So you want to be a model?
This article is to answer a few of the more common questions and concerns about getting started as a model, and provide a little guidance to your first steps toward becoming one.
This article is a very brief and introductory piece: there are lots of entire books and courses both online and agencies about modelling. This is just to give you a few ideas.
“People are always telling me I should be a model.”
“I love having my picture taken: I’d like to try modelling.”
“Hey, I think I could be a model…”
But if you can continue, then ROCK ON!
“”Well, I think I could be a model, but I’m too short/tall/fat/thin/ethnic/…”
There are exceptions – Kate Moss, for instance, is only 5’6″. But exceptions do not disprove rules. Modern haute couture show-fashion is designed to look good on tall, slender models (although this is changing.) If you aren’t tall and slender, the clothes won’t look good on you. If the clothes don’t look good on you, the designers won’t want you to wear them. That’s life – it’s nothing personal.
What about modeling schools?
However, as we already saw, this is a pretty limited area of modeling. And for any other area, these are exactly the traits you do not want. It is very difficult to take a good casual or glamour shot of a model who will not smile and who does not look comfortable in her environment! Modeling schools, at least the ones I am familiar with, are not greatly helpful in becoming a general model who is attractive to photographers. If you really want to learn to move and to project different presences, take some acting classes, martial arts or a dancing class. Some modeling schools also provide lessons on makeup and/or beauty regimens. You can learn all that from YouTube or blog sites much more cheaply, or go to a makeup class at a cosmetology school.
Okay, so then how do I get started?
If you have a friend who has a good digital camera, that’s a start. You need, at a minimum, a picture that shows your face well and a picture that shows your general body shape well. Find a simple, uncluttered background. Make sure you are well lit and none of your face is in shadow.
Using a friend to take your starter pictures is okay if it’s all you can manage, but it’s better to find an experienced photographer. If you can afford it, hire a professional to do two or three “looks” for you. (A “look” is a set of pictures with a given outfit and makeup combination.) Pick the professional by reviewing their work, and not just whatever they have hanging in the studio window. Anybody can get lucky once. You want to look at their portfolio and see consistently good output.
Feel free to ask the photographer to review a handful of photos. Quite oftent I like to review photos via the camera display together with my models several times during a shoot This is also very useful while in costume to ensure everything is in place.
How to Look Your Best
If you’ve got dark circles or bags under your eyes, make sure you avoid any caffeinated drinks, get eight hours sleep and drink water before the day of the photo shoot. Also eating less than three hours before a photo shoot is a no-no.
I want to be a “real” model, not an Internet model.
Social Media, particularly Instagram allows a client to see another layer of a model; their personality, candid shots with friends, their lifestyle and interests, and what they look like on a day to day basis.
Social media is being used, whether you like it or not, by clients to look up a model before they consider booking that model for a shoot. So in a way, Instagram is now an extension of portfolios.