Tips for Models Starting Out

By: Molly Roxx

I have been involved in the modeling world since 1986. Yeah…I’m old lol but I have modeled for big labels, small boutiques…3rd  party magazines, national magazines, runway oh so much runway…I have modeled for free, and I have modeled for thousands…I have been a size 0 model and a size 26 model. I have lived and learned, and I am willing to share my knowledge with everyone who is serious about modeling. If you’re not serious, that’s cool, but I am writing this for those who are…

#1 You have got to be clean in your photos, you just have to be! The camera picks up your greasy hair and unbrushed teeth…Seriously, if you want to be a model you need to take time and effort to do so. It is not just jumping in front of a camera. It is a lot of prep work before and after jumping in front of the camera and I am going to start posting a few tips a week to help out those who want/need some help.

So, tip #1 Is always be clean! You, your wardrobe, your shoot area…

#2 If you use a stage name, Google-search it first to make sure it is not taken. I have met so many models named “Honeybee” it’s almost ridiculous! Then, pick a name someone in the industry can actually call you. No one is going to call you on the phone and ask to speak to “Fluffy Muffin 678” because it’s stupid. You want people to take you seriously as a model, then you have to take being a model seriously. Also…do not include terms like “da model” “Plus Model” I am” or any of that in your name. If you are a model and you are at a go-see or you are applying to be in a magazine, we know you’re a model so there is no need to have it in your name. And don’t make your name an entire sentence. I have had models apply to model for me with names like “Jade the green eyed jewel”…just don’t…

#3 Don’t be an asshole! Look, I am not here to sugar coat anything. People apply for modeling jobs and when they get turned down, they throw fits and insult the people and places they applied with and that is an instant “black ball”. The industry talks and they do not want to work with anyone like that. I don’t care if you have modeled for Coco Chanel herself, if you are a bitch to the person who shoots the Walmart circulars, you will be black balled. Always carry yourself with pride and dignity and show courtesy and respect at all times. Also, maybe you have modeled for huge labels and small labels and everyone in-between. Maybe you have never been turned down for a job, you know what that makes you? That makes you employed. That does not make you better than anyone else. That may make you more experienced, but in no way does it make you superior to anyone. It does not make you smarter than anyone. Keep your ego in check.

#4 To become a model, practice posing in front of the mirror, take photos to put together a composition “comp.” card and portfolio, and send applications and go to casting calls. Find local agencies and talent managers to send your composition cards to. NEVER pay these people to model. They pay you and they get a percentage from 10-15%.

When practicing your posing in the mirror, don’t forget to practice facial expressions. Dead eyes or “resting bitch face” with a great body does not a model make.

You have to get a professional comp. card put together to send around and then get started on a portfolio. If you do not have a professional photographer, make sure you have someone with a high-quality camera and you use a professional print shop to put everything together for you. Also, you need to get your name and face known. Social media is a huge part of today's modeling world.

#5 If you apply for a modeling job/project with photos where you have cropped the photographer’s logo/watermark off…Well, that is against the law, and it does not automatically mean that you own the photos. Copyright laws are very serious. Make sure you have the permission of the photographer to apply for all modeling jobs and projects. If you need un-marked photos, ask the photographer to send you the files. When you apply make sure to ALWAYS include all credits. Make sure people know the name of your photographer. The name of their studio. Their link(s), and so on. Do the same for your wardrobe and MUHA…Credit is VERY IMPORTANT in this business. Don’t send “screen shots”. The quality is never as good as it could be, and they are usually very tiny. Now if your outfit is from Walmart and you did your own makeup and dad took your photos, you do not need to give credits, but you still should in my opinion. It comes across as more professional. You don’t say “my daddy took my pics,” you say…’Photographer: George Bennet’ or whoever. You do not say that your wardrobe is Walmart, you say it is Terra & Sky or whatever the actual brand is. You do not need to mention a hair or makeup person if it was you, but if it was a friend, give them their creds.

