How to Start Modeling in 6 Steps

Do you daydream about having your face on the cover of Vogue? Find yourself strutting down the street like it’s your very own runway? If you feel like you’ve got what it takes but you don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place!
The modeling industry has a wide range of specialties to choose from. It also has models of various shapes, sizes, ages, and ethnicities. However, there's way more to modeling than being extremely attractive or having “the look."
We’ve put together an A-Z guide for everything you need to know about how to start modeling.

What Are the Types of Modeling?

Choosing what kind of model you want to be is a crucial stage in your modeling career. Requirements such as size and height differ from one modeling type to another.
So if you don't fit the requirements of a certain fashion model criteria, don’t be discouraged. Luckily, there are many other options in the modeling industry you can pursue!

Fashion Modeling

When it comes to modeling types, editorial fashion modeling is at the top of the list. Being an editorial model screams “you made it!” in the fashion industry.
Most editorial models constantly change their appearance to fit the concept the designer and magazine are going for. You usually see these models in major fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar.


Since editorial fashion modeling is considered the "elite" of modeling categories, it has its own set of strict requirements. Models must be:
  • At least 5'9 (175 cm) tall
  • Bust measurement of 33 inches
  • Waist measurement of 23 inches
  • Hip measurement of 33 inches

Runway Modeling

Runway models can be seen on the catwalk, showcasing a designer’s clothing line. The typical age for runway models is between 16-21. Agents and clients usually prefer a more youthful look.


Runway model requirements are extremely precise. The designer hires the models to fit the clothes and not the other way around. Models must be:
  • At least 5'9” (175 cm) tall
  • Bust measurement of 34 inches
  • Waist measurement of 23 inches
  • Hip measurement of 34 inches

Swimwear Modeling

Swimwear models are usually curvier and fuller-figured than editorial and runway models. Swimsuit models may do much more than simply model bikinis. They can also model lingerie, sleepwear, undergarments, and summer clothing.


Since swimwear/lingerie models usually show a lot of skin, they must maintain a healthy lifestyle along with a nutritious diet. Although the requirements differ from other model types, they are still as strict. Models must have:
  • Great physique
  • Minimally visible skin scars (cellulite, scars, etc.)
  • Good hair and teeth
  • No tattoos

Commercial Modeling

This modeling type is considered to be the most flexible and diverse of all types. There are no age, height, or size restrictions for commercial models. From fashion to cosmetics to food, commercial modeling is endless. It also includes plus-size modeling, part modeling, and petite modeling.


Commercial models, as opposed to those in the high fashion industry, tend to be more relatable and natural-looking. The requirements are way less strict than any other modeling type. Models must have:
  • Friendly smile
  • Nice hair
  • Natural features
  • Age between 18-35

How to Start Modeling

The modeling industry is extremely competitive, with rejection being very common. Knowing what to expect might help you prepare for a modeling career.
It takes hard work, dedication, and determination to succeed as a model. To get recognized, you have to have a strategy.
Befriend Your Features
The industry's perception of beauty has changed drastically over the years. Teeth gaps, freckles, and an asymmetrical face are no longer deal breakers in the fashion industry. In today's world, those unique features might serve as helpful tools to make you stand out among other models!

Get Comfortable In Front of a Camera

Know your angles and practice a range of facial expressions. You can also experiment with other positions and outfits. What’s important is to be as comfortable as you can in front of a camera since you’ll be working with photographers later on.

Create an Impressive Modeling Portfolio

A well-put modeling portfolio is one of the first things that agencies and clients look for in a model in order to establish a good first impression.
It's a good idea to have both an online modeling portfolio (website) that you can send to anyone through email and a printed one that you can present when you meet someone in person.
Your modeling portfolio should include:
  • A headshot showing you in your natural state,i.e. simple makeup and minimal jewelry. No photoshop, fake lashes, or fake tan.
  • A full-body shot. You must make sure your posture is proper so that your body is correctly displayed. In terms of clothes, a fitted white T-shirt or a tank top, along with a pair of jeans, would be great.

Get Out There

Do your homework and look for agencies in your area. Look for ones that match your chosen job path, and then send them your website and a short, attention-grabbing cover letter. In the meantime, build your social media following. You need as much exposure as possible.

Get Used to Rejection

Be ready for a lot of rejection when it comes your way. You must be unfazed by doors closing in your face. Even the most beautiful successful supermodels have heard the word "no". Don't measure your worth by your appearance or anybody’s approval of you.

Be Careful

Many scam artists in the industry target naïve young models. Never trust someone behind a computer screen. Anyone can look legit and professional online. The most common scam is when an agency asks for cash upfront. A reputable modeling agency would never, ever do that. Keep an eye open for red flags.


Modeling is an art form; it's a way to express oneself creatively. It's not about trying to be someone or something you're not, but about accepting yourself for who you are and embracing your flaws.
There are many types of modeling, each with its own set of requirements. If you’re wondering how to start modeling, then it is important to study every niche to know which one you want to pursue. Practice posing, facial expressions, and get comfortable in front of a camera.
To be a successful model, you must put in a lot of effort and be resilient when faced with setbacks and disappointments.