A girl on Facebook who lives in England asked me: "I have heard that I could contact small fashion designers, even university students and ask if they need a model, would you suggest this? As a freelance model, do you contact magazines or brands or do you just wait for jobs to be posted??"
I think working with aspiring student designers is great and also visiting tradeshows, craft shows and meeting jewelry, handbag, hats, and accessory designers is great as well. Getting experience working with an aspiring brand will be good experience for you as a model and also you will get some nice images for your portfolio of your self modeling a product.
Contact magazines can be tricky but once you have a professional compcard you could send it to photo editors at magazines, but be mindful that fashion magazines typically only work with agency models, so this case would be best to only mail lifestyle magazines that are not so high, high fashion. Example: I would mail Marie Claire, but not Vogue. Also magazines such as Woman's World, regional magazines, magazines that are not distributed nationally and might not have the budget for an agency model might be better to submit to for opportunities.
Also strive to work with photographers that are serious about photography. I gained my first modeling magazine tearsheets from working with a photographer who worked with the magazine.
I would never wait for jobs to be posted and most that is posted on the Internet is crap. So be very careful. I suggest approaching an actual mom & pop local hair salon, or boutique, or aspiring student designers, before submitting to an online post, the majority of modeling job posts on the Internet are very sketchy. Be very cautious. You want to aim higher because you will get more.
It is good to self promote but it shouldn’t be about just modeling for the heck of it, and also don’t just accept a modeling job “for the money” especially if it is not professional. Stay away from amateurs. Make sure it is an experience that will benefit you and your future modeling goals.
Focus on getting quality: quality images, putting together a great compcard, and you can eventually work with agencies or bigger brands and get bigger jobs that pay well for a quality modeling job that will benefit you.
Other posts on modeling with brands and magazines: