How to start modeling? Requirements to become a model

how to start modeling

Whether you are a complete beginner model or intermediate, ModelLifestyle has great tips on helping you push your modeling career to the next level. Today we will focus on how to start modeling with requirements to become a model. This information must help a model who would like to know briefly about how to start modeling.

We also cover here some basic requirements to become a model those are really important to start a modeling career. There are different types of modeling like fashion modeling, runway or catwalk modeling, commercial modeling, etc.. If you would like to know, please read step by step our modeling based article on how to start modeling.

how to start modeling

How to start modeling! Here we go!

If you’re wondering how to start modeling, first you have to ask yourself a very important question.

Do you have something in your appearance that triggers admiration and inspiration? Your eyes, your allure, your grace…?

If your response is a positive one, then your chances are good and it’s more than OK to pursue a modeling career. A model is someone ordinary people look up to in terms of appearance and style. There’s more to it than clothes and catwalks.

In modeling field, your looks are your weapon. Try to lay emphasis on your best features as you start modeling into the modeling industry.

A properly assembled portfolio should be your best weapon when pursuing the attention of agencies, because unlike actors, models can’t really handle their jobs without an agent.

Therefore, be prepared to invest some time and money into several really good shots of yourself make sure a good photographer is within your budget. 

With a well made, professional portfolio your chances to catch the interest of an agency will grow significantly. Be sure to also include a nice headshot of yourself as well. Make sure to stay natural and don’t wear excessive make-up – it’s out of trend anyway.

Also, look into training. Even if you are a natural, some tips on how to pose or walk properly on a runway won’t do you any harm. Additionally, modeling training will give you a big plus at auditions. Professionalism is essential if you wish to become a model.

When searching for auditions, it’s OK to first start locally. You can find casting calls in your local newspaper or in commercials. But the best “search engine” is the internet.

You can find multiple free auditions available near you. Do a quick browse and find which agencies are settled in your city and what their affiliations are. After auditioning, try to play it cool. You most probably won’t get any calls from the agency within the next two weeks.

The next steps are up to you. If you have what it takes, see you in New York, Paris or Madrid!

Stop:  Do Not Become a Model!

Before you even consider becoming a model, you first need to look at some of the downsides of modeling that newbie’s rarely consider.  You will need to contend with a pervasive drug culture, hard living, excessive travel, and long work hours, to name a few.

Do not become a model!

There are the time sacrifices. The school sacrifices. The drug culture. About all the nay-sayers out there.

If you did not get through the first part of this book, if you were put off by some of the comments on how tough the modeling life is, then perhaps you should not be a model. If you’re still reading, and then please go on; you have already overcome one of the tests.

The life of the model is not easy. Yes, there is an upper crust of models, mostly supermodels, who have an easier life and can come and go as they please, while still commanding $120,000 per session fees. But most of the models need to work for their money.

This is not to say that you cannot make good money or more as a model. Modeling fees are typically very high in this industry, whether you are modeling underwear for L.L. Bean or Dior on the runway in Paris.

There’s simply so much money in this industry, that the money tends to get passed on throughout the industry. From makeup people to creative directors to models to designers, and so on.

Becoming a successful model can certainly be done. And we’re here to help you.

How Start Modeling! Erase “Supermodel” from Your Mind

All the reality shows and magazines promote high-style super modeling on the runways of Paris, Milan, and New York. But did you know that most models make great money and live the exciting life of a model, without being what is considered a “supermodel”?  Learn all about real-life modeling opportunities.

How to start modeling

Let’s first get this out of the way. In most people’s minds, a model is a supermodel. What does your mom or dad think of when they think about modeling? They think supermodels, of course.

We’re here to tell you that part of the Six-Figure Model plan is to erase the “supermodel” idea from your head. We’ll tell you why later. But first let’s define what a supermodel is. A supermodel must fit the following requirements:

A supermodel is known to people who are outside of the industry and who are not normally interested in the industry. For instance, Cindy Crawford or Naomi Campbell are generally known to people outside of the industry. Therefore they are supermodels.

A supermodel makes one million dollars or more per year. In fact, supermodels tend to make eight figures or more. What do we mean by this? We’re talking about annual salaries of $10,000,000 or more.

  •     A supermodel does runway work exclusively.
  •     A supermodel model in top markets such as New York, Milan, and Paris.
  •     A supermodel displays mainly clothing related items. They aren’t modeling jewelry.
  •     A supermodel displays clothing from top fashion designers, such as Christian Dior.
  •     A supermodel appears on the top fashion magazines such as Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar.

