You’ve been told since you were a little girl that you have that something. Gorgeous eyes, luscious locks and a way with people. This way also translates in front of the camera. Whenever the camera is out you burst forth with energy and confidence. It’s almost innate for you. You were born to be in front of the camera. You are a born model.
However, this is not the norm. Many young people are interested in becoming a model, but wonder if they have what it takes. Modeling looks so glamorous, but it is also a lot of hard work with long hours, sometimes in uncomfortable settings. A photo shoot can be anytime of the day and sometimes it’s cold and rainy and snowy and you may not have enough clothes on to keep you warm. Modeling takes a certain constitution that not all people have. Some traits of models are God given and some have to be developed. What traits do you have to be a successful model? What must you work on?
You must have what it takes physically to become a model. Whether that’s modeling for a huge name brand on the runway or modeling for print, you must have what agencies deem as the “IT’ factor.
The standard height for a female fashion model is in the range of 5’9 to 6 feet tall. For males a height of 5’11 to 6’3 is usually what most agencies are looking for when seeking to represent you. If you are interested in commercial modeling, agencies will allow for shorter or more petite models that vary in sizes and heights.
A fashion models weight is usually a hot topic of debate. However, for designer’s clothing to fit correctly they will be seeking models who weigh between 100 to 150 pounds for females and 150-200 pounds for a male model. High fashion modeling generally require a lower percentage of body fat than commercial modeling.
However, modeling agencies are increasingly looking for models of all shapes and sizes, so if you are outside the above range in weight, don’t let that crush your dreams. There is room in modeling for plus size men and women.
Skin, Hair and Eyes
Modeling by nature will cause many eyes to be on you and your features. Modeling requires clear skin, healthy hair and captivating, alluring eyes.
When submitting photos for modeling jobs or representation by an agency, you will want to have photos of a smile as well as photos of you looking natural with no smile. This will show your features in various ways and will help in casting you for different projects.
The “IT” factor may also be an unconventional look. Do you have a disability or something you’ve contended with through life that has made you different but have overcome adversity?
These characteristics are increasingly becoming important to mainstream agencies and brands so that they can be inclusive of all people. Don’t let your differences keep you from trying to achieve your dreams. There are agencies that recruit models with differences exclusively, like Zebedee, Slay and Stranger Modeling Agencies.
Availability and Responsiveness
Are you a full time student, do you have a job that you need to commit a certain amount of hours a week that doesn’t include modeling? The amount of time you put into your craft will effect what response you get from agencies and brands. The old adage,”You reap what you sow”, applies to every career that you will seek, especially modeling.
Make sure you put the time into your modeling career so you can reap the rewards. Ford and Elite won’t be knocking down your door without a professional modeling portfolio. BMG and Wilhelmina can’t represent you if they don’t know you exist.
Contact every agency you are interested in and send in your applications and portfolio images. Ensure you call them once they have had time to review your information. Let them know your desire for representation or to model for a certain brand. Get in front of the decision makers so that your name is seen and heard. The squeaky wheel gets the grease!
There will be rejection. This is part of the industry. You have to learn to develop a thick skin and take the word “no” in stride. Don’t let this deter you. You will hear more no’s than yes’s in modeling. Just because you get rejected or don’t get a call back doesn’t mean you are ugly or that you don’t have the right look.
When you feel that you have failed, there is always something to learn from it. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going. There are many opportunities out there, you just have to find them, harness them and make them yours. Persistence may not seem like it is ever going to pay off, but nothing great ever came from sitting on the sidelines. Get in the game!
You must develop a good networking strategy. I know people that are masters of this quality and it has made them major successes in their fields. Networking is also very important when it comes to being a successful model. Make the most of everyone you meet, take down their contact information. Go to as many events as you can and converse with the other models. See what projects they are up to.
Making friends with models is not the only networking strategy. Talking to casting directors, designers, photographers and agents is a great way to get your name out there and build your own brand. Attending events in which you can get in front of these people as often as possible can be one of the best strategies for building a successful career.
Possessing the qualities of a successful model is something that comes naturally to some, yet others have to work hard at it. Your looks and measurements will only take you so far. You have to embody the entire package. From your physical appearance to you charisma, to knowing the right people and forming relationships, becoming the model of your dreams will take time, energy and know how. Formulate a plan and put it into place and watch your modeling career blossom!