Over the years, I have worked with a very large number of new and experienced models and, through my discussions with them, I have learned a great deal about both how to succeed in modelling and how to avoid the pitfalls. The aim of this section of my site is to give all models my best advice.
Below, you will discover a little about:
Models who work with me, as either clients or employed, are always welcome to call
© Copyright of all images is owned and reserved by Tony Brook
Everyone who wants to become a model needs to be familiar with the main modelling styles and related work opportunities:
I Want to be a Model
Many girls (and a few men) decide in their teens or early twenties that “I want to
be a model”, either because they are attracted by the perceived glamour of the industry
or because they, or their friends, believe they have a distinctive look that would
make them a successful model. The fact that someone says “I want to be a model”
is important, in that they should have the self-
There are three main routes into modelling:
1. A very few girls become a model by walking into a top model agency, with a
few amateur pictures of themselves or none at all, and be tested and accepted as
a new model. An equally very small number of girls are talent scouted and sent to
a top agency. This is exceptionally rare and only happens for a tiny minority of
girls with a unique look and unique aptitude to be taken on by one of the top agencies,
and groomed by them for a career in modelling. When this does happen, the girls
are usually in their early to mid-
2. Many girls who want to become a model are either asked by a photographer
“in the street” if they would like to try modelling and do so, are “talent scouted
in the street” and sent to a bogus agency that then charges them a large amount for
poor quality pictures, or create a profile on one of the Internet model sites and
undertake unpaid “time for prints” (TFP) shoots to try to build-
3. The best route to becoming a model for average to good looking girls is to
invest in a high quality initial model portfolio, which they can then submit to model
agencies and photographers. Professional photographers only charge around £400 to
£500 for a full-
Traditionally, models sit at the bottom of the food-
Most new models believe that being signed by a model agency will automatically bring
paid work and professional success; however, this is not necessarily true: as with
most things in life, there are good and bad model agencies. The challenge for new
models is knowing which is which. The are a relatively small number of established
successful agencies, that only retain models when they are confident that both they
and the model will have a mutually beneficial relationship: in other words, when
they are confident that their clients will want to book the model regularly. There
are then a large number of small agencies, that usually have a very large number
of models on their books, and rarely provide each model with much work: even worse,
these agencies often waste models’ time sending them to castings, when there is little
hope of the model winning any paid work. Lastly, there are many unsuccessful and
bogus agencies, that operate good web-
The best way to approach agencies is with a good portfolio of images, that highlight your modelling aptitude. It is also good to approach the smaller agencies first and slowly apply for better and better agencies, obtaining feedback from each as you go. Agencies receive lots of applications and you should not be discouraged by one or two rejections! Whilst agencies may reject you because they do not believe they will be able to source paid work for you, they may also reject you because they already have one or two models with your “look” and don’t want another one, or because your “look” does not fit with their client base. As and when you are accepted by a model agency, they may offer you an exclusive contract, which means you cannot accept bookings through any other agency or privately: only sign an exclusive contract if you are confident the agency will get sufficient work for you.
Please remember, no agency should ever charge a model to have new pictures taken! At worst, an agency may insist that you are photographed by their own photographer, and the cost of that shoot should be deducted from your future income from that agency.
More and more models now manage their own modelling career, either operating as a
freelance model only or combining freelance work with non-
Sadly, there are many potential pitfalls for new and aspiring models, and I can only mention a few of them here: I spend time during my model portfolio shoots briefing new models on the risks to avoid.
Bogus Model Portfolio Photographer & Agencies
There are several model portfolio photography businesses in London and other major
cities that are devoted to exploiting aspiring models: they employ bogus talent scouts
to target girls in shopping centres and clubs, entice them to photo-
All models should have a clear understanding of model releases and their legal rights when signing them. All good photographers will require models to sign a model release at the end of a shoot. In brief, a model release is a legal document which routinely states how much the model has been paid, that the images are owned by the photographer and how the photographer may use the images. Models must always read these documents carefully before signing them. More importantly, models should agree with photographers before a shoot what the images may be used for, and ensure that any agreed limitations or constraints on their use are accurately recorded on the model release. If a model release is not accurate or appropriate, the model should either not sign it or annotate it with any agreed limitations on the use of the images before signing it.
As mentioned in the Agencies & Self-
Unprofessional Photographers & Bad Photographs
Unprofessional and bad photographers fall into one or both of two categories: those that simply take bad photographs and those that behave inappropriately toward models.
Bad photographs of a new model, circulated on the Internet, can damage the model’s career before it has even started, so, it is best to avoid working for bad photographers. This may seem obvious, but if a bad photographer is willing to pay you to model for them, you have the tough choice of accepting the money and risking the images being seen or declining the offer. This challenges becomes common if you use the photographer and model networking sites, as they have many amateur photographer members and, whilst some of them are good photographers, there are many bad ones.
I hear numerous stories about both professional and amateur photographers behaving
inappropriately toward models, ranging from simple rudeness to making sexual advances.
So, there are a few golden rules. Firstly, before you work with a photographer
for the first time, try to get references from other models and be cautious until
you learn to trust them. Secondly, photographers should keep a professional distance
from models at all times -
It amazes me that thousands of girls search the Internet every month asking “what
is a model portfolio”, so I had better answer the question! A model portfolio is
simply a selection of photographs or other images of a model that show both her “look”
and her range of experience. Most good model portfolios comprise a natural head-
A model may carry one high-
How to Create a Model Portfolio
The best way to create a model portfolio quickly and efficiently is to pay a good professional photographer, whose images and style you like, to shoot a portfolio for you, for the reasons outlined on my Become a Model page. Good professional photographers will provide you with the right images to launch your modelling career, both in terms of quality and range of looks.
I specialise in commercial natural beauty images and, coincidentally, these images
are the essential foundation of a good model portfolio for any new or aspiring model,
showing the model both naturally and at her very best. I also work hard during shoots
to ensure the model is relaxed and to get some excellent happy smiling pictures,
as these are most successful in winning new work -
Model Photographers & Model Portfolio Photographers
Please be warned, there are a lot of quite awful photographers out there offering model portfolio shoots at excessive prices. Good model portfolio photographers will regularly work with experienced professional models shooting commercial material for magazines and others and fit model portfolio shoots in between their other commitments. So, when you are choosing a model portfolio photographer, check their portfolio for evidence of the breadth and quality of their work.
Good photographers will have worked with a large number of models and will know how
to get the best from each and every model, including new and aspiring ones. Having
said that, I am astounded how many models comment to me that I give them far more
advice and help on posing and styling than other professional photographers: so,
be warned, there are some professionals out there who may not get the best from you!
I always work with my model portfolio clients to agree the styles and looks before
the shoot, I and my excellent make-