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How can you get started in modelling

So you want to be a Model?

Well, you have picked a competitive business that requires a lot of hard work, patience, and the ability to take rejection.

Still interested?

Here is where you start…

As a commercial model you will need some professional pictures.

Your modeling portfolio is most important; It’s your marketing tool’ It’s how you will show agencies that you have the ability to act and portray characters.

Don’t spend a fortune… ! All an agent will need to see is some good headshots and full length body shots. Then if they are interested they will take care of the rest, you will then naturally build up your portfolio as you work.

Jefferson studios offer Headshots for as little as £40.

Modelling Portfolio

Another way to get experience and free photo-shoot’s is to list with on-line websites like Model Mayhem, you can upload your images promote yourself and collaborate with photographers. Working as (time for print) means that you give your time in return for prints. You can also search for casting and paid modeling in your area.

How can you get started in modelling?

There are many different types of modelling and some of them require different approaches, let’s assume that you are interested in being either a fashion model.

Register with agencies, remember everyone else wants to be on their books too, they get many hundreds of applications and accept very few of them. Some agents are likely to have criteria that you simply don’t match, for example height, weight, size and age.

All you usually need to do is to send them a few pictures of your face and your personal details and statistics. If they are interested they will contact you and ask you to attend an interview, If they accept you they may offer you a contract.

They will then arrange for you to be photographed by their photographer. They will then send you on auditions for modelling work. None of this will cost you a penny, like all reputable agencies they make all their money by deducting their commission from your modelling earnings.

The smaller genuine agencies will probably do less to promote you than the industry leaders, and although they won’t ask you to pay them any fees they may ask you to provide them with, photographs and model cards. Model cards are a simple double-side printed card, around A5 size, with 4 of 5 photos of you, your vital statistics and your contact details.

Why do you have to pay for the model cards and photos? Well, there are 2 reasons for this. Firstly, a small agency won’t be making as much commission from you as a larger agency would and really can’t afford to subsidies you and secondly, there are an awful lot of time wasters around. A good way of weeding out timewasters is by making them put their hands in their pockets to prove that they are serious about modelling. At the same time, although they are making you spend your money, none of it is going into their own pockets so you know that they are a genuine agency and not a scam merchant. If, however, the agency suggests that you should use their own photographer you should walk away, it is probably a scam.

Watch out for rogues?

The simple rule is this, If an agent or photographer is asking you for money to start your career (walk away), good agents make money from you not the other way around, If an agency is interested in representing you they will take on all of the initial costs of organizing photos, getting your hair cut, etc. You might have to pay them back later for some of this but a reputable agency will be the one who splashes out – not you.

Want to know more check out these websites:

The association of model agents

National Careers Service website

Links to interesting articles:

How easy is it to make a living as a model?

So you want to be a model

The Supermodel Rich List


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Jefferson Studios Photographers Bristol have over 40 years combined experience in the field of photography. They have built up a vast knowledge of all types of photography and have continued to adapt in order to stay at the forefront of ever changing photographic technology and style.

Jefferson Studios photographers Bristol pride themselves on their experience, expertise and quality of service.Whether you require passports, portraits or would like us to share and capture unforgettable images of your special occasions, you can depend on us.

"Really friendly photographers, brilliant studio and no hard sell. Posed pouting, clandestine smiles or a simple passport photograph available in their studio. They capture your special day as though it is their own and I have no hesitation in recommending Jefferson Studios to everyone."

"They made my cousins wedding unforgettable. I recommend them as excellent wedding and portrait photographers."

"Thanks so much for taking such lovely pictures of our wedding day! You both did a brilliant job and lots of people commented on how nice you were. Thanks again."