Many people today have the look casting directors are seeking; however, it's the rare few who actually scout out a talent agency to represent them. Often compared to selecting a college, narrowing down the choices and selecting the one best for their situation is a challenging situation, indeed.
The problem many face is the desperation to find someone to represent them. They get to the point where they're willing to sign on with anyone to get a shot at the big lights. Yet, actors and models shouldn't give into this kind of desperation. Rather, they should calmly research the local agencies, finding out who they currently represent and what types of talent they specialize in. Sending out headshots to every business in the Yellow Pages is not a productive use of your time or your expensive photos.
Another problem many talents face is the abundance of scam artists in the industry out to take a desperate individual's money and provide no services in return. In today's crowded industry, it becomes difficult to tell the real agencies from the fake ones. Keep in mind as you're on an interview, it's also a chance for you to interview them. Listen carefully to all they tell you, looking for red flags. For instance, if they ask for a fee to provide a consultation or to register, you're in the presence of a scam company. Companies such as One Source Talent would never ask for such a fee, nor should any other respectable firm. The casting companies or talent agencies receive a commission off of booking their talent, not off of you personally.
A red flag to look for when listening to the spiel of a casting company is when they require you to attend classes. The key word here is require, as many casting companies may offer classes, and that doesn't make them disreputable. However, if they require you to pay to attend classes, they are not considered reputable, and you'd be better off without them.
Another requirement many scam companies push is the use of a specific photographer for headshots. While yes, of course, you do need headshots, it should not matter which photographer you choose to take them. Don't necessarily discard an agency because the endorse the services of a photographer but, if they require all your pictures come from that one photographer, something is wrong. Furthermore, if you're a child searching for an agency, it's not necessary for you to have headshots. Parents are encouraged to shoot a roll of film in various clothing and situations and repeat the process every six months.
To get an idea of the type of headshots you might want to pursue, One Source Talent Modeling and Acting offers their talent list at https://instagram.com/onesourcetalent/. This is perfect for those looking for talent to peruse and for potential clients to get ideas for headshots. For more information, follow them on Twitter @onesourcetalent.