From Jeff, FL:
What are the usual start-up costs for getting started as a model
These figures are pretty general because every city has a different price structure for getting started.
You could spend $500 for a photographer, $100 for a makeup artist and $100 for getting head shots or composite sheets printed. This would be in a larger city. I would also recommend investing about $100 on materials. Things like a portfolio book, modeling books, and newsletters. Although, most of your photos will be in a jpg format, it will be good to also get hard copies of any modeling job you have and place it in a portfolio case/book.
In smaller markets, you might only need to pay around $250-$300 for a photo shoot. Instead of immediately printing head shots and comp cards, you might want to create 1 or 2 samples by simply printing them on a very high quality printer at a local printing store near you. That will allow you to spend a few dollars, show the photos to agents, and if they like them, then spend $50-$100 getting them printer by a specialty printer. If the agent likes you, but not your photos, then you were only out around $2.50.
GETTING PHOTOS TAKEN FREE
If you read my book, How to Become a Successful Commercial Model, you will learn how to get test photos free. Here is something you can try. Once you have read about how to put together strong commercial photos and really understand what you must do before a head shot session, then contact a local college or university and talk with an instructor in the art department. See if there are any photography classes.
Then contact the teacher and ask him/her if there are any students interested in putting together a strong commercial portfolio. The arrangement will be, you won’t charge the student your normal modeling fees, and the student will not charge you for the session. You might get some great photos FREE. The most important thing is to be able to tell and show the photographer how to create strong and marketable commercial photos.
This is the type of information you will learn from reading, How to Become a Successful Commercial Model.
So, if you follow my plan, you could actually get started by investing in my book and around $2.50-$3.75 in printing a sample head shot and or comp card.