(Sun drenched, photo by Michael McCabe)
A girl recently sent me a message sharing, "This lady that owns a modeling agencies decides to tell me I can never model because I am 4'11, I have the perfect skin, I'm petite, and just want ot do something with my talent. I want ot be able to prove I can do it, Please help. Thanks."
My reply to her might also help you and your own pursuits.
I know it can be frustrating! Some people are such letdowns. But don't let her words hold you back. Fire back with ambition and your positive attitude and put your actions where your heart is!
It is true. Many modeling agencies do have height requirements, and even print modeling agencies can have height requirements. Some are very stiff about it some are more open minded. In my experience, it helps if you already have professional photos and a comp card that represents your assets beyond height and the agency is intrigued with your look and what you have to market and thinks their clients would book you. There is more below on why producing the best modeling photos you can is helpful to where you go in modeling. Your photos represent where you go and can assist you in the opportunities you can.
You may also want to consider talent agencies and modeling agencies that work with "real life" models within print modeling and commercials.
Being petite and trying to model means focusing on who you are beyond height.
Waiting for someone to tell you that you can model might take forever, what it best is to grab your bootstraps and start noticing your assets, things you have naturally that can be used to model for real-life products and brands. Admire print modeling campaigns and commercials of all types for all types of products is helpful to get you thinking about how modeling isn't just about height and inches, it's about a lot more, and while doing admiring these print ads and commercials also admire yourself.
What are your assets beyond height? How could what you have naturally translate into working with brands and products. Models are not just giraffe tall, but they have something else to market.
Be prepared for making your own marketing tools, a comp card, starting your portfolio. You want to prove you can and it starts with believing you can and doing to work to show others you can to get them to give you a chance, most important, you have to believe in you.
There is ahead of work ahead but it sounds you like already have the will to prove you can so start studying print ads and start learning as much as you can about print modeling and how your personality and your assets can be used within the marketing and editorial projects of magazines and marketing professionals.
Modeling is about being a part of the marketing world. Agents, casting directors, editors, they book models for projects involving a certain persona, vibe, appeal to the consumer, they are looking for a model/s who represent their vision. Most of the time their vision won't be a petite girl/ aka short chick, but it could be other assets you have: nice skin, nice hair, nice friendly smile, so celebrate your assets beyond height within your photos. Strive to work only with photographers who understand what print modeling is and really invest the time to produce the best photos you can that involve your personality, your smile, and what you can offer as a model beyond height. Modeling jewelry, handbags and accessories--why do you have to be tall to model those things? So do research within product ads, editorials, catalogs, where the model wasn't booked only because of her measurements and height wasn't such a big thing for the shot/project.
Here are some links from my blog based on creating photos as a petite model and noticing your assets beyond height:
These links will help get your mind going in the right direction for the photos you need and the mindset to have while creating photos, comp cards and approaching agencies and trying to get some work as a model with legit aspiring brands.
And here is more about working with agencies:
When you have your comp card consider these tips for workin with perhaps some aspiring brands and companies in your area:
It will take research, time, becoming your own manager at times, being your own art director, but set goals and attain to them, focus on the photos you need that will benefit your goals and your chances realistically. Shooting like a fashion model will be a waste of time, so focus on creating really beautiful, natural, pretty photos of you that bring out your personality and show how well your smile and assets can work for you.
The more prepared you are, the better. So, go after your goals with a realistically ambitious mindset. Of course there will be rejection, of course it will be tough, some days you might want to cry and feel you can't, but if you want something you press on and make it happen!