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How to Become The Next Big Urban Model in Three Easy Steps

The steps are fairly simple, but a few of them require more discretion and sophistication than a lot of girls can muster.

Step 1: Get Quality Photos - Striking, quality photographs are the building blocks of any successful career in modeling. We're not talking iPhone pics taken in your backyard, but professional pics that cast you in the best light possible. Also, it’s important to stand out of from the crowd, so forgot about doing back shots oiled down in a thong. Everyone is doing those type of pics now. Be sexy without giving everything away. This is where discretion comes into play - do you have what it takes?


Step 2: Get yourself noticed. This means putting yourself out there on sites like Model Mayhem and submitting to castings for magazines and music videos. It’s easier to get a break in a music video than a magazine. The music video circuit is not as “political,” for lack of a better word, as the magazine circuit. If a casting director like Anissa Williams sees a hot model for a music video, she's not going to condition submission on whether the model gets “friendly” with her. Her main goal is to get the hottest, freshest talent to the artist for the best price. So if you can't catch a break with the magazines, start submitting for music video castings. Dollicia Bryan got her break in Joe's music video long before getting magazine exposure.

These days, with social media being hugely important, just having a Twitter or Facebook page with good images and respectable postings can be enough to build a fan base and interest. If you can muster over 5,000 followers on Twitter someone will eventually take notice. Sean Malcolm of KING and the other major mag editors are all on Twitter, so be careful how you present yourself. People are watching.

Step 3: Be professional. Be humble. Professionalism is really lacking in urban modeling, on all sides of the equation. But you can only worry about yours. Basic things like saying "please" and "thank you," being on time, promptly returning emails/phone calls, and showing humility will go a long way in your favor because so few urban models exhibit these qualities today. The number one reason urban models lose their footing in the industry is that they become divas after even the slightest success and get labeled “difficult to work with.” Even if you book a magazine cover or a Kanye West video, it does not entitle you to romp around like you’re Megan Fox. Being late for a shoot, showing up with bags under your eyes from partying the night before, being overly demanding on set, etc. - these are all things that are considered diva-like behaviour.

Again, this is an area where discretion and sophistication come into play.

That’s it for now. I'll expand upon this article as thoughts come to me.

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