There are some basic steps to becoming a model, but it’s how you go about them that creates your brand and who you are as a model. A huge part of modeling is going to be your portfolio and networking. A portfolio is going to show all the work you’ve done, it’ll contain finished pictures generally from a photoshoot. In order to start your portfolio you’ll need to find photographers willing to work with you either on a TFP (trade for Portfolio) base or you pay them or they pay you (Please Note: this one is hard to find when you are just getting started but know that it is okay to invest in your future). The more photographers and models you work with will really help you learn and grow in your career, from the little advise you’re given to the tips and tricks you pick up on that’ll help you get where you’re going, this also helps you create a good social media presence which every model needs. You should also consider do group events/photoshoots, or modeling camps to really get some coaching in, not all photographers are going to take the time to give you the structure you need.
Generally what you present is what you’re going to receive. If your portfolio is mainly boudoir photos then don’t be shocked when most of the work you are getting is boudoir styled. Same goes for if your portfolio contains mostly high fashioned photos then most the work you are getting might be high fashioned. Sometimes you may be presented with other jobs but it is important to think about what jobs you want when building your portfolio. There is not a right or wrong way, you just need to figure out what you want your brand to contain.
There mainly two types of models: freelanced modeling or modeling for an agency. Which leads me to explaining that once you have a strong portfolio that represents who you are and shows all your side then you should decide which type of model you want to be.
If you are going to be a freelanced model then you need to learn how to use your portfolio. Present your portfolio to more than just photographers, you’ll seek paid gigs that could be anything from brand ambassador to modeling clothes for stores and/or more. The possibilities are endless as long as you’re willing to do the work and put in all the hours. Remember your selling more than just photos, you’re selling your brand so give your clients all you’ve got! In this role of modeling your the manager (finding work for yourself) and the modeling, your experience will help you decide on your rates. This route could be an easier or harder for you depending on your knowledge or people skills.
If you are going to model for an agency then you’ll need to do your homework. Researching agencies in the area you want, finding their requirements, looking at clients they already have to see if that’s who you want to work for, also looking at the people they currently represent and decide if this is the right fit for you. Once you have found an agency you like you’ll need to adjust your portfolio accordingly, some agencies want to see photos with no make up on and various poses with plain clothes or they could be looking for certain types of work. Maybe this agency doesn’t want boudoir images in a new models portfolio, or maybe they are looking for more extravagant poses that show your flexibility. Knowing what the agency is looking for is key. This will help you choose the images from your portfolio that your going to submit, as well as prepare for your interview. If this agency decides to represent you then they’ll go over the terms and conditions of working with you. This generally means they’ll do the job of finding you work. So agencies can help place you in modeling classes. Even if they suggest classes for you to start don’t feel bad because they see the optional in you and want to help.
Please remember just because you chose a route doesn’t mean you can’t change it, this industry is not a one size fits all. What works for some people may not work for everyone. If your a freelanced model you can still be signed by an agency or if your a signed model trying to become freelanced, its all possible just remember to fulfill your contracts and remain professional. Either option you choose can open up new doors and help you set goals for yourself. Be sure to take the time to learn everything you can about the industry and how to get where you want to be, you’ll never know too much.