While a life as a model may offer fame and glamour, preparing for a career in the high stakes fashion industry takes thoughtful consideration.
Are you generally fit and healthy?
If you want to become a catwalk model, are you at least 5'8"?
Do you have the desire and the ability to work hard and really compete in your chosen profession?
Following the fashion trends or being aware of a certain "look" that agencies are seeking is only the beginning. Next comes arranging a portfolio of different poses (best done with the help of a professional photographer), and eventually making contact with modeling agencies for interviews.
Here are a few more how-to tips and insider advice for those looking to start a career as a fashion model:
1. Although your face my be your fortune, you should realize that overall vitality, whether it's clear skin or vibrant hair, is a major selling point for agencies who look for fit healthy individuals who can 'glow' even without makeup.
For both male and female models, regular gym workouts will be necessary for your entire body to look at its best and to help build your stamina. Modeling is hard work!
2. Judge your 'look' and see where it falls into traditional model types, i.e., tall and willowy for fashion catwalks, blonde hair and blue eyes for the outdoor California look, svelte and sophisticated for the New York look, etc.
Even a brief consult with a fashion photographer can help with suggestions on how to market yourself to certain jobs or agencies.
3. Professional 8 x 10 photos are musts for introducing yourself to modeling agencies. At a minimum you will need one head shot and one body shot. Although you may save on costs with a talented amateur photographer, spending more for professional shots is always the better investment when you're first starting out.
If you are Web savvy or can afford a Web designer, also consider creating a Web site specifically geared to your modeling photos and resume.
4. Along with photos, agencies also want to see a modeling resume. This should include your name and contact details, Web site address if you have one, physical stats and measurements, educational background, and experience. For example:
Phone, Web site, em ail
(For male models)
EDUCATION: List any special courses, extracurricular activities, or college credits that my be relevant such as acting, modeling, fashion design or dancing classes.
EXPERIENCE: Include any past modeling jobs, fashion shows, photo shoots or acting experience.
5. If called on an interview, show up on time in a flattering outfit, but wear little makeup. Take extra resumes and photos with you. Since you're auditioning for a modeling gig, also be prepared to 'strike a pose' (or several) for a staff photographer who will want a close up of your face. They may also ask for different looks such as happy, sad or seductive to judge your acting ability.
At all times be professional and courteous. Even if you are rejected, thank them for their time and mean it. You never know when you will meet up with them again on another job or assignment down the road. You can also use the opportunity to get honest feedback on your photos and resume.
6. If you asked to sign on with an agency, they'll probably ask you to do additional test shoots. Be warned, however, that some organizations way ask you for money up-front to cover their expenses. While some smaller agencies may ask your for fees, in most cases when you are asked for money you are likely dealing with a disreputable modeling agency.
7. Almost all agencies will ask you to sign a contract. Be sure to read through it thoroughly and make sure you know exactly what it says before you accept.