Becoming  a Professional Model in Nigeria should no more be a headache for you as a person, but you should consider looking at this complete guide on how to become a professional model in Nigeria easily. There are numerous people out there, who would love to become a model because of how glamorous and lucrative the model industry is. Many would love to be recognized in the modeling world. Modeling is extremely competitive, and the industry is filled with rejection, but successful models spend their time doing something that they love. Knowing what to expect when entering the world of modeling can help prepare you to become a model.

Become a Professional Model in Nigeria

  • Mastering the Basics of Modeling
  • Understanding Portfolios and Agencies
  • Navigating a Modeling Career

Mastering the Basics of Modeling

Be healthy inside. Eat and drink healthy foods and get plenty of exercise. Having a healthy body will help you look your best.

  • Fitness is important. Consider working with a trainer who works specifically with models. Tell him about your modeling goals and how you want to look, and ask for a tailored exercise regimen that will support those goals.
  • Eat right. Contrary to what some people tell you, you should eat healthy foods, as well as healthy amounts of food. Veggies, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and proteins should make up the basics of your diet. Sugars, starches, empty carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats should be avoided as much as possible.
  • Be sure to drink a lot of water. Avoid sodas (even diet sodas) and minimize your alcohol intake.

Maintain your appearance. Take care to make yourself look healthy and well-groomed. What you wear and how you carry yourself are important as well, but you should have a routine that supports the health of your skin and hair. Become a Professional Model in Nigeria

  • Focus on keeping your skin clear and glowing. Wash your face in the morning and at night, exfoliate once a week, and remember to wash your makeup off before you go to sleep.
  • Keep your hair shiny and healthy. Some agencies and managers prefer the “natural greasy look,” so it may be okay if you prefer to minimally shower.

Consider your “look.” The look that you communicate can be made up of both your body type and your style. There is more of a curvy California look, a svelte and sophisticated New York look, a waif-like European look, and a boy- or girl-next-door look. Know what you’re equipped with, but also try to pull off other looks. Match your modeling goals to your body type. Technically, anybody can be a model. However, if you don’t meet certain requirements, the work available to you will be incredibly limited or you may have to compensate in other areas (reliability, technique, etc).

Become a Professional Model in Nigeria

  • A Plus-Sized Model: If your body is full and curvaceous, you may be able to be a plus size model.
  • A Runway Model: Most women on the catwalk are at least 5’8 and commonly small-breasted. Men are mostly between 5’11 and 6’2.
  • A Print Model: Most editorial female models are at least 5’7, but a beautiful face with great personality are the most important features for print models.
  • An Underwear Model: For women, this requires large breasts but small hips. For men, this requires broad shoulders but slim waists.
  • An Alternative Model: Some agencies hire alternative models: models who do not conform to the industry “standards” of beauty, height, and weight. Additionally, having a specific passion or cause that you’re working towards can help open doors that may be closed due based on a body feature that does not “fit industry standards”.
  • Other Types of Modeling: If you don’t fit any of the face or body descriptions, perhaps you can be a foot, hair, or hand model.

Educate yourself about the industry. Learn as much as you can from reading books, blogs, and articles about modeling. Reading quality guides, articles, and books will help you improve important skills (like posing and posture) and better understand how the industry works (such as how to find an agent).

  • Also research reputable agencies that place models in high-profile places, such as magazines and fashion shows

Understanding Portfolios and Agencies

Take photographs for your portfolio. You should include professional-looking headshots: shots of you up close without a lot of makeup and on a plain background. You should shoot them in nice natural light (but not direct sunlight) without a lot of distraction in the photos. These are meant for agencies to get a look at you in a raw state. Consider a head shot, a body shot, and profile shots.

  • The most important thing to communicate in a portfolio is that you are able to present a range of “characters” and looks.

Consider getting some professional photos taken. Though professional photography can be expensive, it can make the difference between being passed over and getting an interview. Think of professional photography as a worthwhile investment in your career!

  • Get your favorite professional shots printed into 8x10s. Save these in case you are asked to leave a photograph before or after an interview.
  • If you’ve got enough good professional photos, consider compiling them into a portfolio. Bring this portfolio with you to castings or agencies.

