Parting Ways with Ford
Yep, you read right. I won't be renewing my contract with Ford Models in San Francisco. Before I get into details, let me answer some of the more obvious questions I know you'll ask:
1) Are you crazy?! No. LOL.
2) Are you mad/upset/sad/depressed/scared? No.
3) Aren't you worried about your career now? Not at all.
4) Any regrets? Nope!
Now that I've gotten that out of the way (haha), let me start off by saying that while Ford was good to me and treated me well, it was a mutual decision. Trust me, breaking away from a big name agency isn't going to be career suicide for me. It'd be different if I was a newbie or had no idea how the industry works or operates. I stayed with my contract as long as I could and during that time they did not book me any work, unfortunately. The shoots and gigs that I did get and posted about on here were through my own efforts as a freelance model. It is because of my efforts that I am not worried at all about leaving Ford. They are a big name but it doesn't matter how large or reputable the agency is if they aren't able to find a model work. It happens and I'm not upset in the slightest.
Additionally, under Ford I was stuck with an exclusive contract, which meant that I was not able to sign with any other agencies anywhere or receive work from other agencies interested in me. My one piece of advice regarding this topic is to stay away from exclusive contracts...the only exception to this is if the agency is able to get you a lot of work. Other than that, non exclusive contracts will let you sign with more than one agency, increasing your odds of booking consistent work. Make sure to read the fine print in the non exclusive contract, however, and note which areas you are allowed to have multiple representation in.
I am actually super excited to be free from my contract because now I can search for a new agency that will give me a non exclusive contract and hopefully take me in a new direction in my career. I've already started making my list of agencies to contact and I'll be tapping into the LA market as well as the SF market. I don't plan to move to LA and instead will travel to bookings as needed, should I find an agency in the LA area that is interested in me.
I am anything but sad or upset. Not being with Ford isn't going to harm my career. I've been in this industry for a long time so I know that until I find another agency, I'll continue to find work on my own. It's what I've been doing this entire time anyway. I'm definitely grateful to Ford for putting me on their model roster and being associated with them has helped me a lot but now it's time to move on and just in time for yet another upcoming new year. =)