We’ve all heard the stories about supermodels who were scouted browsing in shopping centers, waiting at airports and dining in restaurants. It seems like most of the top-earning models were “scouted”.
But what does it mean to be scouted, and how can you improve your own chances of being selected? Read on to find out everything you need to know about being scouted for modelling.
What Does ‘Being Scouted’ Mean?
Being scouted means to be selected and approached by a modelling agency while out and about. Social media (in particular Instagram) means being scouted can also happen online, but traditionally models are approached out in the street. It can be in very random places, too – one model claimed to be scouted while in a Mcdonald’s restaurant!
Famous Scouted Models
You can be scouted anytime, anyplace – as these top models can attest…
– Gisele Bundchen. Gisele was discovered while out shopping in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
– Naomi Campbell. Naomi was scouted aged 15.
– Kate Moss. Kate was 14 years old and arguing with her father at JFK airport in New York when she was scouted.
– Christy Turlington. Christy was horseback riding in Florida when she was spotted by a photographer.
– Christie Brinkley. Christie was seen by a photographer while at the telephone office while on the phone to the vets.
– Karlie Kloss. Karlie was 13 years old and in a shopping centre in St. Louis when she was discovered.
– Jourdan Dunn. Jourdan was spotted ‘mucking around’ in a Primark when she was 15.
– Lily Aldridge. Lily was at a school carnival aged 16 when she was scouted.
How to Get Scouted
Being scouted is all about being in the right place at the right time. The likelihood of being scouted by a top modelling agency is similar to that of being struck by lightning – in other words, very rare! It’s unrealistic to set your hopes on being scouted. However, if you’re serious about a career in modelling, it won’t hurt to make an effort with your appearance each time you leave the house. That doesn’t mean a full face of make-up and a complicated up-do; in fact, the off-duty model aesthetic is casual and laid-back but smart and cleverly put together.
Let’s take a closer look at what this entails.
None of us wake up looking perfect (unless you’re SERIOUSLY lucky!) Most of us need a helping hand to hide blemishes and undereye bags, brighten out complexions and bring out our natural beauty. Make-up is a quick and easy way to do this. A slick of mascara will frame the eyes, brow mascara will help frame the face, and concealer will cover any spots and blemishes. Off-duty models like to wear minimal make-up and make the most of their amazing bone structure. There are lots of videos on YouTube about how to do “no make-up make-up”. Check out this one:
Trends come and go. Hair can look beautiful down, but can often distract from the shape of the face. It can also get in the way when running errands or rushing around town. Today, many models like to wear their hair up and away from their face in what appears to be a quick, easy updo. However, the messy-chic hairstyle can be deceptively difficult to do!
Check out the video below for a 5-minute off-model hairstyle:
You don’t need to be wearing designer gear head to toe to look like a model. The high street offers some great alternatives – it’s all about finding the right fit for your body type. Models can struggle to find nice clothes that fit because they are so slender with tiny waists, but also tall – jeans often are too short or loose at the waist. That’s why it is so important to try on clothing before you purchase anything to make sure it fits you properly.
You also need a good foundation to put your clothes on. Underwear is really important as an ill-fitting bra can not only be uncomfortable but make your clothing look odd, too. Get fitted at a shop, and make sure you do this every 6 months as breasts fluctuate in size all the time.
Accessories can make a plain outfit look high-end in seconds. It’s all about pairing key items and knowing what flatters, and what detracts, from the outfit as a whole. Many models like to incorporate their toned midriffs into their outfits as a sort of accessory (Kendall Jenner is a big fan of this look). Off-duty models love to wear sunglasses and nice watches. Fine gold jewellery is also popular; a thin necklace, bracelet and a couple of rings will look good with everything.
Other Ways to Get Signed
The best way to get signed is to apply. This can be a long and tedious process, but it is ultimately the best way to get noticed.
You can apply via most modelling agency websites. You will need to fill out their application form which will involve attaching a couple of your best photos. Try to make sure these are high-quality and show off your potential.
You can apply to as many agencies as you like, as many times as you like. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back; agencies receive thousands of applications each week and it is difficult to stand out. Move on and continue applying. If you have spent several months applying and still haven’t been invited to an audition, try using different photos.
Some models find fame by applying to be in model competitions. These don’t happen very often, but you should be able to find any in your area by searching online. Modelling competitions are not the same as beauty pageants. Cindy Crawford and Gisele both found fame after succeeding in modelling competitions.
Open auditions are sometimes held by modelling agencies. Again, you will have to keep an eye out for when these happen. Competition is fierce; you will be competing against hundreds of other hopefuls. However, it’s a great way to experience the process and get your name out in front of industry people.
Having a good social media presence can help you find modelling work. Instagram in particular is a great place to get spotted. There are several model success stories of models who found fame after getting popular on social media.
Volunteer with Photographers
Volunteering with photographers can help in several ways. It will gain you valuable experience in front of the camera, it helps you network with likeminded people in the industry, and it will give you the opportunity to walk away with some high-quality photos (for free, if you’re able to negotiate the photos as payment for your time).