If you are lucky to be photogenic and enjoy taking photos, you might want to consider becoming a model. Being a model as a teenager is already commonplace in the fashion industry. Famous model Tyra Banks started her career at the age of 15! However, it's hard to get into modeling, and don't be fooled into believing that a model's life is always filled with glamorous photo ops and fashion shows. To become a role model, you need to stay focused, be persistent, and work hard.
Part 1 of 3: Building a career
Step 1. Do your research
Before determining if you are passionate about the world of fashion or if you have the qualities necessary for it, you should know exactly the requirements of the trade. It is important to understand that there are different branches of modeling, such as fashion, plus size women modeling, and advertising. You may be more suited to one of these branches than another. Find out in which fashion industry you want to make a career.
- Models usually walk the catwalks at fashion shows to showcase the work of a particular designer or to pose for photo ops. They are generally at least 1.72 m, should be thin and should not have very generous shapes.
- "Plus size" mannequins are usually at least 1.7m tall, but they should have round shapes (size 42 to 46). Usually they parade with XXL size clothes and accessories.
- In the advertising industry, some women pose for print ads, magazines, catalogs, etc. We meet in this area all kinds of size and physique. Which means that you can embrace this career if you are less than 1.7m tall and have generous forms.
- Body models pose to show certain parts of their body, such as their hands or hair. To have a career in this field, you don't need to have a certain body type in order to meet the established criteria.
Step 2. Be realistic
Much like acting careers and other occupations in the entertainment industry, modeling is an extremely competitive field, not to mention the fact that it is almost entirely based on physical appearance. In other words, if you don't have the desired physique, you won't be successful. For example, if you dream of doing fashion shows and walk 1.60m, you better evaluate other possibilities. You also cannot hope to become a supermodel. Also be aware that most models are not paid very well. In fact, in 2015, the hourly pay was around € 16.
- If you are passionate about fashion, you shouldn't give it up, but it is also important to finish your studies and think about other professions that might interest you.
- If you are a young teenager and have not yet had a growth spurt, you had better wait a few years before pursuing your dream.
Step 3. Talk to your parents
If you are a minor, you need their permission before you start working as a model. It is therefore important that they agree with your decision. Explain to them why this career is so important to you. You can also show them how seriously you take this dream by telling them about the research you have already done. For example, you can explain to them why a modeling industry would be best for you. You could reassure them by telling them that your education will continue to be a priority, no matter what.
- To help them understand why you are passionate about this job, you could say this: “I think it will help me a lot to give myself back my confidence” or “I think it will allow me to express myself better. "
- If they object, accept their decision. Wait a few months for them to get used to it, then try to convince them again.
- To reassure them that you are not going to sacrifice your studies and other activities, you can suggest that they establish ground rules together. For example, you may agree to dedicate yourself to this career if and only if you have a certain grade point in school.
Step 4. Consider enrolling in a modeling school
If your parents gave you permission to embrace this career, you may want to consider taking modeling classes. This is not a necessary requirement to become a model, but it can help you gain confidence in front of the cameras and familiarize you with some practical aspects of the industry. Search online to find modeling schools and classes in your area.
- Most of these classes are expensive, which means you may need to ask your parents to help pay for these fees. You might suggest that they do more of the housework so that they can pay for your course.
- Some courses are also scams. Beware of those courses where you require to pay a few additional sums for photos or other add-ons. It is best to learn more about the school you are interested in and read reviews online.
Step 5. Study the magazines
If you don't want to sign up for a class and don't know how to pose in front of the cameras, it can be helpful to study the best modeling poses for inspiration. To get an idea of the poses and movements to have during photo shoots, read magazines, catalogs and print advertisements.
You can also try to reproduce certain gestures in front of a mirror. Practice until you are confident in yourself, then try to invent moves on your own. Thus, it will be much more natural and easier for you to reproduce them when the time comes
Step 6. Look for job openings in your area
Even if you don't choose to model professionally, gaining experience can help enrich your portfolio and resume. It might also give you confidence and make you feel more relaxed in front of the cameras or on the catwalk. Approach people to find out if there are jobs in your area, for example if there is a small business looking for models for an advertising campaign or if there is a need for models for a charity show..
- Having a little experience in the fashion world can also help you decide if this job is right for you. Before considering a real career, make sure that you are living this experience to the fullest.
- You don't need to land a paid job before you start gaining experience. For example, you can accept a proposal from a friend who needs a model for a school photography project. Take advantage of all the opportunities offered to you to familiarize yourself with the industry.
Step 7. Try to maintain a good weight
Physical appearance is extremely important to a model, so be sure to keep your physical shape. You should not lose or gain weight, otherwise you may not look healthy. The ideal weight in modeling varies depending on your specific area, but you will need to strive for a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
- Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains (like oats and brown rice) and protein (like chicken, fish, eggs, legumes and tofu). Avoid foods high in saturated or trans fats, sodium, and sugar.
- You should also drink plenty of water. In principle, it is recommended to drink 2-3 liters per day, but this may vary depending on the climate and the frequency of your physical activities.
