What it takes to become a professional model

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If you think models are just another pretty face, think again! The world of modeling is extremely competitive and often grueling. There is certainly not a lack of beautiful people in the modeling world, so in order to succeed, you will to rely on more than just your looks.

Before you decide to become a model, ask yourself: “why?.” Many individuals start modeling in order to make a jump into acting or singing, but make no mistake – the professional world of modeling is a career aspiration in its own right. Far more than a springboard to other careers, professional models are hard working, highly trained individuals.

Break out of the misconception that only women can become famous professional models! Male models are often just as sought out as females, so do not expect the road to being a professional male model to be any easier than a female model. Furthermore, do not be under this misconception that models are all six-foot tall and weigh 100 pounds. The growing trend in the fashion industry is the advent of the plus-sized models. These beautiful models proudly wear a variety of fashions designed for real men and women by popular companies such as Lane Bryant.

Regardless of your beauty, shape, or size, if you do not have the ambition and drive to make it in this dog-eat-dog business, you will fail. Expect to do more than walk down a couple of runways and take cover shots for popular magazines. You will have to work diligently at honing your craft and getting your face and name known. Many aspiring models choose to work with modeling agencies that will do the grunt work of finding jobs and promoting their name. Take great caution when choosing an agency as there are many scam agencies posing to be legitimate. Remember, true agencies make their money by promoting the models and charging commissions on bookings. True agencies do not make their money by demanding large sums of money from an aspiring model up front.

Once you sign with an agency, you will begin working on your portfolio. This collection of pictures will show potential clients how you react to a camera. Also, you will need to take what is known as “model mug shots.” These pictures are to show potential clients your looks and body type. In this mug shot, you are not posing and are usually wearing a simple bathing suit. It is important that all of your photographs are professional and fit the industry standards. A modeling agency will be able to provide you with a photographer who is accustomed to taking both portfolio images and mug shots.

In order to find a modeling agency and be one of their representatives, you may wish to utilize open calls. Open calls are similar to open houses where all individuals who are interested in becoming a model are invited for an interview. When you attend these interviews, keep in mind they are professional and you should dress the part. Keep your dress and appearance simple in order to best showcase your features and body type. The agency representatives must view you as a blank canvas so you can be adapted to fit a variety of fashions. Wearing simple but professional attire will allow them to do just that.

In order to excel as a professional model, you will have to work hard and diligently at your goal. Just like any career, modeling is a job and should be taken seriously if you expect to excel.

Copyright 2005 by Lynn Walls. All rights reserved.

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