Petite Modeling; How to become a successful model if you are not tall

Petite models are basically models below 5’6ft tall

It is not atypical to state that petite model faces more rejection than taller models when it comes to getting jobs and been scouted by modeling agencies.

Below are great secrets on how to succeed in the Modeling industry as a petite model.

1. Recognize your best body features.

Look at your features honestly. Choose at least one feature that stands out and is often complimented, such as your eyes, smile, or legs. Try to draw attention to that feature. This can be done by wearing makeup, or wearing clothing that accentuates that feature. 

  • Wear flattering eye makeup if your eyes are your most complimented feature.
  • Wear form-fitting pants or leggings if your legs are your best feature.
  • If you are having trouble choosing a feature, ask friends what they first noticed about you upon meeting you

2. Acknowledged your Modeling type

Knowing the Types of Modeling jobs that suit your height exposes you to more oppunities than you had thought and save you from stress. For petite models, opportunities to become a high fashion runway model are not impossible, but they are limited. Modeling for magazines, catalogs, and print ads are your best options for petite modeling. Specifically, consider parts, swimsuit, lingerie, and commercial modeling.

3. Work on your personal style. 

A stylist and photographer will alter your appearance for photo shoots, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a strong sense of personal style. Decide if you are girly, alternative, earthy, punk, etc. Showing off your personality through your appearance can draw attention to yourself, and lead people to focus on something other than your height.

  • Wear clothing that sets you apart from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to divert from popular fashion.
  • Try out a hair cut and color that flatters your face and gives you a distinct appearance.

4. Create your comp card

What is a Comp card? It is similar to a business card, but catered for models. Early on.  Comp cards are the only way you can leave something with a casting director or agent for them to remember what you look like and who you are. It is important to leave an impression while on these calls! 

Comp cards are double sided and are 8.5’’ x 5.5’’. On one side you will include your headshot, name and contact info, and on the other side, you can include four professional photos, and list your measurements at the bottom. There are various ways of organizing your comp card so Googleing templates may help here. 

For more info on how to great a Model’s comp card click here, Comp card

5. Build a great portfolio

A modeling portfolio is a series of photographs taken professionally to showcase one’s ability to perform as a model. It is a potential digital modeling CV is used to promote a model’s talents and ability in front of the camera.

The strength of a portfolio will increase your chances of being seen, heard, and considered when looking for an agency. While you are gaining experience, focus on what your portfolio looks like and do your research on the agencies that you have considered. This means going to several modeling agencies websites and study their model portfolios and see what yours is missing. Ideally, you want to have variety in fields such as, commercial, fitness, lifestyle, and fashion. 

Generally, agencies prefer crisp studio and outdoors images with natural makeup and poses ranging from standing, sitting on a stool, on the floor. Do not forget to include photos of you smiling!

6. Start freelancing.

As a petite model getting signed into an agency might be quite challenging for you as most height statistics set are for tall models of 5’8ft and above. However , the fastest way to get recognition faster and even in some cases get scouted by agencies that once rejected you can be by freelancing.

Freelancing simply means becoming your own boss. Here you’ll have to get paid shots both editorial and Polaroids to build your portfolio, seek for Collaborations, learn how to catwalk through YouTube videos, attend online coaching classes for models, learn how to poses strikingly, scout for your own jobs (this can be achieved digitally by building a strong online presence on social media) promoting your photos by paying for features in modeling.

All of these activities in freelancing basically adds to your portfolio and exposes you to more chances of been scouted. For example learning how to catwalk through YouTube gives you higher chances during casting calls compared to a model who can’t catwalk.

7. Apply to Agencies online

Thanks to the Internet, it has never been easier to be discovered by agencies. You can literally be seen by hundreds of agents without stepping foot outside your home. Apply to every single agency that you possible can and feel comfortable doing. Ignore the height requirement, ditch the insecurities and expectations, and JUST DO IT. Apply to various agencies that focus on talent, lifestyle, parts, fit, fitness, and of course fashion. Don’t limit yourself to agencies that are close to you (if you’re comfortable with a little travel). You may be surprised who gives you that “yes.” 

Also, sign with the agent that seems most interested in you and your height and offers the most opportunities. Make sure the agency can further your career before you commit to it. This may mean looking up reviews for the agency on the internet, asking others in the industry, and seeing if they have any successful clients.

8. Attend open calls

Some agencies still accept walk ins, which are called “open calls”. These are held on specific dates for anyone to show up. This route is better at exposing yourself in person and getting the agencies to get a feel for who you are. 

Agencies will usually post on their social media or website the dates for their open calls under “contact us”, “get discovered” or something similar. 

When you attend an open call, it is important to bring your portfolio and comp card with you. It took a number of open calls for me to realize how important it was to come prepared. We are fighting against the grain by being petite models, so the best way we can prove our potential is to provide real images that show our talent.

9. Have a petite role model

Having a petite role model who is a super star can help boost your attitude towards Modeling as it gives you the courage to further on when you feel like quitting.

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