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How to Become a Model

Becoming a model is often a dream for many, but can seem like a daunting task. It's a demanding career, and often seems like a lot of work for its annual median wage of around $36,000 for full time models with an agency. However, not only is it possible to get into it with some hard work, it's possible to climb your way to the top. Models often earn more money in certain cities (such as New York) and the better they are at their job, the more gigs they get. That's the key to becoming successful.

If you're ready to begin the climb, this is how to become a model.

Focus on What Kind of Model You Want to Be

When it comes to finding a career in modeling, it's important to narrow down your search. There are many different types of model, including:

  • Fashion/editorial

  • Runway

  • Swimsuit

  • Commercial

  • Fitness

  • Hand

It's essential that you do your research into each type. They all come with different requirements, salaries, and jobs.

People associate fashion and editorial as the ideal type of modeling, but it's also the most competitive and demanding.

Get a Portfolio Together

The best tool you can have at your disposal is a portfolio. By having some modeling shots of yourself, you'll have something to present to agencies and potential employers, showing what you can do already. Don't take your own photos on a phone. Make them look as professional as possible. See if you have any photographer friends with a professional camera, or hire someone to take the shots. This will help you in the long run. Make sure you have some standard headshots taken too. It is important to shoot many time, rather than spend a bunch of money all at once on one photo shoot. Pictures are pricey, but don't break the bank if you are just starting out.

Practice, Practice, Practice

You can do a lot of practice from home. There are many YouTube videos for models that will show you poses and tips.

It's also important to keep your health in good shape, depending on what kind of model you want to be. Making sure you're fit and healthy will go a long way to helping you get jobs in some specific types of modeling that may have some strict requirements. This is why it's important to do your research into what kind of model you want to be, and know your stuff.

Take Classes

You can find some modeling-specific classes, but any class that will improve your confidence is key. Acting and improvisation classes will help you in this regard. Models need confidence, and sometimes an endless supply of it during gigs! You need to feel good about yourself and your ability to perform and if you feel it on the inside, it will shine on the outside. This is where these classes can help. Model Boot Camp is an excellent way to learn how to model, even if you have never done it before.

Find an Agency

While it's possible to find our own gigs as a freelance model with an agency is going to be your greatest asset in booking jobs.

You should know all of your own statistics when you show up to audition (such as eye color, height, other measurements) and bring your portfolio. It's also important to research the agency when auditioning. The best thing you can do is google the agency, as well as asking to speak to people who are already signed or what their success rate. With some research, it's usually pretty easy to tell if an agency is legitimate — however, people get understandably excited, and hand over cash without doing their due diligence. Always research a company before you meet with them. Remember, any legit company will not promise the world to you, it is up to a client to choose who they book for their own project. Models and actors always pay for their start up marketing, that is very common for beginners.

Promote Yourself

It is possible for agencies and other people to reach out to you! Therefore, it's always a good idea to be promoting yourself.

Sign up to social media — especially Instagram — and use the following tips to build a base of people who like your content:

  • Hashtag, hashtag, hashtag, so that you're easily found (Top Hashtags for Models include #scoutme #modeling #nymodel)

  • Pay attention to what your followers like seeing on your feed

  • Engage with people — reply to comments, etc.

  • Follow other similar people and interact with their posts

However, don't be disingenuous. If you try to make friends with people on Instagram purely to use them to get ahead, people will find out. That's not a good look!

Don't Fall Into Unhealthy Habits

The modeling industry has some expectations perpetuated that are important not to fall into: for example, you should only make friends with people more famous than you, you must be exercising twenty-four hours a day, you must starve yourself to fit requirements. Through all of this, you should be taking care of yourself. Model requirements can be high, but you still have to find a balance with self-care, and make a conscious choice not to do anything unhealthy. Don't fall into peer pressure either if it's not something being asked of you by your agency or an employer.

Know What to Expect

The best thing you can do is to research. Research the type of model you want to become, salaries, requirements, and know yourself well too. If you have the confidence of both knowing yourself and the career you want to pursue inside out, you're already at a great advantage. When going to auditions and photoshoots, research the people you'll be working with. Know your stuff, and you're bound to impress as an aspiring model. Remember, models always pay for their own marketing. Don't mistake a talent marketing service for a modeling agency, they are two different things.

This is How to Become a Model!

Ultimately, when trying to find out how to become a model, it can seem intimidating; like a far-off career goal that's unattainable. That's not true! You can definitely do it if you have the hard work and confidence to succeed. Get a portfolio together, start auditioning, and you'll be amazed by where you can go. For more tips on modeling careers, or if you are just starting out, Latitude Talent can help you get started. Apply now to become a model.


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