Take your measurements and know your stats. This information can help modeling agencies place you. Knowing the information off the top of your head will help you seem professional when you are speaking with an agency or potential client.

  • The most basic measurements to know are your height, weight, and shoe size.
  • You should also know your clothing measurements such as dress size, hip, waist, chest/bust, etc.
  • Your personal stats include information such as hair color, eye color, and skin tone.

Do not sign consent forms without consulting your agent. A client may ask you to sign paperwork or consent forms. Before you sign, be sure to ask for a copy to share with your agent. You do not want to sign a form that gives a photographer or client more power over your actions or images than they should have.

  • Similarly, do not sign a contract with an agency unless the agency and the contract both seem legitimate. If you are not sure whether the contract is good, have an attorney or an experienced model read over it for you.
  • A good agent should have your best interests in mind. She should help you navigate the legal issues in any given contract
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Be truthful about your measurements. Don’t say you’re skinnier than you are just to get a shoot. Once there, the stylist will have problems fitting you and the truth will come out. You could potentially lose future jobs due to word of mouth, and you could find yourself without a career! Become a Professional Model in Nigeria Be professional, polite, and courteous. Remember that, even though you’re not working in an office, you need to be professional. Treat the people you work with respectfully. You never know who they know or what sort of a recommendation they might give of you. Never look down on anyone. You may be a model, but that doesn’t give you the right to be snooty, affected, or pompous.

  • Always show up on time to any appointment or shoot. If you’re late or rude, your reputation may precede you and nobody will want to work with you.
  • Be organized. Models often get called to places at the last minute and have very busy days. You need to be on top of things if you want to succeed. Buying a day-to-day planner can really help.
  • Develop professional relationships with photographers. You help the photographer look great, and they will help you look great. It’s a win-win situation, so be sure to treat photographers with respect

Become a Professional Model in Nigeria There are many types of modeling of which you can be the best in more than just one genre. A lot of models have checked through more than one genre before coming back to settle for the one(s) that suits them. The present modeling industry has the following kind of modeling genres available.

  • Fashion (Editorial) Model

Models in this genre are those you see in high fashion magazines in the likes of Elle and Vogue. This kind of model works with fashion designers and fashion magazines who hire them for shoots. Generally, editorial modeling seems to be the most selective since it attracts the attention of a huge number of models.

  • Runway Model

Runway models are usually found on the catwalk during fashion weeks and fashion exhibitions. They are hired by fashion designers to showcase clothing line(s). The size and height of a model can be specified in this kind of modeling as it is based on the designs from the designer.

  • Swimsuit & Lingerie Model

Just as the name suggests, this kind of model is specialized in showing off lingerie and swimsuits. Sizes can also be specified here as the aim is to attract the audience with beautiful skins and physical appearance in alliance with the clothing accessories. These models can also model summer wear, sleepwear and all forms of undergarments.

  • Commercial Model

This kind of modeling leaves no restriction to age, size or height; this makes this type of modeling open to every interred person- even actors, singers, dancers, and other performers can be a great commercial model. What commercial models do is to advertise products in campaigns, catalogs, and commercials.

  • Fitness Model

Fitness models mostly require the best time in the gym and watching what you eat as they are believed to be the most toned, fit, athletically built and attractive. This makes more sense as they get to wear fitness attires in commercials for the demonstration of fitness routines and many more.

  • Parts Model

Ever thought of what part models would be doing? They are those models that specialize in modeling their hands, feet, arms, and legs. Jewelry companies usually hire part to wear their products for a shoot. Other organizations and companies that can hire part models are shoe companies, beauty care, and nails even stylists hire part models to promote their services.

  • Print Model

The difference between print and editorial models is that the latter makes shoot for fashion magazines and fashion designers while the former makes random shoots for magazines, campaigns, billboards, flyers, booklets and even posters. Print models sometimes promote products; in most cases, they are simply photographer upon the needs of the client. Myths About Becoming a Professional Model The beautiful world of modeling is one that everyone envies secretly. Although many people would not want to admit this fact, it remains indisputable that at a time or two, we all have dressed well, admired ourselves in front of mirrors and take poses for photographers- the same thing models do.  Sadly, there has been a lot of myths and unrealistic fact being spread in the air about the modeling industry as the career therein. Here is some clarification about some of those myths.

