New to the Lens – Tips for Beginner Models
Every day women and girls of all shapes and sizes look at pictures of beautiful women in magazines and advertisements and tell themselves that they want to be that woman. They want to be one of those models they see on their magazine covers or their local billboard one day. While many have what it takes to work in the modeling industry, taking that first step to get involved is never easy. How do you get started in the industry and find opportunities to become the cover model they want to be?
Everything starts when someone decides to start modeling. While you may have the looks and beauty to become a model, that one factor isn’t all you need to make it. So what does one need to get noticed?
• Attitude is one of the biggest factors when you first start. Many of the women I’ve seen make it big in the industry are daring and fearless. They seize opportunities and are not afraid to embarrass themselves. When they try something new, you would never know how they present themselves. You have to have this attitude in everything you do, and people will start paying attention to you – I can’t stress this enough.
• Networking is essential in this industry. Finding the right websites to meet others and get yourself out there is the first step to getting noticed by those who can take you somewhere. Social media sites allow you to search for groups and individuals in the industry to connect with, and that alone is enough to get you started. After that, local events where many photographers, promoters, and other models attend are a good place to meet people who can help you.
• Don’t fall for gimmicks! While many modeling companies advertise their budding modeling courses or clinics, half the time, they are there to trick hopefuls into spending tons of money with very little or no result. I’ve seen budding models spend thousands of dollars on travel and lodging to participate in so-called “paid” photoshoots only to find out that their payment is to keep the images. In rare cases, there is payment, but those “starting opportunities” result in the new model only recouping 10% or less of the cost. Be sure to do your research on clinics you pay for.
• Above, I said that your appearance is not enough to get you in, but they play a big part. Sometimes, an extremely beautiful woman finds her way in the industry solely on looks, but that is a very small percentage of the models. Yet you can’t be a model if you don’t have the look that a photographer or a studio is looking for. However, don’t be discouraged! There are many different types of models and looks that people are looking for, so if you combine your attitude, networking skills, and style, you are sure to find someone who thinks you are exactly what they need.
FIND YOUR OPPORTUNITIES
Everyone has to start somewhere; it’s just a matter of where. Many communities and cities have local modeling agencies and studios that beginners can go to get some prints and some advice. Usually, there are also local events and competitions that you can participate in to connect with others. Remember, there’s always the internet for anything you can’t find in your community.
• Learn more about your town or city and attend events. There are people to take pictures of on almost every occasion, and those pictures are posted all over social media sites and websites. If you can feature yourself on some of those sites with a link to your profile, you’ve found a way in. Examples of events include pageants, bikini contests, open calls, art/music festivals, etc. Not only do these events give access to other members of the community who are interested in the same thing as you, but it’s free advertising if you can let yourself mention it on a web page with your photo there.
• Build a portfolio and keep it ready. A portfolio consists of different styles of photos with different looks. These images are given to potential employers or agencies you are applying to so that they can see other aspects of you and your appearance. You will find that when an opportunity to shoot with someone presents itself, they will usually ask for your portfolio. Go ahead and get one of these finished – you’ll probably have to pay some money for good printouts and electronic copies, but hopefully, the work that comes out of these images will pay off in no time.
• The Internet is a very powerful source of information – use it to your advantage! Find different poses and facial expressions and practice them in front of a mirror. Many sites give budding models tips on behaving and posing – read them all! The more you know, the better, and people will notice your industry knowledge, and your attitude will change with more practice and expertise. Advertise yourself on social media sites, build your website, connect with others and do your research – the more you are in the market, the more exposure you get. You can apply for many different things by submitting a few photos of yourself to the competition, and sometimes you can even apply online for modeling jobs. The possibilities are endless on the World Wide Web.
Now that you have an idea of what to look out for and get started in the industry, go ahead and make it happen. Start researching currently to find someone to photograph your portfolio for you. Find out more about agencies near you and start applying. You have to go into these things as if you have nothing to lose – remember that bold and fearless attitude you will have! Just take these last few tips with you when you start navigating your way around the modeling industry.
• No matter how nice you are or how well you do, people will always try to put you down. Don’t let this go to your head. Take this as a sign that you are doing something right and use these negative reactions as fuel to take you to bigger and better things.
• Never do anything you don’t feel comfortable with. Many people are abused in this industry – don’t let that be you. Be smart and safe and only be around people you feel satisfied with. Avoid situations that can be dangerous or end up with more loss than gain.
• Have fun! If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong. You have to express yourself and enjoy doing it. If you’re not happy about being photographed or being watched by others, this may not be the industry for you.