Thinking to break into the modeling arena? Don’t think that you only have to be handsome to become a model. It takes a lot more than that. You will need to grow a thick skin and have a lot of self-confidence as you will be facing a lot of rejection, on a regular basis and be challenged in many more ways you may have imagined. Remember, there is something for everyone in the modeling world. That industry has many niches and specialties ( i.e. : fitting modelling, body parts modelling, body doubles, editorial, catwalks, commercial modelling). So, you can always find at least one that will fit your look and personality.
What are your best attributes?
If you are aspiring to be a model, try to find your best attributes and how to best feature them in pictures but also in the way you dress. The fashion industry in UK generally favours men whose height will be between 5’11” and 6’3” (for catwalks, although more and more designers try to be more inclusive but for the most part, this will apply for high fashion shows); chest around 39-40 inches, and waist measuring 29 to 32 inches. Other European countries such as France or Italy will tend to favour slightly taller men (6ft and above). When it comes to commercial modelling, your height will not be such a deal breaker as your image will be used on TV, print or online where it will be easier to make you look taller than you are.
So, do not get put off or discourage if you do not meet the height requirements. The rules of the game are always changing, and your look and personality will always matter more than anything else. Stand in front of a mirror and practice different poses, this will be also great help to feel comfortable in front of a camera and whilst on a job.
Be groomed, be styled
Lastly but more importantly, be groomed at all times: Take care of your skin, your hair and your teeth. Your overall body hygiene and presentation will be key in getting you jobs and getting booked over and over again. Eat a nutritious but healthy diet and work out regularly to maintain your physique. As for your style, especially if attending castings or model walk ins with modelling agencies, whilst trying to get signed, try to always wear fitted clothes and neutral colours (fitted tee-shirts, fitted jeans, fitted jacket and shoes you are most comfortable walking in)
Build a portfolio
You can start by getting some selfies and party snaps with your smartphone in order to see what you will look on camera once you have perfected various facial expressions. You might even invest in a tripod and ring light in order to take various pictures in different outfits in order to practice various poses in different settings.
Once you feel ready, you may choose to hire a photographer or find one who is building his portfolio if you cannot afford to pay for the service and to get yourself booked on a TFP basis (Time For Print), which means that you will shoot with a photographer who will work for free in exchange of your images, so the both of you can build your respective portfolios.
Curate your portfolio in both hard (print) and soft copies (online) as strong look book goes a long way to attract the casting agents, prospective photographers for test shoots, especially when you are not signed with an agency.
Your modeling portfolio must be made with captivating headshots and a mixture of both studio and outdoor images. Whatever you do, it must look natural, effortless and attractive.
Facial hairs if any, should always be groomed to showcase your facial structure. Full body shots must also be in the portfolio. Never cover your body with too many layers. And do not forget that less, is often more… simple looks with smart casual wear garments can really paint a strong picture.
Incorporate various theme in your portfolio ( i.e. : high fashion, street wear, casual, under wear, beauty shots/male grooming), this will make it more appealing and demonstrates your versatility.
The real hustle
Now that you have some kind of modeling portfolio, you must go out and play. Who knows that you will not be the next supermodel? So, until then, you must advocate and advertise yourself in order to get the break. Create a strong presence on social media, especially Instagram. Some agencies also organise casting calls or go-sees interviews for models. Connect with fashion photographers and fellow models, online or network during events in order to enlarge your pool of contacts, these might come handy during casting calls. Everybody knows someone who knows someone. And until you eventually get signed with an agency, you may choose to sign up with online casting jobs boards in order to apply directly for opportunities.
Until next time guys 👋
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