How to Get Into Modeling With No Experience

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The events of recent years have caused many of us to question all areas of our life, from business to personal. “Can I still achieve my goal of becoming a model?” may often cross your mind, but the thought of the costs associated with it could cause you to rethink the decision to pursue your passion.

While there are some expenses associated with the modeling industry, below are three steps you can immediately take to kickstart your career as a model without breaking the bank.

1. Create a niche Instagram account

I’m often surprised at the aspiring models whom I meet who either don’t have an Instagram account (it's free!) or they have an account, but it’s filled with 10 different categories of photos and videos.

There are many agencies who scout models via Instagram. Therefore, when an agency is scrolling to find new faces, make it easy for them to see your potential as a model. You can achieve this by posting photos that clearly show your face and your full body. Avoid filters and definitely do not Facetune yourself to the point where you would be deceiving the agency as to your real appearance.

Your Instagram is your way of showing your personality, so be sure to create a page that has both videos and images. In doing so, refrain from an overabundance of other faces on your feed, as this may confuse the agency as to the owner of that page. On my modeling Instagram page, the images are very focused on highlighting my abilities as a model, so 90 percent of the images are of just myself.

2. Create accounts on websites with modeling opportunities

There are websites where photographers, makeup artists, and stylists are looking to gain experience and shoot with others in the industry as well as where companies post opportunities to model in photo and video shoots. These offer a great way to get experience in front of the camera with often little or no cost to you. 

When meeting with a photographer that you met online, be sure that you fully do your research and ask pertinent questions about the details of your shoot to ensure you’re pursuing an opportunity in a safe manner. You can always make mention that you’ll be bringing a friend as a way to gauge the response from the person you’re in contact with as it relates to your well-being. It’s important to note though that in the professional world of modeling, once hired for a shoot through your modeling agency, models are not allowed to bring guests to their shoots unless that model is under the age of 18.

Believe it or not, many models are required to have some sense of acting ability as well, so while you look at modeling listings on websites like Backstage you can also explore the acting opportunities offered. If your goal is to strictly model, you can still gain experience in the industry and get a foot in the door by accepting background roles. This allows you to network with individuals in the industry, many of whom are also signed to modeling agencies who can then potentially introduce you to their modeling agency.

3. Submit your images directly to agencies

On at least 70% of modeling agency websites, there’s an area in which aspiring models can submit their photos for consideration. Simply do a Google search of modeling agencies based on your current locale or the area in which you wish to move to for modeling. Upon finding a list of agencies and further doing your research to ensure that your agency of interest is reputable, read their website to see the specifics on the types of models they represent and how to submit for consideration.

Agencies require models to submit digitals online. Digitals are basic shots that can be taken on your cell phone at zero extra cost to you. If an agency is interested in potentially offering you a contract, they’ll reach out to you directly upon receiving your submission form online. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t hear from the agency right away as some agencies can take several weeks to respond. Some agencies on the other hand may not respond if they feel that you’re not the ideal fit for them at the time.

As your career advances and agencies need better images to market you, you’ll incur costs such as portfolio fees. In some select cases, the agency that offers you a contract will pay your portfolio fee upfront to the photographer and then later reimburse themselves after they’ve booked you on your first modeling job.

A career in modeling often seems a glamorous one to enter, but there’s work involved that will require the proper resources and use of finances as with any other career. However, getting started with the basics doesn’t have to cost you thousands of dollars. Follow these steps and you can launch a modeling career without worrying about going broke.

Looking for remote work? Backstage has got you covered! Click here for auditions you can do from home!

The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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Kamla-Kay McKenzie
Kamla-Kay is a professional agency-signed model in the USA and Cape Town, South Africa. She has modeled for brands such as The Ritz-Carlton, Disney, Stella McCartney, Atlantis Bahamas, IT Cosmetics, and Ashley Home Store to name a few. Kamla-Kay is also a modeling coach where she teaches aspiring models through her social media channels and private masterclass course how to increase their odds of getting agency signed, avoid scams, and build a strong model portfolio.
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