Personality Requirements to Become a Model

The successful model realizes that modeling is 50% physical and 50% mental. The unsuccessful model will skip right over this section, thinking that modeling is all about having a beautiful, toned body.

While we cannot devalue the importance of having perfect physical qualities, the other half that usually gets ignored is the mental side of modeling.

In fact, that very “mental” model herself, Janice Dickinson, typically tells aspiring models that it’s all in the head.

Major Attitude Without the Arrogance

Attitude is the number one quality that models must-have. Attitude does not mean being harsh, wicked, mean, stubborn, airing and. Attitude means having a strong sense of your own abilities and feel entitled to your position as a model within the modeling world.

Attitude is very difficult to describe, but you know it when you see it. Attitude means that you can keep your head held high in you hold strong against people who try to tear you down because in this industry you will always find people trying to tear you down.

Can They Count On You?

The idea is most people’s minds of a fashion model is of a person who parties all night until 5:00 AM wakes up with a bottle of champagne in bed, and then drags off to their shoot 2 ½ hours late.

The other idea that a lot of people have is of a very temperamental, flighty person who angers everyone and can never be counted on.

That image cannot be farther from the truth. True, some models do behave that way. Out of that group of models who behave that way, only a very small percentage excel within the field of modeling.

Most of the very successful, famous models can be counted on and are very responsible. And it should go without saying that even less successful models have a greater motivation to be responsible.

How to Start Modeling! Arrive on Time

Punctuality. Do you think you left that back at school or your old job? Hardly. Even our favorite example, Ms. Dickinson herself, says that much of her success can be attributed to the fact that she is an “old school” model who believes in extreme punctuality.

Why is this so important? Because clients are paying a lot of money for your time, and for the time of photographers, assistants, directors, and studios. Every minute of time that you waste costs big bucks and stains your reputation as a model.

How to start modeling


Fashion modeling is very much an independent world. You are self employed. You’re not punching a time clock, 9 to 5, every day. You are what they call a free agent.

Your name and your face and your body are the same as what a storefront is to accompany. You need to treat it well and you need to realize the fact that you are your own business.

No one is going to tap you on the shoulder and tell you to keep working or to do any of these responsible things.

It is up to you to hunt down jobs and to follow promising leads. If you are feeling slightly sick in bed one day, and you have a very important shoot coming up, in most cases you will be expected to push on ahead and make that shoot.

Now we’re not advocating that you go into to work if you are extremely ill, but we’re saying that in most cases the successful in a self starter who can push through many obstacles for their goal.

Your Inner Circle

So maybe you’re not at the point of having your own entourage, but let’s just call this your inner circle. By inner circle we mean a close group of friends and industry contacts. These are people who know the modeling industry and are interested in issues relating to modeling.

We’re not talking about friends and relatives outside of the industry, even though that is another layer of important friends that you do need to retain and maintain.

But you do need to arrange around yourself a good support system of people who know the language of modeling, understand all of the ins and outs, and who generally know what you’re talking about.

You will find that it is difficult to develop a support system of friends who are in higher or more experienced modeling ranks than yourself–at least at first.

But every now and then you may find yourself in the company of a group of people like yourself, along with one person who is capable of helping you.

What are Physical Requirements to Be a Model?

Yes, we all know that models come in all shapes, sizes, colors, weights, cups, etc.  So, we are only generalizing when we tell you that “most” fashion models are above a certain height (5’9″) or below a certain weight. 

Take these physical requirements to be a model with a grain of salt, and do not become discouraged if you do not fit into the ranges.

Because modeling is all about your body, there are certain physical requirements you should be aware of when you’re considering whether not you want to become a model. First of all we’re going to tell you the classic body requirements or a fashion model.

We do not want you to become discouraged. In fact we can guarantee that 9 out of 10 people will not fit into these basic physical requirements.

If these do not apply to most models, why should you know these? Because we want you to first become aware of the classic requirements and demonstrate to you how limited these requirements are for most people.

After that, we want to show you the huge variety of modeling opportunities available to people who do not fit into that stringent definition.

Aspiring models often think very narrowly. If their only measure of success is walking the runway in Milan, they are almost always doomed to failure.

In the same sense, it would be like an aspiring movie director saying that he or she will stand for nothing less than becoming the next Steven Spielberg. A nice goal to shoot for, yes, but one must be open to other possibilities.

The 98/2/2 Rule

The 98/2/2 Rule is quite simple. 2% of aspiring models go on to become models. Of that 2%, only 2% will reach that vaunted level of modeling on the catwalks of Milan, Paris, and New York, for top designers such as Christian Dior or Prada.

