Modeling is a profession that many aspire to, but few achieve. It takes more than just good looks and a pretty face; you need charisma, personality, and perseverance. And even then, the competition is fierce. So, what makes a successful teen model?
There is no easy answer, but there are some things you can do to give yourself a better chance of success. Below, we're sharing some insight into teen modeling, including how you can become one and the earning potential you could reach as a young person in the industry.
What Is Teen Modeling?
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of becoming a teen model, let's define teen modeling.
Teen modeling generally refers to modeling for clothing lines, magazines, or other products geared towards teens and young adults. Teen modeling can include everything from fashion and beauty campaigns to ads for teenage-focused retailers.
It's important to note that teen modeling is different from child modeling; the latter generally refers to modeling for products or brands geared towards children under 12.
Teen modeling is modeling done by someone between the age of 12 and 17. Teen models can be both male and female, but most models working in the industry are female.
Some examples of commonly-known models today that got their start as teen models include:
- Kendall Jenner
- Gigi Hadid
- Hailey Baldwin
- Cara Delevigne
These models, who still have active careers, prove that teen modeling can turn into a long-term career.
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How Much Do Teen Models Make?
How much you make as a teen model depends on several factors, including your experience, the type of work you're doing, and who you're working for. That said, teenage models can make a lot of money.
ZipRecruiter, a trusted source of industry insights, found the national average salary of a teen model to be $53,072, around the same as the 2021 national salary average in the US, which is $53,383, according to the Social Security Administration.
Of course, these are just averages, and your earnings as a teen model will depend on different factors. If you're just getting started in the industry, you can expect to make less than an experienced model who's been working for years.
The type of work you're doing will also affect your earnings; editorial work (modeling for magazines) generally pays more than commercial work (modeling for ads and campaigns).
Who you're working for also makes a big difference. If you're lucky enough to land a major campaign with a well-known designer or retailer, you can expect to make much more than if you're working for a small brand.
Modeling gives room for rate negotiation, so be aware of your worth and never accept less than you're comfortable with.
Tips on How To Become a Teen Model
Now let's get into how you can make your dreams of becoming a teen model come true. Below are some tips on what you need to do to make it happen.
1. Do Your Research
The first step to becoming a teen model is to do your research. Learn about the industry, what types of modeling are out there, and what it takes to be successful.
Research different agencies to see which one would be the best fit. Not all agencies are created equal; some specialize in certain types of models or styles of modeling, and some are more reputable than others.
Certain agencies also specialize in teen modeling, which is a boon for those just getting started. If you need specific support getting into a niche, a team that understands the complexities of working with young people will help.
2. Start Small
Once you have a good understanding of the industry, you can start taking steps to make your dream a reality.
One way to start is by submitting your photos to smaller agencies or brands. Don’t wait until you have the “perfect” photos or portfolio to submit, just go ahead and do it.
It can help you get your foot in the door. It's also a good way to get feedback on your modeling skills and learn what areas you need to work on.
3. Build Your Portfolio
A strong portfolio is essential for any model. For a teen model, it’s crucial.
Your portfolio is your resume; it's a way for agencies and clients to see your work and get an idea of your style and abilities.
When building your portfolio, include images that showcase your range as a model. Include both close-ups and full-body shots. Your portfolio should include a mix of color and black-and-white images.
Ensure that you have a few different looks, such as casual, sporty, and formal to give agencies and clients a sense of your versatility.
Use the various resources available online to help you build a strong portfolio.
4. Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Social media is a powerful tool that you can use to further your career as a teen model.
In addition to using social media to stay up-to-date on industry news and trends, you can also use it to build your “personal brand." Post images of your work, share articles or blog posts you've written, and interact with other members of the modeling community.
Use social media to show your personality. Let your followers get to know you and what makes you unique. Think of your social media accounts, especially your Instagram, as your digital portfolio. Post headshots or creative shoots you come up with on your own.
Tagging brands you love and taking photos with their products can also be a way to get the attention of specific companies. Just practice smart social media usage to keep yourself safe.
5. Get Signed with an Agency
Once you have a strong portfolio, it's time to submit it to agencies. Be sure to do your research to find an agency that's a good fit for you.
The Next Top Teen Model: Could It Be You?
Modeling can be a great way to make money and build your resume while still in high school. To become a teen model, start by doing your research, submitting your photos to agencies, and using social media to build your brand organically.
With hard work and a bit of luck, you could soon be on your way to becoming the next top teen model.