How to Become a Model. Everything You Need to Know to become a Professional Model and Find a Model Agency.
So you want to know how to become a model? Before you find yourself strutting across the runway or on the next cover of VOGUE, there are a few things you should know. Modeling is a job and just like any other job the competition is fierce. Many dream of being the next Naomi Campbell or Kate Moss but few actually know what it truly takes to become a professional model. Today, there are more ways than ever to be discovered and create your own path to becoming a successful model. In the guide below, we’ll share our industry secrets and five key steps you can take to become a model.
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1. Decide What Type of Model You Want to Become
There are many different types of successful models and it’s important to do your research. Models typically fall into four main genres. These include: Editorial, Commercial, Runway, and Swimsuit. Keep reading for more info on how to become a model in each genre.
- Editorial – Editorial models specialize in fashion imagery. This includes photoshoots for magazines, fashion ad campaigns, and other creative projects. Editorial models typically work for lucrative high fashion brands. To become an editorial model, focus on filling your portfolio with creative high-fashion imagery.
- Commercial – Commercial models specialize in creating imagery for commercial brands and publications. They overlap with editorial models, but the clientele tends to not focus so much on fashion. To become a commercial model, focus on filling your portfolio with advertising friendly, natural imagery.
- Runway – Runway models specialize in showcasing brands on the catwalk. These models are known their signature runway walks. Runway models tend to be taller. To become a runway model, focus on perfecting your signature Runway walks. Take a look at the latest fashion shows to get inspiration.
- Swimsuit/Lingerie – Swimsuit and Lingerie models specialize in creating imagery for swimwear and lingerie brands. Think of companies like Victoria’s Secrets and their iconic VS angels. To become a swimsuit or lingerie model, focus on filling your portfolio with images that show a confidence with your body.
2. Take Good Photos for your Model Portfolio
The most important component of becoming a model is a good portfolio of images. These images don’t have to be super professional but they should be industry standard. It’s important to take clear photos that highlight your features and personality. Agencies typically request the following images from models applying online: One full length photo, One photo from the waist up, and one photo from the shoulder up. These photos should be simple and clean. It’s recommended that you use a white background and wear no make-up. Additionally, it’s always great to keep your portfolio fresh with test shoots and other projects. Use resources such as magazines for inspiration and add your best images to your portfolio. Remember to be selective. A few great images is better than a book full of mediocre photos. You can see an example of typical photo submission requirements here.
3. Find the Right Modeling Agency
There are many different types of modeling agencies across the world and it’s important to know who’s who. Some agencies specialize in certain genres while others may only represent men or women or just celebrities. Once you find an agency you like you can then review their scouting requirements and follow up accordingly. There are a few databases online that you can use to make your search easier. You can also check out our comprehensive list of modeling agencies here. Remember an agencies job is to guide you on how to become a model. It’s a career making decision.
4. Build Your Social Influence
Today’s top models are also influencers. Supermodels like Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Jourdan Dunn use platforms like Instagram to connect with fans and even endorse products. Some agencies even have special divisions for Influencers. Start building your social influence today. Not sure how? You can start by studying your favorite models. Check out Gigi Hadid’s Instagram here and Jourdan Dunn’s Instagram here to help you get started. Focus on posting quality images and sharing your personality with followers. Building your following is a crucial step in becoming a model today.
5. Go to Open Calls (Yes, Show Up In-Person)
While online submissions are great for aspiring models who live in small towns, models who live in cities with model agencies should take advantage of open calls. What’s an open call? Agencies typically have a scheduled time once or more a week were they allow potential models to come in and meet agents. During this time models are allowed to share their portfolio and meet agents face to face. This is a great time to show off your personality and really make a lasting impression. Additionally, agencies are more likely to provide useful feedback on how to become a model during in-person reviews. Each agency does open calls a little differently and you can find more information on the agencies site or by calling in.
Have more questions about how to become a model? Don’t overthink it. Contrary to popular opinion, professional models aren’t simply born, they’re made. Remember to always be prepared and do your research. Becoming a model today is about selling yourself to everyone around you. As for the rest on how to become a model, well that’s up to you. Head up, shoulder back and right over left. You got this.
Looking for more industry secrets, advice and creative inspiration? You can browse our archive of hundreds of original fashion editorials, fashion campaigns, and magazine covers as well as explore our latest secret industry guides.