How to Become a Face Model for Magazines

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There are many reasons to consider becoming a face model. By posing only for head shots, you do not have to worry about starving yourself, weight fluctuation or whether the clothes you are wearing fit well enough. On the other hand, you must have stunning hair, skin and teeth. Depending on your ability to model and your perseverance to attain this career, you may continue to model as you grow older. There is a significant demand for male and female models to market anti-aging creams and skincare products, among other beauty care essentials in magazines and ad campaigns. While modeling is a competitive field, you may possess the face to get you in the door.

Assess yourself. Evaluate not only your physical appearance but your character traits as well. Successful models must have not only infinite amounts of patience but also nerves of steel and endurance. The process is tedious and complicated since it can take hours of posing to achieve the look your client wants. By maintaining a patient and calm demeanor, photographers and publishers will be more likely to call you back and give you more assignments because you were so pleasant to work with.

Develop a composite. Instruct a professional photographer to take a series of tight head shots as well as a few full-body photos. Head to the local mall instead of a commercial photographer for your first shots if you want to save money. Be prepared and bring some photos from a magazine so your photographer has some sort of direction. Ask him to put the images in JPEG format onto a disk.

Make the composite. Use computer software to set up an 8 1/2-by-11-inch landscape document. Choose at least five photos from the disk and insert them into the layout. If you are having difficulty picking photos, ask friends and family to select the most flattering shots. Single out the most flattering pose and make it the largest one on the layout. Be sure to include all angles of your face such as straight-on, left and right profiles.

Add your information. Insert a textbox into the layout and include your data such as your name, age, height and weight. Also include your clothing and shoe size. If you are concerned about your security, you may omit your last name from the page. However, you cannot sign a contract to work unless you provide it at a later date. Include a phone number where the client can reach you. Once you succeed in finding representation, you should add your agency’s information on the page as well.

Make your portfolio. Enlarge your prints and insert them into a presentation portfolio. Choose a binder that has removable pages of protective acetate sleeves so that the pages are protected, yet easily accessible. This will be your tool to showcase yourself to potential clients and agents after they show interest in your composite. Be sure to include shots from all different types of lighting: special effects, studio and outdoor. As you continue in your career, remember to update the pages with sheets torn from magazines or the publications in which you appear.

Land an agent. Be smart in your search, however, and stay clear of any agents making too many promises or those who ask you for money up front. Remember that reputable, legitimate agencies do not charge pre-shoot fees in order to represent you. Instead, they receive an average of 20 percent of your earnings per-booking. Since you are interested in magazines and publications, ask to see their work. If you notice that they have done mostly runway work, they may not be the agent for you.

Ask about other services. Some agencies help the model compile portfolios or even update composites as part of their fee. Others may leave these tasks solely to the model’s discretion. It is important to research potential agencies thoroughly and find out which agencies handle the top face models. Target these companies first. While you may live in a small town and have limited options in terms of how many agents are available, the biggest agencies have locations in major cities.


Prepare yourself for rejection. The long process of going to auditions, sitting in a room with dozens of other beautiful women and not getting anywhere after repeated calls can take a toll on your self esteem. While learning to live with constant rejection can help you build character, this is often the reason why most want-to-be models decide it isn’t the career for them.


Research thoroughly. In the modeling business, there are absolutely no guarantees. You will not get a job as soon as you sign a contract and if anyone tells you otherwise, you may want to think twice about working with them. Stay away from modeling schools. While there are a few legitimate schools that offer education and opportunity for aspiring models, many schools are simply expensive schemes designed only to exploit potential models’ desires to be famous.