Modeling can be an exciting, fulfilling career that takes you to new places and builds confidence. This career also attracts many creative people while providing ample compensation depending on your field. Although many people think it’s easy to enter this career, the intricacies of becoming a model are not as straightforward as you might imagine.
Let’s go through an overview of how to become a model with no experience and what you’ll need to watch out for. But first, what is a model, and what do they do?
What does a model do?
Models use their physical appearance to help a company advertise a product or service. Brands and companies require models to help advertise and market themselves through print ads, videos, runway shows, and social media. Models are required to use their physical appearance, posing abilities, and experience to help advertise and present products and services in an eye-catching or attractive manner.
The practical modeling tasks depend on what type of model you want to be. Artists and art programs often require models to focus on a sculpting or painting session. A company may need models for their TV advertisement, or a clothing brand may need to advertise their new line via social media posts. These will involve photoshoots and filming sessions. Here are a few things that are involved in being a model:
- Filming for advertisements
- Showcasing multiple pieces of clothing
- Walking on a runway (for high fashion)
- Showcasing non-clothing products
- Travelling to multiple locations
- Participating in launch events
While the educational requirements may be minimal, how to become a fashion model is much more than just sitting pretty. You’ll need to do several things to start a modeling career and continue being successful in it.
How to become a model –
Step 1 – Pick your niche
There are multiple types of modeling careers. You’ll want to understand the functional requirements for each type of niche. All niches are not exclusive; for example, you can be a fashion model (showcasing clothing in print media) while simultaneously posing for an art school project. Some modeling fields may require you to travel often, while others may have strict physical attributes as a requirement. Nice, you know your niche; things get more superficial. For example, ‘how to become a fitness model?’ is a much narrower target than becoming a model in general. Here are a few of the main model niches that you should research before you begin your journey:
- Fitness Model
- Runway Model
- Commercial/Editorial Model
- Fashion Model
- Alt Model
- Plus-Sized Model
- Jewellery Model
- Hand/Shoe/Eye/Hair Model
Step 2 – Practice
You don’t need to wait for a modeling gig or contract to get to work. Watch videos, look at famous models and how they pose, carry themselves, and behave. Imitate the poses as best you can from the comfort of your home. Take pictures of yourself to see how well you’re able to capture the look you’re imitating. Rinse and repeat till you’re happy with your progress. You can also practice your runway walk (if that’s the field you want to enter) at home.
Step 3 – Work towards your fitness
Becoming a model is intrinsically tied to your physical attributes. For most models, this involves your entire body, while for other niches, it may be focused on just one body part (for example, a jewelry model may only need to have their hands photographed). Either way, you’ll need to know your strengths and weaknesses, standout features, and what gives you that unique and memorable look. These days symmetry (although necessary in some contexts) has taken a backseat in modeling as a whole. More focus is being put on unique, diverse body and face types. Skin type is also not a barrier; many brands seeking to be more inclusive always need different skin types and colors.
You may need to meet certain body size requirements for specific modeling niches. Some modeling agencies may only work with certain height and weight models. Most brands and agencies will require their models to be healthy, most of all in the fitness sector. Depending on your chosen niche, you may need to start working out, managing your weight, or maintaining other routines to take care of your physical attributes. It is not limited to just eating healthy; for example, a hair model may need to ensure healthy and attractive hair.
Before choosing your niche, find out the limitations and eligibility of each sector. You need to be aware that certain niches have hard limits. For example, if you wonder how to become a runway model, most runway agencies will have a minimum height requirement.
Step 4 – Build a portfolio
A portfolio will be a collection of professional photos (and/or videos) of yourself that you can show to agencies and brands. These should be done professionally, and it makes sense to hire a photographer with some experience. Ensure that your portfolio is focused on the niche you want to enter and showcases versatility. If you’re wondering how to become a model with no money or investment, you can still build a portfolio with a photographer. Amateur and beginner photographers are also always looking to build their portfolios to be open to the idea of a collaborative photoshoot.
Step 5 – Join an agency
Depending on your goals, you may want to join an agency that can help you book jobs and connect with companies. Most brands go through such agencies rather than dealing directly with models. However, if you have a solid personal brand and your team, you may connect with companies yourself. If you’re a social media influencer, this may be preferable to ensure your independence. Even if you work through an agency (or agencies), be sure you understand the terms and conditions of your relationship with them.
Step 6 – Promote yourself
It can include reaching out to agents, modeling companies, and directly to brands to share your portfolio with them. You should also participate in pageants, competitions, and similar events, which can act as a selling point for your services. Use social media, but avoid mixing your professional modeling with your personal life. It’s best to keep two separate accounts for that. You should also participate in free workshops, which may be a great place to build your network.
Step 7 – Improve
Practicing and doing collaborative projects is great for experience and networking. But once you start getting paid projects, you’ll need to improve your skill constantly. You can take paid modeling courses that teach vital classes on posing, health and nutrition, photoshoot etiquette, and much more. Other classes can also act as a complement to help you improve your modeling career. For example, acting classes can teach you how to imitate certain emotions, which can be helpful in your modeling career.
The above guide can help you start your journey but keep in mind that modeling (exceptionally high fashion) is a highly competitive market. So, you need to set your mind on your goals and work hard to get there; that’s why passion is an essential factor in this field. Without losing patience, you’ll also need self-confidence and stamina to get through long shoots. Technical knowledge is not essential, but it can be a plus that allows you to work with photographers better. With patience and confidence, you can get yourself into this industry, and hard work will take you the rest of the way.
Liked this Blog? Read more: How to Become an Actor: Skills, Courses, Career, and More.
- Do I need to be skinny to become a model?
No, not all modeling niches require you to be fit or skinny. Many brands and companies are revising their standards and becoming more inclusive of all shapes and sizes. These companies are on the lookout for different-sized models to be the face of their brand. Additionally, if you plan on being an eye model (such as for a spectacle or sunglasses company), your weight will have little to do with your assignment.
2. Does modeling pay a lot of money?
The wages in this career are highly dependent on the job type, the brands you work with, and your reputation. Fashion companies and brands may pay more since this is a significant component of their marketing, while an art school may pay a smaller amount for an occasional session.
3. How to become a model fast?
Getting a top modeling project without any effort is unlikely (unless you already happen to have a large following on social media). Your best bet is to link up with credible modeling agencies in person and simultaneously sign up with authentic online agencies. You should have a portfolio ready before you ever approach these companies. Be professional at interviews and any photoshoots you do get. Start a social media account to promote your modeling career if you do not have a following online. Lastly, be confident and persistent because this field is competitive, so it may take some time before you get your first job.