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Become a Teen Model: Practical, Proven Advice

Updated on May 8, 2008

Courtney: Model at seventeen

From a Photo Shoot with seventeen year old Courtney Erickson in southern Louisiana.
From a Photo Shoot with seventeen year old Courtney Erickson in southern Louisiana.

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
  • Models One: The most popular agency in Europe. Discovered popular models such as Agyness Dean
  • Ford Models:A worldwide agency that holds a lot of model searches
  • Wilhelmina Models:Well established agency that also represents celebrities like Fergie and Beyonce
  • Supreme Models:Quirky New York modelling agency promoting “intelligent beauty”
  • Trump Models:Agency founded by business mogul Donald Trump. This agency represents the Miss USA girls
  • Premier Models: One of the best UK agencies
  • W Model Management: An agency with offices all over the US. The only agency in Utah
  • APM Models: New York agency that focuses on strong personal relationships with the models
  • Bloom Models:A small New York modelling agency


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    • profile image

      DeRyn 5 years ago

      Hello...My name is DeRyn... I always wanted to become a friends and family said i would be perfect for a model. I am 15 years old, i have brown eyes, black-brown hair, my hair is 4-5 inches long. I am 5ft 5in. My pants size is a 1 (if that matters) if your interested email my parents at or

    • profile image

      chloe 5 years ago

      hey my name is Chloe , i really would like to be a model , im 14 and have brown hair and eyes , im 5ft 4 and all my friends say im stunning and should get a modeling carrer so if anyones interested email me at : . thanks xoxo

    • profile image

      che 5 years ago

      hey my name is chloe i want to try and become a teen model i have the looks and my number is 0435409063 or email me at thanks

    • profile image

      Madisyn 5 years ago

      this is such a helpful article!! my friend and i have been wanting to be models forever and we are determined to make it happen!! this article helped so much with all the advice it gave us!!! hopefully we will be models soon, cause that is all i want to be!!

    • profile image

      Tia 5 years ago

      Hey my name Tia I'm 14 call 219-310-9249 please. Email me at

    • profile image

      erin 5 years ago

      I think tht this article is fantastic and I hope to soon become a model with wht wonderful advice you have givin me. Thanku xoxoxo.

    • profile image

      CatB 6 years ago

      I read this about 9 months ago and now I am a model for miss selfridge anrbi am only 13!!!

    • profile image

      Abbey Rose 6 years ago

      i am 14 and 2 months and i want to become a serious model and this article has helped a lot in preparing me for what is out there tankyou so much xx

    • profile image

      lashawnda jenkins 6 years ago

      im veryyy pretty nice body a nice person n i believaa i can makee im almoxt there

    • profile image

      Skye Raye 7 years ago

      my daughter is very young and she wants to become a model so badly but she doesn't have the confidence, and she is also worried that she does not have big enoguh that a disavantage in the modeling world????

      btw...great info! this will help her out a lot!

    • profile image

      Amz 7 years ago


      Im 13 and have wanted to do modeling for ages.I have no idea were to start and am embarrased to say anything to my parents.People allways say i should start doing modeling and that im preety and have lovely hair and all but How do u become a mode?

    • profile image

      Cinemachances 7 years ago

      Dear All portal highlights the arts and skills of the artists who want to enter into Film Industry and TV Industry over Internet so that prospective producers and directors who are in immediate need and search of the artists can get quick information. The portal is a full database of cinema chances across India updated daily. The site lets you show your talent not just to the world but to the relevant people from Film, Television & media related industries. It is an online talent platform connecting young talent and Directors, Producers, ad agencies, etc. This site is a right choice for artists who are waiting for chances to act in movies and TV. The site is viewed by filmmakers, TV serial producers, music companies and other entertainment industry organizations with a view to getting them new talent from across the country.This is where scores high.

      Login to and get access to huge database of cinema chances


    • profile image

      Cinemachances 7 years ago

      Dear All portal highlights the arts and skills of the artists who want to enter into Film Industry and TV Industry over Internet so that prospective producers and directors who are in immediate need and search of the artists can get quick information. The portal is a full database of cinema chances across India updated daily. The site lets you show your talent not just to the world but to the relevant people from Film, Television & media related industries. It is an online talent platform connecting young talent and Directors, Producers, ad agencies, etc. This site is a right choice for artists who are waiting for chances to act in movies and TV. The site is viewed by filmmakers, TV serial producers, music companies and other entertainment industry organizations with a view to getting them new talent from across the country.This is where scores high.

      Login to and get access to huge database of cinema chances


    • profile image

      Danielle 7 years ago

      I'd love to do modelling, but definitely need some help,

      first I gotta boost my self confidence, second

      earn some money! Lol

    • profile image

      alizayh 7 years ago

      hey everybody i am alizayh i am 13 and i am 5'6 i wiegh 119 and i am mixed wigth and african american i have long leggs and i am beautiful and i am am athlete i have wat it take to be a model cus when i look in the mirror i see beauty and everyone tells me i look like a model(thankyou)

    • profile image

      ellemarie 7 years ago

      good info.i did my test shoot a few weeks ago with photographers i new and it was nice and they have given me tips and hints about modelling and things as well as some websites and agencies they have worked with. i just turned 18 and this info has helped a lot. if only they had scottish modelling agencies.

