HOW TO BECOME A MODEL
Here, you will learn how to get your foot at the door of a modeling agency, and increase your chances of scoring a contract. The text might be (it is) a bit too long, but that was necessary (not really), so you can catch the point, and be well informed. Also, take your time to admire the three skillfully (as if) edited images of models & campaigns, made by moi.
You can become a model in two ways – you can either get scouted, or initiate it by yourself. Either way, you should do a research about the industry, top modeling agencies, types of modeling, current top models, common modeling phrases, most famous magazines, photographers, designers, and other fashion people, etc… The more you know about the industry you are entering – the better. You will be able to avoid scams, make better career decisions, make connections with fashion people, and so much more. As always, knowledge is the key to success. Among the other things, such as looks, personality, style, work ethics… to mention a few. You’ll pretty much need a keychain to keep your set of keys together.
1. GETTING SCOUTED – aka. being approached by a model scout/ agent or anyone who has connections within a modeling agency, someone who can recognize your potential and direct you to the right people (scouting can be done in person or even online, so check out THIS link on how to get scouted on instagram ). If you happen to be scouted, make sure to do your research about the the person themselves, and the agency they are directing you to. Check out the agency’s website, find the contact e – mail address, send them an e – mail explaining that you have been scouted by a person (let them know the person’s name) who referred you to them. If you did your research well, explored their website and all social media accounts, made sure the agency is reputable and has a solid board of signed models who work well, then feel free to make an appointment, meet them in person, and they will provide you with all the necessary information from then on.
2. APPLYING BY YOURSELF
First, find out what type of modeling you are suitable for. Is it fashion modeling, commercial modeling, plus size modeling, senior modeling? Maybe you can be a parts model if some parts of your body (legs, hands, eyes, lips, etc…) are exceptionally good looking, or an alternative model? There are plenty of types of models, and in many cases, one model can be suitable for more than one category.
Once you have that settled, you should find yourself a mother agency that is willing to sign you, and jump start your career. A mother agency is the first agency you sign with when starting out as a model. It is usually located in your hometown or your state’s/ country’s capital city, and its main purpose is to develop your potential, provide you with the information you will need along the way, and finally – place you with the agencies around the world. Later on, it acts as a balance between you and other agencies of yours, handles your job bookings in the country of its location, and is usually responsible for dealing with all the legal tasks, or difficulties of any type, that you might face with. This is why it’s important to find yourself a good, reliable mother agent – someone who will believe in you, push you forward, place you with the best worldwide agencies, give you straight honest advice, be available for any of your questions, etc. The trust and respect should be mutual, so make an additional effort in finding the right mother agency, because long term – it will be very beneficial for you.
To get in touch with a mother agency, find out about all the agencies in your area. Those who ask you to pay for anything (photos, training, or anything like that) don’t take in consideration, as this is not the way professional agencies should work. Once you find the ones you are interested in, take a look at their requirements (that are usually listed on the website). Call them or send an e – mail, asking if they have open calls, or scheduled castings anytime soon. Applying through their website form, or sending them an e – mail with a few of your images and basic information (listed bellow) is an option too. If they are interested, they won’t hesitate inviting you to meet them in person at the office, regardless of the official casting schedule.
Another option is to find an agency outside of your home country, but in this case make sure it’s one of the leading ones in the industry – such as IMG, Ford, Next, Elite – any of those that have branches all over the world. If you are convinced that you have what it takes, and would be able to visit them in case of a positive feedback, then go for it! Fill out the application form on their website, and wait for their response. In case there is no application form, you can send them an e – mail (search for it in their contacts list), and provide them with your:
– Name & Last Name
– Phone number
– E-mail address
– Country & City of residence
– Date of Birth
– Measurements: Bust, Waist, Hips, Height
– Photos: 1 Full length, 1 Waist Up, 1 Profile and 1 Close up (you do not need professional photos when starting out. Natural, no makeup, hair away from face, taken under the natural light photos are preferred.)
– Feel free to write them a few sentences (not an essay!) about yourself
Listed above are the information that every agency will need, so use the list as a sample when applying via e-mail.
After submitting your application, wait for the response. It usually takes up to ten days, more or less, to get a feedback. It is not very common to get any response if you don’t meet the agency’s criteria, so if there is no response after two weeks, you should wait for a month or two, work on your appearance (skin, body shape, hair…) and reapply. If this doesn’t work after two – three takes, you can eventually try again, but this time wait for a bit longer, and figure out what can you change to make a better impression. Although you might really want to do modeling or enter a specific agency, don’t force yourself to change completely or radically for the sake of modeling. Sometimes a slight change might be good – if you lack some self confidence, have skin problems, or so – work on it. But endangering your physical and mental health for trying to fit the „standards“ is simply not worth it. Modeling is a very specific job and, although fun and lucrative at times, it also requires a thick skin, high self confidence and the right mindset to keep you going.
In case you get a positive response from the agency, and they ask to meet you in person, show up without make up, with clean hair, in body hugging clothes (jeans & t – shirt). You can also bring a swimsuit, high heels, and a hair band with you. At the meeting, agents will chat with you, take a few photos, take your measurements and maybe ask you to walk. This is all for them to make sure you have got what they are looking for, and if they are willing to sign you. So, stay relaxed and be yourself. Let them know you the way you really are.
Most importantly, enjoy the moment. No matter how far you get in your pursuit of modeling career, or whether you even get signed by a modeling agency in the first place – don’t take things too personal. Although it can be a struggle sometimes – stay positive and believe in what you do. Be thankful to those who help you on the way up, as you wouldn’t be there without them.
Comment your experiences bellow, and feel free to ask about anything that was might left out.