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HOW TO BECOME A MODEL: TIPS & HELP | BECOME A MODEL #1

 

Become A Model – The career of a model is fast: for younger models the starting of modelling with an agency is the safest way to succeed. But there are stumbling blocks. We are now looking at these, from reputation to application and the different types of modelling agencies.


Looking for the best modeling agency?
Reliable clients: Commercial, fashion and events
Become a model: Application
Types of modeling agencies
What is important when I am looking for an agency?
Models will be able to work with or without an agency. It is advisable to have a contract with a good agency though. First of all the agency takes care that you get good jobs – I am highlighting “good” here! The quality and quantity of clients' counts. The modelling agency also takes care that you are only working with reputable clients and show you at your best, especially if you want to work overseas. Then, a modelling agency is important to protect the model against underpayment or anything else like that. They support you if you have questions, tell you where you have to improve. Your model management provides an exclusive network with best contacts, castings and jobs. For a career as a model you should start early. But school and education should still be your first priority. “Being a model” means to invest time in building yourself up. Best case you should look for a good modelling agency at the age of fourteen or fifteen and gather experience step by step. Take two years and do both – modelling and finish school. With the right management by your side, everything will be organised. And so that you find the best agency for you we are now looking at the search of an agency itself.

There are plenty of modelling agencies. Small, big, digital, not known and big players. But how can you find a suitable agency? And when is an agency reputable? Most likely you will look on the Internet. Comfy, easy and great if your agency is not too far from you. Always consider the next bigger city. The bigger the city, the more jobs for models. Some big advertising agencies, companies are located within bigger cities and are space for advertising. Hence look for:

Modeling agency and add…. New York, Paris, Milan, London, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Belgrade, Zagreb, Athens, Sofia, Sarajevo, Skoje, Banja Luka, Podgorica, Ljubljana, etc.
Note > smaller towns are usually not worth it
At the end of the book you will find further recommendations!
You will have some results with that search. Next step: how can you find out if that agency is reputable? There is one possibility: there are lists on the Internet, with all modelling agencies and these are being updated. One example would be the Vogue list or the Lukinski list. You can have look at both – they will list all reliable and reputable agencies. But in addition to that, there are numerous bookers and agents with good contacts, who could help you get your career running. It doesn't matter, as committed model you should look at these agencies yourself, before you send in your application.

Reputable agencies
Agency website?
A reputable agency has a reputable website. A simple and clean design with high quality images and board, and information about the team. Just one more thing: there are agents that have great networks but not an own website or agency.

Level of models?
Look at the model board of an agency and take your time, compare it with other agencies, to evaluate the quality of clients and jobs. These criteria will help: do the models have perfect measurements and an edgy face? Are the images of high quality? Once you have looked at several agency homepages you will soon see the difference between smaller and bigger ones and the respective high quality, exclusive model boards and usual ones. Just ask yourself the question: “do I fit in there?” And then you will find out, which agency is for the high fashion market and which one more for the commercial market.

Reliable clients: Commercial, fashion and events
You will find good information via the model board. Do you know the campaigns or clients? A quick look into the blog of the agency or social media channel will also help.

Experiences?
Dig through the Internet for reviews of other models or clients about the agency in order to get a better impression of the agency (you should read sufficient review and assessments of the agency). Note: consider these assessments as notes but get yourself an own impression. Not every review is the truth and some just cannot stand being rejected and leave bad reviews.

Dubious agencies
Here are some more aspects you should consider when you are looking for an agency for the first time. You can basically always rely on: does the agency work with big clients and international models? If the answer is yes, it is a good agency. And what you can also consider, I summed up for you in the following:

Too many models
A lot of webpages will offer you to work without an agency. Clients will consider quality. If you are listed within an online platform with thousands of semi-professional models, your market value will decrease.

No webpage or devious webpage
At first glance you won't find information about the team, address or registered office of the agency, as well as contact details like the telephone number. In short, if you cannot find out where the agency is located and who works for the agency, it is not reputable.

No requirements
Just being taken into an agency without requirements or meeting. Renowned agencies will always want to meet you. There are official castings or meetings via Skype.

No work with reputable clients
If there is no proof of work with clients, there will be none. So pay attention if the agency is actually active and offers you something.

Application: Now it's up to you!
In some agencies you can apply via form on the website, others prefer emails. Before we look into how to search for agencies we will have a quick look at a template that you can use for all applications via email. You already have your first set of polaroids and your measurements. Now you can write all these details and save them. Send them along with your measurements and pictures. For new faces, polaroids are enough. Here is a checklist for your application:

Name, surname
Address
Email
Phone number
Height
Bust, waist, hips
Clothing size
Shoe size
Hair colour
Eye colour
Now you have everything – measurements, polaroids, application and a list of great agencies. The uniqueness like beautiful eyes or lips, simple edgy marks like a tooth gap or mole, long not coloured hair and your charisma. And self-confidence and positivity. If you meet the requirements of the agency and bookers like you, they will invite you to a meeting into the agency. But wait – what kinds of agencies are there?

Types of modeling agencies
Let us look at the different kinds of agencies. My absolute recommendation for new faces, who want to make it into the international world of high fashion – look for a good renowned mother agency in a big city.

Modelling agencies
As overall term you will mostly find the expression modelling agencies. Agencies always consist of one or more owners with a team around the agency in order to acquire new clients and become bigger and better. The agency takes care about the booking for jobs and with sufficient employees, they also take care of your management and travel planning, tickets and hotel bookings. A modelling agency will get in touch with photographers regarding building up your book. And because of all this, modelling agencies are the usual way for models to get work. Within the world of agencies there are certain types. Whereas modelling platforms take models randomly and have thousands of models on their website, mother agencies take good care about their models and will try to place you internationally. They are more than just “bookers” for you; they are your contact person, who will take care of your career. In big cities you will also find boutique agencies and some unknown model agents, who only represent a few models. However they will take care of their models like a mother agency. In order to give you some insight into the differences of these agencies, look at the following pages:

Model platforms
Model platforms are usually online platforms. Models can register themselves without paying a fee. The promise of these platforms: “With our platform you will find clients without needing an agency! Just get registered”. A simple and beautiful world, but that does not work like that. Of course everybody tries though. But they don't offer their models the building up of their book, no counselling, and no recommendations or network. They earn money with the ads on their webpage and platforms. The platform consists of thousands of models and nobody will evaluate the quality. As a model you should not get resisted on these platforms.

