The modelling industry is competitive and it can be difficult to get your foot in the door. But with a little guidance and strategy (which we'll give you right now), virtually anyone can become a model in Australia.
Perhaps one of your friends has invited you to an open modelling call, or maybe the idea just popped into your head and you're curious about the process. Whatever your motivation, before you start reaching for the hair dye and picking out which clothes suit your new hair colour best, it's important to know exactly what being a model entails.
More than standing around looking pretty, modelling entails a lot of hard work. The top Australian models make their job look easy and that's because they are absolute professionals. Behind their rise to the top were years of networking, tackling challenging briefs, and plenty of hard work.
If becoming a model is something you are absolutely passionate about, we've laid out some of the basic steps you can take to help you jumpstart your career as a model in Australia.
This guide will tell you everything from how to get started in the industry, plus a side note on how much money models really make!
How to become a model in Australia
Becoming a model in Australia (or anywhere else in the world) requires a lot of hard work, networking, and determination. It is not for the faint-hearted, but if you are passionate about putting yourself out there, then this may be the perfect career path for you. Below are 11 tips we've put together to help you get started.
#1 - Take care of yourself
If you are thinking of becoming a model, the first thing you should know is that your physical appearance is vital to being successful in this industry. You will be judged based on how you look (as well as your work ethic and attitude) so it's important for you to create an image that will further your modelling career.
Taking care of yourself isn't just about going to the gym and taking care of your physical appearance either. You also need to make sure you are mentally healthy and fit.
In an industry where you'll be judged, you need to have the emotional capacity to handle yourself and build your self-confidence. When approaching modelling agencies or holding conversations with other people involved in the industry, there are sure to be moments when doubt starts to creep into your mind about whether or not you are good enough. You need to feel 100% confident in yourself and what you can offer as a model!
#2 - Find a niche for your modelling career
To become a model it helps to find a niche. Research modeling agencies and find out which one suits you the best so that you can start building your portfolio from there.
Work out the type of model you want to be – for example, commercial, fashion, glamour, runway, fitness, and so on. Be aware that some types of models, especially fashion models, need to have certain attributes. For example, if your desire is to be on the catwalk and you are not at least 170cm tall, then you need to be realistic about your chances.
Speaking of looks, you need to develop your own unique look. It's no good trying to be like Kate Moss or Gisele Bundchen because they are already well-established professional models with huge followings.
#3 - Get your portfolio ready
The first thing you'll need to do is get a high-quality, professional-looking headshot. The more professional-looking your modeling portfolio is, the better chances you have of getting noticed. You can take this photo yourself or through the help of family or friends, but it's best to get it done by a professional photographer to make it pop.
In addition to this, you must have your measurements ready. Modelling agencies like to see that you're in good shape and if you don't include your body measurements together with your height, weight, and age, then they may not consider you for upcoming projects.
#4 - Educate yourself
It is vital that you learn as much as you can about the modelling industry. The more you know about the business, the better your chances of succeeding. You could pick up a copy of Vogue or Elle magazine for starters and have a look through to get some inspiration.
You are always learning as a model. You need to keep abreast of the latest trends and ensure you have the knowledge and skills for basic modelling (i.e., catwalk and turns). You need to train yourself to obtain the physical strength required to walk in killer heels all day.
Plus, even if you've already bagged a few jobs from an agency, you still need to prove you're actively working towards becoming a successful model.
#5 - Find reputable Australian modelling agencies
Do your homework. Research the reputable agencies in your area before signing with one. Here are some pointers to follow:
- Find out how often the agency charges fees
- Find out whether or not they charge for auditions
- Figure out what model types this particular agency specialises in as this will help you to narrow your search
- Determine what kind of gigs they usually have and how many Australian models they represent
- See if the agency has a good reputation in the fashion industry and check online for reviews about them
Don't rush into anything without doing thorough research first. You have to make sure that at every stage of the process, from applying for jobs to booking meetings with agencies, you know exactly what you are doing.
#6 - Consider freelance modelling
Freelancing is also a great alternative especially when you're starting out. You can do this on online platforms like theright.fit, which offers a treasure trove of talent especially for niche categories such as child models, teen model aspirants, and male models among others.
