Having the “model look” isn’t the only requirement for being a model…
A good model has confidence. You need to stand out and show off all of what you can do, whether it’s in front of a camera or on the catwalk etc. Being able to relax and have fun with what you are doing makes things easier and more enjoyable for both you and who-ever you may be working for. This also applies backstage; if you’re friendly and outgoing, the photographer or client is going to enjoy working with you and therefore will be more inclined to work with you again. You need to also show versatility, a model starts off as a blank canvas, the makeup and styling will then create a character or person that the client wants you to be, you have to then act up to this and obviously every client you work with is going to want something different to the last.
Of course, a model has to look good, so maintaining yourself is highly important. Agencies and clients want to see your natural beauty so you need to look your best at all times. They need to know how you look and photograph, so that they know how you can work with them. Models don’t have to be stick thin, just ensure that you eat healthy and do regular exercise so that you are toned and in good shape. Drinking plenty of water is also an absolute must, not only is it good for your health but also keeps your skin hydrated, keeping it looking fresh and photo ready. This also means keeping your hair in good condition with regular trims and treatments: and again keep it natural looking. If you have coloured hair make sure you keep on top of it and if you do want to have a change with the style/colour, you may need to inform your agent. Clients will have chosen you by how you look in your portfolio, so if you change your hair you may need to get new photos. Models should also have clean, natural nails – nothing fake, and good teeth.
If you are starting out as a model and are yet to have a portfolio done, there is no need to pay out thousands of pounds to do so. There are plenty of excellent photographers that charge around £100-£150 and make up artists around £25-£50. However before you do pay for your portfolio, ensure that you have done your research on the photographer and have ran it through with your agency. Photographers have different styles so ensure to choose one that suits your look.
Successful models are those that are wanted to be used over again, so be proactive! Keep in contact with your agent; remember they want to help you as much as you want their help. Check if there is any work or jobs you can do, often photographers want to do test shoots with models so if your agent is aware that you want work, they will be more likely to put you forward for them. You also need to be willing to do all different kinds of jobs. The more work you do the better and it shows that you are not just a one trick pony, it also doesn’t look good if you’re not willing to do or try different things.
Finally, signing with an agency means you are signing a legal agreement so always make sure you fully understand each of the points on your contract, this also means sticking to the terms and conditions. If you are unsure, ask your agent or seek legal advice and if you are under 18 you would need consent from a parent or guardian. When applying to agencies – 3 or 4 pictures is enough. Preferably polaroid style (headshot, side shot, full length and swimwear/underwear shot) – also little or no make up so the agent can see what you look like naturally.
Article produced by Chloe Smith, Model Booker at Cliche Model Management.