Breaking Into Modeling

August 20, 2009

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I wrote this a while back for and decided to post it here for others to review:

Breaking Into Modeling Article By Mo

March 24th 2007

I’ve been modeling on and off for the past few years. In 2000 I was discovered in a night club and signed to an agency which has since changed ownership. Shortly after, I dropped the agency and decided to focus on my non-modeling career. Recently, I began modeling as a hobby and with out representation. I am currently what some people consider an alternative non-nude model. So, here are a few tips for breaking into modeling.

* If you’re interested in high fashion modeling:

I strongly advise you to acquire an agent. High-end designers/clients will only recruit models from well known agencies because they know the agency will choice the best.
* How do you find these agencies?

Search online, a good directory resource is: Most agencies will have a weekly “open call” to review model portfolios. This way they can see what you look like in person and how you look photographed.

Otherwise you can send your non-returnable photos to the agencies via snail mail or some agencies will accept electronic files sent via internet. Most agencies require a full body shot, head shot, side profile and a ¾ length from the knees up. The average age requirement is 16 – 25 and average height for females is 5’9. However some of these agencies will accept women of different heights and ages, for print/commercial work. Tattoos, piercing and unnatural hair, is also not acceptable at most of these agencies.

*If you’re interested in being an alternative model:

You are not required to have an agent as an alterative model. However, do not expect to make money right away, without an agent. Alternative models usually work with photographers as an art form (some paid, some not), some exchange Time For Portfolio / Print (TFP) or Trade For CD (TFCD).  However, alternative clothing lines do use alternative models for print and runway. Some alternative models will also venture into the porn industry as a source of income. Alternative models can have tattoos, body modifications such as piercing and un-natural hair.
*So, what’s the best way to break into alternative modeling?

Start by finding and working with photographers. You can build up a portfolio and if the photographer likes you they may consider you for future paid projects. It is also good exposure for a photographer to use an image with you in it as a gallery item or as a piece to represent their own work. One of the best ways to find a photographer is through Model Mayhem [ ]. You can review photographers work and read what models have to say about working with the photographer. If you find a few photographers of interest, send them an e-mail and ask if they’d be interested in TFP. Once you get a few pictures together, open a Model Mayhem account and post your pictures on the site as an on-line portfolio.  Also ad the pictures to your Myspace account. Start networking, contact other models, photographers, and clothing lines. Just have fun and make sure you check references before working with the photographers.
*Things to consider when working with others in this industry:

How long has the person worked in the industry, what kind of photography do they do (nudes/fetish/high fashion/etc.), who have they worked with in the past, how strong is their portfolio, how recent is the work in their portfolio, what are their long term goals, and what is their goal of working with you. You don’t want to put yourself at risk of being taken advantage of and you don’t want to waste their time or yours.

Eventually you can venture in to T/V, film acting or extra work, model at conventions (as a booth bunny), host events, or become a spokes person for a commercial company. You can also consider modeling for traditional artist at local schools this is a good way to make extra and learn to hold poses for long periods of time.

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