#6 If you’re applying via email for modeling jobs do not send the same photos to 5 different places. Actually READ all of the requirements for applying for the modeling job. You would be surprised at how many models don’t even include their names in their emails. It can’t just be on the subject line, your info HAS TO BE in the actual email. If you want to be treated like a professional, you must act like one. If you do not have the time or energy to send new and different photos to each and every place you apply, this may not be the industry for you. When I was younger, I went to shoots that lasted up to 16 hours. Time and patience is the name of the game.

#7 When you see an advertisement for models wanted online…don’t just comment the word “interested.” Read the entire ad. Most of the ads tell you how to apply, so follow the directions and apply the correct way. If a person or company takes the time to put together an ad to recruit models, you can take the time to read the ad in its entirety. Also, don’t send selfies, just don’t. It’s an insult. It’s you saying to the person, brand, or company that you feel that their work is un-professional and that will not bode well for you. Get a camera with a timer and a tripod. Have your mom take your pictures. Anything but selfies, PLEASE!

#8 DO YOUR RESEARCH! IF YOU’RE APPLYING TO BE IN A MAGAZINE OR ON A WEBSITE…If you’re applying to do a runway show or a commercial audition or catalog shoot…Look up the company. Visit their website. Buy a copy of their magazine. Know what you’re getting into. You don’t want your beautiful face on something that you think isn’t right for you. You don’t want to be portrayed in a light that is unflattering to you. Modeling is a lot of work. It takes a lot of time, and you need to have a business mind to do it. Even if you get an agent and/or sign with an agency, you have to check out everything and everyone. Your agent/agency wants to promote you, but they have dollar signs in their eyes and not always your safety in their hearts.

#9 Do not send photos that you have plastered all over social media to be hopefully published in any type of publication. If you want to post your photos on social media wait until after they have been published.

#10 Don’t let people know what a slob you are. Don’t take pictures inside your house next to an unmade bed and a full hamper. Your kids are adorable but get them the heck out of your photos! Kissy faces are cute, save them for your Boo. Stand against a blank wall…Go outside…Stop taking pics in the bathroom!

#11 Buy yourself a fashion magazine. Vogue for example. See how the models are posed and practice their poses. The more awkward you feel the more likely you are to be doing the poses correctly. You also have to practice bringing out emotion in your face and making sure that your poses match your emotions. If you look sad in your photo but have your arms and hands held up to the sky, the photo will make no sense. If you look sad in your photo and your head is tilted down a bit and your arms are wrapped around you in a self-hug, your picture will make sense.

#12 Agents and brands want to know what you truly look like. When you go to an audition/go-see/tryout you need to be a blank canvas. Plain clean, well-fitting pants, simple heels, a solid color top, no makeup, hair pulled back. The designer/brand/agency needs to be able to imagine you in their products and labels. If you are dressed to stand out it will be too distracting.

I started modeling right before my 12th birthday. I was the Sears catalog queen! I was 5’11” and 117 pounds. I had the figure of a boy and that made me desired and loved in the fashion world. I modeled under my birth name at that time. I have since changed my name, but that’s another story. As I aged up, I did runway and ads and store signage. I was on coupons and an extra in a few movies and in a few local commercials. I was in magazines, on covers and really doing quite well and then…I got knocked up. I stopped modeling and raised my child and gained 150 pounds as a side effect of the postpartum medication I was put on, and suddenly, I’m 34…I want to model again, and no one wants me. I am old. I am fat. I am not fresh. I do not have the figure of a hanger. And, I said…FUCK THAT! I started the Utopia Gals and The Ample Angelz. 2 places where people of all shapes, sizes, ages, races…could model. Screw what society thinks, I believe we all have beauty that needs to be seen by the world! I believe if you cannot find the opportunities you are looking for, make your own damn opportunities, and that’s what I have done, and it has opened several doors for me. I have modeled for several others since starting my two brands and now I have 14 modeling projects for people which I participate in, and I am in 6 or 7 other publications and on 3-4 websites a month that are not run by me. You must create your own demand.  Ok, let’s get back on topic and back to the modeling tips.

#13 Know your business. Know current designers, lines, magazines, models…

#14 Start sending your photos around to small magazines and websites. Exposure is the key when trying to become a popular model. The more exposure you have, the more likely it is that you will be accepted by bigger publications. When starting out, take on as many little modeling jobs as possible. Doing so will give you some experience and make it that much easier to market yourself as a model.