Aim for the top. But understand that modeling, just like all other professions on Earth, have varying levels of success.

Height, Measurement and Age Requirements of Modeling

Model Height Requirements

Taller is better. Five feet, 8 inches tall is about the minimum height than a model can have for top fashion modeling careers in New York, Paris and Milan. In reality, supermodels are taller than at—6 feet or more.

No, there is no discrimination at work here. The simple fact of the matter is that taller models display clothes better than shorter models.

Fashion designers can cut larger articles of clothing for larger people, resulting in a better display of their product on the small screen or in small magazine pictures.

Model Size Requirements and Body Types the Modeling Industry Prefers

Weight is a very touchy subject for most models. In general, models need to be quite slim in proportion to their height in order to fit into the types of clothing that designers want them to wear. Think: about 10 or 15 pounds less than recommended weight for your height.

How to start modeling

35 inches is about the maximum for hip measurements, and then take it down another 10 inches for waist measurement.

For adult females, breasts also not large, unless the type of modeling you are intending to do depends on an ample bosom.

Do not go out and begin to lose weight to become a model.

Ultra-Skinny? The Tide is Turning

For decades, “the skinnier, the better” was the motto. Aspiring models would do anything to lose weight, even endangering their health with extreme dieting, bulimia, or anorexia.

But slowly attitudes are changing. The fashion industry has begun to come to grips with the notion that not all women are 6 feet tall and 102 pounds. Not only that, but in 2006 Spain made the shocking declaration that it would no longer allow overly thin models on the catwalk.

The pronouncement from the government of Spain caused the modeling industry to re-examine its direction and its goals. Now, “ultra-skinny” is no longer the exclusive body type preferred in the fashion world.

Preferred Model Clothing Sizes

Fashion models should be no less than a women’s size two to no larger than women’s size six.

Start Modeling! Age Requirements of Modeling

For high fashion (i.e., the “catwalk in Milan” type of fashion), the typical age range for fashion models tends to be from age 12 to 22, with the majority of the models being around 16 are 17 years old.

Model Hair and Skin

The two most important aspects for any model supermodel or not is the hair and skin.

It is hard for us to overstate this fact. In case you don’t understand us, let us repeat:  Hair and skin!

Your hair must be flawless and impeccable. Your skin must be flawless and impeccable.

No, there is no preferred skin type or color. But whatever your type and color, your skin must be smooth, dry, free of flaws, and taut.

Hair must be shiny, healthy-looking, and not overly long.

The Best Age to Start Modeling Career and Reality of Modeling

If you are a young aspiring model between the ages of 13 and 16, you need to realize that modeling will take place of many normal parts of your life.

 Just like an actor or an actress pass to attend school even while shooting a movie or TV show, models still have to continue with parts of their normal life even well on shoots.

You will have friends doing normal things back at home, well you are in New York City with your mom, dad, or other caregiver visiting agency at the agency, are going to fashion shoots.

Scrimping and Saving…to Start Modeling Career You Want!

At the beginning of start modeling career, you may find yourself scrimping and saving in order to get your career off the ground. Many supermodels began their career by sharing apartments with other aspiring models.

It is not unheard of for a model to share a small apartment was four or six other models while using topper of the noodles, fruits, and other basic necessities.

On the other hand, your friends back home to are probably living a little better life than you are because they’ve taken entry-level jobs at places like mortgage companies, banks, retails doors. Which means that they’re able to enjoy a better apartment to themselves, TV, stereo, and run up big cell phone bill.

 In fact, some of your friends may even be living at home in the lap of luxury. Console yourself though with the idea that you are embarking on a career of glamour and excitement that they will never know.

Console yourself with the idea that your life will be better and that you may achieve your Six-Figure goal that you’ve always wanted.

School Comes Second for Many Models

Still in school? If you’re still finishing high school are going to college you may find yourself either taking courses while starting your Six-Figure modeling career or you may find yourself putting those other dreams on the back burner.

Is it is all a matter of deciding whether not you think that you have what it takes to become a Six-Figure model? If you think that you’d do and if you think that you have what it takes, then you should press forward on your goal.

TV Modeling: Want to Become a TV Model?

One type of modeling that many people do not think of is modeling for television. Almost every single commercial that you see on television employs models or actors. And as you may know, the demand for new television material is insatiable.

Try to think beyond the most high profile national TV commercials, such as those for Coke, Dell computers, BMW, and so on. While this is certainly a market that you can enter, you can also need to look at regional television commercials.

