How to Get Discovered as a Model

Many famous supermodels did not go looking for fame; it found them. That means they didn’t go down the conventional route of applying to modelling agencies; they were noticed, or “scouted”, by modelling agency workers. 

But how do you get discovered as a model? Read on to find out. 

What Does it Mean to be “Scouted”?

Being “scouted” means being spotted and approached by a modelling agency representative. It means you’ve caught their attention and they think you have modelling potential. Many top models are discovered this way.

However, just because many top models are scouted does not mean it happens regularly. In fact, it’s a fairly rare occurrence and not one you should pin your hopes on if you wish to be a model. 

Being scouted can happen anywhere, anytime. One top model stated she was scouted in a McDonald’s restaurant, another in an airport. One said she was scouted in the Primark in London. It really can happen anywhere.

Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for models to be scouted on social media, in particular Instagram. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a strong profile on social media in case your images get in front of some important people. 

How to get discovered as a model

Successful Models Who Were Scouted

– Kate Moss

– Gisele Bundchen

– Christy Turlington

– Naomi Campbell

– Karlie Kloss

– Jourdan Dunn

– Christie Brinkley

– Lily Aldridge

How Does a Model Get Scouted?

There’s no definitive way to get scouted; it relies purely on luck and being in the right place at the right time. It’s not a good idea to rely solely on being scouted for a successful career in modelling because it happens so infrequently. 

However, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances: 

Put Yourself Out There

You need to put yourself out there if you want to improve your chances of being noticed by a model scout. That means regularly being in locations where the general public mill about, particularly in cities like London or Manchester as that is where most modelling agencies reside. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re in a shop, restaurant or airport – it could happen anywhere. Just don’t hide away at home 24/7.

Dress to Impress

You don’t need to be dressed from head to toe in high fashion, but you do need to show that you know what you’re doing when it comes to clothing. The “off-duty” model look is a style in its own right; get that right now and you’ll soon be turning heads for all the right reasons. Make sure clothing fits and shows off your physique. Don’t be scared to experiment with unusual looks – trendsetters will always have a place in the fashion world. 


Your hair says a lot about you and it’s a great accessory. Keep hair clean and tidy, either nicely styled down or neatly put up. Greasy roots are not a great look, so get some dry shampoo for the days you don’t wash. Try to perfect the sleek bun top models like to wear on their downtime. 

Visit the hairdresser regularly to remove split ends and, if your hair is dyed or bleached, make sure roots are touched up.


Models are masters of the no make-up make-up look. This can be more difficult than it looks to get right and can take just as long to apply as a full-face. The key is to use product sparingly only in the places you need it. Fingers are a great tool to apply make-up evenly and smoothly. Try to avoid matte foundations as these make the skin appear dry; a youthful, healthy glow is the current model trend. Work to emphasise your natural beauty without masking or caking product onto your features. 

Use creams or powders to lightly contour the features of the face including the jawline and nose. Brow gel will help to keep stray hairs in place, while a tinted lip balm will be comfortable and hydrating on the lips.

Use a clean mascara wand to comb through lashes after applying mascara. Cream blushes and highlighters are also a great way to get that lit-from-within skin look. Remember that good make-up starts with a great skincare routine. 


Speaking of skincare, you’ll need to get started on a routine as soon as you can. SPF will prevent premature ageing due to sun exposure, while a good cleanser will help to keep pores clean. A moisturiser will bring back hydration and plumpness, while a serum is used to target specific skin concerns such as acne or redness. 


Think about the accessories you want to add to your look. Gold jewellery is always popular, as are designer sunglasses, and they don’t tend to change too much season to season so they can make a worthwhile investment.

How to Get Signed Without Being Scouted

Getting scouted is a rare occurrence, so don’t rely on it if you want to be a model. Instead, you need to think about applying directly to modelling agencies. 

Applying Online

Nearly all modelling agencies have a website and online application process to follow. This is relatively simple, but agencies receive hundreds (sometimes thousands) of applicants each week and you’ll need to stand out from them all. Only 1 or 2 models will be signed per month, so it can be really tricky. 

The key is not to give up. You can apply to agencies as many times as you like, so make a note of which ones you like and re-apply with a different approach (different application photos, for example) every 6 months or so until you receive a definitive reply. 

There may come a point where you need to accept that an agency is not the right fit for you. Boost your chances of success by researching the agency before you apply; is your personal style and aesthetic fit a good match? If not, find one that is. 

Modelling Competitions

Many aspiring models found fame and fortune by entering and winning a modelling competition. Supermodel Winnie Harlow found her big break when she featured on Tyra Bank’s television show, America’s Next Top Model – and she didn’t even win! Gisele Bundchen is another successful model who won a modelling competition.

Beauty pageants are also a place to get noticed for your beauty, but we warned that they often give models bad habits (such as excessive smiling and the wrong walk for the runway). 

Interviews, aka Casting Calls

Open casting calls are a popular but competitive way to try your luck and getting signed to a modelling agency. A casting call is another term for an interview or audition. Usually models must be invited to these, but sometimes an agency will host an open casting call, where anyone can try their luck. Keep an eye on agency social media profiles for any upcoming casting call announcements. 

Social Media 

Social media is a good place to get noticed by lots of people at any one time. This is so popular that there is a whole new genre of modelling known as the ‘Instagram model’. 

The downside is that building a good social media following is very difficult because everyone wants to do it. You’ll need endless streams of excellent high-quality photos as well as lots of time to commit to the upkeep of your profile; many celebrities even hire someone to manage this for them because it can take so much time. 

A model who does manage to build a large fanbase will have lots of influence over their fans; this makes them desirable to brands, who will look to do brand deals, advertisements and endorsements with the model to reach their ready-made customer audience. So it can also be a very lucrative thing to do. 

Volunteer Work

Sometimes, models must work for free. This can be a good opportunity to build a good portfolio and gain lots of experience in the fashion industry, but make sure people don’t take you for granted – know your worth and decide when the time is right to start shunning free work and demanding the payment you deserve. 

The best thing to do if you want to get signed? Have a strong model’s portfolio. This portfolio (filled with your best professional photos) is what will really capture the attention of a modelling scout and prove to them you have what it takes to have a successful career in modelling. 

Looking to get started in your modeling career? Why not register with us today!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *