So You Want to Be A Model...
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IA_wanttobeamodel_tear_collage2Young girls have always admired fashion modeling. Now with the emergence of more teen programming, films, and music, an abundance of young men are following suit. Many teenagers dream of careers in modeling, films, television, and commercials and parents are left wondering how to help them in the pursuit of this dream.

Having been in the modeling industry for over ten years, I have had only good experiences through legitimate agencies. I am aware however, of the many pitfalls that aspiring models/actors and their parents face in pursuing this dream. Unfortunately, with the abundance of young hopefuls vying for their opportunity at stardom, there are equally as many individuals looking to take advantage of their inexperience. One of the greatest obstacles in getting into the fashion/entertainment industry is not knowing how to secure quality representation. Most feel you need to be "discovered." But this belief usually comes at a high price.

IA_wanttobeamodel_japanMy career began with a contract to Tokyo, Japan that lead me around the world fulfilling contracts in Paris, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, and Korea. I began modeling later than the norm at twenty-one years-old while working on my masters degree in criminal justice. Upon graduation, I began modeling full-time and have continued a successful career ever since.

Now I find myself in a position to educate young hopefuls with my experiences. That is why I created ExploreModeling.com. My goal is to educate young hopefuls to safely and inexpensively explore the opportunities in the modeling and entertainment industry. I offer a safe haven for young men, women and children looking to pursue their dream. There is absolutely no cost to view the information on our site. You can log on to ask questions, look for agencies, and peruse an array of informative videos and articles.
cristina dehartREADY, SET... WATCH OUT!
Based on my personal experience, using a little common sense can help you avoid costly mistakes as you pursue a modeling career. Take these five precautions to avoid the common pitfalls a new model faces:

1 Compare fees and the quality of the work when looking for a photographer. Steer clear of companies that require that you use and pay for a specific photographer.

2 Look for a modeling agency that works with you without up-front charges and is paid based on a percentage of the booking fees. Avoid an agency or agent that requires an up-front fee.

3 Evaluate and choose an agency that can book your assignments in the divisions that are your strengths. Avoid referrals to agencies that may not be suited to your needs.

4 If you are considering signing a contract with an agent or agency, ask for a blank contract and review it with an attorney or someone whom you trust. Avoid high-pressure tactics that might prevent you from taking the time to consider and understand the agreement.

5 Check out the businesses, agencies, or individuals for whom you are considering working. Don't get swept away by grandiose promises. Not even the top agencies in NYC make promises, because there is no way for them to predict how their clients will respond to your "look."


Some of the best advice I can offer model hopefuls is to know your market. Modeling consists of many "Markets". Markets are the cities where the majority of Modeling/ Entertainment work is produced. For example, Major Markets for modeling are New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Paris, and Milan. This would not include secondary markets such as Chicago, Dallas, Orlando, Tampa, Washington D.C., Madrid, or Barcelona. Then there is your local regional market that produces work for smaller companies and businesses in your local area. An example of a local market would be- well anywhere! Every town has a modeling agency. You can find a Worldwide Directory of over 2,000 agencies and casting directors on ExploreModeling.com. However, you still need to be careful when dealing with any agency. A quick "Google" search should provide you any complaints others have had when dealing with them. If you are still in question, you should contact the Better Business Bureau or the Consumers Division at your State Attorney General's Office with a list of the agencies you are interested in. They will be able to tell you if they have had any complaints against them, the nature of complaints, and whether they were resolved.

Some of the best advice I can offer model hopefuls is to know your market.
Please keep in mind when searching for representation that the agency's commission is derived from the bookings they obtain for you. There should be no up-front fees for representation and if they are offering you services contingent on representation - walk away!

modeling coversAspiring models should also know their "Division" or the type or types of modeling they are best suited for. There are several and they cover a broad spectrum of ages and body types. Once you determine the divisions that best suit you, start to pursue as many as possible in order to work consistently in your market. Also try to affiliate yourself with the agencies that specialize in the type of modeling or acting work you are looking to book.

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