Finding suitable modelling gigs as a teen involves the help of your parents and agency. Their roles are very different yet you need their support in securing work. Don’t try to succeed alone as working as a partnership will keep you safe and heading towards the right career path. The modelling industry is fiercely competitive and fickle with many teenage models failing to make it. Join us as we discuss how to find modelling gigs in the fashion industry.
It Won’t Happen over Night
The reality is that the stories of young professional models spotted in a Los Angeles shopping mall, airport or train station are few and far between. Yes, it does happen but when finding work do not expect opportunities to spontaneously appear as you go about your daily life. As with most careers, you have to work for success yet modelling is one of the most challenging industries rifled with rejection. Finding roles will take time, dedication and persistence. Luck and being in the right place at the right time does have a part to play but do not rely on luck alone.
For example, Anok Yai, a young girl studying biochemistry was photographed at Howard University’s homecoming celebrations, which after being uploaded to Steve Hall’s Instagram she became insta-famous overnight and has been contacted by modelling agencies. A lot of luck and coincidence is involved in her success and will most likely not happen to you. The reality is harsh but true.
Do You Have Your Parents Consent?
Before even considering finding modelling jobs, you need to have a conversation with your parents or legal guardian to discover how they feel about you becoming a model. Approach the subject tentatively and show that you are serious about the career path. Allow them time to think this through without starting an argument and demanding for an answer straight away. Your parents will have your best interests at heart and their first instincts will keep you safe.
Remember it is a big decision for them to make with such a huge involvement on their part. Expectations are high for parents with them having to attend every photoshoot, decide if the role is suitable and keep you safe. It can be both emotionally and financially draining with their lives completely disrupted. Some will find the prospect exciting whereas others will be cautious.
Teens cannot legally take part in a photoshoot or runway show without consent from their parents. Until the age of 18, you are classed as a minor and should always be presented with a contract for your mum or dad to sign. Remember this is for your protection so never work for anyone who tries to skip this important part.
Signing to an Agency
This also goes for modelling agencies. Teen models must have their parent’s approval when signing a contract. Agencies are the key to finding work. With their brand connections and experience in the industry they will set up castings for you to attend. But first you need to be on their books for these opportunities to arise.
A potential model needs to apply to reputable agencies via their application form on their website. Fill in the necessary details and attach photos in the correct format. Some may need portfolio images whereas others require simple headshots. Apply to more than one agency to keep your options open but make sure they are legit and suitable for the type of modelling that you want to do. Through lots of research you will be able to gain an idea of what the agency is like. Never sign a contract out of desperation or part with a lot of money.
Agencies hold walk in sessions also to see models face to face. Specific times and dates are set to see potential talent. It will be a nerve-racking experience yet try to appear confident and friendly. You may be asked to show your model walk or to pose for a photograph so they can gain a better picture of how you come across.
Once signed to the agency you will be contacted to attend castings that they have arranged. These appointments are crucial in securing work. Designers and brands all hold castings to find the right models for the photoshoot or catwalk show. Make sure you attend as many as possible to gain experience of the process and to more importantly get the role. If you have a part time job make sure that it is flexible to accommodate your castings.
Throughout a models career attending castings are a regularity. This is the most common way of securing a job in the modelling industry. Make sure you make a great first impression by arriving on time, you may have to wait to be seen but turning up late may lose your time slot. Again, you might be asked to walk for the designers or have your pictures taken to assess your talent. Perform with confidence and try to control your nerves. The more castings that you attend will certainly improve how you come across on the day.
Is the Role Age Appropriate?
The high fashion industry has been criticised for hiring teen girls for the runway. Many deem these roles too mature, which exposes innocent minds to an adult high pressured world. The designs are sometimes too risky and treatment of models this age can be cruel. Teens are too intimated to speak out and very eager to be a high fashion model. Therefore, the issue continues. Also, these young female and male models are a target for predators who take advantage. Young girls are essentially modelling designs aimed at women, where is the logic in that?
It is important that as a young model that you only feature in campaigns and ads that are age appropriate. Do not agree to pose nude or wear revealing clothes. This is something that you may regret as you grow older and images that feature on the Internet are never truly deleted. Both parents and child need to choose shoots that do not put anyone in danger and represent their age with fun, playful shoots. As a parent it is your role to assess the job to deem it appropriate for your teen model.