By Michele Smith
Facebook – MicheleSmithMarketing

The most beautiful thing an aspiring model can hear is to be told they have the look and the potential to make it in the ever-so-competitive fashion industry. After the professional headshots, the agent and the first job, the question becomes, “What is the next job?” How do models actually find work? Well, unless you are Gigi Hadid, modeling jobs are not going to simply fall out of the sky wrapped in a big red bow. The following are some tips for aspiring models and existing models on how to find modeling work.

There are two distinct approaches when it comes to finding work as a model. The first approach is having a modeling agency or talent agent find work for you. The second approach is the D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) method, meaning the model needs to find their own modeling jobs and may even have to sign several non-compete agreements with various modeling agencies. In both cases however, models do need to market themselves with a specific marketing toolbox and the very first piece to all of this the photographs. Every model needs professional photographs without question (and no, we are not talking about selfies with your iPhone here).

An easy way for models to obtain professional photographs is to hunt down and attend test shoots. What exactly is a text shoot? A test shoot is where a photographer is exploring a new creative concept, wants to test out some new photography equipment or just simply wants practice – after all, practice makes perfect for both photographers and models alike. If the model is working with an agency, the agency will look for the test shoots for their models and on the flipside, if the model is a free agent; they need to discover the test shoots on their own. In either case, models need professional photos for their composite, web presence and portfolio.

The model has two goals for a test shoot. The first goal is to obtain professional photos and the higher quality the photo, the higher paying modeling jobs will follow.  The second goal is to gain experience in front of the camera. In both situations, this can be a win-win for the photographer and model. First, both the model and photographer may need experience on both sides of the lens. Second, the model and photographer both may be trying to build their portfolio and cannot afford to hire talent or pay for professional pictures.

The goal here for any model is to have a very diverse portfolio that is comprised of different professional photographs. Yes, this means you cannot go to one test shoot and call it a day. Every photographer has his or her own style and each will capture a model differently. After the model has obtained the necessary photography, he or she will need to use these for their model marketing toolbox, which is made up of a composite, web presence and portfolio. Stay tuned for more tips to find modeling work in Part 2.