How to Be a Preteen Model

Photographs taken in a natural setting are a welcome addition to your modeling portfolio.

If you’re a preteen with an interest in fashion or are a parent who thinks your preteen has the looks and personality of a star, consider exploring the modeling industry. With perseverance and the capability to take rejection with humor and a good spirit, you may one day see your preteen gracing the pages of a magazine. Follow industry standards to ensure getting your foot in the door of a reputable talent agency.

Participate in regional pageants, talent shows and fashion shows. This will give you practice at being in front of an audience.

Hire a professional photographer to take a series of photographs. Take photographs in different settings with different outfits. Take informal photographs that illustrate your personality as well as formal photographs that illustrate your appearance. Take head shots and full body shots.

Begin a portfolio. Buy a bound portfolio with plastic sleeve pages. Insert several of the best photos from the photo shoot. Once you start to gain experience, add press clippings and a resume.

Hire a printing company to print a stack of model composition cards (called comp cards). A comp card is a 8 1/2-by-5 1/2-inch card that includes images and your statistics (called stats). Make your head shot the most dominant image and then include three or four various smaller images of different poses. For your stats, include date of birth, height, clothing size, shoe size, hair color and eye color. Also include your name and contact information. For security reasons, many parents only include the first letter of the last name. Your comp card is a promotional tool. Hand out your comp cards to agents, scouts and other professionals.

Contact talent agencies in your area that work with children up to age 12. Inquire about the application process. Be wary of any agency that asks you to pay money. Typically you will fill out an application and submit images. Many agencies have open call days where anyone can come for a portfolio review and interview. If an agency is interested, they will offer a contract. Be wary of agencies that take more than a 20% commission. The agency then will sign you up for auditions and let you know about modeling calls.

  • A preteen model must have the permission and consent of her parent or legal guardian.

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.