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7 Modeling Tips for Beginners

Learn seven modeling tips for newbies from model scout Trudi Tapscott in this Howcast video.


Trudi:Hi, I'm Trudi Tapscott.

Britt:And I'm Brooke Bergmeister.

Trudi:Modeling, in the beginning, there are some really important things that matter. I think that you're meeting people, whether you're meeting a potential agent, if you're walking in trying to get an agent, or if you're walking in trying to get a job with a client, initially, first impressions are everything, especially in the fashion industry. The first impression you make is important, from the second you take your first step.

So I always tell people that the casting starts when you open the door. The meeting starts when you open the door. The first moment that they can actually see you is the beginning of the casting. Everything you do from that point on is being noticed.

When you meet someone, so many times I've had to practice handshakes. If you're in high school, you're not practicing handshakes. That's not something that you're accustomed to nor do you do it on a regular basis. Looking at someone in the eye and shaking their hand and saying "Hello" are manners, things that maybe you didn't learn in your home or you didn't practice in high school. I think that those beginnings and first impressions are really important.

Knowing that your job has to do with how you look, but it's not only based on just how you look.

Listening, listening. Most of the time the people that are going to be teaching you, and that you're going to be listening to, are twice your age, if not more. They've been doing it a lot longer. They understand what it takes, getting the information from clients. They know what you need to do to be better. If you do not want to make any changes, then you're going to stay exactly where you are.

I think that most of the time the issue with listening is everyone wants everything very quickly. They want it to happen tomorrow. They want to be noticed tomorrow, and that's not how it works.

If you get frustrated because you're not listening, because you don't like the answer, then you're going to have a hard time. You're going to have a hard time in that meeting with that person, and you're going to have a hard time in general in the business.

I think that a sense of humor is incredibly important. Being flexible, having a good time, enjoying it. If you are not enjoying it, if it's all so tedious for you, then go to college. Do something else, don't do this.

This is about meeting people, traveling, being in different places, things being a bit chaotic. It's a fun job. It's a serious job, but it really is a fun job. You are one of the few that's been invited to do something really, really special, and it's up to you to make the most of it. And if you keep that grateful place and allow yourself to be vulnerable but strong, be powerful and be yourself, listen and enjoy it . . . the key elements of success in modeling are sometimes not that different than success in other professions. There are so many things to focus on when you're starting that you forget that. You still want to be successful. You want to be in the game for a long time. You want to learn the skills that you need to for a long time.

It's not any different than sports. You don't go to junior tennis camp and then end up at the U.S. Open and win the match. Most of the time, you go back again and again and again before anybody who watches the U.S. Open even knows your name, unless you're lucky.

There are a lot of pro people, that are pros in their business, that are constantly working on their game. They constantly want to get better. Modeling isn't any different than that. You do not arrive and get noticed.

It's not about fame and fortune in the beginning. It should be that way eventually, because it's about the money. But it really is about learning the craft to get you to that point. I think those are hard things in the beginning, when you're just a kid.

Britt:Yeah, it takes time. My number one advice is you have to be patient. I wanted to model when I was 13. That's what I wanted to do. I kept visiting the agency and my mother agent, and they said, "Let's hold off. Wait till you're done with high school."

I was getting so impatient, and finally, when I was 18, they signed me, and I can't thank him, my mother agent, enough that he made me wait.

Trudi:Who's you mother agent? You can say his name.

Britt:Elmer Olsen.

Trudi:Elmer Olsen.

Britt:So Elmer told me, "We're interested, but let's just wait a bit." And I'm so thankful I finished high school, I moved back home, and it was the best decision. And I'm still having to be patient. I'm not getting every job I walk in to the casting. You get told no a thousand times a day, but you just have to be patient. Someone will like you, you'll get a job, but be patient.

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