How to Become a Model: A Career in Modelling

How to become a model is a hot topic among youngsters and college students. And rightly so. After all, a career in modelling is glamorous and attractive. What could be more exciting than seeing your face on TV and in newspapers?

Many young people wish to get successful in the glamour world so they could become a part of the page 3 celebrities club, but only a few are able to make it big. In this article, I am sharing my insights – mistakes I made and the lessons I learnt. No, I am not a model, not even close. But the experience I gained during my brief modelling journey could be invaluable and help you avoid the pitfalls. Read on.

The burning desire to become a model and make a successful career in modelling keeps you awake at nights.

And why wouldn’t it? After all, you have all the reasons to believe modelling is your life purpose. For instance:

Girls of your class give you compliments.

Your girlfriend says you look like a model.

Even your friends say, “Hey, why don’t you try making a career in modelling?”

And you start visualising hot girls, tons of cash, celebrity status, and a lavish lifestyle.

No so fast baby.

Before you hit the road, you need to know a) What does it mean to be a model and, b) If you’re up for that.

So I’ve prepared a checklist for you. Go through it and decide if this is what you want to do.

Fact Check 1. Modelling is Easy

You need to do nothing. Just wear branded jeans and t-shirts. Stand in front of a camera. Get some pictures clicked, call yourself a fashion model, and voila! Get lots of money and go home, right?

Wrong.

A modelling career may appear glamorous to you at the moment, but know this – that glamour comes at a price. And the price is tagged – “Hard Work.”

I remember shooting a TV commercial for a modular kitchen company in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh in November 2009.

The call time was 9 am, and I reached on time. But the female model didn’t. I had to wait for more than 5 hours for her.

The cameras didn’t start to roll until about 4 pm, and the shooting went on till 11:30 pm. No breakfast, no lunch – just a burger and a glass of soft drink. Dinner was at midnight – it was anything but easy.

If you’re willing to put in a lot of hard work, then hell yeah, go for it. But if you were thinking of earning some “easy money”, then you must rethink.

Ouch! Did it hurt?

Sorry about that.

But you want me to cut the crap and give you the truth, don’t you? That’s what I am doing. And so, the question arises – what kind of hard work?

Well, we’re talking about:

  • Working out regularly in a gym to achieve an attractive physique.
  • Polishing communication skills, especially your spoken English.
  • Grooming yourself and yes, don’t forget table manners and general etiquette (they do count).

You need money while still trying to become a model

Having little extra money is a must to make a career in the glam-world.

The question is:

Do you have that extra cash?

Can you persuade your parents to support you financially for this quest?

If your parents can’t afford or are unwilling to give you the money, then you need to find out some ways to work that out.

For example:

  • Do you have plans to move to a cheaper hostel to save some money?
  • Would you start giving tuition to junior students?
  • How about working part-time in an office?
  • Have you ever considered designing websites as a part-time freelancer?
  • Can you give up the cinema visits and ‘Chhoti gold flakes’ (at least for the time being?)

What would you do to get the money? Think about that.

Fact Check 2. You Can Be a Successful Model Even With a Fat Tummy

Yes, you can – if you’re planning to land the role of some ‘Uncleji’ in a B-grade TV serial. But I doubt that.

Why?

Because you want to become a model – a successful one.

And that’s why you need to be conscious of your health and the way you look. You must be physically appealing and presentable.

How?

By watching what you eat.

And

Exercising in a gym.

Working Out

Working out and getting fit is a must. No two ways about it.

Maybe you’re used to staying up till late at night and getting up late in the morning. You need to change that.

Why?

You have to go for the workout – remember?

Eating Healthy

Now comes the eating part. Noodles. Bread-Pakora. Samosa. Bhatoore? No. No. Nope. You need to focus on eating healthy foods like:

Whole grains – Dalia, oats, and Muesli.

Fruits – All types of seasonal fruits

Vegetables – Green-leafy ones and all other kinds of seasonal vegetables are great.

