Take care of yourself! Features indicative of good health are a must.
Shiny and healthy hair is important.
Fitness is important. Consider working with a trainer who works specifically with models. Tell them of your modeling goals and how you aspire to look.
Decide what kind of model you hope to be. Technically, anybody can be a model. However, do remember that if you don't meet certain requirements, the work available to you will be incredibly limited, and you may have to compensate in other departments (reliability, technique, etc).
· A Plus Size Model: If your body is full and curvaceous, you may be able to be a plus size model.
· A Runway Model: Most women on the catwalk are at least 5'8”, very skinny, and small-breasted. Men are mostly between 5'11” and 6'2”.
· A Print Model: Most editorial female models are at least 5'7”, but a beautiful face with great personality are really important for print models.
· An Underwear Model: For women, this requires large breasts but small hips. For men this requires broad shoulders but slim waists.
· Other Types of Modeling: If you don't fit any of the face or body descriptions, perhaps you can be a foot, hair or hand model
Consider your "look". There is more of a curvy California look, a svelte New York look, a waif-like European look, girl next door, swim suit or lingerie (usually requires the bust to fill out the suits and a very thin waist)... Know what you're equipped with, but also work to pull off other looks.
Educate yourself. There is a lot you can learn from reading books and articles on modeling. Reading quality guides, articles, and books will both help you to improve important skills (like posing) and to better understand how the industry works (how to find an agent, etc.). Realize that it's tough. The modeling world is jam-packed with pretty faces. Just because you are good looking does not mean that you can succeed as a model.
In the modeling business, it is not just about looking great. You have to fit the want or need of specific jobs just in order to get a chance. Modeling is only for serious people who carry unique looks and characteristics. Since there are so many people trying to become models in today's world, it will be very challenging to get a breakthrough and will only come through patience and perseverance.
Realize a model does not have to be like a supermodel, however with a lot of effort you may reach that supermodel status!
Portfolios and Modeling Agencies
Take some snapshots. This doesn't mean candid shots of you and your friends, but rather shots of you up close without a lot of makeup and on a plain background. You should shoot them in nice natural light without a lot of distraction in the photos. These are meant for agencies to get a look at you in a raw state. Consider a head shot, a body shot, and profile shots.
Consider getting some professional shots taken. Professional photography, even if it is expensive, will give you a better idea of what kind of look you give off. You may eventually need these photographs to snag an interview, so think of it as a worthwhile investment!
Get your favorite professional shots printed into 8 x 10’s. Save these in case you are asked to leave a photograph anywhere before you have professional ones done.
If you've got enough of these photos, consider putting everything into a portfolio, or "book." Bring this portfolio with you to castings or to agencies.
Take and know your measurements and stats. Basic measurements are height, weight, and shoe size.
Know your clothing measurements such as dress size, hip, waist, chest etc...
Know your own personal stats, such as hair color, eye color, skin tone etc...
Visit a modeling agency. Almost every major city has multiple modeling agencies, and almost every agency has "open-calls" where they look at new talent.
Bring your snapshots and/or portfolio. They will often ask you to walk or pose for them. They may take a headshot or take your measurements as well. If they reject you, don't get disheartened; often an agency is looking for a diverse set of models, so you may just not fit their model lineup right now.
Be professional, polite, and courteous. Always turn up on time to any appointment or shoot. If you're late or rude, word soon gets around and then nobody will want to work with you.
Be organized. Models often get called off places at the last minute and have very busy days. You need to be on top of things if you want to succeed. Buying a day-to-day planner can really help.
Confirm whether or not there will be a make-up artist (MUA) on site for any work you are doing. Sometimes you are expected to bring certain things with you (such as base foundation) and if they don't have a makeup artist booked you need to prepare accordingly. Be truthful about your measurements. Don't say you're skinnier than you are just to get a shoot. Once there, the stylist will have problems and you will get found out. Word will get around and you could find yourself without a career!
Treat modeling like a real job. Girls that don't take it seriously have small chances of succeeding in their modeling career. Realize that it is harder than it appears and there's a lot of work behind all that glitz and glamour at fashion shows. Modeling is a full time occupation that requires constant attention. One week away from it and your career can be over. Understand that modeling has only a small window of opportunity, and even if you take a short break, you may never be able to return.
Be creative on shoots. Photographers want to see you pose in various works, work for the camera, and interact with the world around yourself. Runway coordinators want you to put attitude in your walk (or very specific emotion).