Mother agency
Mother agencies are the total opposite. These agencies focus on the placing and booking of models in international, big agencies. There are mother agencies that only place models into other agencies and don't have any clients at all. These agencies usually exist outside big countries like the US or United States. In bigger countries and fashion capitals, mother agencies are usually both. They place models on the international market and are also actively coordinating your international placement with other agencies. They update their partners with current pictures and organise your options and dates. The offsetting is quite clear – the mother agency gets like a usual management ten per cent of all your payments. And you get access to the network and full service of an agency in exchange, a very good deal. As a high fashion model, who is also able to do commercial work and international designers, a mother agency should be your aim. But mother agencies expect exclusiveness. Therefore, you should really pay attention who represents and who currently manages you. You have to rely on your agency to the fullest, and therefore they should be able to offer you what you need for your career. International contacts of clients and casting agencies, photographers, magazines, a strong model board, which represents your look.

Boutique agency
You will find boutique agencies in all big cities worldwide. They have a particular charm as they only work for clients in the respective city. Such agencies you can find in New York for example. They still have great contacts and sometimes also act as mother agencies.

Booker
You will not find single bookers on the Internet. They work alone, without website and social network. They are managers with their own network, who mostly worked for bigger agencies. Within the course of time they have gathered valuable contacts and experience within the placement of models. This is what they are now doing as bookers. After having worked for big agencies for a couple of years, they now want to work alone. Sometimes they don't even have their own office. They only represent selected models, five, ten or fifteen. That's it. These bookers will scout you on the street, in a café or a fitness studio. Some work from home, others fly with their models around the world. They are also kind of a mother agency and place their models worldwide in big agencies.

That's it!

If you like to read more about the world of modeling, check out these article by our quest author Stephan M. Czaja from Cocaine Models about: Visting Modeling Agencies .

Become A Model – The career of a model is fast: for younger models the starting of modeling with an agency is the safest way to succeed. But there are stumbling blocks. We are now looking at these, from reputation to application and the different types of modeling agencies.

The first visit in your modeling agency
You now have all the details for your perfect application. Let's continue! You made it and you have been invited to the agency for a meeting? Great! Now it is about making a great first impression. How to prepare yourself for the first meeting will be described within the next chapter. As an experienced model, it is mandatory to make a selection of versatile pictures of your book and take them with you or put them on USB. As a new face you don't need pictures, just the right outfit and being on time. The first impression counts and the trained eyes of the owners of an agency are enough. They will catch everything. Do yourself a favor and go to sleep early the night before the meeting. Enough sleep will help you represent yourself at your best at the agency. You should also be well groomed and natural. Just a bit of make up and a simple, yet clean and tight outfit – like for your polaroids. Further criteria for a great first impression: be positive and happy! Be happy that you have been invited and can introduce yourself to the agency, That is a further step. Great, positive vibes, and you are halfway there, because the booker will look at you the same way as a future client would. Bad manners or if you give the impression that you don't care or are not motivated, will make the agency look bad. A booker will only take you into the board if he/she believes you are ready to meet clients. For a modeling agency it is your commitment and motivation that will be the most important criteria. Be aware about following: do you really want to model full time or is it more a hobby for you? Bigger agencies will only work with you if you are flexible and modeling is your priority. There is nothing far more badly for an agency than a model that is never available to go to castings or jobs. As booker you don't see why you invest in that model and you will get less and less inquiries. You should also think about your motivation for modeling. Think about: why do you want to model? What is important to you? Convince the booker of the agency of your motivation, and then if possible by your experience.

Note: this is very important for agents. There are only a few people you have to answer asap. Your parents, your friends, and as a model, your booker. He or she manages a lot of models parallel and clients. There are many steps involved. If you don't work, don't reply timely or reject jobs with no reason, you will be replaced. Particularly bookers who recommend a new model to their clients, and then ask for your option and get a “no“ without reason will not work with you for a long time. You will be gone any minute.

Short catwalk: Remember those steps
At almost every casting or introduction meeting you will be asked to walk for the agency or jury. Every model develops his/her own style. Some models walk in a sexy way and swing their hips during their walk. Others walk very high fashion and absolutely elegant, straight with no emotions at all. As different as styles are, some basics you just need to know as new face when you are introducing yourself or if you are at a casting.

Your walk consists of five elements:

Walk: Straight
Listen to the music. Songs consist of beats. Every beat may be divided into two or four. Count 1… 2… 3… 4… go! You will be walking directly to the beat of the music. Doing a walk in your agency or for a jury you have to focus on one point on the wall at a height of approx. two metres. Your view will stay with that focus until the last meter.

Last meter: Catch the eyes
For the last two steps (depending on the length of the room) your view will reach the agent or jury and later the photographer. Use these last two steps to look for a focus; maybe there are a lot of photographers in a corner? If a person from the jury likes you a lot, or others don't even look? You can focus more when posing then.

Posing: Presentation in front of bookers (later maybe photographers)
That is what we usually have to teach models: stand still, enjoy the moment! Count slowly 21… 22… 23… and then walk back. While doing so, you will be looked at from left and right, straight and again left and right. At a fashion show, now is the moment for designers and media. Photographers take their pictures of the garments for the magazines. In order to take enough pictures just stay there, pose and exchange looks.

Turning: Always to the right
You have to consider one thing: first your body turns, then your head and then your eyes. You will do a right turn and take your head and eyes with you. For a little “catch” you might wink before you turn.

Walking back: You did it
Again focus on a point in the room and walk there straight. Your eyes should stay with that point approx. at two metres height and your posture should be straight. After that, you can walk relaxed again. Depending on the interest in you by a booker, they will take your measurements and take some snaps, and an introduction video. The introduction video follows a strict procedure, like the walk before. You might have to introduce yourself in English, so that the bookers see that you are able to communicate with international clients and that they can recommend you to these. Usually bookers will film you with a small camera or tablet. The video should be very natural and done in one take. Polaroids and videos will be done in bikini for female models, so that designers and agencies can see your body.