Nuts – Almonds, raisins, cashews, and walnuts.

And water – Clean, pure, good old water.

Smoking, alcohol, drugs? Are you out of your goddamn mind?

Fact Check 3. You Need to Be Fluent in English

Not necessarily. But yes, it helps.

You see; modelling is just like any other career – accounting, hotel management, consulting, engineering – you get the idea.

It helps if you can talk in English. Not some accented or stylish English – but yes, plain, simple, easy to understand English would do just fine.

That should not be a challenge for convent-educated boys.

But for the rest of us – it is a challenge – since English is not our native language.

So what would you do to improve your spoken English?

  • Would you join a spoken English institute?
  • How about participating in group-discussions in your college?
  • Or would you prefer practising on your own with the help of self-study courses like fluentzy?

Fact Check 4. You Can Get Rich Quickly as a Model

Yes, you can – if you can establish yourself as a pro.

Agents, frauds, and people with vested interests may make you believe that this field is full of money, and they can help you get wealthy quickly. All you need to do is – pay them.

Modelling is a highly paid career if you could market yourself wisely.

The challenge, however, is – not everybody is good at marketing himself, but, that’s OK.

You can learn the art of selling your skills. But don’t expect to get rich overnight. You need to work your ass off to get established. And even then, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to make it big because you see, a career in modelling is as risky as it’s lucrative.

If you’re willing to take the risk, then go for it.

Be informed that in the beginning, you may have to work for free. Then, when you become a little-known face in the market, you might start getting some low-budget assignments.

And if everything went as per the plan, then you could start getting handsome paying assignments gradually.

Fact Check 5. Modelling is a Long-Term Career

No, it’s not.

A career in modelling is full of opportunities and money, but it’s not long-term. So before you decide to get into it, you need to figure out what would you do once it is over.

Yeah, baby. That’s a fucking serious question you need to ask yourself.

So, what options you have?

The obvious one is – get into TV serials and movies. And for that, you need to keep working on polishing your acting skills while you’re still trying to make it big in the industry.

If you could make that happen, then you’re most likely to make a place for yourself in TV and serials.

There are ample opportunities in the field of modelling to make it big if you know how to move forward. But it’s not as easy as 1, 2, and 3. (Some people would want you to believe it is super easy because they have an eye for your money)

That doesn’t mean you can’t make it. You can.

Want to Become a Model? My Story Can Help

The first time I faced camera was way back in 1997. It was an audition for a telefilm, which never went on the floor.

You see, I had just graduated from Delhi University. I wanted to become a model, err…a supermodel (pun intended) but had no idea where to start. So I tried whatever life presented to me at that time. At that time I was clueless about what should I do with my life. Now I realise the people I was hanging out with was nothing but just a bunch of crooks – people making money by exploiting fools like me, who had big dreams but no wisdom.

I spent 5 thousand rupees to get myself a portfolio, which I later found was nothing but some shitty photos compiled in an equally shitty album. The irony was that I had no money to pay for the photo-shoot, so I had borrowed the money from one of my relatives. I lost the money and two precious years of my life. I failed because I trusted the wrong people.

The next time I found myself facing the camera was in 2006. This time I was working as a TV show host for local health and lifestyle (or so they claimed) channel. I had no intention to become a TV anchor but couldn’t think of anything else. So I stuck with that job for almost nine months.

Then in 2009, I shot for 13 episodes of a low budget TV show based on sex problems, where I asked stupid questions on behalf of the viewers. It was horrible. (By the way, that show is still being aired on some TV channels late at night. You may watch me talking with two doctors who call themselves psycho-sexologists.)

Later, in 2010, I also shot a TV commercial and a Hindi documentary.

So you see, I have quite an experience in the field of modelling and TV. I am aware that I am not a celebrity or a superstar, but I know how things work in there. And that’s why I’ve written this article so you can benefit from my experience.

