Become a model: Model requirements, agency, castings and jobs
Becoming a model – Since the first supermodels, many have had a big dream: to become a model. On the catwalk for international designers in Paris, photo shootings in Milan, the first castings in New York. Photo shoots, travel, share moments on Instagram, exclusive events and meet people from all over the world. dream job.
Become a model – your #1 contact point as New Face! From here you can access all articles, wikis, checklists, free of charge, so you are perfectly prepared and learn to assess your chances yourself – Stephan M. Czaja, owner CM
The road is long. We give you as a model agency the opportunity to get the right contacts. Your job is to be reliable for casting appointments, test shootings with photographers, appointments at the agency, coaching and training.
In Germany there are only a handful of model agencies that, like us, work internationally. This again requires special conditions when it comes to height, weight and later on diligence, self-confidence and trust.
Before your first model application there is a lot to know and to learn. Why? The competition is big, especially in the age between 15-21 years. The better prepared you are, the better you will be able to perform on castings and jobs. We have written this XXL-Guide to give you a free, comprehensive overview of becoming a model.
Did you already know?
CM has many, many advantages for you as a young model at the start of your career: Cocaine Models has been voted into the Top10 of model agencies twice in a row by Bravo Girl! We are the only model agency in Germany with our own shows at the Fashion Week. We are one of the few top agencies with own, internal and exclusive model coachings! Become part of CM now: Start your model application. Tip! Below you can find videos of the show, the coachings and a small mini model documentary, 3 days in the life of Chand… later in the article!
Ralph Lauren said, I don’t design clothes, I design dreams! We design the new world! But so that we always have an overview of what is happening in the world, here are some important facts about the fashion industry. Who knows whom? Who should I know? Here is your overview for brands, names and brands worldwide. With top lists we show you the established brands but also newcomers in the fashion and media industry. Everything free, for your first steps in the fashion and advertising industry. Do you already know the difference between fitting, casting and Gosee? Our Model Glossary: Free, short written and with videos. We help you with your first steps as a model. With researched articles and lots of explanations to all important technical terms for jobs & shootings. For your next casting we have summarized all important terms.
Stephan M. Czaja, Head Booker
How do I become a model? Overview
Let’s start step by step and with an overview. You will learn the basics, all important terms and afterwards you can watch a short documentary, 3 Days Model Life. Afterwards you will get to know the concrete requirements for different jobs and countries. Finally, we will take a look at the most important “fashion cities” together, from Milan to Paris, Tokyo and New York City.
- Basics: Requirements for teenagers (14-18 years) with example commercials
- Model Wiki: Definitions and terms from A-Z
- CM documentary: 3 days with Chand (Stockholm, Berlin, New York)
- Prerequisites: Dimensions, height, weight and agency
- foreign – Modeling in Paris, Milan, London, and Tokyo
Now a first, very, very quick overview. What does it mean to become a model? What is in store for young models? What do you have to bring along as a model?
Reality Check – As “new face” (new model) you don’t start directly on the cover of the big magazines like Vogue, Teen Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. Whether supermodel in the 90s or now with Instagram and TikTok in the 20s, building your career takes time and 95% depends on you (self-confidence, diligence, ambition, motivation, … but more about that later).
If you want to get jobs on showrooms, in commercials and on the catwalk of a fashion show, there is much more to it than “good looks”. Finally, you are a young business woman or business man. While others in your age have an easy life, you already have first appointments, trips, if everything goes well and your model agency builds up trust in you, you might fly to Milan or Paris in the autumn vacations for the first 14 days. You see, model is more than “good looks”.
The first important question is: Do you really want to become a model?
The way to become a model is long and costs you a lot of patience. To become a model means that you want to do photo shoots, even if they last 9 or 10 hours and you have to present 30 different outfits, with facial expressions and gestures. The way from the first gosee in the model agency, the introduction of the networks of advertising photographers and advertising agencies, the first test shoots with renowned photographers, the first small jobs, feedback from the agency. The more castings and jobs you do, the better our customers and brands get to know you. If you have done a good job, you will get follow-up bookings, perfect! This means that the customers were satisfied with your performance and would like to work with you again. This is how we build your career as a model step by step.
Modeling with 15, 16, 17 years: school
School & good grades – Becoming a model and being a model is work and a real job! Your goal is to be a good model at the age of 20, 21; so in 3, 4 or 5 years. The longer you are with us, the higher your fees will be. Eventually you will get jobs where you earn as much in one day as others earn in a whole year. The way to get there is connected with patience.
Until you finish school, the main focus is on good grades and your education. Very important: your education. Why? You will meet many interesting people, with big goals, you will meet many languages, international photographers, casting directors and models. The more you know, the better. The school will actually give you all the important basics. That’s why our modeling agency puts great emphasis on making your school a priority for you until you graduate.
