To get started as a model in Canada, you need to build a strong portfolio to show agencies and clients what you’ve got. Here are the steps to create a modeling portfolio that will get you noticed:
Start by choosing a variety of outfits that showcase your look and style. Pick clothes that fit well and are appropriate for the type of modeling you want to do (high fashion, commercial, etc.). Get photos taken of you in these outfits. For the best results, hire a professional photographer who has experience shooting models. They can capture high-quality images that agencies and clients expect to see.
You’ll want both close-up beauty shots as well as full-body shots. The beauty shots should focus on your face and show your best facial features and expressions. For full-body shots, pose in a way that flatters your body type and shows your height. Include side profiles as well as shots from different angles.
Build your portfolio to include a minimum of 2-3 beauty shots and 5-10 full-body shots. More is better, as long as the quality is high. You can then choose the best of the best for your portfolio.
Include digitals of the photos, not just prints. Most agencies and clients will want to see the actual image files. Provide the photos in high resolution on a USB drive or share them via a file sharing service.
Update your portfolio at least every 6-12 months to show your latest looks and experience. Get new photos taken, especially if your appearance changes significantly. A modeling portfolio is an ongoing work in progress, so keep improving and expanding it over the course of your career.
With a strong portfolio that showcases what you have to offer, you’ll be ready to start applying to modeling agencies and pitching yourself for modeling jobs in Canada. Your portfolio is your calling card, so put in the work to build one that will get you in the door. The opportunities will open up from there!
Finding Modeling Agencies in Canada
So you want to model in Canada, eh? The first step is finding legit modeling agencies to represent you. There are a few ways to track down reputable agencies:
Search online for “modeling agencies in Canada” along with your city name. Check out their websites and social media to get a feel for the type of models they represent. Look for agencies that handle the type of modeling you’re interested in, whether it’s commercial print, runway, plus size, or influencer marketing.
See if the agency is licensed and has a good reputation. Look for reviews from real models on sites like Glassdoor or Model Management. Watch out for scams that ask for upfront fees. Legit agencies will not charge you to be represented.
Attend an open casting call. Many agencies host open calls, especially in larger cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. This allows you to meet agents in person, get professional photos taken, and potentially get called back for representation. Follow the instructions on the agency’s website and dress in simple, form-fitting clothing that shows your figure.
Build your modeling portfolio. Even if you don’t have professional photos yet, start building your book with casual shots of you smiling, laughing and striking different poses. Include full body shots, close-ups, and 3/4 length photos. This gives agents an idea of your look and style.
Make the rounds to different agencies. Don’t pin all your hopes on just one agency. Take your photos and attend as many open calls as possible. Be friendly yet professional, and express your enthusiasm for the work. With perseverance, you’ll find the right agency to get your modeling career off the ground.
How to Apply to Modeling Agencies in Canada
To get started as a model in Canada, you’ll need to apply to modeling agencies to find representation. Applying to multiple agencies is key, as it can take time to find the right fit. Do some research on agencies that represent the type of modeling you’re interested in, like commercial print or runway. Check their website for application details and requirements.
Build Your Portfolio
Agencies will want to see your potential, so you’ll need a portfolio showcasing your look. Have professional photos taken, including headshots and full body shots. You can also include snapshots of yourself in natural, everyday poses. Compile the photos into a physical portfolio or create an online portfolio on a website like Model Mayhem.
Prepare Your Materials
In addition to photos, agencies will want to see other materials like:
- A cover letter expressing your interest in the agency and goals as a model. Mention any experience you have.
- Your resume highlighting any previous modeling work, training, or relevant skills like dance or athletics. List your height, weight, measurements and shoe size.
- A video reel or clips of you walking, posing and smiling on camera. Keep videos short, around 30 to 60 seconds.
- References from photographers, makeup artists or industry professionals you’ve worked with (if any).
Research the Agency
Learn as much as you can about the agencies you’re interested in. See who they represent and the types of clients and jobs they book. Follow them on social media to stay up to date with their roster of models and job postings. Familiarize yourself with the agency’s submission guidelines and be prepared for their application process.
Apply and Follow Up
When you’re ready, submit your materials to the agencies you’ve researched. Follow up within 1 to 2 weeks to confirm they received everything. Be professional, polite and patient throughout the process. It can take time for agencies to review applications and schedule meetings or test shoots. Stay in touch by emailing every few weeks to express your continued interest. With persistence, you’ll get your foot in the door!
The keys to applying to modeling agencies are preparation, patience and persistence. Build a strong portfolio, research your options, submit high-quality materials and don’t get discouraged. With the right agency behind you, a successful modeling career in Canada can be within your reach!