Today I realise I couldn’t succeed at it because I didn’t like it.

I was a confused soul at that time, and it was the only thing I could think of to earn some money.

So the underlying motivation was to make money. I was testing the waters – trying to see if it was the right career for me. And I think, subconsciously I knew it wasn’t. So there I was – trying to move forward and then cancelling out my efforts consciously or unconsciously by doing something foolish.

I wasn’t putting in my 100 per cent because I never liked working for TV (I felt I look like an idiot on the screen). But since I had no other way to earn money, I was like “Let’s try making a career in modelling for the time being and see what happens.”

So there you have a lesson – If you’re trying to become a model because of money, don’t. Choose a career only if you like that career. Money shouldn’t be the primary motivation behind choosing a career-path, because if it is, then it won’t last long. And even if it does, you shall be miserable all your life.

But if you have made up your mind to make a career in modelling, then go ahead. Just be careful not to make the mistakes I made. And what were those mistakes?

Mistake 1. Not Exploring Your Options

When somebody suggests you should try to find out how to become a model, by all means, consider it. But don’t stay blind to other options that might be available (in the same or similar fields). Try to explore other options too. Media is a diverse field, and there are many career opportunities available. For example, if you have an impressive voice, and a good command over Hindi & English (or another set of languages) you may try luck in the field of voice-overs. I’ve already written an article on the subject, titled “How to Become a Voice Over Artist.

Also, did you know that instead of becoming a model, you could become a talent-coordinator?

A coordinator is a person who helps a model get assignments. It’s another word for a commission agent. And yes, it too is a lucrative field. The only difference is that you work behind the screen.

Mistake 2: Never Bothering to Cross-Check

I ran into a guy who was a lookalike of a famous Bollywood star. He was a genuine person but not smart enough for a field like modelling. I got the assurance that he’d help me.

His help was more of a burden – I had to put in a lot of time helping his elder brother at their shop – something that I hated the most. I used to do that shit every day – waiting for my break. Nothing happened for two long years.

It’s essential that you listen to the people in the industry, but there’s no need to believe everything you hear. There are people are preying on you – waiting to take advantage of your ignorance. Stay alert! Evaluate options and, then decide what’s right for you.

The most important thing for any aspiring model is portfolio – a collection of photographs to demonstrate how good you’ll look on screen. A portfolio is the first thing a modelling agency would ask for, so make sure yours is the best you can get.

I was quite happy to hold my portfolio in my hands. I didn’t realise how bad it was until I approached an agency for work. The coordinator gave me a strange look while going through my photos. And then she showed me some portfolios. OMG! Those portfolios were something I had seen for the first time. And it was crystal clear to me that mine was nothing compared to them.

The lesson: You must do proper research before hiring a photographer to shoot you a portfolio.

Mistake 3. Clinging to False Hope

Despite my initial failures, I thought it was just a matter of time. So, I put in more efforts and waited for some more days. Having a positive attitude is great, but remember – there’s a thin line between being positive and living in a fools’ paradise. You must know the difference.

Assess if you have what it takes to become a model. Also, assess if you’re with the right people. Being with the right kind of people is crucial. If you know you’re on the right track, go ahead, but if you’ve realised it is not your cup of tea, quit.

There’s no shame in quitting for the right reasons.

Every day you pass clinging to false hope is a day wasted. Utilize your time wisely.

If (after proper research and contemplation) you’ve made up your mind to be a part of the glamour world, here’s a guide. It is not “the complete” or “the only guide” about how to launch your career, but you’re sure to get some useful insights.

Physique

Strive for a fit physique. No, I am not asking you to start eating like a monster and start lifting as heavy as you could. But you must try to get fit and presentable.

There are certain things in your physical appearance (as per the traditional thinking) you cannot change.

For example – facial features, height, and complexion. But times are changing.

