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How to Become a Model?

The Basics

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    Take Care of Yourself! Features indicative of good health are a must.
    • Focus on keeping your skin clear and glowing.
    • Shiny and healthy hair is important.
    • Fitness is important. Consider working with a trainer who works specifically with models. Tell them your modeling goals and how you aspire to look.
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    Decide what kind of model you hope to be. Technically, anybody can be a model. However, do remember that if you don't meet certain requirements, the work available to you will be incredibly limited, and you may have to compensate in other departments (reliability, technique, etc).

    • A Plus Size 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, very skinny, and 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 really important for print models.
    • An Underwear Model: For women, this requires large breasts but small hips. For men this requires broad shoulders but slim waists.
    • 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
    • Consider your "look". There is more of a curvy California look, a svelte New York look, a waif-like European look, girl next door, swim suit or lingerie (usually requires the bust to fill out the suits and a very thin waist)... Know what you're equipped with, but also work to pull off other looks.
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    Educate yourself. There is a lot you can learn from reading books and articles on modeling. Reading quality guides, articles, and books will both help you to improve important skills (like posing) and to better understand how the industry works (how to find an agent, etc.).
    • Realize that it's tough. The modeling world is jam-packed with pretty faces. Just because you are good looking does not mean that you can succeed as a model. In the modeling business, it is not just about looking great. You have to fit the want or need of specific jobs just in order to get a chance. Modeling is only for serious people who carry unique looks and characteristics. Since there are so many people trying to become models in today's world, it will be very challenging to get a breakthrough and will only come through patience and perseverance.
    • Realize a model does not have to be like a supermodel, however with a lot of effort you may reach that supermodel status!

Portfolios & Agencies

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    Take some snapshots. This doesn't mean candid shots of you and your friends, but rather shots of you up close without a lot of makeup and on a plain background. You should shoot them in nice natural light 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.
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    Consider getting some professional shots taken. Professional photography, even if it is expensive, will give you a better idea of what kind of look you give off. You may eventually need these photographs to snag an interview, so think of it as a worthwhile investment!

    • Get your favorite professional shots printed into 8x10s. Save these in case you are asked to leave a photograph anywhere before you have professional ones done.
    • If you've got enough of these photos, consider putting everything into a portfolio, or "book." Bring this portfolio with you to castings or to agencies.
    • Register to Modelstreet.in and upload photos to your profile. There are hundreds of agencies looking for fresh faces on Modelstreet.in.
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    Take and know your measurements and stats.
    • Basic measurements are height, weight, and shoe size.
    • Know your clothing measurements such as dress size, hip, waist, chest etc...
    • Know your own personal stats, such as hair color, eye color, skin tone etc...
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    Visit a modeling agency. Almost every major city has multiple modeling agencies, and almost every agency has "open-calls" where they look at new talent.

    • Bring your snapshots and/or portfolio. They will often ask you to walk or pose for them. They may take a headshot or take your measurements as well. If they reject 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.
    • Register yourself to Modelstreet.in and create your portfolio by filling up your details and uploading your photos and videos. You will be found by several agencies and production houses looking for models, both fresh and established.

When Working

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    Be professional, polite, and courteous.
    • Always turn up on time to any appointment or shoot. If you're late or rude, word soon gets around and then nobody will want to work with you.
    • Be organized. Models often get called off places at the last minute and have very busy days. You need to be on top of things if you want to succeed. Buying a day-to-day planner can really help.
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    Confirm whether or not there will be a make-up artist (MUA) on site for any work you are doing. Sometimes you are expected to bring certain things with you (such as base foundation) and if they don't have a makeup artist booked you need to prepare accordingly.
    • Be truthful about your measurements. Don't say you're skinnier than you are just to get a shoot. Once there, the stylist will have problems and you will get found out. Word will get around and you could find yourself without a career!
    • Treat modeling like a real job. Girls that don't take it seriously have small chances of succeeding in their modeling career. Realize that it is harder than it appears and there's a lot of work behind all that glitz and glamor at fashion shows. Modeling is a full time occupation that requires constant attention. One week away from it and your career can be over. Understand that modeling has only a small window of opportunity, and even if you take a short break, you may never be able to return.
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    Be creative on shoots. Photographers want to see you pose in various works, work for the camera, and interact with the world around yourself. Runway coordinators want you to put attitude in your walk (or very specific emotion).

