I think all Instagram users who read this will agree to me that the app has been proven to be an effective search tool as much as it has been a go-to inspiration hub for those having a creative block. So nowadays, it has been a search tool also for modeling scouts and brands looking for a fresh face to star in their campaigns. It doesn’t happen often but it certainly did happen like how Guess discovered one of its spring models on the platform, while Marc by Marc Jacobs held Instagram casting calls for both its fall 2014 and spring 2015 campaigns. So if you’re in Instagram and an aspiring fashion or even runway model, take note of these tips below on how to get discovered by an Instagram model scout:
1. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT make a side Instagram account for your modeling portfolio
In an interview with Fashionista, Jenni Rose, IMG’s vice president of scouting said, “A lot of girls are making side accounts for getting scouted, which is absolutely wrong. I want to see the pictures that they have no idea I want to see. I want to see them at their best friend’s sister’s wedding. I want to see them on the last day of school.”
In short, the best photos are the ones that show your vibrancy and personality, both of which help propel models forward once they’re in the industry. Which brings me to tip #2…
2. Be Yourself
Yes, that tip is soooo cliché but it is true and proven. Just like Ms. Jenni Rose mentioned in her interview with Fashionista, they “want to see the pictures that they have no idea I want to see” and “Instagram allows us to see potential models’ natural beauty in their everyday lives. They no longer have to spend lots of money on photo shoots or portfolios.”
Just take a cue from Matthew Noszka’s story, a normal 21-year-old college student in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania until he was discovered by Wilhelmina agent Luke Simon after seeing his Instagram photo while he was spending his summer working for his dad’s construction company.
Noszka said in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres that he didn’t intended the photo to be viral or get scouted by a modelling agent, he didn’t even knew what was “Wilhelmina” at that time.
3. Tag your photos properly
There are millions of people in Instagram and some of them are probably just like you, hoping to get discovered by a modelling agency. That is why don’t be afraid to use as many hashtags as you can, because they were made for the sole purpose of tagging your photos so people can discover it. But make sure you are using the right hashtags.
The scouts at the mega-agency IMG have used Instagram as a search tool for some time, and they even created a dedicated division for that sole purpose alone. They call the program and the Instagram handle “We Love Your Genes,” so “they can come directly to us with simple smartphone snapshots and a lot of enthusiasm” according to Ms. Rose. The account aims to find new faces via the hashtag #WLYG. So girls, use that acronym tag on your photos, and they’re guaranteed to land in front of an agent for consideration.
If you are wondering if aspiring models outside of US can also be discovered by Instagram model scout, the answer is YES! “No matter where they are, we can get to meet them or see them, because we travel so much,” Rose says. “We found a girl in Romania, and I have someone I’ve known for years and trust who met with her. It’s important to talk with the families, and it’s important for them to understand what it means to be a model. Then we try to get it going as soon as we possibly can.”