How to Book More Modelling Jobs

How to become a model in Australia

So, you’ve booked a couple of modelling jobs. Congratulations! Now, if you’re like most models, you wouldn’t mind booking a few extra jobs too… but how to you get more modelling jobs?

The harsh truth is that the majority of models will struggle to find full time modelling work, or they’ll have another job that will support them with a stable income. If you’d like to book more jobs as a model, you’ll want to:

Keep your photos up to date.
Models with outdated photos or photos that don’t show them at their most attractive and versatile may find themselves losing out on booking jobs. By keeping your model portfolio updated with new and better photos, you’ll look more professional and be a better candidate to potential clients. Remember that your photos can also be used to set you apart from other models so be creative and unique (in a competitive industry like modelling, this is incredibly important!)

Be open to travelling for work.
Working with agencies in outside cities and states is a great way to increase your chance of castings, especially if you’re outside of the major modelling capitals (for instance, if you’re in Perth you may also want to work with agencies in Sydney and Melbourne). Keep in mind, though, that out of state agencies may ask you to travel on occasion but as a model, this comes with the territory so you should be open to the possibility. Consider this an investment in your career! If you book a big job, it may just pay for itself. And on that note…

 Work with more than one agency (unless you’ve signed and exclusivity contract).
If there is no exclusivity clause in your contract, you are free to work with multiple agencies and naturally, this will increase your castings and jobs. Be sure not to work with any old agency – still take the time to do your research and pick agencies that are well aligned with your needs.

Keep your schedule open and flexible.
In the modelling world, go-sees, castings, fittings and jobs don’t always work on fixed schedules. So, if you have a second job, be sure to keep your schedule open to accommodate any last minute bookings and commitments that can further your career. Many models have found themselves losing modelling jobs because they had prior commitments or their schedules were inflexible (and in last minute jobs, even if a client thinks you’re the right model for the job… if you can’t make it, they’ll simply move on and pick another model).

Network, network, network!
Start now by establishing strong relationships with clients, photographers, bookers, casting agents and other models… it’s not what you know but who you know! You can also network on social media and model sites such as Model Mayhem by contacting photographers and letting them know that you’re a model looking for opportunities. Not all that you contact will reply… but sometimes if you contact the right person and they recognise your potential, it can be the start of a great opportunity. You have nothing to lose by asking!

So, if you’re a model looking for more modelling jobs – you know what you have to do! Modelling is hard work, ambition and hustle so the more you learn and put yourself out there, the better chance of success that you’ll have.

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How to Become a Model in Australia?

How to become a model in Australia

So, you’ve decided that you want to become a model – congratulations! Now, you’re in the right place and it’s time to start researching and taking the first steps towards launching your modelling career.

Famous Australian models that have made it as international superstars include Elle MacPherson, Miranda Kerr, Gemma Ward and Jemma Hawkins, and with the “Aussie look” in high demand in the fashion and beauty industry, now is the perfect time to start your modelling career. There are thousands of models in Australia so there is tough competition and standing out from the crowd is imperative.

For many aspiring models, their burning question is “What do I need to do to get started in the industry and actually become a model?” and while there is no easy, quick fix way to overnight success (as contrary to the popular image, the modelling life isn’t easy and requires a lot of determination!) there are some simple, proactive steps that you can take.

The great thing about modelling is that even though it’s very rare to be discovered and make it big as an overnight success, you can work your way up the ladder and with the right look, a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck on your side, you may find yourself booking great jobs, earning well and meeting lots of interesting people.

What does being a model involve?

As a model, depending on the niche that you enter you can expect to find yourself in runway shows, shooting for print and TV campaigns, promoting products and services and being in editorials.

There are many different niches of modelling that you may wish to enter, including:

… and these are just a few examples!

What training do I need?

The modelling industry in Australia – and indeed globally – is largely unregulated and as such, no formal qualification is required. However, you may want to attend modelling classes or acting classes if you want advance your skills, get better at posing for photographs or if you want to learn how your body moves and how to use this to your advantage in the modelling industry.

Ready to take the plunge?

When you know for sure that you want to become a model, it’s now time to get stuck into the hard work! In the early stages of your modelling career, you’ll need to firstly focus on developing a strong portfolio. Although having expensive photoshoots taken isn’t necessary in the early days, you’ll still want to showcase a diverse variety of looks including editorial, swimsuit, commercial and more.

Next, you must then make the important decision as to whether be freelance (self-represented) or represented by an agency. If you choose to be self-represented, you’ll take on the responsibility of marketing yourself as a model. If you choose to be agency represented, you’ll need to do your research and audition with several agencies in order to find the best agency to represent you. Your agency and booker will be managing your entire modelling career, so it’s important to choose carefully!

