How to be a Model

What to Avoid

The modeling industry is fun and exciting, but there are some things that you should avoid. I will attempt to outline some of them below.

- Nude Modeling: This is the #1 way to ruin your career in the beginning. If you do choose to pursue this facet of the industry after you gain years of experience, fine. Your career will be established enough to have something to fall back on. If you choose to do Nude Modeling, do not include any nude photos in your book when seeking a fashion assignment. It is in bad taste.

- Unscrupulous Agencies: Make sure that the agency you are with is respectable.
It does not take much effort to get a business license and hang a name on an office door. Some agencies may try and charge you money. Yes, they are entitled to a percentage of your wages for finding you the work (and rightfully so), but no respectable agency charges you money up front for their services. In addition, watch out for agencies that try and make you purchase expensive photography, books, make-up, clothing, hair care products, vitamins, or anything else that you do not need. All that is needed is a simple tote bag with some basic make-up (women), deodorant, a hair brush, blow dryer, socks, tooth brush/paste, etc... for when you go on assignments. Clothing, and hopefully a make-up artist, are usually provided by the client.

Check the agency's references and, if possible, talk with a model represented by them. More importantly, make sure the agency you decide to work with checks out their clients thoroughly. You do not want to be placed in danger because your agency failed to check the credibility of a client.

The more you work in the modeling industry, the more you will become familiar with what agencies are reputable and which ones are not. Word gets around. You can always contact the better business bureau to see if an agency, or modeling school, has a negative standing.

- Contracts: It is important that you read and understand all contracts that are presented before you sign them! This goes hand-in-hand with unscrupulous agencies! You do not want to be placed in a position where your career is stalled at an unproductive agency for a long length of time.

- Get Rich (and Famous) Schemes: There is no free ride when starting in the modeling industry. If you are serious about becoming a fashion model, then you will have to be dedicated to your dream and work hard to get there. Be very weary of get rich quick schemes!

- Purchasing Expensive Photos: All that is needed to start in modeling is some basic photos with natural make-up to show who you are. You can have these photos done by a professional or a very good amateur. If an agency is interested in your look, they will arrange to have a test shoot done. You want to avoid paying a photographer hundreds of dollars to create a portfolio that you really don't need to start. It's nice, and looks professional, to have book to show prospective agencies, but not required.