How To Become A Model: Your Ultimate Guide

Your one-stop guide to make the streets your runway and the world your oyster.

Reviewed by Jeffrey Ampratwum, Fashion Stylist Jeffrey Ampratwum Jeffrey AmpratwumFashion Stylist twitter_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Beauty & Lifestyle Writer Sushmita Barman Beauty & Lifestyle Writer
Edited by , Associate Editor Shatabdi Bhattacharya Associate Editor Experience: 2.5 years
Fact-checked by , Beauty & Lifestyle Writer Anu Pallavi Beauty & Lifestyle Writer

When asked, “how to become a model?”, most people would say that “looks” are the greatest asset for models. And they are not entirely wrong. You see, looks are the primary value proposition in the modeling industry. However, it takes more than just looks if you aim to be a supermodel and have a successful modeling career. First, you have to know what sells products and then understand the business’s nitty-gritty. That is why industry giants give the most attention to models like Giselle Bundchen, Heidi Klum, or Jerry Hall.

Below are the basic requirements that you would need to meet to have a shot at becoming a model. Following these would help you understand how to be a model and what it takes to stay at the top. Keep scrolling!

protip_icon Ace The Look
  • Dressing: Invest in high-end classic clothing pieces, such as denims, black dresses, blazers, and knitwear—these pieces never got out of style.
  • Makeup: To accentuate your natural beauty while retaining a youthful appearance, emphasize neatly groomed eyebrows, use mild contouring and highlighting, and choose soft or neutral lip colors.
  • Accessories: To elevate your look, experiment with bold sunglasses, layered necklaces, structured handbags, or statement belts and headbands.
  • Footwear: Invest in stylish and versatile footwear like white sneakers, ankle boots, or sleek pumps that complement a variety of outfits.

What Does A Model Do?

What Does A Model Do
Image: Shutterstock

The first thing that a model does is go to castings. Whenever a designer or photographer wants a new look for their collection, they will call modeling agencies and ask them if any of their models have the ‘look’ they are going for. For instance, the designer may need a girl with red hair and freckles or a guy with a particular body type.

Sometimes designers may want to portray an image of perfection. So, they will choose models who have no physical flaws. It would be the case if the designer wanted a model for a high-fashion project.

At other times, designers will choose models who are not quite perfect but closer to real-life standards. For instance, you might be chosen if you have a great smile that would go well with clothes designed for younger people, or your thick eyebrows might fit something designed for an older audience. In short, a designer might ask for anybody from thin to average to heavy as long as the model has a certain look that will complement their vision of what they are trying to create.

Ashlyn, a model and blogger, shared her experience of modeling on her blog. She says that small-time designers are more adaptable, discussing one of her shoots, “Our audience was small, and my designer was kind and accommodating. She allowed us to bring our own wigs or style our own hair/makeup.” She also went on to break down what the work of a model actually consists of with an encouraging note, stating, “Modeling is tough! It is physically and emotionally tiring because 90% of fashion shows consist of waiting around. Waiting for everyone to arrive, waiting for makeup artists, waiting for hair stylists, waiting for outfit inspections, waiting for practice runs, waiting for professional photos, waiting for the show to start, waiting for your turn on the runway, waiting for the show to end. So much waiting! But it is also so rewarding. I have made friends from these shows, gained a lot of experiences and memories, and got to meet wonderful designers and models from Japan (i).”

protip_icon Quick Tip
Recognize your strengths and reflect your confidence in your body language because it can play a big role in becoming a successful model.

Furthermore, there are different types of fashion models based on their work and the audience they target. Head to the next section to know all about them.

Types Of Fashion Models

Types Of Fashion Models
Image: Shutterstock

Fashion is a broad field, and stylistic preferences vary drastically from one person to the next. Therefore, there are five important categories of fashion models, as mentioned below:

  • Beauty/Glamor Models

Beauty or glamor models sell the idea of the product. They should ideally have attractive, soft, smooth, and clear skin. Beauty models are hired to make products look good. Their main purpose is to be pretty and demonstrate what a product will do for the consumer if they buy and use it.

Sometimes, beauty modeling can be as simple as just having perfect skin or hair, and the product is shown as an accessory that you can use to keep up with your beauty.

  • Runway/Fashion Models

A runway model showcases how the designer’s clothing will look on someone and how it is supposed to fit. For instance, if there is a new line of women’s jeans and jackets. They might bring in a thin and tall model, representing the target consumer base. It also goes to show that extreme sizes do not restrict the clothes.

For yoga pants, sunglasses, or cute hats, the designer may choose a model who looks more mature but also athletic and hip. Their style has a younger flair, but their age makes them appealing to an older crowd. In this case, it is not about what they wear but how they carry them.

The audience should be able to look at the runway model and visualize themselves in the clothes. So, it is important to bring in the right type of model to wear your creations so that people can see how it is supposed to look on them.

  • Editorial/ Print Models

An editorial model showcases clothes created by designers and international fashion houses on the cover of high-fashion magazines. These jobs take place in studios or outdoor locations.

  • Body Types/Diversity Models

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Image: Shutterstock

The beauty and fashion modeling industry has diversified now. Models come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors. In the past, fashion models were usually tall, white women with abs of steel and long legs. But today, the field has opened up to a more diverse group of people.

You will also find advertisements that don’t use a single model and instead show representations of various sizes and shapes. It helps demonstrate that people of different shapes and sizes can wear the clothing.

