How to break into modeling

AJ Lund photographed by Tony Cane HoneysettMy pal AJ Lund, a Minneapolis-based model and stylist, just posted some great tips on her blog about how to break into modeling. She's been in the business for years and knows exactly what clients and agencies are looking for. Up-and-comers would be wise to heed her advice.

Here are some of my favorite pointers — check out AJ's blog for the rest!

  • Take a couple photos of yourself in a cute casual outfit (great fitting jeans and a t-shirt). Take a full length photo, a 3/4 length, and a few head shots. Don't forget to smile!
  • You shouldn't have to pay out of pocket for anything at first. Paying $500 for a modeling class will not help you become a better model. The only thing that can help you improve is practice and experience. The best way to gain experience is to do 'test' shoots.
  • When it is time to open your checkbook it will be to pay the fee for being on an agency's website and normally, if you are booking work, the agency can take the money out of your upcoming checks.
  • Keep in contact with your agents. Let them know if you chop off all of your hair, go from blonde to brunette, have gained or lost a few lbs, or if you're going to be out of town.
  • Be professional! Always show up on time or a few minutes early ... always pack a nude bra (regular and strapless) and a nude thong, just in case.
  • Keep track of your mileage and expenses. You are not taxed in this industry so you need to keep track of your write-offs.
  • When you are making comp cards (it's like your business card with all of your photos on them) do not put an agency's name on them. In this market we can multi-list, meaning we can be with more than one agency at a time and agencies don't particularly like sending out comp cards with a different agency's name on them.
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