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

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[dropcap]When[/dropcap] 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.


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About Author

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!

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