I'm interested in trying modeling. Are there any options for a 28-year-old woman?
October 14, 2006 7:53 PM   Subscribe

I'm interested in trying modeling. Are there any options for a 28-year-old woman?

At the risk of getting all Vainfilter, people in my life have sometimes asked if I have ever thought of doing modeling. I'm 5'8", and I think I have the figure/legs/posture to try it. My skin's not the best, which is the main reason why I never really looked into it, but that's clearing up now thanks to meds.

Now I'm 28, though, and I get the impression that this is pretty much "senior citizen/don't bother" in model-years.

Does anyone know anything about modeling? Should I not bother, or are there options I'm not aware of? Are there any resources where I could learn more?
posted by cadge to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
You can sign up for sites like ModelMeyhem and one model place and look around for jobs, etc, in your area. I think for most models it's more of a hobby then a profession.
posted by delmoi at 8:01 PM on October 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

Just as a suggestion, you might check with a local art school and offer to model for photography and art students... low to no pay, but you get your face and name out there.
posted by pjern at 8:46 PM on October 14, 2006

Speaking as someone who thought she was "too old" to model, and now has a paysite..... I second the ModelMayhem and OMP. They didn't work for me, but I know a lot of people that have gotten their start on those sites. I also recommend finding a photographer that's starting out (different from a regular joe with a camera). A lot of photographers (mostly new guys, but some established photographers as well) will gladly give you photos if you spend some time letting them experiment with angles, lighting and styling.

In the meantime, use a digital cam with a large memory card and take tons of pics of yourself. Try to emulate poses in magazines and ads. Learn how your face works, and which poses make your neck thinner, your eyes larger, your double chin nonexistent.

If you don't have one already (and feel free to hit me for this) but get a myspace. Yeah, myspace is overrun by everyone these days, but the good news with that is... almost everyone is on myspace these days. Take advantage of that by posting your pics, rotate them out, and let anyone and everyone be your "Friend". Comment frequently on others' pages, answer every (nonghey) email and build your fanbase up. If you make diehard fans, they will follow you anywhere and everywhere. They'll join whatever sites you start up and they'll keep you going when you feel like you're not getting anywhere.

Also start up a blog - even if it's at wordpress.com or blogger.com. Just get a web presence out there and start out on your own. That's the first step.

This is all I can think of while running on no caffiene whatsoever, but if I think of anything else, I'll let you know.
posted by damnjezebel at 8:51 PM on October 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

Oh, yeah. And in today's day and age, looks REALLY don't matter. It's about posing, angles, clothing and.... photoshop. Sad, but true. Like I said, learn how to work with what you got. Find a niche and work it. Dita von Teese - as much as I hate that girl - found a niche that totally works for her. Anyone else can do the same. So experiment and find your Look.

If you want to be a photographer's Go-To Girl, learn how to do your own hair and makeup. It'll save the photographer money and it'll make you look like you got your shit together.

And lastly, also don't expect to make a living from modelling. I'm not saying you can't... but if you leave your full-time job and expect to immediately be able to pay your bills with your new modelling career, you're asking for trouble. Keep your day job until you have proof in print (read: bank statements) that say that you can model full-time.
posted by damnjezebel at 8:56 PM on October 14, 2006

The best advice I can give you is to be VERY weary and skeptical of talent/modelling agencies. I cannot emphasis this enough. I have worked with many of them for several years and 90% are, for lack of a better word, a scam. Most want you to take class after class and won't agressively try to book you unless take these class, which will be expensive. Make absolutely sure your agency is a good fit and truly has your best interests in mind.

Also, where do you live? Modelling in Nebraska is obviously different from New York or LA. Finding your niche is your area is key.

28 is not too late. You won't be the next Heidi Klum or Giselle, but I doubt super stardom is what you are after. Don't expect it to pay all your bills, especially in the beginning. It will be good supplemental income, hope that it will become more, but don't expect it.

