How Do I Start Modeling?

The first is to realize you have almost no hope of becoming a top mainstream model by spending time on the Internet.  Many of the top agencies have a web presence, however little of the agencies actively recruit from it.   To get into modeling, you have to approach an agency and present yourself to them.

First, research what agencies handle the type of work you want to do.  Most of the top agencies have divisions that handle fashion, catalog, editorial and parts. Many do not handle glamour models.  Try to see what models they are currently handling, and see what they look like.  Many agencies have a ‘signature look’ that they try to keep.  You will have a better shot of getting into an agency that is looking for people like you.

While some people have walked into an agency with just a snapshot of themself and have gotten signed, a more realistic approach is to have some professionally produced images to show when you get there.  Find a studio with a photographer who has extensive experience in taking portfolio pictures to do them.  Review the photographers’ prior work.  Ask for references.  Do not consider talking about cost at this time.  Good work is expensive, and the cost should only be a factor when two or more photographers produce the same quality of work.

You will want at least 5 images in your initial portfolio:

* basic headshot

* full body shot

* 3/4 body shot

* 1/2 body shot

* full body in swimwear for females and males/underwear for men

* half body in swimwear for females and males/ underwear for men

* wearing a black cocktail dress(formal pose) for females and a dress suit and tie for the males.

* wearing jeans (casual pose)

* And one or two shots of what you would like to specialize in

The headshot and full body shot are required. Then pick any other 3. You want them printed as 9″x12″ - the international standard - or 8″x10″ which most Americans use. You also want to hire a professional makeup artist and hairdresser for this shoot. You want to produce professional looking images, and no matter how good you do makeup, it’s not going to look as good as when a pro does it. Ditto for hair. Your shoot should cost somewhere between $500-$1000 for the photographer, with the makeup artist and hairdresser costing about $100-$200 each. If you think this is a lot, then consider that your chances of getting work are much improved with high quality prints, over cutting costs and ending up with not-so-great pictures.

Now that you have your pictures in hand, find a good reproduction company (not that 24 hour one). Take your five prints and tell them you want a “composite” (also called a zed card or comp card) made up. Your headshot will go on one half of one side, and the other 4 will be displayed on the other, along with your contact information and your personal statistics. The difference between full color and black in white is not great, so get it done in color! The contact information should include a mailing address and phone number. 

You don’t know who’s going to be seeing these cards, so you don’t really want to put your home address and phone number on them.  Get a P.O Box to use as your address.

The personal statistics should include your age, height, weight, body measurements, hair color and length, eye color, dress size and shoe size.