How to Become a Model
At ModelScouts the number one question we hear is "How Do I Become a Model?"
The question is a little like asking "how long is a piece of string?" There are so many variables that it is difficult to give a one-size-fits-all answer.
Becoming a model can be easy, or it can be difficult, depending on how you approach it and the people with whom you associate.
Get an Honest Evaluation by Several Respected Professionals
It is very important to get the opinion of more than one agent or scout because many agents and scouts specialize in just one particular area. Some only represent editorial (high fashion) models and others may only represent commercial models, child models, plus-size, showroom and fit models or petite models. Just because one agent can't represent you, it doesn't mean that another agent won't. Getting the opinion of several different types of agents/scouts is the best way to find out if you have what it takes to be a model.
Get As Much Exposure As Possible
The more exposure you get to agents, scouts and clients the higher the odds become that you will be successful in finding representation and ultimately booking jobs.
When you are first starting out the most important exposure is to the agents and scouts. Why? Because they are the ones that have all the clients. They are the ones who are going to promote you and get you booked for jobs.
There are several ways you can get exposure to the agents and scouts:
Send your photos out by mail to hundreds of agencies - This can be a very costly and time consuming method. If you add up the cost of printing several hundred photos with the cost of envelopes and postage, it can easily add up to hundreds of dollars. Not the best option.
Email your photos to the agencies - This can be fast, but often not effective. Almost all of the top agencies that post an email address on their website post a generic email that is rarely, if ever, checked. Agencies are so inundated with emails there is no way they can look through each and every one. Most agents have private email addresses that they only share with other professionals. Unless your photos are emailed directly to an agency by a reputable agent it is unlikely that your photos will be seen.
Attend a modeling convention - We actually love modeling conventions and think they are an amazing way for new models to get exposure and to learn about the industry. In fact, we love them so much we give away a free trip to one each year in our Model Search Contest. However, conventions can be extemely expensive and are well out of reach for the majority of aspiring models.
Submit your photos to the agencies through ModelScouts - We like this idea best. :) ModelScouts has direct connections to all the top modeling agencies in the world. At ModelScouts we provide you with the exposure you need to agents and scouts representing over 100 of the world's most powerful agencies. Including agencies that specialize in high fashion, runway, commercial print and television, plus-size, petite, showroom and fit modeling for male, female and child models. ModelScouts is affordable, safe, secure and confidential. We welcome all ages, all heights and all sizes.
Know Your Modeling Market
Knowing the best market for your particular look is essential to your success. In other words, don't try to fit a square peg in a round hole. We've seen countless aspiring models drive themselves crazy trying to become supermodels and get nowhere. It wasn't until they were redirected into a market that best suited their look that their careers took off.
Editorial (high fashion) models are not the only type of models making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Commercial models are the most common and often have the best and longest running careers. You can be any age, shape or size and be a successful commercial model. There are unlimited options for commercial models because there are so many different types of jobs that commercial models can perform.
In addition to editorial models, the majority of models with ModelScouts are actually commercial models, and we welcome aspiring commercial models of all ages, sizes and heights. To become a commercial model or editorial model with ModelScouts simply create your account and upload your photos. Once your photos are uploaded the agents and scouts will have an opportunity to view them and then contact you directly for jobs. It's that easy!
If you would like more information on commercial modeling we highly recommend the book "How to Become a Successful Commercial Model" by Aaron Marcus. Aaron is represented by 125 agencies across the US and Canada and is the ultimate authority on commercial modeling. Aaron is also the Host of our radio program Model Talk Radio.
Aaron is also offering Personal One on One Consultations to help new models get on the right track from the very start of their careers and get ahead of the pack. Visit One on One Consultation for information on booking your appointment with Aaron.
Don't Spend Money on Expensive Photoshoots
When you are first starting out it is not necessary to spend money on expensive photoshoots.
All the agents and scouts really need to see in the beginning is simple snapshots. They just want to see how you look naturally with very little makeup and simple clothing.
If the agents and scouts feel you have potential they may then recommend that you invest in professional photos that are appropriate for your look and the market for which you are best suited. Some agencies may even offer to cover the expense of a professional photoshoot that you can then pay back once you start booking modeling jobs.
Here are some tips when taking snapshots for the agents and scouts to view:
- Photos should be clear and in focus
- Include at least one headshot and a full length shot
- Keep makeup to a minimum
- Keep hairstyles simple and well groomed
- Keep clothing simple and in good taste
- Include a swimsuit photo if you are comfortable wearing a swimsuit
- Please do not upload nude photos
- Fancy clothing and makeup is unnecessary for kids. They should look like regular kids.
- Include any experience or training that you have
- Please do not wear fur in your photos. It is offensive to some agents and clients, and it's just wrong.
- Remember that first impressions are important
Modeling Schools Are Not Necessary
You do not need to go to modeling school to become a model. To become a fashion model you either have the look the agencies are looking for or you don't, modeling classes will not make a difference.
We do not have anything against modeling schools and some of the better ones can be very helpful in teaching poise, style, makeup and hair techniques. We just don't think they should be calling themselves modeling schools, but rather, finishing schools.
However, we do recommend that aspiring fashion and commercial models enroll in acting workshops if possible. Learning proper auditioning skills and how to work on set, with cameras, etc. will give you an edge over your competition.
Only Work With Legitimate Modeling Agencies
Finding a legitimate modeling agency can be a difficult endeavor. How do you know who to trust, does the agency have your best interests in mind, or are they just trying to make money by selling you unnecessary courses or photoshoots? It can be a daunting task to try to wade through the mine field of legitimate and Illegitimate agencies. It can also be downright dangerous if you find yourself hooked up with some shady characters.
With 30 years experience scouting, managing and promoting models the staff at ModelScouts.com can help you find the industry's most trusted and respected agencies. We know who the best agencies are because we work with them everyday. Why waste time scouring the internet looking for reputable agencies when ModelScouts can do the work for you?
Our staff has managed the careers of hundreds of fashion and commercial models, and we fully understand the various aspects of the modeling industry from contract negotiations, the relationships between international and mother agencies, travel arrangements, overseas accommodations, work visa's in foreign countries, and more.
Author - Vanessa Helmer
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JANINE M.- signed to EYE FOR I, Milan; ACTION MODELS, Greece
JURIS J. - signed to FUSION MODEL MANAGEMENT, New York
VINCENT D. - signed to NY MODELS, New York; FASHION MANAGEMENT, Milan
MARK G.- signed to KARIN MODELS, New York; JOY UOMO, Milan; FORD MODELS, Los Angeles, Toronto