Introduction to Modelling
Course Handbook

Introduction to Modelling Course

Welcome to the Bubblegum Academy

Introduction to Modelling Course

As you are probably already aware, this course is designed to help you learn all the basic fundamentals of modelling — how to get started, how to break into the industry, and most importantly, how to be a success!

To do this, we’re going to introduce you to some industry experts who know exactly what it takes to make it in the world of modelling as well as offer you some insider tips gleaned from our decades of experience in the industry. And as the longest running kids talent agency in Australia, let’s just say we’ve seen everything this industry can throw your way.

We created this handbook to accompany your video tutorials. Each chapter will run through the information explained in each module from Modelling 101 right through to advice on scams and safety.

Remember that if there’s anything that you don’t understand in this handbook or the course itself, feel free to get in touch and we’ll help in any way we can.

So if you're ready, let's take the first steps in your new career as an internationally famous model!

If you’re going to succeed in the world of modelling, then you’ll need to understand the fundamentals of the industry.

So let's take a look at some of the most common questions that aspiring models may have

What is a Model

What is a Model?

A model is a person that is used in photography or video for campaigns, advertising, promotions of brands, and all types of other things. In a nutshell, a model helps a brand or company to convey a certain image in order to deliver a message or sell a product or service.

What is Editorial Photography/Modelling?

The photos you see in big fashion magazines like Vogue are forms of editorial photography and modelling. In this type of photography, models will use their bodies and facial expressions to tell a story or to sell an idea, concept, or even a dream-like fantasy.

This type of modelling requires a model to be comfortable with a broad range of poses and expressions. For example, some editorial shoots may require subtle poses and facial expressions to convey a message while others may need grand gestures and extravagant poses.

What is Commercial Modelling?

Commercial modelling is much more common. This is the type of modelling that you see on billboards at the side of the road, huge posters in the mall, or ads on the bus. This modelling requires everyday poses and expressions that people can relate to.

This type of modelling is really designed to sell a product and that’s usually the clothing or accessories that the model is wearing or the products that they’re using.

What is Runway Modelling?

Runway modelling is fashion modelling and is usually for bigger brands. As you may have guessed, it involves walking down the runway in a particular designer or brand’s clothing. Think of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show and you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.

Runway modelling is often done in front of a crowd of industry influencers and sometimes even celebrities. This makes it a great chance to be noticed and possibly make a name for yourself. Bear in mind that as this is live modelling and not photography, you’ll need to be very confident in your skills.

What is TVC?

A TVC is just short for a TV commercial. This type of modelling is slightly different as you’ll need to play a character, play out some actions, and possibly even speak a few lines.

What is Runway Modelling

What is a Modelling Agency?

A modelling agency is a group of industry professionals who help models on their books find suitable work.

What are the Agency's Roles?

The agency will assign an agent to a model. It is that person’s responsibility to connect models with clients who have suitable opportunities. While it’s possible to go out and find freelance work without an agent, clients usually contact agencies with the best jobs and opportunities.

The agency will also help with contracts and ensure that any payment is the correct amount for the work done. Remember that an agency is not just about your agent, there’s a whole network of industry professionals working behind the scenes to help you secure that gig.

What Does Casting Director Do

What does a casting director do?

A casting director is a person who facilitates jobs on behalf of brands, advertising agencies, and production companies. It’s their job to find the right person for the role. For the most part, casting directors will come straight to a modelling agency or agent with a brief and the agency/agent will recommend suitable models for the role.

What does a creative director do?

Creative directors are different to casting directors in that they have a direct influence on the campaign. In fact, it’s often the creative director who will come up with the idea for the campaign and, as such, they may have very specific instructions for the type of model they require.

It’s usually the creative director who briefs the casting director about what they are looking for in a model.

What does a director do?

A director is the person who is ultimately responsible for the filming of a TV commercial or any other type of video production. You’ll rarely see a director on a photography campaign, but you may see a creative director working alongside the photographer.

What does a producer do?

The producer is responsible for pretty much everything! They’ll find a location, book the catering, hire equipment — everything that is needed to make a shoot run smoothly is facilitated by the producer or somebody working on their team.

What does a booker do?

A booker works for an agent to help them do all the heavy lifting of the job. They’ll work closely with the model to make sure that they have all the right information and that they have everything they need to make it to the job. They’ll schedule a model’s appointments and play an integral role in the everyday work of being a model.

What does a stylist do?

Not much explaining required here! A stylist will work on the set to help create a look that reflects the creative director’s vision.

Does a photographer do more than take pictures?

Yes, they often do. You see, while some photographers are quite happy to let the creative director lead the shoot, others will take a more hands on approach. These photographers will tell the models how they should pose or ask them to try different things. They may also work closely with the stylist to decide what direction they want to take.

