How do I Become a Model?
How do I become a model?
Is the question we get asked the most! We understand with the worldwide web there is a lot of misinformation out there about the process of becoming a model. We created this page with credible information for you to have the best chance possible at becoming a Natural model, as well as avoiding modeling scams and unprofessional and potentially dangerous situations. Let’s begin!
First things first, you do not need to pay money in order to be seen by an agency or model scout! (EVER)
As most of you know there are several “model searches” that may go through your local mall and promise you a chance to be seen by industry agents and scouts. These are big money making opportunities for these companies that profit on your hopes and dreams when in reality all modeling agencies accept online submissions and or hold “open calls” at the agency FOR FREE!
Do you represent men or children?
No, we do not.
Is there an age limit to becoming a model?
Technically there is not an age limit to becming a model but we do ask that you be realistic about your intentions for modeling. Modeling is not a hobby or way to make extra money. Modeling is like any other profession that requires a lot of time, effort, and energy invested into building a lasting career. Most of the mature models you see have over 20 years of experience in the industry and have transitioned to mature modeling as they aged. Starting any career from scratch later in life is going to be difficult and athough it is a possibility, becoming a model after 30 is not likely.
We typically represent models in the age range of 15-40.
Do I have to live in California to represented by Natural?
No you do not have to live in California to be represented by our agency but you would need to come to Los Angeles to meet with us and potenital clients at some point. Because we have clients across the United States it allows us to book models from various locations.
What is an open call?
An agency open call is a time of the week when the modeling agency allows hopeful models to come by the office to be seen and possibly scouted in person. If the agency you are wanting to be signed with has open calls, this information will be listed on the agency’s website.
What can I expect at an Open Call?
When you arrive at the agency for the open call you can expect to sit in the waiting area, fill out a form with basic information about yourself and turn that over to the receptionist with 3-4 printed photos of yourself. The person gathering information from the open call applicants is usually not the person making the yes or no decision on you becoming a model. That person just simply takes your information to the back for review. Usually how it works is if the agent is interested in talking with you further they will ask you to stay for a while to take measurements and digital pictures to see how you photograph. If the answer is a no you will be handed a list of other agencies and their open call information. Open calls are not for the faint at heart and require a thick skin because less than 5% of people who attend open calls are offered a modeling contract.
At the moment we do not have open calls at the agency. We prefer online submissions.
What is an online submission?
An online submission is a section on the modeling agencies website that says something similar to “Become a model” or “Get scouted.” Here is a link to our submission page, CLICK HERE. On this page you will enter your basic personal information as well as 3-4 photos the industry calls “Digitals” or “Polaroids.” We will go over what kind of photos you should submit in a few questions. It is really important that you are 100% accurate with your body measurements and height.
Why do my and body measurements and height matter?
In the modeling industry height and measurements are extremely important. Most people assume that agencies and modeling agents are the ones deciding what size and height a model needs to be in order to have a successful career. That is not the case at all. There are industry standards when it comes to a model’s measurements and height that have been created by clients as a result of sample sizes. We are starting to see some flexibility in these requirements but the models who are the ideal height and size requested by clients do have more working opportunities than those who are not. We are hopeful that this will continue to change.
What size and height requirements does Natural Model Management have?
At Natural Models we really try hard to create opportunities for models that are not the ideal measurements because we feel beauty comes in many shapes and sizes and should be represented. That being said we have noticed a size range that works best for our clientele. We accept model submission for models who are a minimum of 5’7″ – 6’1″. That means without shoes on!
The easiest way to measure your height is to stand with your back up against a door frame, barefoot with your heels flat against the floor. Next, take a pencil and hold it flat on the top of your head making a mark on the door frame. Then measure with a measuring tape from the floor to your mark!
When it comes to size we look for models who are sizes 8-18. To be more specific we look for a hip measurement between 39″- 47″.
In order to accurately measure your hips make sure you stand with your feet together and place the measuring tape across the widest part of your bum. (Do not pinch tightly.) Again there is no need to cheat this number up or down because we accept and like a wide range of sizes! We will also measure you when you come to meet us, so if you cheat your measurement, we will know! Just be honest and be the real you in order to have the best chance possible.
