Model Tips

How To Become A Model In Australia

How To Become a Model
I'm Kate!

I'm an Australian-based creative, Model and Branding Coach with big dreams of helping aspiring Models make their way into the industry and thrive. I'm obsessed with: integrity, authenticity, a tidy home, smashed avocado, and being the person I needed when I was younger.

PSA: I don't take myself too seriously, though I do take my work seriously.

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Featured image: My Name is You by Joeyy Lee

Becoming a model in Australia can be a great career opportunity for several reasons. Firstly, Australia has a thriving fashion industry with internationally renowned designers, fashion shows, together with reputable (and internationally connected) model and talent agencies. This provides aspiring models and professional models with ample opportunities to work with top brands and designers.

Secondly, the Australian market is diverse, and models of all ethnicities, sizes, and ages are in demand; creating a space for models from all backgrounds to succeed. Thirdly, the Australian lifestyle, beaches, and natural beauty make for a picturesque backdrop for photoshoots and commercials, adding to the appeal of the industry. Finally, the modelling industry in Australia is well regulated, with strict ethical and legal standards, ensuring that models are treated fairly and with respect.

1. Research Agencies

It’s important to research the reputation and credibility of the agency you’re interested in. Look for reviews and feedback from models who have worked with them in the past to get a sense of their professionalism and success rate. 

2. Build A Strong Portfolio

Ensure that you have a strong model portfolio that showcases your range and versatility, which should include high-quality headshots, full-body shots, and action shots. Also be mindful that most model agencies just want you to submit digis (ie. what you actually look like with no hair, makeup or styling, and definitely no social media filters). 

3. Communicate Politely

When approaching an agency, be professional and polite in your communications, and follow their submission guidelines carefully. It’s also a good idea to prepare a short bio that highlights your experience and unique qualities as a model. 

4. Perservere

Remember, building a career in modelling takes hard work, dedication, and perseverance, but with the right research and approach, it’s possible to find the right agency and succeed in the industry.

5. Engage A Model Coach

Model coaches can help you understand what to do and what not to do. They can be a valuable asset to you, as they’ve been there and done it before. Engage a coach to help you on your path, help with poses and ensure you’re making the right decisions.

Further Reading: Avoid being exploited or a target of a model scam. Learn How to tell if a Model Agency or Model Opportunity is Legit

Model agencies play a crucial role in the Australian model industry by representing models and connecting them with potential clients and job opportunities. These agencies act as a liaison between models and clients, negotiating contracts and ensuring that models are fairly compensated for their work. Agencies also provide support and guidance to models throughout their careers, offering advice on everything from portfolio development to brand building. By working with an agency, models gain access to a wider network of industry professionals, increasing their visibility and opportunities for work. In essence, model agencies provide models with the resources, connections, and support they need to succeed in the competitive world of modelling.

Further Reading: Top 20 Model Agencies in Australia.

Professional Model Insider Tip: An example of pitching yourself to the right Agencies is taking note of who/what you have and are. If you want to work as a Fashion Model though you’re shorter than 5’7 (and the industry standard is 5’9+), look for Commercial Model Agencies and you’ll have more success. 

Further Reading: For my Australian readers, I have compiled a list of the Top 20 Model Agencies in Australia for you to start looking into. Enjoy!

How To Create A Model Portfolio

A strong model portfolio is essential for any model looking to succeed in the industry. It serves as a visual resume and showcases your range, versatility and experience to potential clients and agencies. A well-curated portfolio not only highlights your best work, it also demonstrates your ability to embody different characters, poses and emotions. It’s a way to tell your story and make a lasting impression on the people who matter most.

1. Get Headshots

A model portfolio should include a range of shots that showcase your unique look, style, and personality. This includes headshots, full-body shots, candid and action shots; all of which should be high-quality and professionally shot. Headshots should be simple and highlight your features, while full-body shots should demonstrate your proportions and physique. Action shots should showcase your range of motion and ability to embody different characters or moods. 

Professional Model Insider Tip: You only need DIGIS to start.

2. Avoid Filtered Photos

When you find an Agency that you’d like to apply to (you can apply for more than one), you’ll need to make sure you meet the submission requirements. Nine times out of ten you’ll only need professional DIGIS – makeup-free, unretouched photos that showcase how you look in real life and highlights your inner beauty.

Avoid submitting filtered photos from social media or selfies (these will be rejected), and if you can’t afford to hire a professional photographer to get what you need for an Agency submission, you can always look around to see if you can find a professional in your local area to get what you need.

3. Expand & Adapt Portfolio Over Time

As you go through your Model career you’ll want to expand your portfolio. This will come when you book paid work (add those tearsheets to your portfolio) and when you have some downtime (ie. are between clients), you may wish to do your own ‘test shoots’ with Photographers that you’d like to collaborate with.

