How to Get Started in Modeling on a Shoe String Budget

Modeling is a fun career that can also be extremely profitable – once you get established, that is. There are many money making ideas today but none as glamorous as modeling. But the downside is, if you are not careful, your initial expenses could easily balloon out of control. Use the pointers below to get started in a modeling career on a shoe string budget.


Hire a photographer to take pictures of you. Search for a photographer that is reasonable in pricing; possibly just starting out in his or her own career. Some photographers will work with models who are just getting started and may not have the money to pay for all the photos. They use an exchange program called Time for Prints, or TFP if you are looking for pictures in print or Time for CD, or TFCD if you are going to have your prints transferred to a CD. There is no money required with this type of exchange program. The photographer gets the experience and his or her name out there and you get photos that you can add to your portfolio. Sometimes the photographer may use a photo to advertise their services, which could be great publicity for you as well.


Money Making Ideas: Modeling - Getting StartedThe next step to launching your modeling career is to build up your make-up collection. You know that every outfit requires a certain shade of eye shadow, blush, and mascara. Start by building up your collection bit by bit of everything you like to wear. Look for sales and coupons on the make-up you use the most. (If you are not a coupon clipper, just get into the habit of scanning ebay for your favorite coupons – you may be surprised at how much you can save for a very small investment of time and money!) Don’t waste your money on cheap versions; instead buy brand names as they tend to hold up better during long photo shoots.


You will need a collection of different outfits that you can change into that shows off the best views of you. Your collection should contain the appropriate dress for the type of modeling you are the most interested in. You don’t need to buy brand name expensive designer clothing from the designer’s website. You simply need to visit second hand shops or auction sites online to find the right set of clothing that you can use in your collection.  As you get established and get bigger gigs, the wardrobe will probably come with the project. For now, you may need to make sure you are prepared for whatever comes your way.

Due Diligence

When you show up for a photo shoot, it is important to read all agreements carefully before you sign. Read the agreements out loud to the other party to make sure that you understand everything that is required of you and everything you should expect from them. Misunderstandings, especially legally binding ones, can be extremely costly. Even if it seems boring and uninteresting, do not skip this step.

Promote yourself

Advertise and let yourself be known. Use social media sites to get the word out. Place your photo and contact information on reputable modeling websites. You would be amazed at how many agencies view these websites in order to find a fresh face or a particular look they are going for.

For everyone you meet, get a name and phone number to contact them in the future, if needed. You can ask for a business card or Bluetooth the information over to your mobile so you can store the information. You never know what contact is going to be useful to you once you start your new modeling career. Keep a journal of everything you do and the people you are in contact with. As you begin to accumulate a long list of contacts, you need to know who does what. Organize it in a journal for quick and easy reference.

Learning from others

If you know of someone else who models, contact them and shadow them as much as possible (with permission, of course) to find out all the ins and outs of the trade. If they are willing to mentor you, they may allow you to attend a photo shoot or event with them in order to learn more and to get your name out. A good mentor can help you shed months or years off your initial ramp up.

Modeling is no doubt one of the most glamorous and cool money making ideas out there. However, if you are not careful, getting started can get expensive. Use the tips above to make sure that your choice of this money making idea does not end up being a money draining idea!!!

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