when you see models in fancy designer clothes strut their stuff on the runway, it’s easy to say ‘I can do that!’ maybe you could. though fashion merchandisers are the ones who hire models, they only deal through agencies. before you get represented, you need to sell yourself to the agencies. that’s where the photographer fits into the picture. so an aspiring model must first submit photos. modeling is not like fun activity with all glitter that makes a lot of money. like any business, it requires work. you’re an independent contractor who must manage her professional activity as a business.
agencies are in the business of making money. if they agree to represent you, that’s because you are marketable. the agency will incur upfront costs in trying to promote you. it’s in their interest to make sure that you have the potential of a good return on their investment. the model as a self-employed business person, should have good business sense. observing certain rules of business is the best guarantee of success.
though there are some notable cases of models being discovered in most unlikely places, usually a model needs to send some snapshots to agencies. sharpfocus photography will assist you if you have what it takes. many models want to take pictures tfp/tfcd (time for prints/time for cd respectively). it’s a barter system that allows the photographer to test some ideas. he may want to shoot for free with a model who’s willing to accept pictures in exchange for her portfolio. an inexperienced model may have very little to offer an established photographer. in that case, she may only find unskilled photographers willing to work with her. inversely, an established model will not likely consider working with an unproven photographer.
before looking for photographers, one act of common sense is to have a conversation with your mirror. taking a hard look at yourself is a good start to evaluating your potentials. there are fashion magazines that set the standard. vogue is one of them. getting a copy of one, looking at the models who grace the pages and asking oneself ‘what is it that these girls have that I don’t have?’ may be a natural next step. after determining you have what it takes, you’re off to a good start.