#15 Put together your own website, complete with an online portfolio. Not a site that is or something like that. A website that you own the domain name of. Be professional, not cheap. It takes time and money to be a model. Not a lot of money. You never have to pay to model, but you sometimes have to pay for promotion. You build a website and purchase the domain for like 50 bucks, and it is very worth it. Hell, I can do it for you, but like all professionals, I do charge for that service. These days, everything is done online, so along with a look book (picture portfolio), you will also need a website. The site should mostly consist of photographs of you as well as contact and booking information for you. No selfies or non-modeling photos should be posted. Be sure to keep it updated often with your newest photos and latest modeling credits. You must establish a web presence that will get you noticed. Which is the purpose of my 2 promotional modeling agencies. I promote the hell out of people!

#16 Update your portfolio regularly as you book more jobs and get more photos. The best resume in the modeling world is experience, and you want to prove to companies and casting agents that you have it!

#17 Applying for jobs where you have to write your bio, your name, your credits…Learn to spell! If you’re applying for a job and you accidentally spell you name wrong, it will get published that way. You say your dress is by Vera Wang and you spell her name wrong…Ooh, that reflects poorly on you! Take your time. Use your business mind. Show the employers how smart and put-together you are. It’s important. Other than being rude and disrespectful when misspelling a well-known name, it shows that you don’t care enough to double check yourself, so why would anyone want to work with you? If you’re not willing to take time on how you portray yourself these brands and designers and magazines…will feel that you won’t take time to portray their products in their best light either. Modeling is about being seen, so be seen and smart, caring, and put together.

#18 Applying for a modeling job with one application and then forwarding the application to numerous emails? Don’t do that. Each job you apply for deserves their own application filled out correctly. You need new and fresh photos and be willing to take the time and show the potential job the respect it deserves. Getting an emailed application that shows it has been forwarded to 12 different places, well I don’t know about you, but I am not gonna publish that person. I don’t want the same exact photos as 12 other magazines. I want my company to show new and inviting photos, not copies of the same pics in magazines that are similar to mine. All brands and labels and agencies and websites/publications want to stand out. Help them to stand out and the word about what a good model and courteous person you are will get around and you will eventually get more jobs.

#19 Before showing up to a photoshoot, go over your physical appearance, your personality, and your character traits. Successful models must have endless amounts of patience, and nerves of steel and stamina, while being full of charisma and positive energy. You also must always come across as composed and confident, even if you’re not. Be warned though, there are some photographers who will not be willing to work with you. Some have a fat phobia. Some just don’t like blondes. Some photographers have egos larger than life and no matter how they treat you, you must be graceful with them. Smile. Say thank you anyway and leave calmly. Then go home and make a voodoo doll of them and stab it in the genitals with a fork. 😊

#20 Research everyone and everything! In the modeling world, there are no guarantees. You will not get a job as soon as you sign a contract, sometimes it takes years, and if anyone tells you differently, you may want to think twice about working with them, as they are not honest.

#21 Stay away from modeling schools. Never pay to model or pay to “learn” to model. There are a few real and valid schools that offer education and opportunity for aspiring models, but most still teach the same things that they taught in the 70’s and they basically teach you to model incorrectly. Then, you have wasted your money, and time, and learned how to model wrong. Casting agents can tell who has been to “modeling school” and who hasn’t, and they usually try and stay away from all who have been to “school” because they do not know what they are doing. Many schools are simply expensive schemes designed only to exploit potential models’ desires to be famous

#22 Practice safety, especially when you're working without an agent. Research photographers and check their references before collaborating with them, and always be clear and up-front about your comfort zones. Don't allow yourself to be pressured into improper situations. If anything like that happens, just leave, and leave quickly!

#23 Let’s be honest, if I am a modeling agent looking to represent new models…I want to see how the new models photograph. IDGAF what the landscape around the model is. Have your photographer take a step closer to you. Let’s see you! If you are an inch tall in an 8 x10 photo, who’s gonna even notice you?

