A lot of people want to be a model because it’s glamorous and lucrative. They may want to be recognized in the modeling world. Modeling is extremely competitive, and the industry is filled with rejection, but successful models spend their time doing something that they love. Knowing what to expect when entering the world of modeling can help prepare you to become a model.
Part One of Three
Mastering the Basics of ModelingEdit
Be healthy inside. Eat and drink healthy foods and get plenty of exercise. Having a healthy body will help you look your best.Fitness is important. Consider working with a trainer who works specifically with models. Tell him about your modeling goals and how you want to look, and ask for a tailored exercise regimen that will support those goals.Eat right. Contrary to what some people tell you, you should eat healthy foods, as well as healthy amounts of food. Veggies, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and proteins should make up the basics of your diet. Sugars, starches, empty carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats should be avoided as much as possible.Be sure to drink a lot of water. Avoid sodas (even diet sodas) and minimize your alcohol intake.
Maintain your appearance.Take care to make yourself look healthy and well-groomed. What you wear and how you carry yourself are important as well, but you should have a routine that supports the health of your skin and hair. Focus on keeping your skin clear and glowing. Wash your face in the morning and at night, exfoliate once a week, and remember to wash your makeup off before you go to sleep.Keep your hair shiny and healthy. Some agencies and managers prefer the “natural greasy look,” so it may be okay if you prefer to minimally shower.
3Match your modeling goals to your body type.Technically, anybody can be a model. However, if you don’t meet certain requirements, the work available to you will be incredibly limited or you may have to compensate in other areas (reliability, technique, etc). A Plus-Sized Model: If your body is full and curvaceous, you may be able to be a plus size model.A Runway Model: Most women on the catwalk are at least 5’8 and commonly small-breasted. Men are mostly between 5’11 and 6’2.A Print Model: Most editorial female models are at least 5’7, but a beautiful face with great personality are the most important features for print models.An Underwear Model: For women, this requires large breasts but small hips. For men, this requires broad shoulders but slim waists.An Alternative Model: Some agencies hire alternative models: models who do not conform to the industry “standards” of beauty, height, and weight. Additionally, having a specific passion or cause that you’re working towards can help open doors that may be closed due based on a body feature that does not “fit industry standards”. Other Types of Modeling: If you don’t fit any of the face or body descriptions, perhaps you can be a foot, hair, or hand model.
4Consider situational modeling. If you do not think the runway or magazines are the place for you, look into other types of modeling. Companies use models for special events or to promote specific products. There are fewer restrictions on body type and more emphasis on personality for these modeling jobs.A Promotional Model: Some companies want their customer base to interact directly with models who are generally attractive with likable personalities to promote their brand. You may see these models in grocery stores, events, or clubs promoting things like food, liquor, or new products.A Spokesmodel: Spokesmodels are hired to be consistently associated with a specific brand. Contrary to popular thought, spokesmodels don’t always have to verbally promote the brand.A Trade Show Model: This type of model is hired by companies or brands to advertise to attendees at a trade show tent or booth. These models are typically not employed by the company but hired as “freelance” models for the event.
5Consider your “look.” The look that you communicate can be made up of both your body type and your style. There is more of a curvy California look, a svelte and sophisticated New York look, a waif-like European look, and a boy- or girl-next-door look. Know what you’re equipped with, but also try to pull off other looks.
6Educate yourself about the industry.Learn as much as you can from reading books, blogs, and articles about modeling. Reading quality guides, articles, and books will help you improve important skills (like posing and posture) and better understand how the industry works (such as how to find an agent).Also research reputable agencies that place models in high-profile places, such as magazines and fashion shows.
In addition to your body type, what factors going into communicating your “look”?
The magazines you work for.
Part Two of Three:
Understanding Portfolios and AgenciesEdit
1Take photographs for your portfolio. You should include professional-looking headshots: shots of you up close without a lot of makeup and on a plain background. You should shoot them in nice natural light (but not direct sunlight) without a lot of distraction in the photos. These are meant for agencies to get a look at you in a raw state. Consider a head shot, a body shot, and profile shots.The most important thing to communicate in a portfolio is that you are able to present a range of “characters” and looks.
2Consider getting some professional photos taken.Though professional photography can be expensive, it can make the difference between being passed over and getting an interview. Think of professional photography as a worthwhile investment in your career! Get your favorite professional shots printed into 8x10s. Save these in case you are asked to leave a photograph before or after an interview.If you’ve got enough good professional photos, consider compiling them into a portfolio. Bring this portfolio with you to castings or agencies.
3 Visit a modeling agency. Almost every major city has multiple modeling agencies, and almost every agency has “open-calls” where they look for new talent. Bring your photographs and/or portfolio. Be sure to have your (accurate) measurements as well.You may be asked to walk or pose for a headshot or other photos during an open call interview.If an agency rejects you, don’t get disheartened; often an agency is looking for a diverse set of models, so you may just not fit their model lineup right now.
The most important thing your portfolio should communicate is:
Your measurements and sizes.
Your skill at hair at makeup.
Your range of characters.
Your look both in clothes and out.
Part Three of Three:
Navigating a Modeling Career
Do not sign consent forms without consulting your agent. A client may ask you to sign paperwork or consent forms. Before you sign, be sure to ask for a copy to share with your agent. You do not want to sign a form that gives a photographer or client more power over your actions or images than they should have.Similarly, do not sign a contract with an agency unless the agency and the contract both seem legitimate. If you are not sure whether the contract is good, have an attorney or an experienced model read over it for you. A good agent should have your best interests in mind. She should help you navigate the legal issues in any given contract.