You always look so fresh and polished. I have worked really hard on my body and want to check out fitness modeling. Can anyone be a fitness model or do you have to be a competitor of some sort? Do I have to be OK with nudity? How in the world do I get started?
I appreciate the compliment, thanks. If you have the desire to model, I think you should definitely pursue your options. You will never know if you would have been successful until you go for it!
Before you go any farther, answer a very important question to yourself. What do you have to offer? To have the most rewarding experience, know what your motives are. Many times when I ask, I will get the answer "I just want people to see me in a magazine." Work on answering "why"? Or "what happens next"? You will move to the next level.
Fitness modeling is hard work, both physically and mentally. Think of it as a business. Be ready to expect the unexpected, be pleasant, professional and pay attention because word gets around fast in the industry. Create a good reputation and when your name comes up, it will be linked with positive comments.
No one will force you to appear nude. This is a personal choice. Always assume your images will surface somewhere. Never take any picture if you are not ok with how you are being presented. Never take a picture in a dangerous situation.
For you to have control over where the image ends up it must be in writing, or you have none. Zip. When signing release forms read carefully and if you don't like something or want to change it, cross it out and initial it.
Do not "test shoot" for any adult companies unless the company contacts you, sets it up and you agree. I have good friends who have been lied to about prints being sent to Playboy or some such organization only to find those same images on someone's website without permission. Get everything in writing. A verbal promise unfortunately won't cut it.
Get 3-6 different quality 8x10 images of yourself to mail or give to photographer's and magazines for promotion. You will need:
- Bodyshot (with clothing)
It does help to have entered competitions to get noticed by the fitness media. Although it is not a must to compete, as a fitness model it can give you more credibility. There are some companies who require you to have been a competitor for just that reason. They want the standard of their product to be viewed as high quality.
You do not have to be in contest shape to do a lot of photoshoots. Most of the fitness modeling for women is done with a physique in less drastic condition (leanness and muscle) than the pro fitness athletes during competition. For women, you will be working more if you are not too hard.
Get pics taken both while lean and hard as well as a bit softer. Different physiques are required for each project.
Start shooting with whoever will take your picture. It takes practice and time to know your best angles. You will need to have a lot of different poses, moves and expressions. Practice in front of mirrors to help, but a camera is a must. When you get to the real thing, some shoots last hours. You will need to fill this time with your own body and self. Some photographer's will pose you and some shoots are specific. Most of the time they are not this way. It is then up to you to give of yourself and your talents. You will want to make a good impression so you will be called back! Practice so you are prepared.
Research professional hair and make up to get a polished look. Makeup is used very differently from everyday wear. Men, you wear light makeup frequently so get used to it. Some shoots have hair and make up artists for the models and some don't. Learn to do your own hair and make up and you will be able to be more versatile. Always bring your own along just in case. Another good friend of mine went to shoot the cover of a magazine and the make up artist did not show up! She had to hunt for proper make up and ended up not looking her best. She brings her own along every time now.
- When you get your selection of promo's start sending them away to photographers and fitness related companies.
- Always include a way to contact you. Email and phone are good.
- Send a promo with a brief note introducing yourself and what you have to offer to magazine mail and reader's sections.
- Go to local and national trade shows, events and contests to network.
- Introduce yourself to photographers and company heads and let them know of your interest and availability.
- When traveling, let photographers in the area know ahead of time you are coming and how to reach you.
- Get business cards made and have them with you at all times.
- Get involved in the fitness industry. Offer to help whenever possible and you will be remembered.
- Research sports related agencies in your area and make an appointment with your promos in hand.
- Get a website.
- Start writing about knowledge you have to offer to the fitness community for publications/websites.
- Have your promos available to e-mail to other websites for exposure.
Note most magazines and people's personal email addresses do not open attachments for model submissions unless asked. It clogs their downloads. Always mail hard copies.
Gather a good support system around you. You need your cheering section to be able to be constructive. Ask what you can improve on from hair and make up to body angles. Listen carefully. It is difficult to remain objective about our selves sometimes. We all need positive, motivating people to look to in order to have others look to us. isn't that what you want to be?
Fitness model: Positive, motivating, healthy and fit.
It really isn't all about you at all. It is about the photo and what you are trying to say. Do not take things personally. You are a model. Once you can work with that, your way will become clear.