I want to be a Model, Where do I Start ?

How do I become a Model 

Ever so often while I am photographing portraits, I receive requests on how to become a model. 

Some of the usual questions I get asked are:

How do I get started?

Where do I find a Modeling Agency?

How do I get my first photo shoot?

 Beauty Model

 Beauty Model

Before you start doing anything, you should really ask yourself these questions as they will help you for the rest of this process.

What do I want to get out of modeling?

What am I willing to do and put into becoming a model?

What kind of model do I want to be?  Fashion, Beauty, Runway, Swimsuit, Sport, etc.

How flexible and willing am I to travel and put in the time?

Once you evaluate these questions, there are a few ways you can go. 

The first one is to contact and get signed by a Modeling Agency which I will explain below. 

The other method is to “Freelance” and represent yourself like your own agency and create your own portfolio. This can be easily done over the internet, now with many places in which you can showcase yourself by posting pictures, and information about yourself to attract clients.

 Fashion/Editorial Model

 Fashion/Editorial Model

If you choose to go the traditional route and to work with a Modeling Agency, It can be hard at times to know first of all how to find a reputable one, and what to look for in an agency. You can easily find agencies in phone books or online. 

Before you do any of that, I would recommend contacting anyone you know, that is a model, and ask about some of the experiences that they have had with modeling in general. 

Once you have a good understanding of how the business of modeling works and how becoming a model may be exactly what you want, contact some of the Modeling Agencies and arrange an appointment to meet with them. Meeting with an Agency Representative can be the hardest and most nervous part of the whole experience. Be confident, and don’t allow the agency to take advantage of you. 

A reputable Agency will not ask for any payments from you. If they see potential in you and think that you are the right fit for them they will guide you through the initial phase. Often the Modeling Agency will send you for “Test Shoots” with photographers that they trust, this is a great way to build your portfolio.

Things to ask and look for are:

Can they meet all What have they done for other models?

What can they do for you?of your needs as an individual and as a model?

Does the Agency have the same goals for you as the ones you have set for yourself?

One final question, How you get that first photoshoot depends on which route you take. If you choose to go with an agency you will have to arrange with them, to have a photoshoot taken, and to start building your portfolio.

 If you decide to go “Freelance” and on your own, you will have to build your own portfolio. Either by using existing images that you already have, or by contacting a professional photographer to have a photoshoot session done. 

I would recommend that hiring a professional photographer is the route to go, your images will be professional, and the quality will be much greater than simple family and friends snapshots.

Here are a few resources for anyone that is looking to become a model. 

Model Mayhem:

Model Mayhem is a great place to start if you just want to test the waters and see if modelling is right for you. It is free to set up a portfolio for yourself. You will find lots of photographers that want to shoot with you, just make sure you check out their own portfolios and check out any feedback about them. Always stay safe when working with a photographer you haven’t met before. Take a friend along the first time. You will also find lots of other models to network with, so use it as another resource to better understand the business.

My own MM Portfolio can be found Here. Please stop by and add yourself, I would love to help you out more if I can.


Explore Modeling:

Explore Modeling is a must for anyone who wants to be a model. Cristina has so many resources and will walk you through the whole business of becoming a model. She has everything you will need including tips, tricks, video tutorials and don't forget to check out her YouTube Channel.


Modeling Agencies: 

For lists of Agencies near you I recommend doing an online search. 

models.com is a global searchable database of Agencies worldwide.


If you find a list of trusted Agencies, please let me know in the comments below. I will add them to this list.