How do I Become a Model?

Brendan McGuigan

Many people, if asked to list their dream jobs, put somewhere on the list that they would like to become a model. Depending on the kind of model you want to become, you may need to be born with a specific look. You may be able to devote yourself to hard work and making your way into the industry, however. A few basic steps can help you get started in the right direction, including committing yourself to the process, staying in good health and in good shape, and determining what type of modeling you might be best at. From a practical point of view, you'll need to get photos taken and attending auditions.

Models must be able to use varying poses to bring out the best in each wardrobe they wear.
Models must be able to use varying poses to bring out the best in each wardrobe they wear.

First of all, it's important to recognize that becoming a model is incredibly difficult, and the world of modeling is competitive and cutthroat. Many people who want to become a model are not honest with themselves in the beginning about just how difficult it will be, and when things get rough they simply give up. If you truly want to become a model, you need to commit yourself to some trying times, some failures, and some difficult sacrifices.

Fashion models need to have a decent runway walk with several good poses in their repertoire in order to get a job.
Fashion models need to have a decent runway walk with several good poses in their repertoire in order to get a job.

Virtually all models have some traits in common, as well. Most of these are features that almost anyone can work on, even if it is a bit more difficult for some than others. Models almost always have features of health, so it's important for you to try to keep your body looking as healthy as possible. Try to keep your hair in excellent health, your skin clear and fresh, and your body in good shape. Keep in mind that keeping your body in shape doesn't necessarily mean keeping it thin, as there are opportunities for plus-size models and models with more natural and curvaceous body types.

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Aspiring models should be honest with themselves about how competitive the industry is and know how to handle rejection.
Aspiring models should be honest with themselves about how competitive the industry is and know how to handle rejection.

The majority of modeling jobs, however, are for people with bodies that adhere more closely to societal standards of beauty. At the very least, this tends to mean bodies that are in good physical shape, which means you will want to work out fairly regularly; if you can afford it, get a personal trainer of some sort. Men, especially, will need to tone their muscles to increase definition for most jobs, and many jobs require a fair amount of muscle mass as well.

Models should have photos taken to use when looking for work. .
Models should have photos taken to use when looking for work. .

Figure out what sort of jobs your body type is suited for before you begin trying to become a model, as this will help you focus your energies better. Women who are on the taller side, and are naturally skinny with small breasts, may be ideally suited for catwalk modeling. Women with larger breasts and thinner hips may be better suited for underwear modeling. More curvaceous women may be ideally suited to modeling so-called plus-sized clothing.

Models may have to work with a variety of photographers.
Models may have to work with a variety of photographers.

Men who are toned but without a great deal of muscle mass may be ideal for underwear modeling. Those with larger muscle mass may be better suited for more general advertising modeling. Both men and women who have a particularly striking extremity, such as perfect hands or feet, may find the best fit to be in one of these niche modeling markets.

Male models must be able to wear formal clothing, like suits, in a convincing manner.
Male models must be able to wear formal clothing, like suits, in a convincing manner.

Once you know what type of model you want to become, it's time to get some photos taken. Make sure you are at your best, and hire a reputable professional, even if it costs a bit more. These are your calling cards, and often will make or break getting a callback.

For some aspiring models, it may be wise to attend modeling school.
For some aspiring models, it may be wise to attend modeling school.

Then start getting your name out there, first by finding a good agency to represent you. There are a number of directories which will let you know which agencies are reputable. It is important to be on the lookout for scam artists who may want to try to take advantage of your desire to become a model.

Finally, you'll start showing up to auditions or small shoots. Treat each shoot with a full measure of professionalism, as your reputation can make or break you in the long run. Be prepared for disappointment and problems, but persevere with a good attitude and a desire to succeed.

Models should treat every shoot they go to with great professionalism.
Models should treat every shoot they go to with great professionalism.

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