Introduction video
Introduction: You will do this your whole career
Your text is super short and usually like this: “Hi, my name is Elena, I am 17 years old and 1.79m tall”

Portrait: The face
As already described in the subchapter “polaroids”, a portrait will be filmed first. You will look straight into the camera with open hair. After that, you will pull your hair back into a ponytail. Turn into your profile (left), hair open, hair tucked in. Turn into your profile (right), hair open, hair tucked in. In short: profile, profile (left), profile (right).

Full body: The measurements
Same procedure as with portraits only that you have to show your backside between the left end right profile. For every step, you have to keep in mind, hair down first and then tucked in. In detail: front view, turning to your side, back view, turning to your side, front view.

Walk: Remember your gosee walk
The booker will step back in order to give you space to do your walk. The walk you will do just as described, without walking back again, which means you walk towards the camera and not back. Instead you pose in front of the camera and show your facial expressions. You are allowed to pose, but not like you would at a photoshoot. Sweet, sexy, arrogant, edgy… show your versatility. After approx. five minutes of posing you can say: “Thank you and bye”.

Being accepted in an agency
You finally made it into the model board of the agency. And now you have to wait! It is almost always the same procedure. Some models convince the booker straight away and will get options and a contract right after the meeting. Others will be discussed with regards to polaroids within the entire team. With experienced models, they will also take their time and have a look at the book. Usually the booker team will leave you with the words “Thank you for your visit and time. We will get back to you”. And that might take time. If you haven't heard from them within two weeks you can get back to them and ask for feedback, just to be sure. If the agency is interested in taking you, they will contact you. Usually it is a very fast process and you will hear from them within two or three days (if they want you).

Checklist: Preparation before the visit
women: jeans, top, nude coloured underwear, bikini, high heels, no styling
and men: jeans, shirt, clean shoes
Pictures (selection of your best and versatile ones) on iPad, tablet, book (if you have one)
Being on time. That means really being on time and not being there five minutes before, in no case 15 minutes before.
Checklist: Appearance
Be humble, patient and smile
Agency Gosee
No casting, short introduction
Walk, posing
PolaroidsWalk video
Saying goodbye
That's it! If you found the right modeling agency to become a model, you have to get a strong book for you castings and clients! Read all about the perfect model book .

The good old model book, a real must-have as a model. At castings, jobs and visiting agencies your book is your support. Even if you meet other models, you will always exchange your books and have a look at them. In your model book you are presenting your selection of your best pictures from jobs and test shoots. Clients and agencies are now able to get an idea of you as model: your facial expressions and posing. In everyday life you don't often need your model book, only later if you are being casted internationally or for bigger jobs. Many agencies offer their models their own book with branding. Often you have to buy your first book yourself though. You should always look for great quality and some other features like space for sedcards and business cards. Then you will be well prepared for castings and have everything within your book: pictures, sedcards and business cards of your agency. In doing so you are already increasing your chances for the job just by handing over your model book. Let us know take a look at the details of your book. From the number of pictures to the selection of pictures. After that I will also get back to test shoots.

Your model book: The basics for success
As I already described, your book will help you get jobs at castings and agencies. They will see at first glance that you are prepared and have thought about your job. A real plus for you. You will often present your modelbook to people who evaluate your appearance. Whether it is the boss of the agency, creative art directors, photographers, or head of marketing. Preparation is your job and you are halfway there. You have to consider some standards when buying your modelbook if you are not getting one from your agency. Your book should be high quality. Material should be well maintained and clean. As I said, a lot of people will see your book and you have to make it look great. The international standard is set by American requirements, the country of the first supermodels.

I am getting asked by a lot of models what it comes down to that a client will actually have a look at your book at a casting. New models are particularly very interested in showing their pictures to clients to increase their chances on getting the job. How does that work? Well, ideally you need your own book, which shows how versatile you are as model. Your campaign is nothing different. The better the variety of pictures you are showing, the more versatile you will be to clients and they will be able to better incorporate you. Your client knows how you will fit in shootings and work on set. Your best pictures should be at the beginning of your book, because castings tend to get hectic or lots of models are there, and the client might not always have the time to look at your entire model book. Therefore, just put your best pictures at the beginning.

Do you need an entire full book as new face?
No, just a few good pictures are enough. They just have to show you at your best. Not all pages have to be filled up. Quality is better than quantity – as they always say.

Prints of your pictures
Usually more people are sitting at a table at your gosee and castings. Your book will only be held by one person though. In order to get the jury looking at it too, the pictures should be big enough. We all know the DIN A4 format, which apparently is the best size. The standard picture size is 9“x12“Inch (which would be a DIN A4 size if you convert it). Where should you print your pictures? In a photo shop, grocery store in big cities using the format 20x30cm. That is the biggest format for usual picture printers.

Quality of shootings
Since I started writing this book, this has been my favorite subject: quality! You should never try to build up your book on the fast lane. It is more important to have a selection of great photographers and great pictures! Clients only want the best for their brand or customers and you should always keep that in mind. Every test shoot or job will deliver you one or two pictures for your book. As soon as you have three, four pages filled up, you can start to select from your test shoots and still quality comes before quantity. As new face, you can be honest at castings and say that you are still building up your book. As soon as you are with an agency and had your first test with a good photographer you will receive requests on Instagram, Facebook etc. It is a compliment for you at that moment.

Secondly, you will have to be more selective now. Which test is good for your book? You will get some options from your agency as well. As a model, you will look and also select your test shoots yourself. As described for new faces, I would not recommend shooting with every photographer. I understand that it is tempting to shoot lots of pictures at the beginning, but you will lose your exclusiveness if they see you on Facebook or Instagram all the time. Or for test shoots with photographers (which means they are unpaid). Your value as model will decrease. It should be your goal to only shoot with selected photographers to improve your book. In doing so you will get better results. Only if you take the time to put quality into your book you will work as a model on the long-term and travel a lot. Therefore, we will now look at how you can convince photographers of your modeling abilities.

Model book checklist:
A high-quality book with thick hardcover and back and extra space for printed sedcards (usually DIN A5 format).
At castings, designers and casting directors will keep sedcards of models. Your book should have space for printed sedcards and you have to consider this when buying your book (some “portfolio books” don't have that extra space).
Twenty clear pages for forty pictures (respective front and back side). You will remember the measurements of a classic model book when you remember the DIN A4 format. The book is just slightly bigger. You can easily print your pictures in a photoshoot or grocery store.
Business cards of your agency.
Best pictures in the front pages.
Show versatility and a selection of your best pictures – remember quality before quantity.
Usually, you can use two pictures of each editorial, otherwise it will get boring. As new face, you are able to tell them honestly that your book is not complete yet.
Quality of test shoots
You should be selective with pictures and photographers and not work with everybody. Only work with those that you believe are the best ones for you.

