So You Want to be a Model?

You want to become a professional model? Need a career advice? Look no further! Keep reading!

Everyone, I’d like to introduce you to Alina Lapteva. My highschool friend from Russia. Alina arrived in Canada and joined my school as a student. As soon as she stepped into the school, all eyes were on her. Everywhere we went, everyone noticed her. Her long, enviable legs and golden locks never fail to make her the center of attention.

As soon as she’s done with highschool, she went to York University. There, she started her modelling career. She was Ms. RTVi Canada 2006. Now, she’s an Elite model and she travels around the world to do runways and photoshoots. As famous and successful as she is right now, Alina is very humble and modest. She’ll share with you her experience on the road to become a model! Thanks for sharing, Alina!

Modelling industry is a tough business with a lot of competition.  Modelling is a fun job, but you need to remember that this is, afterall, a job! You are going to be doing this everyday, so make sure to keep up with your phyical appearance. Daily diets, exercises, skin care are a must. Maintain yourself everyday and make sure that you look right.

In this industry sizes and measurements are very important. In the fashion industry, there is a height requirement of min. 5′ 9″, but preferably 5′ 10″ and your bum has to be around 35″ in circumference. So if you are 5’10”, start working on your body. Make it slim, toned, and no fat unfortunately.

Then you need a good portfolio. you can of course do it for free, but the pictures will never be as great as you can get from a professional photographer. A session with a professional photographer will cost around 500$, but it is worth it. Make sure that the photographer is a professional. For example my personal recommendation is Javier Lovera. He is an awesome photographer. You’ll get about 8 pictures for your portfolio.

When you have about 8-10 photos in your book, you can start visiting modelling agencies and show them your book. My recommendations are Elite, Ford, Next, Elmer Olsen. They are widely known to represent professional models and they have a good reputation in the industry. Try to go to these agencies, instead of others.

When you come for your appointment in the agencies, wear clothing that show your figure and a clean face (no make up please). Bring a bikini with you just in case, and be prepared to take some pictures there. Do not worry if you dont get it the first time. Don’t take it personally. Ask them, nicely, the reason why they rejected you and what you can do to improve yourself. More often than not, they will give you a good advice.

Persistence is the number one quality that a model should have. If you fail, try and try again. From my own experience, Elite rejected me when I went there for the first time. They told me that there is nothing that I could do to improve myself and that they don’t need me. However, I showed up again the year after and they immediately booked me and told me not to go to any other agencies. I ended up signing a 3-year contract with them.

You never know! You have to keep going if you really want this.

As you keep going, you will find a lot of obstacles in front of you, esp. if you start an international modeling career. At times, it’s tough psychologically and sometimes physically. I’ve to work for 15 hours/day for a week and at the end of the week you’re so exhausted and feel that you have no energy left. Sometimes, you need to be prepared for empty periods – no job. It happens everywhere, in Toronto, New York, Paris. There are seasons for work.

I wish you all the best. Good luck. Just remember not to compare yourself to anybody esle. You are unique. Keep going and don’t give up easily.

Pictures are courtesy of Alina Lapteva (