    • profile image

      achankeng 7 years ago

      please vote for me in ford model search. =]

    • profile image

      vanessa 7 years ago

      this aticle has helped me a lot

    • Aimzphotography profile image

      Aimzphotography 8 years ago from Auckland

      Finally someone with real info, there are many idiots out there writing blogs telling models that agencies will pay for a model to have images taken giving girls unrealistic expectations and then dreams are shattered when an agency wont, I just thought I would mention there is a difference between a fashion model and a commercial face and talent for TV and film background work which most agencies will ask for their fee at the time of signing or shortly after due to not knowing if the talent is reliable or serious, obviously if a model has found a great photographer and invested in their career they are more likely to have a professional attitude and want to work, but there are a lot of model network sites people pay to join with their camera phone images yet these people are unreliable for turning up as extras making a fool out of whoever has cast them


    • profile image

      harris 8 years ago

      hi i will love to become a model because it is very pritty andi wach amercian next top model i practic a lot

    • profile image

      allie 8 years ago

      im 15 and looking forward to trying out modeling this summer. i had no idea how to start but now that ive read this article it gives me a better idea on how everything works in the modeling world. i hope i find an agency and get my career going. thanks:)

    • profile image

      shaniqua 8 years ago

      this is great info it will help me to be a teenage model.

    • profile image

      estheticemily 8 years ago

      i'm 15 and i'm trying to look up information to become a model because everyone i meet tells me i look like a model, im 5'8" and weigh 125 with really long legs and i hav an alternative style, so knowing that I have what it takes helped a lot!! thanks!!

    • profile image

      trying15 8 years ago

      Hi.. i am trying to become a teen model im 15 and it is tough. modeling is hard work ive been trying for over a year now.. so if your interested in modeling think it through because they dont give you constructive critisim, they give you som of the harshest critism out there.


    • profile image

      ninette 8 years ago

      hi my son 16 yrs has just had a port folio done and signed up with a n agency in yourkshire england what are his prospects of making it in this very cut throat business? any help and advice would be great.

    • profile image

      dasheska luna 8 years ago

      i was hopeing if u where looking for a young 14 year old call 786 663 3171

    • profile image

      pravin 9 years ago

      hey .

    • profile image

      FGUEDU 9 years ago


    • profile image

      Monaaa 9 years ago from Orangevale

      Spectacular sense of guidance.

    • profile image

      lumi 9 years ago

      im trying to start out with modeling.

      this is some very interesting and good information...

      im 14 and i didn't have a clue where to start, but im educated now.

      thanks a lot!

    • profile image

      natalie 9 years ago

      Hey was just wondering if you knew of any legit' modeling agensies in the uk?

      Thank you in advance

    • profile image

      lisa 9 years ago

      i want 2 do this but dont think i could i need help

    • profile image

      Lorenzo 9 years ago


    • profile image

      VitalisPhoto 10 years ago


      Um, what video are you referring to? And what's Kewego?

    • profile image

      Huerto 10 years ago

      dude i saw that video on kewego whos that girl she freaking hot! wink wink

    • profile image

      Lupe 10 years ago

      Gracias...nice page

    • profile image

      bamdet 10 years ago

      I would think Teen Modeling would be full of pitfalls and would take a well prepared plan and lots of research. Great Hub and makes a good resource for a teen looking to pursue a modeling career.

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 10 years ago from London UK

      Welcome to Hubpages vitalisphoto and very useful hub which without this knowledge. could be potentially a dangerous avenue for young aspiring models who could end up going down the wrong path,. trying to find modelling success..

      Excellent Hub and i look forward to many more:)

    • profile image

      ryan 10 years ago

      Any one who is looking to model should read this first. Great Advice thanks for the info!

    • profile image

      archerman 10 years ago

      Great hub filled with some very good information, Thanks!

    • lililovestar profile image

      lililovestar 10 years ago

      Great article and good and sound advice for young ladies who would like to break into the modeling industry, loved the resource section listing the top agencies.

    • profile image

      Chele 10 years ago

      This is really good info - easy for young models-to-be to understand! Thank you! Can I share this with my models? (I do some fashion photography, too).



    • Brenda Jackson profile image

      Brenda Jackson 10 years ago

      Great information. It's good to point out some traps and your health is very important. In Europe legislation is moving towards prohibiting unnaturally skinny girls. Real woman want to see real woman in pictures too...

    • ConnorMathews profile image

      ConnorMathews 10 years ago

      Showed this to my niece who is fourteen and she was thrilled! Thanks V

    • SUPERGROUPIE profile image

      SUPERGROUPIE 10 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Nice article.

      Other top agencies (like Elite) in Milan are:

      WHY NOT



      You can find their websites by yourself.

      Milan is a great city to start a career as a model ;-).

      Though, my advice is: if you are very young and you go over there, be careful. There are a lot of oppurtunities in the city of fashion, but also a lot of traps. Be an eagle and take the opportunities only!!!

    • profile image

      AnnaRoserio 10 years ago

      Hello there

      I see your hub at aol and you knows good stuffs. My girl wants to model but in Spain are things diferent than US? I like help AnnaRoserio

    • deemillerliving profile image

      deemillerliving 10 years ago

      My grand daughter is a teenager and wants to do some modeling. This information will be great for her and her mother to look over. Great information.

    • Greg from Maine profile image

      Greg from Maine 10 years ago from Maine

      I like the emphasis on the healthy way as well as the warnings. Good info.

    • Brad88 profile image

      Brad88 10 years ago from Vancouver

      Always pays to plan ahead, thanks for the great advice.

    • Dexx profile image

      Dexx 10 years ago

      great article, amazing advice, keep up the wonderful work!!

    • profile image

      reiki2 10 years ago

      Great article with lots of good advise and information


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