Model Advice

Getting Published in a Magazine

Written by AEFM International


By Analee Matthews, Award-Winning Editor & Publisher

Who Is Analee Matthews?

Analee Matthews is an award-winning magazine editor and publisher who specialises in the production of digital health, fitness, nutrition and lifestyle publications. Analee has almost two decades of experience producing print and online magazines for both fitness professionals and consumers alike. She was the editor of the Fitness First magazine for seven years, during which time the iPad version of the publication was named Best App on a Mobile or Tablet Device. These days Analee is the owner, publisher and editor of OH! Magazine, which was named the 2014 Specialist Magazine Cover of the Year at The Maggies Awards. OH! Magazine is a unique digital publication that is designed specifically for health clubs across Australia and New Zealand to use as their own in-house member magazine. Analee is also the editor of the What’s New in FitnessYMCA Healthy Lifestyle and nosh magazines.

Following are Analee’s tips to helping you become a successful fitness model.

What Do Magazines Look For When Choosing A Fitness Model?

Obviously, the number one priority for an editor when choosing a model is a look that matches the brief. As a working fitness model you need to be mindful that different briefs will require different body types, different physiques, variances in musculature and specific aesthetics – so don’t be disheartened when you are not selected for a gig. The bottom line is that even though you are awesome, your aesthetics simply won’t suit every single opportunity.

It may sound unusual but personality is very important when it comes to modelling. Given a choice, photographers and editors will opt for a model that is bubbly, outgoing, enthusiastic, creative, engaging and energetic, over someone who is not.

Successful models will always conduct themselves professionally and will appear to enjoy the entire process (even during those boring moments when all you seem to be doing is waiting around!). Your attitude and personality can show through in your photographs, so you want to make sure you are radiating positivity at all times in a genuine way! By conducting yourself in this manner, you’ll create a great reputation for yourself, which could help you score more gigs in the future.

What Does It Take To Be Published In A Magazine?

Typically models are selected through an agency and often publications are connected to one or two agencies who they contact each time they need a model. For this reason it is important to be registered with an agency like AEFM, which will present you for opportunities. The great thing about being with AEFM is that it is an agency specialising in fitness models so it will often be the first port of call for any publication in need of fitness models (as opposed to traditional fashion models).

Currently, the majority of publications and resources that I produce actually use stock images. Sometimes these images are sourced directly from a fitness model that has submitted photographs for me to consider using.

I am constantly on the lookout for unique, healthy lifestyle images which might portray physical/fitness activities, nutrition, wellness, work/life balance, happiness or success, to name just a few examples. So, if you are able to negotiate the use of your images with the photographer, then you could submit a portfolio of shots for an editor to consider publishing. Of course the key to success here can rely on your portfolio demonstrating your versatility as a model. It should depict you in different environments, poses and outfits (including workout gear of course). Remember, before you submit any photos for an editor to consider using you must always ensure you have gained the copyright entitlement/permission from the photographer to do so. AEFM can provide more information about this.

Another consideration is that if you are qualified in fitness or a related field don’t be shy in letting that be known. When I am looking for someone to feature in a photo shoot demonstrating exercise technique, I would always prefer a fitness model who is a qualified personal trainer or who knows what they are doing when it comes to exercise. This way I will have an added assurance that the images we capture will be technically correct, because the model has experience in that particular area. It is not essential of course, but it is beneficial.

It is important to understand that the above tips relate specifically to the way in which I produce my publications. I am a hands-on and accessible editor, so it is very simple to submit your portfolio to me and for me to make the decision whether or not to use them. Some magazines, however, operate with teams of people and so may have different processes that you need to understand and follow in order to get your foot in the door.


If you have a specific publication that you want to try and appear in, then do your research and find out what processes they follow for selecting their fitness models. For example, do they only deal with specific agencies? Who actually sources the models? It might be the photographer or another member on the creative or production team – find out who the most appropriate person to contact is and how you can best reach them.

Fitness Model Essentials: The Top 10 MUST DO’s 

  1. Conduct yourself professionally – at all times.
  2. Go the extra mile – exceed the expectations of those around you and you will be remembered and invited back for more work in the future.
  3. When posing, think creatively and be proactive – you don’t ever want it to be hard work for a photographer to get great shots of you.
  4. Don’t be scared to make suggestions or, if appropriate, try new or interesting poses. What may feel unusual to execute might actually create a stunning photograph!
  5. Be a team player.
  6. Don’t be a diva! You may be labeled as the “talent” on set, but that doesn’t mean you should act like you are better than anyone else! Save the attitude for when you are staring down the camera lens.
  7. Do some research. If you understand what the shoot is all about and are familiar with the brand you are shooting for, you’ll find it a lot easier and more enjoyable to deliver exactly what they want.
  8. Be flexible and adaptable.
  9. Be receptive to and encouraging of feedback. If a photographer or editor is giving you instructions or critiquing your performance, really listen to what they are saying, heed their advice and implement what you can. It is not personal – they are just trying to ensure YOU appear in the shots they want to publish. Think of their feedback as golden nuggets of advice that will help you further your career!
  10. Develop a thick skin – you will need it in order to be a successful model. The truth is if you offend easily then this business might not be the right one for you.

What Should A Modelling Portfolio Contain?

When it comes to fitness modelling there is never going to be one exact “look” or “type” that every publication will go for. For this reason, your portfolio should effectively demonstrate your versatility as a model. By ensuring you present a range of different looks, situations, styles, even hair colouring, you will be maximising your appeal.

A definite “turn off” is a snooze-worthy portfolio that shows one dimension of modelling ability and nothing more. It is worth investing in a professional shoot that will present as many options as possible to potential publishers.

Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Fitness Models

Don’t give up on your dream. Believe in yourself. Be original, professional, reliable and honest. Understand that you won’t be chosen for every opportunity so learn how to handle rejection.

Analee Matthews can be contacted by emailing or visit or

Written by AEFM International

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