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is one of the most important tools a model can have. It’s a selection of images that showcase the best of your skills in a variety of poses or shots from different angles. Portfolios will also often include images from your previous jobs so a casting director can see what you’re capable of.

In other words, it’s just like a resume!

What Does a Booker Do
What Are Comp Cards

What are comp cards?

A comp card or composite card serves as a kind of business card for a model. It can be in physical or digital format and will include some of your most recent/best images and your details such as height, shoe size etc.

What is a go see?

A go-see is a meeting between a new model and a potential client. In simple terms, you go to see the client and they get to see what you look like and may even ask you to try on an outfit and take some test shots.

What is a direct book?

This is when a client books a model without asking them to go through a casting call. This usually happens with models that the client has worked with before or if they have a very specific request in terms of looks and you’re the only model that can fill the role.

What is open casting?

This is when a client wants to see a broad range of models. You’ll go along to the casting and there will be a lot of models waiting to be seen. It can be quite competitive and even a little intimidating for new models. Just remember that many of the other models at an open casting will be just as nervous as you!

What is a callback?

A callback is what happens when a casting director is interested in you and wants to see more of you. Your agency may tell you about this through email or a text message and while it doesn’t mean you’ve landed the job just yet, it’s a step in the right direction!

What does on hold mean?

If you’ve sailed through the callback (your second audition) and the casting director is impressed, you’ll be put on hold. This means that you’ve been shortlisted for the job.

What does weather hold mean?

If you get the job and the shoot is being held outdoors, the client may give you two dates with one as the desired shoot date and the next as the weather hold date. This simply means that if the weather is bad on the first date, they’ll move the shoot to the second date. This means that you’ll need to keep both days free.

What is Callbacks

What is an extra?

If you’re interested in doing TV commercials, then you may land a role as an extra. This is a person in the background who is not the main focus of attention in the commercial. If you’re a featured extra, you may get a more prominent role and perhaps even a line.

Of course, you’ll come across a lot more words and terms as you become more familiar with the industry, but these explain everything you need to know to get started.

What are Agencies?

The different types of agencies

Junior agencies
These deal with models from newborns right up to 17 year-olds.

Adult/grown-up agencies
These focus on anyone aged 18 or over.

What does an agency do?

An agency works as the middleman between a brand, production company, or casting director and the model or talent. The brand comes to the agency because the agency has good, vetted talent while a model signs with an agency because of the opportunities.

It’s important to note that while an agency will put you forward for work, you won’t match the requirements for all the opportunities that come in. For example, some clients may require a model of a specific height or ethnicity for a campaign so it won’t suit you.

The client process

Typically, a client will come directly to the agency with a brief that includes all the requirements for the job. This often includes height, age, or any special skills along with the rate of pay and dates for the assignment.

The agency will then match the client with any models on its books that meet the assignment requirements and who fall under the client’s budget range. What we mean by this is that some of the more established models have set a minimum rate that they will work for.

Once the client has chosen potential models that they may want to work with, the agency will inform the models.

In fact, the agency will manage all communications between the client and the models throughout the entire working process. The only real contact the model will have with representatives of the client will be when working on set.

The agency will also help junior models secure a work permit to work on set which is a legal requirement in Australia and in many other countries.

When the job is finished, the agency will handle invoicing and the receipt of payments so you don’t need to worry about that at all

Go see event

This is when a client wants to see a lot of models from one agency in a short space of time. These were hugely popular in the past, but since more and more casting directors and agencies have shifted to remote auditioning, they’re not quite as relevant as they once were.

How to choose the right agency?

Choosing the right agency can have a huge impact on your career so this is a very important decision

Do your research

Google the agency and see if you can find any reviews left by models or parents of models who have worked there previously. With the junior modelling industry, you’re much more likely to find some negative feedback so take care to dig a little deeper. One or two bad reviews doesn’t necessarily mean that an agency is bad. Just make sure that those one or two negative reviews are far outweighed by positive ones.

Check the agency’s social media profiles to see what kind of clients and brands they are currently working with. In some cases you may even find that the clients mention the agency on their own socials if they’re happy with the service.

Decide on your needs

If your goal is to simply do some extra work and perhaps the odd shoot now and then, you may not need to worry too much about signing with a big name agency that has all those stellar clients.

On the other hand, if your goal is to develop your career and make a name for yourself, then a top-level agency is exactly what you’re looking for.

Quick tips for choosing an agency

Quick Tips for Choosing an Agency

How many years has the agency been in business?

A new agency may not have been in business long enough for you to learn much from their reviews.

Check the company email address

A legit agency will have a proper business email address associated with its website. They will avoid using email addresses from free providers like gmail or hotmail.

Is there a lot of negative chatter online about the agency?

Read forums, check social media groups, and read reviews to see if there’s a common theme for any negative chatter. Like we said, one or two is usually not a problem, but if you start to see a pattern, it’s time to move onto another agency

Are they asking for money too soon?