In the early stages of your modelling career, your income will likely be sporadic, and you may need to keep a second job to make ends meet. As your career grows, your income may become more stable and you may even book some very high paying jobs!

In Summary

Step One: Make sure you do your research about the industry, what’s expected of you, finding the right agency, how to book jobs and how to pick your niche.

Step Two: Make the appropriate preparations to put yourself out there – put together a portfolio, take some courses to further your skills and start networking!

Step Three: Put yourself out there, either self-represented or by getting signed to an agency. Now you’re ready to start booking jobs!

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Modelling Tips – For Beginners

How to become a model in Australia

There are lots of tips and truths that you’ll learn about the modelling industry as your career progresses, however, if you want to really fast track and become a better model faster, consider these seven top tips to being a better model.

Tip One: Get comfortable with the mirror.
You’re going to be spending a lot of time in front of the camera and a room full of strangers, posing and contorting your body in ways that wouldn’t be natural in any other circumstance – often, what looks good for the camera isn’t a natural pose (but on camera, it appears effortless… that’s the skill of modelling!). Make sure to spend time in front of the mirror perfecting your poses and learning how your body looks in various forms and angles. Then, when shooting, try to imagine your mirror behind the photographers’ camera and visualise how your body shapes may look to the photographer. As a rule of thumb, whatever is closest to the camera will appear the largest. If you lean in close with your face, your head will appear largest, If you tilt your waist backwards on the contrary, your waist will appear smallest… so consider what you hope to magnify, minimise and achieve in each image.

Tip Two: Don’t be a moth.
Notice when you’re starting to creep closer to the light in your photo… this will create dramatic light and shadow effects. Many models are tempted to move towards the light naturally but this can annoy your photographer who is trying to get a very specific spot. Make sure to take direction from your photographer – if they tell you to move your body in a way that doesn’t necessarily feel natural, don’t resist! They’re experienced and they’re seeing the angles that you’re not. It helps to have a basic understanding of how light works, for instance how shadows may be cast across your body and face depending on how you move. If you learn early on how light falls and your key light that makes you look the best, then you can work with this and create some gorgeous shots. Your photographer will also truly appreciate if you understand light!

Tip Three: Don’t squash your body parts.
What we mean by this is to create space between your limbs and body. To illustrate this, imagine a posing in a group photo. You’re at the end of the group and you push your arm into your chest while standing sideways… and when you see the photo, you’ll likely think, “Gosh my arm looks fat!”… but if you instead put your hand on your hip and create space between your arm and body, your arm will look thinner (this is commonly known as “skinny arm”). The same applies for literally any body part. Creating space creates an optical illusion of a slimmer appearance and squashing creates an optical illusion of a bulkier appearance. This small manoeuvre of a few centimetres makes a huge difference!

Tip Four: Don’t rotate your eyes too much.
As a guideline, follow the line of your nose with the direction of your gaze in order to keep your sight line central. When you over-rotate your eyes too much to any side, your eyes can look scary or too large! Similarly, understand how far you can turn your head before your jaw and nose look too prominent. Models will often pose with their heads at an angle (as it looks more coy and approachable, which is considered sexy) so understand the tipping point of this angle.

Tip Five: Fake your curves if you don’t have them naturally.
Even in thin models, a curvy silhouette is still sometimes required in shoots (with the body making an accentuated ‘S’ shape) so if you don’t possess natural curves, learn to move your body (for instance, by popping your hip) in a way that creates the illusion of curves.

Tip Six: Use your props to your advantage.
This includes your clothing! If you’re wearing a flowing garment, play with the movement of the garment and evoke the mood that you feel the garment designer is trying to portray. Similarly, consider the context of your location, as this will impact how you interact with it and how the photos that you get. Also, make sure that your poses are always complementary to what you’re trying to sell (if you’re wearing a form fitting dress, highlight your silhouette… if you’re wearing a flowing dress, interact with its movement).

Tip Seven: Have a kit of modelling basics, and take it with you everywhere.
This kit will be comprised of things like nude and/or black underwear, face wipes, moisturiser, makeup remover, safety pins and bobby pins, a straw for drinks (don’t ruin your lipstick!), water, snacks (like Glucojel Jelly Beans to give you energy), spare pairs of stockings for lingerie shoots, hairspray, a hairbrush, eyelash glue… anything that your hair or MUA might not have on hand. Or, on occasion, if your hair and MUA team have to leave the shoot before your part is done and you need a touch up – you don’t want to be caught short.

Above all, remember – if you’re pursuing the modelling dream, it’s because you love modelling and you want to succeed… so make the most of it! Have fun, be creative and never be afraid to ask for modelling tips and feedback for beginners or ask for help from those around you (especially those who are more experienced).

Be professional, work hard and stay humble and you’ll always be well respected by clients and agents alike!