Next time you’re looking at TV, notice that not all commercials promote national brands. There are plenty of commercials that promote local businesses and products, and all of those need models and actors to fill the spot.

What is Editorial Modeling? Want to Become an Editorial Model

Most people outside of the modeling industry have never heard of editorial modeling. Get this idea in your head. Editorial modeling is hot.

Basically editorial modeling means that you’re modeling for magazines. Big publications like Elle, Mademoiselle, Seventeen, and even regional magazines will hire models appear in their magazines, whether for fashion shoots, or to illustrate other things that people are interested in, such as financial affairs, music, movies, etc.

So what you need to keep in mind for this type of work is that your main client is the magazine or other publisher of the work.

What is “Experience Modeling”?

Experience modeling can be a great way to build up your skills and portfolio–and build up your confidence for future modeling. In fact, most supermodels can recount some kind of early modeling experience that they did for free or at nominal pay, in their own hometown.

What is experience modeling? It means that a local group needs fashions modeled for a show. You can find these opportunities with:


    Women’s groups such as American Association of Women.

    Rotary, Kiwanis’s, Eagles, and other fraternal clubs.

    Local community colleges (tip: check with the fashion or home economics department; nearly every spring they will hold a fashion show.)

    Local clothing shops may need photos taken of their merchandise.

Experience modeling is found everywhere, from the largest urban center to the smallest farm town in the middle of America, Asia, Europe, Australia, and so on.

Experience modeling provides you with the same basic skills that are later used for paid modeling jobs: working with a creative director, wearing clothes that you’re not ordinarily accustomed to wearing, walking a runway, being watched by a group of people, braving photographers’ flashbulbs, and taking minor criticism.

But the best part of experience modeling is that you can get pictures taken of yourself by a professional photographer for free. How? Local fashion shows are photographed by trained photographers from the local papers. Fashion shows at community colleges are covered by student photographers.

Their work can often be quite amazing. With a call to the newspaper or college, you can usually obtain prints of the photos. In some cases, you might even be able to get the digital version or negatives, very valuable for building your portfolio.

Experience modeling gets you noticed. Yes, the notice may simply be a picture in your local newspaper, but this often gives you notice that you may like.

On top of that: Experience modeling builds your self esteem and it lets you determine if this is really right for you.

Specialty Models: BBW and Petite Model

Big and Beautiful Plus Size

Here’s the best news for you if you have a body that is even a little bit less than perfect:  Big and Beautiful Are Big…and Getting Bigger!

As more and more people find it difficult to maintain their desired body weight, they find that they need to find clothes that are appropriate for them.

As a result, clothes designers and modeling agencies have responded appropriately. Big & Beautiful is (excuse our pun) a hugely expanding market that any aspiring model should look into if this describes your body type.

At one time, the big and beautiful market did not exist. There was only one body type that women would aspire to, and that was tall thin.

For the big and beautiful market, women who wear a size 12 or larger are all good candidates. The Italian, German, French, and Swedish markets tend to be hot for the big and beautiful size models. However, most models in this range tend to be about 5 feet 8 inches or bit shorter, with a size ranging from 14 to 16.

One thing to keep in mind is that you need to have good proportions it relative to your size. In other words, if most of your weight is concentrated in your hips or your butt, you may not be well suited for this category.

The thing to keep in mind with the big and beautiful category is that booking agents want to see women who look very fresh and natural, not unhealthy.

We’re not talking about women who look like they were gorging on ice cream and pizza for the last two years. On the contrary, we’re talking about women who look like this is their natural size and are comfortable in their bodies.


These models are generally sizes three or less and intend to be about 5 feet 2 inches or up to 5 ½ feet tall. Catalog and swimwear work are a great way for the petites models to display clothes and shoes.

How Much Can You Make as a Model?

Making $100,000 as a model is quite an achievable goal for the determined woman or man. Just look at some of the top female models and their recent earnings:

  • Gisele Bundchen: $33 million
  • Kate Moss: $9 million
  • Heidi Klum: $8 million
  • Adriana Lima: $6 million
  • Allessandra Ambrosio: $6 million
  • Carolyn Murphy: $5 million
  • Natalia Vodianova: $4.5 million
  • Karolina Kurkova: $3.5 million
  • Daria Werbowy: $3.5 million
  • Gemma Ward: $3 million

-Thanks a lot for reading our article – How to start modeling? Requirements to become a model. It must be help to start modeling career. Hopefully, you read and enjoy it. Have a good day!


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