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How to Become a Model? Modeling Guide & Career Tips

How to Become a Model? Modeling Guide & Career Tips

Are you interested in the modeling industry, or simply want to know more about how to become a model? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Although a lot of models are very well known across the world, a lot of people don’t know exactly what it takes to become a model, or in fact what the whole world of modeling is like.

Modeling is a very competitive industry to be in, so it’s not as easy as it looks. In this guide, you’ll find all you need to know on how to become a model, and also gain some tips and knowledge about modeling too.

What Does a Model Do?

The first thing you need to know is what exactly a model does. If you know what it entails, then at least you know the starting point of what it takes to become a model.

A model is used by brands and companies to advertise a product or to help create a display or art. This can either be done at fashion shows with runway models or through professional photography, to create pictures. You can also be a model for certain parts of the body, for example, a hand model to show off jewelry.

Essentially, the job of the model is to model brand products but to look good whilst doing so.

How to Become a Model?

There is a lot when it comes to modeling, so to start modeling, understanding the following steps is highly recommended.

The Types of Modeling

There are many different types of modeling, especially when it comes to professional models. These can include fitness, commercial, parts, and editorial modeling. All of these involve different skills and looks, so you will want to research these. Determining which type of modeling you would like to do, will help you when it comes to starting modeling.

Modeling Portfolio

One thing you do need is a modeling portfolio as this will show off all your work and experience and can be used for future jobs and agencies. All you need to start with is your friends or family taking photos of you, including full body and head shots, ideally against a plain background too. This helps agents determine what kind of model you are and what jobs are best for you.

To start with, you don’t need professional photography to build your portfolio, but it is something you will need to invest in at some point. To build your portfolio quickly for free, check out TFP meaning and shoots. Throughout your portfolio you should also include a variety of poses and locations, showing off the fact that you are versatile and able to work in a variety of different situations and locations.

Practice Makes Perfect

You can start your modeling career by practicing at home. You can start this by looking at videos of professional models and studying the way they move and the poses they do. You can learn these and practice them yourself at home. You can also practice things like your runway walk and poses for photo shoots. Having some practice and knowing what to do when it comes to these things, will help you along your journey to becoming a model.

Modeling Agency

Modeling agencies are a great way to help you get the modeling jobs you want. When going to an agency, you will need your portfolio ready and be prepared to have an audition. One thing they will always want to know is your height, weight, and size, so make sure you know these too.

Do some research into the different modeling agencies before signing up for any. They’re there to help find you modeling jobs that are suited to you and your modeling style, so you want to make sure you’re signed up with a reliable agency. Signing up for a modeling agency is one of the best things you can do in order to help you to become a model and succeed.

Take Classes

If you feel like you’re struggling to get anywhere with your education and practice and feel like you need some extra help, then modeling classes and schools are available. Modeling schools teach you all you need to know about the industry and get you ready for becoming a model. If you need to, you can also take extra classes for additional training to improve your modeling skills and knowledge.

Opportunities and Experience

As with anything in life, experience is always the best thing to have behind you. However, when starting out for the first time, your experience may be limited. This is why you want to take any opportunity you can to get the experience you need and to be noticed, for example, volunteering at charity fashion shows. It all counts towards modeling and can be used in your portfolio, as well as allowing you to get the experience and practice you need. You could also reach out to local salons, that may need models for their treatments or to promote their work too.

The Use of Social Media

Social media is one of the best ways to promote yourself and get yourself seen. You can build followers and create a platform through social media channels and show yourself off on this. Make sure to include photos and videos of your modeling work too, as you may be noticed by an agent or brand who wants to work with you. Social media is free and one of the best tools you can use to help get yourself seen.  

The Types of Modeling

As previously mentioned, there are a wide variety of different types of modeling, and this is something you need to know about to become a model. You should do some research and learn about the different types of modeling to discover which one you’re interested in and want to work in. This helps you to narrow down and target opportunities better, that are best suited for you. You can tell agencies this, so they know exactly what works to look for when considering you for future positions.

Runway Modeling

As a runway model, you advertise clothes and creations of designers whilst walking on a catwalk in a fashion show. You can work with various types of fashion brands to showcase their work, but this is all done walking on the runway.

