Do you want to become a teen model?
I have both good and bad news for you.
On the bright side, there is substantial demand for teen models! Companies and small businesses often hire teenage models to advertise their products. So what’s the catch?
In a word: competition.
It’s tough to break into the beauty industry. There are a lot of talented models out there! Let me reassure you; it’s not impossible either. I recently interviewed two successful young models; here are the two questions I asked:
How do you develop your modeling skills? What are the best ways to promote yourself and find modeling jobs?
This guide answers all these questions (and much more)!
Let’s dive in.
Introduction: Is teen modeling right for you?
Here is the deal: modeling may or may not be a good fit for you.
To help you make an informed decision, I gathered crucial information about teen modeling: the pros, the cons, and how much money you can make.
Pros and cons of being a teenage model
There are some aspects of makeup artistry you need to know.
Let’s start with the bright side:
- It is one of the highest-paying jobs for teenagers (more about that later).
- Teen models can easily balance work and school.
- Starting as a teenage model is an excellent way to begin a career in the beauty industry.
Nothing’s perfect; there are also some disadvantages to consider:
- Teen modeling is inconsistent; you have to hustle every day to find jobs!
- Some models complain about being treated like a product.
- It gets harder to find modeling jobs as you get older.
Finally, let’s not forget about the exciting part: the salary.
How much do teen models make?
According to ZipRecruiter, teen models earn $24 an hour (on average).
Note that there is a significant discrepancy between low-level earnings ($8 an hour) and top-level earnings ($100 an hour). Your salary mostly depends on three factors: your reputation, your country, and your modeling niche.
Now, let’s get down to work.
Step 1: Develop your skills
I asked two young models what it takes to succeed, here’s what I found out.
Even though no qualifications are required to land modeling jobs, there are some basic skills you need to master.
Is appearance that important?
Let’s start with the elephant in the room: your appearance.
I was surprised to find out that being beautiful and photogenic is not what will make you succeed in this competitive industry.
Here’s why: models are hired if they have the perfect look and attitude for a company’s brand.Some companies want to hire attractive models, while others are looking for something else. That’s why it is crucial to determine what type of model you want to be.
Are you a fitness model? Are you a plus size-model? Are you a petite model? Keep in mind that not everyone can become the next top model. However, many other types of teen models are making a terrific income:
- Fashion models do photoshoots for designers who are trying to promote their clothing lines. They usually make the most money in the industry, but it can be challenging to meet the physical requirements to be a fashion model.
- Commercial models look like everyday people and promote everything, such as food and household items. This job often requires basic acting skills.
- Parts models are in huge demand from companies who want the perfect hands, legs, feet, or other body parts to advertise their product.
- Catalog models have a look that appeals to the target audience. They do not have the same physical requirements as fashion models.
Once you have found out what type of modeling best fits your features, it’s time to work on your poses.
How to pose like a pro
The difference between pro and amateur models is how they present themselves.
So, how do you master modeling poses?
In a word: practice. Take photos of yourself in different poses and ask a professional photographer or experienced model to evaluate your work.
If you don’t know anyone in the industry, I highly recommend the following course:
- Modeling 101: Fundamentals of Modeling (Udemy) – I think this is by far the best course to learn modeling poses. It will teach you anything from print models to plus-size models to hand and foot models!
If you don’t want to spend money on online courses, I recommend the following free tutorials:
- How to Master Modeling Posing (Youtube) – Learn how to take advantage of your space to pose like a pro.
- 5 Tips for Beginner Models (Youtube) – These tips provided by a runway model will help you on your journey.
- How to Pose in Photos, 9 Tips for Models (Youtube) – An excellent video for beginners.
Step 2: Promote yourself
Nobody will come knocking on your door to offer you a modeling contract. It is crucial to promote yourself. I will cover in this section three ways to showcase your modeling skills.
Create a modeling portfolio
First impressions matter. That’s why a portfolio is a model’s most important marketing tool.
So what should you include in your portfolio? It depends on what type of model you want to become. For example, commercial models often include body shots and headshots. The idea is to put together a collection of photos that show your range and ability.
There is no secret to a great portfolio: you need to contact a professional photographer. It can be expensive, but there are some ways to cut costs:
- Amateur photographers usually charge less.
- Contact local colleges with photography departments and see if they need a free model.
Publish photos on social media accounts
Agents often look at the Instagram profile of aspiring models.
That’s why building social media profiles is a great asset for new models.
In a way, social media is an extension of your portfolio. It as an opportunity to show your personality, lifestyle, and interests.
Create your own website
Most professional models have a website where they publish their most recent photographs. Once you’ve added your website to your resume, modeling agencies will take you more seriously.
Step 3: Find modeling jobs
If you don’t have a name for yourself in the modeling world, it’s best to work for a modeling agency.
Modeling agencies have connections in the fashion industry and will promote you to potential clients.
Find modeling agencies that accept teen models
Do you remember what type of model you want to be?
Great, now it’s time to find an agency that represents your category. If you’re a fitness model, it’s useless to contact agencies that represent high-fashion models!
The best way to find a modeling agency in your area is to type “modeling agencies” in Google Maps. Many agencies hold “open call” days; models meet with scouts and present their portfolios.
Here is a list of some modeling agencies that accept teen models:
- Next management, New York, Miami, Los Angeles. You can apply on this page.
- FutureFaces, New York. You can apply on this page.
- Whilhelmina Kids&Teens, New York. You can apply on this page.
- Neal Hamil Agency, Houston. You can visit their website.
- IMG Modeling, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Milan, Sydney. You can visit their website.
- Elite Model, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Toronto. You can visit their website.
- Ford Model Agency, Chicago, Los Angeles. You can visit their website.
How to get hired by an agency
There are three ways to get hired by a modeling agency:
- The best way to get hired by an agency is to get a referral. You can get a referral from a photographer you’ve already worked with or a friend who is already a model.
- And now the difficult path: go to an open call. Maybe once or twice a week, agencies arrange open calls where they bring in anyone who wants to be a model and try to find new talents.
- Finally, it’s very unlikely, but a few models are spotted on Instagram and other social networks.
Sign a modeling contract
The Federal Trade Commission warns teenagers of unscrupulous individuals who try to play upon the dreams of wannabe teen models (look out for modeling scams).
Make sure you read the contract carefully with your parents and ask questions about anything unclear. As minors do not have the legal capacity to sign contracts(1), it is impossible to start a modeling career without your parents’ approval. It is crucial to be transparent about your career plan.
Furthermore, a modeling career is very time-consuming. It involves long shots and last-minute assignments. So it can be challenging to balance work and school without the help of your parents. They may also support you financially to pay for the expenses associated with modeling: portfolio, website, modeling classes, and more.
In terms of age limits, most modeling agencies require models to be at least 14 years old.
Here’s a recap of how you can start your teen modeling career:
- Choose what type of model you want to be.
- Learn how to pose like a pro.
- Promote yourself by building a solid portfolio and social media accounts.
- Get a contract from a modeling agency.
I hope this will help you become a successful teen model.
If you liked this article, you might also like:
- How to Become a Freelance Makeup Artist – That’s another article I wrote! I interviewed Carly, a successful makeup artist. Read the article to find out what she has to say about her job.
- How to Become a Freelance Writer – An excellent article if you want to make money from writing online.
- How to Become a Social Media Manager – A great article if you’re into social media marketing!
- How to Make Money as an Eye Model – Another modelling opportunity for teenagers!