Freelancing will mean that you have to contact a client directly and negotiate with them, but it will also give you a chance to always choose the gigs that interest you. Best of all, by booking jobs on your own, you can quickly build up a stronger reputation in the industry.
#7 - Network with people from the industry
It's important to ask for advice from within the industry before taking any steps. Networking is essential if you want to find out about possible opportunities, to get advice when it comes to getting an agent or when it comes to building up your portfolio.
Friends who are experienced models might be your key to getting introduced to the right people, so take them out for coffee. The more contacts you can make in the industry, the better your chances are of getting ahead.
#8 - Get ready for casting calls
Whether you want to be a model in New South Wales or in Melbourne, in order to get the job you need to make sure you are prepared for a casting call. This means knowing what kind of image you want to project and being ready for a long day of waiting around.
If you manage to nab a casting call, remember to keep it simple. Don't go overboard with a bright red lip and expensive fashion clothing. While it's nice to look fabulous for the go-see, the casting director wants to see your natural beauty; the real you.
A sleek pair of jeans, a simple tank top or T-shirt that flatters your features, and perhaps a pair of comfortable yet smart footwear will allow you to express your personality and reveal the true beauty you possess.
Check out our article about casting to get an idea of what casting directors and production teams usually look for when hiring models or actors.
#9 - Prepare and practice
In the modelling world, there’s a saying that “you get what you give.” In other words, if you put in the time and effort to make sure your best foot is forward at all times, chances are you will be rewarded with success in the future. If you practice the opposite, putting in little or no effort into your appearance, training, or presentation (i.e., your walk), then you will likely not go very far.
In essence, it all boils down to preparation. The worst thing that can happen is for a model to be late for an appointment, so always leave enough time to get where you need to go. This is an opportunity to show your professionalism and good manners.
#10 - Look out for warning signs
The modelling industry is glamorous but it’s important to remain wary and avoid potentially dangerous or suspicious situations. A reputable modelling agency or platform will be able to address any issues on your behalf, support you, and assist in rectifying a sticky situation. They will also update you about all aspects of their relationship with you rather than being evasive or unwilling to help.
Remember, there is also such a thing as 'too good to be true'. If a client offers to pay you a lot of money for a shoot that seems suspicious or makes you uncomfortable, you're entitled to your safety and comfort. A reputable company will not offer payment without expecting proper work from a talent or something of equal value in return.
Not all of these red flags may apply to everyone but if something doesn’t seem quite right then it probably isn't, so best to stay safe out there. If you feel uncomfortable, don't hesitate to bring up any concerns or fears that you might have at hand.
#11 - Enjoy yourself
Fashion designers rely on models to display the clothes they've created. Skincare companies depend on a model's facial features to highlight what their products can do. Brands tap models to increase their social media presence within their target demographic. Modelling can be a rewarding career given the right projects.
But given this, the modelling industry is tough, fierce, and competitive. There are girls and guys lining up all over the world vying for very limited modelling jobs. So while you should be ready for rejection, remember to enjoy the experience along the way. The more opportunities you pursue, the more you'll learn, and the better your chances of success.
Above all else, do what makes you happy and most importantly stay true to yourself.
How much do models get paid in Australia?
Different types of modelling work vary in terms of pay based on specific circumstances. Usually, the money you'll make will depend on what you're being hired for and how much work there is to do. For example, if you're doing a two-hour shoot for fashion images to be posted on social media platforms versus distributing products at industry trade shows or manufacturers' exhibitions for eight hours, you'll surely get paid more for the latter.
In Australia, models can generally make anywhere from $95 an hour to $700 for a full day's work (beginner) to $350 an hour and $2,900 for a full day's work (experienced).
To learn more about the earning power of Australian models, check out our ultimate Model Rate Guide here [LATEST EARNING POTENTIAL]
Ready to become the next top Australian model?
Working as a model can be a wonderful experience. It's a rewarding career that can lead you to places and allow you to meet people all over the world. And with the 11 tips we've outlined here, you've got everything you need to begin your exciting modelling career.
And since there's no time like the present, now is the perfect time to get started and create your own exciting modelling career.