Los Angeles based independent streetwear model Makayla London is all over social media. Her unique look got her where she is, but it was not an agent who discovered her: she was her own boss and made things happen herself. Not everybody has the fortune to be a Kendall or a Gigi. Makayla shares her story: “I was working at a restaurant, checking Instagram on my down time – one of my favorite photographers (Nailah Howze) posted that she wanted to shoot a fresh face that day. Mind you, I was REALLY hesitant, because I thought I was unexperienced, therefore I wouldn’t be qualified. I gathered some courage, messaged her, and set up a location to meet later that day. I had one outfit, (it was a black dress with some Nikes – typical me), and came with some fierce eyeliner + purple lip gloss.”
She continues: “Since that day in March, I followed suit. Reaching out to more, and more photographers whose work I admired. Some would reject, others would accept – I began to build my portfolio. I stayed consistent with content, sent out emails daily, made sure I was respectful, and took myself seriously. I made it my job. I followed my gut. I had no choice but to believe I had the juice.” Based on her actions we are sharing the 10 secrets on how to become a model:
1. Look for photographers to make pictures with. Makayla says: “I utilized Instagram, spending time looking at freelance photographer’s profiles. I made a copy & paste message that I sent out about 10x a day to different people. Some say no, some say yes. Worry about the ones who say yes.”
2. Make a website for your portfolio. This is your reference for jobs.
3. Eat clean. Workout. Drink water. Get good sleep. This cleanses your mind, and body.
4. Stay CONSISTENT WITH YOUR CONTENT. Instagram is no longer just an app on your phone, it is your job as an independent model. Post at least once a day, around the same time. Make your followers associate good content with your profile.
5. Always tag, and thank the photographers you work with.
6. Never do anything that doesn’t stand for who you are personally.
7. Practice poses in the mirror, practice how to do your own makeup, hair, and styling.
8. Show up early, show up prepared, show up ready. Be gracious, be humble, and do your homework.