How to Become a Model – Tips and Warnings

The most common question that modeling agents and scouts receive from aspiring models is, “how do I become a fashion model?.” A lot of people want to be a model because it’s glamorous, lucrative, and they may want to be recognized in the modeling world. Modeling is extremely competitive, and the industry is filled with rejection, but successful models are doing something that they love. This post is about How to Become a Model – Tips and Warnings.

To become a model you need to follow these three steps

In this post, we are explaining only the Last Step (i.e. Tips and Warnings). We split this article in some post (like a separate post for each step and a post for Tips and Warnings). Find the links at the end of the post.

  1. Learn Basics
  2. Create Portfolios and Contact with Agencies
  3. Your on job behavior
  4. Tips and Warnings

Tips and Warnings

Tips

  • Don’t let one or two bad comments by people that are not important let you down. Everyone else thinks you are great!
  • Be careful when signing contracts or releases. Some contracts may require you to model exclusively for a particular agency. A lot of releases (which are more like mini-contracts that are done for a single shoot) will emphasize the photographer’s right to an image, saying that they may do whatever they wish, but don’t mention the model’s rights. It is your image they are using, and you have a say in what is done with pictures taken of you. Make sure to discuss this before signing anything.
  • If you get rejected it’s important how you react. Just because you didn’t make it doesn’t mean you won’t next time. Be confident.
  • Know your limits on style and nudity. If you don’t want to do glamor work or are uncomfortable doing full nudity, speak up and don’t let people push you past those limits. Also, consider where you want your career to go in the future. Sure, you may be comfortable doing glamor now, but what if you decide you want to do fashion or catalog work in the future? You might be discriminated against if they know you have done this line of work.
  • You can also enter modeling contests. However, make sure you check that these are being run by a reputable agency.
  • Some modeling schools are licensed by the Board of Education. However, whether or not they will teach you how to become a model is questionable, and some agencies even say that attending a modeling school can teach you bad habits that are hard to unlearn! They are also expensive.
  • Get your parents’ permission if you’re under the age defined by your country as being an adult.
  • Girls / Ladies – when on a Go see it is recommended that wear an easy to remove outfit without tight straps or any details that will leave marks on your skin, no bra and flesh colored thong underwear. This will optimize your ability to look good in any outfit the designer or fashion show organizers want you to try on.
  • If, for whatever reason, you’ve decided signing with an agency isn’t right for you then you could consider going freelance. But be warned: the pay is usually considerably less and there are fewer safety precautions.

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Warnings

  • If you are invited to a foreign country (i.e. Hong Kong, Macau etc.) for an audition or job, have enough funds to purchase a return ticket yourself. While legitimate jobs exist, there are many scams that provide one-way tickets then trap young girls into prostitution rings when they cannot afford to go back home.
  • If you are planning a photo shoot with a photographer you have met online, it is highly recommended that you bring a chaperone to the shoot. It’s for your own safety, as you never know who is who online! If you can’t bring a chaperone (because you are unable to find one or because the photographer doesn’t allow chaperones), make sure you do a background search on the photographer first- check out things such as who they have worked with and for – and call somebody when you get to the shoot and when you leave the shoot.
  • If you become one of the top models like Kate Moss, the people you work for might ask you to take drastic measures to stay a top model. For example, they might ask you to get nose jobs, liposuction, or have breast implants. The pressure of modeling can cause a lot of long-term mental health problems, including eating disorders. Don’t be afraid to speak to somebody if you think it is getting all too much. If you just can’t handle the pressure, it may be time to start thinking of a new profession. A job isn’t worth your health!
  • Almost all agencies will ask you to fill out a contract. Be sure to read through it thoroughly and make sure you know what every word means, even use a dictionary if you have to! Better know what you are signing for before you accept.
  • Modeling scams are very real and very easy to fall victim to. They are very common as they are effective as they play off the hopes and dreams of the innocent. It’s sad to say but most models bump into scams several times in their career and often times quit early in their quest for becoming a model.
  • It might be a good idea if you know a lawyer to look over a contract or release before you sign it just to make sure there aren’t any loopholes. It’s never a bad idea to be extra careful!
  • Be wary of any agency that asks for money up front. The majority of agencies get their money through commission- meaning they take a certain percentage of your pay for every job that you do. If you don’t work, then they don’t get paid. If you’ve already paid up, there’s no incentive for them to find you work. However, don’t dismiss everybody who asks you for up-front fees as a scam. If you are sure that they are an agency, listen carefully to what they are asking for the fees for. Bigger agencies in bigger markets will often pay for these for you or at least loan you the money, but smaller agencies or agencies in smaller markets can’t afford to do this. If the fees are to cover actual representation, this probably isn’t a good deal. Although there are some good agencies out there who work on this basis, the majority are nothing more than con artists. Find models who they represent, get in touch with them and ask them what they think of the representation they are getting.
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