Rumour has it that you can change your facial features, improve appearance, and can also increase height by an inch or two. I have a little experience in the height area, and we’ll talk about it later, but first, let’s talk about facial features.

Facial features

These are individual features that make you distinct and recognisable from other people. For example:

Do you have a pointed nose?

Do your lips have a ‘fuller’ appearance?

Have people been complementing about the dimples in your cheeks when you laugh?

Your facial features are set in stone (well, almost). You have little control over them, and you cannot change them entirely. Though, some celebrities are rumoured to have improved their facial features with the help of cosmetic surgery. It’s true that the field of cosmetic surgery is advancing by leaps and bounds. But it is also true that not everyone can have access to such insanely expensive methods to change/upgrade/refine their facial features. But yes, it is an option if you have the money.

Complexion

Complexion is also somewhat of a unique feature that you cannot manipulate (almost). I am saying almost because you can get 1 or 2 shades fairer than you currently are. Just be careful not to fall for the promise of a decent looking skin for only 5 rupees. That’s bullshit.

I am by no means a fair skinned guy because my complexion is whitish, and once I had developed some blemishes on my face. I had used an Ayurvedic cream that worked well for me. Its name was “Panchvati cream.” There’s another similar cream named “Ganpati cream.”

Panchavati Cream

It comes in a small bottle, small enough to fit in your palm. It should be readily available at your neighbourhood medical store.

You’re supposed to apply it on the face before going to bed. Wash your face with soap or a good face wash. Pat dry. Take a little cream (almost equal to a grain of wheat) and apply it in a circular motion for about 1 minute. This cream has a unique feature – you’ll feel a little warmth on the skin after using it, you may also experience some droplets of sweat. That’s normal. That’s how the cream works. Apply this cream for at least 21 days, and you’ll notice a certain glow and fairness on your face.

Ganpati Cream

This cream is said to give similar results, but I cannot vouch for it because I haven’t used it. So, the responsibility lies with you. 🙂

Neem

During one of my summer vacations at my Nana Ji’s home in Baghpat, I had experimented with Neem leaves, and there was a noticeable difference in my complexion within 25-30 days. Though when I had started the experiment, I had no intention to get fairer skin.

You see, the thing is – mosquitoes love biting me (and I hate mosquitoes for that).  My eldest grandmother (who’s no more) used to boast that mosquitoes rarely bite her. She had “bitter blood.” She used to say, “Mosquitoes bite you because your blood is sweet. They don’t bite me because my blood is bitter. You know, I used to eat 4 – 5 Neem leaves every day when I was your age.”

I would have no idea until today if she were speaking the truth. But after hearing her “bitter blood theory”, I decided to use Neem leaves to transform my blood from “sweet” to “bitter.”

So when I went to my Nana Ji’s place, I started the experiment. Crush the Neem leaves with a stone grinder, pour some water into it and then separate the water from the leaves with a filter. I used to drink that bitter Neem water. The taste was disgusting, but the results were heartwarming. I didn’t notice any improvement in “mosquitoes-bites”, but yes, when I went back to my village, my father commented that my skin had grown fairer.

So you see, my skin had grown fairer as a side effect of my effort to make my blood “bitter.” But since you don’t have any such intention, you can use the formula to get fairer skin. I proudly call it “The Neem Formula.”

The Neem Formula

Get 1 -2 twigs of Neem. Pluck the leaves and put them in a bucket. Wash and rinse the leaves thoroughly to clean them. Grind them for about 1 minute and then add 200-300ml of water. Run the grinder for one more minute. (A word of caution: Using the same jar over and over again for grinding the Neem leaves can spoil the taste of other dishes)

Separate the water from the mixture with a filter. And now the green water that’s left is all yours to enjoy. 🙂 Think of the sweetest dish you can. (Mine is a glass of mango shake with ten spoonfuls of sugar). Close your eyes and gulp down that horrible smelling liquid in one go. Make sure you have a little table sugar around (just in case). Use this formula daily for 21 days or more, and you’ll notice an improvement in your complexion.

