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How Do I Become a Print Model?

Print models often appear in magazines.
A model's physical characteristics can determine what kind of print modeling she is best suited for.
A portfolio can be an important tool for an aspiring print model.
Some print models work exclusively as catalog and commercial models.
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  • Written By: Vicki Hogue-Davies
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 18 December 2014
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Print models are models who appear in magazines, in catalogs, on billboards in printed advertisements and elsewhere in printed material. If you want to become a print model, you need to first determine what area of print modeling you wish to pursue, which often will be determined by your physical characteristics. For example, high-fashion models typically are very tall, very thin and often very young. Commercial models have more of the "every person" look and are a variety of sizes, shapes and ages that consumers of the particular product or service being advertised can identify with. Catalog models are chosen to fit the clothes they will be modeling and might be regular size, plus size or petite, depending on the clothing being sold.

Once you know where you fit as a potential model, research modeling agencies that handle models in that area. Agencies often state on their websites or in their advertisements what kind of models they represent. You can find modeling agencies online, in industry publications and in the local phone book.

When approaching agencies, you'll need a resume of any prior work or qualifications and a comp card, or Zed card. A comp card is like a model’s business card that contains several photos and often physical measurements. You might also need a modeling book, or portfolio, of your prior modeling work, if you have any.

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To get shots for your comp card, contact photographers who handle model cards and model portfolios. If you have modeling agencies in mind to approach to become a print model, you can try contacting them and asking what photographers they might recommend. When considering photographers, ask to see portfolios of their work. For safety's sake, research any photographers you are planning to meet with to make sure they are legitimate. If you are happy with the photographer you select to do your comp card, you also can retain him or her to do shots for your model book, or portfolio.

The model book should show a variety of looks in close-up, three-quarter length and full-length shots. It can be taken to open model agency calls to help you get in the door. Sometimes when you retain a modeling agency, the agency will want to help guide what goes into your portfolio, because this is the book that you will take when your modeling agency sends you to meet clients.

Your photographs are what will get you in the door to become a print model. Prior to having your photographs taken, it's important to be in the best shape you can be, no matter what your size is. Great photos start with a great subject.

When you set out on the road to become a print model, try to stay fit and toned. Doing yoga, pilates, strength training and aerobic exercises will help you achieve this goal. Eating right will help keep your skin clear and your hair shiny.

Other areas of modeling to consider if you want to become a print model include body-part modeling and fitness modeling. Body-part models have especially attractive hands, feet, eyes or other features. Fitness models are the men and women who seem to be in extremely good physical condition and appear in fitness product ads and catalogs for workout clothes.

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