Steps and Requirements to be a model

12 minutos de lectura

Being able to travel to the best fashion capitals in the world, earn a lot of money with exclusive contracts from the most prestigious fashion firms. These are some of the main reasons why young people want to be models.

The truth is that it is not easy to become a professional model, those who have already achieved it know it very well. This is an extremely competitive world and it is full of rejections and a very steep path to climb.

But the models who have already made it to the top know how hard they have had to work, motivate themselves and discipline themselves to make their dreams come true. To achieve this, you have to be clear about what the Requirements to be a model which we will explain to you below.

Requirements to be a model

To be a model you have to meet certain criteria but these are not very specific, since there is room for everything:


  • Physical attributes: To be a male model, the height requirements are between 6 feet (1.80cm) and 6 feet 2 inches (1.90). Shirt size must be 40 regular. Models need a firm body, but prominent muscles in the arms and legs are not recommended because they pull on clothing. Clean skin and straight teeth are mandatory.
  • Age: Although the potential earnings are less compared to those of female models, the demand in the market to represent images of successful executives and distinguished older men makes male modeling a long-term job that you can work in at an age greater than 60. years.
    Male models can start their career in their teens, says Parkes, who discovered famed model Tyson Ballou in Dallas when he was 15.
  • Training: Although not required for all jobs, modeling school can give you insight into your competition by teaching you the do’s and don’ts on set, so you have to work hard from day one.
    A modeling school can prepare you with the jargon of the industry and help you improve your appearance to increase your chances of getting a job. Russell says that a lot of photos, even if they’re just test shots, don’t help you build your portfolio, they just get you familiar with the camera.
  • Representation: As with training, getting the services of an agent is not required, but it is helpful so that you get hired more often and earn more income than going it alone.
    In addition to advising you on jobs that aren’t released to the general public, an agent is like a lawyer who negotiates your contract and makes arrangements on your behalf.
  • Photos: Give your potential agent or contractor an album with various types of photos, including your face and full body. Make a video that shows that your way of walking is also useful.
  • Multiple talents: Former Parkes-Eleveth client Channing Tatum began his modeling career in Miami and later moved into acting.
    She says, «Of course an actor’s earnings potential is higher than a model’s and with the right training and guidance, one can transition from one career to another.»


Next, the requirements that the agencies request to belong to the industry:

  • Height: 1.72 and 180 cm
  • Size: 0-4
  • Bust: from 82 to 86cm
  • Waist: 60- 65cm
  • Hip: 85-90cm
  • Age: 14 to 25 years (to start)

How to be a model?

modeling is a field in which it is hard to emerge due to the great diversity and models that exist, many times the jobs look for very specific characteristics and others are very strict, but always open an option for you.

  1. Stay healthy inside. Eat and drink healthy foods, and get plenty of exercise. Having a healthy body will help you have your best image. Being in shape is important. Consider hiring a model trainer. Share your modeling goals with him, tell him what you want to look like, and ask him for a personalized exercise regimen to help you achieve those goals.
  2. Have a good physical aspect. Take care to see yourself healthy and well-groomed. The way you dress and how you behave are also important, but you should have a routine that helps you maintain the health of your skin and hair. Focus on keeping your skin clean and radiant. Wash your face in the morning and at night, exfoliate once a week and remember to remove your makeup before going to sleep.
  3. Match your modeling goals with your body type. Technically, anyone can be a model. However, if you do not meet certain requirements, the work available to you may be extremely limited or you may have to make up in other areas (reliability, technical, etc.).
    • plus size model: If your body is full and curvaceous, you could be a plus size model.
    • Runway model: Most of the women on the runway are at least 5 feet 8 inches (1.72 m) tall and tend to have small busts. Men are mostly between 1.80 and 1.88 m (5 ft 11 in and 6 ft 2 in).
    • Model for publishers: Most female editorial models are at least 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m), but a beautiful face and a great personality are the most important traits for these types of models.
    • underwear model: In the case of women, they must have a full bust and a narrow hip. Men have to have broad shoulders and a narrow waist.
    • alternative model: Some agencies hire alternative models. These are models that do not fit the industry standards for beauty, height, and weight. Remember: having a passion or cause that you fight for can open doors for you that would otherwise be closed due to the incompatibility of your physical features with industry standards.
    • Other types of modeling: If you don’t fit any of the face or body descriptions we’ve given you, maybe you can be a foot, hair or hand model.
  4. You can consider sporadic modeling. If you think the runway or magazines are not your element, look into other types of modeling. There are companies that hire models for special events or to promote specific products.
    • promotional model– Some companies want their customer base to interact directly with models who are generally attractive and have likable personalities to promote their brand. You could see these models in supermarkets, events or clubs promoting food, liquor or new products.
    • Spokesperson model– Companies hire spokesmodels so that they are consistently associated with a specific brand. Contrary to what most believe, these types of models do not always have to promote the brand verbally.
    • Trade Shows Model: There are companies or brands that hire this type of model to promote a product in the tent or stand at trade fairs. In general, they are not permanent employees of the company, but rather work independently for the event in which they are going to participate.

Recommendations when casting

As a professional model you have to first learn how to present yourself as well as possible at a model casting. The casting is a very important moment in which you must convince the client of you, which is not always easy.

The competition does not sleep and you have to try to stand out among all the casting models and make a good impression on the client. For that you need, apart from a lot of confidence and self-assurance, a good preparation.

In a model casting your main objective is to sell yourself as well as possible, only then can you be successful as a professional model.