At CM you can apply from the age of 15. Below that age, you should be absolutely and 100% focused on the school. Here you will find articles that are even more specifically tailored to your age and life:
- Become a model with 13 years – wait and see
- Become a model with 14 years – the first steps and todos
- Become a model with 15 years – building up during schooldays
- Become a model with 16 years – Preparation for leaving school / jobs
Models over 30 years with CM? Of course we also have tips for you!
Model folder: setup and photographer selection
Throughout your entire career, one thing is always in focus for us as management: your model book. The better your modelbook, the higher your fee. Important is: Quality before quantity. That means, in your modelbook are better “only” 10 photos from 5 very good shootings with top photographers, instead of 100 photos from 50 shootings. The more exclusive, the higher your fee can be. We as management also work on your book to reflect you as naturally as possible. In general, naturalness plays a very important role, also with advertising agencies, fashion brands, etc., who ultimately book you for jobs and campaigns. For example, almost 80, 90% of decisions are made on the basis of polaroids. Polaroids are absolutely natural shots of models, without styling, make-up, etc.
After the first, good test shoots with photographers, for the construction of your model portfolio, you have a solid foundation. Now we will propose you for the first castings and jobs. At first small jobs, for example for online stores or social media shootings. If your first test shootings went smoothly and now also the first jobs, you will be proposed step by step also for bigger jobs and campaigns (depending on your age).
Here’s your reminder: To be able to take the time during the week, you need good grades. The better your performance in school, the more likely you are to get time off from your school teachers for these appointments. Good grades help you even more, for example if your journey continues after graduation. At an international fashion show, at a photo shoot in London or at a video shoot with an international team in Berlin, you constantly meet interesting people and new languages. For small talk and for your job you have to be fit.
That was a very, very quick overview.
All articles are written by our Head Booker: Free of charge, for you: My Model Guide helps you to have an easier entry into the fashion world. Here you learn the first basics, for example how to register your business. We’ll show you the first basic steps for the catwalk and we’ll take you to the fashion capitals for Fashion Week in New York, Paris, London, Berlin and Milan. Here you will learn all the basics as a model and male model – It’s all about the perfect model application, but also about the fashion capitals of the world, Fashion Weeks, health and nutrition, exercise, and much more. In addition, there are tips for the catwalk, your first fashion show and interesting things like the difference between haute couture & pret-a-porter. You will also find videos that show you how to move in front of the camera as a model or how to build up your model book.
In the Model Wiki you will learn all important terms for castings and jobs: We have researched the most important technical terms for you and packed them into small articles. Here you will find all the important terms, from model booker at the agency, to close-up at the photo shoot, to direct booking or information about sedcard and stylists. See here Important Terms – For Job, Casting & Shooting. In this step of the CM Models Guide you will get the most important names of the fashion industry packed in a simple and clear way. Whether it is the ten biggest fashion magazines in Germany, the top fashion designers or international top models. No matter how and where, with the new Model Guide you are perfectly prepared for your next casting in an agency or with a client. After the first model jobs, comes travel. Shootings in Berlin, jobs in Munich, shooting in Hamburg. Who must fast at good addresses for new outfits, finds here recommendations and Tipps for each German large city. So you are perfectly prepared for every shooting and every shopping trip.
The most frequently asked questions / central topics: Your beginning
Our model agency receives many questions every week. Here I give answers to your and your questions.
In clearly arranged headwords all important information is collected for you, at a glance. The right agency, the perfect application, the first casting! Here you can find tips, videos and articles about becoming a model. The perfect model application, the best photo material, the first catwalk. Here you will find tips and simple tutorials for your career as a model.
Modeling: Advantages of CM as your agency
Did you know? We are the only model agency in Germany with our own shows at the Fashion Week. We are one of the few top agency with own, internal and exclusive model coachings. Here are some advantages of CM and our little model documentary, 3 days in the life of Chand. More videos and mini-dokus can be found on Youtube: CM Model Agency.
Model Coaching: Exclusive training for our models
It’s that time again – the young models come together from Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Switzerland and other places to take part in model coaching. Together with our coach Lutz Marquart. Here our New Faces are trained, like here in the video for Paris.
Fashion Week Finals: Last show of the Berlin Fashion Week
2 months of planning, 20 minutes of show: That’s the spirit of the Fashion Week! Here is our last show, planned and coordinated by our owner and creative director Stephan M. Czaja.
Model Life: Three days with Chand Smith
From the airport to the hotel, to the shooting, sports, sleeping, good food and back to the airport! Modeling can be really challenging if you pursue your dream single-mindedly. At the last shooting we accompanied our Swedish model Chand, three days in Germany. He talks about his way to become a model, modelling abroad and shows how to live as a model in a jet set. Do not miss a mini-documentary! Follow us on Youtube: CM Model Agency.
