Design & Style

Casting Calls and Beyond: Navigating the Modeling Industry

Naomi Campbell

Lesson time 15:21 min

Naomi gives an overview of the modeling industry and shares tips on how to get an agent, handle contracts, pull together a model bag, and more.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Casting Calls and Beyond: Navigating the Modeling Industry * The Realities of Modeling and Finding an Agent * Contracts: Understand What You’re Signing * Casting Call: Standing Out From the Crowd * Don’t Take Rejection Personally * Show Up Prepared: Model Bag Essentials


- When I started out as a model, there wasn't a blueprint that laid out a specific order of steps to take, or rules to follow, in order to be a successful model in the industry. I was lucky enough to build strong relationships with photographers, designers, and other models, who all helped guide and protect me on my journey. But the competition is so much more rife today than ever before. Everybody wants to be a model. Everybody is being a model. In terms of social media and all this stuff, I think technology is great in letting people feel that they are part of something, too. So everyone can be a model. Everyone can take pictures. Everyone can pose. Everyone has the right to show their walks. Everyone can be what they want to be. It's helped a lot of people. It's brought a lot of people in the limelight. We wouldn't have known it any other way. You really do have to have that extra special thing, where you have patience and drive and such distinct, innate strength, no one's breaking it. At the end of the day, it's important to me that you arm yourself with the proper information for you and that you stay safe on your journey to realizing your dreams. Because there's loads of misconceptions that people have about the modeling industry. Some people don't really look at our job as a proper job, and think that we just get made up, that it's all just like play time. We work very hard. We travel through different time zones. We get off planes. We get on to the next job. We've had body surgeries because-- from compensating over the years of standing in heels, and we're quite hard on our bodies. Models are like athletes. It's not uncommon for models to undergo surgeries or procedures on their ankles, feet, knees, or hips. Your body needs to be strong in conditions that you have the proper energy and stamina to work long hours, hold uncomfortable positions, prevent injuries, and feel your best when you're working for long stretches of time is very important. There's also the misconception of when you start modeling. You have to pay tons of money to a photographer, rent a studio. That's not true either. If the model agent likes what they see and they would like to pursue you as being a model that works with their agency, because you work with, they will guide you, call a reputable photographer that they know, and they will set up the test. The test is mutual between the photographer, the agent, and the model. The agent, for instance, that took me to the United States of America was Eileen Ford. And Eileen Ford was known for taking care of her models. You lived in her household. She had promised your parents that she would watch over you, and that's what she did. Today, I do believe there are model residences that the agents have and apartments that they oversee. Of course, wanting to be rebellious-- but when I look back on it, I'm so grateful that that's what I got to be a part of. I'm so grate...

About the Instructor

Naomi Campbell stumbled into a modeling career, earning icon status both on and off the runway. On MasterClass, she shares the lessons she learned as a model to help you find your confidence and stride in everyday life.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Naomi Campbell

Supermodel and cultural icon Naomi Campbell teaches you how to take on modeling—and life—with confidence.

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