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Modeling Tip: The Best Cities for Models

Recently I’ve gotten inquiries from aspiring models in Kansas, Virginia Beach, and Maine. They want to know how to launch a modeling career, and that can be a tricky question to answer when the eager reader lives nowhere near a big modeling market.

Let me start by mapping out where those markets are:

New York—no surprise, I’m sure. New York is the heart of the fashion world in America (and some would say the globe, but the Parisians might scoff at that!).

Ford Model Open Call

Ford Model Contest Open Call

Los Angeles—this market is a great one for those with smokin’ hot beach babe bods and models looking to break into acting.

Ben Bowers by Josh Williams

Vision LA Model Ben Bowers, by Josh Williams

Miami–this is a seasonal market, as clients travel there in the winter to shoot in the sunny clime. Catalog shoots aren’t as common as they once were in South Beach. Tourists have taken over and many of the agencies that thrived in the 90s are gone. Still, it can be a good place to do some testing and get a little work before launching into a bigger market.

Dallas–JC Penney is one of the clients that supplies Texan models with steady work. This is a good place to start if it’s the closest big city to you. You can read about renowned Texas agent and scout Page Parkes on my blog.

Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Tampa, Orlando, and Denver are other cities that have some work, but you’ll have to go elsewhere to kick up your career to bigtime status.

In Europe, Paris, Milan, and London are the biggest markets (with magazines to shoot for, which means they are editorial markets), but there’s also work in Munich (more of a catalog market), Hamburg (more editorial), Athens (editorial), Madrid (editorial), Barcelona, Zurich, and Vienna (all more commercial/catalog).

Beyond Europe: Capetown, South Africa, and Sydney, Australia (in our winter; their summer), and Tokyo, Japan.

If you don’t live near any of these markets, you can call the biggest department stores in your area and ask if they ever have fashion shows. If they do, ask where they find the models. This may lead you to an agency in your area that books work (but if you are in a small city, chances are they make most of their money by offering modeling classes). No matter where you live, you can send photos to agencies in New York. See my tip on photos to submit. I often post agency info on my Facebook page, so make sure you “Like” my page to follow my posts.

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