There are quite a few ways to grow as a model, both the physically obvious ways and the more subtle ways. In my eight years of modeling my career has evolved and changed, but I’ve also changed with it.
Growing your book:
This is the most obvious part of modeling. As you model more, your book and skill set should naturally grow. Working with new people, practicing more out-there and unique poses, creating new facial movements and finding new angles will help diversify the amount of looks and poses you can do for various photographers in various settings.
Reaching out to photographers, stylists and other models is a great way to get advice and to work with amazing talent. When growing your book, don’t be afraid to pay for higher quality images. THIS IS IMPORTANT, since the top photographers charge to test. Paying amazing photographers to shoot could give you the best images of your life, ones you will have for a very long time. Also when shooting with photographers make sure they all have different styles as to buff up your book and make it look as unique as you are.
Growing your audience/connections:
When I first started out modeling, and even now, my biggest asset has been how much I’ve been able to travel, and how often I still travel. Traveling for networking events, photoshoots and just to build up a name in a specific area will help you in the long run. I travel every couple of months to Los Angeles, which, as a result, has brought me brand deals, paid photoshoot opportunities, more friends in the area who support my work and a larger follower count due to networking and just being in the area.
When I travel, I will oftentimes post stories that include the city I am visiting. When you’re on a loctions story, more people will click on your profile and view your content. I also reach out to my favorite photographers in an area, depending on if they’re friends of friends or not, I will often send emails rather than DM’s to show I’m interested in a professional setting. If photographers are not interested in shooting, I’ll also try to grab coffee with them as to make a new connection, and leave the door open for a booking in the future. As for linking with brands as I travel, popping into your favorite local stores and physically talking with people who work there is a great way to reach out and give a more personal touch.
Growing as a model yourself (personal growth):
As you’re working on building your book and connections, the most important aspect of growing is who you are as a person. Identify your core values and what you are really passionate about. By understanding who you are you’re able to better identify your role in the fashion industry and what types of shoots you’ll shine in. For example, I am a bit more on the edgy side and really enjoy pushing my body on poses, so I work better in a high fashion setting than in a e-commerce setting (but as a model you have to work in all settings, this is an example of how to make your book standout and what you should try to book the most of).
When you’ve identified where your personality really shines through, you will start to fall into a group that you fit in well with and have similar interests. As people are coming into your life you learn new skills and things about the world. One of my favorite ways to grow as a person is getting more experiences and learning how to better connect with anyone and everyone.
There are many ways to grow as a model, but these are some ways that are always evolving for models and are ways as a model you’re constantly growing. As you’re in the fashion industry longer, these ways to build your book become easier and quicker to accomplish. Don’t be discouraged if you are seeing the growth immediately. It takes awhile to grow into who you are and make your mark in the industry. It’s a process and never be afraid of that process, but embrace every chance to grow.