First question comes to every one’s mind, Do I want to be a model? If you are passionate about modelling then answer is yes, as modeling is not just a career but a business where dedication matters. Despite the glamor and hype you have seen about the modeling profession, it’s hard work. It’s boring (sometimes) and it can be tedious. Prepared to be constantly rejected, get ready for some major ups and downs. Modelling is a lifestyle, not an 9-5 job. Not all jobs pay well. Unless you are seriously committed about modeling, willing to work at it on your own time, live a healthy life style, etc., you will not succeed as a model. You have to understand that there are lots of other people who want to be models, it’s a very competitive business. Are you willing to put the time and energy into competing with pretty much everyone you meet, 24 hrs a day?
Where do I start?
First thing First you’ll need a modeling portfolio, I’m sure you’ll all know what one of those is but for those that don’t it’s basically a selection of pictures showing yourself in different outfits and poses. The standard size for the photos is 9 by 12 inches and you’ll need around 10 – 12 photos. Make sure you focus on quality rather than quantity, remember, you’re only as good as your worst photo. Make sure your portfolio has a selection of both head shots and full body shots. Make sure you get a variety of different looks such as swimwear, catalog and lingerie, you get the idea, also get a couple of black and white shots in there. Avoid using pictures of the same shot.
It can be very advantageous to have photographs from different photographers in a portfolio. This will show the versatility in terms of styles and it will prove that a model can work with a variety of different people. Obviously, the cost of hiring different photographers for a portfolio is prohibitive, but there are many excellent photographers out there who will do prints for time – and of course many more bad ones. If you research what’s on offer well, it can be an excellent alternative.
Before going ahead with a photo session ask to look at the photographers portfolio to see if you like his style of photography. No doubt if you go to the photographers studio to book the appointment he will have examples of his work on display anyway. If you’ve never done modelling before this will also be an excellent practice run for you. Avoid photographers wanting to take nude shots, if possible take a friend with you to the shoot.
An agency or co-coordinator should represent models. The model must have a portfolio. The agency/coordinator provides you with work (That is their main purpose. It is safe to say that they work for you!) They make a commission on your fee.
GOLDEN RULE – Don’t go with an agency who asks for money up front! You’ll probably never hear from them again and I certainly doubt you’ll ever get any work from them. Also check to see if they are reputable and genuine. The agency/coordinator provides you with a safe working environment and looks after legalities of the paper work for the job. They provide their clients with “Professional” models. Keep copies of all-important papers, such as contracts etc. You may need these if you have a dispute with the agency/coordinator. It is wise to choose the agency/coordinator carefully so you can stay with that them.
How do I approach an agency?
The oldest way to go about it is to visit them. Book an appointment ahead of time by phone or email. Bring at least 2 pictures. They don’t have to be professional pictures. A head shot, natural and clear. Also a full length shot that somewhat reveals your figure, a clingy dress , swimsuit, figure flattering clothes or other tight fittings garments should be worn. Forget about baggy clothes! It will tip off viewers that you have something to hide. Ask lots of questions. A sk to see what work their models are currently doing? Ask for names and phone number of clients and call them to verify the information, be concerned if they promise you work right away or promise you high salaries. If they don’t allow you time to think about it or if they use pressure techniques to sign the contract, be concerned. Be concerned if the they claim to be looking for ordinary people. Reputed agencies/coordinators might have open interviews during the week, give them a call and find out.
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