How to Launch a Career in Freelance Modeling


When I was conducting a research for my article on entrepreneurial opportunities in the Philippines, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and diversify the criteria for viable business ideas. Thus far, I have focused on experience, technical and fundamental competencies, and technology-based concepts. We acquire these assets as we go through our different stages in life.

What about the assets that we are born with? Can we build a business and a career by monetizing the blessings we inherited at birth? How about those who are born physically attractive? Can they build a career in freelance modeling?

In 2015, Filipinos made their mark in an international competition. The interpretive dance group El Gamma Penumbra won the inaugural Asia’s Got Talent reality show talent contest in Singapore. The all-Filipina ensemble 4th Power almost made it to the finals of The X Factor. The UST Choir, UPCC, Aleron, and the Mandaue Children’s Choir all won the grand prize in their respective international singing competitions.

But perhaps, 2015 would be best remembered as the year the world recognized the Philippines as the country with the most beautiful people in the universe!

Angelia Gabrena Ong won the Ms. Earth beauty contest, whereas Janicel Lubina and Hilarie Danielle Parungao landed in the Top 10 of Ms. International and Ms. World pageants, respectively.

The most-coveted title, the Ms. Universe, was won by our own Pia Wurtzbach although not without a controversy. Still, no Steve Harvey gaffe can deny Pia the recognition as the “most beautiful woman” in the universe!

I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel around the world. In my eyes and without bias, I can honestly and confidently proclaim that the Philippines has the most beautiful people in the world.

My comment will probably elicit the proverbial “eye roll” from some readers, and they are entitled to their own opinion. However, if “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” all you need to be “beholden” is to look around you. There are beautiful people everywhere in the Philippines.

With the world captivated by the beauty of the Filipino, you can certainly build a career in freelance modeling.

It must be obvious from my profile picture that I am not or have never been a freelance model! My bases for researching the article came from written sources and interviews with friends who are and have been freelance models. In the course of writing this article, I discovered that being a freelance model is not all glitz and glamour.

It requires hard work, dedication, and commitment to excel in the modeling industry. If you put in time and effort, remain resilient, and display fortitude in the face of difficulties, you will find great success in freelance modeling.

Launching a career in freelance modeling starts with YOU.

How to Launch a Career in Freelance Modeling

1. Be true to yourself

In general, we perceive models to be taller than average, physically fit, and sculpted and to have flawless complexion, strong facial structure, and great hair.

However, what if you’re “none of the above”? Can you still build a successful career in freelance modeling? Yes!

The key is to be true to yourself; accept who you are and embrace not just your strengths but also your imperfections. Remember that there are different opportunities in freelance modeling; some of which capitalize on your strong features.

If you are not tall or well built, you can have modeling assignments that require only head shots. On the contrary, if you are not particularly good looking, but you are tall and have a good shoulder-to-waist ratio and excellent structure that carries clothes well, a ramp modeling career can be your primary option.

Companies hire models for different reasons. Be confident in presenting yourself and your portfolio when meeting with potential clients.

2. Invest in yourself

As a freelance model, your physical attributes are your assets. You have to invest in them to be competitive in the industry. Again, take full accounting of your strengths and weaknesses. In freelance modeling, you have to work on both but place greater emphasis on improving your weaknesses.

There are different ways on how models “invest” in their assets. In the conversations with my friends with modeling experiences, some of the methods are fairly common, whereas some tend to be extreme at least in the mind of a nonmodel.

Here are a few ways on how you can invest in your assets:

  • Sign up for regular training sessions in a gym.
  • Enroll in acting, confidence enhancement, and presentation workshops.
  • Take up communication courses.
  • Schedule facial treatments.
  • Consider cosmetic surgery.

It is entirely up to you on how far you want to go. Your decision would depend on your purpose for wanting to become a freelance model.

One freelance model I had spoken to shared that he takes diuretics to maintain his sculpted body. He was very much in demand and had many commitments, which came one after the other.

He said if he stayed on his diet for an extended period, his body would start retaining water and he would look “smooth.” I advised him of the risks of using diuretics. It would have been better to get off the diet and indulge in one high-calorie or “cheat” meal.

A low-calorie diet shuts down the body’s production of leptin, which is a hormone that regulates body fat. You can only “restart” it with a high- calorie cheat meal. However, he insisted that he knew what he was doing.

When in doubt, remember tip #1. Do not accept modeling assignments that do not conform to you are as a person.

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