I often get asked questions like "how do I become a model?" or "how do I get paid to model?" So I'd like to take some time to offer some tips and modeling tricks, as well as answer any questions new models may have. Please comment below and I will respond with my advice. Good luck!
TIPS: Always be early, not on time. The reason is because sometimes access to the location or proper natural lighting is limited, so being late can result in the entire shoot being missed. It's more than just showing professionalism, it's part of the job. "Time is Money" is not just an expression, it's literal in this business. That being said, even a photoshoot is much more than the time spent at the shoot itself; It's the hours spent in concept and location planning, the hair, makeup and wardrobe fittings, travel to and from the location, and of course the post-production editing on the photographer's side. Allow time for edited photos to be returned, don't be unreasonable. A fresh manicure and pedicure is mandatory for any kind of modeling. You shouldn't expect all your flaws to be photoshopped away, so come as photo-ready as possible from head to toe (hair, skin, nails, ect.) down to every detail. When you spend that extra time preparing, you save work in post-production, so you save time/money.
TRICKS: One way to refine your modeling skills is to know your body! Whatever your shape or look, it's all about how you work it! A great place to start is to find some pictures of poses you want to try. (Don't forget facial expressions and poses for hands and feet to try as well.) Try them one at a time. Place a picture of a pose next to a mirror and practice striking that pose! Once you feel like you have it down, relax and return to a starting position, and strike that pose until it feels like you can do it from muscle memory. Then, close your eyes! Try to strike that same pose or facial expression. Open your eyes and make any adjustments. Keep practicing until you feel and know where your muscles are and what your body is doing. Knowing your face and body is a great skill for any model, dancer or actress to have!
Choose what kind of modeling you want to do. There's a variety of industries: fashion, print magazines, hair, make up, promotional, atmosphere, even fetish and much more! If you are even a little serious about a career in modeling, you should do some research so you know what the differences are between the different industries. You have to start somewhere so initially to get some practice, you can do trades with photographers and makeup artists. TFP commonly known as "Trade for Print" or less commonly known as "Time for Photos", meaning you trade your service of modeling for a finished edit in print or digital form. You can work with an amateur photographer (and/or a hair and makeup artist, known as HMUA) who needs to build a portfolio and create a photography/makeup style of their own as well. This would require a lot of kindness and patience on your end to allow extra time for adjusting equipment, lighting, accounting for mistakes and more. You shouldn't expect magazine quality portfolio pictures, but it's possible you may both work until you are both happy enough with your progress to move on to new or more experienced artist. In the beginning I paid or tipped a couple photographers for their work and ocassionally I was paid or tipped. I didn't start setting my rates until I have a portfolio built and felt confident enough in my skills to deliver for a client. I chose to seek to work with and be around professionals though, and I believe that really helped teach me quality habits and skills to apply to my career. Ideally, a sign of a professional is they have a "modeling agreement" or "photography/model release" for you to sign. Please read and don't just sign. Usually they are harmless and just covering the photographer from liability and allowing permissions and rights for photo usage. However, once you get to a more established level, I look for an option to have the RAW files, access to a dropbox, Google drive folder or some means to have access to a majority of the shots taken. As you can see, I use photos on my website and try not to use low quality images. So that's one of the many reasons you want to have access to the original photos from your shoots later on once you are producing amazing content!
And speaking of content, don't settle. If you don't want to be topless don't be topless, because pictures in the digital age are practically forever. Be sure and confident in all that you do! Be proud of your work! And remember that it's also OK to have boundaries. I was published in Hustler, twice, and I didn't even spread my legs!
Last but not least, be kind and professional always! You will get a lot farther by taking any constructive criticisms (in life) as suggestions for improvement with good intentions. Don't take criticisms personally when you are serious about something because there will always be someone who thinks little of you, just as there will always be someone who thinks the most of you! Just filter out any haters for the constructive criticism to make you even better! Don't give up, and remember that hard work pays off. If you don't put hard and smart work into it, you won't get the best work out of it!