Have you tried modeling agencies? Models come in all sizes and heights just depending on what the client is looking for, whether it be catalogue, ads, etc. I would definitely interview with a few to see what they recommend. Good luck!
Hey ladyash, thanks for posting - I know nothing about modeling myself and it was interesting to hear about this!this is basically my experience from the past 6 years in the industry. It's very hard to get into and you most likely won't want to quit your day job!
Excellent post!!Your age is also a problem in this industry unfortunately. I'm 25 and considered retirement age since I'm not famous or walking/campaigning for big brand names. I started modeling at 19 after being "discovered" and landing my first magazine campaign. At 5'8 even I have had trouble booking work. Now that I'm 25 I'm being passed over for 16-18 year old girls when fashion week rolls around because they are younger, taller, and could potentially have good future prospects which is what an agency wants. If they are investing money in you they want to do it at an early stage of your career so that they maximize their earning potential.
You might be able to do commercial modeling if you don't mind doing catalog or look book type things. Those usually don't have as strict height/weight requirements because they want to appeal to a wider audience. Another avenue would be fine art modeling (nude) as those don't have height/weight/age requirements either. You could also become a hair model, but you have to be willing to have extreme cuts and colours done. No isn't really an option when booking the hair gigs.
I love high fashion, but because of my height and age I don't have an agency. Luckily for me I have a face for high fashion so I can still book regular work without one. I've done hair modeling for the past three years which usually pays the best since they are altering your look and making you less likely to book other gigs. I've stopped the hair modeling as I want to grow my hair out again to be more bookable as I also do film/tv and I'm finding it difficult to book work when my hair is constantly changing shapes/lengths/colours. I've also done a bit of lingerie and have booked my first fine art shoot by a well known published photographer to be shot in the next few months. I've been published and walked in Fashion Weeks multiple times so I'm not doing too bad for myself considering all the while I was being shut down by agents being told I wasn't what they were looking for.
My advice if you do go around to agencies is be wary of scams. A lot of places will ask for ridiculous amounts of money up front for classes/photo shoots/ etc. and then you will never book a job. They can't guarantee you work so the best thing to do would be to find a good photographer in your area and do a few test shoots to get a portfolio started before seeing an agency. I remember going to an agency at 19 with my first published campaign in hand and being told I wasn't ready to model so I needed to take classes/have a portfolio shot by the photographer they hire etc etc. which added up to about $2500 by the time they were done telling me the things I needed to pay for before they would put me on their roster to send out to clients for potential work. Complete scam! I had a well known magazine in hand with my face published in it for a well known hair care brand and they were telling me I wasn't ready to be a model!! I think they were shut down by police about a year after that when enough people complained that they paid for all these things and never heard from the agency again.
A good site to check out is model mayhem. You would be able to connect with photographers in your area to get started at least. They have casting calls posted all the time depending on which area you are in. I book a lot of paid gigs through there and have made some really good connections because of that site. It's like the linkedin of the modeling world.
All this might not be what you really want to hear, but this is basically my experience from the past 6 years in the industry. It's very hard to get into and you most likely won't want to quit your day job!