Becoming a model is a competitive, subjective and sometimes cut-throat industry. No guide out there can make or break your career. But while genetics play an important role, an unwritten rulebook of etiquette and professionalism runs deep through the modelling world. Models don’t just get hired because they have the right look. They get hired because they have the right attitude and are good to work with.
So here are a few tips to help get you started on the right foot. If you’d like a more comprehensive overview of the industry, ask us for a copy of our Complete Beginners Guide to Modelling.
1. Improvise with Friends
This may seem like an obvious one but until you experience being at the other end of a camera you have no idea whether modelling is actually for you. It’s good to start simple so get a parent, friend or trusted adult to take some basic images of you. If you enjoy the experience and feel confident on camera, then consider pursuing it further.
2. Get Mum and Dad on Board with Becoming a Model
If you’re under 16 and just starting out in the industry, it’s likely that you’ll need accompanying or chauffeuring to castings and jobs. In fact, being the parent of a young model can require just as much work as being a model yourself. So go fetch a sponge and start washing Dads car!
3. Keep Instagramming
Sorry Mum! With the rise of social platforms in our media landscape, having a large following can significantly increase your chances of getting signed as a professional model. In fact, a whole new breed of agency has now emerged focusing purely on the movers and shakers, the ‘key influencers’ of social media.
4. Get Fresh Digi’s
Although it’s important to have professional photos in a portfolio, agencies also want to see what you look like in your most natural, raw state. Digi’s should be taken either outside, in front of a white wall or by a window. It’s best to wear clothing that shows off your figure – skinny jeans with a tank top and high heels are recommended for girls – skinny jeans and a neutral coloured tee for guys. Be sure to include a head shot looking straight at the camera, a photo of your profile at half-length and a full body shot.
5. Book a Model Shoot
There are thousands of photographers out there who can help you build a modelling portfolio. Here at TPS we’re fortunate to work with some of the best in the business. Our creative team have experience shooting everyone from top international models to total first-timers. Modelling is harder than it looks. So having a photographer who can teach you how to stand and pose correctly is a must when starting out in the industry.
6. Apply for Agencies
Once you’ve got some professional shots and digi’s, the submission process begins. You can go about this in two ways – open calls or direct submission.
Some of the larger agencies have open calls where they open their doors to meet with aspiring models during certain hours of a particular day. Agencies that have this option will have it clearly stated on their website.
Direct submissions are done via email which can be found on the agency websites. Remember to include the best images from your portfolio as well as digi’s and all your stats.
7. Be Mindful of Your Physical & Mental Health
Becoming a model can be very demanding on the body. With 5am call times, 12 hour location shoots and sometimes 6 castings in one day, it’s important to look and feel your absolute best. In order to do this, the way you treat your body and yourself is important. This includes diet, exercise and overall attitude to yourself and others.
When entering the modelling industry it’s so important to be aware that you can’t please everyone. It’s a plain fact that you’re not going to be the right fit for every client and a big part of modelling is being able to handle rejection. Remember to stay true to who you are and not compare yourself too much to other models. It’s also good to take a step back from the industry every once in a while and do something totally different.