If the agency is asking for money immediately, that’s a major red flag as it shows that they’re only after your membership fees. Any reputable agency will want to meet with you first before even discussing your fees.

Are they reaching out to you directly?

If an agency is reaching out to a junior model without speaking
first with mum or dad, this is totally unacceptable. A reputable
agency will never do this and will only speak with a junior model
in the presence of a parent or guardian.

What happens once you have found an agency?

You’ll need to make an online application first.

You’ll need to include:

A simple headshot — Preferably in front of a white background with lighting to the side or in front of you, never behind. Keep it natural with your regular hairstyle and colour and no accessories or heavy makeup.

A full body shot — Again, this should be very simple. A plain t-shirt and jeans is fine, no patterns or branded clothes.

The agency will then review your application and if they need any models in your category, they’ll call you in for an interview or arrange an online interview.

If the agency decides that you’re a good fit, they will then offer you a contract


Your job as a model is to be on time, be polite, be professional, be reliable, and show up for any opportunities.

Your agency’s job is to try to facilitate those opportunities for you.

Remember that no agency can guarantee you work. It’s all down to the briefs that they receive from clients, timing, and a little luck. Oh, and let’s not forget the effort that you put into your auditions too.

So if an agency makes a guarantee of work, you should treat that as a warning that this agency may not be on the level.

Your agency will also give you the opportunity to fill in a bio that clients will read when looking at your profile. You’re expected to write this yourself (or your parents can do it) so take the chance to highlight any additional skills that you may have.

A reputable agency will continue to work for you throughout your time with them and put you forward for any relevant opportunities. Just remember that they will contact you as soon as they have any news to share and emailing them every day or even every week won’t make any difference to your chances.

Persistence is Key

Working in the entertainment industry is very difficult as you’ll face quite a lot of rejection and that rejection may even come in the form of an agency deciding not to represent you.

At Bubblegum Casting we turn down thousands of applicants each year as we prefer to work with aspiring models that we believe have the right attitude and that certain something that will see them succeed in the industry. We also need to turn down some kids because we have too many similar junior models on the books already.

This means that there’s a very strong chance that during your search for an agency, you may be turned down once or twice. The important thing here is to never give up.

And believe it or not, it’s not unusual for agencies to turn down a model only to sign them the following year.

With this in mind, you have to keep plugging away and eventually you’ll find the agency that’s a perfect fit for you.


What is Portfolio

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is a selection of your images that showcase the best of your skills in a variety of poses or shots from different angles.

What is in a portfolio?

It’s crucial that you only have professionally taken photos in your portfolio. You want to wow the casting director and you just can’t do that with images taken on your smartphone no matter how good you may think they look. That means no selfies and no holiday snapshots.

You’ll also want a few headshots, images from a variety of angles, and at least one full body shot. Sometimes these are referred to as polaroids.

It’s also a good idea to have images showcasing any skills that you might have. So if you’re a ballet dancer, have at least one shot of you stretching or jumping.

It’s also vital that your photos are up to date. This is particularly true if you’re a child model as height and looks can change over the course of just a few months!

Even adults that change their hair colour or change anything else about their appearance should include a recent image too.

Your portfolio can also include some images from any jobs you have done in the past.

Why is a portfolio so important?

A portfolio is just like a resume for models. It shows a casting director what you are capable of and an idea of the work that you have done before.

In a nutshell, this is how you make a good first impression in the world of modelling.

How to build a portfolio?

Most agencies will book new models in for a test shoot just to see how they perform in front of a camera. The images taken in this shoot will be the first images in your portfolio and, as you may have guessed, they should be taken by a professional photographer.

What you will want to do in that session is try to include as many poses as you can and possibly an outfit change if at all possible.

And remember, try not to use too much makeup or hair product so you can give the casting director a clear understanding of what the natural you really looks like.

As you start to work, you can add some images from your jobs to build out your portfolio.

Why Portfolio is So Important


What is a Portal

What is a portal?

Talent or casting portals are online platforms that allow casting directors, creative directors, and photographers to find models based on their details. Your agency may have several portals that they ask you to join and that you must pay a subscription fee for.

This is one of the reasons that agencies will charge you annual fees so they can cover the cost of you subscribing to each portal.

What portals do I need to join?

This depends entirely on your agency. Most will ask you to join the big ones such as Casting Networks, Backstage, Spotlight, or Talent Shoutout. You’ll need to ask your agency which ones you need to join and then fill in your own details.

What details are on the portals?

Details include your size, height, skills, and age. These will need to be updated regularly especially for younger models.

The Different Types
of Audition

There are a few different types of auditions so let’s take a quick run through each.

