Hoooray! You've decided you want to give modeling a try! First off, way to put yourself out there! Being in front of a camera can be a lot tougher than people think.
First steps of becoming a model..
You're going to want to research the modeling agencies in your area or a nearby city. It's important to note that modeling agencies distinguish themselves and may cater to a certain type of aesthetic, genre/niche, or client. So, take some time researching their rosters and the work shown in the model's portfolios.
Which agencies do you see opportunities for both yourself and the agency? Be realistic with this process. It's not always about what you want to do, but where you have the most chances of being booked. For example, if you're 5'3, consider print/commercial modeling rather than high fashion runway.
Do these agencies host open casting, or is there a submission email you can contact? Make sure to follow all submission instructions for each agency, as it'll display professionalism and the ability to follow instructions. Oh... and make sure it's not a scam agency! Unfortunately, there's tons of fake agencies that prey on people!
Once that's settled, you're going to want to take images you could submit called "model digitals" or "polaroids." These are meant to be super simple yet specific. They are intended to show you in a natural state, similar to the way you'd show up to a modeling job (that provides hair and makeup). Both agencies and clients want to see you like a neutral canvas meaning no or very minimal makeup, unpolished or neutral nails, natural looking lashes (no extensions), and your hair in a style you wear the most. Outfits are also meant to stay simple & understated. I prefer a tighter fit tank or tee, tighter fit pants or jeans, and simple heels.
Stand tall, show your proportions, and keep posing at a minimal, but still gently emphasize your most unique features and physique. You're looking to capture a full body, 3/4 body, up close portrait, and side profiles options. Once you've got those basics, feel free to add subtle posing and perhaps in another simple hair style. If you're looking to book swim jobs, you'll need to repeat the process with a simple string bikini.
On the photo side, you'll need a white plain wall and some nice, soft, even natural lighting (avoid artificial, harsh, and directional lighting). If you're outdoors, standing on a simple wall in the shade or during a cloudy day will work too. It's also important to note, these images should have zero retouching or filters added. The more natural the better!
Agencies can accept iPhone photos, but once you're signed you should replace them with higher quality digitals as without portfolio images, you're relying on these digitals to get you booked by a client.
Say you've walked into your first audition. You're going to want to leave that potential client with something physical that identifies you. That's where comp cards come in! They serve as a mini portfolio that generally include a large sized headshot and a couple other smaller photos. They also include your name & measurements like your height, bust, waist, hips, dress size, shoe size, hair and eye color.
If you haven't booked portfolio shots yet, use your digitals! Pick your favorite up close shot, profile shot, 3/4 shot, and full body shot. If you book me to take your digitals, it comes with a complimentary comp card!
How often should I take digitals?
It's suggested to retake digitals whenever something drastic or different has changed about you. For example, you decided to get a pixie cut or if your measurements have significantly changed. Tis the season for a new set of digitals!