#24 Are you wearing a white top with long sleeves in your shoot? Don’t cross your arms for any pics unless the goal is to look like you’re in a strait jacket.

#25 If the sun is so bright that you are squinting in each of your photos, switch places with your photographer, it’s ok if they squint.

#26 The 5 most important things to do when entering the professional modeling world, or trying to enter it…

Get an honest evaluation by several experienced professionals. Your mom and your best friend are not the people to do this for you.

Get as much exposure as possible. Don’t limit yourself to local markets. Get anywhere and everywhere you can with your face, your look, your style, and your name!

Don’t spend money on expensive photo shoots. Snapshots are all you need. Use a good camera and if you want the photos edited, use a professional, though most agencies want to see unedited photos to start.

Modeling schools are not necessary to become a model. In most cases they do more harm than good. They teach you outdated modeling techniques and are only in it for the money.

Only work with established, legitimate modeling agencies & scouts. Do your research. You want to be in a magazine or on a website, actually read the magazine and visit the website! I have people applying to be in my magazines and then when I accept them, they ask the name of the magazine. You need to know who and what you are dealing with to make sure that you are always portrayed in the best light. This is your life, career and possible future. Take it seriously.

#27 First impressions are sometimes all you have…

Be on time!

Show commitment!

Always have a positive attitude.

You will hear “no” more times than you’ll hear “yes”. Don’t let it affect your self-esteem or poise.

#28 When at auditions/interviews/go-sees…

Wear basic makeup. Basic makeup includes light powder, concealer, and mascara. If you need more coverage, you can also use a tinted lotion or light foundation. Blend, blend, blend!

Wear a simple outfit, like a white or earth tone colored top and a pair of jeans or black leggings, and high heels. Not stilettos, just a nice pair of pumps. You need to let your natural beauty shine without looking too trendy. Agents, labels, lines, they want you to be a blank canvas that they can play dress up with. You are there to be their hanger. To show off their merchandise…not yours.

#29 Basic terms every model NEEDS TO KNOW:

Modeling is much more than photo and video shoots, which is why there are so many modeling terms you must learn if you plan to embark on a career in the industry. It is an industry full of art, fashion, design, and culture and the breadth of common modeling terms reflects that reality. Models in particular have to be trained and ready for anything when they step into a photo shoot or get ready to strut down the catwalk. While models are often stereotyped as being vain or spacey, models actually need to be incredibly alert and sharp when they are on the job.

Art Director-

The Art Director’s job is to develop the plan/theme of the editorial, ad, or other graphic presentation for a shoot.

Beauty Shot-

This is a simple head shot where the model is photographed with a modest hairstyle and very natural looking makeup.

Billing Form-

A form used by models to record the names of clients, job descriptions, hours worked, expenses, and pay rate(s).


A model’s portfolio of photos.


The person who books and schedules appointments for models.


Someone who tracks income and expenses of modeling.


This is an arrangement where a client will issue a model a one-time payment for their work, rather than residual payments. Very often used for freelance models.

Call Back-

This is a second audition/go-see before the client makes their final hiring decision. A Call Back is used to view the model one final time.

Commercial Model-

A Commercial Model is a model that can be booked regardless of age, size, or weight. Commercial models do not work in the realm of high fashion and instead are often seen in various media ads.

Comp Card-

This card contains the model’s stats, photos, and contact information.

Contact Sheet-

A contact sheet is a roll of film developed by the photographer. The photos are arranged on this sheet so that they can be easily viewed and selected.

Copy Book-

This is another copy of a model’s portfolio.

Editorial Models-

These are the high fashion models that appear on elite fashion magazines and wear designer products.

Editorial Print-

This type of print consists of models shown in fashion magazines.

Fit Model-

This type of models has the perfect body structure for modeling, but not necessarily the face or vibe of a print model. Fit models are utilized by designers and fashion houses.


This is a model who works without any agency/agent/manager representation.


A mass-interview where a bunch of models go to a client to get hired. This also allows the client to see the model in person as well.

Haute Couture-

This means high fashion in French.

Look Book-

A collection of photos that showcase the designer’s looks for the season.