Face to Face / In studio
Open casting / Open call audition
Online audition / self tape
Face to Face / In-Studio

Face to Face / In studio

This is probably the kind of scenario that most people think of when they hear the word audition. It involves you attending a scheduled audition either in a studio or a rented space such as a hotel conference room where you’ll meet the casting director face-to-face.

These auditions will run for about 10-15 minutes, but it’s a good idea to keep your schedule free for at least a couple of hours after your time slot just in case there’s any slight delay or your audition runs over.

In these auditions you may be asked to perform some lines from a script. In most cases you’ll be sent these lines beforehand so you can practice at home. If this happens, make sure that you practice as much as possible!

Child models and actors will need to be accompanied by an adult, but it’s important that only one adult attends. There will be lots of kids and their parents at the audition so casting directors like to keep those in attendance at a minimum.

Open casting / Open call audition

An open casting or open call audition often happens when a casting director or client wants to see as many models or actors as they can in as short a time as possible. So if you’re asked to attend one of these, you can expect to see a lot of other models and actors there.

At these types of auditions, as with most others, the client wants to see the real you to figure out how you might fit in with their vision. This means that makeup and hair products should be kept to a minimum.

The casting director may ask you a few simple questions such as your favourite colour or movie. It’s important that you keep your answers simple and honest. Remember, they want to see the real you so just be yourself!

Open Casting / Open Call Auditions

Online audition / self tape

This type of audition is becoming increasingly popular as it helps casting directors reduce the time required to see all the applicants. While some online auditions may be live, the majority involve you recording a self tape and sending it to your agent or the casting director.

The casting director or client can then take a look at your audition at any time and rewatch if they like what they see.

If you’re ever asked to film a self tape you should make sure that you are well prepared beforehand. Choose a quiet setting with plenty of natural light or good lighting. Your background should be clear of any distractions that may draw the attention of the casting director. You should also make sure that everyone knows you’re recording so there are no unexpected interruptions.

Oh, and remember that you can record as many takes as you like, so do a few in different styles and ask someone to help you choose the best one to send in.

Quick Audition Tips

Know where you're going

If you’re attending an audition make sure that you know where you’re going and how to get there. Do this a day or two beforehand so you can ask your agent if there are any problems.

Know your audition details

You should know who you’re meeting, the address, the client/brief, the role you’re auditioning for, and your time slot. It helps to have all of these things written down just in case.

Do your research

This means finding out anything you can about the client that you’re auditioning for. Their previous ads or productions and their social media activity will give you a good idea of the type of models/actors they generally use.

Dress appropriately

If you’re auditioning for a clothing brand then you can try to mimic the brand’s style. For example, if it’s streetwear you can dress casually. However, it’s important that you dress for your age. Don’t try to dress older as the casting director has specifically asked for someone in your age group.

You should try to wear plain clothes with no large logos or branding and avoid accessories. Also try to avoid white as you’ll often audition in front of a white background.

Take the chance to network

Auditions are a great opportunity to get to know other people that work in the industry so instead of spending your waiting time looking at your phone, try to have a chat with the other models and actors. You never know who you might meet and it’ll also help ease your nerves a little.

Don't change your look

Once you’ve finished your audition it’s extremely important that you don’t change your look. If the casting director chooses you, they’ll want to see the same person that they saw in the audition so don’t get your hair cut or change anything about your general appearance.

Don't share any audition details online

Some clients may not want details of the audition or role shared with the public so try not to post anything too detailed about the audition online. In some cases, you may even be asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement as the client wants to keep everything top secret until the ad or production goes live.

Be patient

Casting takes time. This means that regardless of how well you think your audition went, you need to be patient and wait for word to get back to you and calling your agent won’t speed up the process. If you’re chosen, you’ll be notified immediately and any further details will be sent on as soon as possible.

Generally speaking, casting directors don’t give feedback and they will only contact your agent if you have landed the role or you’ve been put on hold. Being put on hold means that you’re under consideration but that you haven’t got the role just yet.

However, if the date of the job passes and you haven’t heard anything, then it’s likely that you haven’t been successful this time around.

Working Set

Permits for work

In Australia, all children that want to work in the entertainment industry must apply for a permit to do so.

This is to protect the rights of the child and to ensure that only people who have been legally cleared to work with children can do so. Permits vary from market to market so the permit application process in Western Australia may be slightly different to that in Victoria. It’s also important to note that permits cannot be used in any market other than the one where it was issued.

We’re talking about Australia here, but this is likely true in the vast majority of countries around the world so no matter where you are, take care to ensure that your agency is getting the right permits in place.

From a legal standpoint, production companies cannot work with children without the right permits, so they will do all they can to ensure that all the right paperwork is in place. This means that it’s usually not something that you need to worry about as a parent.

As modelling work usually takes place during office hours, the agency will need to get permission from school and the state government to allow the child to miss some classes.