     

Tips

  • You can also enter modeling contests. However, make sure you check that these are being run by a reputable agency.
  • If, for whatever reason, you've decided signing with an agency isn't right for you, you could consider going freelance. But be warned: the pay is usually considerably less and there are fewer safety precautions.
  • Get your parents' permission if you're under the age defined by your country as being an adult.
  • Some modeling schools are licensed by the Board of Education. However, whether or not they will teach you how to become a model is questionable, and some agencies even say that attending a modeling school can teach you bad habits that are hard to unlearn! They are also expensive.
  • Get a website. It helps spread the word that you're out there and also serves as a place for your adoring fans.
  • Know your limits on style and nudity. If you don't want to do glamour work or are uncomfortable doing full nudity, speak up and don't let people push you past those limits. Also, consider where you want your career to go in the future. Sure, you may be comfortable doing glamour now, but what if you decide you want to do fashion or catalogue work in the future? You might be discriminated against if they know you have done this line of work.
  • You don't have to have a portfoilio, you just need to make sure you have some snapshots of your self you could show.
  • It may also be worth your while to try sites that allow you to talk to experts in the modeling industry. These sites allow you to ask industry professionals questions and get the answers you want and many also provide additional services like photo and portfolio advice, as well as management contracts etc.
  • Be careful when signing contracts or releases. Some contracts may require you to model exclusively for a particular agency. A lot of releases (which are more like mini-contracts that are done for a single shoot), will emphasize the photographer's right to an image, saying that they may do whatever they wish, but don't mention the model's rights. It is your image they are using, and you have a say in what is done with pictures taken of you. Make sure to discuss this before signing anything.

    Modeling is a tough business.
    Try not to be discouraged by rejections. Even top models still get rejected for about 70% of everything they are put forward for!
  • If you become one of the top models like Kate Moss, the people you work for might ask you to take drastic measures to stay a top model. For example, they might ask you to get nose jobs, liposuction, or have breast implants. The pressure of modeling can cause a lot of long term mental health problems, including eating disorders. Don't be afraid to speak to somebody if you think it is getting all too much. If you just can't handle the pressure, it may be time to start thinking of a new profession. A job isn't worth your health!
  • Be wary of any agency that asks for money up front. The majority of agencies get their money through commission- meaning they take a certain percentage of your pay for every job that you do. If you don't work, then they don't get paid. If you've already paid up, there's no incentive for them to find you work. However, don't dismiss everybody who asks you for up-front fees as a scam. If you are sure that they are an agency, listen carefully to what they are asking for the fees for. Bigger agencies in bigger markets will often pay for these for you or at least loan you the money, but smaller agencies or agencies in smaller markets can't afford to do this. If the fees are to cover actual representation, this probably isn't a good deal. Although there are some good agencies out there who work on this basis, the majority are nothing more than con artists. Find models who they represent, get in touch with them and ask them what they think of the representation they are getting.
  • If you are invited to a foreign country (i.e. Hong Kong, Macau etc.) for an audition or job, have enough funds to purchase a return ticket yourself. While legitimate jobs exist, there are many scams that provide one way tickets then trap young girls into prostitution rings when they cannot afford to go back home.
  • If you are planning a photo shoot with a photographer you have met online, it is highly recommended that you bring a chaperone to the shoot. It's for your own safety, as you never know who is who online! If you can't bring a chaperone (because you are unable to find one or because the photographer doesn't allow chaperones), make sure you do a background search on the photographer first- check out things such as who they have worked with and for - and call somebody when you get to the shoot and when you leave the shoot.
  • Almost all agencies will ask you to fill out a contract. Be sure to read through it thoroughly and make sure you know what every word means, even use a dictionary if you have to! Better know what you are signing for before you accept.

Also look at 10 tips on cracking a modeling Audtion!

 




Modelstreet is an online portfolio and networking portal which gives aspiring models/actors and agencies from the media industry a platform to promote and share their services. The website serves two types of people. It helps aspiring models and actors to find modelling and acting jobs. Industry Professionals such as directors, producers, model agents, photographers can post their requirements as casting calls and find models and actors. The service provides as platform to gain contacts and bridge the gap between availability and need for models and actors.