Now you know everything about your model book! But, how do you convince photographers for test shootings? Remember, quality is important, not quantity. Read more about test shootings and photographers for models .

 

Looking for photographers to get a strong model book ? How will you find a good photographer for your test shoot? And how many do you need? If you are already with some good agencies, you will get enquiries from them. That is how you get in touch with photographers. You will get your first photoshoots and first pictures, which will help you working. Once photographers, agencies or yourself post pictures, you will quickly get new requests from other photographers. But now you should be careful: keep in mind – quality!

Quality before quantity! Select different styles
A lot of models think that taking as many pictures as possible will help them be successful. But is that true? If you are a young model and shooting with a lot of photographers at the beginning to build your book, you will still end up using only a few shots. Time for planning and shootings is wasted. On social media, there will be too many pictures of you once photographers or others post the editorials. If there are a lot of photoshoots with you, like unpaid tests, why should somebody pay for you? As a model, you have to be selective when it comes to photoshoots for your book. The level and quality should always increase. You should also focus and maintain your exclusiveness. This also applies to jobs. You should select your jobs, clients, and photographers carefully. Modeling agencies will ensure that clients fit you as a model. As explained, jobs on trade shows or for music videos do not usually come from agencies. As a model, it is vital to have a versatile book. A good model management will have great contacts and photographers so that you can build up your book step by step and improve the same way. Nobody will be a star overnight, even top models started from the bottom and worked their way into the modeling Olymp. And that is just the same way you should work on your dream of becoming a model.

Videos: Boost your portfolio with image videos
Enquiries after the first photoshoots
I would like to explain this a bit more. Once younger models are being accepted at an agency and take their first pictures, enquires from photographers will follow automatically via Facebook, Instagram ets. Of course, you will be happy about that but it might get too much. You should always forward all enquires to your agency. They know exactly who is reputable and who is not. And you will also show that you want to work with your agency and not alongside your agency. You will get even more enquiries for jobs. Those are not reputable. Job enquires via Instagram will only be posed by companies that want to save money (and which might not include working hours, don't use contracts or buyouts etc.). It is your manager's job to tell you to be patient, which is difficult, because even smaller jobs are interesting for new faces. But: enquiries will come and go. Getting the best and most profitable once is the way to do it. Only by quality you will be a successful model in the long run and be able to get good payment. This applies to clients, media and editorials. Too much of one thing will lower your value and therefore, soon enough you will have to look for photographers who fit your book perfectly by yourself. For example, if you need commercial or sports pictures. Every photographer has a speciality in which he/she is best at. And as a model, once you want to improve your book, you have to look for the most suitable photographer. You will earn enough money then to even consider paid photoshoots with top photographers. We will talk more about that on page DOWN, about paid photoshoots (paid photoshoots with photographers).

Test shoots with photographers for your book
First of all: What is a test shoot?
All test shoots will be considered unpaid work. In United States test shoots are also called TPF (time for print). This term is mostly used within hobby photographers/models and the international term would be test.

What does that mean?
Photographers, models and make-up artists will work without getting paid. All parties involved use the pictures for their own portfolio. Photographers may take pictures with models they need for their portfolio. For example, pictures he/she won't get with a job. With new pictures, you will get new clients.

The variety! Test shoots are vital for new faces as they will be your first pictures for your book. Later you will even be paid as a model to do test shoots. For example, if a photographer is looking for a certain type of model for his/her project.

Tipps for your first test
There are some easy steps that will help you. First it is important to convince photographers to shoot with you. Like modeling agencies, photographers get lots of enquiries from models. If you are showing that you are committed and think about your test shoot beforehand, your chances will increase of getting a good photographer for your test. The less time they have to invest, the better for them. On one side, you are nervous as a new face because it is your first test shoot. At the beginning, you don't really know what you have to do. I have some easy tips for you from fashion the photographer, Oliver Rudolph. He knows exactly what clients want to see and what pictures are needed, what facial expressions are good, because he has been in the industry for quite a while now. In order to get test shoots, you have to convince photographers about yourself and your idea first.

How do you convince photographers?
Convincing photographers takes time, because YOU are the new face!
As I said, it has you to be your aim to get better photographers for each shoot. Better photographers mean for you also that you have to improve each photoshoot. The portfolio of the photographer will be better than yours. He or she has already worked with clients and gained a lot of experience. The higher the expectations of the new pictures, the better the quality of the photographer.

Therefore, you have to convince the photographer of yourself at the photoshoot. Great preparation will help you achieve this goal. You have to plan the entire photoshoot: type, styling, location. Before you now start to think about the photoshoot, keep in mind that it is not only about you. You meet the photographer and you might have to make little adjustments here and there. How can you offer him/her something that he/she maybe hasn't done so often? Will a make-up artist be at the photoshoot? She/he might have some ideas as well. A test shoot should always include the interests of all parties involved, even when planning it. Additionally, you should collect pictures (moods), which are part of your preparation. If you know how to work with Photoshop, you can create a little mood board yourself. It is enough though to send an email with attached pictures. Keep in mind that you can attach a maximum of two or three pictures per theme (style, styling, location).

Checklist for your mood board:
What kind of pictures to I need?
Sporty, fashion, lifestyle, commercial, family….
Which styling will I get on set?
Brands, colours, clothing, ….
Which location will be nearby?
Surroundings, light, approvals, ….
Collect moods
Sample pictures for what you have in mind
Get in touch with photographers
First, you will write a short, friendly, and clearly structured email with moods, in order to present your idea. Your email will include all your thoughts in short (style, styling, location).

This will be a good template for all your email. Then, you should look for good photographers nearby your location. Often it is enough to use Google and search for “Photographers Berlin”, “Photographers Munich” etc. You can also look on Instagram or in Facebook groups about modeling. Write a separate message to each photographer and try to put in an individual sentence about why you want to shoot with him/her. This makes the e-mail more personalised. You should also have a look at the portfolio of the photographer or the website, Facebook, or Instagram page.

