A girl recently told me about being scammed by a photographer, and how she had avery iffy and unsafe experience. She told me how the so-called photographer made her feel uncomfortable. This always bothers me to hear of girls being taken advantage of in front of the camera. And the best way to skip crappy situations is to beaware of them. Don't put yourself in a position to get scammed or degrade your modeling goals and potential. Skip the Internet model sites, and here is my reply which might help you see the light on why the Internet-age and the word model don't unite well:
I'm sorry to hear you encountered a not so wonderful experience while pursuing modeling, I don't support model sites because most of the time you will run into amatuers and those who are not serious or professional. I wrote about some of my mistakes in my memoir Almost 5'4" and purposely wrote abotu it to encourage girls to skip that route. While it might make you feel like a model to post photos of yourself on a model site, real models don't typically do that. Real agencies aren't scouting the web for models and real photographers typically are not marketing themselves on those sites. Becareful to be selective about who you shoot with. Those sites can quickly encourage a girl to assume Time for Print means getting nude for the hell of it, or she can be misled to think having an hourly rate is the direction to go to get professional photos and real modeling work. Those sites are typically similar to photography porn and I would skip them.
It's best to work with a professional photographer, someone who understands the industry, who has built a strong portfolio from their years of experience and has clients from the advertising and editorial work. You will have to fork out some money, pay for professional modeling photographs. Your experience will be better when you know the shots you need and work with a photographer who knows what print modeling is.
A photographer who knows what print modeling is will understand the type of photos you need to market yourself realistically for print modeling. You'll get shots that benefit your modeling goals and pursuits, not just pretty photos, you'll get what matters. If you're short, under 5'7" then there are certain photos you need to pursue print modeling, which is the area of modeling for all types and sizes.
It's best to study print modeling and print modeling ads before you shoot, get an idea of the shots you need, look at commercials for cell phones, fast food, lifestyle products, hair, beauty, any ad that invovles a model smiling is typically a print model. I would be realistic and not expect to be jetset -traveling around the world and working with high fashion magazines-as a shorter model, but there are opportunities out there if you have the right photos to market your assets in the right ways and target the right agencies within print modeling.
Some posts from my blog that should inspire you and your photos and share with the photos you need and some things to be aware of when it comes to finding a photographer who understands print modeling :)
Put it this why: Focus on gettin what you need and you're more likely to skip scams and jerks... And paying for professional photos is best. Make sure you know the shots you need because you don't have to pay $$$$ a ton for them but you do need professional shots and professional doesn't mean extra make up and glamour it means shots that represents you are a great print model with personality and photographs of you that represent the real you. A smiling shot/headshot is the main thing to focus on getting. Ex: a shot that looks like the girls on the hair dye boxes in the drug store, smiling, fresh, pretty, natural. :)
I hope this helps, and strive on! You can overcome the mistakes and strut on towards better things,