Put Together an Impressive Portfolio

No matter how attractive you are, you need to have professional photographs if you are seeking modeling work. Nothing will turn off prospective employers faster than posting grainy or poorly lit photos in your portfolio. The biggest mistake is to submit pictures taken with a webcam, since these are very low resolution and are usually too small to properly judge anyone’s appearance. Another common mistake is to only submit nude photos or worse yet, close-ups of one’s private parts. As a general rule, photos that leave something to the imagination are the most effective and compelling. You should always include at least one or two photos in your portfolio in which you are neatly dressed in an attractive outfit. For these reasons, it is well worth paying a photographer to create a nice portfolio of pictures. To choose the right photographer, get references and look at his/her previous work. Are the pictures good enough to be found in top magazines or on video box covers, or are they amateurish? Does the photographer seem to have a good sense of how lighting and background can be used to enhance the image? The better the photos in your portfolio, the more job offers you are likely to receive.

Create a Special Look

Make-up and fashion can go a long way in helping you create a special “look” for yourself that will attract attention. You can learn various make-up techniques, such as the proper use of concealer to cover up bags or unwanted blemishes, by perusing women’s magazines or by hiring a professional make-up artist to help you look your best for your portfolio. Also, don’t show up for an interview or your portfolio shoot in clothes that are too casual or that represent a style that is outdated or frumpy. You may want to hire a stylist to help you craft your image.

Consider Unconventional Jobs

There are many unconventional domains where models can find work to enhance their career above and beyond the standard modeling gig. This could include things like acting, spokesmodeling assignments, Internet performing, magicians’ assistant, or tradeshow representative.

Be Graceful on the Runway

There is an art to posing gracefully on the catwalk. Stand up straight and always look out towards the audience—don’t look down. Keep your hands in a natural position. It helps to practice your runway walk in front of a mirror to develop your own carefree style.

Practice Good Etiquette

When you’re offered a modeling job, pay close attention to the instructions you are given. Write them down if necessary. Always be pleasant and courteous to every staff member—photographers, make-up artists, etc.— whom you encounter during any modeling assignment. Always be on time to your shoots. Send a nice thank you card to the company after the shoot.

Don't Get Scammed

There are a lot of crooks out there trying to take advantage of model wannabes. If someone tells you that they think you need to go to a modeling school or pay for instructional tips, remember that many successful models have never taken a single class. There are schools out there that exist simply to part you from your hard-earned money; do your homework before signing up. Beware of agents asking you for money to represent you. Legitimate agents make money from commissions, not from up-front fees. Also, stay away from any company that wants to list you in a talent directory for money. Most agents don’t even look at these directories.