If your business is to be a model, then you will need to put in the time, money, and effort in order to be successful. Modeling is work and business is an investment. If this means having to pay a photographer to in order to get attention grabbing photos, then it is something you should absolutely consider.
Starting out in modeling does not have to cost you a lot. However, it pays to be selective about who you work with. As with any investment, it is important to think long-term and to plan out the steps of your career carefully. And in many cases, it pays to pay. And it pays to be prepared.
Try to associate yourself from the start with those people who can help you advance in your career. Who you know and work with in this industry can be just as important as what you know and what you do. Collaborate with people who can make a difference in your future. And continue to do so!
You will need a strong portfolio (which is built up by working with strong photographers). The more experience you gain as a model and the better your portfolio looks, the more legitimate and more seriously you will be taken by clients and photographers.