The Complete Guide to Become a Fashion Model (2020)

Are you interested in modelling? Do you want to become the next Gigi Hadid or Cara Delevingne? Modelling has become one of the best career choices for young girls and boys. However, despite how glamorous this profession may look, the journey involved in becoming a model is not an easy one.

Thousands of aspirants show their interest in becoming the next supermodel. But, the chance of being spotted by a modelling agency has grown pretty slim now. Mainly because there is fierce competition in the market.

You got to have patience, and modelling career asks for a lot of perseverance, discipline, and the right attitude. To become a model, you need to work on a plan, prepare yourself for some strict rules, and try everything to get noticed.

fashion model

If the glossy cover of top fashion magazines attracts you, then this guide is for you. Wondering how to become a fashion model? 

Go through this detailed guide! Of course, many go-to guides are swirling around the internet, but not all of them talk about the minutest details that you should know about the fashion industry. Like we said, modelling is not easy, and you can consider it to be one of the toughest jobs.

It demands a lot of commitment and hard work. If you think you have the right attitude and the skills to become a successful model, then let this go-to guide help you to get started. Never forget, a new face can replace a model that ruled the fashion industry for quite a long time at any moment.

The modelling industry is tough and highly competitive. If you want to stay on top and want to be in the good books of all the top agencies, then it is only your hard work that will keep you on the top.

No matter how ridiculously good looking you are, if you don't have the right personality, you won’t make it!

The first step 

Be fully aware of what type of modelling you would like to specialize in. There are different kinds of modelling categories. It is better if you learn about them all. You can become a model for ramp walks or focus only on advertising campaigns. You also have commercial options as well.

Probably, your body type makes you more suitable for a swimsuit or catalogue model. Before starting with anything else, study about the modelling industry. Get to know about different types of modelling options that you can choose. Which modelling category do you fit in, or you wish to do?

These are some essential questions that you must ask yourself, and this should be your first step. Here are some of the top modelling categories:

Promotional modelling

Promotional models are physically attractive. These models get hired by companies that sell products or services.

For that, they usually employ promotional models.

The purpose of hiring models in this category is to give a live demonstration about their products or services, how to use them, and share essential information about the same.

You will see these models in shopping malls, various trade shows, clubs, and events.

promotional modeling

Alternative modelling

Alternative models are entirely different.

These models can be seen doing punk and goth shoots, and they contain unique body features, for example, tattoos and piercing.

alternate modelling

Parts Modelling

Parts model can be best described as those who represent parts of their bodies. They are hired for their lips, legs, hands, chest, and more.

The demand is usually for their attractive body parts, and sometimes, these models get hired for their unattractive roles as well.

parts modelling

Fitness Modelling

The fitness model must have a toned and fit body. These models need to have more muscles and less fat. Fitness magazines hire such models.

These models sometimes also choose fitness trainers as their career later, and can be seen participating in different fitness related competitions.

Fitness Modelling

Glamour Modelling

Glamour modelling is one of the most preferred categories by most of the models as it has lesser body measurement requirements.

The category mostly depends on the sex appeal of the model

The models that you see in men's magazines or different glamour magazines are mostly glamour models.

They also appear in music videos and go for lingerie modelling also.

glamour modelling

Runway Modelling

Runway models need no explanation. These are the models that walk the ramp for different fashion brands.

The runway is a ramp, and these models walk the ramp where they showcase a new line of fashion accessories and clothes.

Runway Modelling

Plus-size modelling

Models who weigh more than the typical runway models are the plus-size models.

These models are in high demand nowadays, and many agencies look for fresh curvy faces.

These models appear in fashion magazines, commercial advertisements, plus size clothing line, and cosmetics advertisements.

As designers are showing interest in designing plus-size clothing, the demand for plus-size models is escalating.

plus size modelling

What skills do you need to enter any of the categories?

No one can get into a category just like that. A model must follow a specific set of rules. Following are certain things that you should know about before you opt for fashion modelling.

Work on your skills

In the modelling world, everyone needs to understand the importance of posing.

What separates one model from another is their ability to pose. It would be best if you work on your walking.

Modelling is not just about walking the ramp as you would typically do. It is an art and requires grace. 


Get into the habit of watching America's Next Top Model or other fashion shows. Read top fashion magazines, for example, Vogue. Learn about different model's careers. You might find walking in a particular way or posing differently awkward in the beginning, but keep practicing.

