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Advertising agencies look for models of all types, not just the traditional leggy, good-looking female models gracing the covers of magazines. Male models play an important role in the fashion industry, showcasing trendy clothing, demonstrating the effects of grooming products and complementing female models for romantically themed ads. So, it’s possible to become a male model at age 14, but be prepared for hard work, determination and plenty of competition in this highly selective industry.
Talk with your parents. Make sure your parents feel comfortable with your working and being in front of the camera at the relatively young age of 14. Getting started as a model can be expensive, so they’ll need to be on board to help with costs for building a portfolio. Double-check to make sure they’re willing to drive you to various modeling agencies, photo shoots and interviews with potential clients if public transportation isn’t readily available. Have a plan in place to accommodate school work and other responsibilities to show that you’re committed to being responsible about maintaining good grades, continuing extracurricular activities and spending time with family.
Ask a photographer friend to take photos for your modeling portfolio or, budget permitting, arrange for professional photos. Photos should demonstrate your photogenic face and body so don’t worry about getting artsy shots. Male models frequently showcase physical strength, so include some athletic-type shots.
Send your photos to modeling agencies that might be a good match for your personal style. Some agencies specialize in teen models, male models, or models of different ethnicities, so browse agency websites, read trade magazines and network with any professional models you may know for recommendations.
Attend auditions and casting calls. Once signed, your agency will direct you to upcoming auditions and casting calls for 14-year-old male models. You don’t have to wait to sign a contract before attending these events; sign up for social networking sites geared toward the modeling industry or read classified ads to find out when they’re happening.
Listen carefully to directions and instructions when you finally land a photo shoot for your first male modeling gig. Be respectful and polite to photographers, stylists and other professionals on hand; they won’t have patience for teen angst coming from a 14-year-old boy.
Keeping a positive attitude while attending countless auditions can be challenging for a 14-year-old. Remember that you’re young enough to have years before it’s too late to become a model. Male models frequently work into their 50s.
Don’t just sign the first contract that comes your way without reading the fine print, which can contain provisions or exclusions that might be harmful to your modeling career down the line. Make sure your parents read the contract, and have them contact a lawyer to review its contents before signing.
Missing school to attend auditions and casting calls can hurt your grades. Devote time each week for studying to maintain good grades. Working teen models sometimes opt for homeschooling, as this frees up their schedule for modeling.
Morgan Rush is a California journalist specializing in news, business writing, fitness and travel. He's written for numerous publications at the national, state and local level, including newspapers, magazines and websites. Rush holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego.