I received the following letter via email:
First and foremost I want to say that I look up to you. You are an inspiration to all women that are curvy and you have shown the world that curvier women are beautiful.
I know you get a lot of mail so I want to thank you for reading this. I am really trying to become a successful full figure model and I don’t know where to start.
How do you know if you have what it takes to model and should I get an agent or contact designers directly?
Thanks for writing, Shelly!
My honest answer is that you should do whatever it takes– WITHIN REASON–until you get your fashionable foot in the door. Visiting open calls and submitting your photos via the web to reputable agencies (don’t pay anyone ANY money up front) is a great way to get started. Check out this post I did on OPEN CALLS!
You also mentioned contacting designers directly which I think is a potentially good idea.
As an actress I would never turn down a great role in a student film with a student director. The general rule of thumb is that you never know how far that director may go as a filmmaker so it’s best to get in on the “ground floor” with them and they will always remember you!
I say all that to make a comparison to new designers. A designer who is just starting out may be looking for models to work with and you never know how their career’s may take off.
When you submit to agencies and designers be sure to send the proper photos– no nudity, pets or friends in the photos with you! Also, do as much reasearch as possible regarding the person/company you are submitting to.
Another bit of advice is this– be ready!
If you submitted to an agency tomorrow and they called you in, would you be ready to work? Would you know how to pose, find your light and behave on set? Would you know the differences between fit, showroom, print, commercial, high fashion, lifestyle and runway modeling? Do you know your measurements? Would you know where you fit in within the industry?
How you match up with industry standards is very important in knowing whether or not you have a “shot” at making a career in modeling. You asked me how to know if you have what it takes– Confidence goes a mighty long way and knowing that you have something to offer will take you even further.
I visited my current agency six times (open calls) before they called me in for a meeting. Each time they said “no” I just kept working on my own and building my portfolio. One day, they just called me in and I was ready.
If you aren’t ready, get ready! Your passion could be realized and you don’t want to miss any opportunity to feed your soul.