A Beginner’s Guide: How to Become a Model UK
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The modelling industry is a competitive industry and can be difficult to get into. But with some key advice from industry professionals, you’ll have a much higher chance of acceptance and success.
Read on for our top tips on how to become a model in the UK.
1. Research the Industry
As with any job, the more you know, the better! Modelling is the same; you need to know about the different types of modelling, as well as modelling agencies, to better understand the industry and how you can find a place in it.
Find out what it takes to be a model. Being a model means looking good year-round – you need to find out what this entails, and whether you are committed to this type of lifestyle.
Aspiring models should also learn about contracts and the legal side of the business. The more you know, the more you can protect yourself and your earnings.
2. The Model Lifestyle
A model’s work is their image, so health and fitness are of high importance. Previously, models have been scrutinised and blamed for undereating. But nowadays, models are much more health-focused and conscious of their influence on the public. Many models hire professionals in nutrition and training so they can understand what works best for their individual body shape and health needs.
Most models workout between 3 and 5 times a week, and they aim to eat clean 80% of the time. Important catwalk shows or photoshoots can increase the strictness of their diets and workout regimes in the weeks leading up to them.
As well as their health and fitness, models must also spend a lot of time and money on other key elements to their good looks. Hair, skin, nails and feet must all be kept in good order. Models regularly visit the hairdresser to keep dead ends at bay and to cover roots the moment they appear. Many also have a dermatologist to advise on skincare products. They like to visit manicurists and pedicurists to take care of their hands and feet.
At work, models have a makeup artist and hair stylist to perfect their looks. They also tend to have spray tans to give their skin an even look, and they will have regular brow waxing and facial maintenance.
4. The Modelling Portfolio
As a fashion model, you will need a model portfolio. This will act like your CV and showcase your experience and range. Your portfolio should contain around 20 high-quality A4 photos that should be updated regularly to remain current.
You will take this portfolio with you to any and all auditions you are invited to. It therefore needs to stand out from other aspiring models.
Your portfolio should reflect the chosen niche of modelling you want to get into. For example, if you wish to enter high fashion or commercial modelling, your portfolio should reflect these styles of modelling.
Only include your absolute best photos in your portfolio. Include headshots and full-length body shots as well as bikini/lingerie images you feel show off your physique well. Fitness models should make sure to incorporate athletic images. If you are a body part model, ensure there are close-ups of your favoured body part. Child models also need a portfolio.
You should also include your modelling details such as your measurements, clothing and shoe size (UK), height and contact information.
5. Z-Cards (aka. Your Modelling Business Card)
A z-card is a model’s business card. Both male models and female models can benefit from this helpful tool.
Keeping some z-cards with you at all times will help with networking and building contacts – an essential element to success in the business of fashion.
6. Getting Signed to a Modelling Agency
Getting signed to a modelling agency, sometimes known as gaining ‘model management’, is the best way to boost your exposure and increase work opportunities – though it can be difficult to get signed due to competition.
You can apply to as many agencies as you want, as many times as you want. Do some research and find out which agencies will suit your particular style of modelling best. There are plenty of agencies out there and some are better than others – don’t just apply to anything and everything. Think logically and be smart.
Use your best photos and be accurate with your details.
8. Using Social Media
Social media, in particular Instagram, is a great way to get noticed. You can gain work and exposure using social media. However, be mindful that social media also has many downsides. You must face a lot of critique and negativity from the public, who are often harsh and sometimes cruel online when they wouldn’t otherwise be. It is also very time consuming with little payoff, particularly when you start out. However, a good social media presence can help to get you in front of the right people and even gain you future work and collaborations.
9. Don’t Give Up
You need to really want to be a model if you want to succeed and have a great modelling career. Only a few select lucky few make it accidentally or with little effort. You need to work hard, be polite and try to build up your portfolio as much as possible.
Most models work part-time and work an additional job initially while they gain experience. Rejection is frequent, so you need to have the ability to brush it off and continue with a positive mindset.