A quick tip, why don't you ask someone to film you when you walk? Or if you have a tripod at home, set it up, and shoot yourself. Keep practicing until you become confident, and have excelled your ramp walking and posing for photoshoots style.

How to Pose for Pictures - Basic Posing Class

Prepare a Fantastic Modelling Portfolio

When it comes to the portfolio, you must have an online collection and a printed version. 

You can send your online portfolio to an agency whenever they ask for it, and you can show the printed version to anyone you meet personally.

Every agency asks for a portfolio and having a fantastic portfolio can help you get some good modelling gigs as well. 


Work on it properly if you are serious about your modelling career.

Showcase your strongest points and make sure that you have included your best photos. No matter what type of modelling category you are interested in, you need to have a stunning portfolio that will create the right impression.

How to Put Together a Modelling Portfolio

Get in Touch with the right agency

Every fashion model has a modelling agency. 

Similarly, you will need an agency too. To get signed by a reputed modelling agency, you must present yourself to them.

You can look for them on the internet and find out about the best modelling agencies in your area.

You’ll be seen only when you submit your snapshots. No modelling agency wants your photos with heavy makeup.

The thumb rule is to look as simple as possible.

modelling agency 2

The agencies are interested in seeing the natural you.  The maximum that you can do is apply a light base of foundation and put on some mascara. Keep your hair down, and don't style your hair.

You can always ask your friend to be the photographer for you. Keep the background of each photo, either white or anything plain. Ensure that the background doesn't overpower your image. You can stand against a wall to click some snapshots. You must include a full-length shot.

One full-length shot should be facing the camera, and the other turned away. Smiling photos with and without your teeth showing, a non-smiling photo, try not to look dreadful, though, left and right profiles of your face, and finally, up-close shots.

The clothes that you can wear in these snapshots is a plain T-shirt with a pair of jeans. While submitting the photos, remember not to include selfies or photoshopped photos. Ensure that the pictures are clear. Unclear and blurry photos will be rejected.

You should not wear fake eyelashes, dark lipstick, fake tan, or anything that will ruin your original image. A quick tip- Be simple and look confident in all the photographs.

Things Modelling Agencies Look For

Don't apply everywhere, do some research

Yes, we know there are many modelling agencies on earth. But before applying everywhere, do some background research on your own. 

Beware about the fake modelling agencies too. Take a look at the websites, do they look legit?

Does the modelling agency have any bad reviews? How about their years of experience in the industry?

Get to know everything about the agency.

modelling agency

Make a list of all the agencies and their locations. located? Are they close to your residence, or would you have to travel a long distance to meet them? What about their recent modelling campaigns? How many models have they or are working with?

Once you feel that you have found the right modelling agency, submit your snapshots. Snapshots are also known as digital, so if anyone uses the word digitals, don't get confused. If an agency gives you a call or leaves an email, prepare yourself for the meeting.

You don't have to become a fashion encyclopedia,; all we are asking you to do is prepare yourself. Get to know about the top fashion designers and models who are leading the industry currently. Also, prepare your introduction correctly, as well.

How do I Pick a Modelling Agency and How do I Know if It's Legitimate?

Rejections Happen, Learn to Embrace Them

The modelling industry is intense and fierce. Even the top models have faced rejection at some point in their careers.

Learn to embrace rejection gracefully. Life happens, and there will be ups and downs.

You can't let anything stop you from pursuing your dream of becoming a fashion model.

The sooner you learn to accept rejections, the better it will be for you. During the audition, agencies usually give harsh feedbacks.

rejected application

You should learn to take it positively and move on. But never stop trying. Don't think that a rejection  is the end of your fashion modelling career. If someone tells you to be confident, then that's what the agency is looking for. Work on your skills and always be confident.

The modelling industry gives a chance to those who can prove that they have got the right attitude to pose in front of the camera. Accept NO as a no and learn something from that experience.

She Got Rejected by Victoria's Secret Modelling - How to Learn from Failure

Work on your looks constantly

Fashion modelling has a rigid body measurement requirements.

You can still be a commercial model, but when it comes to fashion modelling, things are a bit different.

A fashion model must ensure that they have flawless skin, beautiful hair, and are physically fit.

Whether you like it or not, the fashion industry is aesthetically driven.

In fashion modelling, you must have a strict body-weight ratio and the right height.


