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.
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