Are you ready for an exciting career in modelling?
Teen models are required for many different types of modelling. They regularly feature in commercials and advertising campaigns as well as on TV and in print.
Becoming a teen model can be difficult, but the following tips can help improve your chances of success.
Here are some more articles that will help teens interested in modelling:
- Your Guide to Different Types of Female Models
- How to Build a Professional Modelling Portfolio
- 10 Ways to Help Break You Into the Modelling Industry
- Everything You Need to Know About Modelling Agency Casting Calls
What is Teen Modelling?
Teen modelling is anyone who models between the ages of 13 and 17. Younger models are known as child models, while those who are 18+ are considered an adult model.
Many top fashion models start their careers in their teens. A lot of successful supermodels are scouted by a modelling agency representative, but it is also possible to have a successful career by applying yourself.
Plenty of brands require teen models. Commercial models can get lots of work with high street brands. High-fashion models find lots of work with premium brands. As well as premium brands who sell products aimed at teens, brands like Asda, Sainsbury and Disney, as well as publications aimed at teens like Teen Vogue, all require younger models. Fashion shows also regularly work with teens.
Teen models need the support and assistance of their parents or guardians. This is because it is a legal requirement that your parent/guardian allows you to model. They will also need to be present with you at certain jobs and auditions.
You will also need a good relationship with your school as they will need to allow you some days off to attend castings/auditions and jobs. Nearly all teen models work alongside their studies; there are barely any that work full-time until they reach adulthood. It is highly recommended by everyone in the industry (including supermodels) that you finish your studies rather than dropping out, which could be detrimental to your future.
Your parents/guardians will also be responsible for transporting you to and from jobs and auditions. This can be time-consuming and costly, so you really do need their full support if you want to pursue a successful career as a teen model.
You don’t need years of experience to become a teen model, but it’s a good idea to have the following:
10 Tips for Teen Models
1. Prepare to Get Scouted by a Modelling Agency
The easiest way to become a teen model is to be scouted but, as you may imagine, this is a rarity. Being scouted is when a modelling agency representative or worker approaches you in public. This means you need to be in the right place at the right time – it’s all down to luck. It would be impossible to guess where an agent may be at any given time. Top models have claimed to be scouted in shopping centres, shops in London, airports and even in a McDonald’s restaurant.
To give yourself a chance of being scouted, there are several things you can try. Be out and about as much as possible as this will increase your chances of being in the same place as an agent.
It’s a good idea to always make an effort with your hair, make-up and outfit. You don’t need to wear designer clothing or spend hours doing elaborate up-do’s or make-up. Spend some time researching what top models look like in their downtime and try to replicate it. Top models have mastered the no-makeup makeup look and tend to wear their hair in effortless styles. Clothing is usually comfortable and perfectly fitted.
It’s important to be realistic about your expectations. Agents tend to approach people who they believe will make good high fashion models. It’s not usual for commercial models to be approached. High fashion models are tall and slender with a proportional frame. Only 2% of the female population have the genes to match this required physique, so do not be disheartened if you do not meet the strict criteria required for high fashion. There are still plenty of other modelling niches available to you.
2. Have a Great Portfolio
If you are serious about pursuing a career in modelling, you need to get yourself a modelling portfolio.
A modelling portfolio is a model’s CV. It shows off their experience and expertise as a model. A folder usually contains up to 20 photos and is A4 in size.
All models have a modelling portfolio. They are required for modelling job auditions. If you have experience as a model, you just need to select your favourite photos and put these in your folder. Make sure to include full-length body shots as well as close-up beauty photos. Viewers want to see as much diversity and range as possible. Try to organise your folder so it makes people want to see more. If you want to work in a specific modelling niche (such as fitness), make sure to include plenty of photos that reflect this.
If you are brand new to the industry and have yet to have any professional photoshoots, you will need to prioritise getting some high-quality photos taken for you to include in your portfolio. Many models book a professional photoshoot with a photographer in a proper studio (preferably one who specialises in fashion photography). Your portfolio photos must be of the highest quality, so a phone selfie won’t cut it.
Showcase a wide range of looks in your portfolio to increase your chances of being chosen.
Do you need a modelling portfolio? Why not register today and book your own photoshoot!
3. Be Prepared to Make Some Sacrifices
Modelling can be a time-consuming and sometimes pricey job. Beginners will need to attend lots of casting calls and auditions for roles and these can take place around the country. If you do not live near London, you need to be prepared for extensive travelling. Some big jobs may even take place abroad.
