We all have a different aspect of our body we’re proud of—is your best asset your feet? If you’ve ever been told you have elegant or photogenic legs, ankles, or toes, a career in foot modeling could be for you.
Having nice-looking appendages is not enough to score a lucrative print or commercial modeling gig; as with any aspect of modeling, a lot of hard work is required. Photoshoots are no walk in the park, and it can be tough going toe-to-toe with potential modeling agents. But if you’re head over heels in love with your feet and think you’ve got the goods, kick back and check out the basics of the feet modeling industry below. Don’t forget to keep yourself updated on modeling gigs in Backstage’s audition notices, updated daily!
Blemishes or scars may make your feet ineligible.
For the most part, feet models all have high arches, consistently slender feet, and long, thin toes. Their skin is smooth and of clear complexion, both on their feet and the rest of their (usually long, graceful) legs. A quick online search of what models’ feet look like should give you a good idea of the general requirements. If your feet tend to be covered in marks, blemishes, or varicose veins, sorry—they will likely get your modeling career off on the wrong foot.
Do your research.
Speaking of online searches, models of all types have an intimate understanding of their industry. Stay abreast of trends, study the relationship between feet and the camera in print commercials, and follow the kinds of publications or models who do the work you’d like to do. Practice the kinds of poses you frequently see and stretch your toes in poses that might express different emotions or actions. Down the line when you’re at a shoot, your hours of obsessively researching foot models will pay off, as you’ll understand what photographers tend to look for.
Protect those feet!
Tread carefully. Models who work with their feet go to great lengths to protect and preserve their money makers. Many walk around in shoes a size or two too big in order to maximize comfort. And although modeling requires staying in impeccable physical shape, most also avoid soccer or any athletic activities that put feet in danger.
Remember: moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. If you want to be a foot model, you should be an expert in which lotions and tinctures help your feet stay beautiful. Invest in a sugar scrub in order to regularly exfoliate and remove (dreaded!) callouses.
Gather photos of your feet.
Like actors and their headshots, it’s a model’s responsibility to take and keep track of their photographs. They are your calling card, so invest in quality shots by hiring a professional photographer—preferably one with experience with feet. Experiment with different lighting and poses, and avoid too much retouching. (And in any modeling portfolio, even if you’re just in the business of showing off your limbs, include a photo of your face so you can be recognized.)
Stay aware of your digital footprint as well. If you have a website that includes photographs of yourself and your body parts, make sure shots of your appendages fit industry standards and look professional. Some working models also include short, simple demo reels demonstrating how their feet move.
Apply to agencies as often as you can.
In New York City and Los Angeles in particular, there are plenty of modeling agencies looking for talent. Early-career models can reach out to work with multiple agencies and begin developing relationships with agents. Some agencies include departments for specific body parts; don’t be afraid to do lots of research, share your portfolio and résumé, and attend go-sees. Browse Backstage’s modeling listings for ideas. Go for it!
Find a pedicurist you trust—and get pedicures before shoots.
If you’re interested in a career modeling feet, chances are you already know the best way to prettify your tootsies. See a trusted pedicurist before you meet with modeling agencies at go-sees or go in for a shoot. If you get to wear polish, pick a color that makes you feel happy and confident!
Practice patience and perseverance.
It’s one small step for a model, one giant leap for model-kind. In pursuing your career as a foot model, stay focused and don’t get discouraged—it’s a competitive industry and success won’t come from putting your feet up and hoping it comes to you. Be patient and keep at it!
*This post was originally published on Aug. 31, 2016. It has since been updated.
Now that you know the basics, check out our modeling listings!