So you have decided that you want to be a model. Great Idea! Just be prepared for the hard work to come.
In the past month, I have been organizing my first fashion event and runway show, and being on the CASTING end of the modeling world has really changed my perspective on things. I have recently met some great ladies who want to model but don’t know where to start, which inspired me to write this article, How to be a Model 101.
Rule #1: KNOW YOUR MEASUREMENTS
Everybody knows their dress size, but this means nothing unless you know your measurements. Go to the craft store and pick up a measuring tape – you will be using it A LOT.
This video is a great guide on how to get your basic measurements:
In addition to your Bust-Waist-Hips, there are other measurements you will need to know, and numbers you should be familiar with. Here are my tricks of the trade:
- Thigh circumference (widest part)
- Bicep circumference (widest part)
- Across back of shoulders
- Neck circumference
- Apex (from nipple, around neck, to other nipple – helps determine neckline sizes)
- High Hip (4″ below your waist)
- Low Hip (8″ and 10″ below waist)
Tips and Tricks:
- Industry standards state that anything size 8 + up is PLUS SIZE. Market yourself as such!
- The standard minimum height for models is 5’8″. Do whatever you can to get there if you’re close.
- If you’re shorter that 5’8″ and have the right look, your height won’t necessarily hold you back, but good luck if you’re under 5’6″
- In FIT modeling, the height for petites is 5’5″-5’6″ and for women’s regular 5’8″ and up.
- Male models should be at least 5’10″
- measure yourself before any go-see. They will likely measure you there, or ask you your measurements when you walk in the door.
- Keep your resume up-to-date – I update my measurements at least once a month
Rule #2: Model Mayhem is your Friend
I always thought ModelMayhem.com was a site for creepers and wanna-be’s, but most of the photographers I ave worked with were professional, open minded, and happy to shoot “TF” (meaning “trade for” pictures in exchange for credit). Still beware of creeps! get phone numbers, references, and make sure their portfolio matches your style of photography you’re seeking.
Rule #3: Comp Cards / Business Cards
Comp Cards (model version of a headshot) are probably the most important thing in your model bag. A comp card should have a headshot on the front, and various photos on the back, along with your measurements and contact information. I use Spotlight Printing for mine – they have the best prices and customer service. Here is an example of the most recent proof they sent me:
Front of Comp Card
Back of Comp Card
Business Cards are also very important. I give out business cards at every audition, photo shoot, go-see, or just networking. I have made many connections through business cards alone. You may not think you’re not ready for cards since you’re just starting out, but they will be what gets you the connections!
Rule #4: Building your Portfolio
After about three-four months of modeling, I starting printing out pictures from my shoots for my portfolio book. I chose 3-5 or my best shots from every photo shoot, and had them printed by Adorama Pix. Great quality prints at some of the best prices on the market. When I put my photos in my book for the first time, I really felt like a model!
Rule #5: Work for Free
Getting your face and name out there take a lot of time, hard work, and dedication. Fan sites for BBWs on Facebook will not make you a professional models. Do a lot of runway work if you can. They are a great chance to meet people and network, plus are a lot of fun! Eventually with enough experience under your belt, you will become in demand and payable.
Remember, this is no easy process, and event the most beautiful models take time to get known (ahem…. even Michelle Hilton, Annoula Dritsas, and Ayana Smith are all STILL working their asses off and they were born to be models!)
Work hard, play hard, and keep your mind straight. Most important;y, be REAL!
Keep Curvy and Stay Curious