  • You have to be tall to be a professional model

Clarification: there are the face and part models who need no height to be in shoots.

  • You have to be Skinny

Clarification: Plus-size models now have a market too; size is no longer a huge criterion for modeling.

  • You have to be young to be a model

Clarification: commercial modeling has no restriction on age.

  • You can barely eat proper food

Clarification: modeling does not stop you from eating good food, de facto, you are advised to take more of healthy food to keep up with good health and physical conditions.

  • You have to prepare with a professional portfolio

Clarification: having a professional portfolio is not true when starting your career, all you need is a clear photo of yourself.

  • You must have a “Perfect” face

Clarification: there is nothing like a perfect face, you just have to be good at what you do.

  • Plus-size models can eat whatever they want

Clarification: this is not true. Plus-size models are hired for particular body size and measurement, by eating whatever they like, they get to jeopardize chances of being hired.

  • You get to keep all the clothes, you model

Clarification: models do not keep the clothes they model. Immediately after showcasing them on the runway, they get stripped off them.

Become a Professional Model in Nigeria

Why You Should Consider a Career Path in Modeling If you are happy with your present career but will not mind appearing at the front of cameras to take poses and subsequently appearing before magazines and journals for adverts; why not try out modeling? The good thing is that you can run this on the side alongside your job. Modeling has evolved and developed over the years that you can expect nothing but great from the industry as it allows you to immerse yourself into an exciting environment where a lot beyond career happens. Thinking about the lot that happens beyond a career? Perhaps you need to get yourself acquainted with the modeling industry; below are some reasons why you should consider a career path in modeling.

Become a Professional Model in Nigeria

  • Meet New People

The fun about modeling is that you will not only meet people with similar interests, you will also be exposed to network whichever way you wish to within the modeling industry.  Making new friends and meeting with professionals does a lot more to your career beyond learning and improving your skills; you will likely get your next jobs through the networks you have made today. 

  • Make Extra Money
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Starting as a model is not always easy and regular, the longer you stay the more bookings and shoots you get. That being said, if you already have a paid job, this can also help you make extra money while you build your career for the best days ahead.

  • Be Your Own Boss

Modeling is one of the contemporary jobs that allow you to decide when you work and when you go on vacation. With the high number of models in the present industry, a lot of people are opting for freelance modeling. This means they promote their career by themselves, they are their own boss and they are answerable to themselves alone-except when working on commercials where the photographer directs.

  • Channel Your Passion

As mentioned earlier, modeling has many areas from which you can select the one that aligns with you most. There are beauty and comfort in the diversity created by the modeling industry since this allows everyone to decides what style is best for them. Modeling helps you get the definiteness in purpose, however, you can as well decide to delve into other kinds of modeling if you fit in perfectly- there is room for every size, height, age, and color.

  • Challenge Yourself

New things are meant to be tried, else we would be doing the same old thing and getting the same old result. That being said, if there is anything you want to try during your career, try it!  Just like every other industry, modeling requires a lot of hard work, energy, and consistency- you might not know this until you start getting in front of cameras. You will be further exposed to a wide range of skills like communication and time management skills. Modeling has also helped a lot of shy people build their confidence, thereby thriving in areas that seem hard to survive. If you do not challenge yourself, you might never get the best of yourself. Top 10 Expert Tips to Start a Career in Modeling Have you ever thought about how to kickstart your modeling career but you do not know where to start from? Here is a comprehensive guide on starting your career and seeing yourself perform better than your peers. Become a Professional Model in Nigeria

  1. Discover Your Strengths

What features do you think you have? Which niche are you settling for? These are the first questions you should ask yourself when starting your career. You should not be applying the right strength in the wrong place. As a male model, if you have ripped abs, this is very perfect for fitness modeling, do not settle for where your strengths would not be recognized.

  1. Get Confident on Camera

Another tip for beginner models is to be familiar with being on cameras. While it is very normal for you to feel nervous at first, it becomes abnormal and uncalled for if you are shy or still nervous at subsequent shoots. However, you can take continual practices to get acquainted with being in front of cameras.

  1. Learn Your Angles

Modeling goes a long way beyond your natural good looks; you must know how you will work with your photographer to tell the story perfectly. No one model has the 100% face, hence, practicing in front of the mirror and learning your angles is highly important for you.

  1. Be Willing to Invest

 Modeling, just like any other career, requires an investment of lots of time and money especially when you are just starting your career. No one wakes up in a day with all the best portfolio and experience, it is gained through uninterrupted investments.

  1. Build a Portfolio

Your portfolio is like your resume, this is what your prospective clients will ask for before handing out jobs to you. It is also what modeling agencies use to represent you in your absence. Never settle for the least portfolio, build it to a professional level, it has a lot to do with building your modeling career.

  1. Gain Exposure

It is a very good idea to have a professional-looking portfolio, however, if you do not seek exposure then how are you supposed to land jobs? A lot of people are gaining recognition and exposure on social media platforms like Instagram and the likes. Create a professional account and separate it from your account; do not forget to mention and tag modeling agencies in your posts.

  1. Sign with an Agency

Many models have decided to be freelance models, while both have their advantages, signing with an agency offers a lot more than you promoting yourself. Signing with an agency is very important when starting your career since this handles the tedious task of getting clients.

  1. Always Practice

If asked what makes the best people in all spheres of life, it is a constant practice. The practice has a lot to offer you. It is during practice sessions that you get to realize some facts and truths about yourself; when you practice and prepare yourself before a shoot, you do the whole job like a professional!

  1. Avoid Scams

A lot of models have fallen victims of scams especially when starting out their career, you need to be careful and know how to recognize a red flag whenever one is in sight. In most cases, when agencies ask for an annual registration fee, they are most likely not the best to go with. Also, when making transactions, try to keep a record of all payments; one thing the fashion industry is well known for is poor payment!

  1. Be Persistent

Some models get work on intervals, others don’t. Some land big commercials within their first months while others don’t. The truth is, only a few populations of the crowd gets a big project within their first few months into the industry. If you seem to be having more disapproval than approval, never see this as a criterion to quit. Be persistent and keep trying you have all it takes to be at the top of the industry; patience is all you need

Become a Professional Model in Nigeria

Working Conditions and Hours Whether the shoot is for a campaign, ad or magazine, video, and photoshoot sessions are usually long and unpredictable. This is due to the large crew working together; ranging from the stylist, makeup artists, photographer and even the model(s). Seldomly, when all is set, factors like clothing could be the only delaying thing. However, on an average scale, models can spend about 5 to 8 hours for a shoot. Note that shoots are made about weeks or months before the exact season, this implies that models have to work frequently and put in a good effort. Top Modeling Agencies to Look Out for When Choosing a Career Path in Modeling (for Africans) As you already know that modeling agencies offer the best services to get you at the top of your career, below is a list of the top agencies to look out for when choosing a career path in modeling.

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Become a Professional Model in Nigeria

  • Elite Model Management
  • Ford Models
  • IMG Models
  • Wilhelmina Models
  • Premier Model Management
  • Storm Model Management
  • Next Management
  • Marilyn Agency
  • Q Management
  • Models 1 Agency
  • Exquisite Models International
  • Y-Ray Models
  • Zahara Models
  • Fashion Instinct Modeling Agency
  • Beige Model Management
  • ISIS Model Management
  • Black Dove Model Agency
  • Wave Model Management
  • Few Model Agency
  • Iris Modeling Agency
  • Glam Model Management

Above all, modeling is not for everyone, however, if you are highly interested in posing for commercials and magazines, you can get started right where you are; with what you have. All that is required of you is to be yourself, keep up with the flow and apply the concepts mentioned above.

Important Steps to Becoming a Successful Model in Nigeria


One of the most important steps to becoming a model is knowing your market. What does this mean? Well, for starters, depending on the area you live in, certain trends and looks are more popular than others. For instance, runway modeling and fashion show modeling are not as widespread as commercial modeling for print occasions like magazines, newspapers and store sales papers. Also knowing your market will help you know what look the agencies around you are looking for. Living in a suburban area, agencies aren’t looking for that sleek, ultra-sexy look with overstated hair or makeup like bigger cities are. In fact, the more natural look is actually preferred in suburban areas, while more trendy, sleek looks are wanted in the city. If your look doesn’t fit your market, move to an area that does, or consider traveling back and forth to an area that does. Also know whether you’re auditioning for a market that advertises petite sizes, plus sizes, certain clothing trends, or for a targeted market like natural living, city trends, cosmetic companies, etc. Research, research, research! Become a Professional Model in Nigeria


