How to get into Modeling. 11 Tips you should know
As a fashion photographer in Portland I'm often asked by my clients how they can get into modeling. Modeling is easily one of the most popular career paths among the youth today. Along with a high salary, there is a laundry list of perks that make a career in modeling appealing—glitz and glam, fame, travel, and, of course, freebies from sponsors!
However, there are many less glamorous aspects of being a model you should know. Modeling can be a full-time grind, requiring you to put in long hours of shooting and promotion, you are required to take good care of your body and skin, be mindful of predators, and more.
Having said that, these “rough” aspects seem trivial in comparison to the glitz and glory models like Kate Moss & Naomi Campbell enjoy. Not to mention the indescribable feeling of seeing yourself on the big screen and billboards. If you are ready to become a model, I am here to help with some expert advice I've gained by photographing and working with signed models over the years. I hope the following tips will help you take the necessary steps in your modeling career.
1. Hire an Agent
Modeling agencies are a great option for you if you don't want to wait to be scouted. These agencies are readily available to represent you and help you land your first modeling gig. In fact, some have said not using an agency to represent yourself is akin to going to a trial without a lawyer! These agencies will provide you with much-needed exposure, help you get paid what you deserve, and boost your overall identity and value as a professional model.
With that said, you must ensure that you only work with reputable modeling agencies. Unless you have a lot of time and money to spend, do your homework before reaching out to any agency. Make sure that you only partner with approved agencies that have a solid reputation in the modeling industry and follow these 10 safety tips every model should know.
2. Don’t Contact Professional Photographers Just Yet
If you are just starting out, you do not need to blow a hole in your wallet by hiring a professional photographer like myself and stay away from heavily Photoshopped photos. Scouts and agencies want to see the “real” you, and they are not expecting you to look like David Gandy or Gigi Hadid. They just need some simple snapshots—even pictures taken from your phone’s camera would probably do the trick, however if you want to show you can do multiple looks and styles of editorial hiring a photographer might be a good idea. Better your portfolio better your odds of getting hired.
Only after the agencies are convinced of your potential and talent would you need to spend a decent amount of cash on professional photography. They will advise you on investing in photos that are right for the market in which you want to work.
3. The industry has Evolved
The good news is that the modeling industry’s attitude has changed dramatically over the years. Models no longer have to be size 0 (case in point: Ashley Graham) or super tall (case in point: Emily Ratajkowski) to make it big. This means that if you *think* your body is preventing you from pursuing this career, you must rid yourself of negative thoughts... the industry has done it as well!
The modeling industry is much more inclusive today, which was certainly not the case ten years ago. Everyone has a chance—no matter their skin color or BMI.
4. Let the Market Choose You
Modeling and travel are inextricably linked. If you have limitations on the places you want to work, this might not be the best career path for you. That's not to say it can't be done. Keep in mind that you can get work from anywhere in the world. Learn the industry’s cardinal rule: the market chooses you, not the other way around.
So, even though you want to work in Paris, Milan, New York, or London, just go with the flow and seize opportunities regardless of where they are on the map. Prepare to go wherever the job takes you.
5. Have a Friendly Personality
Modeling is about more than just your face and body; it is also about your attitude and personality. No matter how talented you are, people will dislike you if you have a condescending or unpleasant personality. This would have a tangible effect on your career. You wont get many job offers and miss out on many golden opportunities that would have catapulted your modeling career if you're unprofessional, entitled, and not on time.
However, if you have a pleasant and friendly personality, most sponsors will be delighted to work with you, and you will continue to receive exciting modeling gigs. The takeaway? If you want to be a successful model, learn to be a decent human being first. Seems like a no brainer but you'd be surprised.
6. Worship Your Body
This advice cannot be overstated! You must respect and care for your body. Maintain good hygiene and stick to a regular workout regimen. Maintain your hair, nails, and skin. Yes, modeling requires you to go the extra mile.
Above all, do not be afraid or embarrassed to seek professional help. After all, you are a human, and that makes you imperfect. Are you facing acne issues? Schedule an appointment with a dermatologist near you and get it treated. Want to reach a weight loss goal? Hire a personal trainer or sign up for a fitness center.
7. Don’t Let Rejection Impact Your Self-Esteem
This tip is the most important. You will face many rejections along the way—perhaps you may not be picked for an audition, or you may not walk the runway at a major fashion show or even a local fashion show anytime soon. However, you should never let these rejections affect your self-worth. I can't begin to tell you how many brands have rejected me as a photographer. I get it.
Not everybody is fortunate enough to be picked on the 1st attempt, or 2nd, or even 3rd, 4th, or 5th. So, take rejections and critiques with a healthy dose of optimism. Allow them to serve as stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks. Remember that after you have tasted the bitterness of failure, the fruit of success will taste sweeter.
8. Attract Model Scouts
Think of model scouts as your non-virtual job portals. They are always on the lookout for young people with promise, such as yourself. Modeling scouts can be found in a variety of settings, from malls to concerts, to Instagram, to TikTok. In fact, they travel all over the world looking for aspiring models like you so always dress fashionable.
That being said in the age of social media, your chances of being scouted are much greater than they were 20 years ago. This means that you no longer have to rely on being found while out and about, you can now attract scouts on social networks like Instagram and Facebook or TikTok by posting consistent content. High quality photos will get you noticed and this is where a professional photographer can come in handy. Just make sure, and I cant stress this enough, if you're scouted in person or online that you vet the person and agency they work for before having a meeting with them in person.
9. Do Not send nudes
Should any "model scout" or agency tell you they need photos of you nude in order to hire you, or further your career they are lying and should be avoided at all cost. No legit professional agency will ask this of you. Remember that.
10. Decide what kind of model you want to be
It is your job to research and decide what kind of model you'd like to be. There's many different options so narrow down what interests you the most and what your body and features are best suited for. Runway, swimsuit, commercial, fitness, glamour, lingerie, or editorial?
If you're serious about becoming a model you have to study, study, study! Don't expect to just show up to a shoot and look pretty. You may have to model under water, in the rain, in the cold, in the heat, or in the wind. All these scenarios present their own challenges you'll have to overcome. So if you show up prepared with the knowledge your competition is lacking you'll have an edge. Do the research, listen to the podcasts, go to seminars, learn from the professionals on Youtube and TikTok. Hire and learn from photographers in the industry. Practice in your room.
It is not easy to become a model, but it is highly gratifying for those who put in the time and work to make it happen. I hope that the tips listed above will help you achieve your dreams to be in the spotlight someday.
To really stand out, create a Media Kit. A media kit is a 1 or 2 page digital or physical document containing information about you and all your accolades much like a modern resume. Were you featured on the cover of bridal magazine? Put it on there.
The point of a media kit is to catch the eye of a modeling scout or agency that already has a stack of wanna be models photos to go through. Fact is if you want to become a model and already have a massive following on social media you have an edge over your competition, agencies will be very attracted to that so make sure to show off your followers in your media kit. Your kit should be a one-stop shop for all of the information a agency or scout might need. Have your height, weight, and body measurements in your kit as well as 2 of your best photos. I'll show you my media kit below to give you an idea.
Read more at: https://publicrelationssydney.com.au/media-kits-what-is-a-media-kit/
Average salary for a model
According to Indeed.com the average salary for a model in the U.S. is $23.10 per hour. and female models tend to make more money than male models. How much you make as a model depends a lot on your experience and your reputation as a quality model. You also need to work with a good agent who will find you well-paying jobs.
Author Lance A Reis
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