Friday, April 3, 2009


If you're interested in using your great looks and skills in the modeling world, there are a few basic steps to start with. It's tough times in the economy right now, so there's no better time to try your hand at new and exciting job opportunities. Here are some basic steps to serve as a guideline for starting your modeling career:

1- Although you should never pay a lot of up-front money to an agency or casting company (or whatever else the claim to be), it does take a little money to make money. That's just part of life. Unless you're Giselle and someone grabs you in a mall or something and asks you to be a Victoria Secret model, you will need to start building a professional portfolio. It's good to have one or two polaroid shots (or point-and-shoot camera shots) just to show how you look without a bunch of glitz and glamour. Mostly however, you will need as many images with different looks as you can to fill a portfolio book. Let's start with the photographs.

2- For your photographs you should NEVER just use some shots your aunt took or your friend or whatever (unless, of course, they are a professional photographer). If you do, your port will scream, "I have no experience and I don't know what I'm doing!" So, start by scheduling a shoot with a professional photographer who offers a fair amount of different locations and looks that you can start to build a portfolio and Zed/Comp card from. ( I will explain Zed/Comp card later.) You will then have enough images to show the variety of your look. Once you have a book (portfolio/port) started, then you will hopefully begin to fill it up with actual tear sheets (pics of you pulled out of magazines, etc) from paying modeling gigs you've done. We all have to start somewhere though.

3- A Zed card (Comp card/ Composite card) is essential for ALL models. This is what an agency will have on file of you and what they will also often send out to represent you for jobs. Much more is done online now then in the past, of course, but the card is still the standard. On a Zed card there are many options and styles, but overall it is normally 5X7 and has a headshot style image of you on the front with your name (and agency if you have one). Then on the back it has four or five additional images ranging from a swimsuit photo to a business look to a high-fashion shot. This shows your experience and versatility. 

Well, hopefully this helps you get started and the next step is to start getting yourself out there with your new images! Good luck and happy shooting! - Josh James

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