What Qualifications do I need to be a UK Fashion Model?
So you want to be a UK fashion model? Although the life of a model can be challenging, it can be as equally rewarding. A would-be professional model has to have the right mindset for the work involved, the potential knockbacks and the strict lifestyle habits they need to adopt.
It’s not all jet-set living and hanging out on a beautiful beach (although this does tend to happen a fair bit!), but hard work, early starts and late finishes – One ‘qualification’ a model has to have is the willingness to work hard.
We have previously written up a useful blog on how to become a model, full of tips to get you started. Below we look at the qualifications every model should possess…
First up, you do not need to go on a modelling course or have a professional (and expensive to create) modelling portfolio. Most agencies will have an apply online function, where you should submit good quality images of you (no selfies please!). The British Fashion Model Agents Association has advice on what to expect from reputable agencies and how to avoid rogue ones. Please proceed with caution with an agency that is unfamiliar and asking for some form of financial contribution.
So what qualifications do you need?
You do not require any actual qualifications as we know them, such as a number of GCSEs or A Levels, but having these will only enhance your own life skills – and certain life skills are important for a successful modelling career.
You must possess the ability to work well with others, with a flexible attitude. Patience is definitely required! Sometimes, shoots can take seemingly forever, but this is all part of being a professional model. Rather than looking bored and being frustrated, you should actively work with the creative director or photographer to see the assignment through to completion.
A model that listens and engages with the creative team is a model that will be booked again and again!
You should also be physically fit and have great physical skills such as coordination, graceful movement and dexterity. Having to hold a pose for a duration can take skill, a photographer will not appreciate body parts shaking under pressure.
You will also need to be mentally fit. The life of a model is demanding, more so than you might have thought. Sometimes shoots come with the pressure of getting that perfect shot – remaining calm in these situations will offer the best chance of delivering just what the photographer is looking for.
There will be lots of travel in different locations, some more glamourous than others! An assignment may also be very demanding physically. it will take mental endurance to remain professional even when you have been on your feet or travelling for hours.
There should also be an onus on your appearance and the maintenance of this, after all, this is your livelihood. Keeping late nights out to an absolute minimum is essential and you should maintain your physical fitness regime. Looking after your appearance with your trusted beauty therapies should become a vital part of your preparation for work.
So, although there are no formal qualifications needed to become a professional model, there are many personal attributes you need to consider if you want to thrive in the modelling industry.
Got what it takes?
If you have all the above characteristics that you need to be a professional model, we would love to hear from you! You can apply to join the BMA Models family here.