There are many ways to learn more about the modeling industry, the people, the lifestyle, how to get started, and the craft itself. Here at Modeling Wisdom, for example, we try to do our bit to help. Another way to get more information—or inspiration—is by reading books. Whether it’s a modeling 101 type of book or a biography of a model, there’s plenty to be learned within these pages.
Here, we count down our top 5 modeling books that people who are in or want to get into modeling might find useful, insightful, and inspiring.
5. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Being a Model, 2nd Edition, by Roshumba Williams with Anne Marie O’Connor, 2007
If you’re familiar with the ‘Idiot’s Guide’ series of step-by-step books, you know that they offer a good jump-on point for people who want to get started with a particular activity. The same goes for this one, which is an excellent introduction into the industry if you want to be armed with the basic information. There’s nothing too in-depth here, but there’s a lot of information and resources on various types of modeling, advice, and some illustrations.
4. Heidi Klum’s Body of Knowledge: 8 Rules of Model Behavior (to Help You Take Off on the Runway of Life), 2004
The majority of this book’s pages are filled with pictures, but where there’s text—whether from Heidi Klum or from a number of ‘guest appearances’ from the likes of Michael J. Fox and Harvey Weinstein—you’re sure to find useful tidbits on pretty much anything, not just modeling. It’s a self-help book first and foremost, with advice filtered through the stuff Heidi Klum experienced and learned on her way to stardom.
3. Sex, Love, and Fashion: A Memoir of a Male Model, by Bruce Hulse, 2008
One thing you’ll notice about the book is that it was written really well. You might be surprised to learn that the author is considered among the top ten male models ever. Aside from providing an insider’s exposition into the industry, the book also tells a good story, one that shows us the growth of a man and how he navigated through the complex world of male modeling.
2. Alek: My Life from Sudanese Refugee to International Supermodel, by Alek Wek, 2008
This book details Alek Wek’s remarkable life story, from her days in civil war-torn Sudan all the way to modeling for some of the most recognized fashion brands in the world and achieving supermodel status. It’s all about how her values were carried over to her work and how she dealt with struggles and obstacles—lessons that could certainly help and inspire fresh models.
1. How to Become a Successful Commercial Model: The Complete Commercial Modeling Handbook, by Aaron Marcus, 1997
This book may be a bit dated, but the information it provides is perfect for people who are hoping to break into the modeling industry. It’s another modeling 101 type book, with commercial modeling as a focus. It helps that Aaron Marcus has extensive experience in the field, so the intermediate details about getting started should be of particular relevance for models who are just starting out, or even for those who are still undecided on taking a splash into modeling.
There are many modeling books out there, and it can be tricky trying to sift through hundreds of titles. We hope you find something useful from our recommendations, so you spend less time trying to find a good modeling book and move on to the more important part—your modeling career. May God bless you on your journey regardless the path you take.