November 30, 2009

Low-Cost Ways to Break into Modeling

Dreaming about breaking into the modeling industry? There once was a great interview with Judy Goss, a former Ford model and current Casting Director of More magazine.

According to Ms. Goss, who wrote the book, Break into Modeling for Under $20, there is four P process that one must follow to launch his or her modeling career:

1. Preparation

Ms. Goss says that being prepared includes mental and physical preparation. Mentally, you have to be ready and able to handle rejection — which happens a lot in the business, across all levels. Physical preparation means making sure that your — measurements fall into categories that you are going after — be it runway (also known as ramp modeling), lingerie and/or swimsuit modeling, or  plus-size modeling. (Note that the JobMonkey section on modeling jobs is a great resource about the wide variety of opportunities for models of all shapes, sizes, genders and ages.)

2. Pictures

“Keep it really simple,” says Ms. Goss. That means simple makeup and simple clothing, including at least one shot in a two-piece bathing suit. Ms. Goss also advises would-be models to send in no more than seven photographs by mail, or no more than three pictures by email. She also tells aspiring models not to pay for professional head shot. “Never pay for professional pictures before you have an agency. That’s a big misconception about our industry.”

3. Promotion

Promote yourself through target marketing, advises Ms. Goss. This includes finding the right modeling agencies that deal in the type of modeling you are going after. Smaller niche offices might specialize in just one or two styles of modeling (print modeling or child modeling, for example) while larger-scale agencies have a number of different divisions. Be sure you contact the right division, or your photographs will be lost.  A little research goes a long way!

4. Presentation

When all your hard work pays off and you get invited to an interview, Ms. Goss advises you to present yourself in the same way that you did for your pictures — simply. Simple make-up and a simple outfit are the way to go, she says. The same rule applies, according to Ms. Goss, if you go on an open call for models.

One last tip: Skip the modeling schools. Agencies don’t take them seriously, says Ms. Goss. “It’s just a waste of money.”

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