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Wednesday 30th of November 2022

Nairobi, Kenya

How to Become a Commercial Model, Modeling Advice for Aspiring Fashion Models

Posted On : November 24, 2022

Ann Mumbi

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Interested in making a career in fashion modeling? These dos and don’ts from seasoned experienced models give advice on how to succeed as a fashion model.

Do you want to learn the steps to modeling?
Do you envision yourself as the next Gigi Hadid to grace the Vogue cover?
With thousands of hopefuls vying for the title of the next supermodel, modeling has emerged as a highly coveted employment option. The likelihood of getting caught now is one in a million, so the days when you could rely on luck are long gone.
It requires self-control, perseverance, and work to become a role model.
To stand out and get recognized, you must plan, organize, and adhere to a strategy.

How to become a model?
To help you break into the modeling business and launch your modeling career, we consulted with various successful models and agencies and put together the list of recommendations below. So, here’s a guide on how to begin modeling.

  1. Develop your modeling skills
  2. Practice model poses in front of the camera
  3. Get a killer modeling portfolio
  4. Find the right modeling agency
  5. Do your research about the modeling agency you sign up with
  6. Learn to embrace rejection
  7. Make yourself constantly look better
  8. Be safe
  9. Be Professional
  10. Commit to work
  11. Build your social media following
  12. Never let your pride down

1. Develop your modeling skills
Learn the art of posing. Runway walking drills. Posing skills and walking style are what set one attractive model apart from another. It takes art to model.
Whether it’s watching endless episodes of America’s Next Top Model on Netflix, flipping through the pages of Vogue, watching tutorials on YouTube, reading modeling e-books like glamour pictures photography, or picking a favorite model.
On a runway, it can be incredibly uncomfortable to pose and move around. Practice. A piece of advice for modeling is as follows: Get used to posing in front of a camera and another person by having a buddy take photos of you. Alternately, before beginning your path to becoming a fashion model, start small, mount a camera on a tripod, and practice alone until your confidence increases.

2. Practice model poses in front of the camera
Getting practice in front of the camera is the next stage to learning how to start modeling. The supermodels you see in stunning magazine photographs didn’t just stand in front of the lens and hope a talented fashion photographer caught them at the right moment. They assisted the photographer in producing a masterpiece.
A model will use her posture, facial expressions, and artistic sense to help realize the photographer’s vision. They are both equally talented in their respective fields.

An important prerequisite for being a model is having the appropriate posing abilities. To make everything come to life on his end, the photographer will use his understanding of lighting, aperture, framing, etc. It’s a choreographed dance, therefore you should practice as much as you can.
It will be 20 times more difficult to acquire a great image if you can’t pose and don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera. Make an effort to improve as a model!

3. Get a killer modeling portfolio
Having a well-rounded modeling portfolio that highlights your best qualities through gorgeous, high-quality photos is one of the most important steps to becoming a model and building a solid profession.
The modeling portfolio is one of the first things agencies and clients look for in a model to make a good first impression.

It helps to have both a printed copy that you can present when you meet someone in person and an online version (your modeling portfolio website) that you can send to anyone via email. To climb the modeling ladder, you need as much exposure as you can get.

4. Find the right modeling agency
A modeling agency is necessary for every fashion model. Getting seen by a prominent modeling agency in your area is the first step to being signed by one. Snapshots of oneself must be submitted in order to be seen.
In the business, these photos are frequently referred to as “digitals” or “polaroids.”
The most straightforward and unposed photographs are what modeling agencies are searching for so they can see you for WHO YOU ARE. Send in pictures of you with minimal to no makeup on at most a light coat of foundation and mascara.
Include images of both your hair up and down, pulled away from your face, and don’t style it (just make sure it’s clean).

The background must be simple and underacting (standing against a plain wall works best). Use natural lighting when taking pictures; a friend can simply serve as your photographer. If you have friends that are studying fashion design, be sure to heed their suggestions for your wardrobe.
Your digitals should have the following pictures: full-length, up-close headshots, left and right side profiles, smiling (with teeth, without teeth), and non-smiling shots (both facing the camera and turned away from the camera). You should wear pants and a solid-colored t-shirt for your attire.

5. Do your research about the modeling agency you sign up with 
Do your study before submitting it to every modeling agency on the planet and see what sticks.
Do your research about the modeling agency you sign up with Do your study before submitting to every modeling agency on the planet and seeing what sticks. List everything. Is this agency legitimate, which comes first and foremost?
Do they have any negative reviews, and can their company be easily verified? Are models with your appearance and stature now being accepted by this modeling agency?
What is the submission procedure for the modeling agency (detailed instructions differ by agency, but you should be able to obtain this information on their website)? Who are the current and former models for the agency? What are the newest advertising initiatives for the modeling agency? Are they collaborating with reputable brands and businesses?
Do you WANT to be represented by this firm, which would mean that you would also be representing them?

Send digitals to your top choices once you’ve identified the modeling agencies you are convinced will be a good fit for you.
If you get a call asking you to meet with an agency in person after submitting your digitals, do even more research ahead of time.

