Are You Model Material?
Being a model; photoshoots, fashion shows, free clothes, constantly the center of the attention; and obviously Victoria Secret Angels. If only it were that easy. Becoming a model is NOT an easy task to overcome. And to make a career out of modeling is even harder! Although being a model may seem like the most glamorous job in the fashion industry, it is an extremely tedious path to take in order to become successful. No I am not a model, I don’t plan on being one either; but I do run a fashion magazine and direct fashion editorials, in which case, I work closely with many models throughout the industry. I see a lot of people craving to be models, and I enjoy watching newer models flourish into experienced professionals. However, it also pains me when I see a lot of unrealistic expectations. Becoming the next Kate Moss is definitely possible, but it will take a lot of failures, rejections and time.
I don’t want discourage anyone from following their dreams and becoming models, I just want to give you the proper tips for a successful journey and what collaborators, such as myself expect from models. Being a model means a lot of different things. Yes you get to yourself in ads, images, magazines etc. BUT there are many steps to getting to that level of expertise. Below I am going to share with you 7 tips/suggestions on how to become the model that EVERYONE wants to work with. I will point out and say that most of these tips are typical expectations when working with any agency or high end designer, so don’t think I am just talking out of my ass. I have done my research and spoken with lots of professionals on the matter to help create the best list for all of you. I hope you take each tip/suggestion into consideration!
1.Show up on Time!
You’d be surprised how many designers, photographers, MUAH’s said this one. Come on models!!! When a shoot is at 4pm you should be there by 3:55pm all ready to begin the prepping process for the shoot or show. So many people have busy lives and schedules and showing up late is the ULTIMATE sign of disrespect. It is basically saying that their time isn’t worth yours. I really do hope that none of you models mean to give off that energy, but by showing up 15 minutes late you’ve already started the project on a negative note.
An average, high end fashion editorial will take anywhere between 3-4 hours. Between hair, makeup, fittings, lighting, angles and shooting a quality shoot will take a good chunk of time out of your day. If you are scheduled for a shoot at 2pm do NOT schedule ANYTHING else until after 6:30 pm. Being the model, you need to be there for the ENTIRE time. And if you cannot be there the entire time, then do not apply, volunteer, or accept the gig for that day. I know one of the most frustrating things a model can do it commit to shoot and then show up saying they have to be on the road within an hour… If you want quality images with well done hair makeup and wardrobe, then you need to be there and available the ENTIRE time. 3-4 hours on average, remember that when applying and booking gigs unless otherwise instructed.
3.Come without Makeup
Our makeup artists have had it up to the rafters with models showing up with makeup on. Makeup artists have to use their own products on models and they want to create the ENTIRE look themselves! If you show up wearing makeup they have to use their own supplies to remove it and then reapply makeup which all in all is a waste of their products and waste of everyone’s time. If you are running from one event to the next make sure you pack makeup remover wipes in your modeling bag. Not only are they easy and fast but they will make the makeup artist a VERY happy artist. Always plan to arrive makeup free, UNLESS otherwise noted.
Don’t complain about the makeup, the hair, the weather, the location and especially the clothes. Every aspect of art that is put on your body is part of the vision for the editorial or show. Unfortunately as a model, you do not get a say unless asked directly by the team. The team has spent a lot of time creating the vision and story they want to tell through the hair, makeup, clothing, location etc. To complain about these aspects is a not only an ugly look on such a beautiful person, but it also can be seen as a slap in the face to the team. Ultimately, the model was chosen because they are the extremely pretty hanger to help bring the vision to life. Obviously if anything is physically hurting you or causing you to need medical assistance, tell someone immediately. We don’t want anyone dying over a picture! (too much liability and paperwork)
5.Know your Body
As a model you are responsible for your body and physical appearance. You should always know your measurements, and all of your sizes. Bust, Waist, Hips, Inseam, Outseam, Pant size, Dress size etc. An easy suggestion is keeping your comp cards on you at all times (in your model bag) or even keeping a note in your phone with all of the size information. Designers will need that information in order to bring the proper sizes for you. Often times designers will make a piece for a specific model so knowing your size will be VERY important. Also, with knowing your body, you should know how to pose; what angles are your best, and which are your worst. You should know how flexible you are and how long you can last being fully alert in 6 inch heels and smizing. You need to know your limits, you need to know your body.
Take a look at the location, the time, the weather and prepare yourself for whatever the results may show. For instance, if you know the designers collection is a winter collection and you are doing the editorial outside on a hot summer day, you should pack some water (in your model bag). If your shoot is over a meal hour, pack some light weight snacks (nuts are always a good option). If you are shooting in the winter outside, bring some blankets to wrap up in while off set. Simple things like this will not only make your experience a lot more fun but YOU will also be on your A game, and the team will notice! Do not expect the team to provide everything for you. And please do NOT ask them to buy it for you. Simply prep yourself the night before and have yourself ready for what ever may come your way.
7.Check your Tude
This is the one I cannot stress enough. Models have this awful stereotype of being full of themselves and extremely rude. Honestly, that is not an expectation ANYONE should live up too. Have a gracious and grateful attitude. Although, you are the one who gets to be seen and gets to be shown off to the world, you also need to realize and understand that there is an ENTIRE team of people who helped you get that look. Putting together an editorial is not an easy task, and you as a model need to realize that and be thankful to the team who put it all together so you can shine yet again! You are in the spotlight, don’t make the team regret putting you there.
All in all, being a model isn't always being in the lime light. As a model you will have to sit through long rehearsals for fashion shows, block out time for photo shoots, and be in wild conditions all the while staying composed and being on your A game.! Its a tough job and a hard industry to get into. All in all I believe if you practice in the mirror and really work on keeping your physical appearance jaw dropping, and stay true the tips above I do believe you can succeed.