Know your type
Models, just like actors, fall into types. Are you a “girl next door” look, or a “sultry siren?” Are you sporty, preppy, mysterious, or studious? Knowing your type helps you know how to dress for your type (“sporty” and “preppy” can wear polo shirts to an open call, but “mysterious” should not) as well as the types of modeling jobs you might get offered.
Use modeling resources like fashion magazines and other fashion modeling info to determine your type and how to best showcase your type during modeling calls.
Know how to look your best
Looking your best is about knowing what’s right for you. It’s about maintaining a healthy weight for your body type, and knowing what types of hair color, cut, and style most flatter your face and body. It’s also about exercising regularly so that your skin and body look healthy and strong, and about getting enough sleep – after all, it’s called “beauty sleep” for a reason!
Looking your best also means knowing not to drink too much alcohol (which leads to red eyes) or eat too much salty, greasy food (which leads to bloating and greasy skin).
Take care of yourself, so you’ll have the best body and face possible to present to the world.
Know how to dress – and behave! – at an open call
Each open call has its own set of requirements for models, so make sure to follow those rules to the letter. If you have three minutes to strut your stuff, don’t go a second over your allotted time.
In general, you’re going to want to wear fashionable, flattering clothing that does not have any visible logos or brand names. Choose clothing that makes you look good but is not distracting on its own – you want the talent scouts and modeling agencies to remember you, not your unusual outfit.
Always be polite and friendly while at an open call, even while waiting in line. If you look frustrated or bored, or if you are loud or begin making a scene, people will think you are difficult to work with and you’ll be less likely to get called back.
Know how to behave on the job
Anyone can get hired for a single modeling gig. If you want to be a model and get hired repeatedly, you need to know how to behave on the job. You need to arrive on time and be ready to be polite, respectful, and friendly to everyone you meet. You need to know how to put in long hours without complaining or looking tired. You need to know how to stand still and let people fuss over your appearance, you need to know how to take direction, and you need to know how to be gracious at the end of the day even if all you want to do is go home.
The better you are to work with, the more likely you are to be hired back.
Know how to manage your finances and your work-life balance
Only a small percentage of models work full-time in the modeling industry. Most models combine modeling with other types of jobs, from working as restaurant servers to working in busy offices. Some models get into modeling while they are full-time students, either to save money for college or to start paying down student loans right away.
That means you need to plan your modeling career with the idea that you’re going to balance modeling with another job. When you become a model, you’ll earn money – but you’ll probably need another job as well. Find a job that allows you to continue going to calls, participating in shoots, and building your portfolio.
You also need to learn about good work-life balance: no matter what your job is, you need to have enough time to pursue your modeling career, get plenty of exercise and sleep, and have time to unwind with your family and friends. If one part of your life gets out of balance, you won’t be at your best – so learn how to practice balance now, because it is a skill that will last you a lifetime.
Do you have advice about modeling, or tips for people who want to know how to get into modeling? Let us know!