If you don't meet the requirements, then hardly any agency would like to work with you and promote you. To become a fashion model, you must stick to a strict and organized beauty regime. It would be best if you stay hydrated.

If you don't drink water much, then it's time to change the bad habit. You can't smoke because smoking can ruin the colour of your teeth. Alcohol consumption should be to the minimum and make sure to keep your skin supple.

Along with all these, your beauty routine must include washing your face daily, exfoliating, and moisturizing it and wearing an SPF whenever you step out. Never forget to remove makeup before going to sleep. Go for regular manicures and pedicures to keep your skin and nails healthy.

Take care of your hair as well. Try to go for a hair spa and take multivitamins to maintain good health. Work out regularly. Look after what you eat. All these things will anyway make you feel and look better. So, it is a win-win situation for you.

Any aspiring model should make sure that their beauty regime is exceptional.

Just in case if you find out that fashion modelling is not your niche, then don't discard modelling career completely. Try to learn about different modelling categories. And accordingly, focuson those categories. There is no room for laziness if you are serious about becoming a model.

A Model's Skincare Routine - How to Get Clear Glowy Skin

Fall in Love with the Camera

If you are a camera-shy person, then you should probably try something else as your career.

As a model, the whole line of work involves posing in front of the camera.

Also, before you even get your career started, you have to click some photos to include them in your portfolio.

The headshot photo should be in a natural style. Wear simple makeup and try not to include any accessories.

studio photshoot

For example, you shouldn't wear any sparkling jewelry. The hairstyle should be simple too. Don't go for winged liner. Whether you are smiling or being serious for the headshot photo, look good and simple, and that should be the first photo in the portfolio.

After you are done with that, get ready for the full-body shot. Yet again, the trick is to keep everything simple. For ladies, skip those high heels and gents should go for casual shoes. Wear a classic white shirt or a tank top and pair it up with denim.

Don't add too many layers, for example, jackets and shrugs. Your agencies might not like that idea.

Just in case, if you are thinking about applying for swimwear campaigns, add a few swimwear shots also. Be bold and look playful. Swimwear photos, however, shouldn't be shared if the agency is not asking for it.

However, if there is an agency that only deals with swimwear models, share the best swimwear shots.

For those who are interested in commercial modelling, you may want to get in touch with a professional photographer. Pick a food truck or a tacos place. Pose in front of the food truck in the best way possible.

Commercial modeling is not only about smiling while eating a burger, but you need to have excellent acting skills also. This one could be tricky, but if you can nail in these photos, then opportunities will be pouring in.

That's why talk to a professional photographer who has done commercial shots before. He or she might share some tips that would help.

Model Tips - How to Become Comfortable in Front of a Camera

Use Instagram!

Here's the thing, you are a brand, and you must sell your skill in the most aesthetically appealing way possible.

Make Instagram your best approach and upload some of your best images on it.

Don't let anything stop you from becoming your best agent.

Agencies often lookout for fresh faces on different social media platforms as well. Create a professional Insta account.

using instagram

You are the brand ambassador of your account, so include photos of yourself only. Don't include food pictures.

No casting agent wants to know what you had for lunch or dinner. Unless you are there with the pets, don't upload them on your professional Instagram account. Ask your friends to click photos of you and a lot of them! Look out for the trending hashtags.

Modeling Tips - How to Get Discovered on Instagram

Be professional

From the day, you start applying to different modelling agencies, be professional. No one likes to work with someone who isn't one. 

If an agency calls, answer them politely. If someone leaves a voice mail, don't forget to return that. Manage your time correctly.

Don't be under the impression that just because you have good looks, reaching 15- minutes late for the photoshoot will not hamper your career. 


There are a lot many good-looking people wanting to get hired. The modeling industry is tough. If there is a photoshoot, ensure to reach a bit early. Don't give anyone any reason not to hire you anymore.

Many good models lose their careers primarily because of their wrong attitude and lack of commitment towards this profession.


Whenever you get a gig, you represent both your agency and you. Reach on time or a bit early. Let the makeup artist do your makeup, keep drinking water to keep your skin hydrated, and now do your job. Pose for the camera and follow the directions and respect your career.

4 Photoshoot Tips for Models

Be Committed to your work


The modelling industry is not as easy as it may appear to be. You will have to commit to your work.

Once you become a model, there will be a lot of things, which might make you want to leave this profession.

But that's what it takes to become a model.


