Thursday, June 2, 2011

Featured Professional - HD The Agency (Agent)

An Exclusive Interview with the 
Industry Coach of Modeling.
Jay Glover of HD The Agency in Atlanta, GA
explains the Talent Industry rules.

HD The Agency

Written by:  GF Smith

Don’t think about it as a minor league for modeling by any stretch of the imagination. There’s nothing second rate about Jay Glover and HD The Agency. A more accurate description would be the breeding ground for where models learn the fundamentals of what star power is all about. The Derek Jeters and A-Rods of the world don’t invent themselves. They need coaching, and the same goes for anyone else looking to be a star including models. Jay is the hands on coach that can guide the model to the championship level… if she’s ready to step up to the plate.

Hip us to HD...
-HD The Agency is a boutique, ethnic and modeling talent agency. I represent ethnic and urban models. I have models in Atlanta, New York, L.A. Detroit, the Midwest, I pretty much represent ethnic talent across the U.S.

-I call it a boutique agency, because it’s not a major Agency like a Ford, but it’s an avenue to develop yourself with a professional model mindset so if one day you want to approach one of those agencies you can do so as a professional.

So let me understand this correctly... You’re training the models to represent themselves?

-No, I’m training them to work within an agency setting. The goal of true models (runway, etc.) is to work with the agency that represents you, and you find with a lot of urban or ethnic models they aren’t really disciplined to work in the agency setting. They’re not really exposed to that because they’re not really runway models, so a lot of them freestyle when there is actually a certain protocol that goes along with it. So I work on that development with my models.

You would say it’s not only an education but you help them put the portfolios together?

-Yeah, it’s a full development. One thing I do, I represent models with my agency exclusively and non-exclusively. Most of my Atlanta models are exclusive. Pretty much anything they do is facilitated through the agency. Most of the ones not based here are non-exclusive, they act independently as far as getting bookings and they use the agency more as a consultation service. So I pretty much provide feedback and direction.

Is this a different approach to a modeling agency or is this fairly standard?
-It’s a different approach for ethnic models. Attention to detail and strict protocol and development aren’t given a lot of attention. A lot of ethnic models don’t really do it to be looked at as viable models or viable talent, They do it in pursuit of being a celebrity or being popular. And that’s not what modeling is about. The essence of modeling is representing a product brand a service or a client. They don’t hire models to go out and be popular and be the next big thing on blog sites.

So you have a pretty good reputation with the clients you book with?
-Yeah, I work with several genres from TV to print, commercial, fashion, music video, hosting and spokes modeling. And I have good relationships with all my clients. A lot of the clients I started with I still work with and the agency has been around for 6 years. And of course the more prominent work my models do the more I add new clients. And now my clientele has really diversified. At first it was just the urban outlets, music videos and so forth. But now I do TV, film production people, beauty and make-up people. So when models do come into the agency they have a lot of different resources they can channel.

If a woman wanted to be represented by your agency, what would be the best way to prepare herself to be a model?
-First thing is, the pictures have to be professional quality images with professional quality photography. I get a lot of pictures with the whole lingerie thing which I’m kind of desensitized to, because I’ve been looking at that for 6 years. I like the strong headshots, with strong fashion or commercial appeal. I’ll pay more attention to the models who leave a little bit of mystery and intrigue about themselves. How am I supposed to market something if you’re giving it away? I really am also looking for more ethnic models right now. A lot of companies are looking to diversify their look so you need someone who can be a representative in that way.

This is the full-time gig?
-Yeah, I’ve been doing this full-time since 2005. My first two years ding HD I was still working with an advertising agency managing clients for about 6 years. But then I decided to leave and focus strictly on my model and talent agency

Does that mean you’re pretty selective about the models you choose to work with or you just take everyone and kind of work on them?
-No, I’m very selective about it. One of the things I pride myself on is that I don’t go out of my way to work with every model that’s “hot” in the industry. I like working with models that are new talent just staring out to develop them. You’ll find that most agencies tend to work with new talent they feel they can build up to being the next supermodel. My roster of models is up to about 30 right now. I’m able to have a lot of one on one contact with them, so they know I’m loyal to them and we can develop better rapport. But on the flip end they understand that because of that exclusivity, they have to be ready to put in some work. You can only model and take pretty pictures for a short time. You have to be able to use what you know to open up other doors for you like becoming an actress, see yourself in business or whatever it is you want to do.

And if a model has her stuff together how does she get in touch with you?
-I’m actually having a website built for the agency now so the quickest way would be to check the Myspace page which is There’s a little literature about what we expect on that site or the email to contact is

Gonna loan any of your next supermodels to TEARSHEET?
-I commend Sam on what he’s doing and I definitely got a couple of concepts I wanna shoot by TEARSHEET.