A lot of girls (and probably also boys) are dreaming about becoming a model but don't know how to even start their career. Since I'm in Paris right now working as a model I thought I might give you some tips on how to do it right...
Do some good research.
There are so many agencies in the world with different requirements and also different target groups. While some focus more on promotion or very arbitrary photo shootings, others have plus-size models or may specify strictly on tattooed models etc. I can only tell you something about professional model agencies in the (high) fashion, commercial and editorial business, because these are the only kinds of agencies I work with. You should do some good research and have a precise look at their website and the appearance of the agency in general. For me personally, the best reference is still models.com where you can find all agencies from big cities listed. There's another special category called Top Agencies Women where you will see the very best of the whole world where supermodels like Adriana Lima, Gisele Bündchen and Toni Garrn are signed. If you get signed with an agency listed on models.com, you will be in very good hands: There are only a few of the world listed on this website.
If you are from a big fashion city, there will be plenty of agencies to apply. Otherwise just try to get an agency close to the city you live. My mother agency is in Austria (because I'm Austrian), but since this country is so small the only good agencies are in the capital Vienna.
Normally, there is always a possibility to apply online. You send some pictures of you to the agency and also give them your measurements (height, bust, waist, hips). If they like you, you will get invited and will probably sign with them after. The pictures should be super simple and you should not wear a lot of make-up, actually it would be good to just rock your bare face. It should look something like this (Behati Prinsloo is a good example):
When they sign you, you will probably get more agencies in big fashion cities like Paris, London, New York or Milan later. At the moment also cities like Amsterdam or Stockholm are places a lot of models would love to go. There are also a lot of scams out there, so beware of them. No agency which is worth working with will charge anything before you start modeling. If they do, please don't sign with them!
Take care of yourself.
Do a weekly face scrub, use conditioner, pamper yourself as much as you like. When I'm buying something beauty related, I always have an excuse. It's also good to do some sports and get fit. Don't get too muscular, normally clients prefer slim girls in shape without being super toned.
It's all about the looks.
Being a model also means to go to castings on a regular basis. A lot of models are dressed very fashionable: It seems like they just fell out of Vogue without even trying too hard. In a lot of model guides you read something like "Wear jeans and a white T-shirt, like this you're neutral". But the problem is you don't want to be neutral, you want to be an eye candy without being super styled. (Black) skinny jeans, a nice top and high heels are always a good choice, as well as very long coats, cardigans and cool sunglasses (By the way, thanks for all the compliments on my Instagram! I'm flattered :)) An impressive amount of girls also carry high-end bags with them to complete their look and make it look exclusive. If you can't or don't want to afford this, don't worry, nobody will judge. Basics are always a good idea, but they must be combined right to achieve a certain look. The most important thing is still that you feel comfortable!
Posing is crucial in this business. My friends and family always tell me that I look like a different person on professional pictures, even on polaroids or photos without a lot of make-up. When I'm working, I might act cooler than I really am. I'm neither shy nor reserved, I just do my job. Improvement in posing can be made by making selfies (yes, I'm serious, but don't go for a duck face) and reading magazines like Vogue, Numéro or L'Officiel. Poses change as time goes by. If you look at a magazine from 1995, the gesture and posture of the models will be different than they are now.
Don't take everything too seriously.
The model scene is mostly about luck and a little bit of effort given that you got into one of these agencies I talked before. If not, don't worry! At WOMEN Milan 200 girls apply daily, so don't be sad if you didn't make it. Love yourself and appreciate your body and health, it's the most precious thing you have. Please take care of it and don't start to starve yourself or go under the knife, it's definitely not worth it.
In one of my last posts I already told you about my typical day when I'm working in Milan or Paris, and at the very beginning of my blog, I made a model ABC with some terms you might not be familiar with.
If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact me either in the comments or via mail: firstname.lastname@example.org