Are you ready to become a model? Here are some great tips to get you started:

If you have a flawless body, perfect skin, are over 5’9” tall, smaller than a size six, and under twenty-five years old, you are a born fashion model. If you do not possess these qualities, other modeling careers like commercial, petite, plus size, and mature modeling are probably best for you. If you are one of the lucky few possessing the above high fashion model attributes, fashion modeling could be the perfect career.

Waiting around to be “discovered” in a shopping mall is one way of building a career as a fashion model. A better way is to go straight to a legitimate modeling agency.

The first step in contacting a prospective modeling agency is to send some photographs. Do not go out and have a photographer shoot an expensive and elaborate portfolio. Just ask a friend to take some simple, natural photographs of you. Do not overdo the make-up or strike outrageous poses while wearing high-fashion outfits, just simple modeling will suffice. That is not what a modeling agent looks for. A modeling agent wants to see simple photographs with simple hair, a simple wardrobe, simple, if any, make-up, with you posed and modeling in a simple, natural way.

Once you have a few photographs printed, send them to a legitimate modeling agency. If you want to strive for the top, send your photographs to modeling agencies in New York. If you want to start small to see if fashion modeling is for you, send the photographs to some local legitimate modeling agencies. Include a cover letter expressing your interests in modeling, your physical statistics (height, weight, hair color, eye color, age range, clothing size, shoe size), and your contact information. Then, just sit back and wait. Do not call an agency to inquire about your photographs. If the agency is interested, they will call you. It may take a while to hear something. Be patient. Modeling agents are busy people.

While you are waiting for that call, go to your prospective modeling agent’s website and sign up for any newsletters they offer. Check websites regularly and call about information for any “open calls.” Agencies often hold open modeling calls to look for new talent. Anyone interested in becoming a model may attend an open call.

When auditioning for a modeling agency, present yourself in a natural way. Do not show up in some crazy sophisticated fashion outfit with layers of make-up. As with the photographs, simple and natural are best. Wear some cute high-heeled shoes with nice jeans and a plain pullover t-shirt of a flattering color. Wear little make-up, no jewelry, and your freshly washed hair down and natural. Trim and clean your nails, but do not wear polish.

When meeting with a prospective modeling agent, be professional, pleasant, and positive, even if turned down for representation. You never know when a modeling agency’s needs may change. Even if they do not want to represent you at first, changing needs may prompt a call if they like you. Do not come across as cutesy or desperate in your interview. These will quickly kill your modeling career.

Modeling scams have unfortunately become common, so avoid modeling schools, modeling competitions, and modeling conventions. Never pay anyone to represent you or to get modeling jobs.

The key is to keep it simple. If you are “born” to be a model and stick with legitimate modeling agencies, you could succeed as a fashion model.