Runways, high fashion, the catwalk and contracts are all part of the lucrative world of modeling. Tyra Banks and Nikki Taylor were both popular teen models who became very successful and continued modeling throughout their adulthood. These two models demonstrated that hard work, time and knowing how to do a good interview are all required if you want to be successful in the modeling industry. It goes without saying that getting into the modeling industry is difficult for anyone to do. However, when you’re a teenager, there are a few extra hurdles you must handle before you can even potentially become a model.
Get permission from your parents. If you’re a minor, you must have your parents’ permission in order to get into modeling. Otherwise you have to wait until you're 18 or become emancipated from them. Talk to your parents about your goals and help them to understand your position. Encourage them to be a part of your dream and ask their opinion. If they expect you to fulfill other obligations such as school, don’t scoff at the idea. Instead, do what they say so you can get their consent.
Make a portfolio. Before you sign with an agent or attend casting calls, you must have a portfolio that demonstrates your range as a model. Hire a photographer to shoot the portfolio. This step in the process does cost money. Make sure you have a range of photos that include headshots and full body length shots. The purpose of these photos is to catch the eye of the company that is hiring and to distinguish yourself from other models trying to get the same job.
Hire an agent. Once you’ve put your portfolio together it’s time to hire an agent. Visit local talent agencies or national agencies such as Barbizon and John Robert Powers to inquire about representation. Understand that these agencies will not talk to you unless at least one of your parents is present. In addition, your parents must sign contracts for you because you are a minor. Three important qualities when choosing an agent are past experience, having industry connections and knowledge of the business.
Educate yourself. Just because you’ve found an agent, don’t stop there. Instead, make a point to gather as much knowledge as you can. Take modeling classes and perfect your skills. Often, your agency will offer classes or know of a modeling coach in your area. Learn the basics, such as walking a runway, posing and how to do an interview. Gaining this essential knowledge will only help you in the future.
Maintain and strive to improve your personal appearance. Go to the gym on a regular basis and tone your body. Keep in mind this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be skinny. However, you do need to have tone and definition when it comes to your physical appearance.
Attend auditions and casting calls. Once you have an agent and a portfolio, it’s time to find a job. Attend as many auditions and casting calls as you can. Don’t be disappointed if you get turned down several times. Companies have a predetermined concept of what they’re looking for before you even walk in the door. You either fit the bill or you don’t. After all, many successful models know that you have to have few doors slammed in your face before a door opens up.
Go to several agencies before deciding on an agent. You want to make the right decision, so take your time and don’t feel pressured.
Don’t try to break into modeling without an agent. It’s an agent’s job to have the knowledge of who’s hiring and where auditions and casting calls are. Trying to do this on your own is very difficult.