It’s also important to include a mix of colour and black-and-white shots, as well as images with different backgrounds and lighting to demonstrate your versatility. Overall, a strong model portfolio should be carefully curated to showcase your best work and leave a lasting impression on potential clients and agencies.

Professional Model Insider Tip: Having an online portfolio is another great way to advertise yourself.

What To Do For A Modelling Audition

The audition and casting process for models in Australia can vary depending on the job and the client. However, in general, models can expect to attend auditions or castings where they’ll be asked to showcase their range and abilities. This may involve walking, posing, or performing a script or scenario. It’s important to be prepared and professional during these auditions, as first impressions count. Dress appropriately for the job and bring along any materials or props that may be required. It’s also important to research the company or client you’re auditioning for, so you have a good understanding of their brand and style.

1. Update Your Portfolio

To prepare for a model audition or casting, it’s important to ensure that your portfolio is up-to-date and showcases your range and versatility. Finally, be prepared to take direction and be adaptable during the audition process. Remember that rejection is a common part of the industry, so it’s important to remain positive and resilient, and learn from each experience.

2. Practise Mindfulness

Throughout your day (and lifestyle) take care of your appearance (mind, body and soul) by eating healthily, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, maintaining your fitness level and removing toxic people and situations from your life. This is true healthcare and being mindful of your mental health. 

3. Show Confidence

Confidence is key when it comes to standing out in a model audition. Walk tall, maintain eye contact, and show enthusiasm for the job or client you’re auditioning for. Remember that the client is looking for someone who can represent their brand or product with confidence and professionalism. This is easier to do when you continually practise your posing and runway strut to feel confident and comfortable during the audition – before your casting. 

4. Practice Poses

On the day of your model casting, it’s important to dress appropriately for the audition or casting. Dress in a way that reflects the job or client you’re auditioning for, and avoid wearing anything too distracting or revealing. Wear clean, simple clothing that accentuates your unique features and allows you to move comfortably. Be prepared to take direction and be adaptable during the audition process. Be open to trying new poses or expressions, and be willing to make adjustments to your appearance or style to better suit the client’s needs. Being adaptable and flexible can demonstrate your professionalism and versatility as a model, and make you stand out from the competition.

What Does Working As A Model Mean?

The best place to start learning is by defining what being (working as) a Model actually means. One of the reasons it is important to understand why definitions matter is because the way we define things helps determine how we think about them. And it always helps to know exactly what it is that you’re getting yourself into and also who you’d like to be working with and for throughout your career.

Your reality check: you need to be more than just ‘pretty’ to work as a Model. *Gentle reminder that you are very awesome though!

Truth bomb: Modelling is 20% looks and 80% business. 

Professional Models have a very underrated skill set in that they are aware and have trained/developed over time the necessary skills to operate their mind, body and soul as a business. What do you need? 

  • Efficient and proficient skills to communicate effectively and respectfully
  • Ability to research, pitch and meet (to ultimately) sign with an Agent/Agency 
  • Organisational skills and preparedness to “sell yourself” at a Casting 
  • Networking and building connections to book & maintain consistent paid work 
  • Ability to talk to anyone and handle rejection like a boss 
  • A clear and concise schedule to maintain your time, brand, career & self development
  • Awareness of your emotions and triggers and how to self manage them
  • Possess the knowledge to maintain a healthy relationship with: food, fitness, work/life balance, social media, friends & family.
  • Sound administrative and financial management skills to keep on top of your working obligations.

Further Reading: The list goes on! I explore more of these insider tips here: Free Model Tips.

Confidence comes from feelings of well-being, acceptance of your body and mind (your self-esteem) and belief in your own ability, skills and experience. Models are confident because they ‘do the work’ every day. When you are more educated on the industry you’re getting into, the more confident you’ll become with your abilities, and more knowledge you’ll have in order to maintain your look.

Take Care of Yourself Too, Boo!

When everyone is hyper-focused on your appearance, it’s hard to remember sometimes what’s underneath it all—you! Balancing your lifestyle (how you nourish and move your body) to maintain your physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, all play a vital part in your success in the Model industry.

Like any profession, your Model career will also have its many ups and downs—it does for everyone, and this is normal. Listen to your body and advocate for yourself when needed. Surrounding yourself with positive influences; detoxing from people, places and situations that are no longer serving your peace or progress; will take you places. 

I hope you found this article helpful and useful. Dreams don’t work unless you do… so work hard, stay safe, and always be courteous.

Ps: this is a quality guide and I don’t mind you sharing it. I’d appreciate it if you follow standard professional etiquette and please quote + credit my content appropriately when you do: 

Kate Heussler | Instagram: @kateheussler Thank you!

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The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it.

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