These days, models come in all shapes, sizes, heights, ethnicities, and ages. There are fashion models, runway models, commercial models, fitness models, and hand models. You can get scouted at an agency, at the mall, and even online.
The modeling industry is more diverse than ever, and there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for making it as a model. However, all successful models have more in common than you think!
To succeed in this competitive industry, you must be…
You should always arrive at modeling jobs in peak physical condition. Be sure to get plenty of sleep (late nights wreak havoc on your looks), appear well groomed (clean hair, manicured nails, tweezed eyebrows, etc.) and have healthy, glowing skin. If you happen to catch a cold or come down with a condition that affects your looks, tell your agent immediately.
Be professional at all times, whether you’re at the agency, on an interview, or at a booking. Always dress the part, show up on time, return calls on time, and treat everyone you meet with kindness and respect. Beyond these basics, being professional also means that you maintain your image as carefully as possible. You shouldn’t change your hair, gain weight, get a tan, or alter your look in such a way that you no longer resemble your modeling photos. Always try to make things easier, not more difficult, for your clients!
No matter how experienced you are or what type of job you’ve booked, you should always bring along a few essentials. Your model bag should contain your book (portfolio), a basic makeup kit, black and nude colored undergarments, flats and heels, hair products, healthy snacks, cell phone charger, etc., as well as any other specific items you may have been told to provide. Also, if you were told to style your own hair or apply your own makeup, do all the work ahead of time.
Just like any other job, you need to show up to work on time. Always arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the agreed time so you’ll be ready to go the second you’re needed. If you’re unsure of how long it’ll take to get to a photo shoot, allow yourself extra time or do a practice run. And if special circumstances prevail, be sure to get in touch with your agent so they can let the client know of your whereabouts. It’s the professional thing to do!
When you’re on a shoot with models, photographers, stylists, and art directors, time is expensive. Clients pay good money to get the perfect shot and they don’t want to waste a single second. That’s why you need to be able to work quickly and effectively and accomplish the client’s goals without a lot of difficulties.
Photographers and clients love an inventive model who doesn’t need to be guided through each tiny movement. You should always have fresh and unique ways of moving, posing, and expressing emotion. If you’re ever stuck for inspiration, be sure to check out Coco Rocha’s book, Study of Pose: 1000 Poses by Coco Rocha. It contains—you guessed it—1000 creative poses that’ll breathe new life into your tired old moves.
Modeling is a demanding job, both physically and mentally. Competition is fierce and rejection is inevitable. Photo shoots can last for hours on end and can be scheduled at any time of day or night. You have to remain friendly and engaged at all times, no matter how exhausted or uncomfortable you may be. And at the end of the day, you still have to find the time to stay strong, healthy and beautiful.