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How To Start a Career in Modeling 

Written By: Ashley Hernandez

The world of modeling has become so vast there is something for everyone. The modeling industry grows exponentially with different niches and specializations, so if beginning a model is something you want to do, there will be at least one modeling job that will fit your looks, skills and personality. Once you have decided modeling is the right career path for you, doing some research on the industry and figuring out where you will best fit in is the next step. This article will act as a guide to help get you started in a career in modeling.


Even though the modeling industry is growing everyday with work and opportunities, getting started is not easy. It takes time, dedication, research as well as thick skin to get you to a place you'll want to be. Modeling is a huge industry, however, it is sought out by many. Competition will be high, and being judged on your appearance and talent can be taxing. The good news is with the modeling industry becoming more body-inclusive, more opportunities are becoming available for new and aspiring models of all shapes, sizes, genders and preferences. So now is the perfect time to begin!


Flaunting Your Features


The best way to get started in the modeling industry is to become familiar with yourself. Every good model knows their best features and how to flaunt them. The concept of beauty and the idealization of “one perfect model” has changed drastically within the industry. The best way to make an impression with casting agents is to know your best features. Learn how to take your most interesting and unique ones and use them to make a lasting impression. 


Most models do this by inspection. Look at yourself in the mirror without makeup and inspect your features. Make faces in the mirror. Practice posing, emoting, and laughing all while remaining comfortable and natural. Recreate modeling expressions you've seen on tv or in magazines and take note of which looks best suit you. 


It is important to get comfortable with your body movements. Models need to move fluidly and with confidence. Depending on the type of modeling you want to master, you may be asked to wear heels, costumes, makeup and more that may be extravagant or outside of your normal everyday looks. Practice acting to fit the role of the model. Try to emulate the person and personality you think may be best for the brand or shoot you are modeling for. 


What Does it Take to Be a Good Model?


Modeling is much more than the glitz and the glam. It is a profession that often requires mental and physical excellence. Models have to have the ability to handle criticism well. As mentioned before, models need to have thick skin. No matter how open and accepting the industry has become, as a model,  your physical being will always be the main topic of discussion. Most often when you are auditioning, casting personale will look past you, only to see your figure without paying much attention to what you're thinking or how you feel. This is frowned upon behavior within the industry but there is no denying this often becomes common. 


Modeling also requires great focus and stamina. There will be long days on your feet, repeating poses and shots, wardrobe changes, runway walks and much more. Models need to be able to look at ease and comfortable even during some of the more exhausting days. Models also need to remain focused at the task at hand in order to produce their best work. 


Models need to master the ability to follow direction. In most cases as a model you will be following the creative direction of someone else. As a model, you have been hired to model something for someone else, so it is important to take direction well in order to achieve the desired final vision. 


As a model it is important to create a personalized self care and grooming regime. This can include: skincare, haircare, exercise, nailcare and much more. 

Building a Modeling Portfolio


Every model needs a professional, clean and polished modeling portfolio. This can be a physical copy as well as a modeling portfolio website. We recommend you have both. 


A hard copy portfolio should include your resume, a feature of your best 8-12 images, a catalog of your modeling experience, a contact section and a headshot. Some models even add a brief bio. 


Your online modeling portfolio should be an ever evolving lookbook into your modeling career. Every model has their own unique touch to their online portfolio but the basic requirements should include: some of your best shots, a head shot, contact section and a section for your resume.


Put Yourself Out There


Now that you have mastered your look, you know what it takes to be a model and you've curated the perfect online and hard copy of your modeling portfolio, it's now time to put yourself out there! Apply to as many casting calls for the type of modeling you want to do. Reach out to brands and photographers, network and build connections within the industry. The more work you put into getting seen will equate to how many people actually see you. Don't be discouraged, and believe in yourself! 

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