Why is this so important? Many of models just thing about themselves when looking for a photographer. No photographer will get back to a kind of automated email. But if you show that you took the time and looked at the work, and present a structured concept of the shoot, chances are good that you will get a positive reply from the photographer.

By using more strategies, you will get better photographers more easily, because they will see that you want to work with them.

Checklist for e-mails to photographers:
short email with max. 100 words
start with a personal introduction like “Dear Katharina…”
describe your concept, styling, location
explain why you choose him/her as photographer
try to find moods in the internet, which will help the photographer to get an idea of what you want to do
attach a maximum of 3 pictures of each theme
send each photographer an individual email (no CC or BCC)
Facial expressions in the photoshoot
After a few photoshoots with good photographers, your chances of getting better will improve and your abilities will increase. Within the first test shoots or the first visit of the agency, you might be a bit insecure when they are taking snaps of your or when shooting with the photographer. Many of models are nervous and only think about posing! But they forget about their facial expressions. The body is moving, arms are swinging, hands in your face, shoulders in the air. The facial expression however stays the same. At the end, every picture will look the same. Maybe that will work with your first set, because it looks “cool”, but with the second set, it will be boring. That is why a lot of clients do castings for their commercials and campaigns. They will see live if the model is good and can convince them if she/he is more “boring.” We, as humans, always pay attention to the face first, at the first meeting or when looking at models on big billboards in the city. Facial expressions are everything!

Facial expressions tips
For good facial expressions, I spoke to the fashion photographer, Oliver Rudolph. His tips will help you as a new face for your first photoshoot to show that you are versatile. Again, moods will help you here. You will know what the shoot will be about. Collect some moods for each set for each photoshoot you will do (with regards to posing). You will be inspired with what you can do with your body and likewise inspired with your facial expressions. To make them vary, as a model, you can practise your posing in front of a mirror, like actors or presenters do. But before posing, there are the facial expressions! Once you have these moods you can always get back to them and look at them and get even more. During test shoots and jobs, you will have outfit changes, sometimes even location changes. If you now have a plan in your head of how everything will go, and what the photographer expects from you within these looks as posing and facial expressions, the pictures will turn out better, more versatile, and stronger. For your first shoots, always look at moods and practise different emotions, angles, and facial expressions, which you will use during the real photoshoot.

Checklist for different facial expression:
Put your head down, looking on the ground and then up and focus on the camera. Play with your lips.
Like number 1, but one glance from left to right and camera.
You can close your eyes and “feel”.
Imagine you are kissing your friend, or eating the best pizza you ever had. You are standing on a mountain and breathing in fresh air. The “felt” emotions will help you!
And know you can look “sweet“, or even “fragile“.
The contrast to the usual, edgy, hard fashion expressions of many models in their first photoshoots.
Sweet view and smile.
But don't forget: move your body and use a mix of different poses and expressions. You can always broaden your expression portfolio by training in front of the mirror.
Invest in good photographers
One day you will be perfect in hundreds of different expresions. Maybe after you have had ten or fifteen tests or jobs. And your expectations regarding test shoots and jobs will also increase. You earned your first money and can now choose, whether to spend the money or to invest it. If you earned your first money as model, you might want to think about investing your money into good photographers. Top photographers don't do tests, like many top models. Therefore, models should invest at a certain stage in their career into better, newer pictures, polaroids and videos. You should always do this step first if you have already earned money as a model. The basis for new faces are great snaps. That's it. With great polaroids you will make it into a great modeling agency and get good photographers and clients to work with you, and will be sent to castings in United States or worldwide.

I will now take you behind the scenes of a modeling agency! The important division of every agency is scouting and booking. The main work of modeling agencies is to build up a high-class network of photographers, magazines, models, scouts and clients, but also to discover new faces!

Behind the scenes of modeling agencies worldwide
For me, every morning starts in the Cafè or office. Besides me, there is the first Cappuccino and I check all the emails and sort the information from yesterday and new enquiries. My job is model management. As a model agent, I communicate with clients, and work on conditions and contracts or plan travels for models. After a while, you know every model by detail. I have spent quite some time with much of them, from their first casting to model coaching to first test shoots, jobs, their first campaign. To see how models grow in the first months and years and with our help improve is fascinating me!

Your modeling agency is your most important partner from day one. With their mix of personal and partly exclusive contacts and a highly professional network and the own model selection, agencies are the intersection of commercial clients and models. If you as a new model are being represented by a renowned agency, your chances are quite high to get bigger jobs even at the beginning. Many employees of commercial agencies, production companies or photographers always have a look at the webpages of agencies and look out for new models.

Booking enquiry: Your way to success as a model
How does a booking enquiry look? Many model enquiries will result from personal contacts of the agency, which have been acquired by trusted work within time. These clients will call your agent mostly directly and ask for proposal for productions. However, many enquiries also result from clients, who looked at the webpage on the internet and found the agency by browsing through the internet. No matter if personal contacts or agency webpages, most enquiries will be at the office via email. Emails are the main mean of communication. You will also write lots of emails as a model. Lots of gathered information can be presented with that mean in a sorted way. Therefore, clients mainly send enquiries via email. They can write all the information in a structured way, like details about location, date or attachments like dispositions, pdf files, flight bookings, tickets, pictures, and videos – and all of that is quickly available.
If a booking enquiry has been received, it usually contains the frame details of the photoshoot or commercial pictures. It also includes the exact (or less detailed) picture of how the model should look like. All statements vary. Some clients have a clear image of their model, others only provide information like height, clothing size, skin tone and hair colour.

Modeling agencies and agents filter the good jobs from the not so well-paid ones by their experience. Which means, they calculate the payment and compare to what is provided and compare it to the media output (the usage) of the shoot or video shoot. Is that job profitable? Are buyouts (usage rights) already included? Is the client good for your career or your portfolio? Will that job help you book more? After all these considerations, the shooting information will be summed up. The selection will be done by the booker himself/herself and he/she will decide who fits the job and who not. The selected models will then receive the enquiry.

If conditions don't fit before the job, the agent will consult the client in order to negotiate the payment. Many models only calculate the working hours on jobs, but there is a lot more! In reality, you will present your face for a one-year campaign for 365 days. Every single day you will represent the brand with your look. Therefore, agents don't only consider the single working day but also usage rights!