What if my height and or measurements do not meet the requirements?
It is really important to understand that working models are less that 2% of the entire population. We are telling you this because your body not meeting what are rare requirements doesn’t mean you are not beautiful, it just means that becoming a model isn’t in the cards for you and that is okay! It isn’t in the cards for 98% of the population. In fact you are 7 times more likely to be an independent billionaire than you are to become a Victoria Secret model! So if you were interested in the idea of modeling and just found out with this information that you don’t meet the requirements we would suggest not continuing to pursue modeling as a career. Instead find what you are meant to do and place your talents and energy there. You never know, you could be the next female billionaire! Let’s be real…. that is way better than modeling.
What kind of photos should I send with my online submission?
The kind of photos you should send with your online submission form are called “Digitals.” Digitals used to be called “Polaroids” when agents would use polaroid cameras to snap picture of their models. Now, we use digital cameras to shoot photos of our models hence the term, “Digitals.” Digitals are not professional retouched photos, they are quite the opposite! Digitals are an important aspect of modeling because they allow clients and agents to clearly see what a model looks like without Photoshop or any fancy hair, makeup, or lighting that can be misleading. Think of model digitals as a blank canvas for an artist. Just like an artist who needs to see a canvas before envisioning their masterpiece, a client, and agency needs to see you as a blank canvas before determining if you have what it takes to be a working model.
Follow these tips below to take the best digitals possible.
What do I wear for digitals?
Remember the goal of your digitals is to clearly show your body shape and beautiful face! That being said there is not one set uniform for digitals but here is what we suggest: Form fitting jeans, fitted top, and heels. For submission digitals we suggests a tank or t-shirt that really show your shape. This denim on demin look Bianca wore for her digitals was fashionable, form fitting, and flattering to her shape. You can clearly see her body and shape which is really important! It’s also important to wear light make-up, or none, and have your hair down and pretty. We really want to see what YOU look like in these photos, as much as we love make-up this isn’t a time to show your skills as a make-up artist.
Do my photos need to be professional?
No, your digitals do not and should not be professional photos! These photos above were shot with an iPhone!
What if I don’t have someone who can take my photos? Can I submit selfies?
Selfies are never a good idea to submit for many reasons. First, selfies always distort your face because you are not able to get far enough back from the lens and the there for the photo is not an accurate depiction of your face or features. Second, we cannot see your body if you send us selfies and with the amount of submissions received daily, if you don’t send in the correct type of images you will most likely be over looked quickly. It is simple, schedule a time with a friend or parent to snap a few photos! It takes less than 5 minutes. To be honest, if you submit selfies, or mirror pictures, you likely won’t be taken seriously as a potential model. If you are feeling embarrassed about having someone take your pictures, you might want to rethink modeling as a career because having people stare at you while shooting photos is what models do. It is important that you have the right kind of personality as well as looks.
When is the best time to take digitals?
You always want to take digitals in the day time so that you can have plenty of natural lighting. Taking digitals inside, at night time, with or without a flash is not a good idea. You want your digitals to be light and pretty so follow these tips to getting clean pretty digitals:
The best lighting for inside shots is with your back to a wall and your front facing a window for natural light. *Note* If shooting inside try your best to find a clean wall with as little clutter as possible.
The best lighting for outside shots is against a wall in the shade. You want to choose a sunny day vs a gloomy day so your images are bright and pretty vs dull and again try your best to find a clutter free spot.
Should I shoot some close up images also?
Yes! Remember modeling is all about your facial features and then your body shape. You can’t have one without the other and that is why when you send in your photos you send some really great close up beauty shots like the images above of Sydney. We need to see your smile and teeth so make sure one of your close up images is smiling and one is more of a relaxed face without a smile. (Examples above) Another thing to keep in mind is that we need to see what your skin is like and that is why it is important that you don’t use filters or retouch your digitals. (Yes, we can tell when you do!) Natural or no makeup and hair down is also important! As you have seen on Instagram with the crazy makeup tutorials…. people looks totally different with a painted contour face, fake lashes, and smokey eye. That is not the look we are going for so keep it natural and the real you.
