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sashaparkerBreak in to the experts by the experts. Is it me, or is everyone and their sister a model these days? It seems that in order to gain this coveted title, all you need to do is get out your digital camera, or take a few pictures for an hour in a photographic studio and then pop them onto MySpace or Facebook – and, just like that, you can call yourself a model.

But, is it really that easy? Is this how you become a recognised and respected model within this fast paced industry? If you are a model, what type of model do you consider yourself to be? Where do you fit in the industry? And, most importantly, are you going about your career in the best, possible way? Here’s a little information from the experts to help aspiring models on their way.

Urban, Glamour, Video or Promotional Model
These are the kind of models who feature in magazines such as: King Magazine (RIP), Smooth, XXL or UK equivalents such as: Nuts, FHM and Loaded. Many of the actresses and successful TV personalities you see today have originated from these types of modelling jobs. Famous names include Lisa Rae, Lauren London and Maya Campbell.

You need to be confident and have a sexy, curvaceous body type and the best way to get into this  type of modelling is to firstly get professional photographs taken. Of course, this can at times, be a costly process. However, to begin with you can work with photographers in your local area by joining modelling networking sites such as Model Mayhem. This website enables you to get in contact with not only photographers, but also make-up artists, stylists and designers who you can work with in the beginning on a Time For Prints (TFP) or Time For CD basis until you build a strong portfolio. You have more time in front of the camera and the whole process will boost your confidence.

Widen your network
You should then widen your network by opening a Facebook, Bebo or MySpace page so that you can showcase your pictures. These sites are also helpful for finding out about castings that are taking place in your area. You can also widen your network further by creating a group, a fansite or an online blog to make people aware of who you are.

Try to attend networking events or photoshoots, and if you come across any modelling competitions or beauty pageants, get involved.

Catalogue Model
To be a catalogue Model you need to be healthy, have a commercial look,  a good smile and clear complexion and be at least 5ft 5 plus.
It is vital that you are signed to an agency. It is very easy to get contact details such as agency emails, telephone numbers and websites by using search engines such as Google and Yahoo but here are a few suggestions. Try Colours Agency (www.coloursagency.com) and  Reality Check Management (www.realitycheckmanagement.com).

nell-robinsonCatwalk Model
To be a catwalk model you must do your research on reputable agencies. Most of them have walk-in days that you can attend. You don’t have to have a portfolio to hand as they often want to see you fresh-faced, and as natural as possible. Most, if not every agency will take a Polaroid picture of you. Try to enter competitions too.

Many mainstream magazines such as Elle, Red, Look and Marie Claire all run competitions looking for their next cover girl or the next catwalk sensation. Try to use networking websites to your benefit by widening your circle and getting feedback from others. Try to also get onto sites like Net Portfolio to find out about model castings. Some models think that by just having the right look or being the correct height means that half the battle is won. However, as a catwalk model you need to know how to walk. There are many modelling workshops run by respected agencies all over the UK. Try to do your research on which workshop best fits your budget. You can also find videos showing you how to walk on You Tube, so you can also practice in your own time.

Supermodel
Elite, Select Model Management, Boss Model Management and BMA Models are respected modelling agencies that represent some of the best models in the business.  Remember, to research the industries current trends, and research other models who have successfully carved out modelling careers for inspiration. Don’t get upset if it feels like you’re not getting  anywhere. It’s not an easy career choice, so be prepared for rejection but look after yourself by keeping in shape and eating healthily. Work at having a clear complexion as you never know when you could get spotted. Jordan Dunn got spotted in Primark and Naomi Campbell got spotted walking in Streatham, so tomorrow could be your turn.

Words by Sasha ‘Miss Flavour 2008’ Bennett

1 COMMENT

  1. as an initial starting point for anyone thinking about entering a modelling career, this article certainly give great guidance.

    However, as a photographer at iDeLick Media, I have found that there has been a rise in usage of black models and general people for body types and general hand and leg modelling.

    Some of the work I have been involved with favoured dark skin models as the items of jewellery and accessories contrast well. As I am use to taking art direction, I am only guessing that the logic for this favourable choice is apparent.

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