Once the school agrees that the work won’t have a significant impact on a child’s education and the production company has met any legal requirements, then the permit is usually approved.

Before you start working

Once the permits have been approved, it’s time to get to work on set!

At this point the wardrobe department may contact you about clothing sizes and any hair product or makeup allergies you may have. For younger models, they’ll speak with a parent or guardian.

It’s important to note that you must be honest about any allergies you may have as the makeup department has no problem dealing with this kind of thing. It shouldn’t affect your ability to do the job at all.

Permits and Requirements for Work
Requirements and Permits for Work

What is a call sheet?

Permits for work

This is a document that tells you what time you need to be at the shoot and any other important information such as how to check in and what you’re expected to do on the shoot. It will include any things that you need to prepare beforehand or that you might need to bring with you to the shoot such as a certain type of shoes or clothing.

It will also include the name of the person who will meet you when you arrive and who will be responsible for taking care of you throughout the shoot.

Most call sheets are just a single page with the basic details, but some clients have been known to issue call sheets that are 10 or 20 pages long. Sometimes even longer!

On set etiquette

Okay, this is very important — all the people on set are there to do a job and while they may be very nice, it’s important to remember that they are incredibly busy and so you should treat them with respect and try not to bother them.

For adult models this is quite easy to handle, but for parents of child models it can be difficult. As a parent you want what’s best for your child, but so too do the people on the set. That’s why one person from the crew is usually assigned to look after your child. It’s tough but you need to trust them to do their job. Weirdly enough, this is the one scenario where parents should be seen and not heard. It may seem harsh, but the job will run much more smoothly if you let the crew members do their jobs.

Of course, if you are uncomfortable with anything that your child has been asked to do or they’ve been asked to wear something that you feel is inappropriate and that wasn’t discussed at the audition, then you are well within your rights to speak up.

Cancellations and sickness

If you’re sick and can’t make the job, it’s perfectly understandable but you must contact your agent as soon as possible. That way, the casting director can find a replacement model for the job.

However, you should try to avoid cancellations unless you’re sick or it’s completely unavoidable. You have a small window of opportunity here and you don’t want to earn a reputation as the model who cancels needlessly.

In all situations you must contact your agent immediately, we cannot stress that enough. If you simply don’t show up, or you call in at the last minute, you’re unlikely to be booked for work again.

On Set Etiquette



In this chapter we give some examples of the various types of posing required depending on the type of shoot.


The poses used in editorial photography usually help to tell a story so they may be quite artistic and flamboyant.

Subtle and Subdued

Subtle and Subdued

Large and Extravagant

Large and Extravagant

Catalogue Photography

This is more about expressing your lifestyle so it’s often quite natural with everyday actions and poses.



Natural actions

Natural Actions

Look up and down

Look Up and Down

Posing Tips

It’s always good to practice your poses at home so that when you’re asked to smile or laugh, you can do it naturally without giving it too much thought.

Try to have a method that you follow for each pose and stick to it. For example, if you need to laugh, have something in mind that you find hilarious and always think of that thing when doing your on-camera laugh.

It’s also a good idea to ask your photographer how they work as some photographers like to give a lot of direction while others will tell you to just do your thing while they take shots. Knowing this will help you get in the right frame of mind before the shoot actually starts.

Practicing your poses in front of the mirror or by taking selfies may feel odd at first, but it’s a great way to understand what your best poses are and what your best angle is. You may find that your jawline is clearer on the left or that your nose seems slightly straighter when shot from a certain angle. Understanding this means that you can help the photographer by always presenting your best angles in shots where possible.


The chances are that when you decided to get into modelling, the runway was where you thought you’d spend a lot of your time.

Interestingly though, there are so many models out there that have never been on a runway which is a shame because it’s lots of fun!

What is runway modelling?

Runway modelling is when models wear a particular designer or brand’s clothing and walk down the catwalk at a fashion
show. It’s usually high-end fashion and involves multiple outfit changes in a very short space of time.

What is so great about it

Runway modelling can be a great way to make a name for yourself as a model. This is because fashion shows are usually attended by fashion designers, celebrities, and industry influencers.

If they like your runway skills, they may even decide to hire you for their own runway shows.

What is Modelling Runway

The runway walk

For the standard runway walk you walk with your:

  • *Shoulders back
  • *Great posture
  • *Hips square
  • *Arms by your side

The creative director or the fashion designer themselves may have some input as to how you walk. For example, a streetwear brand may ask you to walk with a bit of a slouch to imply that you’ve got an attitude while a more playful brand may ask you to skip along the runway. It really is all up to the people running the show on the day.

In some runway shows, you may simply walk to the end of the catwalk, turn and come back. In others you may be asked to stop and pose before you turn. This is where your posing practice will come in handy but make sure to listen carefully to your instructions as the designer may require you to pose in a very specific way.

