Have you ever wondered who the people on billboards and magazines are? These pictures and particular kinds of ads are ubiquitous in our culture, and yet, most of the time the faces that appear in them are unknown to us. Well, those people are print models, and in fact, there is an entire industry surrounding them.
Do you think you might want to be a print model? Let’s look at what goes into it. We’ll go over what a print model is, how much they make, and give you tips on how to become a print model.
There's a way to fast track your print modeling career (join a modeling agency that specializes in print modeling).
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What Is a Print Model?
A print model is a model that appears in pictures in various media. If you’ve ever been on a college campus and seen pictures of young men and women on banners with various encouraging statements, those are print models. Or, if you’ve seen billboards with a group of smiling kids on them in casual poses, those too are print models.
While high fashion and lingerie models are looking for a very narrow and specific type of person to walk the runway, the criteria for becoming a print model is far wider and allows for a more diverse work environment. In some kinds of modeling, the jobs are looking for very tall women with a low percentage of body fat.
Though fitness is important in print modeling, it is not so rigorous. Nor do you have to be exceptionally tall to qualify for the jobs you would be doing. Print modeling is the easiest kind for a disabled person to break into, as well. Most magazines and billboards want to create the idea of a diverse group.
How Much Does a Print Model Make?
The average print model in the United States makes about $53,000 a year. However, there is a lot of variation surrounding this number. Competition is fierce, and a newer model will be hard-pressed to find jobs. The gigs someone just breaking into the business does find are unlikely to pay as much as an experienced model will be able to make.
It is also worth noting that while some modeling careers pay well, print modeling lands on the lower end of the payment spectrum. In many cases, a less prestigious job has more reliable pay, but that does not stand true for print modeling careers.
How To Become a Print Model
So being in magazines and on billboards sounds good to you. The pay seems reasonable, and you think you might want to break into the business. Now you may be wondering, how do I go about doing that?
Work on Your Appearance
The qualifications for being a print model are not as rigorous as for runway modeling, but they do exist. In many situations, it is possible to get jobs in print modeling if you are a short or disabled person. Although, you are still expected to maintain a level of physical fitness and take care of your skin and hair.
Additionally, make sure your teeth are white and well maintained, and groom yourself properly according to mainstream standards. Auditions require you to showcase your natural beauty without makeup, so you want to do everything you can to highlight your features.
Put Together a Portfolio
With all modeling careers, one of the best first steps you can take is a collection of clean, professional images that show off your range and your best features. Every portfolio should include a headshot and a body shot, but beyond that, you should show off the kinds of images you’re hoping to model for.
It is of the utmost importance to have these photographs taken by a professional. The quality of phone cameras has increased dramatically in the past few years, but selfies still are not up to par with what a professional employer will want to see from you. Leave the cell phone pictures at home and don’t use anything taken in a bathroom.
Try to look natural in your photographs. Employers in the print modeling world see many images of models looking disconnected from the world around them. A model that seems connected to the photographer and the world around them is a rarer one. For this, a professional photographer with a photojournalistic style is best.
Network on Instagram
In the modern world, there is no better way to draw a following than on Instagram. The platform is free to use and has many users that are looking to see pictures of attractive people, so it isn’t hard to build a following just by participating in the career you’re trying to build.
Remember that there is at least one major pitfall to Instagram; even as it can bring you a following and prove your popularity to potential employers, you should be wary of anyone messaging you on Instagram with offers of modeling jobs.
The internet is crawling with scam artists, and anyone offering you work in your field should be treated with suspicion until they have been thoroughly vetted. This brings us to our next point.
Find an Agent
Agencies for print modeling exist. Although this is one of the kinds of modeling you can do as a freelancer, an agent can be extremely helpful in terms of finding jobs and keeping you safe. Those scam artists that might come for you on Instagram nearly never make it through the vetting process an agent will put them through to make sure that the jobs you get are legitimate.
Scam artists also have a history of taking liberties with their models physically, so if you do try to freelance, be wary and research how to best vet your clients to ensure they’re the real deal.
Print modeling can be rewarding work and is open to people who might not have had the chance at something more traditional like runway modeling. The pay can be good if you stick to it and have a little luck. If this is something you feel you could love doing, and you have the right qualifications, there’s no reason you shouldn’t start now.