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Teen Modeling Tips

As the parent of a model, I can tell you that the journey to teen modeling success is a long and arduous one.  There are so many pitfalls out there, for both teens and parents alike.  Many parents try to talk their children out of modeling as a job because of things they’ve heard about the business and because they are afraid of the rejection they will, or their children will, be subject to.  However, if you’re willing to put in a lot of effort and aren’t afraid of rejection in its many forms, modeling may be a fun way to make a little cash, and if you’re lucky, maybe even stardom.

Photo by Keeweeboy at

Photo by Keeweeboy at

Teen Modeling Tips

While I did mention stardom, it shouldn’t be the only reason that you’re getting into the modeling business. Very few models become the so-called Super Models. In this day and age it is hard to think of any current models that have reached this particular status, probably because photos can be digitally enhanced, making anyone, even those who weren’t born practically perfect, a top print model. While you don’t have to look perfect for print modeling, you should be physically fit. When I say this I mean that you should have a good muscle tone, even if you’re a plus size model.

What is the right size for a model? The right size is right for the type of model that you are aspiring to. That means you should be trim if you’re a petite model, above average in height for runway modeling and a size 16 or larger for plus-sized models.

Will acne mean you can’t model? It depends on how bad your acne is in terms of current break outs. Everyone has a few breakouts from time to time, especially when they’re nervous about a modeling gig. The best thing to do if you’re prone to breakouts is to find a skin care regimen that works for you and stick to it. In addition, a healthy diet can also help control those breakouts. If you have acne scars, that’s okay too since there are many makeup brands that can cover them easily. If you’re doing print modeling, airbrush is the word.

Where do you find modeling jobs? Get yourself an agent and save yourself a lot of aggravation. Look for agents in your local phone book or through the Yellow Pages online. Look under talent or modeling agents to find local listings. Remember, you don’t need to go to modeling schools to become a model either! A legitimate agent will take you on as a client and not charge you a thing up front. They get paid a percentage when you get paid for a modeling job. If the agent wants to make money, they need to get you booked in lots of modeling jobs.

What about a modeling portfolio?Sure, you’ll need one eventually, but that is something that you can work on while you’re building your modeling skills with your agent. All you need to get an agent is a few good photos, not expensive ones. You can get these photos from a Wal-Mart or similar photo studio for under $50. In addition, many new professional photographers will take photos of you and give you copies of them for you to use in your portfolio at no charge- a win-win situation for both of you.

Parental consent?  Yes, if you're a teen in the United States you're going to need your parent's consent before you sign any contracts.  If you're under 18 (unless you're emancipated and living on your own), you're going to have to include your parents in your decision to get an agent and model.

Teen Modeling Scams

Both parents and teens should be aware of scam artists parading around as modeling agents.  Some warning signs are:

  • Asking you to pay them in order to be on their roster of models
  • Making you pay for an expensive portfolio by a photographer they tell you to use
  • Telling you that you need to take modeling classes in order to get modeling jobs
  • Making you sign with them with a stipulation you cannot be represented by anyone else and/or asking for a long term contract. You can be represented by more than one agent if you choose to- and as a new model, it may be a good idea to have more than one agent as it increases the number of jobs you may land (unless you’re being represented by a big name modeling agency!).

If you’re unsure about an agent, ask around to find out if they’re legitimate.  They should be able to show you recent jobs that their models have worked and give you references to check.   Don’t be afraid to check up on their claims either.  If they’re legitimate, they’ll have nothing to hide and will encourage you to do a little background investigating.






Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on November 04, 2012:

Hi Missbellstar24, Even if you are shorter than 5'9", you can still do print work. Keep looking for an agent - look for ones that offer print work, not just runway work.

Missbellstar24 on September 16, 2012:

I'm 18 and 5'8. 32-24-34.

Is there any work I can do?Or am I too short for fashion print and/or runway? Ive noticed That most agencies want girls 5'9 and up. Thank you!

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Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on August 23, 2012:

Many models start their career at your age, and most end their modeling careers around 20-22 years of age. Enjoy it while you're in it - it is generally a career for the young.

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on August 23, 2012:

Yes you could be a model, you're a little short for runway modeling, but then again, Kate Moss is petite too. Find an agent first, then worry about what type of modeling you could do. You may be perfect for print work and commercials, depending upon your look.