Selection criteria: Competition all the time
The selection criteria differ from job to job and from new faces to professional models. Whilst new faces will be booked for “smaller“ jobs, only professional models will be considered for bigger ones. The experienced model has an advantage here, which he/she will only get by high quality images in the book, talent and experience, and will then get the booking. In other words, clients directly ask for a certain model (direct booking) and not for a selection.

Agencies respond to mails asap and provide pictures if needed.
If an agency needs pictures for an enquiry asap, for example hand snaps for a new beauty campaign, they immediately take these snaps. Replies will be straightforward and without many questions. This part of acting professionally is what you have to provide from day one! You have to be like that: easy going, not complicated, fast and always on call. Why? Because your chances of getting jobs will be higher!
Modeling agencies, agents and their clients have a wide selection within new faces. If an agent receives an enquiry, he/she feels pretty much like you: the faster he/she replies and makes suggestions, the higher the chances that the client will make a positive decision. If a person is being booked by a commercial agency or photographer, he/she will think about that production while searching for a model. If an agency sends proposal early, the producer will already think about it. If he/she likes a model, he/she will start planning with that face. The chances are high that after all the planning and thoughts put into, he/she will decide in your favour – therefore – being as fast as possible is everything!

Being reachable? This means jobs!
That is also very important for you. Like I just said, particularly with new faces, clients and agencies have a big selection. New faces are coming in all the time. Every year there is a new generation. If an agent asks for fifteen models for a job and ten reply within the first hour, the suggestions will be sent to the client immediately. If you wait till the next day to reply, you will most likely not be considered.
Your chances of getting the job will decline, and because of that you should always use your mobile phone as the most important mean of communication. That implies an email address, social networks and messenger services like WhatsApp or Facebook. Because you carry your mobile phone with you all the time, you will always be informed about latest mails from your agency! Even if you don't get inquiries every hour, it makes sense to look at your phone from time to time, just in case you get something so that you can react quickly and get the best options.

Internal competition in your modeling agency
Your agency will honour it when you get back to them on time when receiving enquiries. In doing so, they can assure high standards towards their clients when it comes to providing the perfect model for their job. If an agency always takes too long, the client will not get back to them again. Same for models. If you always take too long to get back to them you might not receive enquiries or your contract may be terminated. Particularly as new faces the competition within the agency is quite high. The agency has their favourite models, which they know very well for months or even years. As a new model, even after being accepted, you are only a face of many. There will be new models coming in and some leaving! The agent knows that and so does the agency. Therefore, it is important for you to show high commitment from the very beginning – and to prove that you want to become a model.

For your agency, you should be reachable – ideally seven days a week. Even the team of the agency does not work during the regular working hours. Good agencies also work during the night or weekends, even on public holidays. If a model needs to be replaced or a new enquiry is received, they have to act quickly. If you are away or on holiday, inform them in advance and let them know – so that they can plan that you will not be available for a couple of time. In result, your booker knows that they have to consider this and that you might not be able to get back to them immediately. Best would be that you are also reachable during your holidays. As a model, you are responsible for yourself and hence for your success! If you don't keep that in mind and take communication as not so important, it might happen very fast that someone else takes your spot.

Notice> Do you have an idea how many models apply at a good agency each day? If an agency reached a certain standing and status, which would be a high-class name for exclusive clients and jobs, hundreds of applications will be submitted by models each day. Every year, thousands of young girls and boys want to become models. As I said, the competition is high! Very high!

Who discovers new models? Model scouts do!
An agency or scout does the discovery of new models. He/She will then have a look at all applications via mail and keep an eye open for models on the street and actively look for new faces. Most of you know the stories of sudden discoveries. There are just some examples like curvy model Angelina Kirsch. She was discovered sitting in a Café in the middle of Rome. No matter if it's at the gym, shopping mall or airport: model scouts will find models in all different locations as new faces for their clients! If you have been approached by a reliable agent of an agency, your sights are very good! There are lots of online applications and usually one out of hundred is getting the call and will be further considered. If you already passed that you might be successful.

What are scouts looking for in applications?
The focus within applications is mainly the height and your pictures. Are you a special kind of type? Would they have to invest a lot into your career? Do you have the perfect measurements? Professional models will have higher chances at jobs than new faces, because the agency won't have to invest that much time into them. New faces need a lot of work – questions will have to be answered. First, shootings need to be organised, the book has to be built up, and coaching for posing and runway has to be done. Real work for an agency and investment of time, money and contacts.

Magazines and photographers for you model book
After the scouting of the model there will be the building up of the model! There will be specialists in a good agency just for that. They have contacts at important magazines and are in touch with good photographers. If you ever wondered how you will get into a magazine: magazines, in particular big ones, book the photographer directly. Which means in order to get these great pictures and make it into the magazine, or even be on the cover, you will have to be with an agency that has high class contact and works with these photographers. First though, you will have your first test shoot. As soon as your portfolio gets bigger, better photographers will work with you. Therefore, this part of work is so essential and people from the agency particularly work in that part of building-up your book. You want to know more about test shootings? Read this article about photographers and test shootings .

Modeling agencies: The longterm network
Within booking it all comes together: new pictures of the models, updating measurements, new tearsheets, clients and enquiries.

Model scouts and bookers in an agency do even more. They will network for their models on important venues and events, and coordinate the collaboration with foreign agencies.

They are in touch with models and partner agencies throughout the entire globe! Great agencies have partners on all continents, countries, and important cities of the world so that models can work internationally! Every bigger media or fashion capital will need new faces constantly. Therefore, partner agencies exchange models in between for the best markets. Models are able to build up their book and modeling agencies will always have new looks for their clients.

Exclusive contracts for brands
An exclusive contract for bigger, high end, international brands and campaigns is normal. Particularly if you are their face for a long period. With an exclusive contract, the model ties not to work with other companies. The model will get high payment, and the company may use the image of the model as identification and recognition factor for the brand. As I said, clients tend to use exclusive contracts for long-term bookings and for bigger jobs. That will give the company the assurance that the model and the image of the model will not used with a competitor. Usually, these contracts have a term of several years. An exclusive contract will make your market value higher.

You give an option to your modeling agency for a job, but what is an option? If you are working as a self-employed model, you have to plan everything in detail and keep track of the dates because you are giving options. Before giving an option, the agency will ask if you are available. That is the first and not binding enquiry of your agency in order to find out, if you are available on a certain date. All other information might not be set yet, like payment, buyouts etc. – and you don't have to block that date yet.