The best thing you can do for yourself is to find a good agency to work with. Agencies should not ask for money up front, or be sketchy in terms of signing anyone possible, which could mean that they run off with the models’ earnings later. Get online and search The Better Business Bureau’s website to find a modeling agency you can trust. A good agency should understand your personal needs as a model, lift you up, and never take money from you. They should also never ask you to put yourself in a dangerous or compromising situation. Become a Professional Model in Nigeria


One of my top tips for becoming a model is to be aware of what you’ll face. Know that girls can be cut-throat, the wrong agencies may ask you to sacrifice your morals, integrity or beliefs just to obtain certain photos, and know that it can be a very tiring job. Also be aware that the idea of modeling is not to give you fame, but instead to create a certain wanted look by photographers and companies. You may be asked to cut or color your hair, wear an outfit you don’t like, or spend endless hours traveling to the right photo shoot location just for one shot. You may also be on set for anywhere from 8-12 hours or even more. Know ahead of time that the point of using a model is to create the right photo. Many photographers, agencies and product campaigns put the photo goal ahead of the model’s needs. Become a Professional Model in Nigeria


Many girls who don’t intend on compromising their values end up doing so if they don’t know ahead of time just what their values are. Don’t ever sacrifice yourself to be a model. The modeling world can be laced with drugs, alcohol, sex-trades, rape, greed and more if you get in with the wrong crowd, which is easy to do when you’re looking for a quick route to fame and fortune. Never do anything it takes to get to the top. You’ll regret it later. Outside of local modeling gigs, most outlets for modeling lead to sketchy, compromising situations. Know your values and stick to your guns! On the other hand, the right agencies will honor your values and can lead you to a great career.


Don’t expect to walk into a modeling agency, do a few twirls and expect them to sign you. Anywhere from 10-20 people a day walked through the doors unexpectedly asking to meet with the owners of the agency. Agencies are extremely busy and usually have girls fill out paperwork and submit photos for review. They almost never see girls by just walking in. Know this ahead of time and get some practice behind your belt. If you do get called in for a meet and greet, you need to keep your look casual, yet also have a confident walk and not look fake. Practice, practice, practice!


When it comes to the modeling industry, you won’t get anywhere without a good headshot to get you started. Have someone you know or a photographer take a natural headshot of you. No photo-touching, hardly any makeup, and simple hair should be the top three key points of your photo. I’m serious, girls! Modeling agencies hate Photoshopped pictures, makeup, fancy hair styles, or overdone looks. They want to see you in the raw to see if you could transformed into a variety of looks. Remember, you’re pretty just as you are, so let those agencies see you for you! Most importantly, no Glamour Shot photos!


The modeling industry is one of the hardest careers to achieve and maintain. Most models who haven’t been modeling up to age 22 are almost guaranteed they won’t make it in the runway industry unless they seek out commercial modeling options, which I’m actually more fond of anyway. You don’t need to be a certain size to model, nor do you need to look a certain way. You just need to know what the odds are in the market you’re in. If you don’t look like a runway model, that’s fine! Know the odds of what you face in terms of the area you live, what your look has to offer, and how hard each specific outlet for modeling is, such as commercial or runway.

Become a Professional Model in Nigeria

The most important thing you can do to become a model is to be yourself! Never change who you are on the inside or outside to make someone else happy. Modeling can be a great way to gain self-confidence and can help you make money on the side of a regular day job. Never sacrifice yourself, your values or your self-esteem to do so! These steps will lead you to being a successful and happy model. Have you ever modeled or wanted to?

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Joseph Iyaye is a dedicated writer that loves to discover anything entirely Nigeria. I have a lot to tell you about Lekki City, Bauchi State, Lagos, Okrika (Rivers State), Abuja, Port Harcout, Benin City, Zaria, Warri etc. Keep in touch with for more.

1 Comment

  1. Blessing Aniefiok Reply

    This is very enlightening, and I’ve really learnt a lot. Thank you very much

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