In the last few months, I’ve been blessed to have some pretty epic bookings: a 4-page Men’s Grooming Editorial in GQ Magazine — which featured a whole-page, full-face shot on pg. 20 of the June 2018 Comedy Issue — and campaigns for Descente, Asics, Lululemon and Kenneth Cole. You won’t see my face in all of them, though, as the majority of my modeling work is as a Parts Model.
In any case, you’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg of hard work I’ve put in for almost half of my lifetime (I began my Modeling Journey at 16 and am now 30).
A lot of people ask me the same question: “How do I become a model?” or “What advice do you have for getting into modeling?”
My first answer is almost always the same, which is “don’t get into it for the money.” Making money as a model sounds great, but there’s a lotttt of behind-the-scenes work that goes into a successful — or moderately successful (or even minimally successful, for that matter) — modeling career. Let’s dive in with my 5 Simple Tips to Start Working as a Model Today:
- Determine your Market.
Modeling isn’t all 6-foot + fashion Glamazons. There are other thriving markets, too, like Parts Modeling, Fit and Showroom Modeling, Lifestyle and Commercial Modeling, Fitness Modeling, Promotional Modeling, etc. Research some of these terms to find where you fit, so you can save yourself time and potential heartache by starting in the right sect of the industry. Also, determine if your main goal is to achieve recognizable exposure, or make money as a model, because they don’t always go hand-in-hand.
- Create a Model Mayhem profile.
Model Mayhem is where I began building my professional modeling portfolio when I was 18. You can create a profile, upload images, connect with photographers, and even book small jobs to acquire those golden tear sheets.
- Take some Polaroids.
If you are totally new to modeling and have never done a professional photo shoot before, take some simple Polaroids like the ones below to market yourself to photographers, agents, and potential clients. Another option is to simply pay a photographer, whose work you like, to do a professional photo shoot, but in my experience, I know that can be a pretty big financial commitment for beginning models. Use these photos below from professional model comp cards to guide you:
- Set up a Photoshoot with a Local Photographer.
Like I mentioned above, you can either pay a photographer of your choosing, or set up a Time for Print (TFP) shoot, which is an exchange shoot for portfolio images, which benefit both you and the photographer in getting future work. Model Mayhem is a great resource for that.
- Contact a Local Modeling Agency and see if you can come in for an Open Call.
Local Modeling Agencies can help you get paying work as a model. If they don’t like your look, however, don’t be discouraged, because the majority of working models today have heard tons of “no’s” to get to a “yes.”
“Every model has a different story. Some traveled the world and worked tons in their teen years, plateaued in their mid-20s, then started working up a storm again in their 30s. Others didn’t get big jobs until they were 45. And others hit it big as a child model and kept on going until they were 20, then moved out of the industry. Everyone’s career will look different, but you’ll never know unless you get started today with one small step today.”