Are you ready to make your mark in the model industry? Whether you’re tall, short, curvy or trim, there’s a place for everyone in teen modelling. As a professional model coach, I’m here to give you the inside scoop on how to become a teen model in Australia. From building your portfolio to finding the right agent, we’ll cover all the basics and give you the tools you need to succeed.
So, grab your best outfit, strike a pose, and let’s get started on this wild and wonderful journey into the world of teen modelling!
What are the types of teenage models?
The model industry in Australia has evolved significantly in recent years to become more inclusive of teenage models. While the industry has traditionally focused on tall, slender models in their twenties and thirties, there is now a growing demand for more diverse and inclusive representation.
One of the main drivers of this change has been the rise of social media and the democratisation of the industry. With the rise of Instagram and other social media platforms, models no longer need to rely solely on agencies to get discovered. This has opened up new opportunities for a wider range of models, including teenagers who may not fit the traditional mould.
In addition, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of diversity and inclusivity in the industry. Brands are increasingly looking to work with models who reflect a range of ages, sizes, and ethnicities to better reflect the diversity of their customer base.
Teenage models in Australia can pursue a variety of model categories, each with its own set of requirements and opportunities. The three main categories for teen models are fashion, commercial, and fitness modelling.
1. Teen Fashion Model
This category typically requires taller, slender models who can showcase clothing and accessories on the runway or in editorial shoots. This category may be best suited for teenagers who already meet the height and size requirements and have a natural flair for modelling.
2. Teen Commercial Model
This is a more diverse category that includes modelling for products such as food, beauty, and household items. This category may be ideal for teens who have a unique look or personality that can help them stand out in advertising campaigns. You’re more likely to see a wider variety of ethnicities and body shapes and sizes in this category.
3. Teen Fitness Model
This category focuses on models with a strong and athletic physique, who can showcase fitness apparel and products. Your size isn’t necessarily a determining factor in your success in this category (ie. you don’t all have to be a US size 0-2 or AUS 4-6). This category is typically best suited for teenagers who are active, passionate about fitness and have a fit and toned body.
It’s important for teenage models (and their parents) to do their research and work with reputable agencies that prioritise the safety and well-being of their models. By understanding the different categories and requirements for teen models, aspiring models can make informed decisions and pursue opportunities that are best suited for their unique talents and interests
Building a strong teen model portfolio
Having a strong model portfolio is essential for any aspiring teen model. A portfolio is essentially a collection of your best work and serves as your visual resume for potential agencies and clients to hire you. It’s important to make a great first impression with your portfolio, as it can make all the difference in getting hired for jobs.
To create a professional model portfolio as a teenage model there are a few things to keep in mind. It’s important to work with reputable and experienced photographers who can help you create high-quality images that showcase your unique look and abilities. When you’re starting out you may not have the budget for a professional (have $300-$800 to invest) so you may want to consider reaching out to photography students or emerging photographers to save costs while still getting professional quality photos.
When selecting photos to include in your portfolio, it’s important to choose a variety of images that showcase your versatility and range as a model. Include photos in different outfits, poses, and background settings to show that you can adapt to different situations and styles. You should also include both headshots and full-body shots, as well as both posed and candid images.
Addressing the white elephant in the room: age appropriate photos for teens. Yes, I’m going there. Stick with me.
As a teen model it’s essential to be selective about the photos you include in your portfolio. Avoid including any photos that are too provocative or considered ‘age inappropriate.’ Why? While you’re thinking “I look hot a.f in this” (insert bikini or lingerie pic that is suitable for an adult), which I have no doubt you do, here’s the thing. To ANY model industry professional it screams ‘I don’t know how the industry works’ and this level of unconscious unprofessionalism will do more damage than good when getting started as a teen model.
You’re also opening the floodgates for predators and scammers to prey on your vulnerability, nativity and lack of model education. Did that sound harsh? Good. I’d rather have an uncomfortable conversation with you about this and give you a hard truth than have you – a bright, magnificent and impressional teenager, subjected to abuse or inadvertently limiting your career prospects.
How to find the right model agency as a teen
Finding the right model agency as a teenage model is crucial for a number of reasons. Here are a few key reasons why:
1. Professional Development
The right model agency can provide you with professional development opportunities, such as training, portfolio building, and exposure to clients, that will help you develop your skills and advance your career.
A reputable model agency will prioritise your safety and wellbeing by providing you with experienced and supportive staff, appropriate working conditions, and fair compensation.
By working with a reputable model agency, you can establish credibility within the industry and increase your chances of getting booked for jobs.
The right model agency can help you find a range of opportunities, from runway shows and photoshoots to brand ambassadorships and social media collaborations, that will help you build your career and gain exposure.
It’s important to do your research and carefully consider each agency before making a decision. Look for agencies with a strong reputation, a track record of success, and a focus on developing and supporting their models. It’s also a good idea to read reviews and talk to other models to get a sense of what it’s like to work with each agency.