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Finding the Right Agency

How to Become a Model

Have you ever been told that you have “the look”?

They’re words that every aspiring model longs to hear… but what are the next steps from there? All models must make a very important decision as to whether they work with a modelling agency, or go freelance (which means that they are self-represented and manage all of the marketing of themselves individually).

If you’ve decided that you want to work with a modelling agency, you’re now probably asking yourself “How do I find the right modelling agency?” and “How do I get booked as a model?”

There is a process to go about finding how to work with an agency and more importantly, how to find the right agency to work with.

Step One: Nail Your Niche
In order to find the right modelling agency to work with, you need to first determine what kind of modelling that you’d like to do – as this will inform you which agencies are suitable from the start. Next, you’ll need to do some research online and find out what modelling agencies are in your local area. If you live in a major city or CBD Australia, it’s relatively easy to find agencies in your city. There are plenty of major modelling agencies in Australia with offices/scouts in Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Canberra, Darwin, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. If you live in a rural area of Australia… it may be a little more difficult to find a modelling agency near you (so you’ll need to be prepared to either dig a little deeper in your research or potentially travel to your nearest city to meet with agencies).

TIP: Pick up a copy of a local magazine advertising things happening in your nearest city and look for an advertisement that has people in it. At the bottom of the ad (or somewhere in the magazine credits) you’ll find the advertiser – go online to try and find their phone number. Then, call the advertiser and ask them for the name of the agency that creates their ads. Go online again and find the phone number of the ad agency, call them and ask them which modelling agency they usually book their models through.

Note, this approach relies on people being forthcoming with information… but as a model you’ll need to be friendly, personable and persuasive so time to put these skills to the test!

Step Two: Do Your Research
When researching and selecting a modelling agency, exercise caution as there are some modelling agency scams… it’s crucial to do your homework! And of course if you are handed a pre-prepared contract by an agency, take the time to thoroughly read what you’re signing and be sure you understand what you’re agreeing to. If you don’t understand, we strongly recommend seeking legal assistance. In most CBDs in Australia, there are free legal services available to help you understand your paperwork if you don’t have the funds available for a legal service.

When doing your research, be sure to take note of the types of models that an agency is working with – this will give you an understanding of whether your personal look and niche is a good fit for the agency (as well as whether the agency is the right fit for your needs at this point of your career).

It’s important to note that a legitimate modelling agency will usually work solely on commission and as such, is expected to absorb the initial cost needed to market you as a model to their clients. Some agencies will ask you to refund them for these costs down the track – however if any agency asks you to pay the administrative, consultation or registration fees upfront, run! Any reputable agency will pay for your test shoots, lessons in acting and modelling (if you need any) and comp cards.

Step Three: Put Yourself Out There
Once you’ve discovered an agency that you’d potentially like to work with, now it’s time to book an appointment (or even, if you feel it’s the right approach, show up to their office in person with your portfolio in hand.). Without a doubt, never show up at any agency without a portfolio… we cannot stress this enough! An in-person visit to your agency of choice will give you a first hand look at the agency’s legitimacy, overall vibe and whether the agency is the best fit for your needs. Please also note, if an agency explicitly states that they don’t host open casting calls – do not show up unannounced! Agencies are busy and you don’t want to give anyone the impression that you’re intrusive, pushy or unobservant.

If a modelling agency has open calls, castings or “Go Sees” then be sure to always attend and always bring your portfolio. An in-person appearance is always beneficial as an aspiring mode (particularly if your portfolio right now is made mainly of snapshots rather than industry/campaign work, it’s always helpful for an agency to see your look in person).

And, before you sign on the dotted line for any modelling agency, make sure to assess how professional the environment is and ask any questions you need about the business… as well as meeting the booker! A booker will be managing every aspect of your modelling career if you sign with an agency, so it’s important that you feel good about your booker. As an aspiring model, a booker will help you strengthen your portfolio, highlight your best skills, assets and features and present you to the agency’s clients. They’ll also manage your schedule so always make sure to meet the booker before signing anything – you want to make sure you trust your booker!

Step Four: Be Courteous
It’s important to remember that modelling agencies typically won’t call you unless they’re interested – so while it’s okay to follow up with a phone call to see if they’d like to talk more about booking you, be sure to pay attention to the signs that they give you and be sure not to hassle them. If they’re not interested, try not to take it personally. Simply move on and find another agency. As every supermodel will tell you, most models face plenty of agency rejections until they find the right fit. It may be hard work now, but it makes for a great success story if you make it!

If you’re serious about your modelling career, be sure to carefully consider whether you want to be self-represented or represented by an agency. While some may be comfortable freelance and don’t want to outlay commission costs to an agency, consider also the positive impact that a modelling agency may have on your career.

