Model Mentor MANNY ROMAN – Interview
“The way I work with the models is based on communication, respect, and integrity… in the end I’m extremely happy that I have never compromised their values.”
Manny Roman is a New York based photographer, known for both commercial and high fashion work, with a wide range of photography styles. From sultry beach images, to splendid portraits of models and celebrities, his work has graced the pages of Cosmopolitan, People Magazine, Vanity Fair Italia, and many other publications.
Aside from his rich photography background, he is also an experienced model manager. „My first introduction in this industry was in 1996 working as an intern at a local modeling agency in South Beach. “ Since then, he has come a long way. Along with a full time job as a photographer, he started his own modeling agency. „I decided to open up Roman Management when I was living in London. It is a Mother Agent satellite agency that aims to represent a few models while overseeing their management and placements worldwide. “
Now, he is ready to take on new challenges. „As of August 2017 I will no longer represent models. I am working on my new venture „The Roman Project“. I’ve been working on this project for the last 2 years. At The Roman Project I act as a mentor. To be a voice for models and talent, share insights of the booking table & help guide them through the industry. “
„When I did manage models my aim was to represent who they are. I allow their integrity and core values to guide me in connecting them to the right agencies, clients, and brands that work with their values rather then against them. There are a lot of agents that push the limits by creating an image for the model and forcing the girl to be this persona. That never works. There is a reason why there are too many new faces each season… for the most either they can’t handle it or won’t allow themselves to compromise their values.“
Brittani Kline, one of the models he currently manages, doesn’t spare words to explain the impact of Manny’s expertise and support on her career: „As a model , I could count on him to give his honest opinion and insight on what the best move for my career was. As a person, he always put my happiness and health before my career. Not many agents actually see the girl. That is Manny’s truest talent. To see a girl and her true potential and bring it to life. Having Manny Roman as a mentor has been my greatest blessing in this industry .“
The respect they have for each other is mutual.
„Brittani Kline is indeed one of my favorites. She’s like a kid sister to me and I love her dearly. First and foremost I see the models as human beings. I dig deeper to get to know the girls by asking them what they’d like to accomplish in this field. I talk to them not at them. I listen carefully and take everything they say into consideration. The way I work with the models is based on communication, respect, and integrity. This process allows me to seek those agencies and clients that would be a great fit for the girl. While many times it has proven to be hard to merge the two, in the end I’m extremely happy that I have never compromised their values.“
When it comes to the expectations today’s models have to live up to, Roman gives his opinion on the era of Insta- famous stars and mandatory social media presence:
„Today’s modeling scene is overrated and has unrealistic demands of these girls. It’s quite difficult for the model to work if their social media followers aren’t at least 10K amongst many more “factors”. “
So, what are the most important qualities of a top model, according to Manny Roman?
„Besides having the physical characteristics, I believe that Confidence and showing Gratitude are two very important qualities one must have to succeed in this industry. “