An option however is a binding enquiry. It is a concrete enquiry of your agency. There is a certain enquiry or a confirmed job and the agency is asking for your first option. If you are giving them the “option“, you will be in the final selection and assuring them your availability. From this moment on, agency, client and production are counting on you. The option will only be released if your agency does so, or if it has been confirmed. After the first option, you may issue further ones for further enquiries, which means second and third option. The booker and client will then know if you might already have booked another job. Options and availability (not binding enquiries) will accompany daily you as a model. You will give options for the next months or weeks. All options should be documented and coordinated with your personal travel days and dates. Of course, you have to keep track of dates with friends and family as well as birthdays or holidays, because you cannot cancel a big production. An unjustified cancellation for a job as new face – you just cannot do that with a top agency. You might miss out on other jobs and the chance to travel!

Beginning as a new face, you will mainly work for online shops. Before it was catalog, and now it is online shops. Everything is sold via the internet and therefore, new pictures are needed all the time, for every new season and every new product. For you, as a model it is not so much about the perfect picture, which you have to produce for the production (like in photoshoots), but the amount of pictures. You will mostly be alone in front of the camera and not acting with other models. You will be booked as model for fashion. Bookings will range from smaller labels to bigger department stores. If new faces are booked, photographers and productions already know that they cannot expect a big variation of poses and expressions. It is your job to shoot the set number of pieces/garments, accessories and products. You will most likely always do the same pose. If you ever heard about “mannequins“, this would be the best expression for this kind of job in which you will shoot, very monotonous. Sometimes, shoots are even done without recognition – only a part of your body will be shown then.

Even though lots of new faces think they are already quite good in facial expressions and posing: well, short and sweet, No! Just look at some professional models on YouTube who are able to do more than hundred of different poses, jumps and so one. As a new face, you have to learn a lot. Of course the pressure is on! The better your book gets, the better you will get, and the better and bigger the jobs. Not only lookbooks but also online shop shoots will become more demanding. It could be that have to shoot with several models on a turning platform. You are walking in studio on an approx. two meters big platform, that is turning all the time and will present the clothes. They will take pictures and videos at the same time. A very exhausting job compared to a “mannequin“. And even more demanding are jobs where you are not only the model, but also have to interact with other people. For campaigns, it is mostly about the one perfect shot. We will now look at how high expectations of a photo shoot can be.

Family shoots: Be happy… always!
There are lots of exhausting productions. We also had the most crazy storyboards and commercial production. From a family father of a TV commercial for cars, from a person climbing down a helicopter or surreal productions for fragrances. Let us look at the classic, which we can convey into many situations. For example, you have to learn how to play with kids and interact with other models. One picture maybe shot for hours. And everybody is just waiting for the models to portray the perfect emotions in the perfect moment, and all posing comes together perfectly. Let's say the father should play with his child and throw a ball, while the mother is happily clapping her hands, and the dog is looking at the camera while lying on the sofa. Father, mother, child and dog situation – and all has to be simultaneously perfect in one moment. The scene will be repeated and repeated, again and again. Very exhausting! For every single shot, you have to portray that emotion again. It is a challenge to deliver on this job, that demands lots of practice and talent.

Photoshoots and responsibility: It belongs to you as a model
Particularly pictures, which are big on billboards, are always connected to a big production and team. We had bigger productions for bigger clients, which seemed so “small“. TV commercials, which are filmed with smaller cameras, filmed by the model herself/himself for the social media channel of the brand. No matter what, every campaign, whether it has been produced in a “simple“ way or high class level, it has been planned throughout months for advertising by the commercial agency. After that, photographer, equipment, location, catering and much more will be booked for the shoot. And all that just for one picture.

So, the success of a photoshoot is connected to the moment, and therefore to you. Your performance has to be on point. Your smile has to be perfect, even if you had a long night flight the day before. And even then, if you didn't sleep that much, or are sick. Because you cannot just cancel a production. Experienced models are therefore worth a lot on set, because they deliver their best performance at photoshoots.

Besides fashion, beauty campaigns are also very important for commercial models, when it is about a “daily“ photoshoot. Skincare products for women are a huge market, which will always be connected to great skin, beautiful hair and a youthful tint. For every season, there are new products. Spring, summer, fall and winter – every season has its own special skincare. For being beautiful, many are willing to invest a lot of money, each week or every month. Therefore, new TV commercials are being produced regularly. And that is why we will now look at beauty models!

Beauty models will work regularly for cosmetic and skincare lines within the healthcare segment. Therefore, it is important for them to take good care of their face and body and to nurture it.
Perfect skin, full and shiny hair, perfect figure. Those are the requirements if you want to start as beauty and wellness model. Without these key requirements, not matter how beautiful your face is, or how bright your eyes shine, or how tight your legs are, you won't stand a chance. Those are the highest priorities and optimal basis for beauty models. The right skincare, beauty routine for hands, feet and hair. Later we will give you some tips as well.

Beauty Models
Hand and hair models will be booked as well. Hand models are quite important in advertisement for nailcare or for TV commercials and images for products, which may be used by hands, like the use of smartphones or drinking a cup of cappuccino. You will find hair models mostly in TV commercials, online, prints and other advertising campaigns for haircare products and hairdressers. Many of models that apply want to become hand and hair models, but that alone is not enough to become a successful model. Everybody is mainly looking for the “entire package“. Usual models are booked for these kind of jobs, that have beautiful hands, full and natural hair. It is kind of similar to fitness and sports models. Here also models who look very fit and do sports are booked.

If you have a fit and athletic body, you might be able to work as a fitness and sports model besides commercial and fashion. They are role models and represent products for body and soul through their own mind and a perfect fit for clients. As described, most of the clothing, which will be presented comes in clothing sizes 34 (max. 36) for women. For male models, it is mostly clothing size 48 (max. 50). That is why many models work on their healthy diet and work out regularly and do sports – to get that perfect body.

Fitness and sports models
An athletic body is an advantage in particular for male models and if you have just started the first years as a model. If you are very active and eat healthy, you are perfect for the work within the fitness and sports, and health segment. Athletes portray very authentically the performance criteria and show it by their trained body persistence. These are the characteristics that consumers want to gain themselves. If you have fun doing sports and have a passion for it, there is a way for a great combination of both, because you can build up your book entirely to become a fitness and sports model.

