How To Become A Model
It is the dream of many young women the world over to become an international fashion model. So what are the requirements to actually becoming one? In this post I get down to explaining the general physical requirements for the modelling industry.
Male models are usually discovered later in their life. From after the age of about 16+. As men usually tend to age better than women, males under the age of 16 run the risk of looking to young and thus find it difficult to book work. Male models usually need to be over 6 ft (183cm) tall and they can be of a few different builds. They may vary from skinny - average build or toned and athletic in appearance. It is best to contact an agency to see if you meet the requirements.
Agencies often prefer their female models between the heights of: 5 ft 7 inches (172cm) - 6 ft (182cm). Although there will be some exceptions to this rule, it is generally a standard guideline. Shorter models can be signed on occasion if they have a commercial appeal and a strong look.
Female models are usually signed to an agency between the ages of 14-20. Younger models often train in agency workshops, to learn the ropes of the modelling world before being sent out to start working.
Each model has a different market, and thus may have different measurement requirements but agencies will often prefer their models to have these measurements:
Bust 28 - 35 inches
Waist 23 - 26 inches
Hips 33-36 inches
These height and body measurement requirements stand for a couple of reasons. Firstly because the standard size of samples by designers are within this range. (Size 6-8) Secondly because these dimensions have the most desired proportions visually.
It may work in your favour to have a fairly symmetrical face if you want to pursue a career in modelling. People with a symmetrical face will often translate better through a lens.
It is not just being pretty that makes someone a model - In fact not all models are pretty. Some models may have a look that is more alternative and less traditionally beautiful, and that can work in their favour. At the end of the day your success might be determined by the markets opinion of what represents and advertises their product best and that can change with time and geographical location.
If you want to become a model it's not just physical requirements that determine if this is a career choice for you. A lot of success in the modelling industry comes down to personality.
Some photo shoots last for 12hours+, so when as client is looking for a model they are most likely to pick someone who makes a good first impression at the casting. Some one who has a great portfolio, who suits the brand and is friendly, professional & approachable.
No matter how gorgeous you are and how strong your portfolio is, if you are unprofessional or unfriendly you will be less likely to book regular clients and in fact you may stop working all together. Modelling agencies are usually looking for friendly, easy-going people who have great personalities and are very professional.
MEETING WITH AN AGENCY
After deciding that you would like to try to sign with some agencies, you will want to make some appointments to meet with a few agencies.
Find which agencies that you would like to sign with and then send them each an email. You should include in your email: Full name, age, height, body measurements (bust, waist, hips) and contact details. With some recent clear snapshots of yourself.
When choosing/taking snapshots to send to the agency, try to get photos that are well-lit and clear. Where you are wearing little-to-no makeup. Use one or two head shots (one front on and one profile shot) and then a few body shots from different angles. Wear something tight that shows of your figure. Here are some example shots.
I actually recommend that you do not have any professional photos done before signing with an agency (unless coming from another agency). Agencies often like to start with a new slate, this way they can imagine how they will market you as a model.
Stay positive. Don't feel disheartened if you are rejected by an agency. Different agencies are looking for different things and it may take talking to few to get signed by one.
If you are living in Australia you would like to become a model, here are a few links to some of the best agencies in Australia. Email them for a meeting to discuss your potential.
Viviens Model Management - Aust Wide
Chic Management - Sydney Only
Priscillas Model Management - Sydney Only
Chadwick Models - Aust Wide
Pride Models - Melbourne & Adelaide
IMG Models - Sydney Only
London Management - Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane
Finesse Models - Adelaide Only
(Please note, these are not all of the best agencies in Australia, just a few of them. The best way to find out about agencies in your area is to google them and ask around. All opinions are my own and I am not sponsored/associated/etc with any agency in regards to this post. This is just a general guide written from my own experience as a model.)