An Alternative

Plucking, washing, and grinding Neem leaves can be overwhelming. So, here’s an alternative – Neem leaves in powder form.

Get a reasonably good amount of Neem leaves. Wash and rinse. Take a cotton cloth (an old bed sheet will do just fine). Spread the leaves on the bed sheet and let them dry in the shade.

(For about three days in summers, and about eight days in winters)

How do you know when the leaves are ready – when you can crush the leaves with hands?

Put the leaves in a grinder. Run the blender until the leaves turned into powder. Transfer the powder to a glass jar and keep the pot in a cool and dry place. Take 1-2 teaspoons of this powder daily with water. It’ll not only help you get a fairer skin but shall also remove impurities from the blood.

Height

The market is full of tonics and syrups that claim to increase height. I cannot say if they work because I haven’t used them except for a homoeopathic medicine “Heightex” (I am not sure about the name). Such medication companies claim they can help gain a few more inches, but they support the perception that height cannot increase after a certain age. I am by no means fan of such opinions, and so I kept on searching for a practical solution.

One day I came to know about a doctor who claims his medicine can help you gain a little more height even after 35. I tried the medication, and it seemed to have worked for me. It’s called “Herbo Height Therapy.”

Exercise

Jogging.

Running.

Rope Skipping.

Cycling.

They are good aerobic exercises to keep the body fit and healthy, but they cannot help you gain muscles. If you want to increase muscles, then you must consider “weight training”, commonly known as “body-building.”

Bodybuilding is like “Hind Mahasagar” (Indian ocean) – stretched till eternity. There are many exercises to develop chest, shoulders, upper back, lower back, abdominals, biceps, triceps, forearms and other body parts. It’s crucial that you familiarise yourself with bodybuilding in general before you start.

You can read lots of informative articles on BodyBuilding.com to understand how things get done in bodybuilding. You’ll find articles related to diet, exercise, supplementation, rest and recovery, and a lot more.

Here I am giving you just an overview.

Bodybuilding uses two types of exercises.

Aerobic Exercises: (for Cutting Fat)

Jogging.

Running.

Treadmill.

Climbing the stairs.

Rope Skipping.

And a lot more.

Anaerobic Exercises: (for Building Muscles)

Chest

  • Bench Presses
  • Dumbbell Presses
  • Dumbbell Flys

Back

  • Pull-ups
  • Lat machine
  • Bent-over rowing
  • Seated rowing

Shoulders

  • Military Presses
  • Arnold Presses
  • Lateral Raises
  • Behind the Neck Presses

Abdominals

  • Sit-ups
  • Crunches
  • Leg Raises
  • Planks

Biceps

  • Barbell curls
  • Dumbbell curls
  • Preacher curls
  • Concentration curls
  • Hammer curls

Triceps

  • Pulley push-downs
  • Skull crushers
  • Close-grip bench Presses

Bodybuilding and Steroids

Synthetic steroids have gained a lot of popularity in bodybuilding circles. Some say they work while others argue they don’t.

So what does a steroid do?

Before we discuss that, let’s talk about testosterone. Testosterone is a male hormone responsible for maintaining muscle mass and sex drive. In youth, the body produces ample testosterone in healthy male adults. With age, the production of testosterone decreases and males tend to lose muscle mass and starts gaining fat. That’s where a synthetic steroid comes in. A synthetic steroid is used to cure low levels of testosterone.

Notice I used the word ‘used.’ When a healthy young adult whose body is already producing optimal levels of testosterone uses a synthetic steroid to boost his already high testosterone levels, he is ‘abusing’ steroids. And abuse can create havoc if you don’t know what you’re dealing with.

I’ve heard that most of the fitness models and pro-bodybuilders use steroids to gain muscle mass and increase strength.

Planning to use anabolic steroids?

