Today, modeling has become a mainstream career option for girls in India given the instant fame and money it involves. A career as a teen model may seem lucrative, but remember the industry is famously difficult to get into. If you’re hellbent on entering the industry, be really prepared for everything that comes your way.
1. Ask yourself a hundred times – Do I really wish to become a model?
Modeling is a lifestyle, not a 9-5 job. In spite of the allure, the modeling profession requires a lot of focus, discipline, hard work and a serious commitment.
2. Get parental approval before signing up with a modeling agency.
Since you are still in high school, it’s best if your parents know about your career choice. Modeling means long shoots and last minute assignments, so having your parents behind you can reduce some of the stress and help you in balancing your modeling career and school.
3. Modeling has various fields; choose one.
There is print modeling, ramp modeling, television modeling, showroom modeling, endorsement modeling, etc. Choose one that really excites you.
4. Get your portfolio done by a professional photographer.
It’s like your resume; therefore, make sure you have a portfolio compiled by someone really good. Devote time to your photo-shoot and also update it from time to time.
5. Register yourself with a reputed modeling school.
These schools impart courses and training in modeling which include, make-up styles, diet charts and exercises to maintain your body weight, beauty care, hairdo, cat walks, etc. A few of them also help you to get modeling assignments.
6. Find a good agent and the right modeling agency.
You MUST have an agent representing a modeling agency to get you into teenage modeling. Casting directors seldom have time to go through thousands of portfolios they get. Agents, on the other, hand are experts in viewing profiles and getting models the assignments they are looking for. Just make sure you don’t start talking to every other guy posing as the representative of a modeling agency. There are lots of fakes out there.
7. Give a great deal of thought before signing a contract.
Before signing, read the agreement carefully. Have your parents also read the agreement. Always go for an established, reputable agency. If an agency demands money from you, consider it a red flag.
8. Be very cautious of scammers.
There are so many fraud agents trying to mint money from aspiring models. Don’t get bluffed by their words; if need be, ask your parents to deal with them, while you concentrate on your portfolio expansion.
9. Learn how to build and expand your network and get reliable contacts.
Networking is the key to success in any profession, including modeling. This is how you may eventually reach the right people and right projects. But building a network does not mean staying out late every night or binge drinking with guys twice your age every other day, just so you could make some influential friends. Things don’t quite work that way sweetheart!
10. You must be ultra-professional and smart.
There’s no age limit for being smart, and that is what it takes to be a model. Don’t be too critical; be professional, non-judgmental and pleasant all the time.
11. Practice makes a model look perfect on the ramp – never forget this.
You must educate yourself about how to walk and represent yourself on the ramp. Make your ‘signature walk’ and be prepared beforehand as you never know, when you get the chance to show your skills.
12. Participate in various pageants and model hunts.
Almost every state organizes modeling or beauty contests that can kick-start your career and it also looks promising on your resume. Even a seemingly unpopular fashion show at a local event can give you the confidence and experience you need to make the first right move.
13. Modeling is a lot of hard work, it requires more time and devotion than many other professions.
Unlike what you may presume, modeling assignments are not easy. Sometimes you have to shoot in the most inhospitable terrains and at other times, you may have to shoot night and day to complete assignments on time.
14. The field is highly competitive and your career may be short -lived.
Though, career in modelling fetches you a good amount of money and universal acknowledgment, but all this is short lived. The day you start showing any signs of aging, is the day your career is over. And guess what? Not all those who enter the arena come out victorious.
15. Have the capacity to tolerate physical and mental stress.
Models have to look lean and in order to look thin, they often go for dieting which consequently affects their health. You should look flawless fit regardless of what are the circumstances going in your own life. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.
16. Be prepared for hard a struggle.
Let’s face the reality; a modeling job won’t fall instantly in your lap. There will be a time frame when you only get rejected, not once or twice but dozens of times.
17. There are plenty of ifs and buts. Beware of drug abuse and casting couch.
The modeling business involves a lot of money, travel and fame. But it comes with its own set of difficulties. Fear of rejection and stress of competition has led many a model to give in to drugs. Many others have even gone to the extreme extent of committing suicide.
18. Have confidence in yourself.
Don’t ever lose hope seeing older models. They have the experience, but no one here lasts too long.
Dream big. Walk carefully. And try taking your folks on-board for this career decision. It will help a great deal.
All the best.