Agencies and bookers have connections, can put you in front of the right people and can help you develop as a model, so they can be an invaluable asset to your career if you get the right agency!

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How Much do Models Earn?

How to become a model in Australia

From the outside, a model’s life looks very glamourous with expensive clothes, makeup artists, jet setting across the globe, beautiful photoshoots and parties every week.

The reality can often be different, though.. and it’s a reality that you need to be prepared for if you wish to break into the modelling industry! This article is not to discourage you but instead to make sure that you’re prepared for the work ethic that you need, as many potentially great models have been discouraged and given up when they realised that “the model life” wasn’t as instantly abundant as they thought it would be.

In reality, modelling is hard work and long hours and especially for aspiring models, the pay isn’t always as high as you might assume.

So, how much do models earn in Australia?
Working on an editorial shoot, models are paid a day rate. The average day rate for an editorial shoot in Australia is $180. If you’re a self-represented model this goes entirely to you however if you are represented by an agency, they will take a commission (which can vary) for referring the job to you. An average agency commission can be around $80 out of a $180 day rate in Australia, which leaves you with $100 for 6-8 hours of work.

This seems very little… however, the day price of an editorial shoot is the same regardless of whether you’re a rookie model on her first shoot or a seasoned pro like Miranda Kerr.

As most experienced models will tell you, models take on editorial work cheaply at the start of their career as that’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to build up a portfolio (which you’ll need to get you most other forms of modelling work). For models who set their sights on advertising jobs as the end goal, establishing a quality portfolio through editorial shoots is a great way to build up their portfolios quickly and then book some advertising jobs, where real money can be made.

For an advertising campaign, a model in Australia may be earning anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 a day – depending on the model.  And that’s for a lesser known model… those who make it into the big time earn significantly more.
In 2017, Kendall Jenner was the highest earning model at $22 million, followed by Giselle Bundchen who earned $17.5 million. Prior to 2017, Giselle had been the top earning model since 2002 however, with social media influencer popularity rising, stars like Kendall Jenner are now overtaking. For many aspiring models who take to Instagram to rapidly build up a following, they may find their incomes rising along with their follower count (much like Kendall!

Other high income earning models are Adriana Lima ($10.5 million), Kate Moss ($5 million) and Taylor Hill ($4 million). Gigi Hadad earned $9 million and with 22.2 million followers on Instagram, her bank account and exposure grows each day. It was also reported in InStyle UK that Karlie Kloss at just 23 years old was earning roughly $300 for a single step on a catwalk.

Alongside earning big money by being booked for jobs, models can also earn a significant amount of money through endorsements. Aspiring models will need to work their way up by endorsing smaller brands first – but work hard, build your portfolio and you might just be discovered by a big brand!

And, interestingly, child models can also earn a considerable amount! In 2014 Fairfax Media reported that child models in Australia can earn up to $50,000 per year or up to $10,000 for a single job.

The opportunities and prospects are great, but it’s important to be aware of the pitfalls of the industry. Realistically, not every aspiring model makes it. Some never go as far as they’d hoped, others struggle to book jobs and for others, the pressure of long hours gets too much. Many aspiring models who struggle to make it may find themselves giving up on their dreams to pursue a day job with greater financial stability while for others, the thrill of competition and not knowing how great their next earning may be excites them.

Some models are also paid in “trade”, whereby they accept free clothes, jewellery and products as payment for their services whilst they build up a portfolio.

There are very few models who earn the big bucks – and although models can make a decent living, it’s crucial to make sure you’re getting into the industry for the right reasons and not solely chasing millions. Models are not on a salary or a regular wage and in Australia (and abroad), modelling is a largely unregulated industry. Being paid per job often means that you won’t be paid the big bucks until you make it big so if you’re expecting to get rich quick, you’re ultimately setting yourself up for disappointment.

It’s well known that at Fashion Week, unknown models can barely break even… however, if they have the right look that a brand is looking for, the exposure can be enough to skyrocket their profile and land them some very well paying jobs. Models looking to make some quick money will often book jobs directly with designers in the lead up to Fashion Week testing looks for the upcoming shows. For jobs like this, some models can make up to $1,000.

Models must also be friendly and personable – the industry can get a bad reputation as being catty, however many models will tell you that other models are lovely people. In fact, to save money, many models choose to live together in “model houses” where they split the rent and bills and can all share the experience of chasing their dreams whilst sharing advice with each other.

Of course, modelling is still a competitive environment though as everyone wants to book the best jobs!

To be successful, models must be hard workers, perfectionists and flexible to the needs to their directors/casting agents, as well as open to taking feedback to help them grow and improve (so that ultimately, they can book bigger and better jobs).

Ultimately, how much models earn will vary on the specific model type, the agent and the job itself… so models must be prepared for not every job to be the same.


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