Designer fashions, glitz, and glamour. It’s easy to see why the prospect of becoming a model is enticing. Not only can modeling pay extremely well, it typical offers a number of extra perks. Traveling to exotic locations is often part of the job and models have the opportunity to work intimately with famous people. On top of this, they gain exposure and collect free stuff while learning many useful skills.
Most people think that modeling is exclusively for tall, gorgeous, and slender women, but this isn’t the case. There are, of course, rigid beauty standards for specific areas, particularly for high fashion and editorial print models. However, there is no specific beauty requirement to become a model in many other areas. The industry is constantly searching for people of many different shapes and sizes. What ultimately stands out most is the uniqueness, talent, and drive of the individual. There’s no one set route for how to become a model, but there are some general guidelines for those who think they have what it takes. Here are some helpful tips for how to get into modeling.
Choose What Type of Modeling
The first step in how to start modeling is choosing what type of modeling you are interested in doing.
High fashion, editorial print, and glamour modeling are the three categories that require the photogenic faces and perfect bodies we typically associate with models. These models are generally 172cm to 180cm (5″8 to 5″11) or taller, with dress sizes of 4-6 US (6-8 UK), and a bust size of 34. Female models generally work from ages 14 to 25. Glamour modeling places greater emphasis on sexuality. Models need to be not only beautiful, but also sexy, confident, and outgoing. This line of work involves everything from lingerie and swimwear modeling to artistic and nude photography.
Looks and size are less stringent in other areas of modeling and there’s plenty of work to be found in commercial print, catalogue modeling, and TV for people with ‘regular’ looks. Commercial print is an immense market that encompasses all print advertising, from magazines to supermarket billboards. The model is chosen based on the product and what the target audience will find most appealing. This means there’s room for many different model types; the same is true from catalogue modeling. Film and TV offers, perhaps, the greatest leeway as they are often trying to be representative of real life.
Body parts modeling and plus size modeling aren’t usually what newcomers have in mind, but both are viable options. Demand for plus size models is a fairly recent development, but the industry is looking to meet a growing demand for larger body types. There’s even a specific plus sized high fashion sector. Body parts modeling makes up a surprisingly large and profitable sector of the industry. This type of modeling is dedicated exclusively to promote products in print and TV. Hair, eyes, lips, hands, legs and feet are the most commonly sought body parts and having an exceptionally well-proportioned body part from that list can become very lucrative.
Research The Modeling Industry
As with any other career track, anyone aspiring to be a model should first put in quality research. It will help you decide if modeling is right for you and help familiarize you with the important names in the business. A good place to start is by looking through magazine spreads that you like. Take careful note of which agents and agencies are working behind the scenes to find out which ones are reputable and who they represent. Stay connected with industry news by following your favorite agencies and the trends of the particular sector you are interested in.
Have The Passion & Drive
It’s well established that modeling comes with some amazing perks, but before starting the journey to be a model it’s important to acknowledge the darker aspects of the industry. Modeling isn’t just having a pretty face. It’s a real job and there is precious little room for being a diva. There’s a great deal of competition and if you can’t deliver, you can easily be replaced. Furthermore, your modeling career likely won’t begin with a large cash flow. Work will probably be sporadic, rejection frequent, and a part-time job may be necessary to stay on top of finances.
When work does start rolling in, it means a hectic schedule involving long-distance travel, early morning prep, and late night shooting. Many models find it difficult to get adequate sleep and maintain the size/shape of their bodies. Models may also find themselves being treated more as products than as people. People in the industry, from agents to photographers, often times talk about you as if you aren’t in the room. Make sure being a model is what you really want and that you have the work ethic and drive to backup the passion when times are tough. Think you’ve got what it takes? Submit an application to become a model.
Get Prepared To Become A Model
Unfortunately, there’s not a class that can teach you exactly how to be a model. There are, however, classes that can help prepare you for certain aspects of the job. Modeling classes are most beneficial for those who are still uncomfortable with the idea of being on display and need a confidence bump. If you are interested in just a few quick tips of the trade, here are a few things to consider:
Taking Model Friendly Photos
The most important thing to remember when having your photo taken is to be confident. Confidence shows and if its lacking, the photo suffers. This includes being comfortable with the camera, your body and potential criticism. If the photographer offers advice, you should be able to handle the emotions that may come from personal insecurities with professionalism. Just know that if they are suggesting something, they are the expert and it is advised to follow their lead. Also, be aware of how your body looks. Keep your back straight and maintain good posture. Don’t forget to breathe and be natural. Most agencies want to see the real you come through the photos. Practice posing in front of a mirror to get a feel for how your body moves and what your best angles are.
Be aware that an expensive professional photo shoot is not necessary when making inquiries. Always know in advance what the agency is specifically looking for, but most agencies normally only require some simple digital photos that were taken in natural lighting and show your features. Wear a simple tank top, pants, and no make-up. A good head shot and a full-length shot should suffice. Include your measurements for both height and weight when submitting photos.
Contacting Modeling Agencies
Think you’re ready? If you’ve done the research and picked out a modeling track that suits you best, it’s time to start filling out applications and sending photos off to agencies. Before you know it you’ll be packing your bags and flying off to your first location shoot. We can help expedite this process by passing along your application to our modeling industry contacts. Submit an application on our website, it’s quick and easy!