So you’re interested in becoming a model? Great, you’re doing your research and figuring out what the best way to succeed in this highly competitive industry. It can be an incredibly rewarding industry if you are dedicated and professionally minded.
First off, decide why you want to pursue modeling. Do you want make some extra money or work at it full time? Do you want to make it big with riches and glamour? Are you looking just to have some fun? The answer to these questions could dictate who you work with, what kind of modeling you want to pursue, and what kind of time and financial investment you want to make.
The second step should be to examine your expectations and look critically at the industry you are entering. It’s important to be honest with yourself when setting your goals. You may have many people around you saying you are attractive and should become a model. It is terrific that you have people around you for support. It’s great to be positive and set ambitious goals but acknowledging this is a tough industry that can have an ugly side should be noted.
The next step in your modeling journey is to figure out what type of modeling you are interested in pursuing. There are so many niches and specialized modeling possibilities out there. You may want to explore different possibilities and have a broad range of work however your ‘look’ can lend itself to a particular style of modeling. Quite frankly your physical appearance and fashion choices can dictate that for you. Some models naturally lend themselves to runway modeling, while others are best suited for glamour or alternative modeling.
Think about who you want to work with as well. Some models make a decent living working exclusively with amateur photographers who are developing their portfolios while others focus on paid gigs from designers or clothing companies. The main point being if you choose a specific niche to work in, you should craft your portfolio to showcase that type of work. If you want to try different types of modeling then try to create a portfolio with as many different looks as possible.
Before stepping in front of a camera you have to practice. Like any other skill it takes learning, and repetition to get something right. Do a little research on posing and facial expressions. Practice those in front of a mirror. You may feel silly, but it will pay off in the end. An experienced photographer can certainly guide you in creating pleasing and interesting poses however having an understanding of basics can make your first shoot easier. Look at magazines and blogs to see how models in those industries are posing. Also try and be aware of your best features. Focus on what makes you stand out and really emphasize that in your pose and expression choices. Thinking about this ahead of time will allow you to communicate to the photographer what your best angles or features are. Chances are they will see what you see but it’s a good exercise to think about that before practicing poses.
Next, reach out to photographers. Search for photographers in your area whose work you like and get in touch. Find out about what kind of packages they offer, their work, and themselves. You can read all about How to Pick the Best Photographer in Part II of this article. In addition to picking out a great photographer you may also want to consider the services of a hair and make-up artist. If the photographer does not offer that as part of their service inquire if they have any recommendations. Having a trained hair and make-up artist can truly set your images apart from the rest. Yes this takes a small financial investment but collaborating with the right professionals can make your portfolio look amazing.
In the end your success will depend on your drive, determination, professionalism, and some luck. Do your research on the industry, prepare yourself as best possible, and seek out professionals who can make you stand out from the rest.