You must make every effort to attend any casting calls and auditions you are invited to. It’s ok to miss the odd one or two, but consistently missing them may cause you to be dropped from further invitations as you will be seen as flakey.
Jobs and auditions can take place any day of the week. If you’re in school, you may need to miss a day in order to work. Your school will likely give you extra homework to ensure you don’t fall behind on your studies and it is your responsibility to make sure it is completed and that modelling isn’t jeopardising your studies.
This also means you may have to miss a social engagement to attend jobs or auditions if they happen on the weekend. This can be difficult, particularly for an outgoing teen, but it can be a necessary part of the job.
4. Dress for the Job You Want
We touched on this briefly above when talking about being scouted, but it’s a good habit to get into regardless of the intent. If you want to be a model, you need to dress, think and act like a model.
Get into the habit of looking after yourself. Models eat well and exercise regularly to look after their bodies. They have good skincare routines and look after their nails and hair.
Many top models are excellent at make-up, hair removal and self-tanning.
Follow some top teen models online for inspiration and to keep up with the latest trends.
5. Have a Good Relationship with Your School
Another point we briefly mentioned above, but it’s important nonetheless.
Teen models work part-time alongside their studies. To do well both in school and at modelling, a teen model must have excellent communication. It’s vital a teen has a good relationship with their school and teachers so they can take the time they need to attend auditions and jobs.
An aspiring teen model must also be prepared to do lots of schoolwork on the road outside of school hours.
Some teens think about ditching school in order to pursue their dreams of modelling, but this is not a good plan. Models need to create a foundation of success before thinking about modelling full-time, so a teen model will be only modelling part-time initially anyway. School is also very important. Modelling, in particular high-fashion modelling, has a short lifespan, with most models retiring in their late 20’s. It’s always advisable and wise to have another plan if modelling does not work out. Many supermodels turn to business after they have modelled.
6. Get Some Z-Cards
Z-cards are another handy tool for aspiring models to have. A z-card is like a business card. It holds all your modelling information on it including your height, measurements and dress size, as well as your contact information. The cards will also feature up to 5 images of you.
If you want to learn more about z-cards, read our in-depth article here.
7. Apply to Agencies
A teen model should look into getting signed to a modelling agency. While it’s possible to work freelance, it is generally much harder as more time must be spent finding and getting invited to job interviews. Being signed is a slightly more stress-free way to find work. You will also have the support of industry professionals.
Getting signed can be tricky as it is incredibly competitive. You can find modelling agencies online and you can apply to as many as you want, as many times as you want.
You should find agencies who work with models who reflect your chosen modelling niche. For example, if you want to be a plus-size model, you should only apply to agencies who have a plus-size category.
There are plenty of agencies that work with teenagers. Find these and apply to all the ones that you like the look of. You should find a simple online form to fill out on their website. They will request some images and information about yourself. This includes your model measurements. Do not lie about these details; be as accurate as possible.
Select your best high-quality images for the best chances of being selected. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back and make a note to re-apply in 3 to 6 month.
There are many reasons you may not have been selected. It could be that their books are full, or that they already have a model signed who looks like you. Or you might not have the look they are searching for.
If you are not successful, the likelihood is that you will not hear back.
If they are interested, they will contact you and invite you to an in-person audition where they will view your look, have a chat and possibly ask you to model some clothes or walk for them. You will learn there and then whether you have been successful.
There should be no upfront fees for joining an agency. Agencies make their money by taking a percentage of a model’s pay when they find work. It’s in the best interests of the agency to find as much work as possible for their models.
Your parents or your legal guardian will need to be with you, especially when a contract is involved. Make sure both you and your parents/guardians read through the contract fully and understand each part.
Even if you have experience modelling, it’s always good to keep on top of your skills and be open to learning more. Practice posing in front of a mirror and in front of the camera to learn your angles and be comfortable with your posing.
It’s also important you learn to walk well in heels in case the need arises during work. This is particularly important if you are applying for high-fashion jobs and wish to work on runways.
9. Expect Rejection.
All models including teenage models will face rejection at some point – it is the nature of the industry. A teen model needs to have lots of confidence and the ability to brush off disappointment.
Nearly all models including top supermodels have been rejected for certain jobs. Don’t take it personally; they are looking for someone very specific and you may not suit that role. Stay positive and persevere.
10. Don’t Give Up.
If modelling is your dream, you can’t give up at the first hurdle – or even the second or third. Modelling is a very competitive industry and there can be hundreds of models vying for one single modelling opportunity.
Stay positive and focused. You need plenty of grit and determination to make it in the modelling world. Keep at it and follow our tips for the best chances of success.