Land a Magazine Cover

The King of Covers: Your Magazine Cover Expert is Here

Looking to land your dream fitness magazine cover gig? These days, there is a mass of competition in the fitness model photoshoot industry, with models all battling it out in the hopes of beating each other to the pinnacle of fitness photo shoot glory – your own magazine cover. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there though, and to stand out from the hungry pack, you need a fitness photographer who knows the ins and outs of the fitness photography industry. The good news is, that man’s name is Jason Ellis – The King of Covers – and he’s here to share his expert knowledge with you so you can land the magazine cover gig of your dreams.

Land a Magazine Cover

Before You Start, Prepare Your Fitness Model Portfolio

When contacting agencies, or any potential client for that matter, you need to ensure that your fitness modelling portfolio or media kit is up-to-date. Include your cover letter, resume, past fitness photography photos, and stats you have accrued from past magazine covers or other industry experience. You don’t have to spend a lot of money creating your portfolio, but it is important that the quality is high. Remember, what you show needs to sell your goods, even if you aren’t present in person, so consider getting some help creating your fitness model portfolio if need be.

After a week or so from the time the agency receives your fitness photo shoot portfolio, be sure to follow up with them so they don’t forget about you. When you do land a gig with an agency, be confident, but not cocky. Be yourself, then add a little spunk to show them you’re serious about your career.

How to Land a Fitness Magazine Cover

Landing your dream fitness magazine cover is a big deal, and before you decide to take the first steps down the road of a fitness modelling career, you need to ask yourself if your physique is even ready to be on a magazine cover.

Do you have a comparable physique to the models in the issue? If you do, (and I’m sure if you’re here, then this is you!) then it’s time to prove it by completing a shoot with a good fitness photographer.

This is your chance to put yourself in front of a camera, and see how you can really sell yourself using a mixture of your beautifully sculpted physique, and their expert knowledge of fitness model photography, and the best fitness photography poses that will get you results! And you don’t want to try take these sample photos yourself.

Top fitness model agencies and potential clients spend all day, every day looking at portfolios, and are able to spot amateure photography from a mile away. It’s not worth wasting your time and energy only to be rejected due to a poor quality shoot.

Once you’ve got some great looking shots from your fitness photo shoot, then it’s time to hit the campaign trail and contact the magazines which you’d like to feature on.

But just how do you go about it?

There are three main ways to land a fitness cover magazine shoot:

Tip #1: Contact Magazines Directly

The process of contacting the magazines directly can be a long and tedious process, with the potential for many rejections and “don’t speak to me, speak to the other guy” responses. But years in the industry has led me to a little trick you can use to find out who to send your information to.

Take the magazine that you would like to feature in, and look inside the front cover and identify the “art director”. This person is usually listed alongside the credits of the editors, photographers, etc.

Find their details, and the mailing address of the magazine, then send them your portfolio with your cover letter, resume, stats, and beautiful fitness photography photos you had taken earlier. And be sure to include your contact information before you send, and to address it to “ATTN: Art Director” so it reaches the right person.

If they’re interested in your look, they will contact you in time. Remember, these people receive masses of requests to shoot every day, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear anything back right away. If, for whatever reason, you don’t hear from the magazine with 4-6 weeks, take the initiative and follow up your initial outreach with another, even submitting new photos at this time to really show them you’re serious about your fitness model career.

Remember, persistence pays off handsomely in the end…

Tip #2: Enter Fitness Modelling Competitions

Another way to get the attention of popular magazines, is to compete in a fitness modelling competition. Not too long ago, this type of opportunity was unheard of, but nowadays there is a large number of fitness modeling competitions worldwide, where thousands of fitness models can compete for glory.

The effectiveness of this approach lies in past results – many of the fitness models you see in big magazines are all previous winners of one or more of these fitness modelling competitions. That’s because they are without a doubt, one of the best ways to “get noticed” in the fitness model world, as the top supplement companies, magazines, photographers, agencies, and other media outlets all attend these events looking for upcoming talent to showcase.

Remember, your off-stage performance needs to be as good as the on-stage act, so if you are approached by a brand/agency/magazine, you want to be sure you have a stunning portfolio to show off your experience, and your brand as a fitness model. For that, you need an expert fitness photographer…

Looking for where to start? Here’s a list of some popular fitness model competitions that are held across the United States:

FAME World Tour:
Muscle Mania:
Model Universe:
Fitness Atlantic:

Tip #3: Consider Signing With A Modeling Agency

Keep in mind that you don’t need an agency to be a successful fitness model. In fact, if you work hard and market yourself properly using the internet, social media, fitness events, shows, etc, you can do just fine.

This is the part that frequently scares new fitness models away, because it’s easy to feel intimidated by the possibility of rejection… Someone telling you that you aren’t “hot” enough for them. Yes, that’s a possibility in any field of work, so don’t take it personally. What you need to understand about the fitness model photography industry, is that every agency has a certain “look” that they want for their magazine cover, so not every agency will be interested in your unique look – hot, or not. This doesn’t mean you don’t look good. You just don’t fit the “look” that the agency is trying to pitch to their clients. Don’t take this feedback personally, as there are many other agencies out there that are looking for a look just like yours! Just keep trying until you find one that wants what you have to offer.

Popular Fitness Modelling Agencies in Los Angeles and New York City

Top Modeling Agencies (LA/NY)
Ford Models
Silver Models
Sports and Lifestyle Unlimited
The Morgan Agency
LA Models
Boss Models