How to become a model – a guide to learning how to become a model
Despite all the glamour and glitz, you have seen about the modeling profession, it is not an easy job, and it requires a lot of work. Honestly, sometimes it can be annoying and even tedious. But, be prepared to be consistently rejected and get ready for significant ups and downs in your acting career. However, remember that Modeling is not a career; it is a lifestyle. Not all jobs will pay will, and unless you are seriously committed to modeling, willing to work at it on your own time, live a healthy lifestyle, you will not succeed as a model.
You have to understand that there are TONS of people who want to be a model, and it is a very competitive business. But, with hard work dedication and the daily newsletter provided by Project Casting, we will do our best to ensure you can take your career to the next level. But, are you willing to put the time and energy against your competition?
Where do you start?
You will need a modeling portfolio. A modeling portfolio is a selection of pictures showing yourself in different poses and outfits. The standard size for photos is nine by 12 inches and will need about 10 to 12 images. Make sure to focus on the quality of the pictures and not on the quantity. You want to impress the talent agency, casting director, or fashion designer with each photo in your modeling portfolio.
Make sure your modeling portfolio has a selection of both headshots and full-body shots. Also, you would like to make sure you are getting a variety of different looks such as swimwear, catalog, lingerie, night club, wedding, funerals, the more diverse, the better. What is even better is a different look, such as black and white shots, and avoid using the same shot.
It can be in your best interest to have different photographers for a portfolio; This will show your versatility in terms of different styles, and it will show that a model can work with a diverse group of people. However, before going ahead of with a photo session, ask to look at the photographer’s portfolio to see if you like their style of photography.
If you have never done photography before, this is a perfect chance to have a practice run. However, avoid photographers wanting to take nude shots, if possible, take a friend with you to the shoot.
The Comp Card
You will need a comp card. A comp card is what your modeling agency will use for marketing you. But what is a comp card? A comp card, also known as a composite card, sometimes called a ZED, is a model’s business card, and in most cases, your comp card is your only opportunity to make a great first impression. With that in mind, the images on your comp card must be your absolute best and nothing less. Furthermore, quality is essential. You do not want poor images that look bad because of poor quality.
Besides a head-shot, the comp card will have other photos that show your experience, your versatility, range, and what type of work you are seeking.
For best results, it is in your best interest that your photos are of the highest quality that you can purchase at this stage of your modeling career. But, make sure you print them on a rigid card so that you can withstand wear and tear over a while.
ATTENTION! It is in your best interest that a modeling agency does not print your comp card. If they do, they will put their logo on it, and you would like to sign with as many agencies as possible if you are serious about getting work. Comp card print can get expensive and will keep you updated on any service that can do it for an affordable price.
An agency or co-ordinator should represent the model or yourself. The model must have a portfolio and comp cards. The agency should provide you with work, and they should only get paid a commission for every gig they book you. If the agency requires payment before getting a modeling job, they are not working for your best interest.
Golden Rule – Do not go with an agency that asks for money upfront! You will most likely never hear from them again, and I indeed doubt you will get any work from them.
Also, ask check to see if they are reputable and genuine. The agency/coordinator should provide you with a safe working environment and looks after legal problems associated with paperwork for each job. But, keep copies of the paperwork such as contracts, etc. You may need these in the future if there is a legal dispute.
Choose your agency carefully!
How to find a modeling agency?
Most agencies require that you visit them. Book an appointment ahead of time by phone. Bring at least two pictures (they do not have to be professional photos). A headshot, natural and bright, and a full length shot that shows your figure. Perhaps a beautiful dress, swimsuit, but something that illustrates your body shape.
Do not wear baggy clothes; it will look like you have something to hide. Ask a lot of questions. See this opportunity, similar to a real job interview. Ask to see what their current models are doing, ask for names, and phone numbers of clients and call them to verify the information, and be concerned if they promise you high salaries right away.
If they do not allow you time to think about it or if they pressure to sign a contract, also be very cautious. Again, modeling agencies should not ask for money upfront for classes or training.
Top Ten Modeling Tips
- Always be on time. Punctuality is crucial.
- Always go prepared. Clothing changes that you know will fit you. Don’t ever think that someone else has everything you need for a photo shoot.
- Always bring your make-up.
- Get references, and get as many as you can. That would include other models, photographers, and talent agents. Also, be sure that a legitimate photographer is doing the same with you. You must never take anything for granted.
- Get phone numbers and addresses. If he or she is hesitant, then reconsider the photoshoot.
- Make sure you know what the photoshoot will consist of, and never feel pressured to do anything that you do not feel comfortable doing if anything else goes with your gut feeling before doing a scheduled photo shoot.
- Always bring cash just in case for emergencies
- Keep in mind that modeling is a business. So, be prepared to negotiate with prospective employers regarding pay and content. Do not just drop a photoshoot because you do not like what the company is offering you; negotiate until you get something you want. It is always okay to say, “Thank you, but no thank you.” You never know the employer you turn down today will be a star tomorrow, so treat everyone with respect and stay humbled.
- Don’t ever do anything you might be sorry for later. What you do today can affect your career in the long run.
- If you have a verbal or signed agreement on traveling expenses, make sure that it is followed. Written contracts are always the best.