Commercial Modeling

Commercial models are used more to reflect every man and woman in everyday life. There are often fewer restrictions when it comes to commercial models as they want more of a more realistic model to show off. This type of modeling is often used for marketing purposes to promote products for a brand or company.

Parts Modeling

Parts modeling is modeling a certain area of the body. This could be the face, eyes, hair, arms, legs, hands, feet, and other parts of the body too. This type of modeling would mainly be used for marketing a product. For example, a hand model would be used to show off nail varnish or jewelry.

Fashion Modeling

Fashion modeling is where you are used to posing for artistic photos or on the runway to show off clothing or accessories for a fashion brand. The modeling can be a variety of photo shoots or fashion shows, but it’s always for fashion brands’ items and to showcase them.

These are some of the popular modeling types. There are 19 types of modeling in total.

How to Get a Modeling Job?

Getting your first modeling job may not be the easiest thing, but you shouldn’t give up straight away about how to become a model. You can either sign up with a modeling agency that will do the work for you and help find your first job, or you can look for it yourself.

Using an agency makes it much easier as they are experts in the field and know exactly how to find the jobs and know what will be best suited for you. However, you can also go looking for the jobs yourself if you wish. You can use online casting platforms to find casting calls, which are often great for those who are just starting in the modeling industry and in need of some experience.

If you have some experience, knowledge, and drive behind you, then you will land yourself a modeling job. However, don’t be disheartened at first if it isn’t your dream modeling job to start with. These things take time and years of experience.

Just remember, the modeling world is a highly competitive one to be in, so you’ve got to have the motivation and confidence to succeed, and every step forward is a step in the right direction.

Modeling Terms

One useful tip you should know about becoming a model is the modeling terminology that is used. Just like in any profession, these terms can often be used and therefore it’s always best that you learn them to know and understand exactly what they mean. This will help to give you a bit of a head start too in the early days of your modeling career.

Here are some of the main modeling terms you need to know:


Model’s portfolio.

Cheating to the camera:

When the model slightly turns their head away from an object and closer to the camera. It creates the illusion of looking straight at the object or person but allows the camera to see more of the model’s face. Here are some examples.

Composite sheet:

Model’s business card.


Model’s audition- when a model is contacted to go-see, this means going to a studio or facility to be looked over.


When a model is booked for a one-hour modeling job, with the potential of working an additional hour. This means you must allow yourself to be there an extra hour longer in case the shoot runs over.

Square to the camera:

A photographer’s request when they want the model to be facing straight into the lens, body and face included.

Tear sheet:

A copy of the commercial modeling ad to prove the ad was published.

Test shot:

A photo that is not being used for the work, but instead for a portfolio.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions relating to how to become a model and the modeling industry.

How old do you need to be for modeling?

It all depends on the type of modeling you want to do, but you can start as a child/ teenage model and this goes all the way up to mature models that are over 60. However, one thing to note; if you are a child or teenager, you will need parental permission to become a model and they will also need to be present at any modeling jobs you do. Other than that, you can become a model at any age.

Can you model with tattoos and scars?

It all depends on what the brand or company are wanting and where they are. If the tattoos or scars aren’t visible for the specific modeling job, then it’ll be no problem. However, if they are, it will all depend on the brand and what they want.

What education is needed to become a model?

You don’t actually need any additional qualifications in order to become a model, however, modeling schools are available. If you’re wanting some training and education in modeling, then there are schools available for this.

Can anyone become a model?

Yes, pretty much anyone can become a model, as there is such a variety of modeling types too. However, each job and brand will probably have certain requirements that you have to match, in order to model for them, so just keep this in mind.

How to Start Modeling?

So, the question is, how to become a model? The answer is all in this guide! It takes knowledge, experience, and lots of practice to become a model, and also a lot of drive and confidence, to stand out from the rest in such a competitive industry. However, you can do it, with the help of comprehensive modeling training. As long as you put your mind to it and do everything that is needed to become a model, there is nothing stopping you.

Remember to follow these useful tips within this guide, to help you get started with the basics of modeling and help you in becoming a model.


Blogger and fashion enthusiast for 20 years. Experienced runway and commercial model located in Los Angeles. I love creating helpful content and sharing with the world. Reach me out for any questions or feedback.

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