Fitness Modeling 201 – How To Land A Fitness Magazine Cover

So far we have discussed how to prepare for a photo shoot and how to set up a photo shoot. Today I’m going to show you how to get noticed and sign with a reputable agency.

These days there is a TON of competition out there with tons of aspiring fitness models all battling to pull off the so-called holy grail of fitness modeling which is gracing the cover of a top fitness magazine…or as a consolation prize…getting published in a magazine. :)

It’s sort of funny, everyone wants to land their own magazine cover, whether it be Oxygen, FitnessRX, Muscle & Fitness, FLEX, etc you get the point…everyone seems to want to be “that guy” or “that girl” on the front of the mag.

Is it cool to have your own cover? Damn right it is.

Will it put thousands of dollars into your pocket and help you live the ultimate Hollywood lifestyle? Not so fast my friend.

While it is super cool to get published in a fitness magazine, I don’t want to hype you up and send you out to the wolves with false hope. There is a big misconception that you’ll make an insane amount of money if you land on the cover of a fitness magazine…and that’s a BIG myth. While price ranges vary, you may want to expect something between $300-$1000, but probably somewhere around $500. So don’t quit your day job just yet and pack your bags for Hollywood…

As great as fitness modeling is, most gigs just don’t pay very much (especially fitness magazine work) so it is very important to stay focused and work hard so you can book larger commercial gigs down the road. (Commercials, infomercials, sponsorships, print ads for companies, etc.)

Well now that we’ve cleared that up, let me show you the easiest ways to get noticed and published in your favorite fitness magazine.

A good way to get noticed that many new fitness models overlook is contacting the magazines directly. But before you decide to hit up any major publications you should ask yourself if your physique is even READY to be in a magazine. Do you have a comparable physique to the models in the issue?

If you do, then it is definitely worth your time to contact the magazines. If you feel your physique isn’t quite ready, you can probably make better use of your time by focusing on improving your physique and contacting the magazines later.

So the big question is…who the hell do you send your information to?

A little trick you can use to find out who to send your information to is to simply look inside the magazine and try to identify the art director. This person is usually listed inside of the magazine where it lists the credits of the editors, photographers, etc. Then all you have to do is simply find the mailing address of the magazine (it should be on that page) and then send them your media kit with your cover letter, resume, stats, and photos. Just be sure to include your contact information and put (ATTN Art Director) on the envelope.

If they are interested they will contact you so don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear anything back right away, these people are extremely busy, and sometimes you just won’t hear anything. Just don’t forget to follow up 4-6 weeks later. You can even submit new photos at this time. Hopefully you should have another test shoot done (hint hint).

Shout out to my friend and mentor Eric Carlson aka Erock (pictured above) whose advice got me started in the industry.

Getting noticed isn’t easy, and most of the time your media kit will find the bottom of the pile when you mail it in (because thousands of other aspiring models also submit stuff each month) but a surefire way to put yourself in the company of the elite photographers, agencies, and sponsors is to compete in fitness modeling competitions.

Back in the day, this type of opportunity was unheard of but there is a giant circuit of fitness modeling competitions worldwide where thousands of fitness models can compete for the top spot. Most of the fitness models that you see in the big magazines are all previous winners of these competitions.

Fitness modeling competitions are without a doubt one of the best ways to “get noticed” by the top supplement companies, magazines, photographers, agencies, and other media outlets. As an example, the last fitness model competition I did…I remember the WWE was there recruiting along with all of the major magazines, as well as several top agencies and supplement companies.

Where else can you go and market yourself to all of these kinds of people at once? I can’t think of ANYWHERE…

These events will showcase who you are as a person, AND as a fitness model. You will have a tremendous opportunity at each one of these competitions, not only to win, but to get noticed because all of the big names in the industry will all be there. There is no better opportunity than this to jump start your career.

Think you have what it takes?

Check out the websites below and try to decide which event works best for you and your schedule. Who knows, you may get signed on the spot and be the next fitness modeling sensation!

