So You Want To Be A Model

Have people told you that you have a great look? Have people told you that you are photogenic or pretty? Maybe you have thought about being a model, or had people ask you, “How do I become a model?”. Breaking into the modeling world is a lot easier than you’d think if you have the right knowledge and the correct tools.

Make sure you are confident with a positive attitude and that you are well put-together.

One of the key building blocks of modeling is finding photographers who are willing to do Trade For Print, also known as TFP, with you. Photographers and models do TFP, which is unpaid work, in order to get pictures and experience that can be used to get paid work later on. If you don’t have the time or money for shooting then start practicing posing in the mirror. Take note of what works in poses, including facial expressions. Professional photographers who know what they’re doing will allow someone to come with you so that you feel more comfortable.

With any kind of modeling it is important to have a great portfolio. At the beginning when you are looking for an agency, one or two good head shots of yourself and one to three full body shots in flattering attire should be fine. As you get work and gain experience then you can add to and enhance your portfolio. Be careful if you attend an agency and they ask you to spend a lot of money to better your portfolio; it is not necessary for your to do so. However, asking you to test shoot for your book with photographers they like using is normal. SOMETIMES it costs a bit but shouldn’t be more than a few hundred dollars for each test, hopefully including hair and make-up… see if they can get any photographers that will shoot with you for free first. If you don’t get photos that showcase you at your best with natural hair and make-up then it may be better to opt for nothing at all. Any photos should show how great you look in photos. If they are not really good quality then reconsider using them at all.

Once you have your portfolio prepared the next step would be to call up some modeling agencies.

Don’t rush through this part and don’t pick just any one. Additionally, never pay a fee to sign or apply to an agency. If they wish to have you, they will be paying for you to work for them; you should never have to pay to try to get work.

Thoroughly check the agencies that are out there. Don’t be afraid to interview them and ask them questions and ask other people what they think of them. Narrow it down to the top three to five after you have learned about them all, then contact them at the beginning of the week to find out when their open calls are. Don’t hesistate to ask questions of them as they will of you. Be professional yet determined but do not take any potential rejection personally. Sometimes an agency is not currently in need of your look, they have a full roster, your look doesn’t mesh with their agency and the clients that they cater to, or they don’t have time to grow you. Regardless of the reason, as with many things in life, it’s generally NOT personal so keep your head high and move on to the next agency. If the agency signs you, great!

Another thing you should do is get your measurements and write down the clothing sizes that fit you best. Choose your best photos, usually at least one full body shot, a three-quarter shot, and one headshot. Congratulations, you are now equipped with a portfolio, and your body measurements readily on hand.

The easiest route for this is to use the pictures from your portfolio on sites like OMP and Model Mayhem to get more attention to your abilities. Be leery though, to look up references, and also do a thorough check on any photographers and agents that you wish to work with. Answer casting calls anywhere that you can find them on-line. Look up open calls for modeling work on classified ads also.

The more exclusive (and often safer route) is to go to licensed agencies in your city, and go to an open call. Bring your photos, and bring your statistics and contact information. Figure out what niche of modeling would fit you best.

Fashion models have the most exceptional limitations. Most agencies are specifically seeking out women who are five foot eight inches and above, ages thirteen to twenty-two. Men who are looking to model have to usually be around 6 feet tall. Going into an agency knowing this information is important, as is knowing not to wear outlandish clothing nor wear jewelry. Select a natural, everyday look, with make-up that would simply cover up blemishes and enhance the eyes. The aim of this make-up is to make it appear as if you aren’t wearing any make-up at all.

A last word of advice, learn how to do your own make-up, and work toward getting a modeling wardrobe. The more things that you bring to the table, the more dollars you can make as a professional model. Happy modeling!

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