how to get into modeling

How To Get Into Modeling

I get a lot of emails from aspiring models or their parents who are looking for advice for how to get into modeling. I would say 9 times out of 10, a parent’s first thought is “we need to do a photo shoot!” I often am the first photo shoot that a young model ever has; I’ve shot a ton of new faces in my career. Whether it’s set up by their parents, agency or even the model, I find it important to take my time to work with getting that aspiring model comfortable and aware of themselves in front of the camera.

I’m not an agent or model booker but I’ve worked with many agencies over the years and I wanted to share my experience to help guide aspiring models and their parents find the right agency for them. The right agency can help develop and kickstart your career as a model. Signing with an agency means you and the agency are bound by a legal contract, which is important for you to be comfortable with signing your career over for a certain number of years – and also you should truly understand what your contract entails.

How to get into modeling

Hannah, Ford Models NYC / Mother Agent: MMA Philly

How To Get Into Modeling

There are a lot of murky waters to navigate in the modeling world and I think it’s important to find the right people that are excited about developing your modeling career. Here are some things you want to consider when getting started in modeling.

Research Agencies

Look at agencies websites both in your market and in larger markets like NYC, Paris, Miami, LA,  London, etc. Your local market may focus more on Commercial & Lifestyle Modeling but could be a good way to get started and get your experience with photo shoots and runway.

When researching an agency you want to take a good look at their website; look through their model portfolios online, see what brands and companies they are working with and how their models are being represented. This will help you narrow down the types of agencies you would like to submit to.

From there you can also see what the agency’s guidelines are for submitting. Each agency may have different guidelines depending on their market and brand.

how to get into curve modeling

Peyton / MSA Models NYC

Don’t Sign Just To Be “Agency Represented”

Just because an agency says that it is in a certain market, it may not be an agency that would get you paid work. Be sure to do your research on the agency, ask questions and see what they can do for you and your career. I have seen models who are “signed” with agencies, but end up doing nothing in their 3 year modeling contract. Patience and feedback can be more valuable than an immediate “yes!”

Use models.com

how to get into modeling

Regan / Elite NYC

models.com is a wonderful resource for models and all people working in the entertainment & fashion industry. models.com is the place to go to research some of the best agencies around the world. If you are unsure of an agency, you may want to search for it to see if they have a models.com profile. Now if they do not have a models.com profile does not mean they aren’t a legit agency, however models.com is a really good resource to check out.

Find a Mother Agency

Now this is not a requirement to being signed with a top agency, but I have worked with some fantastic mother agencies that have really helped guide models to the right agency. A Mother Agency is often found in a smaller market and will help develop you. Once your Agent feels that you are ready, they will help place you with the right agency in larger markets. A Mother Agent also stays around to help manage your career. You can use models.com to also look for Mother Agencies.

getting started with modeling

Erick Cameron / Red Models NYC

Get Photo Shoot Experience!

Before you sign to an agency, it may be a good idea to invest in a portfolio shoot with a Fashion photographer. Finding a Photographer that works with model agencies will help you gain a better idea of what type of images, posing, makeup and styling to include in your portfolio. This will also help give you a time to get experience in front of the camera without the pressure of performing for an agency or a client. Testing is key to your development as a model and while your agency may not use your test shoots for your agency book, your portfolio shoots will help give you the most experience in modeling. Experience is so valuable for a new face.

how to get started with modeling

Logan / Elite Models NYC & Miami

Self Submit

Many agencies have self submitting options and also host open calls, so check on an agency’s website and social media for their open call times and model requirements. Agencies will often ask for simple digitals during the submission process. Stay tuned to this blog as I’m working on a post about taking digitals!

Don’t Give Up & Be Consistent!

The modeling & fashion industry takes a lot of hard work and dedication, if an agency passes on you, it’s okay. Take any feedback you are given throughout your experience and use it to become a better, more developed model!

Ultimately it’s important to sign with an agency that will be excited to represent you! With every post, I want to offer an honest look into the entertainment & fashion industry from a Photographer’s perspective. While I do not work on the agent and casting side, I’ve worked with so many models and entertainers. If this post was helpful to you, please let me know. If you have other questions about how to get into modeling, leave them in the comments!

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