Developing a Career as a Model

A modeling career is a rewarding yet competitive profession that requires a lot of hard work and commitment. There are many types of modeling to consider, from high-fashion runways and fitness models for healthy lifestyles to print ads and plus-size models.

Before you review and decide which modeling is a good fit for you, you’ll need to develop a modeling portfolio that highlights and promotes your model projects’ skills.

Create a Portfolio

Creating a portfolio is the first step to developing a modeling career. Every fashion model, whether they are new to the industry or an experienced print model, a modeling portfolio is the foundation for building a successful career. 

To get started, you’ll need a set of high-quality headshots, which are well-edited and styled for future jobs. A website is a great tool and foundation to showcase any career-related experience, whether it’s a small background role in a local film or positions that highlight social engagement, such as retail sales or an online platform. 

Every model offers a wide range of skills and abilities, which are essential to include in the portfolio, much like a resume.

Invest in Quality Headshots

Headshots are an essential part of every model’s portfolio. Some agencies specialize in taking photos that adhere to strict guidelines so that your headshot highlights all your best features. These include taking a shot in natural light, dressing in plain clothes, and focusing on your appearance in a way that attracts the type of modeling jobs you want.

Attend a Modeling School

Some people are interested in modeling part-time, while others are more serious about a career in modeling. Registering for a modeling class is an excellent way to learn image development and learn more about being a model. You’ll learn a lot about casting calls, also known as go-sees, different types of modeling, and how to build a career as a freelance model.

Prioritize Your Appearance

Taking care of your skin, hair, nails, and overall appearance is vital to succeeding in the modeling industry. While there are many sizes and types of models in demand today, you’ll want to look your best for every opportunity. If you’re a parts model, for example, you’ll want to take extra care of your nails and skin with regular manicures.

Eat healthy food, drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly to stay active. As the modeling world expands to include a much more comprehensive selection of models and unique looks, you’ll discover many great opportunities. 

An attractive appearance isn’t necessary because aesthetics are what you need to focus on to achieve a particular look for modeling clothing, accessories, and other products.

Search for Casting Calls

If you live in a large urban area or have access to a metropolitan region, you’ll find some casting calls for local film roles, including background actors and extras. There are plenty of online postings on social media for independent filmmakers and small local shops looking for models. 

If you’re new to the industry, apply for minor roles first while continuing to build your portfolio, image, and modeling skills.

Register with a Modelling Agency

While you search for online modeling jobs and occasional casting calls, you may want to consider registering with a modeling or casting agency to find your next opportunity. Most actors and models need regular work while developing their careers and have little to no time searching for their next print ad or photoshoot.

When you register with an agency, you’ll have the benefit of getting access to more jobs outside of your initial search online. The registration process requires providing details of your measurements, headshots, previous experience, a resume, portfolio, and helpful information.

If you have specific skills or features, such as athletic skills, bodybuilding, or perform in theatre, your agent will consider all these factors. Agents will want to have as much information about you as possible to find the best match for you. Some modeling jobs request specific types of models with unique physical attributes or skills, which can benefit some individuals.

Understand the Commitment of the Job

The world of modeling is highly competitive. Even the most successful modeling careers undergo a lot of challenges beforehand. Many people focus on the glamor and admiration that comes with modeling, though there’s a lot of hard work, long hours, and rejection along the way. You’ll need to be determined and follow directions well, as many directors and agents have high expectations, even for beginners.

In some modeling jobs, where just one or two print ads are required, you may be expected to pose for numerous shots to find the right angle and lighting for a specific image. This process can easily take many hours. Runway modeling requires practicing a signature walk and becoming comfortable with changing your appearance often.

Before you commit to any modeling proposals, it’s essential to understand the level of commitment and hours of hard work involved. You’ll need to set aside lots of time for each job and prioritize photo shoots and auditions above other obligations, including other jobs and courses. A full-time modeling career requires a lot of dedication and hard work, though, in time, it pays off.


When you embark on a modeling career, you’ll find many challenges and rewards along the way. There are many styles of modeling to explore, from fashion modeling, runway, print model, and parts modeling to finding unique campaigns and projects that attract unique models with specific or uncommon features. It’s essential to set realistic expectations and realize the high level of competition and demands of the modeling industry.

With a lot of hard work and determination, you’ll give yourself the best shot at a great career in modeling. Don’t be afraid to try various types of modeling, from independent shoots for local retailers to aiming for big contracts and campaigns. Always aim for your goal and work hard along the way to ensure the best possible outcome.

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