How to Become a Top Model in Australia

Learn what it takes to make it to the top of the Australian modelling industry

It’s a well-known ‘secret’ that Australia has pretty good form when it comes to producing top models. The likes of Miranda Kerr, Robyn Lawley, Elle Macpherson, and so many more have started their careers right here. And yes, believe it or not, you could add your name to that illustrious list of top models. That’s because there are so very many modelling opportunities here right now and brands are always on the lookout for Australia’s next top model.

So if you’ve got modelling fever and you’re itching to get in front of the camera or to strut your stuff on the catwalk at Australia’s many fashion events, then you’re in luck. The team here at Hunter Talent have worked with many successful models and they know exactly what it takes to get to the top of the modelling industry. And yes, we’re going to share that with you right here.

Modelling in Australia has changed

The modelling industry has changed on a global scale. In today’s world, many of the more traditional or what you might consider ‘antiquated requirements have loosened to make room for inclusivity, diversity, and even a splash of personality. The days of needing to be super tall or incredibly thin are long gone and we love it.

From mature models to plus size models and everything in between, the industry has embraced diversity and as such, pretty much anyone with the right attitude has the potential to make it to the top. And with the boom in social media influencer marketing, personality has become just as important an attribute for a model as their looks or style.

This is why it’s now so very important for aspiring models to have a visible and highly relevant social media presence. It doesn’t matter if you have 100 followers or a million, what matters is that anyone interested in hiring you can see that you are the kind of person that they want to represent their brand.

Finding the Right Agency

This is one of the most important first steps to take as a new model trying to make a name for yourself. But taking a scattergun approach and approaching a bunch of agencies all at the same time is certainly not the right move to make. Do a little research and figure out what agencies might be the best fit for you at this stage in your career. Some may not want to sign new models while others might specialise only in certain types of models. Do your homework and whittle down the list to a select few. Just make sure to bear the following in mind when making your choice.

Open Communication

The agency you choose to apply to should be open, welcoming, and easy to talk to. They should also be pretty open when asked about things such as the application process and their clients. If they are being shady about sharing their feedback or contracts, this is generally for a reason. Make sure the agency is willing to answer all of your questions without any issues and be wary of agencies that make big, over-the-top promises they can’t keep.

Goal Alignment

You want to sign with an agency that offers a realistic trajectory for your career goals. A reputable agency will outline measurable steps and success points to keep you motivated throughout your career with them. You must consider the type of work you’re willing to do and want to do, and make sure your agency can provide you with these opportunities. Essentially, their goals should align with yours.

A Great Reputation

Keep in mind that the talent industry and those who operate within it are closely linked. This means that you will be immediately judged by the agency that represents you.. Yes, you represent a modelling agency, but they also represent you. So make sure that the agency you choose has a solid reputation. It’s a good idea to look at reviews and seek out industry advice before you make a final decision.

A Proven Track Record

Whether you’re completely new to the modelling world or an old hand, you always want to sign up with an agency that has already established itself in the industry. The agency, or its staff members, should have plenty of experience. Ask the agency about its success stories and the clients that it has worked with. This should be available on the agency website but if not, be sure to ask. Any agency that isn’t keen to share might not have too many genuine success stories to brag about.

Build your Portfolio (And Get Some Headshots!)

While personality, charisma, and work ethic are all crucial to modelling career success, you still have to market yourself in the best way possible with an impressive portfolio. You want your modelling portfolio to offer a diverse range of shots that highlight your best features, from all types of angles, and in different settings, lights, and styles if at all possible. Your portfolio should include a selection of photos that are creative, artfully lit, and showcase your talents.

Another important aspect of your portfolio is the inclusion of digital, unedited or lightly edited photos — also known as headshots. This is one of the core elements of a modelling portfolio and is a great way to showcase your natural beauty.  Headshots should be taken in studio lighting, with a plain background, with as little makeup, and accessories as possible. It’s best to wear simple, plain clothing such as jeans and a white t-shirt. Headshots are also beneficial for designers, photographers, and clients who may not have the time to meet you in person. Aside from this, your modelling portfolio should also include your name, date-of-birth, contact details and your measurements, i.e. height, bust, waist, and hips.

Work with Your Unique Attributes

If you don’t fall into the ”cookie cutter” mould of modelling beauty, that’s okay. In fact, who’s to say that there is a modelling type as there are multiple niches that are now hugely popular that showcase ‘real’ models. These are models that people can relate to such as plus size models or those with average body styles.

