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How to Become a Model in Los Angeles

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Aspiring Los Angeles models face fierce competition. And to become a successful model in the Los Angeles market, you need to locate modeling agencies and determine their qualifications for models. In addition, you’ll need to find a photographer to take test shots to submit to the agencies. And after submitting your application materials, it’s important to follow up with the agencies to show them you’re serious. Here’s a guide to becoming a model in Los Angeles.

Determe which agencies you’ll contact. For an extensive list of agencies in the L.A. metropolitan area, check out the Web site provided in Resources.

Make a list of the agencies' qualifications. Evaluate the agency list and choose 5-10 agencies to contact. Each modeling agency will have a description of what type of models they’re looking for. For example, desirable measurements for models may be 24" waist, 34" hips and 36" bust. Take your measurements so you’ll have an idea if you meet the qualifications. Then make note of how the agency prefers to receive application materials. For example, they may want one head shot, one full-length shot and one backside shot.

Create a strategy for submitting your test shots. Once you have a list of what shots are required, it’s time to secure a photographer. Building a professional portfolio can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Many modeling agencies are willing to look at amateur photographs, so you don’t have to spend a fortune upfront. Contact colleges and universities in Los Angeles and talk with photography professors about connecting with a student to take your test shots. This allows the student to build his portfolio and allows you to get test shots for the agencies.

Assemble your application packages. Once you have taken the photographs, choose the pictures that meet each agency’s requirements. You can send the pictures to a print shop like Kinko’s, which can produce multiple prints and include your measurements on each photograph.

Contact each agency one to two weeks after submitting photographs. This will ensure they received your materials and allow you to increase your exposure to the agency if they haven’t had an opportunity to review the photographs yet.


Be prepared to meet with modeling agency representatives without any makeup. If you are called in for a meeting, agents may request that you come without makeup so they can evaluate your potential. For this reason, it’s important to take care of your skin so you’re not uncomfortable without makeup.


Don’t be discouraged by rejection. The modeling industry is very competitive and you may face multiple rejections before finding the right agency. Keep trying and eventually you’ll find the right agency.