How To Become A Model At 16 Years Old

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Modeling is a dream for many 16 year old teenagers and in this guide we will tell you exactly how to get started on your modeling journey.

Is It Possible To Become A Model At 16 Years Old

It is possible to become a model at 16 years old. When you are in a store looking at promotional pictures or are reading a magazine, look at how many people pictured are in their teens. 16 is a great age to start modeling as it will give you time to work on your skills and develop. You will also have ample time to make the right connections in the industry. Modeling is a field where it can take time to grow into a full time career, so the more time you give yourself the better.

how to become a model at 16 years old

Deciding What Type Of Model You Will Be

The type of model you are will be determined to some degree by your genetics. There are many types of modeling roles that have body type requirements and some that do not. At 16 you should have a pretty good idea of how tall you will be and what your weight range is. You should also know your fitness level. These factors will determine some of your modeling options.

The important thing to remember is that nobody will qualify for every type of modeling role, so look at the list and requirements carefully and decide which ones to go for.

9 Types of Modeling Roles For 16 Year Old Models:

  • Runway Modeling
  • Print Modeling
  • Fitness Modeling
  • Fitting Modeling
  • Parts Modeling
  • Petite Modeling
  • Plus Size Modeling
  • Freelance Modeling
  • Influencer Modeling

What Are The Height and Weight Requirements For A 16 Year Old Model

Runway Modeling

The most popular type of modeling is fashion runway modeling, which is when you’ll be walking for a brand label in a fashion show. Think of New York Fashion Week as this type of event. The requirements are mostly height related as female models need to be 5’9″ and male models need to be 5’11”. You’ll also need to have a strong runway walk and be able to pose on the runway.

As a 16 year old, you should know if you’ll have a chance of reaching the minimum height in adulthood. If everyone in your family is only 5’0″ tall and you are that height as well, this is not the one you should be going for.

Runway modeling skills are always in demand though, so any time spent training on how to do this at a basic level is valuable. If you are probably going to meet the height requirements for this, start training now so you have many years to perfect your walk and turns.

How To Be A Teenage Model

Print Modeling

Print modeling involves modeling with products or in advertisements for services. For commercial print modeling there is no height requirement. The most important requirements for print modeling are having a great smile and being able to pose with others in a group.

If you don’t know what type of model you are or want to be you should start with print modeling. Of all the modeling types, print modeling uses the widest variety of people so it is the easiest type of modeling to break into. It is also the type of modeling you can do the longest.

All types of people are needed for print modeling from babies to senior citizens. 16 year old print models who have a great smile, can work well with others, and are reliable, are in high demand.

How To Be A Teenage Model

Fitness Modeling

Fitness modeling is all about what you look like. The main requirement for fitness modeling is that you need to be in shape and look athletic. Companies will put you in position to use their products so you’ll need to be able to pull off athletic moves. Have someone watch you workout and tell you which of your movements look athletic and which ones need improvement.

Most fitness models in national campaigns are adults, but they started training for the role when they were in their teens. At 16 years old you can’t expect to get as many jobs as a fitness model as you would a print model, but if you meet the requirements and love to workout it is a good one to go for.

How To Be A Teenage Model

Fitting Modeling

Fitting models are like live mannequins for designers and do the final fittings for clothing before they are sent off to be manufactured. The ideal size for a fitting model is size 6 or 8. While being a fitting model is not the most glamorous job in modeling, it still pays the bills.

Parts Modeling

Parts models only model specific parts of the body like hands, feet or hair. They are used to hold and show off items in advertising campaigns. The requirements for parts modeling are even toned skin and beautiful hair. There is no height requirement for parts modeling so anyone can do it. Parts modeling is a great way to get into the door of modeling, because when you do a good job in this role you’ll get noticed and hired for something bigger.

How To Be A Teenage Model

Petite Modeling

The requirements for petite modeling are to be under 5’7″ for women. Most petite models work in the commercial print field so they’ll also need to have a great smile and be able to pose well with others. Showcasing products is a big aspect of petite modeling, so practice holding and posing with various items in your home like a purse or shoes.

If you already know at 16 years old that you’ll be under 5’7″ this is a great modeling role to shoot for.

Plus Size Modeling

Plus Size modeling used to be only for adults, but the age is starting to drift downwards to include teenagers as well.

For women, the requirements for plus size modeling are size 12 to 22 and a great smile. Those who want to work as a runway model should also be 5’9″ or taller. If you poses these characteristics you can go a long way in plus size modeling. Most plus size models work in commercial print roles, but increasingly some are working in fashion and runway roles as well.

As a 16 year old you can’t know your final height and weight yet, but you should have an idea if you’ll fit these requirements when you are older. If so, some runway and posing training might be in order.

Freelance Modeling

A freelance model is someone who manages their own representation and isn’t trying to model full time. In order to be a freelance model, you should have a strong web presence and communication skills. You’ll need to convey what types of jobs you are interested in and what you are capable of.

