Quite often I am asked how young can someone be to get started in the modeling industry. In the fashion world every agency works differently. But, the fashion world is a young person’s game. One has to have already had success by the age of 21 if they are going to have a career in the fashion world. I have heard of some fashion models being scouted at the age of 10-12 and sometimes even a bit younger.
In the world of commercial modeling, which is modeling for everything outside of fashion, there are no minimum or maximum ages in order to work in the industry. And the best part is that you will find commercial modeling work for teens everywhere.
You will see that as you get older there will be even more job opportunities available for you. So, the best thing to do is to get as much experience as you possibly can now. Continue to build up your portfolio. Try and work with as many photographers as you possibly can. It will also be great for you to do a lot of testing now. Test shots are photos that are taken, but are not ads. They are used on your composite sheet as well as in your portfolio and on web sites. This will allow you to continue to practice working in front of a camera and become very skilled at being able to take directions from a photographer.
There are a few key components to creating a strong test shot. It is crucial that the model understands what the ingredients are for a great commercial photo. I will share a few of them with you in this article, but I devote 26 pages to this process in my book, How to Become a Successful Commercial Model (now in its 5th edition).
Every model should create a test shot that actually looks like an ad. Props should be used in the test shot. These are items like books, pens, paper, exercise and sports equipment, etc… They can be used in every shot, but don’t use a logo or brand name. Also, show a variety of expressions and emotions. Make the looks believable. Don’t just look like a “model.” It is OK to have one other person in the shot with you.
They key thing is to make the shots look like real ads. Show a variety of expressions and emotions. This will allow you to be considered for many types of ad campaigns.
The last thing for you to do in order to get work as a teen is to practice. You can practice getting the right emotions at home. Have someone take some photos of you with their cell phone or digital camera. Once you know what type of shot you want to create and know how to get the right expression, then find a few photographers to do some testing with.