How To Break Into The Australian Modelling Industry.

Jessie Norbury

Are you Australia’s next top model?

Here at Bondi Beauty, we’re all about beauty inside and out, and after my recent chat with Aussie model and social media guru, Jess Norbury, it seems we’ve found our motto personified.

Jess Norbury is an entrepreneur, social media influencer, model, health and wellbeing advocate and podcaster. At the ripe old age of 21, Jessie has already featured in campaigns for brands such as Ryderwear and Soda Shades and has a social media community of over 40k.

With over 6 years of experience as a model, Jessie is passionate about helping like-minded people “find their fire” and shed some light on the highs and lows of the modelling industry.

Now, Jess shares her 3 Top Tips For Breaking Into The Modelling Industry

  1. Build Up Your Portfolio

“There are so many local photographers and people you can collaborate with on a free basis, especially when you’re first starting out and so are they. I think that’s an amazing way to build up your portfolio and make some connections and get some great photos.”

Jessie says, when she was first starting out she would reach out to photographers on Facebook and provide TFP (Time for Photos). She would then post these photos on her Instagram which she used and continues to use as a portfolio for her modelling work.

“Most of my bookings these days and my regular clients come through my Instagram, so I really recommend using social media as a platform to showcase your work and what you bring to the table as a personal brand – especially if you freelance”.
  • Stay True To Yourself

The modelling industry is famous for its exclusivity and the crazy expectations they put on people. Jess says, “in the modelling industry it’s really easy to get caught up in the measurements and trying to be what someone else wants you to be. But the thing is, in modelling everyone has such a unique look, and sometimes brands or agencies just aren’t looking for your look that season and that changes all the time.”

Jess admits that she’s been told to lose centimetres in certain areas or has been turned away from jobs and agencies because of her appearance, but she emphasises it’s important to stay true to yourself and build a thick skin if you want to thrive as a model.

“People will tell you to change this, or change that, but at the end of the day you are the only person with your bone structure, with your genetics or your metabolism. No two people are going to look the same, and I think it’s so ridiculous that people in this industry can ask people to change for a particular agency or job. The fact that no two people are the same is the beauty of this industry.”

Jess highlights how trends in the ideal standard of beauty change so frequently and have gone from stick thin runway models to athletic and curvy. She says, that while it’s easy to want what you can’t have, if the standards of beauty are changing all the time there’s no point in trying to keep up or meet every single one. She encourages her followers and anyone wanting to make it in the industry to embrace their unique qualities as that is what you are selling as a model.
  • Agencies aren’t the be all and end all

Jessie recounts that when she first started modelling back in Canberra when she was 15, she joined an agency immediately as she assumed this was the only way to get work.

However, she says this agency provided her with very little opportunity, with her main modelling job being handing out flyers at shopping centres.

Now she says, “I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that agencies aren’t going to make your career for you. If it’s not the right time to be represented by an agency you can go out and do it yourself. There’s nothing holding you back from opportunities that can come up if you put yourself out there and get it yourself.”

She says modelling agencies definitely have their place, especially if you don’t want the responsibility of working for yourself and being in control of your own work and admin. However, she says, “I would probably say yes to signing with an agency if the right one came up. I think it’s important to sign with an agency that aligns with your values, and values you as you are – not just as a mannequin. A lot of the agencies I’ve been into have just taken my measurements and my weight and then called it a day when I don’t meet ‘their requirements’ and to me that is a huge red flag”.

Tara Mckenzie

Like many of Bondi Beauty's readers, Tara has two main passions; health and beauty. As a group fitness instructor you'll either find her dripping in sweat during a HIIT class or with a full face of bronze makeup. If you meet Tara in person be prepared to act excited as she tells you all about your star sign and why you should start carrying a rose quartz around in your purse.


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