This is another name for fashion capitals of the world. For example, “Paris,” “Milan,” and “New York” are all markets.

Mother Agent-

This is the modeling agency where the model is first discovered.

New Face-

A model who is new to the agency and is still working to be booked by a client.

Plus Model-

A female model who has bigger proportions and wears a larger size.

Runway Model-

These models specialize in catwalks and live runway shows where the designer wants the models to walk and display their clothing.

Show Card-

A special purpose card that is used to bring attention to modeling agencies.


This is the model’s physical details including height, waist, hips, and bust.

Tear sheet-

A tear sheet is a clip from a magazine or other print job that the model has worked.

Test Photo Shoot-

A test photo shoot is a shoot paid for by the model for them to test different looks, styles, and angles to build their portfolio.


In modeling this term means “very slim”.


An invoice signed by both model and client. At the end of a job, the model will give the voucher to their agency so the model can be paid, and the client can be billed.

#30 Seriously, NEVER PAY TO MODEL!

I am always telling people NEVER pay to model. Now, here is an exact quote from the FORD MODELS website. "You should never pay to attend a casting." You should also never pay a registration fee, or a publication fee. Just never pay to model. Would you pay to work at McDonalds? Would you pay to work as a receptionist? Would you pay to work in a mailroom? Sure, you may take on some modeling jobs that do not pay, as they are basically internships, but they get you somewhere. They get you the experience you need to get one step closer to an actual paying modeling job, and all models do it. Even after their careers have blown up, some models still model for free now and again simply for the promotion of their name and look. You need to stay in the public eye to stay relevant in the modeling world. Oh, and by the way...Ford Models in the 2nd largest modeling agency in the world, so they definitely know what they are talking about.


As a model YOU HAVE TO treat all of those in the businesses and people in the industry with respect. We talk to one another. When a model has given me issues/trouble I let everyone know, via pm not on blast...and other people in the industry grant me the same courtesies and the model essentially becomes "black balled" never to work again. No one wants to work with someone who treats them like crap for doing them the favor of getting them published in a national magazine. No one wants to work with a model who has given negative reviews of anyone in the modeling industry, especially well-known established businesses and people. I have been publishing magazines since 2005. ! 17 years of experience. I have been modeling since I was 11...36 years of experience. You may not like my advice or agree with it, but I share what I KNOW to help everyone, and I NEVER steer anyone in the wrong direction.

#32 Why tear sheets are so important. Modeling tear sheets are a professional backup that almost acts as a resume. The more tear sheets you have, the more valuable, marketable and recognizable you become as a model. It will also get you better jobs and can be seen as a step towards becoming a model full-time.

Tear sheets in the modeling and professional world prove that you 've worked for the companies that you claim to have worked for. They are basically the publication or photographs that have enough corroborating evidence that you 've been published.

#33 If you send your photos to a magazine, send different ones to the other magazines. Stop posting your photos before they are published. If you want to be published, you want to be published in magazines that are successful. Magazines are more successful when they have “never before seen” photos in them. It's a "win win" for you and the magazine!

Decide what type of modeling to pursue. You may be surprised how many avenues there are for professional models: fitness modeling, curve modeling, editorial or commercial modeling, parts modeling, and more. You’ll need different skills—and a different look—depending on the type of model you hope to become.

Create a modeling portfolio. Start by taking a headshot, a full body shot, and (in some cases) a swimwear shot. You can hire a professional photographer or try and find an up-and-coming photographer on Instagram who’s willing to work in trade.

Practice, practice, practice. Professional feedback, particularly in the early stages of your modeling career, is vital. Otherwise, it may be difficult to determine your best angles, poses, and facial expressions. Test shoots are a great place to get experience—and get more material for your portfolio.

Attending model casting calls. Subscribe to an online casting platform like Backstage for listings of local model castings and open calls. Once you arrive, you’ll sign in for a slot—and then it’s up to you to impress the casting team.

Get signed by a modeling agency. Once you’ve built up enough experience to approach an agent about representation, it’s time to do your research. See which agencies represent models like you, as well as what they want in a submission. With an agent on your side, you’ll be able to book bigger, higher-profile modeling jobs.