Many have the dream of living as a top model. The dream of travelling the world, meeting interesting people and having good jobs for well-known companies and brands. Especially in the model industry the advancement can be very fast. If you have international dimensions as a model and that certain something, you get to know the world from Berlin to Cape Town. Similar to professional sports, careers start very early. In the media world, new trends are constantly emerging, which are quickly spread by many.
Mental requirements for models and New Faces
Apart from the physical requirements for models such as measurements, the mental requirements and the character of a model also count. A model must always show strength, discipline and endurance. Jobs are often strenuous and time-consuming. Tiredness or stress should not be noticeable to a good model. Motivation and ambition distinguish an experienced model for clients and model agencies. Agencies and clients like to book models with these qualities again.
Recurring bookings are very important for you as a model and the model agency. In addition, a healthy self-confidence and the changeability of a model are decisive selection criteria. As a model you will compete in castings for jobs with twenty, fifty or a hundred models. For e-castings you will also be competing with more than one hundred models. If you are diligent and make it to the fashion capitals of Europe, America and Asia, you will be sent from casting to casting every day. If everything goes well, from fashion show to fashion show and from photo shoot to photo shoot. This requires a lot of self-confidence and energy from you! From this total package of measures, looks, motivation and ambition the charisma of a model is formed.
Model prerequisite: women, men, weight and height
The more international the agency, the narrower the scope for measurements. Especially in model agencies the requirements are very high. It depends on a few centimeters. Female models should pay attention to a slim figure, beautiful skin, teeth, the hair, every detail. For men the criteria are just a little bit easier. As a male model, you should also pay attention to a well-groomed appearance, from the hairstyle to the nails. Of course, there are quantitative limitations to the look. In international model management:
- Strong women
Body height for fashion: 176 – 180cm / International
Body height for advertising: 172 – 181cm / Germany
Slim figure, usually long hair
- Strong men
Height for fashion: 186 – 190cm / International
Body height for advertising: 184 – 194cm / Germany
Slim or slightly sporty figure
Casting, advertising & Co. at a glance
Serious and good model agencies
The way through a serious model agency or a model agent or model booker is always the best for you. Because a model agency makes sure that your career runs well. Right from the start, they take care that you get good contacts to photographers and the opportunity for good test shoots, ideally magazine publications. So you can build up your own model portfolio right from the beginning. A good model agency will also provide you with first good contacts to clients for casting and jobs.
Why do clients book models for jobs?
Customers try to successfully convey products and services to customers through models. This is achieved through the perfect conveyance of emotions, through the advertising campaign and the model. As a model you have to be able to slip into different roles on the shooting set to sell the product or service to the consumer. Authenticity and naturalness are the magic words to cast a spell over the consumer, so that the customer’s concept works. Model “sell” advertising even more profitably!
Emotions are aroused by the charisma of a model, including facial expressions and gestures. Not only advertising, but also many company appearances such as image films, online stores and social media live from models. Models also need very classical media like the image brochure or the interior design in the store for an optimal effect. Self-confidence is always reflected in the charisma. For model agencies and model agents it is therefore very important that women and men models feel comfortable in their bodies. Only those who live the model’s job with joy and conviction can call up the corresponding performance. Clients and partners of model agencies pay attention to an expressive face, convincing looks, good posture and coordination. Self-confidence, reliability and the ability to slip easily into different roles are three important skills to assert oneself in the modeling industry. For online store shootings where you have to smile for hours or with demanding customers who expect perfection.
Sedcards, test shootings with photographers and video clips
Good agencies invest in you and your career. With test shoots from top photographers for your model portfolio and in video productions for Instagram, Online Sedcards and Youtube. This way customers can see you in different facets. How a test shooting looks like, you can see a little bit here in the video (Backstage Preview). Yulffi from Madrid/Barcelona was our guest, flown in from Bangkok shortly before for a campaign shooting in Munich followed by a test in Cologne with Robin Platte. Spontaneously two of our female models (Lea & Janine) as well as New Face Johnson for a first test.
During tests in the studio we created slow motions for our models. Here you can see the different looks of our models in focus.
What does a model agency actually do?
Model Manager takes care of his career.
Especially for young models it is important to have a serious model management behind them. They will not only provide you with first contacts to good photographers, who will help you to build up your model portfolio, they will also show you the first steps. Be the little things like your first business registration or your first catwalk coaching. With a serious model management, you will find your way into the industry much easier. Here you also have the chance to travel later and discover the world. Especially for young models there is the chance to get to know foreign countries. With the contacts in a good management, the way is always open for you.