Much like your poses, it’s a good idea to practice your walk at home. Ask someone to video it and see if you think you can improve your posture or turning in any way.

You can even watch some YouTube videos of Paris or New York Fashion Week and see how the models do their runway walks.

International Modelling

What is international modelling?

It sounds quite exotic and adventurous, right? Well, that’s because it is. And as you can imagine, international modelling is when you get the opportunity to travel overseas for your work.

Does it really happen?

While it’s not very common, especially for child models, it happens more often than you think. It could be that a local brand has decided to shoot overseas and wants to hire in Australia (or wherever you’re from) first.

Or perhaps it’s that an overseas brand has decided that they want to fly in models from a particular country for their shoot — whatever the reason, it does happen.

Who pays for travel expenses?

Unless you’re working freelance and going abroad to find work, then a model will never pay for their own travel expenses. This is usually covered by the client and handled by either your own agency or an agency based in the location you’re travelling to. This includes flights and accommodation.

Where do you stay?

Often, models who are asked to travel internationally will stay in accommodation with other models although if it’s a specific job with just yourself as the model, you may be put up in a hotel

Travel Expense and Stay

International Modelling tips

Make friends with everyone

This is a great opportunity to make some amazing connections within the industry so be polite and make friends with all the people that you work with

Be contactable

If you’re old enough then you should pick up a local SIM card as soon as you arrive at your destination. If not, then your parent or guardian should. This is because the local agency or clients need to be able to contact you at all times and it’s great to be able to get in touch with them if you need any help.

Be yourself

You were hired because of who you are and not something else, so just be the same person that you have been since you started modelling.

Have Fun!

This is supposed to be an enjoyable
experience so don’t forget to have fun.
Sure, you’ll need to work hard and be
professional, but you can still have fun
and enjoy yourself while doing so.

Your Health

Modelling can be a little tough on the body as you may spend long hours standing or posing in front of the camera, so it’s vital that you take care of yourself both physically and emotionally.

Eating healthy

When you’re on set, fast food or junk food might seem like the quickest and most convenient way to get some food in your tummy, but trust us, doing this over a prolonged period is very bad for your health.

So even if a shoot is catered, it’s a good idea to bring some fresh fruit and nuts of your own that you can snack on when you’re feeling a little hungry or tired. You should also bring your own water just in case. Of course, there’ll always be fluids available but having your own backup is smart.

When it comes to eating at home, you should also try to do your best to eat healthy. That doesn’t mean cutting down on food — you should always eat three good meals a day — but it does mean cutting down on junk food and sugary snacks. You can still have a treat now and then, but fruit and vegetables are a must!

Remember that this has nothing to do with your weight, it’s all about staying healthy so you have the energy to work on set. Besides, too much junk can leave you feeling grumpy and out of sorts.

Mental health

Modelling can be stressful so it’s important to take a step back from time to time. If you think you’re working too hard then ask your agency to limit your jobs to a certain number each month or year.

If the stress of not getting work is bothering you then try to remember that being turned down for a job doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough. It simply means that you weren’t what the casting director was looking for.

Most importantly though is to remember that whenever you’re feeling low or stressed out, you should talk to somebody about it. There’s always someone who’s willing to listen, be it a friend, parent, or someone who works in the industry. So when things are getting you down, just reach out and talk to someone. You’ll be amazed at how much it helps

Personal Grooming


Creative directors and photographers will have a specific look or style in mind and will instruct the on-set stylist on what needs to be done. This means that you should avoid using any hair product before the shoot and wash your hair the night before. The reason you wash the night before is that it gives your hair a chance to dry completely before the shoot.

Boys might want to wear a light gel, but it might be a better idea to bring the gel with you and ask if it’s suitable when on set.

We’d also even go so far as to suggest that you don’t cut your hair or have it styled prior to a shoot.


Your skin should look healthy and natural like you just woke up. This means that there’s no need to wear makeup to the shoot unless instructed to do so.

It’s important to follow a healthy skin routine that will ensure you keep your skin clear and smooth. But before we talk about your daily routine, let’s just remind you that healthy skin starts with a healthy diet. So lots of fruit and vegetables!

A simple daily skin routine is to wash your face twice a day and to cleanse your skin at night.

You can use a cream-based cleanser with a little water and a warm face towel to wash it off. Then use a simple moisturizer after. Kids can use a normal or sensitive skin moisturizer while teens can use one for oily skin.

You should also use sunscreen every day no matter what the weather is like and definitely bring some to the shoot if you’re shooting outside.


If you’re asked to show up with natural light makeup, make sure to keep it simple. Some concealer for any dark rings and a very light layer of foundation is a good starting point. Don’t use anything too thick or shimmery as you’ll want to see your natural skin through the makeup.

In terms of colour, you’re looking to keep it as natural as possible so stick to your natural skin tone aside from blusher of course.


This should be light nudes or browns.


