Monday, March 21, 2011

A shorter model's self-promotion can lead to bigger opportunities

A girl on Facebook recently messaged me and asked about working as a model and included, "I live about 4 hours from Toronto so that's where I've been doing interviews but the distance kind of makes some agencies uneasy; Moving there would really be my best option though, so I'm just going to have to work hard save up and know that I will get there soon enough!"

My reply might help your own modeling pursuits:

I suggest while you plan to get to Toronto to get some experience beforehand, I think showing up with some tearsheets, and some professional experience already in your portfolio will be of benefit. Let's say you model for a local aspiring jewelry designer in your area, most towns and smaller cities these days have many aspiring designers and for accessories who says there is a height requirement to model a pair of earrings or a handbag? I would start to expand your network and try to reach out to some aspiring brands about modeling for them, because some experience can help encourage a modeling agency to work with you when you get to Toronto even if you are petite

The thing is, I think experience and "showing you can" leads to opportunities. If you want to model and you are shorter than fashion height = 5'8", 5'9" 5'10 without heels.  Then you have to think about what you can realistically get a model job for? What type of projects and magazines can you realistically model for? Why would a client want to hire you? Why would a modeling agency want to work with you?

If you can answer these questions, the bigger answer is also there: How you can prepare for your own success and goals.

To pursue a certain area in modeling you need photos that prove you can work in that area. For a shorter girl it is commercial print modeling photos. And also despite being petite also consider editorial modeling for magazines -beauty editorials, fitness, anything non-high fashion, and modeling for catalogs, product packaging and accessory goods are good to pursue as well, and TV commercials and acting as well. Why do you have to be 5'10 to model a f'in scarf! Handbag? Or necklace?

Also consider: parts modeling. Using your hands, feet, stomach, face, body for modeling for product ads, commercials and campaigns.

Having some experience, modeling for a local or aspiring or growing brand can be a great credit to have in your portfolio.

Basically, since print modeling agencies do not craft your career, and work with their models non-exclusive, and do not typically invest in their models financially, you need to be prepared with professional photos already and a portfolio and professional comp cards. Because if you pitch agencies without your model marketing tools, and without any experience, without any photos and without a clue, you will prob not get an opportunity.

To work as a model when you are shorter it involves a heck of a lot of prep work, print modeling agencies like it when you are prepared, so you'll be working on your photos, printing comp cards, building your portfolio, buying a portfolio and a lot of self-investment happens, meaning: investing your money for marketing materials and time and energy.

Passion, ambition and research are so important to get opportunities and experience, modeling jobs and to get what you want. So remember the more prepared you are the better. Below are some previous posts on the differences between fashion and print modeling and also self-promotion as a shorter model and preparing for your own success and creating goals.


P.s:  Check out my modeling memoir Almsot 5'4" which features my early modeling pursuits, in print and also on the Nook, and also check out Short Stuff and Model Lifehere on

And my books are also here on and the Kindle.

If you would like a signed/personalized copy of my memoir Almost 5'4", see this post.

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