Starting Out as a model

Do your research. Explore the websites and try to choose what looks to be a reputable agency. One that does not promise too much but which demonstrates a high calibre of clients and a roster of the kind of models to whom you aspire.

You must then decide how best to make your approach.

Most agencies have ‘walk-ins’ where you arrive at their door and will be seen by one of the bookers. If you bring any photographs they do not need to be professional. Holiday snaps are perfect because, should a reputable agency be interested in you, they will first arrange for professional, test photography to be taken and it is this that will determine whether or not they take you on. How you look in front of the camera will be the final arbiter! You will never be charged for tests unless you are taken on and then, never before you have earned sufficient money.

Be prepared to wait because most walk-ins are during half terms and holidays. Also, be prepared to be turned down because, whilst your face may be perfect to your friends and family, it may simply not be suitable for a particular agency. Usually you will be referred to other agencies who may be better suited to your particular look.

What to expect from a career as a model

Becoming a model is the dream of every young girl or boy who loves fashion, designer clothes, glamour, being centre stage and traveling the world.

If you are determined to pursue a professional modelling career, and you feel that you have what it takes, there are a few key things to keep in mind when you decide to take that crucial step onto the catwalk.

Time and dedication

Building your modelling career and portfolio takes time, effort and dedication. A model must be strong-minded and resilient to navigate the chaotic waters of the fashion industry. Confidence and a strong-will are important in this high-paced, ever evolving and fiercely competitive world.

Professional attitude

If you want a successful career, being professional is one of the most important things when working. However, a fashion shoot consists of a lot more than just of a series of postures. You have to be prepared to withstand long hours, while keeping a positive and helpful attitude. Nobody wants to work with a model who makes the job more difficult with negativity or ego.

A global career

A modelling career has many rewards, and one of the most exciting can be travel. You must be prepared for this and there are two perspectives. First, your UK agency (Mother Agent) may well feel you need to broaden your horizons and develop your portfolio and experience. In this instance, you’ll be sent ‘on stay’ to another agency, one with which your UK agency will have agreed to place you and will know well. This could be in Europe, the USA or sometimes, even Japan.

Second, your agency will be getting work for its models from international brands and locations across the globe. You must be willing to move cities at a drop of a hat. Never let your passport be out of date!

Relish your career

This is a career into which you have to put your heart and mind. But, do bear in mind that the professional cycle of a model can be quite short. Yes, some models work well into their 30s and 40s, some well after that. So appreciate this unique opportunity, be passionate and relish every moment. It shows when you do and helps you succeed.