I want to begin plus size modeling. How do I start?
May 20, 2010 5:36 AM   Subscribe

I want to begin plus size modeling. How do I start?

I want to begin plus size modeling and I was wondering how do I start? I've been given advice to get some photos taken and sending them to agencies etc., but I'm not even sure where to start from there! And I feel like this method is a bit shot-in-the-dark, but if that's the only way then I guess I'll have to do it.

I have a few other questions:

1) Is there a niche for JUST face modeling?
2) Are the qualifications for commercial and print modeling less stringent than runway models?
3) How big of a factor is age (I'm 24)? I assume it affects the size and breadth of your portfolio, and thus your jobs- but I'm sure there are ways to work around this.

If anyone has advice or experience with this please let me know.

Some background: Modeling has been something that has been in the back of my mind for a long time. Physically I'm not stick thin, but am curvy and proportional which is why I'm pursuing plus size modeling. There's a pic in my profile for more description.

I've been previously scouted a few times, but I was focused on my other ambitions and didn't pursue modeling. Right now though, it's something that I want to try my hand at and would love to see what MeFi knows :)
posted by metakiwi to Work & Money (5 answers total)
You're way old in the modeling world. There are exceptions to this rule, but be prepared that you'll hear this a lot. Pores differ on young people and the age-thing is a remnant from the days back before photoshop.

Yes, there's niches for all sorts of modeling, hands being the most obvious one. In the US and UK good hand and feet models never do anything else, while in smaller countries (like where I am at now), we call in for polaroids of "real models" hands when we need hand models (btw, real models hands are often terrible. The pretty hands & feet you see in ads are not attached to the two meter tall amazon you see in the bikini). Don't count on a niche for faces only, lovely looking faces are found on stick-figure tweens and these will be called when we are showing a close up cropped image of a single eye.

I'd get a few simple photographs taken if I were you, plain face, a smile, a nice three quarter face pose, and then take them to an agency that specializes in real people models. You'll find these by searching for commercial modeling agencies and possible "catalogue". If they sign you, you'll likely end up doing advertising work for things that are a million miles away from high fashion magazines. Not a bad gig though, advertising needs a lot of attractive people in all shapes, color and sizes shilling everything from kids vitamins to broadband internet.
posted by dabitch at 6:06 AM on May 20, 2010

p.s. never trust anyone who wants 500++ dollars for your headshots and can get your photos in to agency X. This is a scam. If you are photogenic, the agency, the client (me), and the real scouts can see this from a simple snapshot. (we used to use polaroids for this, those were the days).

Don't obscure your face with too much makeup and elaborate hair in the images you want the agency to look at. Elaborate styled photographs are for your later portfolio.
posted by dabitch at 6:11 AM on May 20, 2010 [5 favorites]

Full Figure Fashion Week in NYC is June 16-19. Might be a good opportunity to talk to models, legit photographers and the like.
posted by Pineapplicious at 6:14 AM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure but you could might be able to look up interviews with successful plus models like Crystal Renn where they might answer questions about best places for plus size modeling. Good luck!
posted by Wuggie Norple at 4:20 PM on May 20, 2010

You're in good luck, starting today instead of 15 years ago.

Sites like OneModelPlace.com and ModelMayhem.com exist. You can* open an account there, free of charge - provided that you can prove (with shots) that you are in fact a model.

First step: find a friend with a decent camera, and do some shots. Select a couple, varying in pose, composition, clothes, ... really, a very few should do. Open account and insert photos. Announce that you are looking to work for copies to use in your portfolio (there's an acronym for this; danged if it will come to me right now!). Poor, up-and-coming, hopeful photographers (people analogous to you!) will trade for your time. Decide ahead of time what you are willing to do, and stick with that! - head shots, body, hands/feet, lingerie, topless, whatever, but make your decision and make that clear. Do not start off doing nudes, and expect it to be a learning process. Good, experienced photographers can teach you tons about your job-to-be. Be aware there are jerks mixed in, but in the long run, there are much easier and cheaper ways to get access to pretty girls; the majority of photogs are true shutternuts, who want the session to succeed.

* Statements made are true of MM; I think they're also true for 1MP, but I'm not absolutely sure...
posted by IAmBroom at 12:40 PM on May 25, 2010

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