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on August 23, 2012:

I would talk to your parents about it in more detail - explain how you would balance school and modeling, should you land jobs. Tell them what you would do with the money you would earn. These two things may tell them that you are mature enough to handle it - it is a job, after all. If they give you the ok, you'll need to look for agents in your region (within 90 miles from your home). You can find agents in the phone book and on the internet under modeling agencies or talent agencies. Good luck with your search!

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on August 23, 2012:

Two agents can mean more opportunities for work. However, be sure that you didn't sign an exclusive contract with your first agent.

erin on August 12, 2012:

im doing modeling alreagy and im 12, am i too young?

Becky on August 07, 2012:

Hey :) I am a 13 year old girl, I´m 5'7 and 108-110 lbs. Could I be a model? In that case, what kind of model could I be?

SarahTracy1998 on July 19, 2012:

Hi, I'm A 14 Year Old Girl And I'm Interested In Modelling. I'm Currently Around 5"2/5"3 And I'm Very Skinny. I Was Thinking Of Entering Top Model When I'm Older But I Would Like To Get Some Experience First But I Don't Know How Or Where To Get It. I Talked To My Parents About Modeling In The Future And They Said I Could Give It A Go But I'm Not Sure If They Would Let Me Try It Just Yet. How Could I Approach Them About It And Convince Them That I Am Mature Enough To Start Modelling Now? Also I'm Up For Any Type Of Modelling; Magazines, Runway, Commercials, Etc. Please Help Me? I Would Really Appreciate It :)

-Thanks :)

D.m14 on June 30, 2012:


I just recently got a modeling agent, but I also just got another interview with a bigger modeling agency. Being 14 and in school, would that be to much to handle. Two agents?

-Thank You

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on June 30, 2012:

Hi Rod'Neesah, Body types among models, especially petite ones, varies by modeling agencies. You may weigh more because you are muscular, for example. I would try to find an agent first, before worrying about your weight. You may make a great model for commercials, as opposed to someone who might do runway modeling. Perhaps you would be a hair or hand model, just for another example, and your weight would have no bearing on those types of modeling. Best wishes for a great modeling career!

Rod'Neesah on June 06, 2012:

Hi im 14 and my mom has decided to help me with my dream of becoming a model. I'm really nervous and not sure how i'll do also I worry about my weight and height. Im 5'2" and my weight is 136. How will this affect my chances of becoming a model? Will i have to lose weight?

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on June 05, 2012:

Even if you have a scar on your chest, it wouldn't make a difference unless you wanted to be a swimsuit model, in which case it may present a problem. I can't tell you exactly what to say to your parents, but being open about your interest in modeling is the best way to go. Talk to them when they aren't busy or rushing around so you have their full attention. You could say something like, "what would you think about me modeling?" may be a good opener. Good luck!

Sian on May 16, 2012:

I'm 14, 5'8" and 134lbs. I'm really pale and I've got a big scar down the middle of my chest. I really want to become a model, do you think I have a chance? And I have no clue how to ask my parents /:

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on May 14, 2012:

Hi Annika, Try looking in your local phone book for modeling agencies or talent agencies - that is the best place to start your search for an agent. Good luck!

Annika on April 15, 2012:

Okay so im 13, and about 5 '5' maybe. i have long legs, i am naturally skinny, and i tan really easily. i really want to be a runway model (because of how im built) i just have no idea where to look!:(

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on March 26, 2012:

Hi beccabell - Makeup can cover your freckles if need be - that won't deter agents. My children model and live in the "middle of nowhere" too - I just have to drive further for their modeling jobs. Make sure your parents are on board with your decision to model - it may require a lot of driving.

beccabell on March 25, 2012:

Hi, so I live in a small town out in the middle of nowhere. How can I get jobs? Also, I have some light-medium tone freckles on my face only. Will companies and photgraphers turn me down because of this?

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on March 14, 2012:

Hi Brooke - If you are serious about modeling you should definitely talk with your mom about it. Find a time when she isn't in a rush or exhausted from working or other responsibilities. Maybe even tell her that you need to talk about something important and would like to "schedule" a talk with her, perhaps on the weekend when everyone is more relaxed. Then, explain what you want to do- let her know you would need to contact some agents. Include her in the process by asking her to take your photos to show the agent (your face, full-length front view and side/profile view shots). Maybe if you explain your plan and include her, she'll be receptive to the idea.

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on March 14, 2012:

Hi Nitasha, The money aspect for modeling is a little tricky to answer. Many models just starting out don't work much - but the checks they get are usually made out to them, after the agent takes their fee out. Depending on what state you live in, if you're making more than a certain amount (we're talking thousands of dollars), your money has to go into a trust account that is set up by a lawyer and a local bank. This is to protect your money from family members who might otherwise spend your earnings before you are of legal age.

