Quoting Katie♥'sherHippo:" It is what I'd be going for. I just don't know how to start. A lot of the photographers I know do porn and I'm not willing to do that anymore."
take some body shots and face shots and join model mayhem. It's a website where you will find a lot of professionals and the wannabe's. You just have to be able to know who is a pro and who is not. They post castings there and you can also browse for some photographers that are what your style is.. get started on building your portfolio that way.
Honestly, what your friends are doing I wouldn't consider professional.