Tips for How to Become a Model

How to become a Model

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

A lot of people want to be a model because it’s glamorous, sexy, lucrative and you might want to be recognised in the modeling world. However, it’s an extremely competitive and gruelling business that will more likely break you than make you. Here are some major truths about becoming a model, as well as some realistic advice to make it happen for you.But don’t forget to be true to who you are.


  1. Realize that there are qualities every model needs to have, depending on the type of model one wishes to become. Generally, any feature indicative of good health is a must – clear skin, a full head of hair, and overall symmetry. Other qualities such as height and weight depend on what you’re modeling. Consider working with a fitness trainer, especially someone who has a good reputation and experience with models. Tell them your modeling goals and how you aspire to look.
  2. Decide what kind of model you’d like to be. Technically, anybody can be a model. However, do remember that if you don’t meet certain requirements, the work available to you will be incredibly limited, and you may have to compensate in other departments (reliability, technique, etc).
    • A Plus Size Model. If your body is full and curvaceous, you may be able to be a plus size model.
    • A CatWalk Model. If you’re tall (at the very least 5’7 for editorial & 5’8 for catwalk) and very skinny with a small breast size, you can be a catwalk model.
    • An Underwear Model. If you have large breasts but not very wide hips, you can be an underwear model.
    • Other Types of Modeling. If you don’t fit any of the face or body descriptions, perhaps you can be a foot, hair or hand model
    • Consider your “look”. There is more of a curvy California look, a svelte New York look, a waif-like European look, girl next door, swim suit or lingerie (usually requires the bust to fill out the suits and a very thin waist)… Know what you’re equipped with, but also work to pull off other looks.
  3. Get some photos done. These don’t have to be professional but they should be created for the purpose of showing your ability as a model. Although agencies say they are happy with snapshots, that doesn’t mean they want to see an out of focus shot of you out partying with your friends with a little note attached saying that you’re the one on the right! As a bare minimum, you will need one head shot and one body shot.
    • Get your favorites printed into 8x10s. Save these in case you are asked to leave a photograph anywhere before you have professional ones done. Don’t force these on people or try to hand them out. You’ll be better off waiting for the professional shots instead of taking risks with an amateur photo.
    • Consider getting the photos professionally done. Professional photography, even if it is expensive, will give you a better idea of what kind of look you project. You will eventually need these photographs to snag an interview, so think of it as a worthwhile investment!
  4. Look up the number of a reputable modeling agency. You can find these in your area chance for this photo. They’ll use this to compare to your head shot. They will ask you to walk and take your measurements, so be prepared for all of that as well. Learn to accept rejection or criticism politely (see Warnings below). Thank the people for their time.
  5. Be professional. Be polite and always turn up on time to any appointment or shoot. If you’re late or rude, word soon gets around and then nobody will want to work with you.
    • Be organized! Models often get called off places at the last-minute and have very busy days. You need to be on top of things if you want to succeed. Buying a day-to-day planner can really help.
    • Confirm whether or not there will be a make-up artist on site for any work you are doing. 99 times out of 100 there will be one, but there may be the odd occasion where you are required to do your own make-up. If there is a make-up artist, then arrive fresh-faced.
    • Be truthful about your measurements. Don’t say you’re skinnier than you are just to get a shoot. Once there, the stylist will have problems and you will get found out. Word will get around and you could find yourself without a career!
    • Treat modeling like a real job. Girls that don’t take it seriously have small chances of succeeding in their modeling career. Realize that it is harder than it appears and there’s a lot of work behind all that glitz and glamor at fashion shows.
  6. Realize a model does not have to be like a supermodel. There are models of all sizes: short, tall, skinny, fat, normal, etc. Don’t ever think that you can’t become a model; anyone can!
  7. Educate yourself. There is a lot you can learn from reading books and articles on modeling, such as this one. Reading quality guides, articles, and books will both help you to improve important skills (like posing) and to better understand how the industry works (how to find an agent, etc.).