We always recommend that any aspiring model should think carefully about what niche of modelling would suit their natural attributes. This helps a great deal when applying to a modelling agency as you can perhaps choose one that specialises in that niche. At the very least you’ll be able to tell the agency what type of modelling you are interested in. Remember though, you’re never limited in the world of modelling. It could be that the agency feels that you would be ideal for a niche that you hadn’t even thought of.

Always Prepare for Castings

One of the fundamentals to modelling success in Australia is preparation. As you can imagine, modelling jobs rarely go to models who cannot prove they are professional enough to handle a casting or a job. In other words, any casting call that you may attend is pretty much an interview from the get-go. How you handle yourself and interact with others will be noted as much as how well you are prepared.

Now, being prepared doesn’t just mean brushing your teeth and having your hair perfect, although those are good ideas! Being prepared also means knowing where to go, what to wear, and what is expected of you at the casting. This is just as true for actual modelling assignments too. You should also have everything you need with you such as a physical copy of your portfolio (if requested) and your comp card. The comp card is kind of like a business card with a headshot and all your vital information on it.

Finally, it’s not a bad idea to practise some poses at home before the casting call. This way when you are called in, you can drop into a few poses that you know highlight your best features. This, more than anything, tells the decision makers that you have prepared well for the casting.

Learn How to Spot Red Flags

Just like any other major industry, the modelling industry can be a veritable minefield where making the wrong connection could cost you dearly. We’re not going to lie, you may come across a few untrustworthy characters or agencies in your time in the world of modelling. This is why it’s important to know the red flags to look out for and pay attention when you notice them.

Here are a few modelling industry no nos to watch out for.

  • Unusual requests or changes of location without notice given to your agency
  • Requests for revealing shots or nude shots that are not included in assignment brief
  • Clients/photographers trying to bypass agency
  • Being pushed to sign anything before your agency sees it
  • Promises that sound too good to be true

At no point throughout a photoshoot or at any modelling job should ever be made to feel uncomfortable. If you ever do feel this way, you have every right to bring it up with your agency and highlight how you were treated. This is especially true if you are asked to do something that was not included in the modelling brief.

Look After Yourself

While the modelling industry may seem like a wonderfully glamorous world, it can also be incredibly draining from a mental perspective. Yes, it’s important to keep yourself in good physical health, but it’s also super important to prioritise your mental and emotional wellbeing.

A good way to do this is with a balanced and healthy diet, regular exercise, good sleep, a good attitude, and prioritising time for yourself. If your career takes off and your workload increases, your downtime will become precious. Make the most of it by resting up and looking after yourself.

Remember Rejection Is Part of the Process

There are very few successful models out there who can say they’ve never been rejected by an agency or a client before. In fact, we’d say that there are none at all. With this in mind, and before you dive into the Australian modelling industry, it’s wise to accept that rejection is a big part of the process. Try not to take it personally. While it may be difficult at first, you will soon develop a tough skin and realise that your particular assets may not meet the specifics of an agency or a job. And that’s perfectly okay.

A successful modelling career doesn’t happen overnight. It will take time to find the right agency and book jobs that best-suit what you can offer. The key is perseverance and belief in yourself and what you have to offer. A strong work ethic and willingness to adapt where needs be are also important. How’s this for a reality check: it took world-famous supermodel Gisele Bündchen 42 rejections from 42 different agencies before she found her feet in an Alexander McQueen show!

Pay Attention to Your Socials

While it’s pretty rare to find true modelling success through Instagram, this is still an important platform for models to engage on in order to grow and maintain their network. Networking within the modelling industry can be extremely helpful for connecting with agents and booking new work. So it’s in your best interest to make a real effort to maintain a decent social media presence. We did mention this earlier but for this reason, it’s a good idea to make sure that your social media presence aligns with your best attributes and what you represent as a model. Think of it as a live resume that any potential client could look at at any time of the day or night. So no complaining about work or assignments!

Sign with the Best

The last tip is a bonus tip of sorts. Remember how we told you to find the best agency that suits your needs? One with a great reputation and a proven track record? Well, that agency could very well be Hunter Talent. So get in touch with us today or better yet, apply to join the Hunter family and let’s get your modelling career off to a flying start.



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