Some thoughts on Modeling

Posted on December 4, 2011


As time continues on, I am finding I am dealing with younger and younger models. After meeting with a pair of models the other day, I left with the feeling that they are go getters and that their enthusiasm exudes with how they are going to change the industry. Unfortunately, the industry isn’t going to change for one person.

First and foremost, be realistic and set goals. Being realistic is taking the time to figure out where you fit in the modeling world through research and education, then setting goals that are realistic to that part of the modeling world. Not everyone will be a runway fashion model yet it is the smallest and least likely to get established. Setting goals creates a path you intend to take. With goals, you will constantly be moving forward.  You will stay on your path with goals and it gives you a way to see if you are deviating from that path that you intended to take. I frequently see models who have no goals, and do anything they possibly can do. After a year or so, they are frequently off doing odd modeling jobs and devastate any chance of doing the modeling they intended to be doing. Always ask yourself before doing a modeling job if this job will get you closer to your goal.

Second, stay in school and get as much education as you can. Most model’s careers are over by the time they are 25 years old. What do you do after that? Find a job other than modeling. Your best prospects will be by staying in school and finishing your education so that you have some practical skills for another career path. This will also allow you to have something to fall back on even if things don’t go too well while you are modeling.

Third, try to keep the job you currently have. Being a model that gets paid well, and makes enough to live on is rare unless they get a big contract, are a glamour model, or work in the porn industry. Very few only model. Always try to have at least a part time job in addition to modeling.  You won’t be walking the runway every single week of the year.

Don’t be too aggressive. This only lets the wrong people know  that you would do just about anything to be a model, and it will annoy those agencies who have an open door policies if you apply week after week after week. If they didn’t want you the first time, and they didn’t tell you to apply in the next  few weeks, don’t keep trying to get in. Their decision won’t change in a week and only annoy them if you continue to waste their time. Also be reasonable – just because you work for a few photographers doesn’t make you a super model that can demand anything you want. In reality, you are just a popular local model. Also know that working  long hours during shoots, shows, and makeup is tedious and boring. Many people want friends they can talk with during those off times. Don’t be timid and stick to yourself. Spend some time talking with the people there and know that they will frequently remember and may even ask for you by name to have you back. Also realize that only having personality isn’t enough.

Being a model is very demanding. You will be expected to take care of yourself, and always be on and ready. This means you will probably have some kind of gym membership or belong to a dance club. It also means spending that extra money to take care of your hair, nails, and even toes. You never stop being a model – there isn’t a “bad” day in modeling. All days must be good days. A bad day could mean the end of your modeling career.  Take the time every week to practice your posing and expressions.

If you submit images to a fashion modeling agency, know they want plain Jane images. You shouldn’t be wearing any makeup, and your hair should just be plain. If your hair is long, tie it back with a hair tie in a pony tail. You should be wearing a plain single two piece bathing suit and no shoes.  They should be taken against a plain white wall background. You should start with a full frontal image (head to toe), full back image, full left side image, and full right side image. You should also include a bust framed right and left profile, and a bust image from the front. Do not submit these for any other type of modeling agency. For a commercial or acting model, you will want to only submit a good headshot and a few other images that show off who you are.

If you intend to go to an agency to be represented in the future, be very picky with who you work. Most models will choose the easy route and work with just about any TF* job they can get. When you go to a modeling agency, this will work against you. Part of this is that you will have picked up habits that are hard to unlearn. The second is that you will have a lot of “bad” images of you floating around that don’t meet their standards.

If you have worked outside of one of the modeling centers (like New York and LA), and done a lot of TF* work in the fashion industry there, that will also hurt you. This is because outside of the modeling centers, there are very few people who have the money to pay for these services. By doing a lot of “free” work, you have cheapened your image and will make those who do pay not want to pay you. You may be stereo typed into a “wanna be” category. Instead of doing a lot of TF* work, you will want to do promotional modeling and theater where you will make similar contacts and not tarnish your reputation.

This should be enough small thoughts for one day.


Posted in: Modeling