There are several model agencies in Australia that represent teen models. For you, and your parents or primary care givers, to start your research, here are my top 10 teen model agencies in Australia that accept teenagers:
- Bump Models (Australia-wide)
- Bettina Management (Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast)
- Bubblegum Casting (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Gold Coast)
- WINK Models (Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane)
- Priscillas Model Management (Sydney)
- Scoop Management (Sydney, Brisbane)
- Vivien’s Models (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth)
- Chadwick Models (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth)
- Chic Management (Sydney, Brisbane)
Preparing for a model casting
Highlight: Spoiler alert – how you ‘show up’ and present yourself for a casting will determine the level of success and longevity of your model career. Winning a casting based on your looks alone is a very small portion of what a client considers in choosing talent for their next project or campaign. An amateur model will think “how I feel about myself and what my family, friends and social media followers think about me will ensure I’m perfect for this job and they’d be stupid not to pick me.” A professional model knows that they may physically meet the brief (age, height, hair colour etc) and now it’s up to them ‘selling themselves’.
- Dress appropriately: Wear something simple and comfortable that shows off your body shape. Keep makeup and hair natural.
- Practise good posture: Good posture can help you look taller and more confident.
- Bring the essentials: Portfolio with your photos, comp card, a water bottle and a small snack in case you get hungry.
- Be confident AND be prepared for rejection: Remember that you are unique and valuable, and don’t be afraid to show off your personality. Unfortunately, not every casting will result in a job offer. Don’t take it personally, and keep working on improving your skills and building your model brand.
- Be polite and professional: Arrive early to check in and prepare yourself. Be respectful and courteous throughout the entire casting process
Your social media vs your model career
Social media is becoming increasingly important for teenage models in Australia, as it provides a powerful platform for self-promotion and networking. Here’s why:
- Increased visibility: Social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook provide models with a way to showcase their talent and build a following beyond traditional model agencies.
- Direct connection with clients: Social media allows models to connect directly with potential clients, casting directors and other industry professionals.
- Brand building: A strong social media presence can help models develop their personal brand and distinguish themselves from their competition.
- Networking: Social media platforms provide opportunities for models to connect with other models, photographers, and stylists, which can lead to new collaborations and job opportunities.
Here are my tips for building a strong social media presence as a teenage model:
- Choose the right platform: Depending on your target audience, you may want to focus on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms that cater to your demographic.
- Develop a consistent brand: Develop a consistent look and feel for your social media profiles, with high-quality photos and a cohesive visual style.
- Engage with your followers: Respond to comments, create polls, and ask for feedback to build engagement with your followers.
- Use hashtags: Use relevant hashtags to increase your visibility and attract new followers.
- Collaborate with other influencers: Partner with other influencers or brands to increase your reach and attract new followers.
- Post consistently: Regularly posting high-quality content will keep your followers engaged and help you grow your audience.
- Be authentic: Be true to yourself and your brand, and don’t be afraid to share personal stories or behind-the-scenes glimpses into your life as a model.
Navigating the legalities of teen modelling
The fine print you need to know.
In Australia, teenage models are subject to various legal requirements designed to ensure their safety and well-being. Please familiarise yourself with the following to ensure you’re conducting yourself safely and securely. Here are some of the key legal requirements you need to know:
1. Parental consent: Teenage models under the age of 18 require the written consent of a parent or guardian to work. This consent must be provided for each individual job or assignment.
2. Work restrictions: Teenage models under the age of 15 are subject to restrictions on the number of hours they can work, the type of work they can do, and the times of day they can work. These restrictions are designed to protect their health, safety, and education.
3. Workplace health and safety: Employers are required to provide a safe working environment for teenage models, including adequate supervision and breaks, appropriate training and access to first aid.
4. Payment and conditions: Teenage models are entitled to receive the same minimum wage and employment conditions as adult models, including superannuation and entitlements such as annual leave and sick leave
To ensure that your teenage model career is legal and safe, here are some of my tips:
5. Get parental consent: Make sure you have written consent from your parent or guardian for each job or assignment.
6. Know your rights: Familiarise yourself with your legal rights as a teenage model, including your entitlements to pay and conditions, work restrictions, and workplace health and safety.
7. Research potential employers: Before accepting any job or assignment, research the employer to ensure they have a good reputation and a track record of treating their models fairly.
8. Speak up if you feel uncomfortable: If you ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe on a job or assignment, speak up and ask for help. Your safety and well-being should always be the top priority. I go into more details about this, including who to report the incident or behaviour to, here
Further Reading: How to Tell if a Model Agency or Opportunity is Legit
9. Seek professional representation: Consider seeking professional representation from a reputable model agency or lawyer who can help you navigate the legal and professional aspects of your career.
By following these tips and staying informed about your legal rights as a teenage model in Australia, you can ensure that your career is both legal and safe.
You’re here because you’re a teenage dreamer with aspirations of becoming the next big model sensation in Australia. Or you’re the proud parent of one. Either way, I hope you’ve found this article both informative and practical and that it’ll help you on your way of pursuing a professional career as a model.
With the right reasons to want to work as a model, the right model business skills and connections, amplifying your online and social media brand and securing the right model agent, you can make your model dreams a reality. Remember to be authentic and stay true to yourself, while also keeping in mind the legal requirements and safety measures in the industry.
I wish you the success you work for and deserve!
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: