Being Realistic

Not Getting Discouraged, but Being Realistic

One of the hardest lessons in modeling is that the competition is fierce, and for each prime "job," a model will have to compete against hundreds of others. Most often, the model will not get the job. That's just life and the odds. If nothing else, modeling requires that a person be smart and determined.

You also need to be realistic, though. There is zero chance you'll go from a nobody to supermodel fame. You'll have to do a lot of work (possibly all for free) to get some samples in your portfolio. You'll maybe have to do some jobs you would rather not do (either because you have to travel, or because of nude or revealing poses, or you "lost" money on a payng job -- because you had to take off a day of work at your other job). But unless you stick with it and pay your dues, you'll never have a chance at realizing your dream.

Life is neither fair nor easy. The exception to the rule is the "superteen," who gets picked as one person in the whole country that a modeling agency will throw all of their resources behind to promote into being the next "supermodel." This person was lucky, and is not that much more attractive and talented than the next. They "won the lottery." Out of millions of hopeful models, they "got picked." (And the agency who picked them will ENSURE they are successful, so that the agency won't look foolish.) If you too want to "win the lottery," you should realize that most people who gamble end up losers. On the other hand, most people who work hard end up successful. Which path is the best for you?

Finding Jobs

The best place to start looking for jobs is with your friends and family. Does anyone own or manage a business where you can be featured in the advertising? Does anyone work for a fashion or clothing store whom you could convince to let you organize a fashion show (starring you, of course)? Does anyone set up booths at trade shows where a spokesmodel would be effective at getting attention at the booth?

After hitting up friends and family, you may need to start approaching some of these businesses on your own. You may be asking yourself "Why not just sign on with a modeling agency?" Because the successful models know how to hustle and sell their own skills. You will need to build up practice before you sign up with an agency that will STILL expect you to hustle but will also be taking 20% of your paycheck. Besides, you'll be much more interesting to legitimate agencies if you can demonstrate that you've already had work experience and have been able to find your own jobs.

Another area to check is working with professional photographers. Often times, if you're willing to pose for free, you can negotiate having them use your photos in their advertising. Perhaps, if you're interested in posing for glamour type of work (pin-up style, "Playboy," and humorous type images), the photographer may even be willing to give you a percentage of any publication royalties if your photos are published. Even without royalties, it's very useful to get your face in magazines and on postcards and greeting cards. These not only give you more samples for your portfolio -- but they give you national exposure. And remember that fame is ALL ABOUT face and name recognition--and nothing to do with how tall you are, or how thin your waist is, or what color you dyed your hair. If someone sees your photos in enough magazines or postcards -- you'll definitely seem "famous" to them!