How to Become a Model

andrewwilsonstudios-commercial-atlanta-portrait-headshots-glamour-model-photography-photoessay-photography-0132Modeling is an exciting and captivating business that is truly unique to any other type of business.

Did you notice that I used the word “business” twice in the previous sentence?  Modeling is a business that comes with the responsibility of being reliable and professional.  Too many people get caught up in the glamorous part of the business and overlook the fact that modeling is more than just a game with very competitive adversaries.   This means that it is up to each model to make the rounds, stay in shape and to be at the top of their game when the opportunity happens.    If you are ready for the challenge of operating and managing your modeling career as a business, then you are ready to become a model.

All model or talent agencies have certain niche clients and are either fashion or commercial based.  The first step that you need to do is to fairly evaluate yourself to determine which type of model niche best fits you based on your qualifications and realistic goals.  Teen and adult fashion models may have to meet certain height and weight requirements to be considered for high fashion work.   Commercial Talent Agencies provide professional talent for the film, video, commercial, fashion and television industries as well as the voice-over, new media, print and trade show markets.   All of the Talent Agencies  desire models that are professional and have a strong work ethic.   After you have analyzed your direction and qualifications, it is time to take the next step in achieving your goal of becoming “The Next Glamour Model”.

The biggest myth in the modeling business is that you need a portfolio before you can become a model.  The reality is that you will only need a professional headshot and/or a composite from pro photographers like Andrew Wilson Studios to get started!  A portfolio by definition is a flat case that represents your most creative work.  Since you are just starting, you probably have not even created your most impressive image yet, so don’t sweat it now.  A model will ultimately need a portfolio to showcase their best images and tear sheets but it is not required or expected when you are just beginning.   A small 5.5×8 printed composite featuring your name, stats and a variety of 3 – 5 quality images or an 8×10 copy of your best headshot (with your name on it) are preferable when contacting an agent.   Beware of companies (or “agencies”) that have their “own photographer” and that want to charge you to shoot a “portfolio”.   These pictures will probably be substandard and will not get you to the next level.

The other myth is that you need training from a “model school” to be a model.  When you shoot with top photographers and makeup artists, you will learn almost everything that you need from them.  Professional Fashion and Commercial Photographers like Andrew Wilson Studios know how to pose and work with models of all experience levels so it is to your advantage to shoot and learn from them. The only formal training that Andrew Wilson Studios suggests is the Alliance Theatre Acting Program which is taught by working professionals for stage, film, and television acting.

There are a number of “online agencies” and online model sites that you can showcase your images but be prepared to do an extensive amount of screening before you accept any shoots or job offers.  Unfortunately not all of the “photographers” on those sites are reputable and the images that you post on those sites may end up on other sites.  There are ways to prevent this from happening and we can help you with the steps and procedures to do this.   Do not reveal any of your personal contact information on any of these sites and please communicate by email only!

Always take an escort when meeting with or shooting with an unknown photographer.

Do not sell yourself short….and do not expect the impossible unless you are prepared to make it happen!




About Andrew Wilson

Atlanta Photographer Andrew Wilson, with over 25 years behind the camera, shoots weddings, fashion, celebrities, cosmetics, advertising, commercial, interiors, music covers, lifestyle, movie posters, magazine editorial, model portfolios, actors headshots, and personal portraits of all types.