Therefore it can be very useful to prepare beforehand. First of all, you should know what kind of model or actor casting it is.

According to that, it could help you, for example, to do the odd exercise of expressions and gestures in front of the mirror. Try and compare different poses and remember that a calm and natural attitude is necessary to convince the client. A restless and nervous demeanor does not give a good impression of you.

How to create a portfolio

The “book” is the business card of the model. For photography, the «book» of a model consists of a series of snapshots in which its physical and interpretation qualities are shown, with the aim of greater number of registers and different styles.

If the model intends to orient her work towards a specific style or discipline, the photographs in her portfolio should be oriented towards these. Otherwise, the variety in the photographs in terms of styling, makeup, hairdressing, posed and even attitudes of the model, will be what will define the final quality and effectiveness of the portfolio.

The composite, very similar in concept to the portfolio itself, is a simplified version of it, which presents on a single card a selection of the best photographs from the model’s portfolio, as well as basic information about it:

  • Name and surname
  • Measurements: Chest / Waist / Hip
  • Height
  • Pant, shirt and shoe size
  • Eye and hair color
  • Means of contact (Telephone and/or E-mail)

The composite, unlike the portfolio, is normally given to agencies as a business card, so it is convenient to make many copies. A composite usually has an approximate size of half a DIN-A4 sheet, and must contain the best selection of photographs of the model, but showing at the same time, and at least:

  • A close-up or close-up photograph of the face
  • A full body photograph AND for a composite to be as effective as possible (and can also be applied to a portfolio):
  • The photographs must be very different from each other, showing very different attitudes and poses.
    Show changes of clothes and different styles.
    Different makeup and hairstyles, even with hair dyed in different shades.
    Combine studio photographs with outdoor photographs.
    All the better if there are photographs of commercial works that contain superimposed brands, publicity montages, or even the names of the photographers, if these are of recognized prestige.
    Black and white photos, and artistic or conceptual photos are very welcome.

Becoming a Professional Model

  • As soon as you enter this world, it is important to let yourself be advised by a model agency professional. The more he knows about the medium, the better he will direct the young woman’s career path and the better jobs she will get.
  • It’s very important have a good books -set of photos of the model-. At first, it is better that the photos are varied. Therefore, it is essential to contact a good photographer.
    Once within the profession, the work carried out will expand this book, both in quantity and quality.
  • You have to be aware that the modeling profession is ephemeral. For this reason, one must be careful with the decisions that are made and their possible future repercussions, such as having surgery or losing excessive weight. Likewise, it is good to have scheduled what is going to be done once the castings and the jobs on the catwalk or publicity are scarce.

  • Some innate physical qualities They are essential to be a model. For example, you must have good skin and an expressive face, among other qualities. On the other hand, if you are interested in dedicating yourself to the catwalk, you must have a minimum height of 1.72 meters for girls and 1.80 for boys.
  • Have to know adapt to the beauty canon that prevails at all times. The world of fashion is constantly changing and the traits that are preferred at a certain time are those that are preferred shortly after can change radically.
  • Attempt training and improving is always good to be a good professional. A successful option is to enroll in a modeling school, where various courses are taught, all of them aimed at training future models. Here we can find everything from hairdressing and makeup courses to protocol.
  • Must know the environment in which you are going to work and realize that you have to take it seriously if you want to succeed. It is not a hobby, but a profession.
  • Must be have enough strength and character not to lower yourself to get a job. It must be clear that being a model is not everything. Therefore, there should be no doubt about the limits that one is not willing to exceed.
  • Be aware that working as a model is a tough professionAlthough at first glance it may not seem like it. Among other things, it should be taken into account that you may be traveling continuously, which separates you from your family, or that you may experience many stressful situations.
  • Be prepared to face possible dangers. On many occasions, the promises that are made, and for which considerable amounts of money are disbursed, are not fulfilled. Regarding this issue, experts advise to be careful with those advertisements that «seek models» by advertising in newspapers or through pamphlets placed on the streets.

What is being a model?

Model is the professional in the fashion sector who is dedicated to exhibiting, wearing clothing or other accessories (shoes, bags, belts).

The profession is usually associated with young women, however, there are also male models of all ages, including small ones; the beauty with which the models are identified is a primary factor, although in any case the selection of the model always seeks a certain aspect, body and facial expression, anthropometric measurements and specific conditions (height, height, weight, physical complexion) defined professionally to make the submitted articles attractive or have a certain impact.

How much does a model earn?

In any case, there is enormous variability between what a semi-professional or professional model charges for a show, which can be between €50 and €300, and the fantastic figures that some catwalk stars move, which can be dizzying. To give an example, Naomi Campbell earned about 49 million dollars in 2013.

These are specific cases, but Gisele Bundchen made about 33 million dollars in 2007 and Kate Moss, that same year, barely 9. Miranda Kerr usually makes, to give another example, around 7 million dollars a year.

Where to study in Spain to be a model?

For the study of Modeling in Spain there is a wide variety of institutes, agencies and courses which are:

  • SaraStudio: School and international agency of models
    Madrid Spain
    C/ Don Ramón de la Cruz 74 Local left
    28006 Madrid – Spain
    Phone: +34 91 530 66 44
    Mobile: +34 639 14 63 42
  • Isabel Navarro Model Management School
    Calle Príncipe de Vergara 90, 1°C – Madrid 28006 (Spain)
    Phone: +34 915 63 30 42

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