Note > However if you become too muscular, clients will not book you that much. Same for women, so you have to think carefully, which sport defines your body, and what you want to do. If your hips are bigger, you should do some fitness exercises that train muscles within the hips but don't make them bigger.

What exactly are trade shows? Well in general, trade shows are just very well-planned marketing events for producer of products and service provider. Advertisement on site in real time. They present their products to potential customers with the help of models. Their clients are buyer and retailer, press and end consumers. In United States, there are many famous trade shows for technical equipment, automotive industry, food industry, fashion. From New York to London – trade shows are a however not the best place for models.

Fashion trade shows and shows will be taking place in all big cities. In general, every fashion trade show has a big retail center. Manufacturer and retailer show their products in rags, while buyer and media representatives browse through the latest collection and look at different garments. Some of the bigger order trade shows will have designers shows. That is our keyword, runway shows at Fashion Week. Here, fifteen to twenty models will present collections in front of photographers, audience and magazines and meet celebrities, bloggers, editors and selected visitors. The smallest and most private presentation will be in showrooms. You will work in many showrooms at the beginning of your career as a high fashion model. They are located in almost every city. Not every successful brand or designer will automatically move into a bigger city, some stay in smaller ones. But still, most of them are in the centre, where everything happens.

Showroom: First jobs for new faces
Showroom jobs are a great entrance for models. A showroom should present the latest collection of a designer in front of less or fewer people. A showroom is a small stage, not very spectacular. There is no runway and no audience, just the designer, the team, some buyers, and you. Retailer and buyer are the most important people for the designer. The collection will be presented and selected pieces will be shown to retailer representatives and buyers from around the world.

Designer meets customer
With your help a buyer decides to get a certain model during the conversation with the designer, you will present it to them live. The buyer will then be able to have a closer look at the quality and tailoring of the garment, the fit and fabric. For showroom jobs, usually and mainly, new faces will be booked with perfect measurements, because experience and image is not so important for these jobs. It is important to be polite and in shape, like for the trade show jobs. You will find showrooms not only on trade shows, and the designers will present their collection throughout the whole year. Sometimes they are in the back of a boutique/store or in the atelier of a designer or the retail centre – but sometimes on trade shows. The payment for showroom jobs is lower because models only present and no pictures or videos are be taken. More important for these jobs: you might get to know designers like Guido Maria Kretschmer or their assistants or closest persons. Even at the beginning of your career, you will be working with international brands and if you are older, they might book you for follow up jobs. Like: showrooms in different cities, lookbook shots or even campaigns. Very similar are order trade shows. If you have done your first showroom job you will most likely get a booking for an order trade show. The payment here is higher and you will be working several days in a row. Of course, with additional travel expenses and including hotel.

Show and order trade shows
Collections for the latest season. Show and order trade shows, we just know them all, even the central trend ones in Paris, New York and London. Every fashion week is taking place at the same time as an order trade show or vice versa if you want to see it that way.
During the order days, there are not only trade shows for buyers. Important designers present their latest collection every new season only for invited guests and photographers. Those are media representatives, celebrities, musicians, photographers – all looking at the runways. There are exclusive venues taking place around the clock during order days. Of course, after show parties for invited guests, too. Not only retailer but agents will be able to network here. You will get to know a lot of people during the shows. As a model, you can either work here or at castings for the big runways. We will have a look at fashion week castings later.

Here, many international fashion brands are showing their new collection. There are many order trade shows. Even besides the runway, brands will have a lot of jobs at order trade shows. At the same time like the Fashion Week in Berlin, the “Bread&Butter“, “Seek“, “Bright“, “Premium“ and “Panorama“ trade shows are taking place.

All trade shows book models of the agencies in advance. Like in showrooms you will see one or two models at the booth. There will be buyers passing buy, some from smaller stores, some from department stores and they will want to see the samples of the new season. If they are interested, you will present the selected pieces. Again, for an examination of quality and fit. The job is paid quite well compared to other jobs, because the client wants happy models that are able to work several days and still smiling.

Fashion and runway shows
For many, the runway shows of Fashion Week are the highlight. The “who is who“ meets here. Fashion bloggers, media representatives, agencies owners, celebrities. A real exhibition skating it is. Why? Because those who work in fashion are spending a lot of time in the office or studio. For four or five days you will get out of that ”daily routine“ and be able to meet people that are just like you. Show after show, in between small talk in the lounge. Let us now look at the last part the of the show and order days: the shows.

Fashion is living from being special! Show and entertainment are part of marketing of every great brand. Every season, new collections will be launched by designers all over the world. Not only big international designers and retail chains work like that, but also smaller fashion labels. Because they have to present their customers new designs in order to get their attention. Therefore, designers and fashion have to reinvent themselves again in order to stay attractive for their consumers. Smaller shows are taking place in shopping centres all the time, but the Fashion Week presents the masterpieces. In Milan, New York, Paris, Hong Kong and London, every spring, summer, fall and winter season people are looking for new trends and looks. We will have a very close look at the world of Fashion Week shows and castings. I will even dedicate a whole chapter to Fashion Week. We will look at the “Big Four“, “Berlin Fashion Week“ and I will give you an insight into preparation, castings and shows.

Requirements for fashion shows
You will only work at shows if you are young and have the perfect measurements. One is the same with all designers: they create their collections for tall, slim people. The clothing is more elegant, garments and fabrics are floating and fitting better, and it looks exclusive like that. Graceful shapes will make clothing and their price higher. Even though not all fashion brands work with this basis, it is the main part of the industry. Runway shows and presentations underlie an unwritten norm. For female models, it is the strict clothing size of 34 (max. 34/36) and a height of 172-182 cm (which is ideal for the beginning of your career). Your hip measures below 91 cm. For male models, a clothing size of 48 (max 50/52) is set and a height of 185-192 cm. But you should be taller than 187 cm if you are a male model at a Fashion Week. After a couple of months or within the first one or two years, you will see everything. Test shoots, showrooms, shoots for online shops and first bigger projects. Now, it is time for your first big campaign or TV commercial.

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A strong model book is the most important feature for you as a model. You need to go step by step, from the first test shooting with photographers to paid tests, if you become a professional model.
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