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How to Be a Model: A Guide

There is always someone who wants to be the next Kate or Naomi, but despite what the movies tell us, becoming a model isn’t just about being tall and beautiful. It’s about having the uniqueness, talent and drive to back up those looks. In this article, we will give you some tips that will hopefully teach you how to be a model.

Know the Type of Modeling you Want to Do

Image: Frida Gustavsson walking Marc Jacobs show

The first step in becoming a model is knowing what type of modeling you want to do. There are quite a few areas to choose from–print focuses on magazine photo shoots while runway models walk the catwalk for labels. There are also more commercial options such as being a swimsuit or catalogue model. Plus size modeling has made an impact in the recent years too. No matter which area you choose, most female models start at the very minimum height of 5’7″ but closer to 6’0″ is preferred.

Find the Right Agency

Image: Karlie Kloss walking Elie Saab show

Now, that you have figured out what type of modeling you want to do–look for an agency that specializes in the field. You can search online for agencies quite easily. A simple “model agency” query will garner a lot of results. Search for an agency that’s local to your area, and it’s important to remember to research an agency first. Think: What models do they represent? What type of jobs do they book? Are there complaints online about this agency?

And remember, if an agency asks for money upfront, you should stay away. So called “modeling” schools are also suspect too. There are plenty of scammers out there looking to take advantage of aspiring talent.

Take the Right Photos

Image: Kate Moss for Longchamp Campaign

After you have researched the right agencies for the field you are interested in, you will want to contact them. Most agencies have forms online where you can send in your photos and stats. Stats include your height, measurements and weight. They will also want to see photos of you. Don’t worry, you do not need to get a professional shoot done. Simple digital photos are what most agencies require. Make sure to do a head shot and full-length shot. Wear no makeup and a simple tank top and pants. Take the photo in natural light so people can see your features. Look for a response within (usually) 4 weeks.

Some agencies will do open calls, where they will see aspiring models from the street–bring your digitals or past professional work printed out. Once again, keep your styling minimal. You may be told you are not what they’re looking for or get a callback later.

Think Ahead

Image: Gisele Bundchen in H&M Campaign

If you are lucky enough to get signed, you should also know all the difficulties that come with the job. Depending on the jobs you book, traveling can take you away from home a lot. Rejection is also something, especially at the beginning of the career, you need to get used to. Even if signed, some models have part-time jobs. That’s why we recommend having a backup plan just in case your modeling career doesn’t pan out. But, if you manage to make it, there is a world of opportunities. Models like Gisele Bundchen, Cindy Crawford and Kate Moss have transformed their looks into lucrative careers with their business smarts. Think ahead, always!


  1. JC Cavanaugh

    June 27, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Great point about finding an agency that specializes in the genre of modeling you are looking to get into.

    It’s foolish to be a fitness model but sign with an agency that specializes in fashion!

    Great post!

    • akem binah

      June 24, 2015 at 7:51 am

      I really truly love modelling and hope to be a model ,so who is with me?

  2. Carmen

    July 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Whilst I agree with most “how to be a model” articles, I think it’s important to understand all aspects of the business, and being the highly competitive business it is, there is little room to be choosy if you really want to make a living from it.

    During my modeling days I did not have a choice on what jobs I took on- fashion, editorial, commercial and so on. I realized early on I had a knack for landing TV commercials and focused on improving my casting skills, but on a day-to-day, I did any job thrown my way. The only thing I steered clear from was blatantly nude modeling; however, that being said, some BIG jobs require next to nothing on the job in order to get the right shot. It’s important to be flexible and assertive at the same time.

    Another note to point out, all aspiring models need to go to each agency during walk-in hours (usually in the morning between 10-12). This way they have to either accept or deny you in person. It’s easy to ignore an email, but it’s harder to ignore the person. You will never be asked to pay. An agency that accepts you will organize a test shoot with a photographer and those photos will be the start of your portfolio until you’ve done enough replacement work.