You can discuss this aspect of the modeling biz with your agent - they'll help you with this if your earnings are in the high range.

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on March 14, 2012:

Hi Erin - typically you'll need to have several shots done - a face photo (straight on, no makeup), a front body shot (head to toe) in slim fitting clothing, and a side/profile body shot (head to toe) again, in slim fitting clothing. You could also ask the modeling agency that you are sending your pics to what they would like to see in your photos.

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on March 14, 2012:

Hi Tamyra - you could be a petite model. Acne can always be covered up with makeup - and photos can be airbrushed if need be. See if you can find a modeling agency in your area that represents the petite models.


I lOvE ThIs MoDeLiNg tIpS. . . . . tY fOr . . . . .

Tamyra on March 10, 2012:

I am 15 and a little acene. It I am only 4ft 11" can I till be a model

Erin on March 07, 2012:

Does anyone know what needs to be in a modeling profile?

nitasharh from navada on March 02, 2012:

Hi there,I'm nitasha i am 5'4 and I'm 14. I was wondering when or if I become a model will i be able to get paid at this age or will it go to my parents? Also when i was 5 or so i hit my head on the fireplace.I'm ok, i was wondering if the TINY scare on my forehead would matter? If it doesn't matter, what will they do? Cover it up with make up. Any way, i have a lot more questions to ask. thank you

Tim Fox on February 26, 2012:

brooke i might be able to help email me model-metart (at) we send you through a selection process if you pass we'll send you some information that you could be a model what you could make exc. then you can show her and ask for her permission

Brooke on February 23, 2012:

Hi, I'm 13, I'm 5'3 and a half. I weigh 106. I'm a size 0 to 00 and I have size 34c boobs. I have a little acne on my face but a lot on my back, idek how I got it but it's there. I'm sorta photogenic but I don't know how to ask my mom if I can start to model. Any tips?

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on January 23, 2012:

Hi alat, I'm not an agent, so I think you should leave how you should look, in terms of weight, to the professionals. At your height, you would be considered a petite model. Look for petite modeling agents in your area - their ads in the phone book, or online, will say what type of models they represent.

alat on January 22, 2012:

hi my name is alat i would like to be a model but im 5'3 and 15 years old but i would like to be like a super model and i kinda have a belly and weight 120 pinds is that good or bad.

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on January 19, 2012:

Unless you are modeling bikinis, stretch marks really aren't an issue (and if they are, there is air brushing). When you go to get an agent, they aren't going to ask you to strip anyway (and if they do, get the heck out of there!). An agent is more interested in the type of look you have, and if you photograph well. Don't sweat the small stuff- if you want to be a model, go for it!

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on January 19, 2012:

Hi Akasha - Don't stress about acne - there are so many products available on the market, there is probably one that will work for you too (inexpensive ones like Clean and Clear are under $10). Next, find a modeling agent in your area. You don't have to have perfect skin to be a model!

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on January 19, 2012:

Hi imari, Your acne may not keep you from modeling. If you already have an agency, then they believe you're photogenic enough to land jobs. Elizabeth Hurley had bad acne, and it didn't stop her from becoming a famous model! If you're worried about it, talk with your parents and see if they could take you to a dermatologist to clear up your acne. Wishing you success!

Ruhy on January 18, 2012:

Am 18,5ft 7inches tal,bust 34,waist 27,hips 37,i want to model but i hav scars on my leg n afew stretch marks on ma legs n around my tummy,am afraid i wil be rejected.what do i do?

Akasha on December 24, 2011:

Hi I'm 14 5"10 to 5"11 I'm skinnyish I'm a 35 27 35 but am going to start working out but I have a bit of acne on my skin Bu my patents won't lemme go on birth control to clear it up but yea shoe size 9

imari on November 21, 2011:

hi I'm 13 and I already found a modeling agencie I have a little bit of acne and I'm 5"6 and I'm worried that I would not be picked because my acne can you give me advice on what should I do to get rid of it and this will be my first time modeling.

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on October 22, 2011:

Hi Baseball, scars shouldn't affect your modeling. There are several different types of makeup that cover up scars, not to mention if they were really visible they could be photoshopped out. Contact a local modeling agency (or one within 90 miles of your town) and see what they say - that is the best way to break into the business.

baseball on October 15, 2011:

oh yeah! im a girl with natural light blonde hair mid length bright blue eyes and my teeth are straight i already had braces! please help me..

baseball on October 15, 2011:

Hi im 14 tears old 5'7 1/2 to 5'8 and a size 1-2. i have a few scars on my leg from softball but i would really like to become a model. will my scars affect me? how can i get started?

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on October 14, 2011:

Hi Freak4soccer - There is a need for petite models, but that is primarily women - you didn't say whether you were a boy or a girl. The best way to find out if there is a need for your "look" is to talk with modeling agents in your region/town. They'll tell you right up front whether you have what they are looking for, and if there is another nearby agency that could maybe use you as well, if they can't.

Freak4soccer on October 10, 2011:

Hi, im 14 years old and about 5'3-4 i am not the skinnyish and i am kindof short do you think there is any way i could be a model???

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on August 22, 2011:

Hi Yesenia, Can you take a taxi or bus? I would also get another adult to go with you.

Yesenia Garza on August 19, 2011:

Hi ever since i got my first letter i dont know what to do! Its saids that the time i come is 4 through six my dad goes to work at 3:30 i got no ride to take me to that place what should i do

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on July 20, 2011:

Hi Ashley, The only website that I can suggest is I've landed a few jobs for my children through that website. They have a lot of tips for newbie models as well. Good luck!

Ashley on July 17, 2011:

Hi , I'm 13 years old and I've been looking up some modling agencies but there's none or I couldn't find any agencies for teens . So , can you help maybe giving me a website because I'm 5"7 and skinny and I think I have a good chance being on . Thank you .

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on June 09, 2011:

Hi Colleen, There are petite models, which is the category you would fit in. What you need to do is research the modeling agencies in your area and find out what types of models they represent. This information is often found on their websites or on their print ads (look in the phone book). Most modeling agencies will only represent people within a 90-100 mile radius of their office - hopefully there is an agent who represents petite models in your area. Good luck!

Colleen on June 09, 2011:

Hi! I am looking into modeling, but I am afraid I am too short! I am 5'3 and 1/2...Do you think a catalog would except a short model maybe? I do think I have looks to be a model. I am only 14 so hopefully I may grow a few more inches. And also, I am looking for a partime modeling job- I am not interested in it as a carrer! I would like to model in a magizene or maybe a clothing catalog, NOT runway or vogue! Is that possible? If so, how would I approach that to get a job? Can you give me some help? Thank you!

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on March 28, 2011:

Hi Writer35, How to start modeling is a little difficult to answer, but here is what I would suggest to a 13 year-old.

First, make sure you have the support of your parents/guardian. Modeling involves a lot of travel, especially if you don't live in a large city where there is a lot of modeling jobs. In addition, you will need some money for the occasional new outfit you may need for some casting calls (tip: check out local thrift shops for great deals on designer clothing).

Second, get a few GOOD quality photos taken of you- a head shot (one with no makeup- you could even use a school photo) and a full body shot in slimming clothing. Next, upload these photos to your computer because you're going to need to send them to modeling agencies and these days it is almost exclusively done on the Internet.

Third- I'm going to recommend a website that I DO NOT WORK FOR: I've used this website to get castings and land agents for both of my children. You can get a free basic membership on this website, which will help you be found by model and casting agents- and you can search castings for yourself too.

Fourth- If you're lucky enough to live in a town with a modeling agency- you could approach them for representation. Call them up or visit their website, and submit your photos.

Fifth- Never give up. Modeling is a tough business, so only the tough can survive it. Don't let a rejection from an agency stop you. It may take many tries to find the right agency, but you will find one eventually. Every agency is looking for something different, so you will just need to keep looking until you find one that fits you.

Good luck!!!

Writer35 on March 19, 2011:

Hi Im 13 and am really intrested in becoming a mode.I know 13 is a very young age to want to become a model but Ive always wanted to be 1.How should i start of?

Thanks any Information would b appreciated:)

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on November 15, 2010:

Hi writer132, actually the photo I used is of another professional teen model. My daughter's most recent photos are in a book that was just published - "I'm Not Feeling Like Myself Today: Funny Poems for Kids and Adults" (

Your photo does look like it was professionally done. Kudos! If you wanted to know where there were other similar photos, check out - you could probably sell some of your photography work there too, judging by your avatar photo!

writer132 on November 14, 2010:

Is that model up there your daughter? If so she is just amazingly beautiful! And I took my profile picture by myself but people say it look professional, have you ever seen any pictures by professionals that look like it?

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