How to become a fashion model
The most frequent question that modeling agents and recruiters receive from aspiring models is as follows: "How can I become a fashion model?" There is so much information in books, on websites, and in modeling forums that it can seem very confusing and overwhelming for a new model starting out. Here are five simple steps to help you get started.

01 out of 05: Take some basic photos
In the beginning, the only photos you need to present to modeling agents and recruiters are a few basic shots. They are looking for a nice front-facing photo - smiling and non-smiling - left and right profiles of your face and body, a full-body photo, and a back shot. Wear fitted clothing like skinny jeans or leggings and a simple tank top or t-shirt. If you're comfortable in a swimsuit, include a few swimsuit photos; a one or two-piece swimsuit works well.

Male models should showcase their level of fitness to agents. Therefore, male models are recommended to wear swim briefs or boxers, or go shirtless with jeans in at least one of their photos.

02 out of 05: Get evaluated by a professional modeling agent or recruiter
Many new models start their journey because family and friends tell them they should be models, or they are the prettiest girl or the most handsome boy in school. Some people might have even won local modeling contests. While this is a great start, it doesn't necessarily align with what agencies are looking for. It's essential that you have your modeling potential evaluated by an experienced agent or recruiter before investing too much time or money into your pursuit. This step can be a bit tricky as it's difficult to determine if the agent or recruiter evaluating you has the necessary experience and knowledge to help you.

Many new models discover that they live in a smaller market where many agents are tied to a modeling school or photography studio. As a result, they might not receive an accurate evaluation because the agency is more interested in selling courses or photo sessions.

This doesn't mean the agent isn't good or that the courses or photo sessions they offer are bad; it simply means you need to consider their motivations for telling you whether or not you can become a model.

03 out of 05: Get as much exposure as possible
Many agencies specialize in a specific area. Some only represent high-fashion (editorial) models, others only represent commercial models, plus-size models, petite models, or child models. If an agency isn't able to represent you, don't get discouraged; it's important to be seen by as many agents as possible on a regular basis.

If you live in one of the major markets, you might be able to attend an open call or agency visit. If you don't live in one of the major markets, the best way to get noticed is by sending your photos to as many agencies as possible.

Gaining visibility can be a lengthy and costly endeavor, especially if you have to make copies of all your photos and mail them. The cost of prints, envelopes, and stamps can quickly add up to over a thousand dollars. Another option is to email your photos, but with thousands of photos being sent to modeling agencies every day, they can easily get lost in the mix.

To increase your chances of getting signed by an agency, work with people who have experience and direct contacts with agencies in different markets. Online agencies might be the most legitimate and cost-effective way for you to gain the visibility you need to be seen by many agents worldwide and do so as quickly as possible.

04 out of 05: Know the best modeling market for you
The term "market" refers to the different geographical locations where models work and make a living. New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and Tokyo are examples of major modeling markets. A market can also refer to the category your particular look falls into, such as fashion, advertising, plus-size, or petite.

While the top models you see in major magazines and walking for top clients typically work in all markets, many successful models only work in one or two markets. If you're not represented by an agency in New York or Paris, you might be a perfect fit for Tokyo, Singapore, or other Asian markets. An experienced agent can guide you to the right market for your specific look.

05 out of 05: Be persistent
Becoming a professional model is a long process and rarely happens overnight. Even models who say, "One day I was walking down the street, and the next day I was on the cover of Vogue," are exaggerating. Many of today's top models were not signed by an agency right away. Top model Gisele Bündchen faced more than 40 rejections before finally getting signed by an agency. Stay positive and remember that just because an agency couldn't represent you today doesn't mean they won't be interested tomorrow.

June 22, 2023