Learn about notable fashion designers, the ‘it’ supermodels of the time, and recent news in the fashion, beauty, and modeling industries. By no means do you need to be a walking “encyclopedia of fashion models”; just be observant and knowledgeable.

6. Learn to embrace rejection
Prepare your mind to accept a lot of rejection. You MUST be capable of accepting doors closing in your face without hesitation. Even the most beautiful supermodels to ever walk the earth were given the “NO” signal. Numerous people told them “NO” in various ways and numerous repetitions. It comes with the territory to be rejected. You will do better if you realize and accept that as soon as possible. Do not measure your value by how you appear to others or by their approval of you.

Start getting ready by committing to ignoring any criticism you get this week. Find out if it was simple or challenging. You needed to develop tougher skin even more so the harder it was.
Are you offended that I just encouraged you to develop a thicker skin? If so, the point is just that! Start honing your capacity to accept criticism with a smile! But don’t worry, with enough practice, anyone can pick up this skill.
Every “NO” is simply one “NO” closer to a “YES,” so keep that in mind when you encounter rejection.

7. Make yourself constantly look better
Take good care of your physique, health, skin, and hair. Whether you like it or not, modeling is an aesthetically focused industry, and appearance/beauty is unquestionably important. (Despite this, anyone can succeed as a commercial model regardless of physical attractiveness or body type.) The height and weight requirements for fashion models are, however, more stringent and severe than those for any other type of modeling. Although there isn’t much you can do about genetics, it IS up to you to utilize the genetic makeup that was given to you.
You must follow your meticulous beauty routine if you want to become a model. The following routines, which are used by many supermodels, include but are not limited to the following:

Drinking copious amounts of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and maintain supple skin, quitting smoking, and consuming alcohol sparingly. Others include taking a multivitamin, working out 4-5 days a week, according to a strict diet/meal plan, wearing SPF, never going to bed in makeup, exfoliating/washing/moisturizing their face every morning and evening, and many others.
Whether you are looking at it from a business or personal perspective, feeling and looking your best will only be beneficial to you. Win-win situation. But for any aspiring fashion model, having your beauty routine down pat is unquestionably a career benefit.

A model who takes pride in her appearance is far more valuable than one who is unmotivated to maintain good hygiene and attractiveness.

If your height and weight don’t meet the current standards for fashion models, you can still pursue modeling in a variety of other fields. To discover which genres you might be a good fit for, please read this essay on the many types of modeling.

8. Be safe
Being a fashion model makes you vulnerable, especially in the beginning. So be cautious and stay safe. The most crucial advice I can give aspiring fashion models that are working with fashion designers or photographers is this: Avoid being duped by fake modeling schools (you DO NOT need to pay money to attend any modeling school or training, period).
To begin started, you shouldn’t have to pay for any photos. It should be your agency that arranges for test shoots.
Other frauds include modeling competitions, dishonest “agents,” “casting directors,” or “photographers,” phony casting calls that offer thousands of dollars in pay and a photo shoot abroad, etc.

Establish a reliable support system.
The modeling profession might be intimidating, and it’s simple to become a victim of numerous other problems (party scene, eating disorders, etc.). Inform your family and friends about your professional development.

If anything seems off or strange, they can serve as a sounding board. They could take you to a shoot and wait outside for you. When you experience rejection or a difficult time, they can keep you motivated. Have a safety net and an assistive network!

9. Be Professional
It’s not simple to break into the modeling industry. You must act with complete professionalism. Respond to phone calls. Answer emails and voicemails right away.
Being 30 minutes late for a meeting, casting call, or photo shoot is never acceptable. You should, at the very least, arrive 15 minutes early.
Planning and time management are required for this. When aspiring models think, “Well, I’m pretty enough to be a model, so I will just glide by with my looks alone and no effort,” they are making a big error.

Many aspiring models in the past quit the modeling business because their lack of professionalism, bad attitude, and reputation started to overwhelm their attractiveness.

With a diva, no one wants to work. There are many other stunning women in the world who WON’T be disrespectful or snobby.
When you book a gig, you are speaking for your agency as well as yourself.
Treat EVERYONE with respect while you are on set. If your makeup artist followed a precise instruction that was provided to her but you don’t like the way your makeup turned out, it’s too bad. Do your part now that she has finished hers.

Regardless of your preference for cosmetics, take some killer shots and refrain from disparaging the makeup artist in public. In your modeling profession, showing respect and consideration will go a long way.

10. Commit to work
Although modeling may look glamorous and simple, that is far from the truth.
To become a model, you’ll need to put in a lot of effort.
Are you prepared to stick to your diet, exercise, and beauty routine even when you are having a tough time finding work? Are you prepared to work a 12-hour photo session in chilly, windy weather while donning an outfit that provides no warmth, all while obtaining the shot and being compliant?
Have you acknowledged that, after signing with a modeling agency, it can take years before you achieve success (if ever), as your agency works to advance your modeling career?