Be cautious about what you use and how.

Experienced steroid users warn that a 20-year-old boy has no business mingling with steroids. If he does abuse steroids, side effects can be devastating. Realize that whatever you do with your body, responsibility is yours. You cannot blame anyone but yourself if things go south.

The first time I had tried one was way back in 2001 when I wanted to gain some weight. A past friend of mine had basic knowledge about steroids. He explained that steroids were not magical, as some people would like you to believe.

One must follow a healthy diet to reap the muscle gain benefits. I tried a single dose but had to discontinue because of lack of money. I was in between jobs and was hardly able to eat two meals a day, forget about eating a healthy and nutritious diet (which is a must if you’re using steroids).

Later, I tried them again after several years. But even at that time, I under-dosed because I didn’t want to get into an uncomfortable situation. I noticed a slight improvement in my body weight and strength. My diet was clean, and I was also working out in a gym. But I discontinued because I had no intention to harm my body. It was more of like ‘testing the waters’, rather than being enslaved to something I did not yet fully understand.

My advice? Consult a registered physician even before thinking about using steroids. Prevention is always better than cure.

Sleep

If I were to choose between sleep and food on a particular day, I’d pick the former.

You can get away without eating dinner. But you cannot get away without a sound sleep.

In earlier times, people had no difficulty sleeping. Life was slow paced and less demanding. Times have changed – now we live an overstimulated and fast-paced life. One of the significant reasons behind the lack of proper sleep is the overuse of electronic devices. They keep our mind preoccupied most of the times.

Sleep is a gentle and slow phenomenon. It occurs slowly. Has there ever been a day when the sun was there in the sky, and suddenly it went down the very next minute? No, it doesn’t work like that. The process of day turning into the night is gentle, soft, and natural. The sun sets down gradually. The darkness crawls in beautifully. And that’s precisely how the body is supposed to prepare itself for sleep.

Quite often you may find yourself:

Watching TV.

Playing video games.

Working on the laptop.

Then suddenly you look at the watch, and you’re like, “Oh my god! It’s 11:30 (yawn), I should get some sleep now.” And then you go straight to bed. You missed the transition. It had to be gentle, soft…. natural. You can let that happen by making some lifestyle changes.

Letting the Transition Happen

If you’re habitual of watching the news at 11, mind it. The world would not come to an end if you stopped watching late night news. It’s one thing to stay updated, and quite another to get intimidated by the sheer amount of information.

By the way, do you have a TV in the bedroom? Consider moving the TV to the drawing room or some other room, which is generally not used for sleeping.

Why?

Because overuse of electronic devices is a big factor behind insomnia (difficulty in sleeping). The body needs time to move from an awakened state to sleep. By trying to sleep right after watching the news or a movie or completing a project on your laptop, you’re giving it a jerk. And the body does not like bumps.

Making the Lifestyle Changes

Mind keeps on creating new desires every day. Understand that not every wish can come true. You can’t have it all.

Most of the desires you have are artificial ones – planted in your mind by advertising agencies. The advertising agencies work for the companies that produce stuff. The more people consume their stuff, the more money they make. The funny part is – the more you use, the more you crave for. It’s a vicious circle.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting better things. But you must remember that the point of running after “better” things or “better” life experiences is not to have something better. The point is “enjoyment” – living life to the fullest at this very moment.

Here are some tips to help you let the transition happen:

  • Make sure your work is completed at least 3-4 hours before bedtime.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Listen to some relaxing music.
  • Stare at the moon from your balcony. (Funny? I know, but it works like a charm to relax the mind. Try it)

Another thing I find quite helpful is a camphor dispenser. It’s a cute little thing used for burning camphor. You need to turn off the lights to enjoy the otherworldly aroma of camphor.

Wash Your Legs and Face

Washing legs up to the knees are said to have a calming effect on the mind. If your feet are aching, try soaking them in warm, saline water. Also, try washing your face.