Ok ladies listen up! You are NEVER required to send in nude photos and if someone is telling you that you need to, they are not a legitimate agency or agent. We would suggest that you stop all communication immediately. Again, do not send nude photos of yourself to us. If you follow our instructions and send in digitals that catch our eye there is a chance we might ask to see lingerie or swimsuit digitals. The reason for this is to better see your shape and body proportions sense we can’t see you in person.
*Warning* There are people who contact women on social media claiming to be a model agent or scout for top agencies and ask them to send nude photos and or meet them in person. Please do not do this as it is a scam and extremely dangerous! If you get scouted by an agent or scout call the modeling agency they claim to work for to verify that this person is a real employee. All modeling agency’s have their contact info listed on their website. Also take note of the e-mail address this person is using. All agents that work for legitimate agencies will have official e-mails like firstname.lastname@example.org NOT an email like email@example.com. If someone approaches you in person, get their contact info, do not give them your full name, address, or number! Ask for the agencies number or the scouts emails and contact them directly!
What are lingerie or swim digitals?
Lingerie and swim digitals are photos like the ones we mentioned previously. The only difference is that you need to wear a flattering underwear set or bikini. There is not need to try attempt to be “sexy” in these photos because the goal is for us to clearly see your body type and shape. Simple posing and nice lighting is always the best option. You want to make sure you choose a bikini or underwear set that matches and fits your body properly. You don’t want to anything too small or too big and most definitely nothing sexy.. we are not that kind of agency. Take a look at the examples of Riley wearing a black underwear set below and notice that the set she chose to wear fits her body perfectly showing off her beautiful curves. You can also see exactly what her shape looks like which is what we would need from you.
After I submit my photos, how long will it take to hear back?
Because we receive so many submission we are unable to respond to everyone. If we are interested in working with you or need further information or photos someone from our agency will be in contact with you within one to two weeks of your submission.
If I don’t hear anything back should I assume that is 100% a no?
Not necessarily. If you fit the requirements when it comes to height and measurements, as well as being photogenic with model features and you did not hear back from us; you might want to follow our submission photo suggestions as close as possible and resubmit your photos. Often times agents only look at the first attached photo and if they didn’t see a photo that interested them enough to click to see the other images they move on. It is possible that you didn’t submit great images and should try again. If you do try again and do not hear back then it is safe to assume that is a no. Remember, agencies are always looking for their next star model and they know it when they see it! If that is you there will be no mistake and you will hear back.
Do I need to research the agency I am submitting to?
Yes! As we mentioned above, we get too many submissions to respond to everyone. It falls on you to make sure that you fit the agency’s basic requirements. It never ceases to surprise us the amount of baby, male, and models that do not fit our requirements that submit to us. It tells us right off the bat that you did not even look at our website. Make sure the agencies you’re submitting to take your size, gender, age range, ect.
Can I just send my photos to the model booker?
Most legitimate modeling agencies will have a booking email listed on their site, so new clients can reach out to them about booking models. Do not send your submissions to them. They literally get hundreds of emails every day, even if you have what it takes, this will irritate them and not benefit you. Submit through the proper channels so when you do meet your booker it’s on positive terms! It’s also important to go through the proper submission channels because it’s usually a group decision whether not you’re offered a contract, if only one person on the team sees you and they’re not interested, you may never get your shot! Sometimes someone else on the team will see something in you that the booker missed, and the team will decide to give you a try!
If I am not offered a contract does that mean I am not beautiful?
Being a model and being beautiful are not mutually exclusive. Models literally hit the genetic jackpot, they have a certain looks, measurements, and height. Just because you’re not a model doesn’t mean you’re not a beautiful person! Plus, you never know why and agency said no, it could be something as simple as you look too much like a model on their board, or they don’t need any more brunettes at the moment. Don’t internalize not being signed as something negative towards yourself! Modeling is just a job, it’s not a reflection of you as a person.
If you follow these instructions you will dramatically increase your odds of being scouted!