Someone walks up to you and wants you to model for them. Great, right? You are on your way to accomplishing your dream of being a model. In reality, being a model a model is more than just being in front of someone who is an artist or photographer.
In reality, as a model, you need to do your homework on each photographer that you work. Modeling isn’t just getting in front of anyone who wants you in front of them as a model. Being a model means knowing where you are going, planning, and taking that path.
For instance, you will want to work in specific genres of modeling. As you create profiles, you (and the people you work with) will post images of the work you do. Always put images up in the profiles for the work you want to do. Encourage the people who you work with to do the same and put images up for the work you want to do. This is the largest mistake most models make – they post a little of everything they shoot including work they don’t want to do. This establishes two things about you as a model: a) what you will do as a model and what you want to do, b) how good you appear to be a model doing it. Remember, what you post is what will get you work. If you post it, people will expect you to do what you have posted. What the people who you work post also impacts your reputation and what you will shoot. So, try to keep them posting the type of work you want to do, too.
This brings up a warning: If you post nude or implied images, you will get more nude and implied work. If you don’t want to get nude and implied work, don’t post those images. Even if you don’t, many photographers and artists will want to work with you nude or in implied images. And, don’t fall into the trap that you have to do nudes to be a model. If you do nudes, others will expect you to do nudes. Eventually, you will find that nudes are all that anyone wants to do with you. You will also find that nudes and certain lingerie images close doors in your future.
Another thing, do some work and find out more about that photographer we talked about at the beginning. What kind of work do they do? What do their images look like? Are they quality images? Are there lingerie or nudes? Do they normally work with “pro” models? What is their reputation? All of these should be used to evaluate working with someone. Always look at the images that they have posted and make sure those are the kinds of images you want to do. This tells you some of what they have in mind for a shoot with you. If they have topless or nudes, you know they will probably want you to do nudes with them, too. If their images don’t look professional, then the images you will get from them will be similar. If they are a pro photographer and they ask you to work with them, why did they ask you? While some photographers ask people off the street, most get their models from other photographers who “find” models or from agencies. Always ask “Why?” before working with a photographer.
I often work with new models and then recommend them to other photographers who work on more elaborate projects. I work with those people who I believe will become models, and work on them becoming a great models. On the other hand, when I have a client that pays the model, I look for experienced models with that area in their experience. Once I have a model who proves they can do the work, I start asking them to work on these projects. One of the biggest complaints I hear from other photographers is that they can’t use the number of models that want to work with them because they lack experience, don’t work in their genre, and they have a reputation that follows the model. Know that photographers don’t just take anyone off the street who just looks pretty. They need someone who will be able to carry the look, emotion, and attitude for the images they want to capture. If you think it is simply just looking pretty in front of a camera, then you aren’t modeling.
I have mentioned reputation above. A model (and photographer) get reputations from the way they approach their work. Unprofessional models get that reputation. If you are a flake (no show), difficult to work, steal things, give people a difficult time, try to run the shoot, tell people what their jobs are, or try to have sex with someone, that reputation will be passed around to others. If you work with someone who isn’t very good as a photographer, and that image gets out, it will impact your reputation as a model. Know that everything that you do impacts your reputation. As a model, you will live or die from your reputation.