20 April 2012 0 Comments

Life in the limelight, could you be the next top model?

Glance through any glossy magazine and you’re sure to find images of young and beautiful models promoting everything from lingerie to breakfast cereals. It’s big business and for the lucky few who that make it in the industry, it can be an extremely lucrative career too. Last year, Heidi Klum earned over $16 million dollars through sponsorships, whilst this is certainly the elite end of the market, there are countless lesser known catwalk models earning six-figure salaries every year. While to the casual observer it looks like a dream job, just having to turn for a day of photographs, in actual fact, the road to becoming a professional model requires a lot more hard work and discipline.

The genetic code
While it’s true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there are a few traits or characteristics that will give you an advantage if you want to become the next top model.

Become a top model

Firstly, height is very important. Most female models will need to be at least 5′ 8” tall while their male counterparts will need to be at least 6′ tall, this is especially true if you want to make it as a catwalk model. In addition to height, most agencies will look for naturally skinny people with slender bone structures. Again, every agency is different and there has definitely been an effort to recruit more plus-size models however the reality is there are fewer opportunities for models in this category.
Finally, you simply need to have the right look to get regular bookings, often the top models have something unique that sets them apart from the crowd. This is a quality that no amount of dieting or gym work can improve, having said that, having facial and body features that are in a natural proportion is a good starting point. Unfortunately in this fickle trade, if you have a crooked nose or sticky out ears your unlikely to find work.

Training

While everybody assumes that most models are simply picked out from the crowd by a talent scout and can model from day one, the reality is that many hopefuls undergo training to learn the trade. Professional modelling academies can teach the basics of posture, how to walk on a catwalk and how the industry operates. This is often vital as most jobs will require models with some experience and have little time to coach new recruits.

A good portfolio
Most agencies will expect you to bring a portfolio of your work to any audition or casting, this is your chance to really shine by showing off how well you perform in front of the camera. If you can, ideally your portfolio should be made using professional photographs plus examples of your past shoots. If you can’t afford to hire a professional photographer then you should at least include a couple of head shots as well as a couple of full length body shots. Photographs from your last holiday with you mates in the background are not ideal, keep it professional and stylish.

Finding work
Many agencies hold ‘open calls’ throughout the year, this is your chance to meet with the booking agents and have your portfolio professionally reviewed. Open calls are open to everyone, even those with no modelling experience. Try not to take criticism too much to heart as every agency prefers a slightly different look so it’s worth attending a few different castings. Another option is to contact modelling agencies directly, many will ask you to email some of your photos before inviting you in for an interview. Again, be prepared for rejection, modelling is a fiercely competitive industry and every agency receives hundreds of applications every year.

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