  • You may have higher chances to become a model if you have a pretty face. However, this is not a requirement.  Any skills you can add to your arsenal will only help your future career.
  • You can also enter modeling contests. However, make sure you check that these are being run by a reputable agency.
  • If, for whatever reason, you’ve decided signing with an agency isn’t right for you, you could consider going freelance. But be warned: the pay is usually considerably less and there are fewer safety precautions.
  • Get your parents’ permission if you’re under the age defined by your country as being an adult.
  • Some modeling schools are licensed by the Board of Education. However, whether or not they will teach you how to become a model is questionable, and some agencies even say that attending a modeling school can teach you bad habits that are hard to unlearn! They are also expensive.
  • Get a website. It helps spread the word that you’re out there and also serves as a place for your adoring fans.
  • Know your limits on style and nudity. If you don’t want to do glamour work or are uncomfortable doing full nudity, speak up and don’t let people push you past those limits. Also, consider where you want your career to go in the future. Sure, you may be comfortable doing glamour now, but what if you decide you want to do fashion or catalogue work in the future? You might be discriminated against if they know you have done this line of work.
  • Have a portfolio – it helps when bringing to clients. Go to a Go-SEE, and go- see the clients
  • Show attitude and have fun!
  • MODELEVILLE is a great source for beginner, freelance, and amateur models. You can make connections with photographers, make-up artists and other models. While agencies do not use this site, it can help to build up a portfolio and find smaller paid assignments. Many photographers there work on a time-for-print basis. This is a great way to build up a portfolio without paying for a professional. But do note that you need four pictures to sign up, and you want pictures that will grab attention.
  • It may also be worth your while to try sites that allow you to talk to experts in the modeling industry, for example, Personal Model Management, PMM or a model chat room. These sites allow you to ask industry professionals questions and get the answers you want and many, like those mentioned above, also provide additional services like photo and portfolio advice, as well as management contracts etc.
  • Be careful when signing contracts or releases. Some contracts may require you to model exclusively for a particular agency. A lot of releases (which are more like mini-contracts that are done for a single shoot), will emphasize the photographer’s right to an image, saying that they may do whatever they wish, but don’t mention the model’s rights. It is your image they are using, and you have a say in what is done with pictures taken of you. Make sure to discuss this before signing anything.


  • Modeling is a tough business. Try not to be discouraged by rejections. Even top models still get rejected for about 70% of everything they are put forward for!
  • If you become one of the top models like Kate Moss, the people you work for might ask you to take drastic measures to stay a top model. For example, they might ask you to get nose jobs, liposuction, or have breast implants. And lose more weight… The pressure of modeling can cause a lot of long-term mental health problems, including eating disorders. Don’t be afraid to speak to somebody if you think it is getting all too much. If you just can’t handle the pressure, it may be time to start thinking of a new profession. A job isn’t worth your health!
  • Be wary of any agency that asks for money up front. The majority of agencies get their money through commission- meaning they take a certain percentage of your pay for every job that you do. If you don’t work, then they don’t get paid. If you’ve already paid up, there’s no incentive for them to find you work. However, don’t dismiss everybody who asks you for up-front fees as a scam. If you are sure that they are an agency, listen carefully to what they are asking for the fees for. Bigger agencies in bigger markets will often pay for these for you or at least loan you the money, but smaller agencies or agencies in smaller markets can’t afford to do this. If the fees are to cover actual representation, this probably isn’t a good deal. Although there are some good agencies out there who work on this basis, the majority are nothing more than con artists. Find models who they represent, get in touch with them and ask them what they think of the representation they are getting.
  • If you are invited to a foreign country (i.e. Hong Kong, Macau etc.) for an audition or job, have enough funds to purchase a return ticket yourself. While legitimate jobs exist, there are many scams that provide one way tickets then trap young girls into prostitution rings when they cannot afford to go back home.
  • If you are planning a photo shoot with a photographer you have met online, it is highly recommended that you bring a chaperone to the shoot. It’s for your own safety, as you never know who is who online! If you can’t bring a chaperone (because you are unable to find one or because the photographer doesn’t allow chaperones), make sure you do a background search on the photographer first – check out things such as who they have worked with and for – and call somebody when you get to the shoot and when you leave the shoot.
  • Almost all agencies will ask you to fill out a contract. Be sure to read through it thoroughly and make sure you know what every word means, even use a dictionary if you have to! Better know what you are signing for before you accept.
  • Always use reputable modelling agencies and never pay upfront fees, professional modelling agencies will pay to have you, and won’t require you to pay anything.

For a listing of Models Profiled on, click here.



This entry was posted in Models. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *