Feature Image Photo credit LipstickAlley
I always have females writing me and asking, “How do I become a Model? So I am writing this Blog to answer all your questions. I call this “The Chronicles Of Becoming A Model” share it!!!! ( Facebook | Pinterest !) (Difference from being an amateur model and professional model). This is my opinion from personal experience, take notes ladies also I am not bashing anyone’s work; this is a guide to help you not waste time and money!
What are your goals of becoming a model? Are you just trying it as a side hobby, or is it something that you are really serious about, wanting as a career. What most people don’t realize is that there are different facets and markets for models.
First decide what type of model you would like to be, Commercial, Print, Runway, Fitness, Body parts (hands, feet, legs, eyes, hair and face for beauty cosmetics/ makeup etc.) There are curvier glamour models that most likely appear in men’s magazines such as Maxim, Sports Illustrated, FHM, Playboy, etc. There are music video (vixen) models, plus size models and so on… The modeling industry is enormous, and even though there is a ton of competition, there is also a lot of opportunity. In this business, it’s all about who you know.
Some have specific height and measurement requirements, while others do not. From super thin and tall runway/high fashion models who appear in Vogue, ELLE. (you have to be 5’9-6’2 without heels, weigh around 115-145, and size 0-6). For print/catalog modeling, you can be 5’6 and up. (With measurements (A-DD cup 32-36, waist 23-28, Hips 33-39.) If you want to be a plus size model (size 8-up.)
If you have tone / slender legs it can make you look elongated and taller in your photos. The wider you are the shorter you’ll look, the slimmer you are the taller you’ll look.
Take Polaroid’s of yourself. Use your smart phone, with little to no makeup on. Wear a bikini take a full, medium, head shot, profile/ side angle shot.
– Photo Credit Wilhelmina -
– Millie Reid’s Submission photos-
This is your natural state. Remember a Model is a blank canvas, the MUA’s, Hair Stylist and Wardrobe will make you in to who they would like you to be. Send your photos to model agencies, there are hundreds. If one says no, there are others who may sign you.
Where to Begin
Start a Model Mayhem page (they also have blogs where they educate you on this industry). MM is the most popular site for models; there are others such as: istudio, musecude, modelmanagement ,etc but stick to MM (in my opinion). That way you’ll get in contact with photographers, hair stylist, mua’s, and wardrobe stylist etc., near you! You have to add people. Be active. Find people who are interested in collaborating with you and do a trade shoot. Also known as a TFP (Time for Print , Trade for Print or Test for Print) is a term to describe an arrangement between a model and a photographer whereby the photographer agrees to provide the model with an agreed number of pictures of the best photographs from the session, and a limited license to use those pictures in return for the model’s time. There are benefits to both parties of such an arrangement. The model can build a portfolio of prints to show to prospective clients- Wikipedia credit. ) Use your professional photos from a shoot, show your quality work. Remember you are who you attract! If you take good photos you will attract good photographers, if you take bad photos you will attract Ray Ray’s. If you are serious about having this as a career your work will speak for itself. As any job work hard and God will do the rest.
Learn model etiquette’s; go to modeling school, Barbizon, and get a modeling coach (Gay guys are the best (for example Miss J from Americas Next Top Model). You learn how to walk, pose, sit in a chair, etc. There’s more to just being a model you have to study it too. Study your idols career – Tyra Banks, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Iman’s, walk, and fierce attitude.
Quality not Quantity
Make Quality work with professional photographers, they can get you published in magazines, noticed by agencies, other popular photographers, and a fan base. They might cost and be expensive but you have to invest in your career, right? For your shoots, have quality clothes, shoes, makeup and hair, these things are so important. Make it seem as you are going to be published in a magazine every time. The mistake I made with wardrobe I bought clothes only for the shoot and ended up never wearing them again. Never keep wardrobe, unless you are going to wear it in real life. Return the clothes after your shoot and get new clothes for the next shoot. You will save a lot of money! Take note.
Building a Portfolio
Make a portfolio with at least 10 different looks. It should demonstrate your ability to portray different characters, age ranges and personality. When you have at least 3-5 shoots under your belt, you have enough content to start your own website. ( Check out www.unigdesign.com )
Go the agencies for casting calls (what to wear and bring to an audition) Confidence….Wear skinny jeans and white /black spaghetti tang top and 6 inch heels, little to no makeup, natural hair, your portfolio, copies of your Polaroid comp card and an attractive smile.— see good examples of a comp card and portfolio.
There is a difference between a good amateur Photographer and a bad one. A good photographer has a natural eye for art, even if you go to school for photography that doesn’t mean you take good pictures. They use a good camera; have great lighting/gaffing skills. Lighting is so important, even Halle Berry can look different if the light isn’t set properly. They should have a studio or a decent set up. Most photographer’s use their apartments, hotels, and outdoors. They make you comfortable, give you good direction on your pose, encourages you, tell that you are beautiful, nice, perfect, when you are doing it right. They can use Photoshop well, doesn’t make you look like a cartoon character. Lastly, a photographer who doesn’t try to sleep with you. I’ve had my share of them. You have to differentiate between business and personal, NEVER mix them and be professional. If you do this the more respect you will have from people in the business! Keep a good reputation!
