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Breaking into any entertainment-related industry can be extremely difficult. Many times, getting a job as an actor, singer or performer depends on who you know and the professional contacts you cultivate. It can be slightly easier to break into the modeling industry, since a single photograph can display your physical assets and modeling potential. By educating yourself on modeling careers and working on your own modeling skills, you can get into modeling with no prior experience.
Learn more about the life of a model and what the job requires. Check out or buy books about modeling to learn more about the looks, shapes and sizes of models most agencies look for and what you can do to improve your look. The books will also include tips on posing and further explain the difference between the various kinds of modeling, such as catalog, runway and department store.
Work on improving your posing skills. Always keep your back straight and your shoulders up when you’re posing. Identify which side of your face is your “good side,” meaning the one that looks the most attractive. Flex your stomach muscles so your stomach appears more toned and flat. Use a mirror to experiment with different smiles and facial expressions you can make while posing.
Get headshots taken. Headshots are like a résumé for a model and show an agency or employer what you can do. Book appointments with one or two professional photographers to get photos taken. Explain the photos will be used as modeling headshots, which may help direct the photographer as to what kind of photos to take.
Move to a larger metropolitan area. It’s a no-brainer that top modeling agencies are located in cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Department stores and catalogues generally shoot photos for their advertisements in their headquarters city. For example, American Eagle and Sears are headquartered in Pittsburgh and Chicago, respectively. Moving to those locations should improve your chances of finding modeling jobs with those organizations.
Send your headshots to a large department store or catalog. Include your best photos, along with a letter stating your interest in becoming a model for the company. If possible, include professional photographs of you wearing clothing produced by that company.
Enter modeling contests on a consistent basis. Many modeling agencies, such as Ford and Elite, hold annual or bi-annual contestants in which they search for new models. Check the websites of these and other agencies to see when and where they're holding these contests or where they're holding open auditions.