You will have to follow a strict diet, follow a beauty regime, exercise, work during odd hours, and work for a 12-hour long photoshoot in extreme conditions. Sometimes you might be asked to wear a wardrobe in a location where the weather is freezing, and there is no warmth.

Are you ready for everything? Before you think of becoming a model, ask all these questions. Make up your mind. You might have to miss Christmas and travel to a different country and stay away from your significant other, parents, and friends.

Modelling can definitely be rewarding and a lot of fun, but there are these commitments that you should be ready for. Just make sure that you know what you are up for, and that there are both good and challenging sides to it.

Five Tips for Models

You should have social media followers

Gone are the days when modelling agencies used to hire models based on their portfolios alone.

Believe it or not, your social media followers can also land you a superb deal with a good brand.

Of course, you will have to submit your digitals, and you should never stop taking care of your health and skin.

Along with this, while you wait for an excellent opportunity, try to earn genuine followers on platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

using phone

Commercial modelling or advertising modelling always look for fresh faces. Not that you must have millions of followers over social media, but this can become one of the strongest attributes.

Looking at your fan base, advertising agencies already get an idea about how to promote their brand and who would be more interested in their product. If you don't have a social media account, jump on, and create one. You can also create a YouTube channel.

Be an influencer, and make sure that you stand by what you believe. Be an inspiration for others.

Why You Need Social Media if You are a Model

Go for Exposure

The key to get noticed and start networking with different modelling agencies is to get as much exposure as possible.

Because there are different category models, some agencies specialize in representing only one type of category.

Some may work with only high-end fashion models, while others may work with curvy models.

Check out what each of the agencies in your area is working for.


Also, don't forget to apply to as many agencies as you can, but before that get to know what they are looking for. If one agency fails to represent you, try to talk to someone else. Make it a habit, and don't feel disheartened if the process takes time.

If there is an open call, then go for it. This will let your portfolio be submitted and talk to meet the agents directly. In case the significant markets are outside your country, then don't hesitate to write to them and email them your portfolio or the portfolio website.

Never leave the top agencies too. Top agencies also lookout for fresh fashion models. We recommend if you don't want to contact hundreds of agents individually. This is a legit platform and one of the best ways to find the right exposure.

The platform has a list of agencies from all over the globe, and they can help you to get noticed quickly.

Sending individual copies of photos or emailing different fashion agencies can consume a lot of time, and also printing photos will be quite cost-intensive too. So, it makes sense if you visit and register there.

Otherwise, you can try the old -school method of emailing to every modelling agency.

How to Become a Model - Exposure Pros & Cons

Getting to Know the Modelling Market

Any newcomer model must understand the modelling marketing. A modelling market is a geographical location where models work. So, there is Paris, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and finally, New York. The market is dependent on the type of modelling you wish to do.

Most of the supermodels work in every significant modelling market, while few likes to stick to one or two markets. If the New York modelling market doesn't work for you, then you can try Los Angeles, and that may very well work for you.

Apart from these top four modelling markets, there are various other markets too. Keep looking, and if you already have a modelling agent, better talk to them to help you find out your best model market. They can assist you with the same.

Things to Avoid

Modelling is a demanding profession, and because every other young person dreams of becoming a model, fake modelling agencies and scammers are always on the hunt. Beware of whom you contact.

The first thing to avoid is paying money to an agency or an agent who promises to connect you with the brands and help you in getting modelling gigs. Modelling agencies don't work that way! Anyone can create a website, but you’ll have to look out for the real agencies.

If someone asks for money, bid them goodbye. Also, if someone asks you to send them nudes in the name of digitals, avoid them at all costs. 

Learn How to be Classy and Sophisticated

Fashion modelling is about class and sophistication. If you don't have these qualities, top modelling markets will not be interested even to call you for an audition. Learn from different models, follow them everywhere. Look at how gracefully they walk the ramp.

Know about the Paris model market because that's the best when it comes to fashion modelling. Once you learn the basics of modelling and you prove to your agency that you possess a certain class and sophistication, they will help you connect with the brands that work in the Paris model market.

Do you have what it takes to be a fashion model?

No matter what type of modelling you are interested in, what the brand or the company you will work with, what they will really be looking for is "Do you have what it takes to be the next superstar?". But before anyone tries to find that out, you should question yourself the same.

The fashion industry goes through requirement changes very quick. What was yesterday, may no longer be existent today! You have to find out which modelling type is best suitable for you so that you can give a par excellence performance.

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