Common Mistakes Made by New Models

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ByVanessa Helmer
Updated October 03, 2018
Modeling careers can be great and fulfilling, but, if you make the wrong moves, you could find yourself in a bit of a tough situation. Don’t let these common mistakes derail your modeling career!

Spending Too Much Money
All new models will have some basic start-up expenses at some point, but becoming a fashion model shouldn’t involve spending thousands of dollars to get started. Until you know for sure that an agency is interested in representing you, you should keep your spending to a minimum.

While professional photo shoots may be a great experience and modeling classes can be fun, they are unnecessary when you are first starting out. The most important thing to do when first starting out is to have some basic snapshots and to be seen by as many modeling agents and scouts as possible. 

Bad Snapshots or Digitals
New models often don’t appreciate the importance of snapshots. In fact, snapshots, or what agents call “Polaroids” or “Digitals”, are more important than professional photos. Snapshots allow agents to clearly see your bone structure, the health of your skin and hair, and your body proportions such as the length or your neck, arms, and legs. Agents and scouts want to see a clean canvas and how you look naturally. They don’t want you to mask your potential with too much makeup or photos that have been touched up.

Unprofessional Emails or Letters
Emailing or mailing your photos is usually the first point of communication between new models and agencies. How you present yourself in an email or letter says a lot about how you will present yourself to clients. Spelling errors or language that is too familiar or casual for business correspondence will often lead to agents and clients hitting the delete button or tossing your material in the wastebasket. Always keep your emails and correspondence concise, to the point and free of unnecessary personal information.

Also, always use your spell checker. 

Being Too Eager
It may sound strange but wanting to be a model really, really badly isn’t necessarily a good thing. It can cloud your judgment. Every day I receive emails from new models who say they will “do anything to become a model.” Huh. What exactly does “anything” mean? For reputable agents, this is a red flag. Agents don’t want to represent models who are willing to compromise their integrity for a booking or contract. There is NO “casting couch” in modeling, and if an agent, client or photographer puts you in a compromising situation you shouldn’t walk, you should run!

Not Getting Enough Exposure
Don’t limit yourself to just one market. If you want to become the next Tyra Banks, Coco Rocha or Gisele you must work internationally. You don’t need to have representation in every market to get started, but being seen by agencies in a multitude of markets will significantly increase your chances of obtaining representation.

Taking Rejection Personally
It is difficult for anyone to hear that their “look” isn’t right on a daily basis. Whatever an agent or client thinks of your particular look never has anything to do with who you are as a person. Models are chosen and rejected based on a multitude of factors; a client may not book a model simply because they look exactly like another model booked for the shoot, or that they have too many blondes and need a brunette. Please don’t internalize these messages. The fact that you have been asked to audition for a job or meet with an agent means they like you, and that’s always a good thing.


Giving Up Too Soon
Many of today’s supermodels were turned down numerous times before they were signed to an agency. In fact, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, who, according to Forbes Magazine, earned $47 million in 2014, was rejected by no less than 42 agents before finally succeeding on her 43rd try. Becoming a model is a process. It takes time, patience and perseverance. So, if becoming a model is your dream then keep at it, you never know, you could be the next Gisele.
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