Are you prepared to spend a large amount of time away from your significant other, your family, your friends, and the comforts of home while taking lengthy overseas trips? When business is sluggish, are you prepared to take a side job that is utterly unappealing? Are you adaptable and willing to undertake a drastic hairdo change if your employer asks you to? By no means are these obligations designed to terrify you; modeling CAN be enjoyable, gratifying, thrilling, and glamorous. Make sure you are prepared to commit regardless of what, and that you are aware of the positive and negative potential on both sides!

11. Build your social media following
If you want to become a fashion model, you probably want to be represented by a modeling agency.
As previously indicated, while you wait for responses from modeling agencies, upload your digitals, practice posing and walking, build a beauty routine, etc.
Amass a following on social media in the meanwhile. Unbelievable as it may seem, it might help you be signed to an agency! Social media following creation is a relatively recent phenomenon.
Nowadays, modeling agencies analyze a model’s online viewership when deciding whether or not to sign them.
Models are frequently used by advertisers, but they increasingly want to hire models that already have a following that they can market to.

Although it is not a prerequisite, having a sizable social media following is a key quality for fashion models. There are currently no indications that this tendency may slow down. So as soon as you can, join the bandwagon. Be judicious in your social media messaging and strategy.

Know your values, be genuine with your followers, communicate with them frequently, and share beautiful photographs! Even further, you can launch a blog, a YouTube channel, or something similar. Due to their massive followings, several unintentional influencers have transitioned into successful professional models.

12. Never let your pride down
You have seen most of the procedures to becoming a model up to this point, but maintaining your pride is just as crucial. You are still a worthwhile person with feelings, thoughts, and opinions regardless of what happens.
Much more than just a gorgeous face, you are.
The majority of fashion models agree to the bookings made for them by their agency, which is acceptable and rather common.
But you must learn to speak out and express your opinion before it is too late if something ever crosses the line or makes you feel uncomfortable. Although we just emphasized that devotion is a crucial quality, there is a thin line.

Never let your career become so important to you that it takes precedence over you and your needs. What do you believe in? Make it clear from the beginning and don’t budge.
The better wealthy you will be, the less anxious you will be about acceptance and approval. Always have your own back and know when to use force. Who will defend you if not yourself, after all?

How many types of fashion models are there?
1. Runway Modeling
2. Plus Size Models
3. Fitness Model
4. Glamour Models
5. Alternative models
6. Parts Model
7. Promotional model

Now that you know how to become a model, you must also know the various career alternatives in modeling and choose the one that best suits you.

1. Runway Modeling
Runway models participate in runway events and are required to routinely change their attire and cosmetics.
A runway or ramp is a platform where models walk to display clothing and accessories during a fashion show. A runway model’s experience affects whether they are hired.

2. Plus Size Models
Plus-size models can be defined as those whose dimensions are larger than editorial fashion models. They participate in the promotion of cosmetics, stylish accessories, and plus-size apparel.
More and more plus-size models are appearing in fashion magazines and working in the fashion business.
The idea of creating clothing for the plus-size market is growing among designers.

3. Fitness Model
A well-defined figure with toned muscles characterizes a fitness model. These models are leaner and heavier due to their increased muscular mass.
These fitness models frequently appear in magazine advertising, but some of them also work as fitness trainers and participate in fitness-related competitions. To find out everything you need to know about how to become a fitness model, read this tutorial.

4. Glamour Models
Glamour model agencies don’t have a set standard for the model’s physical attributes; instead, it varies from location to location what standards they maintain.
These models can be found in calendars, men’s magazines, lingerie modeling, and music videos, with a general focus on a person’s sexual appeal.

5. Alternative models
Alternative models are those unorthodox women who favor participating in punk, goth, and fetish photo sessions and who have unusual physical characteristics.

6. Parts Model
According to a certain bodily part, parts models are used. I can take the form of hands, legs, chest, lips, etc. Unattractive portions are also in demand, despite the fact that attractive parts are the majority of the time. Some representation firms only work with models whose body parts are in demand.

7. Promotional model
A promotional model is a visually beautiful person hired to interact with clients in order to draw them to a product or service. By providing information about the goods, they give customers a real experience. Trade exhibitions, events, shopping centers, nightclubs, and other public locations all feature them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you become a fashion model?
There are many different categories of fashion models. So the first thing you need to do is figure out what kind of a model you want to be. Once you have a category determined, you would need to start setting up a portfolio which you will need to field to various agencies so that you can start getting modeling gigs.

What should a fashion model be like?
Generally, fashion models are expected to be tall and capable of carrying a lot of different looks and clothing. While being skinny used to be a common enough requirement, plus-sized models are also increasingly in demand these days.

What do you need as an aspiring model?
The most important thing for an aspiring model is to have a good quality professional modeling portfolio. Your modeling portfolio is a curated sample of your previous work or sample shots that can show potential clients what you look like and what kind of work you are capable of doing.

Content  courtesy of Pixpa & NFH

 

Ann Mumbi

An expert in style and image, Fashion Addict focuses on brands worn by showbiz stars who have large numbers of fans worldwide Member Of #NairobiFashionHub Team

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