A light and naturally tinted lip balm.


When it comes to blusher, stick to the T-zone and keep it light. You want nothing that is too over the top or shimmery. A light dusting won’t show up at first but under the lights and on camera, you’ll really notice it.


This should be lightweight and shouldn’t give you that false eyelash look. It simply needs to accentuate what you already have so one light coat on top and bottom lashes is enough.


They need to look super natural so very thin lines are enough if you’re using an eyebrow pencil.


They should be well manicured and if you have any polish, it must be easily removable.

No matter how great you think your nails look, they may not fit in with the creative director’s vision.

Social Media

While portals are an essential part of promoting yourself as a model, you can’t forget social media as it’s a great way to showcase your modelling talents and any other skills you may have.

However, it’s very important that younger models use social media carefully and with the guidance of their parents or guardians. This is even true when you’re a teen so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

What should you post?

This can be tough to decide on as many younger people want to share everything and anything they enjoy or feel strongly about on social media. This is why it’s a good idea to create an account for yourself that is purely about modelling. This way you can share only modelling-related content and share your modelling poses or perhaps even some of your favourite portfolio shots.

The key is to remain consistent with the type of content you post and share.

Don’t fall into the filter trap

Social media is rarely a reflection of real life so bear that in mind when looking at other models’ profiles. A lot of influencers on Instagram use filters and editing apps so you can’t really compare yourself to them.

It’s important though, that you don’t fall into the filter trap. Your social media presence should be a true reflection of how you look without filters. Sure, you can create the perfect setting, lighting, and apply some makeup, but there’s no need for filters

Social Media


Modelling is a business, it’s a simple truth that we all need to accept. Even if a model or parent of a model really doesn’t care about the money, it’s important to remember that all the people who work in the industry do this for a living.

That means that agencies will often need to charge a fee for models to join their books and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What is important, however, is that you understand what those fees are for.

For example, your fees may go towards a headshot or towards subscription fees on industry portals. An agency passing those costs onto the model is standard practice as they can’t be expected to pay those costs for every model on their books.

So, if you get a bad feeling that you’re not really getting value for your money or you think that your agency’s fees are unrealistically high, then you really should look into it. Ask questions, after all it’s your money.

Just remember that paying too little can be just as bad as paying too much. Smaller fees might mean that you’re not on all the right portals while larger fees could mean that you’re on too many or that you’re getting services that you don’t really need.

Payments and Commission

How agencies make money?

An agency needs to be a profitable business and those fees we mentioned earlier won’t help much in that regard. This means that an agency needs to charge a commission on each job that a model on their books lands thanks to their help and efforts.

Some people don’t quite understand why this is needed but the fact is that the agency and those who work there put a lot of time and effort into finding the right opportunities for their models.

They also handle all the day-to-day business such as booking, scheduling, and making sure that all the right paperwork is in place so a model can work and get paid on time.

Remember that commission-based payments are actually a good thing because the agency only gets paid when the model gets paid.

What are the commission rates?

These are usually fairly standard but can vary depending on the market and agency. Here at Bubblegum Casting, we apply a 20% commission to all jobs across the board. While this is pretty standard for the local industry, there are some agents that may charge 10% or even less, but this is usually only for models that are doing a lot of modelling jobs. The average model that does a few jobs a year will rarely get a commission rate of 10%.

In the USA, some agencies will even go as high as 30% but that’s very rare here in Australia.

Like we said earlier, the most important thing to note is what kind of value you are getting from the agency and what you are expected to bring to the table yourself.

Are headshots included? Do you need to provide new shots every 6 months? Do you need to pay for talent portals yourself or are they included in your yearly membership fees. Some agencies will also expect you to pay a commission on any work you find yourself just because you are signed as their model. That’s not something we do here at Bubblegum Casting — we only charge commission on jobs that we help you get.

As every agency is different, it’s very difficult to compare based on fees and commissions alone. So dig a little deeper before you make a decision.

What do models get paid?

This is the million dollar question! How much can you expect to get paid as a model?

This can depend on the agency you’re signed with and not because of the commission they charge but because of their reputation. Tier one agencies like us here at Bubblegum Casting and Hunter Talent tend to charge clients more to work with our models. That’s based on the fact that we’ve been in the industry for a very long time and have gained a reputation for representing the best talent in the industry.

What a model earns varies from market to market and job to job. You will often be paid for your time on set (your shoot fee) which is an hourly rate that even includes your time sitting around waiting.

You will also be paid for your usage. Your usage is how the client uses your images and likeness after the shoot. For example, a model who appears on a billboard will be paid less than a model who also appears in a catalogue and perhaps a magazine advertisement. These rates vary depending on how your image is used and your agent will make sure that you are paid correctly.