Model managers build you and your portfolio.
In the first months it is often tempting for models to do a lot of photo shoots with many photographers. Really? But here it is important to pay attention to quality, with tips and recommendations from your model management, you have a good choice of photographers and a good overview of the industry right from the start. You will also be told what you have to pay attention to, not only in shootings, but also when traveling or meeting customers.
Model Managers take you further.
Model managers help you with good contacts. Be it as just mentioned photographers or even the first fashion show. Here everything revolves specifically around the Fashion Weeks. Only the best agencies get invitations to the castings. Your Model Management will always support you to go new ways and to get to know new things! This is not only about the classic photo shootings. They plan for you stays abroad, flights and placements in other agencies, in New York, Paris and Los Angeles.
Model managers acquire customers.
Not only flights, but also things like usage rights are always taken into consideration by your model management. This is not only about individual photo shoots, but also about the distribution and use of the material. Are photos only needed for 3 months in a fashion online store or five years a complete branding of a brand. Depending on this, of course, different conditions apply. Your Model Manager will take care of it!
Commercials or photo shoot: Modeling is versatile
As a hard-working model you will make it into many areas of presentation. Discipline is an important element but also a little acting is part of it, a lot of traveling and of course fun at work. This is how you also make it into international productions:
Modeling abroad: Paris, Milan, London and New York
Welcome to the A-League. Once you have proven yourself at home, and your agency has the confidence in you, it will organize your first trips abroad, to Paris, Milan, London, Shanghai, Tokyo and New York.
Klara in interview: Almost 1 year Milan
Klara liked it so much in Milan that she has now spent almost a year in the Italian fashion metropolis. In the Model Interview she talks about her experiences.
The dream of modeling is pursued by many in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Munich and in Cologne. But the best chances for jobs will always be in bigger cities. That’s why all top models are attracted to mega cities like New York. This is where the big clients, the big agencies, the big budgets are located. If you want to create as a model, sooner or later you have to leave the small city. If you manage it, you will see and experience a lot! From beautiful shooting locations to unique backdrops for film sets. In addition, there are many interesting people from all over the world. That is the dream of modeling.
The agency vouches for you as a model with its good name, but you have the chance to get interesting jobs right from the beginning of your career! Your management will help you with all the organizational things, be it the fiscal handling or the organizational planning of trips and stays abroad. For many models, sooner or later they go abroad. The most famous destinations for models are Cape Town and New York. But also Paris, Hong Kong, London and Shanghai attract many. A good and serious model management will, if the conditions are right, help you to gain a foothold abroad. The most important job of an agency is to accompany you on your way, to relieve you of a lot of work to organize and plan, to save you a lot of time in the acquisition of new clients and new assignments, so that you can fully concentrate on becoming a model.
The End: Dream job, dream trips and many memories
Whoever has made it as a model can travel to beautiful places, knows many interesting people in Germany, Europe and worldwide. Modeling was a dream job and it is. With patience and ambition you can make it!
Q&A: The most frequent questions + answers
What do I have to do if I want to become a model?
First of all you have to look at the requirements to realistically estimate if you can work as a model and get jobs. The most important thing as a New Face is the body height. Afterwards you send your model application to a good model agency, usually via an online form with the most important data and measurements. You can take pictures with your smartphone, in daylight. If the agency Scout likes your photos, you will receive an invitation to the casting in the model agency, for a personal introduction. After the appointment you decide whether you get a model contract or not. After that you can start!
What measurements do you need to become a model?
The two most common questions, “how tall do you have to be to be a catwalk model?” and “how tall does a male model have to be? There are different requirements for different jobs. For high fashion and international fashion shows or fashion campaigns, the strictest requirements apply with regard to height and proportions. For women this means 178-180cm; men should be about 10cm taller. In advertising it is more relaxed, both in size and proportions.
Can anyone become a model?
For 99.99%, attractiveness, positive charisma and naturalness are important. Those who bring these attributes with them have chances.
How much does one earn as a normal model?
How much money a model earns depends on the individual path, the requirements and the customers. But it takes a few years before you can make a living from modeling, especially if you start at the age of 15 or 16. Usually 1 or 2 years will pass until you finish school and then the international build-up begins, which takes another 1 or 2 years. Some have an extra portion of luck and everything goes faster.
You don’t have enough yet? Ok, more videos!
If you like our modeling agency, don’t forget to send us your application. Here you can go directly to model application.
New Face male model: Josias
Coming soon to Milan and Paris!
commercials: Example with Lisa & Louisa
This is what a finished spot looks like, here in the example with Nike’s Factory Store, Lisa and Louisa.
How does a Model Casting work?
Here you can see one of our model castings in Home Town Berlin.