Many 16 year old models are freelance models as it gives them the freedom to accept only they jobs they want and work on their own schedule. Often teenage freelance models are managed by their parents, who also run the social media and promotional accounts for them.

Influencer Modeling

The requirements to be an influencer model are to have a high social media following. Influencers should have at least 1 million followers on TikTok, 100,000 followers on Instagram or 50,000 subscribers on YouTube to qualify as an influencer. It is certainly possible to get roles with less followers, but the pay will be minimal and you’ll mostly be working for free items from the company.

When you are just 16 and you have only had your social media accounts for a short time you can’t know how popular you’ll become. Within the first year though you will have an idea where this is trending and if being an influencer is an option for you.

How To Get Started As A 16 Year Old Model

To get started as a 16 year old model you’ll need to put together a small portfolio of images and start your social media accounts. After you have done that you should start promoting yourself to local photographers and modeling agencies to see if they are interested.

If you don’t know where to go to get pictures done, look for local photographers on Instagram. You can even ask other local models which photographers did their photos. Aspiring models should not have much trouble finding photographers who will do their photos for free. You do not need to pay for photos at this stage.

You need to craft your online identity to show off the fact that you are or want to be a model. You’ll need to make everything look professional and maintain a good online presence.

Here are 5 things you need to do on Instagram before applying to a modeling agency.

You are now expecting agencies and companies to invest time and money into you. They will not do this if your online presence doesn’t reflect what they are to some degree.

Getting Training As A Model

Most 16 year old models will need extensive training to be able to work as a model. If you live in a major city with a modeling school it would be a good idea to sign up for modeling classes with a school. If you cannot find one or need free classes, you can watch all of our YouTube videos on modeling which will teach you what you need to know.

How To Be A Teenage Model

How Much Do 16 Year Old Models Get Paid

Pay rates for 16 year old models are usually done as a day rate. For commercial print work you can expect to make $200 to $500 per day of work. If you are hired for a major ongoing video advertising campaign, you can get a higher rate, more like what an actor would make. Most teen models start working locally at much lower rates until they get their first big break.

Work Environment Factors

Determining what type of work environment you are comfortable with is a very important step for teenage models. Talking this over with you parents is essential as they will be helping you setup and get to shoots.

Travel Schedule

If you are still in school, your travel schedule will be limited. Many jobs require day long or week long commitments. Almost all local jobs will account for your age and only request you at night or on the weekends, so you should be able to start there.

Working at Events

Various fashion shows and events occur in big cities throughout the year, like New York Fashion Week. It will be challenging to attend one of these unless they coincide with one of your breaks from school. Luckily there are so many of them that you might be able to find one that lines up.

How To Find A Modeling Agency As A 16 Year Old

Our advice about modeling agencies is don’t be in a rush to find one or jump at the first one you find. It is vital that you vet modeling agencies to a high degree. The main thing you want to look for are what types of jobs their other clients are getting.

Most smaller agencies can only get promo modeling jobs for their clients, or jobs you could get for yourself if you just applied. These agencies don’t add value to your brand. While it may feel good to be signed, it really isn’t advancing you at all.

You’ll know you should sign with an agency when you can directly say what jobs you’ll be in line for with them that you couldn’t get for yourself.

Agencies To Avoid

Agencies that are pushing you to take classes or buy picture packages are almost always fake. They do not get clients jobs, so their only way of making money is to charge the models. If they were able to get jobs for their clients they wouldn’t need to be selling them classes, t-shirts, and experiences.

Can I Still Model If I Have Braces

You can model if you have braces. Modeling agencies and casting directors are looking for unique qualities in potential models and your braces are one thing that can give you a special look. Don’t be afraid of anything about yourself that is different from others, as it could be the one thing that gets you hired or signed.

Can I Model If I Have Acne

Modeling agencies and casting directors have scouted thousands of models and are able to look past acne issues when you meet with them. Since acne is a temporary problem that will go away, it will play no part in if they decide to hire or sign you. Potential models should not feel bad at all about attending a modeling audition with acne.

How Can A Teenager Become A Model

As a teenage model who is under 18 you will need your parents permission to sign with a modeling agency or get hired for work. It is important that you let your parents know of your intention to model so you can make decisions about it together. Until you reach the age of 18 everything you do in the modeling world will be supervised by your parents.

Do Models Have To Be Pretty

Modeling is about more than being pretty. At the core of modeling is the ability to sell a product and have something get noticed. Often in modeling it is better to be unique than pretty. There is no one standard or definition of pretty, so don’t get too hung up about being pretty enough to model, in the end it won’t matter.

If you want to see what opportunities are available for you at NGM Modeling, check out our Apply Page.

Robert Marmion
Robert is a modeling scout for NGM modeling and is the lead photographer. He has scouted more than 1,000 models in his career, and has published over 500,000 pictures of models.