Modelling can be hard work – but it can absolutely be worth it. If you’ve been considering starting a career as a model, here’s what you’ll need to know before you start.
Agencies and companies looking for models want to know what you look like, which is why it’s important to have a portfolio for your modelling. If possible, get a professional photographer along with a professional hair and makeup artist. Make sure you get a variety of different shots, including close-ups and full body poses. Make sure that the style you want to convey is shown in these photos, but don’t let any accessories or props overshadow you.
Similarly, you’ll want to decide what type of model you want to be. You might want to focus on fashion modelling, plus size modelling, or alternative modelling. You could also be a runway model, promotional model, or fitness model – it just depends on what you’re interested in. When creating your portfolio make sure this is reflected in the photos you choose.
A good photography team can help you pose correctly, but to be a professional model, you’ll want to learn what your best angles and poses are. Practice in front of a mirror, or have a friend take photos of you so that you can see what looks best. Try different facial expressions and hand poses. Know how far you should turn your head for the best profile shot. Think about what lines and curves you’re creating with different poses.
Between travel, hair, makeup, and the shoot, a day working as a model can be long. You’ll have to wake up early and will get home late. Be prepared to be in less-than-ideal weather conditions, too. For example, many magazines and clothing brands shoot their summer models during the winter – so you might be in shorts or a swimsuit on a colder day.
If you’re a runway model, expect to have dress rehearsals the days before the official show and expect to be at the event early enough to get hair and makeup done.
Models can be held up to strict standards for how they look, especially if working with a modelling agency. That’s why it’s important to take care of your body – eat healthy meals, exercise, and take care of your skin. This means moisturising and wearing sunscreen when you’re outside.
Decide whether you want to work for an agency or freelance. Working with an agency can allow you the opportunity to work with big-name clients, and you won’t have to worry about negotiating rates or scheduling shoots, since the agency does all that for you. However, if you work with an agency, you’ll have little say in what projects you take, and you will likely be locked into a contract for a certain amount of time.
If, on the other hand, you want to take all the scheduling and negotiating into your own hands, you can work as a freelance model. You’ll have to build up a following and find your own clients, but you’ll have the flexibility to take on work that looks interesting to you. Both of these are great options, it just depends on what your goals are as a model. Many models start out with an agency and then go freelance once they have more of a following.
Ready to start your career as a model?