Become a Teen Model: Practical, Proven Advice
Courtney: Model at seventeen
Breaking in to the Exciting World of Teen Modeling
Of all the dreams a teenage girl can have, probably the most common is to be a model. Every young girl envisions herself on the front of magazines and wearing all the beautiful clothes on the catwalk, but how possible is it to actually achieve this dream?
Getting the 'Top Model' look the safe and healthy way
Although models have traditionally been thought of as very tall and very skinny, it is no longer a requirement, and agencies are now looking for people of different shapes and sizes more and more often. However, models are often still expected to be able to fit into sample size clothing that is generally no bigger than a US size 6. If you do not have a naturally small body type, there is still work out there for you, but maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regime is a must for any model, teenage or otherwise. Fad diets and eating less is unhealthy at any age, but it is an especially bad habit to get into when your body is still changing and developing.
Your First Test Photo Shoot: Are You Ready?
In order to get yourself a good agency, you should go to them with as varied a selection of photos as possible. There are some key points to remember when doing a test shoot, in order to get great photos to take to an agency.
- You should have one head shot, one shot of the top half of your body, and one shot of your whole body.
- Although not needed, it is a definite advantage to have photos taken by a professional photographer. They will know how to make you look as good as possible, and it will show to an agency that you are willing to spend time and money on yourself.
- When booking a test shoot, you will usually have to provide your own clothing, as well as hair and make-up. Practice the looks that you are going to create the night before so that you do not waste time on the day.
- Try to do as many different looks as possible. Take several different outfits and discuss with the photographer ways that you can change the setting.
- It is a good idea that you take a chaperon with you if going to a studio. No matter how reputable a studio can seem online or over the phone, you can never be sure until you get there. If nothing else, having the extra support on your first shoot is very helpful.
- Try not to make the photos look too sexy or provocative. This is more relevant if you are under the age of 18. Although teen models will sometimes be asked to do raunchier shoots, it is best initially to present yourself in a fresher, more young-looking way.
Now, finally, it's time to get in front of the camera! This is where the real hard work begins. During the actual shoot, communication is key. It is vitally important that you listen to everything that the photographer tells you. Even if it feels silly to begin with, they will know how to get a good photo and you have to trust them. Even if a pose doesn't work out, it is better to have tried it than not to have bothered at all. Also, many photographers may physically move you around in order to get the pose they want. If you are uncomfortable with this hands-on approach, that's fine, but you must make that clear from the start to avoid any awkwardness.
At the end of the day, you will be very tired and probably a little stressed, but that will all melt away as soon as you can see the end result. The photo shoot is not what will make you feel like a model, it's the end result that will.
What jobs are available for a teen model?
There are a lot of niche markets when it comes to teen modeling, so a successful girl can expect to have quite a lot of regular work. On top of the usual catalogue and television advertising jobs, there is now also a higher demand for younger models in major print campaigns. Anna Sui recently used an incredibly young model in her jewelry campaign, and controversial 14-year old Monika Jagaciak has taken the fashion world by storm, modeling for Hugo Boss and gracing the covers of magazines such as Bazaar and Elle. While most young models cannot expect this kind of coverage, there is definitely more work than ever for young models.
Modeling Fast Track: Best ways to get noticed
There are several ways for a young model to get noticed, but there are a couple of tried and tested ways to catch the eye of the modeling industry
- As mentioned before, get a really strong set of test shots and send them round different modeling agencies, there is a list of good ones to try at the bottom of the page
- Search online and in the local papers for model searches. Although not all of them are legitimate, they can be a great way to get yourself noticed. An especially good idea is to look at actual agency websites like the ones listed at the bottom of this page, as many agencies will hold their own model searches.
- Try and attend fashion events and shows. British model Erin O’Connor was discovered at the Clothes Show Live event in the UK.
Warnings for New Models
The modeling world can be a harsh and unforgiving place, especially for a young girl. It is important to know what you are getting yourself into before pursuing a career.
- Scams are rife in the modeling world and there are many people out there to get money out of people, especially online. A legitimate agency should never ask for money from you before you have signed a contract with them. Even if they do ask that you pay for something like test shoots or initial air fares, they will take it out of subsequent paychecks rather than ask for it up front before they have found you any work.
- Many clients will be heavily critical of your body. At interviews they will pinch you and prod you and say that you should lose a bit of fat here and tone up there. This can lead to many girls having issues with their bodies. Even though clients may want something very specific from you, it is important to remember that you should not give it to them if it will affect your health to do so.
- When traveling to shoots it is advisable, at least at first, to take a chaperon. If nothing else it is a friendly face to keep you focused on the job at hand, and it is insurance if anything unprofessional or unexpected happens during a shoot.
A photo shoot with a new teen model
What an Modeling Agency Looks for in New Teen Models
The definition of a teen model, or junior model, is someone between the ages of 13-21. However, many models that have a far younger look will work as “teen” models up until the age of 24. As well as looking for the typical tall, skinny model type, agencies will look for a girl with originality and confidence. Someone who is still young needs to have the confidence and maturity to face what can be quite a harsh world at times.
Agencies are often very wary of taking a girl onto their books that is under the age of 16, so you must think very carefully about whether you are ready or not.
List of Modeling Agencies
Below is a list of the top agencies. Even if you do not apply to any of these agencies, they represent some of the top models in the industry and the photos are a good representation of what is expected.
- Elite Model Management:One of the top agencies in the industry today. Made famous by America’s Next Top Model http://www.elitemodel.com
- Models One: The most popular agency in Europe. Discovered popular models such as Agyness Dean http://www.models1.co.uk
- Ford Models:A worldwide agency that holds a lot of model searches http://www.fordmodels.com
- Wilhelmina Models:Well established agency that also represents celebrities like Fergie and Beyonce http://www.wilhelminaportfolios.com
- Supreme Models:Quirky New York modelling agency promoting “intelligent beauty” http://www.suprememanagement.com
- Trump Models:Agency founded by business mogul Donald Trump. This agency represents the Miss USA girls http://www.trumpmodels.com
- Premier Models: One of the best UK agencies http://www.premiermodelmanagement.com
- W Model Management: An agency with offices all over the US. The only agency in Utah http://www.wmodels.com
- APM Models: New York agency that focuses on strong personal relationships with the models http://www.apmmodels.com
- Bloom Models:A small New York modelling agency http://www.bloommodels.com