How to Get Started In Modeling

It’s a job people dream of – going to exotic locations, appearing in magazines, modeling new outfits with a stylist and makeup artist is tow. I mean, seriously, getting paid to have your photograph taken, is that a job? Yes it is! Or how would you like to walk on runways in beautiful dresses or haute couture; all eyes on you. Sounds like fun? Sound like your dream job? Is this something you really want to do? Whilst modeling certainly can be a fun and very lucrative career, most modeling careers do not “just happen.” A lot of hard work and dedication is required in order to achieve the goal of becoming a model and very few people are scouted on the street or found on social media (though there are several exceptions).

So if you want to make modeling your career how do you start if you’re not scouted on your local high street or in your local mall, or are not suddenly propelled to fame by your social media pages? Well, there are a few ways.

Model: Maria Eriksson; Photographer: Kris Sipes


Let’s start by first of all researching the modeling industry. Are you sure you want to get into this business and if so what are you willing to do and not do? Get this clear in your head before you even begin. The industry is highly competitive, you will face a lot of rejection, you may not look the part for certain markets you may be interested in and you may be required to relocate to another city, state or even country. Is this something you really want to do? If so, carry on reading but if one or more of the above make the industry sound like a nightmare to you, or not what you first thought, you should perhaps consider something else.

Modeling Agencies

If you decided you want to be a model more than anything and are willing to potentially relocate and ready for the hard work it will require, the first thing I recommend is approaching an agency in your area. Research the agencies first and make sure they have a good reputation. Next have some very simple shots with little to no makeup and a simple outfit such as plain tank and leggings taken. These do not have to be professional photographs – on your iPhone will suffice but make sure the light is good and even (no shadows half way across your body or face etc and take them against plain white wall). Read the agencies submission guidelines and follow them. Some agencies may hold an open call too, which means you can go in and meet an agent to see what they think of your look.

Model: Maria Eriksson

Modeling Contests

Modeling contests can also be a way into the industry. Find some in your local area or nationwide ones and compete. If nothing else you will learn very quickly the basics of modeling, posing, poise and etiquette. Though this route may be expensive and time consuming it may bring you in contact with people already signed with agencies with whom you can talk to and garner advice from.

Modeling Schools and Model Coaches

Modeling schools and coaching can also be a very effective way to learn quickly about the modeling business. Find a legitimate and experienced school and/or coach and gain advice from people in the know. This could save you lots of time and money on areas of the industry your look may not be suitable for and they may also have contacts with which to help guide you towards.

Model: Maria Eriksson

Modeling and Photography Websites

Thanks to the internet there are also now plenty of websites helping match talent with casting directors and jobs. For use of these sites to kick start your modeling career I would highly recommend paying an experienced professional photographer for portfolio photographs – choose a photographer who has lots of published work and good reviews. Always check references and remember that an email from someone on the internet may not be real and not always what you think (or hope and dream!). You may get many emails asking you to model for companies who are not legitimate – many unscrupulous individuals use the web to pose as legitimate photographers, companies, casting directors or agencies, so be sure to do your research and find facts – do not base these communications on your hopes!

As you can see there are many options to help you get started in the modeling industry. Very few models will suddenly gain part-time, let alone full-time work in this highly competitive industry, but research and information gathering from many sources could help get you on the right track faster!

The Model Educator is an experienced model with a decade of experience in the modeling industry from all over the world ranging from agency to freelance work. Her expertise spans numerous countries and her aim is to keep models safe and expedite a modeling career by coaching individuals and parents of models with truthful, impartial and solid advice. Contact her today at [email protected] and today for a free 15 minute initial consultation.

Maria Eriksson

Maria Eriksson is a three-time international Playboy centerfold (Croatia 2010, Singapore 2011 and South Africa 2013). She has appeared on magazine covers and billboards, walked in runway shows and appeared in both FHM and Playboy’s Top 100 lists. Maria used to be a high school science teacher and has a Master’s degree. She was born in the United Kingdom but currently lives in Los Angeles, California. She has lived in many countries working as a professional full-time model. Her articles have appeared in magazines around the world. For more information please visit

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