You’ve been told for years: “You’re so pretty. You should model.” But modeling isn’t just about being pretty, and even though there are stories of famous models being discovered at a mall, that’s not typical. The typical model needs to work for a while, sometimes years, before they break through. Here are a few steps that will make it a little bit easier for you to get a start in the industry and help you to become a model.
Become A Model
Do Your Research
The modeling industry can be pretty confusing. There are so many different types of modeling; it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Before you start down the path to becoming a model, you’ll want to know where you can fit in. You also need to research your market. Trying to become a model in Indiana is vastly different from attempting to become a model in New York. Not that one market is better than the other; they’re just both very different. You can be successful in any market, but you need to understand what the market is looking for.
So you’ve done your research and you still want to become a model? Well, the next step is self-appraisal. Time for you to take an honest look at yourself and see which type of modeling you fit into. It may be that you have tattoos and piercings on your face, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a model. You’ll just have to find your niche. The good news is that most models can fit into more than one niche. Even if you don’t find a niche you can fit in, it doesn’t mean you can’t start modeling, it may just mean that you’re so unique that you should start your own niche.
Set Realistic Goals
In the grand scheme of things it’s pretty easy to become a model. Just find a person with a camera and have them take a picture of you. Boom! You’re a model. But what is your end goal? Do you want to one day be on the cover of Vogue? Would you like to walk in Fashion Week? Then you need to set goals, but this goes back to making sure you’ve done a good self appraisal. Once you know what the market is looking for you should know how to sell yourself. Take that opportunity to make set realistic, attainable goals. Write them down. “20 shoots in the next six months” or “Get published in a national publication” are two goals that are very realistic and attainable for most models. Keep your list of goals updated and make sure to add a new goal to the list every time you cross one off.
You’ve researched and figured out where you’ll fit in, now it’s time to network! During your research phase you most likely came across models, photographers, makeup artists, and stylists whose work you like; now’s the time to start reaching out them. Introduce yourself, let them know you’re a newbie and ask for some advice. Make sure some of the people you reach out to are located in your market, they’ll have a different perspective that can prove especially helpful.
Build Your Portfolio
This is the fun part! It’s time to start modeling. When you first start out, you most likely won’t get paid right off the bat. This is because you haven’t proven yourself to be reliable. Trade shoots (often called Trade for Print or Trade for Time) are shoots where you get paid in images. This is a great, and easy, way to gain experience and build your portfolio and help on your journey to become a model. Make sure that any one you shoot with, who’s not paying you, will improve your portfolio. Once you get to the point where you feel your portfolio is strong, then it’s time to start asking for money!