Beginners Guide to Modeling: How To Get Into Modeling

Beginners Guide to Modeling: How To Get Into Modeling

Always dreamt of getting into modeling? In this article I’m giving you a little push in the right direction.

You might be interested in these articles as well:

Modeling in Seoul: how it works with castings >>
Model turned booker Jaqui: “learn to accept yourself” >>
Paparazzi model Anouk about nutrition & sport >>

When I first started modelling, aspirant models had to send a printed letter and a stack of photos in an envelope to a modeling agency. If you wanted to have your photos returned, you’d have to enclose a stamped envelope and put your address on the back of photos.

Now, 16 years later, contacting agencies to see if you can model works quite differently. How this works exactly is, however, still unclear to many aspiring models. As such, girls regularly ask me how they can become a model and which steps they should take.

Of course you should first meet the requirements regarding appearance. This usually means that you are at least 1.75 m, have size 34-36, are 14 years old or older, have straight teeth, a flawless skin, a symmetrical and interesting face and beautiful hair. There are exceptions to the rule, and that’s Kate Moss (she is shorter than 1.70 m).

It is not my expertise to tell based on someones looks if he or she can be a model. I’d rather leave this to the bookers of modeling agencies. What I can do being a model is to give aspiring models a push in the right direction by sharing a few tips on how to get into modeling.

Tip 1: what you shouldn’t do

Don’t sign up for pricy ‘model schools’. To get into modeling you don’t need a certificate or attend a school or training. When you are signed with a modeling agency, the agency will help you get started with for example catwalk training and a start-up of your portfolio. You can learn the rest at your modeling jobs.

Tip 2: e-mail modeling agencies

E-mail modeling agencies, telling them that you would like to model and encloses a few pictures of yourself. Also indicate your measurements and age.

Tip 3: reputable modeling agencies

Make sure the agencies that you e-mail are reputable. A couple of reputable Dutch model agency that have existed for a long time, that have been a steady player in the fashion industry and which I or my friends have good experiences with include Max Models, Touché Models, Euromodel, De Boekers and Ulla Models*. For more reputable agencies world-wide visit

Tip 4: measurements

Initially, it is enough to mention your height, jeans size (eg EUR 27/34) and dress size (eg EUR 36). In case the agency is interested, they’ll invite you over at the agency. I they are still interested at that point, they’ll take other measurements like hip size and waist. 

Tip 5: photo’s

For a first attempt to get into modeling it is not necessary to send an agency professional photo’s. That means you don’t need to have your pictures taken by a professional photographer (read: expensive photo’s) just to have photo’s for your application. Holiday pictures or photos that your girlfriend or your mother took of you with a mobile phone (agencies call them digitals or polaroids) will do as well. Just make sure your photos are representative, so clean up the mess in the background and put on a nice, clean, basic outfit. Hair clean and combed and a clean, fresh face with a bit of blush and mascara will make you at your best, while keeping things natural.

It is of importance to the modeling agencies that they get a good view on your body. A such, it is best to wear fitted clothes and include a photo that shows your body rom head to toe. Photos of you wearing a lot of makeup, a lot of jewelry or wearing an extreme outfit won’t make bookers of modeling agencies happy. furthermore, blurred and overexposed or underexposed pictures don’t work well.

Good pictures are photos of you showing you from head to toe, wearing little or no makeup, in bright (day) light and wearing basic, fitted clothing (eg tights and a tank top) or bikini. Don’t do crazy, exaggerated poses, but keep it simple.

For  inspiration on how to pose for your application photos visit Model Digitals.

What really makes agencies happy is if you enclose the following photos and videos in your application e-mail:

– Photo of your side – with a smile, one without a smile
– Photo of your front – with a smile, one without a smile
– A close-up of your face – with a smile, one without a smile
– Close-up of your face with your hair up, one with your hair down
– Photo of your hands
– A short video (30 seconds is okay) of yourself in which you briefly introduce yourself and walk back and forth (don’t worry: the agency doesn’t expect a Claudia Schiffer walk), giving the agency a good idea is how you walk and talk.

Tip 6: don’t give up

The agency is not interested? Do not take it personally; maybe they already represent a model that looks a lot like you. Just move on and e-mail the next modeling agency.

Tip 7: casting agency

Really having trouble applying to modeling agency’s? Consider contacting a casting agency (for example the Dutch Casting Studio or Dutch Casting). Casting agencies have different requirements than modeling agencies;you might fit in better at a casting studio and have plenty of casting jobs. This way you can still do photo shoots and might even do television commercials.


Are you an experienced model that has more tips for aspiring models? Please share them with the community in the comments below.

— edit —

Catwalk coach Max Hitipeuw responded to this article with more tips on reputable Dutch modeling agencies:

The agencies that I summed up earlier in this article:


Are you an experienced model and do you have additional tips for aspiring models? Would you like to share your positive experiences with any non-Dutch modeling agencies? Please leave them in the comments below. Thank you!

Modeling are in constant motion; sometimes agencies close their doors, sometimes agencies merge and regularly new agencies enter the market. Therefore, this list will be updated when necessary.