Start by putting together a look book. A large monetary investment may be necessary; however, a look book is an absolute necessity for a magazine model. You need a book of photos showing you in a range of moods and positions as well as different fashions. You also need close-up pictures of your face, some with makeup and others displaying your natural beauty. Your look book will help magazine editors see you in a range of styles and poses and help them to decide if you would be a good choice to grace the pages of their publication.

Take on as many TFP (trade for print or trade for photograph) assignments as possible in the beginning. The more pictures you can gather for your book, the better. Many photographers are in the same position, needing a variety of photos for their personal portfolios. Therefore, models and photographers often work together in what is known as a TFP (trade for pictures) agreement. As a magazine model, you can never have too many photographs, and with this arrangement, you do not have to continue to shell out money to get new, updated pics for your look book.

Start shopping your pictures around to local and regional magazines. Exposure is the key when trying to become a successful magazine model. The more exposure you have, the more likely it is that you will be picked up by increasingly larger publications. When starting out, take on as many local and regional assignments as possible. Doing so will give you some additional modeling experience and make it that much easier to market yourself as a professional magazine model.

Put together your own website, complete with an online portfolio. These days, everything is done online, so along with a look book, you will also need a website. The site should primarily consist of photographs as well as contact and booking information. Be sure to keep it updated often with your newest photos and latest magazine spreads. 

Put together a contact list of the booking editors of every major magazine and begin sending them pictures for consideration. You can either scour trade publications for open magazine model auditions or send unsolicited packages to booking editors. The combination of both methods is what can actually get you work; if your photos are striking enough, booking editors may just give you a shot, despite the fact that you sent unsolicited photos. On the other hand, it is important to stay on top of the latest auditions and model calls because you may just have the perfect look for a certain type of shoot.

Once you begin to get work, hire an agent or sign with an agency. At first, it is unnecessary to spend money you are not making on an agent. Most magazine models do not sign with an agency at the beginning of their careers. However, once you begin to see modest successes, then you should go ahead and start making inquiries to agencies. You might also consider going to an individual agent versus an agency for the opportunity to get more individualized attention.

Match your modeling goals to your body type. Technically, anybody can be a model. However, if you don't meet certain requirements, the work available to you will be incredibly limited or you may have to compensate in other areas (reliability, technique, etc.)

A Plus-Sized Model: If your body is full and curvaceous, you may be able to be a plus size model.

A Runway Model: Most women on the catwalk are at least 5'8 and commonly small-breasted. Men are mostly between 5'11 and 6'2.

A Print Model: Most editorial female models are at least 5'7, but a beautiful face with great personality are the most important features for print models.

An Underwear Model: For women, this requires large breasts but small hips. For men, this requires broad shoulders but slim waists.

An Alternative Model: Some agencies hire alternative models: models who do not conform to the industry “standards” of beauty, height, and weight. Additionally, having a specific passion or cause that you're working towards can help open doors that may be closed due based on a body feature that does not “fit industry standards”.

Other Types of Modeling: If you don't fit any of the face or body descriptions, perhaps you can be a foot, hair, or hand model.

Educate yourself about the industry. Learn as much as you can from reading books, blogs, and articles about modeling. Reading quality guides, articles, and books will help you improve important skills (like posing and posture) and better understand how the industry works (such as how to find an agent).

Also research reputable agencies that place models in high-profile places, such as magazines and fashion shows.

The modeling business is not just about looking great; you must fit the need of specific jobs just in order to get a chance. Modeling is only for serious people who carry unique looks and characteristics. Since there are so many people trying to become models in today's world, it's very challenging to get into the industry. Success will only come with patience and perseverance.

Take your measurements and know your stats. This information can help modeling agencies place you. Knowing the information off the top of your head will help you seem professional when you are speaking with an agency or potential client.

The most basic measurements to know are your height, weight, and shoe size.

You should also know your clothing measurements such as dress size, hip, waist, chest/bust, etc.

Your personal stats include information such as hair color, eye color, and skin tone.

Be wary of scams. Try to research the reputation of a modeling agency prior to an open call or interview. Too many people don't know about the business and end up getting conned.

