self-awareness, self-confidence, self-ownership, tips for new models

11 Tips For New Models

September 21, 2022

By alexaphelece


MODEL ADVICE – Sofia Vespe

Let me get real with you ladies and share a truth about the world of Fashion and Modeling… It’s not so glamorous.  In fact, it can be downright dirty! Most supermodels are the hardest working people in the industry. From being asked to walk barefoot on not-so-clean factory floors, to trying on garments straight out of the box with no washing or treating prior, it is real rough out here in the fashion world. I share these tips for new models, not to dissuade you but rather to arm you with the knowledge and insight I did not have when I was starting out making money as a model.  

Not too long ago, I was at a Savage X Fenty fitting with fellow Model and colleague Sofia Vespe. We were chatting on the subject of our early days of Modeling. We began sharing little anecdotes, experiences, and horror stories. We were so thankful for how far we had come and for working with such an amazing brand like Savage which cares for not just its Models but all its employees. We realized that there was so much we wish we had known before getting into the industry!  From that conversation, we came up with these important tips for new models I wish I knew before becoming a paid contractor and fashion model. 

Sofia and I hope the following insights will help you better understand the Industry you’re walking into and how you can prepare, self-advocate, and enjoy yourself while going after your pursuit of modeling. 

11 Tips I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Model 

  1. If just starting, start off with 2 shots, a clean-faced look and natural lifestyle. They are the best when starting your modeling portfolio. See this download for some casual poses.
  2. Invest in a photoshoot with a good photographer. They often know agents and can recommend you.
  3. Ask questions. Too many questions are never a bad thing. Make yourself aware of what is going on. You are a boss now. 
  4. Don’t avoid agencies. It’s tempting to avoid agencies when you feel “fat or ugly” but they work for you. Be confident in who you are. You are your own business and your confidence in that is key to your success. 
  5. Submit yourself directly to agencies. (Sofia found herself a manager that submitted her to agencies. The manager included himself in the contracts so he would collect payment and take additional percentages. SHADY. I am also a firm believer in submitting yourself directly to Brands too. 
  6. Have a lawyer or business professional help look over contracts. You have to look out for your own interests. Having someone who can understand the legalities of contracts and explain them to you can save you many headaches down the road. If you would like to schedule a ONE-ON-ONE with me, CLICK HERE.
  7. For fit modeling, be prepared to stand for hours. Brands only have you for so long so they want to get you in as many garments as possible. So get in that stretching before and after.
  8. For Print and eCommerce shoots sometimes you are in heels for hours. You get aches, lower back pain from posing and sore feet from standing, you name it. Take the time to ice your body afterward and thank me later!    
  9. It is not all glamorous, from dirty feet to getting pricked with pins when garments are being adjusted to your body, you will experience discomfort and some dirty surroundings. So bring all the wipes, a small first-aid kit, and some meds. 
  10. SPEAK up for yourself( stopping to pee, drink water, clean your feet, etc.) These considerations for humanity are often forgotten. Make sure you advocate for your needs. These companies have so many deadlines so much going on, if you do not speak up for your needs no one else will, and you will be forgotten.
  11. Listen to your intuition! Just like my girl, Charvelle mentioned in my article “Model Advice. Trust your gut”, trust your gut when it tells you something is not right or not worth your time. Nothing is worth compromising your morals, sense of personal safety, or boundaries. 

Like Sofia, Charvelle, and myself there are so many models that wish they had tips for new models or a guide when we first starting out in this Industry. We learned that in talking to one another we were each other’s greatest support.  We could support and educate one another on the ups and downs of the Industry, helping each other to better handle the expectations of what was to come. We hope that we have provided you with enough information to do just that for you! Please share this article with anyone on their own Modeling journey! 

But Wait! There’s More! 

Make sure you are subscribed to my email list so you don’t miss out on my new Mixers! I host fun and entertaining mixers with my friend and amazingly talented photographer Christos Watson, from Stos Photography and other industry professionals. We have worked together and solo on countless shoots with many fashion brands. We want to bring our experience and expertise from the industry, in these mixers, where models can get comfortable in front of the camera, be able to get amazing quality prints, and learn the ins and outs of the modeling business! Stay on the lookout for all the juicy details by joining our email list!  

Take care my loves and get out there! Go land those gigs feeling better prepared, armed with knowledge and a better understanding of what the Modeling World is really like. 

XX – Alexa 

Photos provided by Sofia Vespe, Make Up Artist: Melina Ruiz

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