Bad Photographer (Ray Ray)
A Bad photographer, doesn’t have an eye for art, they buy a camera to get girls. Their setup is not decent, they don’t have the right material, lights, back drop or etiquette’s. They will try to get you to take all your clothes off, with no purpose for the shot. After the shoot they might want to date you are have sex with you. Offer you liquor to get you relaxed if you’re nervous. If you have a feeling in your lower gut, telling you something is wrong, it’s your sixth sense and it is always right. If you are not comfortable do not take off your clothes. Before you shoot, look at the photographers work and see if it your fits to your standards.
*I am not bashing anyone but look at what I am saying
Don’t feel bad or discouraged Guys here are some of my photos of me in the beginning of my modeling career.
That was then and this is Now!
Photography by: Peter Baratti
Photography by: Peter Baratti
Photography by: Mike V. McPherson Jr
Photography by: Mike V. McPherson Jr.
Photography by: Mike V. McPherson Jr.
Photography by: Charlie Rude
It’s good to plan your photo-shoot ahead of time, what are the concepts? Look at magazines to get a good idea of hairdos, makeup, wardrobe, and poses. That will make everything easier and less hectic.
Whatever you do
Do not take nude pictures unless you’re with an agency, that will ruin your chances of moving forward in the model industry. Once you show the world your breast and pussy, it gets old. Save the imagination to the viewers. Do implied nudity, that’s if you are getting paid big dollars, in Vogue or Playboy etc. But showing your pussy for free makes no sense; it doesn’t guarantee you a magazine spread or advances your career. I see so many girls on Model Mayhem showing their goods and it has got them nowhere.
Your first Photo shoot
Your first is the most memorable! To be prepared come well groomed, shave!!!. No product in your hair, the hairstylist will put all the product you’ll need. Be prepared with your own clothes, accessories, shoes, foundation/ makeup that goes with your skin tone because the MUA might not have your foundation. I am light-skinned and I have had a couple MUA’s (White/Asian) who have put darker makeup on me SMH. Not cool! Wear a neutral color of polish on hands and toes. Bring water, lotion, sun block, a robe, makeup remover, curling/flat irons, etc. And music, it’s fun to shoot with music you like.
Some people believe Photoshop should make them look better when that is false, you need to take care of yourself, work out, eat right, and drink plenty of water. Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking messes with your pores. Photoshop should be used for minor fixes or graphics.
Stretch marks and scars are part of our life they do not discriminate; But Do not let that stop you from living your dreams; stretch marks are from losing weight or gaining weight. Its totally natural and real models have them somewhere; you can help them fade by using Coca butter, Shea butter, 2% Hydroquinone creams, or have laser surgery.
Be willing to spend money to take care of “you.” Laser hair removal surgery, Microdermabrasion, Chemical peels, see a dermatologist. Be camera and video ready. Models are not perfect but front of the camera they can be prepared. The less usage of Photoshop applied on you the better model and competitor you’ll be.
In this business you are judged on what you look like. Don’t take it to offense. Tyra Banks, starting out as a model and was turned down plenty of times before getting her big break. Models are polished from head to toe. You can look at someone and tell if they have potential or not. Models start the business in their early teens and early twenties, if it doesn’t pick up by age 26 try Acting.
Confidence will make you go far- not arrogance. We are all Beautiful in our own way! No one is perfect we all have flaws, and even our idols. But don’t let anyone bring you down; you can be whoever you say you are!. Be true to yourself and never let fear get in your way of success.
Don’t give up! If you are good to this industry it will be good to you! All you need is a start!
Making money as a model
You can have someone represent you by booking you on jobs/ castings or you can be your own boss and find your own work, which is tough but you are in control 100%. As of now modeling is a struggling job, it has decrease in value because the new faces are doing the most for free. Models can get paid for extra work in movies/film, reality shows, music videos, commercials, print advertisement, catalog work, promotional work, trade shows, hosting at night clubs, bottle service, there are paid shoots but you may have to do nude shots.
You Made it to the End
I thank you all for reading my Blog! I really appreciate you! I am here to help you! Follow my Pinterest (Model Sh!t) I show you more examples. I am going to holding a Skype conference with anyone who needs my help or any advice! I am giving you the right info you need because I want you to be success in this business. No one gave me this advice so I am speaking from experience. If you listen to me, it will save you a lot of time and money! A little about me, I was signed to Wilhelmina at the age of 13, my immigrant parents wanted me to focus on getting an education so I did. I chose to resume my modeling career in college and when I graduated, move to California to pursue a bigger dream. I am not a Supermodel yet, but I’ve been a freelance model since 2010. More about me I am an Actress, Commercial/ Print Model. I may have done runway but my focus is acting and print work. I am 5’9.5, I weigh 145, I am on the curvier side, but I told myself to stick with mainstream work. You’ll be seeing me in Maxim and Sports Illustrated very soon!
Your photos should be 9 x 12 inch, this is the standard size for your portfolio. You can get them printed out at Walgreens , Costco ,or any photo printing center. A portfolio book cost around $25-$100 dollars.
Here is a small list of agencies you can apply online or go to a casting: