What is a Mother Agency?


Cinema Models is a mother agent because we scout models and help you get your started when you first start modelling. A mother agent helps you learn the industry, helps you build your modelling portfolio or "book", and gives you advice and guidance on the best direction for your career. At Cinema Models we also promote you to clients in your local area so that you can book jobs and build your book with tearsheets.

A good mother agent will understand the industry as a whole with excellent connections to international agencies and a good understanding of how the various markets do business. Remember  requirements for models differ greatly around the world. A mother agent will also have important inside information such as,

  • which agencies pay their models in a timely manner,
  • which agencies have the best bookers,
  • which agencies are the most respected in their markets, and
  • ensure that you are connected to the right place at the right time to capitalise on the market.


Remember a mother agency  works on commission so when they sign you to another agency in a larger market they generally earn money for doing so. For example, when you complete a job for a client the agency that booked the job will deduct 20% from you as their commission. In turn, they will give the mother agent a cut of their 20%. The larger agency will take their 20% regardless of whether you have a mother agency or not, so don't worry, having a mother agency will not cost you any more than you would normally pay.

Having said that it is not uncommon in the Asian markets to deduct an additional 10% or so in order to pay your mother agent. Getting signed to modelling agencies in Asia is usually a time-consuming job because of the special visa's and travel arrangements necessary, so the additional 10% commission to your mother agent is money well spent!!

Being a mother agency isn't exclusive to agencies from smaller markets, big agencies can be mother agencies too. Ford Models (to name only one) is both a mother agency and an agent. The benefit of having a separate mother agency is that there is no conflict of interest. It is difficult to please both a client and a model – my role as a mother agent is to put the talent first. The term mother agency is very fitting considering we do become family… And that’s just how I like it.