Starting A Modeling Career: 10 Things You Need To Know

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So, you’re ready to take the plunge.

You are gearing up to capitalize on the talents you were born with and develop the skills you need to work on in the exciting industry of modeling. There is so much you need to know in order to be a success in the modeling industry, but hard work and tenacity are of utmost importance when embarking on a challenging career like modeling.

A person that has the look, will stop at nothing to get the job and gets right back up when they are down is bound to be a success. By following these guidelines, you will be well on your way to having a career that you enjoy and look forward to everyday.

1. No experience is required

If you have never posed for a professional photo or walked down a catwalk, don’t worry. Every model starts somewhere. In fact, all you really need is your pretty face, a go-getter spirit and the right attitude to start your career.

Consider attending a casting call for a brand that you love. Brands often find the “next big thing” at the casting calls where you might just find a great job or be introduced to an agent that will work hard for you. It’s also a great way to see if you like what the modeling industry is all about. Keep your eyes open for casting calls by searching companies you love on social media and the internet to stay up to date on when casting calls will be.

starting a modeling career

2. Take a modeling class

There are probably plenty of modeling schools in your area. Do your research and take classes from a reputable agency or school that teaches the basics of modeling. Business, posing, runway, skin care, makeup and photo shoots are just some of the classes that may be offered at these schools. Taking a modeling class is not mandatory, but if you are a little intimidated or don’t know where to start, this is a good way to build confidence. Once you’ve completed your class, you will be well prepared to tackle the hard work that needs to be done everyday to succeed.

3. Clean up your existing social media

When you apply to an agency or go on an interview for a brand, the casting director or agent will scour the internet so that they can see exactly who they may be partnering with or hiring. If you have pictures of you partying or doing anything that may be considered risky to a company, they may pass on hiring you. Some images or videos may not be able to be erased and this is why you should always refrain from posting anything that can tarnish your character. Here are 5 things you need to do on Instagram before applying to a modeling agency.

4. Follow industry leaders on social media

Follow brands, photographers, models and agents that you like and they will follow you back. Comment often on their posts and build a relationship with people in the industry that can help you in your career. You can learn so much from those that have come before you. If you get to know them, they are more likely to recommend you for a job or partner with you on a project. They may be able to help you and then one day, you will be able to return the favor.

5. Work on a professional portfolio

As stated before, when you are starting out, it isn’t imperative that you have a professional portfolio. However, over time, you will have photos and experience that you can showcase in order to get increasingly better jobs that pay more. Add these photos to a portfolio or partner with a photographer that you can pose for. The photographer can use your photos in his/her portfolio and you will have some great quality photos to begin compiling a portfolio that shows what you are capable of.

Consider compiling some photos that show you in your natural state. You don’t need to pile on the make up, just include some photos in natural lighting with simple clothing and minimal makeup. This helps the viewer to see how you will look wearing a brand’s clothing. Include details about yourself such as your hobbies and interests and your measurements. A professional portfolio will be expected by industry decision makers as time goes on, so prepare to produce one for agents and casting directors.

6. Apply to modeling agencies

Once you have a portfolio, you will be ready to apply to modeling agencies in your area and in some of the major fashion markets. Send your portfolio images to key decision makers and follow up with a phone call or even two. Ask to speak to agents about your portfolio and get an interview. Remember, nothing will happen if you sit on the sidelines. You have to get out there and make it happen. Be loud and proud and you will get noticed.

Agencies are a key way to get modeling jobs and to grow your career. Partnering with an agency that will work hard for you everyday for work can make modeling easier and more lucrative even though the agency will be taking a commission. Do your research and ensure that the agencies are legitimate and have good reviews. Consider asking other models who their agents are. They may even introduce you.

7. Networking will help build your career

Get contact information from everyone you meet in the industry. You never know when, where or from whom your big break may come from. Photographers are great professionals to get to know. They know brand leaders, agents, models and other photographers. Talk to them often about your goals and see if they have any leads.

Other models are great to know in order to get jobs. If a model gets a job and other models are needed, they may call on you as another model. It is a competitive industry, but often, there’s room for everyone.

8. Take Care of Yourself

It is highly important to take good care of yourself when you are a model. Ensure you are getting enough rest. Nine hours of sleep is crucial to mind, body and soul. You don’t need bags under your eyes on a go see. Eat a well balanced diet and drink plenty of water to ensure that your skin is at its top shape for photos. Your body is your instrument in modeling so treat it right!

9. Don’t take no for an answer

Just because you hear a “no” from an agent or a casting director, doesn’t mean it will always be “no”. Keep applying. Make sure you keep the lines of communication open for that agency or brand that you really want to work with. This business is all about relationships and if you have a strong foundation, when the time is right you may just get the call from that coveted job you have been hoping for.

10. Learn to be resilient

Modeling is a tough business. you will hear the word “no” way more than you will hear a “yes”. This is just the nature of the business. Try not to take it personally. You may just not be the right look for that particular job at that particular time. Keep trying and your number will come up.

Modeling is an exciting, yet challenging career. However, with these steps, you will off to a great start in achieving your dreams.