Follow me at Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | BlogLovin‘ | Pinterest

About Angela

Hey! I'm Angela; a 30-something mommy and a now REAL #fitchick, digi nerd, photo & film shooter hobbyist, MSc specialized in Health Education, marketingspecialist and an international fashion model for 20 years. I've worked for eg. Viktor & Rolf, Nivea, Escada, Elle, Vogue and Glamour. I write about everything that I find worth sharing. Go ahead an take a look around. Don't hesitate to share your thought sor opinions. Enjoy!


  1. Hi. My name is Thea, and I’ve been trying to get into modeling for quite some time. I would really like if you could help me out. Im 5’10, 16 years old (turning 17 in oct.)

  2. Hi, my name is Angela, 19 and I’m interested in modeling. I’ve had a few offers before but due to my own insecurities I didn’t go through with them or they fell through. I’m 6ft (around 186cm), I’m about a size(aus) 12 on top and 16-18 on bottom. I’m thin but have wider hips, shoulders, and breasts hence the sizing. My biggest issue is my face, I’m considered quite attractive but I’ve suffered from bad acne my whole adolescent life which has caused some significant scaring. After touch ups I can appear flawless but is this a turn off for modeling agencies? My biggest issue is my back, cutting it short I have a hunch due to spinal reasons which sadly can’t be fixed, would this also be a no go?
    Thank you in advance.

  3. Thanks for providing valuable tips! If you are under 1.75m, I’ll really suggest you try for the petite model, As most of them are under 1.75 and making most out of their career. As a professional model, I’ll recommend like to maintaining online portfolio can be really helpful not just showcasing your work, but also getting chance to discover by clients and modeling agency.
    Thank you

  4. Hello. Thank you for providing us with this article.
    My name is Christina. I am 5ft even, with fair white skin.
    I had always thought of trying to model, I know I am not the average sought after type. Yet I am still interested in trying. Is 34yrs of age to old to try?
    Please e-mail me.
    Thank you for your time.

  5. I really want to be a model but i’m not idealistically beautiful and i have uneven skin tones.. is there any hope for me or should i just give up??
    (im fourteen, 5’4, waist size-26, bust- 30B, brown hair,skin and eyes.)
    Calypso recently posted…(NL) Model Worden? Win Kaartjes en Ontmoet Topbureau’s Tijdens The Model ConventionMy Profile

  6. Hey I am a 16 year old male 5’9 131 pounds looking to find my way into the modeling world. I need a recommended agency to send my photos to, and I am open to any agency

  7. Nice blog post about how to get into the modeling industry. The points are quite impressive. I want to know about how to make my portfolio better and what kind of agencies helps me?

  8. I am a 16 year old who lives in Wisconsin. I would like to know how to balance a possible modeling career with school life, also I would like to possibly figure out which agency would be best dealing with my destination. Another thing is I feel like I am not the right shape for modeling, so how would one get into shape or is there any chance that someone who is a little “rough around the edges” can get into a modeling career.

  9. I am 16 years guy. I want to become a model but i don’t knew no to start up with this

  10. This post is a must read for those wanna join modeling. It has become essential to look for the reputable model agencies or else you’re going to get scammed.
    CasanV recently posted…5 Tips on Choosing Baby Modeling Agency SingaporeMy Profile

  11. Hello, I am 15 and fit all the requirements except I have a gap between my top two front teeth is this an issue for most modelling agencies or do you think I still have a shot? Thanks very much!

    • Hey, having teeth out of place or spaced out is probably not the best decision if ur trying to get in to be a model, I used to be a model, but then my teeth shifted a little and became crooked at the front and I was no longer able to do modelling and so, now I am getting my teeth fixed and then I’m hoping I can get back in! I’m 13 years old now!!✌️

  12. Hello, i am a 14 year old girl. I want to get into modeling but i have a lot of scars and i have never heard of a model agency to accept someone like that. Do you have any advice for me?
    Desire Jackson recently posted…Model Turned Booker Jacqui: “Learn To Accept Yourself”My Profile

  13. This is all very good advice but i still find it is hard to distinguish which casting agencies are real. There are about a million rules to avoiding fake places but I’m wondering at this point if any real places exist and how am i supposed to find them? I am from the United States and it seems like every turn is a scam when searching for casting calls. Any advice or places you can recommend to get started?

    • Angela Willemse

      That’s a good question Danielle. There is no such thing as an official hallmark that tells you an agency is good or not. Best thing to do is ask friends and people you know which agencies they are with and what their experiences with that agency are. Furthermore: read contracts carefully. Don’t sign if they sound like a scam, using your common sense. Take a look on their website if their models work well for notable clients is a good thing to do as well.
      Angela Willemse recently posted…Model Turned Booker Jacqui: “Learn To Accept Yourself”My Profile

  14. Hey Angela!

    Dankjewel voor dit artikel. Ik zal het eens aan mijn dochter laten lezen! Heel verhelderend! (Oh, en je chiazaadengel snapte ik gewoon hoor! hahahahaha)
    Es recently posted…Rabarber aardbeien jam receptMy Profile

  15. Thanks for your advice and sharing some of your experiences in modeling. I love reading article about modeling, ’cause I really want to be a model. This article is great! Really helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge