok, Converse, Microsoft, Apple, Boeing, Starbucks, Hewlett Packard, Nintendo, Levi’s, Eddie Bauer, Norm Thompson, Pendleton, Sahalie, Hanna Andersson, Dakine, Portland Monthly, Oregon Bride, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, Nautilus, Sony, Footlocker, New Balance, Brooks Running, Saucony, Precor and REI. Just to name a few.
In addition to regional bookings, MUSE places and manages international careers and has sent dozens of models around the world collaborating with top international agencies such as IMG, The Society, Next, DNA, Elite, Ford, VNY, Soul, NY Models. As a result, their models have worked for Vogue, Bazaar, W, GQ, Details, Elle, Glamour, Marie Claire, Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Marc Jacobs, Abercrombie, Hollister, American Eagle, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Bulgari, Chanel, Versace, and L’Uomo Vogue.
Some MUSE discoveries include: Kerry Degman, Julia Dunstall, Terron Wood, Nick Clark, Brandi Brechbiel, Kate Nauta, Amanda Jensen, Darla Baker, Aaron Bernards, Noa Thomas, Mariah Morrison, Samantha Bondurant, Alesha Cubitt, Wellington Grant, Mercedes Hurzeler, Cristal Chavez and Phil Blank.
If you want to model for MUSE they have 2 options
They will require two photos of yourself. (One head shot clearly showing your face and one body shot in a swimsuit or athletic wear) They will want something current that shows them what you look like right now. Quick snapshots are fine.
Come in and see them. Even if you send them a photo, they're going to need to see you in person anyways. They have an open call every Thursday @ 5pm, and the first Saturday of every month @ 12pm (Noon), at their office in downtown Portland. They request you do not come in at any other time without an appointment.
For their market, a specific height range is generally required. For girls, this is 5’7” to 6’. For guys it’s 5’11” to 6’3”. There are exceptions, but please keep this in mind.
@musemanagement on Instagram
3. Q6 Model and Artist Management
Q6 Model Management is more than just an agency, they're a home base. Helping talent develop their skills in an ever evolving industry. Q6 strives for people to feel welcome and seen for their unique identities. For over 3 decades, they've been a leader in the Model and Acting industry of the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
Jonny Shultz: Co-Owner
Jonny prides himself on building relationships with the Models of Q6. Starting his career as a junior booker almost 20 years ago, Jonny rose the ranks of the industry becoming a Scout for one of the world’s top agency networks, Ford Models. He’s an expert in model development and seeks out talent whose personality shines.
Dorianne Palmer: Co-Owner
With over 25 years’ experience at all levels of agency life, Dori helps keep the culture of Q6's history alive and thriving.
Crystal Walen: Agency Director of TV / Film
For 15 years Crystal has been embedded in the TV / Film community. With experience in casting as a Casting Associate (Portlandia, Green Room, Restless), and in production and contract management Crystal brings clear communication to each project she works on.
Adam Rosko: Junior Booking Agent
Began his career in 2009 as artistic director of Atomic Arts (which produced the wildly popular, Trek in the Park), before moving on becoming a Casting Associate and Background Casting Director for dozens of tv/film projects.
Q6 Talent is Not currently hosting open calls.
Thier Code of Conduct goes as follows:
"Q6 is committed to maintaining ethical and social values in the workplace. We have and will continue to uphold the highest standards of integrity and respect for others and expect that same from those with whom we work.
All Models and Actors must be treated with respect and professionalism and we will continue to communicate that requirement to all parties with whom our Talent interact with. We require that all Models and Actors should be provided with a safe, drug and alcohol free work environment, sufficient privacy while dressing, and be provided with all breaks and meals as required by State Law. Should we learn of any violation of these requirements or discover that any of our Talent have been subject to inappropriate conduct or conditions of any kind including, sexual advances or propositions, inappropriate physical contact, emotional or sexual coercion, offensive or derogatory comments or language, or invasion of privacy we will ensure that all necessary steps are taken to remove the Talent from harm’s way and to remedy the situation.
We will work with our clients to ensure that the physical and mental health, safety, wellbeing and dignity of our Talent are protected and maintained while they are on assignment. We will advise clients they may not insist or request that a model perform any activity that may be degrading, unprofessional or demeaning, or to request that a talent perform any activity that may be dangerous, without having first raised the risk with Q6 and with the model, and having obtained the talents' written consent. Any nudity, semi-nudity or sexualized content or situations must be pre-approved in writing by the talent.
We believe in transparency, Models and Actors are provided with rate, usages, and client expectations at the time of casting, and again during the booking process."
@q6models on Instagram
4. Sports & Lifestyle Unlimited
Slu agency represents a leading roster of professional fitting/fit models. Their fit models span the major size sets and are engaged by a wide range of major athletic and lifestyle apparel brands to independent designers and pattern makers. Today's consumers are increasingly making active healthy lifestyle choices towards products and services related to sports, fitness, health, and wellness. These consumers are more educated and savvier than ever. So, it's crucial that brands and their creative/production partners hiring talent as part of their efforts to reach this audience, select talent that are authentic and credible to these consumers.
Slu is proud to represent the strongest roster of professional models and talent that support the varied production and branding needs of these brands and their creative partners from across the advertising, marketing and entertainment industries. An industry leader for almost 30 years, Slu takes great pride in their commitment to the core company values of integrity, honesty, respect and professional service that drives their company culture. They place high value in their relationships with their industry partners and the models and talent that have trusted Slu to represent them.
What Slu Agency is Looking for:
Prior industry experience is not required but can be an advantage. For thier sports/fitness division, they represent talent with advanced level athletic skills and experience that would support the credibility and authenticity sought by advertisers. For their lifestyle division, they are primarily interested in representing women (5'7" to 5'11"), men (5'11" to 6'3"), and teens/kids who represent a healthy active lifestyle with strong potential marketability as commercial models. Slu is open to all sizes and ages but sign only a limited number of kids each year.
A recruitmint warning from Slu: We consider the safety and well-being of aspiring models to be a top priority. We pride ourselves on our professionalism and authenticity and want to advise models about unscrupulous people who prey on their ambitions.
Please be aware there are individuals on the internet falsely claiming to be representatives or scouts of SLU or other organizations. If you are contacted by anyone claiming to be a representative of SLU, do not respond without first verifying their identity by promptly calling us directly at (503) 227-3449 and we’ll be happy to assist you. Please note that SLU never requests photos in the nude or in lingerie and never requires monetary payment to review your materials or consider you for representation. If you are under 18 years of age and are contacted by someone claiming to represent an agency, always alert your parents or a responsible adult.
@sluagency on Instagram
5. Reaction Models and Talent
Reaction Model Management is a Pacific Northwest modeling agency focused on developing and helping talent in Portland, Oregon. They act both as a booking and mother agency, finding interesting people, and providing the tools for them to develop into dependable and compelling models. They are inclusive and represent a wide variety of talent.
As a husband and wife team, Jeff and Brittney McChristy Shanes are fully invested in the service they supply to their clients and models. They pride themselves on their availability, dependability, and ethical standards. Their personal goal is to help their models and actors achieve their goals, and to be a resource for projects to run smoothly and efficiently for their clients.
Some Clients of Reaction Model Management are - Columbia Sportswear / Nike / Adidas / Intel / Google / Microsoft / Unilever / Reebok / Starbucks / Kroger / Sony
Currently they are looking for people who meet the following requirements:
We are especially interested in beautiful ethnic women! We strive to be very inclusive. Pacific Northwest types with individual style/tattoos are welcome to apply.
@reactionmodels on Instagram
Do you have a personal experince with one of the agencies I mentioned? Or have one to add to the list? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. If you're in need of a photographer in Portland to help build your portfolio contact me for a quote today!
Author Lance A Reis
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