If the job is far from home, then you can also expect to be paid a travel allowance. This isn’t something you need to worry about as your agent will do all the negotiating and make sure that your travel expenses are covered in your payment. Remember though, that young models are prohibited from travelling too far for work.

What about taxes?

In many countries taxes are due on all work regardless of a model’s age. This is the responsibility of the model or parent/guardian of the model. Some clients may withhold taxes on a payment, but not all will so you really need to be on top of this.

Here in Australia, all models must have a tax file number and payments must be made to an account in the model’s name. That means that we’re not allowed to pay parents or guardians directly for their child’s work. However, this can vary a great deal depending on where you are located.

Your agency should be able to give you some advice on what your main financial responsibilities are, but remember that an agent is not a tax consultant so you should always double check any advice or guidance given to you.

Scams & Safety

The word scam is one that is used all too frequently by people who are just a little unhappy about a service or product. And this is just as true in the world of modelling representation as it is anywhere else.

While the internet is hugely beneficial when it comes to researching an agency, one unhappy person can easily use it to tarnish the name of a reputable company.

So our advice is to check more than a single source when researching an agency. One complaint or bad review doesn’t mean an agency is a scam, but when you start seeing the same thing repeated again and again, then it’s time to take notice.

What kind of scams are in the world of modelling?

There are quite a few, but one of the most common is when models are told that they must pay a fee to be considered for a ‘golden opportunity’. This is a complete lie as no client nor reputable agency will ever charge a model just to be put under consideration for a job. If any agent or agency hints at anything like this, hang up the phone or walk out the door because they are only interested in your money.

Another major scam that happened in the not too distant past was when models were approached and invited to attend an event that would showcase them to major agencies and casting directors. The model would pay to attend the event but either the event didn’t take place or all the ‘agencies’ in attendance were fake.

One of the easiest scams to fall for though is the agency that doesn’t do anything. These agencies feel like legit businesses and will sign you up and charge you a yearly fee. The fee will be much higher than you’d normally expect which is your first red flag. Worst of all is the fact that they don’t even try to find you work because all they want is your fee.

So do your homework and find multiple sources for your research. Better yet, find a few people who have actually worked with the agency and see what they have to say.

And we’ll just remind you once again that if someone is asking you to pay money to attend an event or an audition, this is almost certainly a scam.

Employment Contracts

Once you have impressed a client and the job is yours, it’s time to talk contracts.

Deal memos

A deal memo is just like an employment contract between you and the client. This will include your rate and any rate for overtime if needed.

This can be signed by the agency on your behalf which saves you a lot of hassle. That way the agency can make sure that everything is above board and the most important details are included in the contract. If you’d like your agency to handle this, then you can make an arrangement for them to do so when you sign up first.

For the most part, models rarely see their deal memos as, like we just said, most agencies sign them on their behalf.

Agency contract

An agency contract is the deal that a model or their parent/guardian signs when they join the agency. The details of a contract can vary a great deal from agency to agency and will include items such as commission rates, membership fees, and perhaps a code of conduct for models.

One thing that some tier one agencies like Bubblegum Casting do have in common in their contracts is an exclusivity clause. This prevents a model on their books from signing with or working for another agency. This is quite standard as representation by more than one agency in the same market can cause confusion if both agencies put the same model forward for the same job.

However, it’s fairly common for models to be signed with different agencies if those agencies are located in different markets. So you might have one agency representing you in Australia and another representing you in the USA.


Now that you’ve finished this book and the accompanying video tutorial you have everything you need to get started in the competitive world of modelling.

You know where to go, what to do, and who to connect with — you even know what to eat and how to take care of your mental health.

Now it’s time for you to take action, find that agency, and start wowing those casting directors. And who knows, we just might see you on a runway or in a catalogue some time very soon.

If you’d like to learn more about modelling and the various skills needed to improve your chances of success, then why not check out Bubblegum Academy. It’s our live training resource that includes live online classes for both modelling and acting. Classes cover every aspect of both industries and are led by industry professionals with decades of combined experience.

But best of all, you can attend these classes on Saturday morning or after school from the comfort of your own home.

DOWNLOAD Introduction to Modelling Course Handbook


At Bubblegum, we represent some of Australia’s brightest young stars, but even so, we’re always on the lookout for fresh new faces and talent.

If your child is aged anywhere from 3 months to 18 years of age, and you think they might have what it takes to shine in front of a camera or on stage, then we want to hear from you.

We’ll set up a quick informal chat where we’ll get a feel for your child’s suitability for working in the industry.

The lucky kids that make it onto our books benefit from in-house workshops and coaching sessions to help them brush up on their skills. They’ll also get great advice and tips from the Bubblegum team, some of whom have worked as child models and actors themselves! We’ll even arrange a portfolio shoot with our in-house photographer.

We want all the kids on our books to have their chance to shine and if that means working twice as hard to make it happen, then that’s what we’ll do!





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