    The business is fierce and there’s one thing aspiring models need to know: YOU CAN ONLY BE SO PRETTY!

    I was one of the smaller models in my day and did very well. I would say as a rule, height matters, but at the same time there are exceptions to the rule. It’s nothing personal, it’s only because samples made are slightly larger and longer than the final product; however, that being said, there is duct tape, bull-dog clips, and camera angles for a reason. So unless you have a dream to walk down the runway, someone who is 5’5″ can have a very lucrative career.

    At the end of the day, it’s a very small world and you see the same faces, so it’s important to be polite and consistent, otherwise casting directors will not call you back.

  3. Josh

    December 9, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Hate Moss is hot ! She should wear The Big October Clothing

  4. Kate101

    December 12, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I think becoming a model would be amazing, but I’m pretty short

  5. oyedeji olamide

    January 5, 2015 at 3:20 am

    My dream is to become a model and i know with God everything is possible.

  6. Stella

    January 9, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    being a model has always been my paority

  7. missy

    January 29, 2015 at 10:29 am

    tanx i rilli want to plan a life for myself so in future it wont be dat hard

  8. Sachin

    February 10, 2015 at 8:11 am

    i want to bcum n a model , how can i ?

  9. muzammil

    February 18, 2015 at 5:40 am

    i want to becme an model my dream

  10. JAMIE

    March 7, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    All my life i awlays wanted to be a model, if i reply for it in townsville and go through then its a dream come true

  11. Haley

    March 10, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    I do yoga and softball because I wanna be fit and my stomach toned pleas pick me I won’t let you down I will work harder than ever for this because I wanna be one of those girls who make it

  12. faithiah

    April 3, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    I wuld luv to be a model.and am twelve going to thirteen.pls let me be a model.and tell me d steps to b a professional model.pls.u can contact me on username is faithe bi.u can contact me there.while my fone number is 07015115874.pls contact me.

  13. MADURA

    April 24, 2015 at 7:00 am

    I am Madua. i want to be a model. i am from sri lanka. i am 17 years

  14. meera

    April 26, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    hi,my name is meera,i am 19 years old,i am a professional western dancer,,,, i love modeling also,,,,its my life i choose modeling,,,,,,

  15. Iwant 2 be a model but idon’t knw wat to do…the structure of mi body iz gud an the most thing incorage me it…people ask me that why don’t i go 2modeling coz it suit im telling dem tht no guyz ilike 2 be a model but idon’t knw whr 2 strt but i also lyk it somuch

  16. zahra

    June 4, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    i am 25 years old
    i love modeling so much

  17. julie

    June 7, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Modeling is like acting, you need to love it and determined for it for you to become a “unique” model^-*

  18. Tiffy

    June 15, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Does modeling give you a lot of confident? I want to start modeling so where do I start to look?

  19. Ashfitness

    June 18, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Its a nice article, I think the best advice on how to become a model can only be given by a model

    just like here

  20. sheena ruth calimbas

    June 23, 2015 at 8:36 am

    hai..i want to become a model,im 12yrs old,please anyone there want to teach me just add me thank you..

  21. Nokubongwa Zondo

    June 25, 2015 at 2:32 am

    Hi guys my name is Nokubongwa Zondo i am 15years, my dream is to become a model and i have all the things that is needed to be a model, i’m tall, slender and beatiful the problem it that i don’t know where to start to be a model i really love modelling

  22. pratiksha

    August 12, 2015 at 1:22 am

    I m 18 year old & want be an model…
    can anyone help me how to be a runway model??

  23. Steve @navetz

    August 25, 2015 at 4:51 am

    Does this apply to male models as well? It looks like a lot of these tips are transferable.

  24. glowing tee

    September 3, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Am 18yrs nd I luv to become a model I gat all it takes buh I dnt know where to start from……

  25. bebesay

    September 7, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    I would really really loved to be a model….since I was small I look at a lot of fashion modeling but..I prefer being an commercial model would be awesome.. my name is BeBe and I’m 14 years old from USA. I’m pretty short…..

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