If you have ever thought about becoming a fashion model, you’re probably wondering how you even start to go about it. Modeling is not for the faint hearted, since you have to be prepared to not take rejection personally (as there are many more models than jobs around!) and get used to the idea that it’s not as glamourous as you may first think.

There is a lot of waiting around as a model, a lot of restrictions in terms of lifestyle, and periods of time where you may have to back up your income with jobs you don’t particularly enjoy while waiting for the next modelling gig. However, if you do succeed, the money is good, there are great travel opportunities and seeing yourself in a magazine is a wonderful feeling! 

This article will explore some of the steps you should take to start and make your mark in the modeling world. 

Perfect Your Look

You might be thinking you already have the look you want, but the truth is that modeling, like anything else, rolls in trends. With this in mind, you should spend time looking at lots of fashion magazines.

What patterns do you notice with the models and the fashion right now? While there is a more inclusive feel in the modeling world than there has ever been, you may notice that there are trends in certain body shapes, clothing and even hair colors, and you should pay attention to this.

It’s also worth sifting through agents’ websites and seeing if there are any similarities in the kinds of models they are taking on. Once you have a better idea of the kind of look that is in trend right now, you can begin to match your own look to it. 

Think about things like your style for your photos (we will come to that next) and get the clothes you plan to wear ready. Have your hair styled to fit your model persona, and if you want to go the extra mile, now is the time to have any surgical procedures you may wish to have (as this will save you retaking your portfolio photos at a later stage.)

Many models undergo surgery to both look better, but also to feel better. For example, you may gain confidence with a new nose, or feel more comfortable modeling swimwear if you have liposuction on your tummy. While it’s not necessary, if it makes you feel more confident, then it could be worthwhile as this will show in castings.

Get a Portfolio

Once you have established your model look, then you can go about getting a portfolio. This is a necessary tool to succeed in modeling, and as you secure work, you will develop a vast portfolio. In the early stages, however, there are two ways to get a portfolio. The first is to pay for a photographer to take your shots for you. This is great but can be expensive.

The good news is there are lots of budding photographers out there who will work on a TFP (Time for photos) basis. This means you both give your time for free in exchange for images you can both use in your portfolios. 

Find an Agent

Now your portfolio is complete, you can submit your images to agents in the hope of securing representation. This, like castings for actual jobs, can take time and can be difficult for anyone who isn’t a little hard-skinned, as rejection is common. Remember, agents, are inundated with applications and are often looking to fill certain gaps in their model list. So, don’t take it personally and keep going if you do receive a rejection.

Where possible, call and set up an appointment to visit the agency with your portfolio in person, but if not, you can mail your portfolio with a covering letter (or sometimes even apply on their website).

It can take a while to establish yourself in the modelling world, but if you get off on the correct footing with a sought-after look and a professional portfolio then it will aid you in standing out from your competition.