How To Get Started
When I was young I knew that I wanted to model but never knew where to start. I didn’t understand anything about angles, poses, rates, collaborations, agents, or contracts. So I want to dedicate this blog to sharing with you some ideas on how you can get your toes wet and start being more comfortable modeling even if you have zero experience.
One simple option you might consider is taking pictures of yourself. Make use of an old tripod, your phone’s timer, or just take a selfie! Selfies might not produce the kinds of images you would present to agencies or clients but you learn a lot about your facial expressions and how your face photographs. Inevitably though, you’ll gain some confidence in front of a lens even if nobody is behind it.
Once modeling for yourself is a piece of cake, you can recruit your friends or family to be your personal photographers. Before I modeled professionally I would ask my mom or boyfriend to take photos of me. One reason I loved this is because I could experiment with my poses carefree. I could get creative without being afraid of judgment. Plus, when it’s friends and family, you get to discover then decide which pictures (and angles) do you justice.
If you do the above you should have at least enough images in your portfolio to take it to the next level and present them to potential collaborators. In my baby stages of modeling I created a profile and met amateur photographers via modelmayhem.com. (Some of them I still shoot with today!) I also browsed on Facebook where I met the first underwater photographers I would work with. And of course, I snooped around on Instagram for people whose photography I was fond of. I reached out on these various platforms and sent the measly images I had either screenshoted from GoPro footage or begged my boyfriend to take. Though they weren’t impressive they were enough to demonstrate that I had some experience in front of the camera and from there the quality of my work improved with every collaboration. (I’ll go into detail about collaborations in a future post, don’t worry!)
Collaborating will teach you how to work with and take direction from different personalities but you could always hire someone to photograph you if collaborating seems intimidating. A professional may not be cheap but it does usually mean that you have all of the rights to your images and also get them edited and sent to you more quickly. In the end, regardless of which way you choose to gain experience while building your portfolio you’ll be more confident approaching agencies if you eventually choose to seek representation.
No matter where you start, a beginning propels you and creates momentum for your next steps. Everyone’s journey is different and no start is better than another’s. So don’t be afraid of starting from scratch. Start somewhere, anywhere!