Become a Fashion Model

Are you comfortable in front of an audience? Can you hold killer poses and rock any outfit? Do you have a great body and flawless skin? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then perhaps you have a career ahead of you as a model.

While modeling jobs are hard to come by, they are expected to increase by about 16 percent over the next 7 years, but face high competition amongst models. Becoming a model is mostly about what you look like, unfortunately, and some people just don’t have the right look to be a model, however, there are also plenty of opportunities for hand models, hair model, feet models, and even pregnant models out there, so the key is to keep trying. Getting an opinion from a professional agent or modeling school will also affirm your career choice.

How to become a model is not as simple as just being discovered. While this does happen on occasion, most models have to work really hard to perfect certain techniques and attend hundreds of job castings or auditions to get a modeling gig. To start off with, you should look into the different modeling schools out there. These provide you with training in walking, make-up application, hairstyling, posing, and other basic tasks. Modeling agencies often send scouts to the modeling schools to look for potential models to add to their company. They occasionally hold open calls and contests to find new models.

The career of a model is short lived and during this time, keeping fit and healthy and preserving his or her psychical features and characteristics is imperative. Models should eat properly, exercise frequently, get regular facials, manicures and pedicures, as well as get professional haircuts and get enough sleep to always ensure that they look their best.

Once you have completed a modeling course, the next step is to find an agent. The trick to doing this is to get ones that are recommended and accredited, and that have a great track record such as Elite Model Management. Try to avoid unknown agencies as far as possible, because there are scam artists and dangerous people out there willing to take advantage of a young model.

Your agent will correct your image, style, look, and organize a photo shoot so that you can start putting together a great portfolio, showcasing some of your best photos, your details and measurements, and your abilities. Some models are better suited to being ramp models, while others make excellent catalogue models, with some being perfect for TV commercials. This is something that a good agent will be able to determine and send you to the correct modeling auditions. Nowadays internet modeling is a new branch available to you for modeling jobs. Work can be irregular as a model with some shoots only being a few hours long, while others can see you working over 12 hours a day for a period of time. Some jobs are part time or once off and others are full time, more permanent jobs, such as working for a particular clothing brand or company. Models under the age of 18, must hold a US work permit by law.

You will work in a number of different locations, some outside and some inside studios. You have to deal with hot lighting, sometimes cold and windy conditions, as well as be in some uncomfortable situations. As a model your job is to not complain, but to look perfect all the time, even though you might be struggling. Along with the harsh conditions, you can also find yourself working in a glamorous environment or travelling to an exotic destination for a job. Payment as a model can vary quite dramatically from hourly wages averaging $13.18 to job based or monthly salaries. Models who do catalogue and magazine shoots also get paid usage fees. Experience is a large factor in determining your wage with females often earning more than males for the same type of modeling job.

Models are there for advertising, and whether they are modeling clothes, handbags, shoes, make-up, or hair accessories, models, provide a human connection with consumers. The models’ appearance makes the product appealing to consumers and also provides some form of motivation, in the instance when you are selling weight loss products, slimming garments, or a new lipstick. People want to look like those models, which encourages them to buy the products.

Depending on the type of modeling gig you will need to bring your own wardrobe and make-up and do your own hair, so this is an additional skill that you need to master and which they cover in modeling school. You should also understand the dynamics of a camera and how to work with a photographer. You will need to adjust your body position and facial expressions according to what the photographer asks you to do, so understand these elements.

The only way to make it in the modeling world is to get an agent. They are the point of contact between models and clients and work on a commission basis which they will tell you when you join. This means that from your job payment, they will deduct their commission, pay any taxes, and then give you the rest. This incentive ensures that they will work with you and help you to land a lot of modeling jobs.

If you manage to be successful enough, can eventually become a supermodel and this comes with lots of perks and celebrity status with movie deals handed to you and TV shows requesting you. What an amazing way to make a living!

Model Quick Facts

Job Title: Model
Office: Studios, outdoor locations, foreign countries, ramps, stages, showrooms, TV commercial sets, and more.
Description: Your job as a model is to help create interest over certain products, whether it is clothing, household items, cars, cosmetics, food or anything else.
Certifications/Education: No formal education is required, but completing a modeling course is ideal with additional education in drama, dance, and voice training a plus for getting TV work and live modeling jobs. Sometimes foreign languages can be helpful when traveling.
Necessary Skills: You must be physically fit and healthy, take care of your body and face, and know how to work the camera. You normally have to be within a certain weight and height bracket, move with grace and poise and be confident. You must be polite, professional and organized as well.
Potential Employers: Retail companies, fashion designers, magazines, fashion outlets, cosmetic companies, and event planners.
Pay: This depends on your experience and status as a model with the average annual hourly wage being $13.18. The top 10 percent of models earn more than $22 per hour and the lowest 10 percent earning approximately $8 per hour.

Helpful Links:
Modeling Opportunities
Modeling Association of America International
Elite Model Management
Directory of Modeling Agencies in the U.S
Model Scouts

Sign up for our newsletter!