No agency should be asking you for more than $20 when meeting you. The agency will charge you a commission when you model but shouldn't get much up front. If they ask for hundreds of dollars from you before you do any work, walk away.

Do not sign consent forms without consulting your agent. A client may ask you to sign paperwork or consent forms. Before you sign, be sure to ask for a copy to share with your agent. You do not want to sign a form that gives a photographer or client more power over your actions or images than they should have.

Similarly, do not sign a contract with an agency unless the agency and the contract both seem legitimate. If you are not sure whether the contract is good, have an attorney or an experienced model read over it for you.

A good agent should have your best interests in mind. She should help you navigate the legal issues in any given contract.

Confirm whether there will be a make-up artist (MUA) on site. Sometimes you are expected to bring certain things with you (such as base foundation) and if they don't have a makeup artist booked, you need to prepare accordingly. You may want to keep an emergency makeup kit with you so that you can do your own makeup if necessary, even if a MUA is supposed to be present.

Do not sign consent forms without consulting your agent. A client may ask you to sign paperwork or consent forms. Before you sign, be sure to ask for a copy to share with your agent. You do not want to sign a form that gives a photographer or client more power over your actions or images than they should have.

Similarly, do not sign a contract with an agency unless the agency and the contract both seem legitimate. If you are not sure whether the contract is good, have an attorney or an experienced model read over it for you.

A good agent should have your best interests in mind. She should help you navigate the legal issues in any given contract.

Be truthful about your measurements. Don't say you're skinnier than you are just to get a shoot. Once there, the stylist will have problems fitting you and the truth will come out. You could potentially lose future jobs due to word of mouth, and you could find yourself without a career!

Be professional, polite, and courteous. Remember that, even though you're not working in an office, you need to be professional. Treat the people you work with respectfully. You never know who they know or what sort of a recommendation they might give of you. Never look down on anyone. You may be a model, but that doesn't give you the right to be snooty, affected, or pompous.

Always show up on time for any appointment or shoot. If you're late or rude, your reputation may precede you and nobody will want to work with you.

Be organized. Models often get called to places at the last minute and have very busy days. You need to be on top of things if you want to succeed. Buying a day-to-day planner can really help.

Develop professional relationships with photographers. You help the photographer look great, and they will help you look great. It's a win-win situation, so be sure to treat photographers with respect.

Treat modeling like a real job. Individuals who don't take it seriously have small chances of succeeding in their modeling career. Realize that it is harder than it appears and there's a lot of work behind all the glitz and glamour you see at fashion shows. Modeling is a full-time occupation that requires constant attention. One week away from it and your career can be over.

Understand that modeling has only a small window of opportunity, and even if you take a short break, you may never be able to return. Models usually only work in the business for a limited amount of time. If you become famous inside of the business, you may be able to extend your career.

Be creative on the job. Photographers want to see you pose in various poses with different props and backdrops. Changeability is key, so work for the camera and interact with the world around yourself. Listen to the photographer's recommendations, but don't be afraid to try your own poses or attitude as well. Similarly, runway coordinators want you to put attitude in your walk or to project a very specific emotion.

One important thing to have in today’s modeling world is a social media presence. There are plenty of brands that will not consider casting a model in a campaign unless they have a sizable Instagram following. Likewise, if you can build up your social media presence, a big modeling agency will be more likely to sign you. Girls like Jasmine Sanders, Alexis Ren and Meredith Mickelson rose their modeling profile thanks to their Instagram engagement. So how do you go about building up your Instagram following? Make sure to be active, commenting on popular Instagram accounts and update your own page at least three times a week.

If you are lucky enough to get signed, you should also be aware of all the difficulties that come along with the job. Depending on the jobs you book, traveling can take you away from home a lot. Rejection is also something, especially at the beginning of the career, you need to get used to. Even if signed, some models still have part-time jobs to make it. This is why we recommend having a backup plan just in case your modeling career doesn’t pan out. However, if you manage to make it, there is a world of opportunities. Models like Gisele Bundchen, Tyra Banks and Iman have transformed their looks into lucrative careers with their business smarts. Always, think ahead!

More tips to come…


-Molly Roxx

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