Advice on becoming a model

Self employment

Modelling is a business, and as a model, you will be self-employed. You will have to look after your own finances. Like any business, it takes time, effort, commitment, and patience to become successful. It does not happen overnight.

Tools of the trade

Your agency will help you create your ‘tools of the trade’: photographs, index cards, a portfolio, representation on an agency’s website etc. If you are not living at home you will need rent for accommodation and money for living expenses and travelling around. A good agent who believes in you may advance some of these expenses and reclaim them over time from what you earn.

Financial management

Model agencies are required by law to pay you within 10 working days of their receiving payment from the client. Clients, unfortunately, tend to pay later than would be liked, upwards of 60 days and sometimes even longer. Agents are encouraged to develop relationships with Independent Financial Advisors who are able to offer impartial advice across a range of financial planning needs including pensions, insurance, mortgages etc.

Being yourself

Present yourself as the perfect candidate: show confidence, have a good attitude and a friendly personality. Show your personal style, but keep it clean and simple and always make a good first impression.

Looking after yourself

Models often have very tiring schedules and they need to take of themselves in order to keep up. You will need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Keep to a healthy diet, work-out regularly, get sufficient sleep and avoid smoking and alcohol. Drink lots of water and avoid too many late nights. A tired model is not a working model – it shows.

Hair and skin care

Look after your skin and your hair. Use quality skin and hair care products, keep make-up to a minimum and make sure you take it off before you go to bed. But, never get your hair cut or dyed without first consulting your booker.

Availability

Make sure you are available for as many castings and go-sees as possible. These are effectively job interviews, and should be regarded as such. Be ready.

Agencies' terms and conditions

AMA agencies always publish their terms and conditions. There are standard AMA model agreements albeit the absolute commission you will be charged may vary from one agent to the next. Never pay any up-front charges and make absolutely sure you understand every aspect of the agreement that you or your parent/guardian will be required to sign.

On-line applications

All agencies have an on-line application page. Again, don’t try and be too clever and put up only the kind of photographs for which you are asked. Do bear in mind that the top agencies receive about 20,000 email applications every year.

Best Practice Guide for Model Agencies

The British Fashion Council has developed the first edition of the Best Practice Guide for Model Agencies, to support model agencies in delivering world class partnerships for the UK’s and the world’s leading models.

This guide also helps models and aspiring models understand reasonable expectations from the agency they have chosen to partner with to develop their career.

BIS
Equity
UK Visas
Beat
HMRC
BFC