Fitness Model Competitions
FAME World Tour www.famecompetitions.com
WBFF www.wbffshows.com
Muscle Mania www.musclemania.com
Model Universe www.universeweekend.com
Fitness Atlantic www.fitnessatlantic.com

How To Get Signed With A Modeling Agency

Ok now that you have done a test shoot or two and perhaps competed in a show and got your name out there, perhaps it is time to start looking for an agency. This part always scares new models because they feel it is too intimidating to go into an agency and face the ultimate rejection…Someone telling you that you aren’t “hot” enough to join the club. Ouch!

Remind you of high school? In many ways it is a lot like high school lol but no need to worry…even supermodels get rejected sometimes so don’t take it personally. Just keep trying until you find an agency that wants what you have to offer.

Here’s the thing. Every agency has a certain “look” that they are after and each one specializes in certain types of models. It is important to understand that not every agency will be interested in your look. It doesn’t mean you don’t look good it just means that what they do doesn’t fit your look. Or they may already have several models that have a similar look to yours. Don’t take rejection personally.

Sometimes you’ll get rejected because your portfolio isn’t strong enough though so be sure to work with at least one top photographer so you have pictures that command respect at any agency. Here’s the deal with your portfolio…you need to show the agency and eventually the client that you can do the work. This means that your portfolio should demonstrate your proficiency as a model.

For example, you want to do a Nike Basketball shoot? Well you better be able to show in a picture that you LOOK LIKE a real basketball player! Get the idea? So with that in mind, you should continuously develop your book over the course of your career and try to rock every shoot as if it will be your last. Try to improve your poses and facial expressions with practice so that you get better with each shoot.

If you want to be taken seriously as a model, you need to prove it by shooting with good photographers and really sell your skills in the pics. Sure you can do TFP…but the top agencies will be able to spot amateurish work from a mile away and reject you every time so steer clear of GWCs (guys with cam).

But i digress…

Ok so when contacting agencies, be sure to send them a media kit with your cover letter, resume, photos, and stats. It is important that these materials are current and up to date. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on this stuff, you can make your own media kit on your home computer and I always create and update mine on my computer here at home.

If you aren’t very good with computers you can try hiring a graphic designer on www.elance.com to do it for you. After a week or so (from the time the agency receives your submission) be sure to follow up so they don’t forget about you. After that give the agency about 4-6 weeks for a final response. If they are interested in you, they will contact you and set up a meeting.

Remember, be confident not cocky when dealing with agencies. If you act like you are all that, when you haven’t even booked a single gig, you only make yourself look like a fool. Just be yourself, and show them you are serious about your career. Don’t ruin your career before it begins.

Below is a list of the most formidable agencies in Los Angeles and New York City. Be sure to check their websites to find out if they have open calls.

Top Modeling Agencies (LA/NY)

Ford Models www.fordmodels.com
Silver Models www.silvermodels.com
Wilhelmina www.wilhelmina.com
Sports and Lifestyle Unlimited www.sluagency.com
The Morgan Agency www.themorganagency.com
Click www.clickmodel.com
LA Models www.lamodels.com
Elite www.elitemodel.com
Boss Models www.bossmodels.com
Next www.nextmodels.com
IMG www.imgmodels.com

Keep in mind that you don’t need an agency to be a successful fitness model. In fact, if you work hard and market yourself properly using the internet, social media, fitness events, shows, etc, you can do just fine.

Networking is very important and many times if you have good relationships with photographers, promoters, companies, magazines, etc you can book a ton of work based solely on your reputation and like-able-ness. Of course some kick ass photos of yourself never hurt the cause either ;)

Go get em.

Jamin

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Jamin Thompson
Jamin Thompson has been called "the most handsome fitness model in the world" and "a brilliant actor & writer", both by his mom. He's a former Clemson & UMiami athlete and World Ranked tennis player who writes to help others dominate in the gym, on the field, and in life using his real world, in the trenches experience. His book, The 6 Pack Secret, has been sold in over 50 countries and has helped thousands of folks from all walks of life get cut and jacked the healthy way.
Jamin Thompson

@jaminthompson

Athlete. National Champion. Miami Hurricane + Clemson Tiger. Econ/MBA. Fitness Model/Actor. IG: @JaminThompson. Business inquiries: info@JaminThompson.com
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2 Responses to Fitness Modeling 201 – How To Land A Fitness Magazine Cover

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  2. grammar check October 11, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

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