Experts agree that you really don’t need a specific education to become a model. You need to be passionate about the field and do a lot of research, but a degree is modeling is not a requirement for this particular career.
What you do need is to know what casting agents are looking for and be realistic about your appearance, age, size and the type of shoots you are most suitable for. You should also be on top of where the different industries and agencies are going in the future with their vision and target market, so you can stay relevant.
Another important thing to remember is to take care of yourself. Just because there are casting calls for all shapes and sizes, unhealthy eating or forgetting to maintain your skin will not help you make it in the industry.
Having said this, getting a degree may still be important if you don’t have a previous career. While modeling is a great option, it’s a volatile industry with rapidly changing trends and may not ensure you a lifetime career. Whatever your other passion might be, it’s probably a good idea to look into getting a degree in that or maybe in fashion. The latter will give you a good opportunity to network as well.
WHAT IF I DO WANT TO STUDY MODELING?
There aren’t really degrees specific to modeling. Your options range between getting a theatre or fashion degree from a university or college, or going to a modeling school. Keep in mind that most of the bigger schools target children and teens since they are designed to train fashion models. On the other hand, you can take acting classes or participate in workshops. Here are a few modeling schools that have the right connections, which could help get your foot in the door and offer classes and workshops for adults.
- John Robert Powers
With 27 locations in the US and 4 in Mexico, this school offers modeling programs for teens and pre-teens, as well as acting classes and workshops for adults.
- Julie Nation Academy
In Santa Rosa, California, Julie Nation Academy has courses and workshops for TV acting, professional modeling, singing, pageant training and personal development.
- Cinderella Modeling Company
Located in Hudson, New Hampshire, this agency offers professional modeling programs, as well as promises to connect models with available opportunities if they are signed with an agency.
GETTING MY FOOT IN THE DOOR
As we already mentioned, getting a degree is not the most important part of starting a modeling career. Whether you want to be a fashion, commercial, parts or any other type of model, your best bet is to begin by going to casting calls.
Many advise to try and get signed by an agency first, although they will charge you 15-20% of your earnings when you do get gigs. This being said, they will give you the tips for success and have the knowledge of where to find casting calls when you are starting out. Danine Manette mentions that it’s the best way to get in at first but not to be discouraged if you don’t get signed. You can still go ahead and submit yourself without an agency.
You will, however, need to have professional headshots. This is something you will want to hire a professional photographer for. A budget option is to look for ones who are at the start of their career and will charge you less to get your photos done. It’s important to consider Brittany Hudson’s advice here and always play on the safe side. Bring someone along with you on the first shoot and sign the proper paperwork.
Once you’ve gotten headshots, are signed with an agency or have started submitting your photos for casting calls, be patient. You probably won’t get in overnight. You should also network and get to know people in the industry. They will be able to guide you and let you know when opportunities might come up for your look and style.