If You’re Interested in Modeling…Read This First!

If you are serious about becoming a Plus Model read this!

I have not been in the industry long enough to be an expert on the subject of plus size modeling yet every day I get a numerous emails asking me for advice. I decided to write this as an overall answer to all the women who contact me because they’re interested in pursuing their dreams of modeling. The following is just my opinion based on observations I have made about the industry. I am still learning as my fulfilling dreams is an ongoing process. I love speaking with all of you but because of my schedule I am not always able to get right back to you so I am hoping that this will be sufficient in answering some of your questions in the meantime.

Never give up on yourself. Never give up on your dreams. Keep dreaming –it’s free and freeing!

Rule #1: Do Your Homework! Read up on everything you can get your hands on regarding plus modeling. Study the industry. Follow the careers of successful plus models and models that have a similar look to yours. Take a look at the photos working models use to promote themselves and the clothing they wear.

Plus models are usually 5’8 or taller and range in size from 8-18/20. If you are larger than that then you may want to take a good look at your priorities. I am NOT saying you have to lose weight. In my personal journey, at a size 26 I had a realization that I was not going to be taken seriously as a plus size fashion model and I started taking better care of my body and corrected some of my eating habits.

Yoga is a great way to exercise!

Also, just because you want to be a plus model it doesn’t mean that you can eat whatever you want and not work out. Plus models still work out and maintain their weight so that they can stay the size that they are—especially if you are getting work at that size. Being toned is very important.

Stop getting Tattoos and body piercings. Stay away from anything that will mark your body and make it harder for you to get work. If you already have tattoos it may not be an issue because airbrushing is always an option but clients want to spend the least amount of money possible on photo shoots and airbrushing is an extra cost for them.

Go to open calls at agencies that represent Plus Models: Study up on the agencies in your hometown and neighboring cities. Find out when they have open calls for plus models and visit them at those times. If they only accept photos by mail then mail in a photo.

DO NOT send a nude photo of yourself or a picture of you with a friend, pet or family member. The photos you submit should represent you in your best light. They don’t have to be professional. A Polaroid photo will do just fine as long as it is taken in a good light.

Wilhelmina model Melissa King with a beautiful "clean" makeup look

If you decide to go to an open call wear as little make up as possible. They like it when you go with a “clean face” but that does not mean to go bare faced unless you are camera ready without make up (generally speaking, if you are over age 18 you need a little help!) Concealer, light powder, lip-gloss and light mascara can create a clean look. Basically you want to look as young and fresh as possible not like you’re heading to the club after the casting.

Getting representation from an agency is FREE. DO NOT give anyone any money to represent you. If an agency wants up front payment for repping you RUN away!

Also, please don’t spend a lot of money on your first few photo shoots. If you’re new to the industry and not really comfortable yet in front of the camera, investing in a photo shoot could be a waste of your money. Try to do trade outs with photographers. In exchange for your being his/her model they get to use the pictures of you in their portfolios and you get pictures to use in your own “book.”

As you begin your career as a model DO NOT quit your day job: Find a way to model when you can as often as you can but modeling is generally not very lucrative in the beginning. I encourage you to do as many local fashion shows as possible to get yourself familiar with the runway.

Mia Amber by Photographer Nikki G.

Learn your best angles: Stay in the mirror practicing your poses and facial expressions. Take a look at the models in the major fashion magazines and learn from them. You MUST learn to make their poses adapt to your body type. As plus size women we can’t always mimic the poses of our size 2 counterparts. For instance, a lot of straight sized models like to slouch and cave in their abs. As plus models that isn’t a good look for us. Generally we should stand up straight to create longer, leaner looking lines. Booty shoots, and other playboy/smooth magazine type inspired poses are not favorably looked upon unless you are trying model in those types of publications. If that is the case you should research those fields before you blindly submit to fashion agencies.

The bottom line: Modeling is not easy and it’s not for everyone. If you want to be a model more than anything, don’t give up. If you are told “no” by agencies, keep striving. However, if you keep getting negative feedback from professionals and it’s similar criticism again and again you may want to listen to what they are all saying and adapt. If fashion modeling doesn’t work out for you but you still long to be in front of the camera then you may want to seek out casting agencies or Ad agencies in your community who cast commercials. Casting directors are always looking for “real people” and that generally includes plus sized women.

I hope this helps!



5 Responses to “If You’re Interested in Modeling…Read This First!”

  1. Mia, You are a force to reckon with! Thanks for sharing with us, and I will continue to follow you in Ambers World. Kudos to you, and Keep up the good work! Peace and Blessings!

  2. KeighEffe Says:

    good stuff…….so MIA ….can I be you Midwest area MUA? you have not because you ask not right!

  3. Mia, great advice. are there any books that you could recomend for aspiring models? Have you read Crystal renns book?

  4. i been searching every where on the internet b cuz i always dreamed of bing a plus size model and getting paid 4 doing wat i always been crying 4…ive been called to appointments to take photos and leftd offices so dat later i cud maybe b called to model and get my carrer started…im dying jux to bcom a model n the top industries…if there is anybody that can help me b known out there n the world to b a model…please contact me…972-201-8214…margarita,…every day i tell myself that one day i will b known 4 my modeling dream…i just cant wait to b found.


    1-Call the Better Business Bureau in the State you live in and find out who is an accepted member of the BBB and the agency’s rating with the Bureau.

    2-See if the Agency can provide a verifiable list of jobs they have done in the past. If they do, make sure those types of clients fit your expertise and look.

    3-Check IMDBPRO.com the industry leader in tracking Film, T.V. acting and production and see their booking credentials.

    4-Make sure the Agencies you are considering have all the licenses required by your City, and State.

    5-Interview with at least two or three different agencies and find the best fit possible. Be wary, if they make promises they probably are only after your money. Make sure you and your specific agent are on the same path for your future. Have realistic expectations.

    6-If an Agency tends to bad mouth other Agencies or talent they are probably just selling you. Great agencies are so busy promoting and booking their talent they do not have time or really care to gossip about what everyone else is doing. Even if they book a ton of people how do they really know what jobs various agencies are working on? Real professional businesses tend to let their track record speak for itself.

    7-Contact your local film commission and see who they have listed and how long they have been associated.

    8-Understand that every agency is different and some have a certain expertise in the industry, make sure that your skills and goals match. The bigger the market the more specialized they usually are.

    9-Be aware agencies are not miracle workers. You have to be exceptional and well skilled if clients are going to pay you to work in our industry.

    10-Find out if they have personally represented any of their talent and assisted with them booking in larger markets if that is a goal of yours. Do not be confused with them claiming the talent once was represented by them.

    11-Find out the Agency’s commission rate and get it in writing. The average agency in the United States charges their talent 10% for extras or SAG actors and 15-20% for everything else.

    12-If they seem more interested in selling classes to you be wary. Skill is always needed but if they make more money training than booking you, you probably will not go out on many casting calls.

    13-Contact local ad agencies, commercial photography studios, production companies and casting directors . Ask them which agencies they work with.

    14-When new talent first enter this business, they usually make between $15-$90 per hour. Once your skill level and resume increase you will be eligible for much higher paying work. Be wary of overstated rates and immediate promises when you are choosing an Agency.

    15-Find out how much and what type of experience your actual agent and the agency have.

    16-If you need more advice call us at 801-438-0067, 208-433-9511 or go to http://www.crazeagency.com and click the apply online link, we are here to help.

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