(I wash my face and feet, comb my hair and then go to sleep. It makes me feel good.)

Play Relaxing Music

Music has always been my best bet for a good night sleep. I prefer listening to soft music or discourses by Rajneesh (Osho). Try this piece of Celtic music. And here’s another one by one of my favourite artists Adrian Von Ziegler.

Drink Warm Milk

Warm milk helps to get deep sleep. Try drinking a cup of warm milk 30 to 45 minutes before going to bed (preferably without sugar).

(Just a side note: I can’t stand milk without sugar. But I know you’re brave than me.)

Communication Skills

Strong communication skills are part of developing a charming personality. You must have refined communication skills if you’re trying hard to enter the glamour world. Before we talk about improving communication skills, let me make one thing clear: Most of the students I talk with believe that excellent communication skills mean having good command over spoken English. That’s not true. Do you think people who cannot speak English are not good orators? How about people in Japan, or Russia?

Strive to improve your spoken English, but come out of the illusion that excellent communication skills are synonymous with excellent spoken English skills. Had that been true, all native English speakers would have been remarkable communicators. But that’s not the case. Having excellent communication skills mean you are good at expressing yourself in plain, unambiguous language. Period.

Respect Your Mother Tongue

Your mother tongue is the basis of your verbal skills. Start respecting it.

Many students from rural areas don’t speak in their mother tongue because they’re ashamed of it. If you want to rise high, you must learn to respect your mother tongue. Else you’ll keep fighting with the fact that you were born in a rural area. You may also start hating your parents and yourself. You may feel intimidated seeing boys and girls speaking in English in cities. I know I used to. But then I realised that everyone’s life is unique.

Accept who you are

Be at ease with your birthplace and your family

Own and respect your mother tongue

You are what you are. You cannot change your past. The sooner you accept it, the better.

Have at least working knowledge of your mother tongue.

Improve your Hindi.

Improve your spoken English.

Opening Yourself Up

Want to gain confidence in talking with people? Read Aloud. You must stretch your vocal muscles. Reading aloud forces vocal muscles to get more open and flexible. Start reading a small paragraph for 10-15 minutes each day. Soon, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your voice. Vocal exercises can also help you open up. Sit in a relaxed posture, breathe deeply and chant “Aum.” Try it for 15 to 21 days (preferably in the morning before breakfast)

Wardrobe

You need to have an updated wardrobe. By all means wear modern clothes (modern does not necessarily mean western, mind it), and remember that by “modern”, I don’t mean some bizarre looking costumes. But yes, you need to update the choices you make about the colours and styles.

Why am I reminding you of this?

Because you may have been following some dated fashion rules. Just refresh yourself up on modern colours and styles. You don’t need to wear the same types of clothes your friends wear. It’s good to follow the latest trends, but you must realise your uniqueness. The clothes need to reflect your personality.

Etiquette

I’ve once had the misfortune of eating alongside a man who had this nasty habit of making disgusting sounds while eating. Arggh! I can still hear those annoying sounds.

Just pause for a moment and think:

Does your mouth make weird sounds while eating? (Chop-chop sound being the most common)

Do you pick nose while talking to somebody?

Is munching on biscuits while speaking over the phone your favourite pastime?

Are you guilty of shoving in and pushing other people while using an elevator?

If you do, you need to rethink. I am not asking you to become phoney in the name of etiquette. But making yourself familiar with general courtesy won’t hurt.

Learn to be Selfish (and Wicked)

I can’t help it. If you want to become a model, you must learn to be a little wicked. It’s a necessary evil.

The glamour industry is a highly competitive field. People can go to any extent to grab an assignment. They’ll befriend you (not because they’re interested in you) but because they are interested in the information, you may have about the next lucrative assignment.

The funny part is you won’t even suspect it if you don’t learn to. And then one morning you’ll find the assignment you had pitched for is gone. Well, guess who won the deal? Your best friend, who else?

