We’re all fascinated by supermodels such as Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne. They make millions and lead jet set lives. But they are quite literally one in a million. However, that’s not to say that plenty of other women and men make a good living as photographic models. But don’t be mistaken, it is an extremely competitive business. If you think you’d like to be a model and are just starting out, here are some professional tips that might just give you the edge.
Make the most of what you’ve got
Invest time and money in yourself and your grooming to ensure that you always look the best you can. You need to be toned and fit, with a healthy glow to your skin and shiny hair. This will take hours of dedication, every single day, but you won’t get any modelling calls if you allow yourself to run to seed. Personal upkeep is an essential element of the job.
Be realistic in your aspirations
If you have no experience as a model, you’re not going to get snapped up for the Chanel catwalk. Just as in any other profession, it takes hard work to reach the top and only a very few do. You also need to have the rights look for the right job. If you are not tall enough for catwalk work, you might still be able to do well as a catalogue model. And remember, if you have fabulous legs or beautiful hands, you can build a career on modelling just a certain part of your body. There are various different types of modelling. Take a look at the list below to see if one of these might be right for you:
- catwalk models are usually at the extreme end of tall and skinny, with small chests
- lingerie models, however, need larger breasts but are still expected to be slim without being bony
- if you are more curvaceous, you could consider plus size modelling
- promotional models need to charm and interact with members of the public at trade shows and events
- editorial models don’t need to be so tall but need a beautiful face and a personality that shines through in pictures
- you might also find work as an alternative model — if your looks are in some way striking you could be used for more avant-garde work
If you want to be a professional model, behave like one
Looks maybe everything in the world of modelling but remember there are thousands of pretty girls and ripped guys out there. You can add value to your brand by building a reputation for professionalism. Always arrive on time, if not early; do whatever is asked of you with a smile; be sure to give 100% whole way through the shoot, no matter if you’re tired or bored. In short, if you’re a pleasure to work with, you’re more likely to get repeat bookings. And make a point of building a professional relationship with the photographers you work with — they can often influence which models are chosen for a job.
Start building your portfolio
Before you even approach an agent, you’ll need to prepare a basic portfolio. Agents and potential clients will want to see a range of photos — head shots, body shots and profiles — to get a clear idea of what you look like. It’s your calling card, showing yourself off as a blank canvas with which they can work. These pictures should be your first investment in your career. They do need to be taken by professional photographer, who will be able to bring out your full potential. If you already have some professional experience, choose the best pictures you have to add to your portfolio. Aim to build a collection of photos that are varied enough to show your versatility. Your portfolio should also contain your contact details and your basic statistics — height, weight, body measurements and shoe size.
Find an agent
Once you’ve created your portfolio, the hard work starts. Don’t expect to get a ‘yes’ from the first agent you approach. You will probably wear out a lot of shoe leather before you are taken on to an agent’s books. However, you can increase your chances by doing your homework. Research model agencies in your area and, if you are interested in a particular type of modelling, seek out agencies that work in that field. Part of your homework should be to make sure all the agencies you approach are genuine and professional. Model agencies take a commission of your fee for each job they send you on — if they ask you for a substantial sum of money upfront, it is more likely to be con. Don’t get involved with agencies like this. Once you’ve earned your first job as a model, you’ve got your foot on the first rung of the ladder. It will be a long climb to the top — you will need to be determined and hard-working. And of course, not everyone who tries will make it as a model but if you do, it’s an exciting career that can pay well.
(c) Headshot London Photography – Fashion Photographers