- When it comes to physical exercise, try to do things that you are passionate about. Jogging, cycling, and swimming are great cardiovascular exercises, but you can still take gymnastics or dance classes. Playing a sport that you are passionate about such as soccer, volleyball or basketball can also help you stay in shape.
- Make sure you get a good night's sleep. While Photoshop can make your photos look better, agencies usually look for girls who are naturally beautiful and healthy.
Part 2 of 3: Contact the agencies
Step 1. Create a portfolio
Before you apply for a job or before looking for an agency to represent you, create a portfolio. A model's portfolio usually contains photos of work already done, but as a beginner you might not have any work experience. If you have the option of hiring a professional photographer for a photoshoot, be aware that this is usually the best choice. You can also ask a friend or relative to take pictures of you. Just make sure the person is using a quality camera and that the sessions take place in sufficient lighting conditions.
- Your portfolio should include photos of your face taken from different angles, but also full photos of yourself.
- Try to take pictures with different facial expressions, for example smiling, looking serious and so on.
- In some images, you may not be wearing makeup so that the modeling agents appreciate your natural beauty.
- You should also add a page describing some personal information such as your hair color, eye color, height, weight and other measurements.
Step 2. Look for auditions
If you live in a big city in France or abroad, it's best to call the big modeling agencies and ask if they happen to be hosting auditions. This allows you to personally meet casting agents to get noticed with your personality besides your physique. If you don't live in a large city, contact agencies in the nearest towns and ask if they work with smaller businesses in your area.
- Research the agencies you want to contact to make sure they have a good reputation.
- You will need to bring your portfolio to each audition. If you don't have one yet, try to have at least a few photos on you to showcase your professional profile.
Step 3. Submit your portfolio
You don't necessarily have to expect an audition before contacting an agency. Instead, you can send in your portfolio and let the photos do the talking for you. Visit the websites of the agencies that interest you and learn about the formal procedure for submitting a portfolio. Some will allow you to do this online, while others will require you to do so by regular mail.
If you are sending a copy of your portfolio, be sure to include your contact details, so that you can be called back if needed
Part 3 of 3: Meet a Modeling Agent
Step 1. Behave professionally
If you're lucky enough to land an interview with an agent, it's important to show them that you understand that modeling is a profession and that you are going to be professional. Therefore, try not to be late and properly prepare for the meeting. It is not a few minutes before the interview that you are going to rearrange your portfolio: you should do it in advance. It is also important to make a good impression, so dress appropriately.
- Your portfolio will not be enough to convince the agents. Some agencies also require photos of you in a more casual setting, which means you could bring a few Polaroids or snapshots.
- Agencies want to see your real personality. Put on a little makeup, if at all, and keep your hair natural.
- You don't have to wear fancy clothes, like an evening dress or a suit. Casual clothes are fine, but make sure they fit you perfectly. Slim jeans and a good tank top or t-shirt will do the trick.
- Before your appointment, find out about the agency in question. Try to find the models who currently work there and who have worked with her in the past to better understand how this company works.
Step 2. Show your personality
Your appearance isn't the only thing that will impress modeling agents. They also want to make sure that you have an endearing and jovial personality. The best models are sure of themselves and naturally know how to express themselves. Therefore, during the interview, try to say what you think without lacking discipline and professionalism.
The agencies want to make sure that all applicants are genuinely interested in fashion and have not been coerced by their parents or others. Make it clear that you are really excited to be a role model. You could say this: “I would really love to have the opportunity to express myself as a model” or “I feel more confident in front of the cameras or when I walk on a catwalk. "
Step 3. Use appropriate body language
When it comes to meeting an agent, you shouldn't come across as nervous or uncomfortable. This is why body language is very important. Stand tall and sit properly, while keeping your head up to look more confident. It is equally important to maintain eye contact and smile during the interview.
- Try to control nervousness gestures, such as when you're just moving around, fiddling with your hair, or banging your finger on the table. Stay still and relaxed to give the impression of being confident.
- Try not to cross your arms across your chest. It gives the impression that you are on the defensive.
Step 4. Prepare for rejection
Since the fashion industry is very competitive, it is very likely that you will receive a lot of negative responses during your interviews. You have to learn not to make it personal. It may happen that your physique does not match the criteria defined for a particular campaign. Even the most famous models have suffered rejection during their careers.
To become a model, you need to be persistent and very determined
Step 5. Be careful when signing a contract
It's very exciting to be able to land a contract, but if you are under 18, your parents are required to sign it for you. They should read the contract completely before signing it and might even need a lawyer to take a look. Also make sure you understand everything that is written in the contract, because after all, it is about your career.
Don't be afraid to ask your parents or agent questions about the contract. It is important that you understand all the details
- Try to maintain a positive and professional attitude all the time. If a client or photographer has enjoyed working with you very much, you can easily land more such contracts in the future.
- Don't be afraid to explore other areas outside of modeling. Many models are moving towards an acting career or a career in the entertainment industry.
- If your career doesn't seem to be taking off, you might want to consider other related fields, such as fashion marketing or merchandising.
- It will be helpful to have a mentor. If you have the opportunity to work with experienced models, ask them for advice on how to develop your career and attract more clients.