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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Instagram Model

How to become a model in Australia

If you’re wanting to extend your reach as a model, you may want to put yourself out there on social media and start building a following! In the past 5 years, Instagram has become an especially powerful social media platform that is now incredibly useful for not just entertainment but for the business world – reaching out to customers, business development, activism and more. And specifically, modelling agencies now use Instagram to share news, promote their models and (importantly for you), scout for new models.

In Australia, Instagram is one of the most popular social networks and with over 200 million active members worldwide who share 60 million images and 1.6 billion likes per day – it’s not hard to see why models flock to Instagram!

So, if you want to put yourself in front of new potential clients as a model or if you’re looking to be scouted by any of the world’s elite modelling agencies, here’s how to boost your portfolio as a model on Instagram:

Tip One: Have a clear purpose.
Having a distinct focus is so important. Instagram is for sharing photo and video which is perfect for models – share behind the scenes outtakes, portfolio snapshots, live stream yourself on the way to a go see… however you use Instagram, be sure that it aligns with a purpose and this will help you stay motivated. Consider which agencies/clients you want to attract (depending on your niche) and develop your content accordingly).

Tip Two: Promote yourself well.
Remember, everything you share on Instagram is now a part of your greater portfolio… so don’t share anything that you feel doesn’t represent you well or doesn’t align with the greater context in which you present your portfolio! You can also use hashtags to cleverly promote yourself to be scouted by major modelling agencies. Want to be scouted?

Try these hashtags to be scouted by international modelling agencies:

  • #WABDE / Modelwerk
  • #MWcurvesWanted / Modelwerk Curves
  • #wescoutusa / LA Models
  • #lamodelsyouth / LA Models Youth Division
  • #beAMunichModel / Munich Models
  • #Models1scout / Models1
  • #M1CurveScout / Models1 Curve
  • #SPOTTEDBYMETRO / Metropolitan Models Agency#WLYG / IMG Models
  • #TheLookout / IMG Models Men
  • #WILLYSCOUTS / Wilhelmina Models
  • #scoutmetier1mm / Tier1 Model Management
  • #scoutmechadwick / Chadwick Models
  • #makememajor / Major Model Management
  • #LoveEliteMiami / Elite Model Management Miami
  • #nymmscoutingtour / New York Models
  • #3mscoutme / 3mm models
  • #omgscouting / OMG Model Management
  • #Beyondaselfie / Morgan Model Management
  • #PLscout / Peggi Lepage Model Scout
  • #jointhemvmt / The Movement Models
  • #anmscoutme / ANM Management
  • #scoutmiscmodels / ISC Models
  • #scoutmeonyx / ONYX Model Management
  • #21mmscoutme / TwentyOne Millimeters Management
  • #scoutmeignite / Ignite Models
  • #heffnerscoutme / Heffner Management
  • #hunterscout / Hunter Model Management
  • #bestarsystemfamily / Star System
  • #WeAreGold #TheGoldBagSquad / Dulcedo Management
  • #NEWGENERATIONSCOUT / New Generation Model Management
  • #instasuccessboy / Success Models
  • #becomecjmodel / CJ Models
  • #scoutmepanache #panachemodelsearch / Panache Management
  • #citymodels / City Models
  • #newfaze / FAZE Models
  • #be1scoutme / Be1 Scouting
  • #M4SCOUTING / M4 Models
  • #ullascout / Ulla Models
  • #futurefacesmodels / Future Faces Model Management
  • #meetthesupremeteam / Supreme Management
  • #WACR / Creartvt Casting Agency
  • #TeamNemesis / Nemesis Models
  • #becomeidmodel / iD Model Management
  • #touchescout / Touché Model Management
  • #vscouted / Vivien’s Model Management
  • #BeAnotherSpecies / Another Species
  • #unikocasting / Uniko Model Management
  • #beMANGOmodel / Mango Models
  • #PARSme / PARS Management
  • #DirectionsScout / Directions USA Models
  • #dmmscoutme / DMM Models
  • #ntcme / No Ties Model Management
  • #ScoutMeBeth / Beth Model Management
  • #lomoface / Louisa Models
  • #mc2scouting / MC2 Model Management
  • #GirlsClubScouting / Girls Club Management
  • #SCOUTMEIMMORTAL / Immortal Models Management
  • #MSAme / MSA Models
  • #ScoutMeTRUE / TRUE Model Management
  • #scoutmeSTATE / State Management
  • #PickMePlutino / Plutino Models
  • #Catchme / Catch 22 Model Management
  • #makemeelite / Elite Model Management Toronto
  • #scoutmeaddicted / Addicted to Models
  • #BecomeWicked / Wicked Models
  • #ohlssonminisuper / Ohlsson Model&Talent
  • #hook_scout_me / HOOK Model Agency
  • #iscoutstarrs / KStarr Management
  • #Weareonescouting / Weareone Management
  • #JOINSEEDS / SEEDS Management
  • #BECOMEOKM / OKAY Models
  • #ScoutMeMontage / Montage Models
  • #ModelPartnerScout / Model Partner
  • #nologoscoutme / Nologo Mgmt
  • #mirrrsmuse / MIRR/RS
  • #spotmemodelsearch / Spot 6 Management
  • #scoutmefaceparis / The Face Paris
  • #mekamodelmgmt / Meka Model Managment
  • #beascrew / AS Management
  • #scoutmebella / BELLA Management
  • #iamsmg / Seattle Models Guild

Tip Three: Network, follow & comment!
Agencies are increasingly looking not only to your portfolio statistics such as height and weight, but also your social media following – this includes your likes, comments and engagement. There’s no specific threshold of how many followers you need to have but more is always better! For example, Naomi Campbell has 4.8 million followers, Adriana Lima has 11.6 million followers, plus size model Ashley Graham has 6.4 million followers and locally, Jennifer Hawkins has 878,000 followers. Your follower count signifies your ability to market yourself (and this is especially important if you are a freelance model!) and your ability to engage your target market.

However, be aware that social media isn’t the be all and end all – so even as a model on Instagram, you still can’t ignore the importance of being friendly and personable, impressing agencies and clients on casting calls and being an overall professional model.

Supermodels will routinely post their official campaign and runway shots on their Instagram pages, so follow suit and share any work or experience that you may have. Don’t be afraid to get creative – and always be sure to use your Instagram account to network strategically. Ask yourself who you can learn from and who it would benefit you to be associated with.

Tip Four: Clearly understand your audience.
Of course, defining a purpose and doing your research is incredibly important – and after doing so, you should have a good idea of your audience. Now, it’s time to understand that audience!  If your audience is agencies that you hope to pitch yourself to, consider what they’re looking for in your content… likewise if you’re freelance and trying to pitch yourself directly to clients or to photographers.

Tip Five: Have objectives.
Social media goals aren’t just for businesses! As a model – and to fully realise what it means to become an Instagram model – you absolutely need to learn to think like a business and as such, setting goals is crucial. Set yourself objectives in terms of your follower count, who you want to engage with, how many leads you want to obtain through social media and what you’d like your engagement rate to be. Not sure where to start? Look to other models in your niche who are a little bit ahead of where you want to be and see what you can learn from them!

Tip Six: Develop your audience.
Hashtags (as mentioned above) are one way to grow your audience, however there are also other ways to grow your portfolio as an Instagram model. One of the best ways to grow is to give your audience value through great quality content. Include not just photos from your portfolio but general musings about the industry and your experience – this will give agents and clients an insight into your personality! Remember too that everything you say (not just the photos that you share) is part of your greater “unofficial” portfolio, so be careful to what you say!
This is by no means an exhaustive list – however, the above tips will give you a good start as an Instagram model!

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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 to become a model in Australia


Advance – An advance can sometimes be given to in-demand models to secure their acceptance for a booking, similar to a deposit or down payment. However lesser known models generally do not receive advances.

Advertorial – Created and paid for by an advertiser, but has the appearance of an editorial.

Agency – See Modeling Agency

Art director The art director is the person who is responsible for visual style and images of an ad or editorial presentation at a magazine, photo shoot and the like.  The art director’s decisions will determine the overall design and the kind of models used in the production, they may even be involved in selecting specific models.

Audition – Auditions are also often referred to as open calls, go sees or castings. These auditions are held so that agencies can find fresh new models that they may book for modelling jobs. These open calls allow will usually last a few hours. Clients may also hold auditions with models from different agencies in attendance.


Book – Refer to Portfolio

Booker A Booker is an employee of the model agency who acts as a middleman between the client and the model. As the name suggests the booker negotiates the modelling jobs with their clients.

Bookout – A bookout is simply a period of time that you are unable to work be it for professional or personal reasons. As you are not available no clients will be able to book you in for that period.

Buyouts – A buyout refers to the purchase by a client to the rights to a model’s image for a designated period of time, there will also be conditions such as type of media and geographic region.


Call Time – The time at which a model should be at the specified location, however as with any new job being around 15 minutes early is recommended.

Call Back / Recall – A call back refers to a model being asked back for another viewing to help narrow down the agency or clients selections. Receiving a call back may or may not result in a model being selected.

Call Sheet –  Call sheets are used throughout multiple industry’s to detail the specifics such as the where and when associated with the project. They can include, but are not limited to information such as the location and directions to the shoot, hair and makeup requirements, direction of the campaign etc. However sometimes the agency will simply provide the model with a phone call or email with his or her particulars.

Casting – A casting is a notice sent out to models, agencies and sometimes modeling websites advising of the details required for upcoming productions. These can range from a call where everyone and anyone can apply to advising specific or predetermined models to introduce themselves to the client.

Casting Agency – See Modeling Agency

Casting Detail Sheet – See Call sheet

Cattle Call –  See Audition

Catwalk – A catwalk, or sometimes referred to as a runway, is an area or space used by models during a fashion show to show off the clothing and accessories to the audience. A catwalk is usually a long and narrow elevated platform, however in more recent times there has been a shift to same level runways.

Close Up – A close up is an image or video of a model taken a close range. It provides a more detailed image than regular shots.

Commission – Commission when relating to modeling is the fee you pay to your manager or agency. This will usually be a percentage of the amount your receive for completing your modeling job.

Composite Card – Composite cards can have multiple names such as comp card, sedcard or zedcard, either way they are a models business card. The composite card consists of a piece of card on which at least two of your images are placed preferably in various outfits, poses and settings. The card should include your name, statistics and contact information, it should also show your agency’s information. A good agency will compile and print your comp cards for you.

Cover Shooting – A cover shoot is a photo shoot designed to be placed on the cover of a magazine , a cover shoot can be a huge deal for an aspiring model.


Editorial – Editorial images or photographs are created to illustrate a story or idea within the context of the subject, they cannot be used for commercial purposes. Editorial works most commonly appear in magazines, newspapers, on the internet and sometimes can appear on television.


Fitting – A fitting is where the clothes to be modelled are fit onto the model in a session before the actual photo shoot. They clothes may be altered to fit the particular model so there may be a fair amount of standing around while items are made to measure.

Freelance – A  freelancer is a model who is not exclusively represented by any one agency.


Go&See – The term go&see quite literally means to go and see someone, in a commercial environment the model will meet up with a casting person about a particular job, however with fashion it usually means to see someone who will keep you in mind for future jobs.


Lingerie – Lingerie is a word used to describe sexy or appealing underwear.

Location – Location refers to where a photo shot or job takes place. If you are booked for an on location job it is recommenced that you prepare yourself accordingly for the advised environment.


Modeling Agency – A modeling agency is a company or business that matched models to clients. Agencies usually earn their income via commission paid from the client to the model.  The agency represents the models and works to actively promotes them.

Model Release – A Model Release is a legal document releasing the rights to the images taken by the photographer at a particular session. Should the images be used without the release or in a way not documented in the the release the model and grounds to sue for breach of contract.


New Faces – As the term suggests new faces refers to models who are new to the modeling world and usually do not have a professional book or portfolio yet.


Plus Size – A plus size model is the term used to describe models who primarily model plus-size clothing. They are becoming increasingly popular in recent years.


Runway – See Catwalk.


Sedcard – See Composite Card.

Senior model – A senior or mature age model is a professional forty plus model. Mature models are used to target particular demographics.

Set – See Location.


Tearsheet – A tearsheet is a page that has been ripped out our removed from a publication to show physical evidence to a client that their advertisement was published.


Usage – Also see Model Release – Models get paid for their time on set as well as the right for the client to use the images from that photo shoot to advertise. A model will receive additional payment for each usage purchased by the client. However sometimes the fee will be a flat fee which means the on set time and usage are combined.



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