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How to Become a Model

Modeling is a much sought-after profession for youngsters and adults alike. It’s a very lucrative field, but without proper guidance, it will be an onerous task to shine here. A suitable path must be charted for aspiring models to follow, and without that, they would just be vacillating between different approaches and will spend crucial time trying to find what fits them best. In today’s competitive world, modeling also acts as the intermediate bridge between a nondescript middle-class life and the world of acting. 

To begin with, you must be clear with the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ of modelling. You must have an exact, well-defined reason to get into this competitive world of modelling so that you won’t lack the perseverance to continue when the going gets tough. Sometimes, life will not be fair, and even with many attempts, you might not get offers. But the destination must be entrenched in your body and soul so that you don’t deter from your trajectory and lose hope. Once the goal, passion, and motivation are established, you are ready to move to the next step. 

What type of modelling do you want to specialize in? It is of paramount importance to know your field of specialization. There are two major branches in modelling:

Fashion modeling-Ever wanted to swagger along the catwalk of Paris? This might be your area of interest. Models here usually flaunt a particular type of fashion that is in vogue. A wide range of accessories are exhibited here, and some of the major ones are garments, jewellery and cosmetics. This style of modelling is done to evoke curiosity and interest in the minds of the general public about the particular fashion. In the fashion industry, this type of modelling is done as a form of advertising too, and the models are featured on the internet in addition to magazines and catalogues. 

Commercial modeling– This is the more conventional form of modeling and is a domain with abundant opportunities. Models here will be featured on advertisements, billboards, etc. This is an excellent avenue for generating visibility and traction. 

A modelling portfolio must be created: 

This is like the CV or the resume and must be carefully curated by including all relevant information. A profile page must be created with your height, weight, measurements, dress size and shoe size. Some, miscellaneous aspects like scars and tattoos should also be incorporated into the portfolio. When working on building the portfolio, you must look to be as versatile as possible. Headshots must be professional, and you must wear minimal makeup to show your natural features. Pictures must be taken in natural light but shouldn’t be enveloped by too much sunlight, which could tarnish your photos. A balance must be struck. Experimentation is also very much welcome in the augmentation of the portfolios. You can have a taste of black/white and colour and then decide what suits you best. Another critical factor that must be taken into consideration is your physique. Maintain your body by having a healthy, balanced diet, and drink a lot of water. Give glimpses of your physique in your portfolio, and try different shades to make your features seem more pronounced. Also, keep your portfolio regularly updated, taking into account any changes in your hairstyle and colour. Don’t leave your portfolio un-updated for more than a year. 

Good, now that you have created a compelling portfolio, it’s now time to test the waters by applying to various agencies. Prepare to be brazen in the face of multiple rejections. This phase could be taxing even for a saint, and you must dig into the reservoir of resolve within you. 

It might be a good idea for you to shift to a major city if you aren’t already in one. This is because major, metropolitan cities are littered with a sea of agencies for you to apply. The sundry opportunities in front of you can give you the freedom to explore, research and find the best ones for you to try your luck in. If you are called by an agency, you may have an initial open call interview where you may be asked to walk or pose for headshots or other photos. Model management companies and advertisement agencies provide models with the luxury of getting acquainted with people in the fields of advertising, cinema, TV soap operas, etc. Such contacts will prove to be invaluable when looking to land gigs in these fields, which is usually the dream for most models. An agency usually concentrates and directs all their focus on helping the models that are signed with them to find opportunities while managers act as a guiding force for the models to start, evolve and establish successful careers. They also help their models meet booking agents and will be instrumental in arranging placements for them. Mother agents and model managers play a significant role in the modelling industry by laying down the foundation for the modelling edifice that the prospective models look to build. Be bold in the face of rejections because they are part and parcel of all careers, regardless of the sphere in consideration. Especially, in the beginning, when you have little to no experience, you must look to only learn and develop, and not worry too much about the pay. Also, be prudent when you are applying for a place in different agencies because, in this field, scams are copious.  When you model, the agencies will usually ask for a commission when you land gigs, but they aren’t supposed to ask too much upfront, and if you sense something off or suspicious about an agency, avoid applying for it. 

To conclude, treat modeling like a real job and don’t be complacent at any point in time. It’s a hugely competitive field with no room for complacency. As long as you put in the necessary work, and keep evolving, there will always be opportunities around the corner waiting for you. So, don’t get disheartened by failures and keep persevering.


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