How to Become a Model: Where Do I Start?
Becoming a model as a career choice requires hard work and dedication. It is hard to break into the modeling world when it is filled with hundreds of pretty faces vying for the same job opportunities. You will need to stand out from your competition in more than just looks. You will need the resistance and fortitude to face repeated rejections. Research and knowledge of the industry is essential too.
First you need to decide what kind of model you would like to be. Fashion models are not the only modeling jobs available. Not everyone can be a supermodel and most models will enjoy fun, lucrative careers doing a job they love without the world-wide recognition of Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum or Kate Moss. Besides fashion modeling, there are jobs available in categories like plus size, runway, print or underwear modeling. Before starting out, you should know your categories and understand what each category requires from its models.
Most modeling agencies will have open calls or contests to find new, talented models. If you can’t find an opportunity like that, call them to see if they are seeking new models and make an appointment. At that first face session, bring a few snapshots or a modeling portfolio if you have one. It is important to have natural shots from a few angles. A head shot, profile and full body shot should be part of your portfolio. Even if you are comfortable with nudity, keep it out of your portfolio. These photos should be done by a professional to show the best images to agencies. The portfolio is an investment in your future.
The professional photographer that you choose should be reputable. Always take a friend or family member with you to photo sessions anyway. Don’t let the photographer talk you into nude shots or any racy photos that make you uncomfortable.
Model And Agency Contracts
Made sure to read contracts very carefully and never sign anything without reading and fully comprehending it. Take your time to read the contract, and even better, ask if you can take it with you and talk it over with family. Be wary of anyone who rushes you or pressures you to sign without reading it fully.
Agencies will not ask you for money. They especially will not ask you for hundreds of dollars to represent you. They make their money by being paid a percentage of your modeling fee. If they are able to get you work, they will get paid per job.
Ask for references and then call those references to see how the models feel about the agency’s representation. The agency should have no problem with you contacting a few of the models for reference purposes.
Modeling Job offers
When you have an appointment to meet with a client, make sure you are on time. Know your measurements and stats like clothing size along with waist, hip and chest measurements. Whether with an agency or not, if you get offered a job be professional. Show up for the job on time and be courteous. If you lie about your measurements, it makes other people’s jobs more difficult, and word will get out that you are untrustworthy.
You can show some sassy attitude and be unique, but be sure that you are considerate of the people on the job like the photographers and other models. When you get the call for the job, ask whether there will be a make up artist on the shoot. It is best to bring your own make up anyway just in case. Always try to be prepared for any eventuality. It is a smart idea to have a bag prepared so you will be ready for any calls. The bag should have cosmetics in a few different colors and styles that accentuate your best features. A change of clothing couldn’t hurt either.
Sometimes, the job you get will be out of the country. This is part of the reason for being a model in the first place, so while the idea of traveling to exotic countries seems like exactly what you have dreamed about, be careful. Be sure you have a return ticket whether provided by the client/agency, or whether you buy the ticket yourself. Have a chaperone travel with you if possible.
Final Words Of Caution For Future Models
Models sign more contracts than they ever thought when they started out in the job. The photographers and clients need releases signed giving them permission for the use of your images. It is a picture of you that they are using; know what they are using it for, and where it is going.
Before starting out in this industry, know your limits on nudity and racy photos and stick to those limits. If you are uncomfortable at any point, speak up and don’t let anyone talk you into something that sets off alarm bells in your head.
Finally, always remember: money flows to the talent, the money should never come FROM the talent. If a modeling agency wants money, they are probably scamming people. If modeling job boards or promoters wants money for job opportunities, they are probably scamming people. Paying for headshots is necessary, otherwise you should not be spending money pursuing modeling job opportunities or relationships. It is important to be skeptical in the modeling industry and be leery of people who want to take advantage of you. Unfortunately, with so many wanting to become models there is an entire industry set up to separate people from their money in their pursuit of becoming a model. Make sure this does not happen to you.