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Foot in the Door- Modelling

Want to know how to bag that all important internship? Or what to expect as Anne Hathaway in your very own version of the Devil Wears Prada?  From journalism to design, Impact Style will be speaking to interns, bloggers and industry experts to find out how to get your foot in the door.

“They want to sign you- you’re going to be a model!”, was what my mum told me the day I had my first test shoot for one of London’s top modelling agencies, Select Model Management. At the age of 13, after being scouted at the Clothes Show Live, I was ecstatic to think I was going to start modelling.

Shortly after being signed to the new faces board ‘Verve’, I had my first job for Sugar. At the age of 14 I was a regular reader of the magazine, so this was the ideal job for me. I was so excited to tell my friends that I was going to be in our favourite magazine! Despite my nerves, everyone on set was really helpful, and what girl doesn’t love having their hair and makeup done? That said, there was one downfall to my first experience of the modelling world, I was made to kiss a 22 year old male model… having never kissed a boy!


Since then I’ve been lucky enough to shoot the Abercrombie & Fitch campaign in New Hampshire, USA. With all expenses paid, there was an on-set catering company flown in from Canada, a masseuse called ‘Angel’, salsa dancing and sunbathing. It goes without to saying that this is my favourite shoot to date. To think I was getting paid for it was unbelievable; it was more of a holiday than a job!

The general assumption of a model’s lifestyle is a glamorous and easy one, that all you’re expected to do is get your hair and make-up done, wear nice clothes, and pose in front of a camera. In reality,  it’s tedious, hard work and expect long-hours. Be prepared to attend castings almost every day and jump on and off cramped tubes to rush around London and queue with hundreds of other budding models to see clients. My parents always prioritised my education over modelling, which was a wise decision considering it’s such an unreliable career, and so my experiences are relatively limited in comparison to most full time models. The industry, as expected, is extremely competitive, with weight restrictions of a minimum 35inch hip , height which is generally over 5”8, and the sheer number of models around.

Despite the obvious downfalls of the industry, it’s an extremely rewarding sector to work for; an environment where you get to meet and work with new people every day. I’ve had the opportunity to work with world-renowned photographers such as Bruce Webber, who shoots for the likes of Abercrombie and Miu Miu, along with numerous talented stylists, editors and photographers within the industry.

For the aspiring models among you, make sure you go to a reputable London agency such as Select, Storm, Models 1 and Premiere for a walk in. This is where you visit the agency, they will take some Polaroids and decide whether to see you again or not. I have always been told that you don’t need a portfolio to be built up before you join an agency, as they build up your portfolio for you. A lot of young models pay hundreds for a portfolio to show agencies that they will never use and have no interest in!

Charlotte Boland

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