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Everything That You Need to Know to Become a Model

These days there are many more routes into professional modelling than there used to be. The biggest challenge now is deciding which road to take to find the best modeling jobs. Also, what does it take to do the job well, and how can an aspiring model make the transition into working professionally? Well, you’ve come to the right place. You will be surprised to discover how easy it is to get started.

Make no mistake though, finding modeling jobs is and extremely competitive process. Getting out onto the playing field in this industry is not for the faint of heart. It can be debilitating, draining and disheartening. But if you can navigate the ups and downs and find your niche, you may discover how rewarding it can be. Just remember that professional modeling is an endurance test. Many enter it haphazardly and find results that are just as haphazard. Success involves the ability to distinguish oneself and play the long game.

What Is Modeling?

Modeling is any instance where an ideal person is sought to showcase a brand, location, clothing line, visual art piece, or live display. More often than not, the person organizing placement for the model has a very particular aesthetic in mind. In most cases, the model is the center of attention, but there are other instances where they are ‘atmosphere models.’
These types of models come into play either during live events or often in music videos. They can also be employed at parties to help stimulate conversation and ‘elevate the room.’ Remember to think outside the box when approaching finding modeling jobs.

Types of Models

It’s important to remember that models do so much more than just walk a runway. In the next segment, we’ll go a little more in depth about what opportunities there are in terms of the modeling jobs that are typically available.

These kinds of models do a great deal of commercial/editorial work. They can do everything from ads to artistic displays in magazines and online publications. The key is that they can use their unique looks and expressions to tell a story that’s both appealing, authentic, and universally touches on the reason they’re there.

It takes some skill in performance to be able to pull off success in this segment. So it may be a good idea to take an acting class or find time to create your own compelling visual collages/slideshows that tell a story. In other words, your ability to fulfill your own creative vision will help you give life to another’s.

Plus Size Model

This is an innovative category that is pushing the traditional limits of aesthetics and culture. If you have a desire to both become a successful model and also be influential in shaping the societal conversation, then this is a great place to invest your skill. The majority of American women fall into the plus size category, and if you represent that physicality then this can be a great avenue. Social media is an ideal place to start because of how uniquely you can grow your audience and use hashtags.

Alternative Model

If you’ve got a more alternative look, complete with tattoos, piercings, and other accouterments representing an offbeat lifestyle, this is the segment for you. The fact of the matter is that for every person up on the latest trends and following the latest fashions, there will always be people who buck the norm, sometimes to the extreme. Large summertime gatherings are a great example of where this look flourishes. Additionally, you’ll find that a lot of the more ‘arty’ minded fashion designers will look to ‘alt models’ to help them form their next big move.

Fitness Model

This is another segment of the industry that’s changing rapidly and where there’s plenty of room for fresh faces and different body types. Yes the classic looking beefcake and cheesecake fitness model shots still sell. And if you have an extraordinarily well toned and built look, then this is incredibly valuable for this segment of the industry.

However, there’s also room now for fitness models that are moderately athletic but not too ‘ripped.’ This is to encourage relatability between how the model looks and the target consumer. So even if you’re a casual gym-goer or fitness enthusiast, you can consider looking at fitness modelling.

The Runway Model

This are the most classic kind of modeling jobs. The physical requirements are razor specific, the culture can be cutthroat, and on the highest levels, the ‘scene’ can involve just as much stress as doing the job itself. But if you have a natural presence and dynamic charisma when you enter a room, and know how to use those attributes to command a space, then these may be the kinds of modeling jobs you go after. Who knows: you may even find yourself in front of a camera that’s documenting your trials and tribulations. Reality television dedicated to the careers of runway models are on the rise.

Glamor Model

Ready for your close-up? Not before you’ve gone through hair and make-up. A lot of hair and make-up. Glamor models are among the most diverse there are, with fewer restrictions on how a person ‘should look.’ If you fit the sought-after aesthetic better than anyone else, the job is yours. The only catch? Because the emphasis with glamor is on the human form and its inherent beauty, you may have to show more skin or pose in more suggestive ways for this segment. Just make sure you know what your boundaries are going in.

Brand Ambassadors and Live Event Models

This type of model has ties to the event-hosting world If you’re inspired and fulfilled by creating harmony and good times during a live event or conference, then this is the avenue of modeling jobs for you to pursue. Another great benefit of exploring this area is that you’ll be able to travel a lot and meet all sorts of different types of people. Some may become friends and others may become your future employers. It can be an uncertain line of work, but it will always keep you on your toes.

What’s Required to Become a Model?

Initially, to become a model, you only need a genuine sense of self and an awareness of how you present yourself in front of a camera or a crowd. It’s also good to note your natural physical strengths and limitations. You’ll obviously want to play to those strengths while also developing unique ways to take pride in and ‘rock’ what others may perceive as limitations. Once you begin developing this, you’ll want to begin working with as many different types of photographers as possible. Use the TFP or ‘time for prints’ approach here. Yes you may not be getting paid at first, but you’re building your portfolio of looks.

How to Get Noticed and Get an Agent

If you’re just starting out, you’ll want to have some basic face shots and full body shots for agent consideration. Agents will be your entry into becoming competitive for modeling jobs at the highest levels. So make sure to study the models that are already represented. What looks are they actively showcasing?

Which agency would you be a great fit for based on what their roster of models looks like already? Do you have a well-developed social media following? Building up a social media following with many thousands of followers can help you get noticed by agents based on your mass appeal.


The toughest thing to remember when pursuing a career in modelling is that success is not linear. Unless you somehow fall into that elusive category of ‘overnight success,’ you’ll most likely go through some growing pains in the process of becoming an established model. The good news is that you can work on cultivating a sharply defined sense of self no matter where you’re at in the process. Your strength of character may catch the attention of influential decision-makers when the cameras are off.
These are the parts of the fashion and modeling industry that you can’t ‘train’ for. They are soft skills that you develop over the course of your life that can ultimately serve you in unexpected ways. If you ever find yourself dissatisfied with your position on your journey, remember that you can choose to view your current circumstances as a lesson. This way even if you’re struggling or in a tough spot, you’ll be actively learning instead of trying to ignore what’s wrong and trying to wish it away. Be inspired and be seen. Knowing that you’re worth that spotlight is the first step.

This post was originally published in February 2020 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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