Now, he’s not even answering your calls or texts. That’s why being a little wicked is a must. If you can’t stand being wicked (at least a bit) then probably you shouldn’t waste your time.

Pay Extra Attention to Your Portfolio

A portfolio is a collection of professionally clicked photographs. These photographs give a glimpse of how you would appear on the screen.

Getting a portfolio of 30-40 pictures may take around 2 to 3 days, depending on how many costumes you change during the shoot.

A portfolio can cost anything from 20 thousand to lakhs. It depends on the photographer you hire for the photo-shoot. Don’t’ even think of getting one done by your neighbourhood photographer to save money. It won’t cut it.

The best way to select a photographer for a portfolio is to ask people in the industry.

Search on the Internet.

Post a query in online forums.

Ask around.

Beware of Low Profile Photographers and Agents

If you compare the rates of a professional photographer and a low profile so-called professional photographer, the latter would have lower prices, but even if you get a portfolio for cheap, you most probably will not lend assignments, only because those photos will be unusable.

Have Your Portfolio Ready? Time to Find Work

Get a reasonably good portfolio first. And then start searching for the term ‘modelling agencies in’ (fill in the name of your city). It will present you with many results.

Read the reviews and make an informed choice. Approach the agency via phone or email and ask for more details. Beware that some agencies might ask for a “registration fee” to register you in their database as an aspirant.

Be careful.

Don’t pay money to any agency no matter how reputed it is. Always do a background check. Find out if the agency in question is legit. Try to get some reviews from its former clients (aspiring models just like you). There are many fraudulent agencies out there that rip off aspirants of their hard earned money. Your best bet would be not to pay even a rupee to anyone for “registration.”

Not only agencies, but there are people also who will guarantee you overnight success if you paid them money.

The golden rule – don’t pay money to anyone. Instead, search on Google, read reviews, decide if you want to approach the agency. And when you do, ask how things work around here. Most probably they’ll ask for some of the best shots from your portfolio. Make sure you have the pictures both in digital and physical form.

Some agencies might not ask for a registration fee, but they may ask for a share of the dough you’ll be getting for the assignment. It’s a tricky situation. You need to decide for yourself if you’re willing to share the money you received from the first assignment. I feel you should say yes. Pay the agency the agreed upon share after you’ve won the fee from the client.

Get a Website (or at Least a Facebook Page)

Anyone wanting to know how to become a model must realise that it pays to be visible on the Internet.

Getting a single page website or at least a Facebook page would be a good idea.

A single page website serves as an online resume. It features some of your best shots along with brief intro and contact details. If you’re willing to spend some money then getting a domain name (preferably in your name) is a good idea. However, if you don’t want to spend money on a website at this stage (which I completely understand), then you can make a site free of cost on WordPress.com.

What’s the Difference?

I am using my name to help you understand. i.e., Avdhesh Tondak

You’re reading this article on avdheshtondak.com.

“avdheshtondak.com” is the domain name of my website. This domain is an individual domain. I have purchased it, and I need to pay every year to keep this domain name active.

However, if I wish to create a free website, then I could search for the domain ‘avdheshtondak’ on WordPress.com. If the domain name is available, I could create a website on WordPress.com.

The difference would be in the web address of the two websites.

The website with individual domain name shall be www.avdheshtondak.com.

The website with the domain on WordPress.com shall be www.avdheshtondak.wordpress.com.

Basically, by creating a free website on WordPress.com, you’re building a site on a sub-domain. In this case, ‘avdheshtondak’ shall be a sub-domain of the primary domain WordPress.com.

There you go. I hope this guide has made things clearer about making a career in modelling.

All the best!

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Avdhesh Tondak is a blogger & voice actor from Western Uttar Pradesh, currently living in New Delhi. He writes personality development articles for young people (students, and young professionals) to help them overcome self-growth challenges. Subscribe to receive his new articles by email.