Monday, December 8, 2008

How to Become a Model

A lot of people want to be a model because it's glamorous and sexy. However, it's an extremely competitive and grueling business that will more likely break you than make you. Here are some cold, hard truths about becoming a model, as well as some realistic advice to make it happen.

1. Realize that there are qualities every model needs to have, depending on the type of model one wishes to become. Generally, any feature indicative of good health is a must--clear skin, a full head of hair, and overall symmetry. Other qualities such as height and weight depend on what you're modeling. Consider working with a fitness trainer, especially someone who has a good reputation and experience with models. Tell them your modeling goals and how you'll need your body to look

2. Decide what kind of model you'd like 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).

* If your body is full and curvaceous, you may be able to be a plus size model.

* If you're tall (at the very least 5'7 for editorial & 5'8 for catwalk.) and very skinny but with a small breast size, you can be a catwalk model.

* If you have large breasts but not very wide hips, you can be an underwear model.

* 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.

3. Get some photos done. These don't have to be professional but they should be created for the purpose of showing your ability as a model. Although agencies say they are happy with snapshots, that doesn't mean they want to see an out of focus shot of you out partying with your friends with a little note attached saying that you're the one on the right! As a bare minimum, you will need one headshot and one body shot.

* Get your favorites and take the photos to be printed into 8x10s. Save these in case you are asked to leave a photograph anywhere before you have professional ones done. Don't force these on people or try to hand them out. You'll be better off waiting for the professional shots instead of taking risks with an amateur photo.

* Consider getting the photos professionally done. Professional photography, even if it is expensive, will give you a better idea of what kind of look you project. You will eventually need these photographs to snag an interview, so think of it as a worthwhile investment!

4. Look up the number of a reputable modeling agency. You can find these in your area phone book or by running a search on the Internet. Make an appointment.

5. Be prepared. When you attend your appointment, they might ask you to pull certain faces like laughing, happy, sad, or seductive. Practice in front of a mirror beforehand. It may help to look at pictures of models in magazines to get an idea. Be ready to have a Polaroid close up of your face taken. You really only get one chance for this photo. They'll use this to compare to your headshot. They will ask you to walk and take your measurements, so be prepared for all of that as well. Learn to accept rejection or criticism politely (see Warnings below). Thank the people for their time.

6. Be professional. Be polite and 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.

*Confirm whether or not there will be a make-up artist on site for any work you are doing. 99 times out of 100 there will be but there may be the odd occasion where you are required to do your own make-up. If there is a make-up artist, then arrive fresh faced.

* 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!


* Sign up for acting classes or take acting workshops when the opportunity is available. Pantomime classes are a great tool for models. Any skills you can add to your arsenal will only help your future career.

* 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 glamor 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 glamor now, but what if you decide you want to do fashion or catalog work in the future? You might be discriminated against if they know you have done this line of work.

* Have a portfolio it helps when bringing to clients. Go to a Go-SE, and go- see the clients


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