How To Get Petite Modelling Work

Petite modelling is considered to be a difficult niche to crack into. The archaic stereotype among the fashion industry is that all models are slender and tall. These characteristics are slowly breaking down as models of varying height and weight move into the spotlight. Reputable modelling agencies, such as IMG Models and Wink Models are known for casting petite models. But what options are there outside of agency representation? Getting signed isn’t the defining factor of modelling, there are plenty of avenues to gain vital experience. The demand for petite models is still accumulating. Build your portfolio on your own time and show the industry just how passionate you are!

By Natalie Dawson

What If You Don’t Get Signed?

Rejection is inevitable when it comes to the world of modelling. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t find a suitable agency to represent you. Modelling is about passion, practice and patience. Getting signed isn’t the be-all and end-all as plenty of models start the foundations of their careers outside agencies.

 It’s surprising to hear, but even the biggest names in the business once faced rejection. International top model Gisele Bündchen says she was rejected over 42 times before her big break with Alexander McQueen. She picked up work where she could, but in an interview with People Magainze Gisele recalled it being slow and difficult.

So, what are the options for an unsigned model? Welcome to the world of Freelance Modelling. No restrictions, no requirements and everything is under your control. 

Read: Top List of Petite Modelling Agencies in Australia

What Is Freelance Modelling?

Freelance models work under their own name and influence. If you’re struggling to find an agency, who better to represent you than yourself? Freelance modelling is mainly about creating connections and putting yourself out into the world. Jobs can be sourced through social media networking and word of mouth.

Petite modelling and freelance modelling can work hand in hand. There will still be rejection, that’s simply part of modelling, but you have the option to seek out jobs perfect for your height and size. An agency isn’t a necessity for a promising modelling career.

Freelance modelling isn’t an easy alternative. You have to work hard and manage yourself well in order to have a steady flow of work. There is a large element of flexibility and freedom to freelance modelling. It also helps you become more publicly recognized through creating connections.

Where To Find Work

While getting signed with an agency exclusively may not be in the cards, non-exclusive representation is just as beneficial. Non-exclusive modelling agencies will submit you for jobs and the more your signed with, the more offers you’ll get. Seeing as they are doing a portion of the work for you, 10% of your pay is usually required. But that’s completely worth it once you start regularly working.

An examples of an non-exclusive agency is WINK Models.

There are also alternate options for those who don’t have any agency connections. One of the top websites for freelance models to find jobs is ModelMayhem.

More niche job hunting sources are Facebook groups dedicated to creatives coming together to build their portfolios. Paying jobs won’t become a regularity until your portfolio develops and your name is recognized amongst the community.

What You’ll Need

In order to get petite modelling jobs you’ll need some experience. Even if you choose to use websites like ModelMayhem or Facebook groups, most photographers like to see previous shoots you’ve done. Don’t fret! Everyone has to start somewhere.

If you want to give yourself the best chance, look into creating a portfolio. The Photo Studio offers not only the opportunity to get your photo taken but to learn valuable tips and tricks. These images can act as a foundation for your career. A portfolio of your best looks, poses and angles shows your abilities and assists with networking.

You can then submit these images to photographers, modelling groups and agencies. While professional images are vital to begin your career, they can give you an extra boost.

Studio photographs are taken by professionals who can help you present your best self.

Modelling Opportunities

Petite modelling weaves through many different types of modelling. While there are still relatively strict requirements for fashion modelling, petite models are welcomed in other divisions.

Commercial modelling has no height requirements and models are in high demand. Be it for catalogues, campaigns, trade shows or television gigs.

Petite models are also perfect for both fitness modelling and lingerie/swimwear photo shoots. If your figure it strong and toned there is nothing stopping you getting cast for a fitness campaign.

If you have particularly soft hands, poised toes or luscious legs, perhaps parts modeling is the avenue best suited for you. Parts models can pose for anything from books, lotions, razors, jewelry, footwear where the full face or body isn’t required.

The Importance of Networking

Networking is very important for freelance modelling. Since you’ll be working mostly on your own, under no representation, it’s crucial you have the ability to represent yourself well.

 Advertising yourself, your abilities and your level of professionalism goes a long way against agency models. Having a website under your name (quite literally shows potential employers that you are serious about your career.

Above all, your Instagram can work as a window into your personality alongside your snippets of your work, but your website should be strictly professional.

Linking up with aspiring photographers, stylists and makeup artists will help you grow but also expand your network. It goes without saying that networking only works if you are pleasant to work with. Word-of-mouth travels far and if you behave like a diva it could become difficult to get jobs.

Be professional and you’ll be treated as such.

Be Safe, Be Healthy!

If it’s petite modelling, plus-size modelling or commercial modelling, keeping your wits about you is key. Even more so when it comes to working freelance.

Look after yourself and your well being and never feel like you can’t say no. If you plan to use online sources to find jobs make sure you thoroughly investigate the offer.  If you’re feeling uneasy, bring a friend or a family member along to your shoot. It’s better to be safe.

The modelling world can be difficult at the best of times. Remember to look after yourself and your mental health. Take a break every now and then and don’t get discouraged if jobs don’t work out.

Modelling takes patience and practice. Through freelance work you’ll be able to go at your own pace and build your portfolio.

Get in Touch

We would love to create a unique modelling portfolio just for you!


Get in Touch ×

Locations ×


308 Montague Rd, West End, 4101

We are located 10 minutes from Brisbane CBD. Onsite parking available.

1300 288 818


2 Hertford St, Fitzroy, 3065

We are located in the heart of Fitzroy between Brunswick St and Smith St. Onsite parking is available when prearranged.

1300 288 818


5 Franklyn Street, Glebe, 2037

We are located in the heart of Glebe just 5 minutes from the Sydney CBD. The easiest parking is in Broadway Shopping Centre directly behind the studio.

1300 288 818

Why do we collect your Birthday?×

If you are under 18 we will need to speak with your parents or legal guardians to arrange your photo shoot.