  • Commercial Models

Commercial models are usually very attractive and have special skills to help sell the products. The purpose of commercial models is to show products being used properly. They could explain how much better their product is than the competitor’s, or they could just show the products you know and love. They demonstrate how buying the product can make your life better. The main purpose of commercial models is to show you how awesome their product is.

  • Catalog Models

Catalog models are people who work as product or clothing models for catalogs, online retailers, or advertising materials. They are selected according to predetermined standards, including height and general look that complement the target market and the brand’s aesthetic. These models often work in a studio environment, posing for pictures that feature the products the company wishes to market.

They usually have an adaptable demeanor that can fit into various styles. To successfully portray the desired style of the catalog, they need to be flexible and varied in their poses, facial expressions, and body language. This particular niche in the modeling industry prioritizes consistency and the capacity to properly highlight the products.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Find a modeling agency that seems a good fit and submit your digital and relevant experience.

Once you have decided on the kind of model you want to become, you can work on the core skills needed in the profession. Check out the next section to know all about them.

10 Tips On How To Become A Model

10 Tips On How To Become A Model
Image: Shutterstock
  • Learn To Walk Gracefully

Models are usually expected to walk the runway with style and elegance. It means getting rid of any weird movements you might have, like hanging your hands at your sides or swinging your arms back and forth. Instead, practice making entrances for things, and pretend you are on a runway by strutting instead of walking. This is also what they teach in modeling schools.

  • Work On Your Facial Expressions

Learn how to emote for photos so that you can sell a product better and be more impressive on the runway or the screen.

  • Get A Tan 

Or, if you don’t want to get a tan, use bronzer or some other spray-on tan product. You can also choose products that make your skin darker naturally.

  • Your Clothes Should Fit Your Body

They should look like they are the right size. Make sure you are not unprofessionally dressed when meeting casting directors or producers. Avoid too big or ill-fitting clothing because it can make you look much larger than you are when on camera or in a photo.

  • Wear The Right Amount Of Accessories 

If you are unsure what that ’right amount’ means, ask your photographer or stylist for advice.

  • Hair Should Be Clean And Styled 
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Image: Shutterstock

If you have curly hair, try to style and manage it to look good rather than unruly on camera or in photos. If you have straight hair, maintain your mane’s volume and give them a clean hairstyle.

  • Practice Posing

You can do this in front of a mirror to see what you look like when you are on the camera, taking photos, or in modeling competitions. Memorize poses that accentuate your best features, but don’t be afraid to try new things because sometimes new poses can look great too.

  • Try To Look Natural And and Friendly

You don’t want the camera to capture a photo of you looking angry, sad, or intense because those emotions are not very attractive. The general idea is that models should always look happy and confident in their photos. If you don’t feel confident about your abilities, pretend until you do.

  • Make Sure Your Photos Are Edited Well

You can hire someone to edit your photos or if you know how to do it, feel free to edit them yourself. The photos should be edited so that the background looks as neutral and uncluttered as possible. That way, the viewer can focus on you and your face.

  • Build Your Portfolio

Have about thirty to fifty of your best photos ready for when you go on an interview or on modeling auditions. Use a modeling portfolio that is simple and professional-looking, but one that shows off your personality well to get a modeling contract.

In A Nutshell

Becoming a model is not as glamorous or easy as people might think, but this article’s modeling tips can help aspiring models. First, remember that modeling is more than just being pretty for pictures — it is about selling products and looking natural on camera. And don’t be afraid to practice posing in front of a mirror until you feel confident enough to walk gracefully down the runway or sell a product confidently. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and become the best model you can be!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the maximum age for modeling?

Modeling is a field where everyone, regardless of age, is welcome to join. Models are chosen depending on the product they are modeling for.

Is modeling a good career?

Modeling enhances your poise and boosts your confidence. It also allows you to travel to different places and interact with creative people. Therefore, modeling is a promising career.

What are some common challenges faced by models and how can I overcome them?

Challenges faced by models include rejection, criticism, successfully navigating the industry, meeting deadlines, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, unpredictable job and income, low self-esteem, etc. You can overcome these by acknowledging that not everyone will like your work, educating yourself about the industry, keeping yourself fit overall rather than focusing on short-term goals, and planning ahead for a rainy day.

How do I network with other professionals in the modeling industry?

Having a good attitude, greeting and treating everyone with respect, and being punctual makes you stand out and helps you socialize with people in the same industry. Start small and let your actions speak for itself.

How important is networking in the modeling industry?

Building connections and maintaining relationships ensures that you have a successful career in the modeling industry. As these connections can help you collaborate with professionals, an opportunity that every budding model looks for, making connections is an indispensable part of the job profile.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when starting a modeling career?

It is important to choose the right agency, photographer and photos for your portfolio, and to read through your contract before signing. Doing these can help you avoid a lot of grief in the long-run.

Key Takeaways

  • Beauty/glamor models, runway/fashion models, body types/diversity models,and commercial models are the four types of models.
  • To become a successful model, practice walking gracefully, learn about and try new facial expressions, and be confident in front of the camera.
  • Make a portfolio consisting of around 30-50 of your best photos. The portfolio should be professional and simple-looking.
how to become a model

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Looking for a guide on how to become a model, with invaluable tips and tricks? Don’t miss out—watch the video now and kickstart your modeling journey.

Personal Experience: Source

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