A Model’s Reputation and Why is it important?

Posted on December 19, 2012


One of the biggest things that impact a model is her (or his) reputation. If the model isn’t professional or doesn’t show up on time, and many other things impact this “reputation”. If you are a model, you need to work hard to keep a consistent reputation consistent with your goals in this field. This is created over a long time, but can be devastated in a matter of minutes. This post is to get models to think about how something a model does that can impact you as a model. The images you take will follow you every where you go, the type of model will follow you, and how you are as a model will also follow you. This industry works in groups, and those groups always talk. The people who you don’t know will check you out by the images you have taken, people you have worked (what they do and who they associate), and what they get from responses from people who do know you. There is a lot of competition for the few jobs out there, you never want to damage your chances by having a bad reputation.

The biggest impact is a model’s previous work. By looking at what you have done as a model, it indicates some what a model would be willing to do. In a modeling agency, they often conduct background checks to see what they uncover. If they find something that they didn’t know about or something that clients would object, you are then dropped. If you ever intend to work for an agency, you never, ever want to do nudes or fetish work (or worse) of any kind. If something like this is found before you work at a modeling agency, no matter how tasteful, it is usually grounds for not being accepted as a model. Depending on the agency, if found out after you are there, it is grounds for dismissal. Why? When you represent a client, your image and life becomes part of your client’s image or brand who is paying you to model. Most brands don’t want that kind of reputation with their brand, and no matter what kind have been taken, they worry about what else might be out there? It doesn’t matter if there are or aren’t. They won’t take that chance to find out. So, the images a model has taken will usually always lead to more images of the same type to be taken.

Part of looking at your previous work is who you associate and their reputations. If you work with a photographer with a given reputation, then the assumption is that you also have that same reputation. If you are associated with an agency or group that has a particular reputation, then you will also be associated with that reputation, too. If they all have great reputations, then you will have a stellar reputation. But, what if that photographer or group doesn’t have a great reputation? Neither will you. What if you kept everything above board when you worked with them, so why should it impact you? Because it is assumed that you did what ever that reputation is with whomever because of their reputation. Why are you any different? For instance, if a photographer expects sexual favors from everyone, even if a particular model didn’t give any, people will think that model did. Or, if a photographer always gets his models tipsy when they shoot them, wouldn’t it follow that you are tipsy when that photographer shot you? If a photographer also always shoots everyone in a certain way or shoots particular types of images, even if you don’t, people will assume you have. This is why it is so important to choose the people who you work carefully and check them out before you agree to work. I should mention here that “model promoters” fit into this category of reputation, and if you work with one and found out, you will be let go. The general attitude in the industry is that models who work for them are paid prostitutes and often signal the end for any particular model.

Something that few people ever worry about is how they act in public. You never know who is lurking out there and keeping an eye on you. This impacts you with how you act at shows, at parties, and pretty much anywhere you go. For instance, I invited someone to attend a fashion show of sorts because a few of the models there showed promise. We were all there before the show started, and the show was at a bar. Amazingly, many of the models went to the bar in their initial outfits and were drinking quite a lot. Some were tipsy by the start of the show. The same models raced after the show for the bar and chugged more alcoholic drinks that they ordered. Can you imagine the impact this has on someone who is considering them for work as a model? Let me give you another example. A modeling agency sends several models to attend a holiday party. While modeling for a few photographers, a number of models were a little too loose with their clothes. Can you see how that impacted not only the model’s reputations but also the agency they represented. I was told informally from someone else that several of the models were let go from that agency after that incident. Another example: this was at a designer’s party. There was a model who came to the party with her significant other, but was kissing and hugging one photographer a lot. This was so much so that a few of the guests thought the photographer was her significant other. I hope you can see why these would impact you as a model and your reputation. When you are in public, you never know who is there and watching you and the impact of your actions will have on them. Always be on your best behavior and presenting the best side of you in public.

Another public place that few recognize is online on social networks and forum websites. Anything you post or say will be looked at by many people. This helps to form opinions about you and your reputation. For instance, saying some like “Yo, bitches…I ned ur help. lmao”.  How about someone who posts or is tagged in images showing you out partying and drunk? What can you infer about someone who says something like this or is in images like this? When you post something online, anything you say or agree or leave a footprint is there for everyone to see. Again, everything you put out there gives you a reputation and tells something about you. This will always impact your reputation. Do you think someone will give you a paid contract if you have comments or images like this posted? I can assure you that they won’t.

The attitude you have and the way you are as a model also impacts you. If you constantly don’t show up, take clothing or jewelry that isn’t yours, or are really difficult to work, this will be talked about in this industry. This type of thing will travel faster than wild fire. You never want to be known as a diva, thief  or flake.

Take some time and think about how your reputation is impacted by what you are doing. I know that many of the models out there won’t think they do any of these things, or if they do, it is their right and that they shouldn’t be impacted by it. But, this is the real world. Everything you do is judged by the people around you. Evaluate your goals and decide what you need to do to get to your goals. Your reputation does mean something, and it will impact everything you do as a model including your future.

Posted in: Modeling