And, of course, have fun. You will meet lots of interesting people and, if you are smart about it, you can avoid many ugly aspects of the industry.

Best of luck.
posted by blueplasticfish at 1:15 AM on October 15, 2006

i cast models for photo shoots, and age is not always the primary concern. In fact, depending on the client and project, it may absolutely demand that the models are in their 30s, 40s, 50s, or senior citizens. I'm speaking mostly of print/photo work and not runway, where age and body type are more of a factor.

So yeah, either find a photographer and get some headshots made if you want to go it alone, or get yourself an agent and they'll usually have a system for assembling a card that will match the format of their other models. The benefit of an agency is that although the client has to pay more for their services, when a call comes in for "females in their late 20s or early 30s", your card will get thrown in the mix and reviewed a lot more often than you could have done on your own.

Since you're just starting out, you'll want to put together as many different "styles" as possible to show your versatility. Be prepared to show up to a lot of casting calls as well, and make sure you can handle rejection.

Until you get an agent, you might want to check on places like craigslist or with local universities who are looking for talent for small projects with low budgets. Just be careful about the ones that want you to take your shirt off ;) And be SURE to get the contact information for the photographer, ad agency art director, etc., so you can get a tear sheet or other sample of the final product for your portfolio -- which may not be available for several weeks or even months after the shoot.
posted by wubbie at 9:16 AM on October 15, 2006

You don't say what type of modelling you're looking to do. Do you want to do runway? If so, yeah, you're probably into the retirement stages, if my 7 seasons of America's Next Top Model watching have taught me anything. (In fact, I think Tyra even said this when referencing Melrose's fear of being too old [at 23] in last week's episode. Is that what prompted this question?). Any other type of modelling, the other advice in this thread is good.
posted by antifuse at 3:53 AM on October 16, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for your advice, everyone!

I don't know that much about modeling outside of runway modeling - I know that other kinds exist, but I really don't know what they are. I live in eastern Massachusetts, if that helps.

I'm definitely not looking to make this my primary source of income - just a hobby, if anything. I guess it's just something I've always thought about trying, and I'd like to give it a shot before the ravages of time set in. :)
posted by cadge at 6:34 AM on October 16, 2006

5'8" is the minimum height to start runway modeling, and most agencies start at 5'9". Kate Moss a petit 5'7", and she is a pretty rare exception. I think it's something like 90% of all runway models are 5'9" and above. So if you are starting at 5'8", there should be something really unique and captivating about you. Also, if you are on the short side, some independent agencies hold you liable for any damage you inflict upon the hems of the clothes you model. so if you trample the hem of a 6000K evening gown while you are stomping down the runway, (because the lower-paying jobs and crappier agencies are not going to pay to alter their clothes for your body type) repair charges may come out of your stipend, so modeling may even cost you more than you make for a show.

The fact that you are reaching your 30s doesn't help, either, but if you look younger, it might help. I think the 'cut-off' age for all the major agencies is around 23. And keep in mind that they start accepting and grooming models at age 13, so you're battling for the same spots as girls more than half your age.

But to suceede at runway, forget about perfecting your 'runway walk', and forget about your age. First: is your body in proportion? Do you have a freakishly long torso and short legs? If so, there is no way you can do runway. Do you have a great, overall body shape? If you have a thick waist or thick legs, big ass, etc...you're going to have problems. Do you have a unique style? Do you have any sort of personality? Age isn't really the problem. It's more of your body type and spark that sets you apart from the countless others.

All the big agencies in NY have open calls once a week or once a month. If you can find any smaller modeling agencies in your area, call to see when their open calls are, and go with your portfolio. Again, since you are in a more rural area, beware of scammers. You can also browse craigslist for 'cattle calls', but i don't really know how legit they are. I'm sure there are a billion forums on the interwebs for wanna-be models, too.
posted by naxosaxur at 7:54 AM on October 16, 2006

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