There’s more to modeling than just looking good. You must be personable, ambitious, and business savvy, of course, but you must also have a particular set of skills – skills that not even the top supermodels were born with.
It’s no wonder that many aspiring models find themselves considering attending a modeling school. What better way to learn the tricks of the trade than by taking classes designed specifically for models-to-be, right? But are modeling schools worth it? Here are a few things you might be wondering:
Are Modeling Schools Necessary to Become a Model?
No. You don’t need to go to modeling school to become a model. While some models do find amazing opportunities, 99.9% of models get their careers started in other ways, like simply submitting a few snapshots to qualified agents and scouts. But that doesn’t mean modeling schools have no value whatsoever!
If you go to a modeling school with the intention of becoming the next Coco Rocha, then yes, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. But if you sign up because you want to have fun and meet new people who have the same interests, you’re in it for the right reasons. You’ll leave a more confident and inspired person, and the skills you learn will stick with you through all of your life’s challenges, whether you’re applying for a job or tackling one of the many obstacles that will come your way. If you do happen to become a model, then you’ll be all the more prepared to get your career started on the right foot.
Are Modeling Schools Expensive?
They can be, but it depends on the type, of course, you’re interested in taking. Prices vary depending on the quality of the school and the location but generally speaking, you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars for an introductory weekend course, a thousand dollars for a week-long workshop, and several thousand dollars or more for a multi-week modeling program or “camp.”
What Kinds of Things Do Aspiring Models Learn at Modeling School?
A solid modeling school curriculum should give students a great overview of the industry and cover all the main aspects, including:
- The types of modeling - Runway, fashion, commercial, plus size, etc.
- Photoshoots - What to expect on the set, how to pose, how to work the camera
- Posture and walking - How to achieve a confident walk on the runway and beyond
- Makeup application - Professional tips and tricks to enhance your own unique look
- Model basics - The business side of the industry (contracts, pay, etc.), auditions/go-sees, model bags, portfolios, comp cards
- Health - Nutrition, fitness, and a positive body image
- Safety - Self-defense, avoiding scams, and protecting yourself from dangerous situations
How Do I Know if a Modeling School is Good or Bad?
Do your homework and find out as much as possible about the modeling school you’re interested in, including how long they’ve been in business, who they’re owned by, what they teach, and who the instructors are. You can learn a lot by conducting a simple Google search or checking with the Better Business Bureau. It also wouldn’t hurt to take it a step further and talk to former students if possible.
If the modeling school is a “good” one, they will have been around for a long time, will have a good reputation within the community, and will be owned and operated by real industry professionals (former models, agents, fashion photographers, etc.). They’ll be open and honest about every aspect of their business and won’t hesitate to give you testimonials, let you tour the school or let you check out their curriculum.
Even if the school ticks all of these boxes, there are still a few things you need to be careful about and avoid the ones that:
- Boast about models they’ve never trained or represented,
- Guarantee you'll get modeling jobs upon graduation,
- Insist that you take classes before their "agency" will represent you,
- Demand you pay extra for photo shoots with their photographer
Everything should be included in your tuition at schools that teach skills, with the exception of photo prints (it’s perfectly normal for students to pay extra to purchase prints from the photographer). Go with your gut instinct – if something doesn’t sit well with you, no matter how insignificant it seems, find another school.