3 Brutally Honest Ways to Start Your Modeling Career


There is not one way to start a successful modeling career. Unlike most professions that has a set course of instructional starting-your-modeling-careerlearning, experience, and testing to follow, modeling doesn’t offer a clear path to success.

The Three Most Popular Ways to Get Started in Modeling are:

  1. Being Discovered
  2. Working with and through a Modeling Agency
  3. Putting together Your Own Marketing Plan and Find Modeling Jobs for Yourself


There is a school of thought that says that if a prospective model goes to a major international modeling schools (New York, Paris, London, Milan, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Tokyo, Toronto, Germany, Los Angeles, and Brazil etc.) and if after a month of just being there are not approached or scouted by an agency, then you don’t have what it takes.

There are literally thousands of successful models that were stopped on the street or approached in a restaurant, or walking down the street etc., by model talent scouts (the legitimate variety). It happens often and regularly. One shouldn’t depend on it however.

With the second and third approach you need to have the right materials to get work. The basics are snap shots, a composite card (sometimes called a Zed card), portfolio or book, maybe even a presence on the web and most important (usually) how you look.

You can start with simple snap shots, as long as they are shot correctly. (See How To Find an Agency in Your State).

The composite card is a single sheet of paper that has a head shot printed on one side and more photos and your vital statistics on the back.

This is your basic marketing tool. You give it to photographers, art directors, casting agents and others. This gives them something they can put in their files and refer to when looking for talent. It is your sales brochure and business card all in one and it is hard to get far without it.

After someone shows interest in you, they are going to want to see more photos of you. This is where your “portfolio or “book” becomes your sales tool. Your portfolio contains an assortment of photos and tear sheets showing what you have done and your “look”.

They all, of course, must be of excellent quality. When you’re starting out its likely you won’t have any tear sheets (pages from magazines or newspapers with your photos) as you haven’t worked yet. As you do get work, add tear sheets to show you have done actual jobs.

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