So do you think you can model?
Models have been discovered, in malls, on beaches, in music videos, walking down the street and once groomed and polished they move from obscurity to limelight and then into stardom.
The concept of a model is a person, who can promote clothing and accessories or other product to fashion buyers, customers and the media.
A model can feature in fashion shows, or in photographs for catalogues, magazines, newspapers and advertising campaigns. Internationally, there are several types of models and modeling opportunities, to work in front of and off the camera. Some categories of models are: Fashion (Editorial) Model, Runway/Catwalk Model, Plus Size Model, Swimsuit/Lingerie Model, Fitness Model, Parts Model, Promotional Model, Mature Model, Hobby Model etc. With the global open trade and exchange of fashion and allied fields opening up, these options in the modeling business have increased. Every year thousands of aspiring models take the initial steps towards achieving their dream to do serious modeling work, take that first step towards movies and be part of the glamour industry.
The field has cut throat competition and a lot of preparation goes into a models foray and acceptance into the industry. Let us look at some basics to be considered:
•Be realistic: This is a client and business driven work pool. As a model, you will be part of the whole advertising and marketing business plan. Fitment into the concept and market demand is highly important. Being a brand ambassador for the product means the company pays for the image. The person playing the part is selected basis requirement, preferences, and market standing of the product and the target audience. Most of the times, a well rounded adaptable personality and global appeal is preferred over drop dead gorgeous looks. Know your vital statistics, body type and positives to map the kind of model you aspire to be and then proceed. Height, weight, skin, walk, presentation, personality, diction, emoting skills are all considered depending on the kind of modeling, shoot and concept. The glamour is part of the packaging and the back end is all planning and very thoughtful execution of a marketing plan.
•Modeling is a Business: As a model you are you are agreeing to be part of a business partnership. The company invests time, money and energy into it and will expect return on investment and hence fitting the part is extremely crucial. An aspiring model is like a new business head and attracting new work and in some cases retaining the existing one is extremely important.
It is part glamour and part real hard work. A professional, well groomed model proper portfolio, with a willingness to learn, be creative and experiment is welcome. The model has to being the idea of the designer or the end user to fruition.
•Attitude: Are you realistic in your goals and expectations, ready to work incredibly hard, be patient, and open to new ideas, places and people? A patient learner is appreciated.
•Grooming: Do you take good care of your appearance, be well groomed, follow a nutritious eating plan, exercise and stay fit? Are you polished in manners and media interaction?
Stay away from addictive vices and safe guard from such influences. Know your best angles, posing skill, your best poses and work on your body language since that is the medium of communication in this world.
Acting ability, an outgoing personality and good self-presentation skills also add up for a potential model. An interesting face, a naturally photogenic person, with excellent posture and good bone structure is a preferred candidate.
•Age: While there is a market for modeling which deviates from the normal, a average age for aspiring models will starts early from 13 to 25, and then it depends on how the person wants the career to move ahead, movies or a parallel line of business.
•Self Discipline: Be ready to work odd hours since this is a never sleeping medium and so self discipline gets great marks with agencies and companies who look for models with professional attributes. Once the work comes in then shoots, meetings, appointments, grooming, trials etc become a norm.
•Commitment: Modeling requires patience time, resources, effort and focus on set goals and reworking them as you go ahead. Adhere to pre-decided schedules and communicate changes or doubts if any immediately.
•Self Confidence: Modeling is about creating an image or an aura. Personal feelings, situations, experiences etc should be handled professionally and not carried to work like in a corporate setup.
•Be a team player and respect hierarchy: Ability to get along with others crucial. The team shooting; consists of other models, photographers, art directors, clients, makeup artists, agency staff and journalists from different backgrounds. Talents like models, makeup artists etc are hand-picked for a certain project. They come together for the duration of the project and then part ways once the work is done. They all influence each other’s work and market standing. Each person in the team is source of more work and money and being a team player is really important.
•Networking: A platform that connects the talents to the opportunity providers can be your best bet. Keep your vitals and updated portfolio available at all times to be available for castings and audition and seek guidance from senior models and casting teams whenever available. Networking and meeting people who have access to this market is a better and faster way to be launched. Take advantage of opportunities that come your way to further your career. This is a changing field, very interactive and staying updated cannot be overlooked.
•Be flexible: Be open to new creative ideas and experimentation and on the spot improvisations.
•Patience: Schedules can change, travel might come up, relocation may be needed to be closer to the availability of work, changes in pre-decided shoots may occur, waiting at shoots is a given, invest time wisely in learning at the shoot…are you ready for the challenge?
•Financial Discipline: Invest wisely. This career will pay well for the deserving talent and audit incomes and pay taxes. Some shoots for amateurs may not be well paying but is worth the experience.
•Family and Friends: They are your support systems and ensure that you are in constant touch with them and have a healthy work life balance
•Castings: Attending castings can be made meaningful and less stressful by attending the casting call or audition with plenty of confidence. Select the right platform, contact them or upload the requested details on their website or as recommended. Keep a portfolio kept handy and online; with good photos and with the mention of all your vitals like height, measurements, weight and ethnicity. Understand all aspects of the business before deciding the way ahead, meeting agents and the clients as recommended. Any and all kind of experience is helpful, and even shoots with relatively new photographers and art directors often help you gain self-confidence in the long run.
•It is not about “you”: Never take anything personally. A model is a marketing tool and a client specification is the final decider. Height, a color, a size, talent and most importantly project fitment is the only criteria.
•Be safe: Check the validity of the agencies and the work history of the agent providing work. There are dozens of legitimate smaller agencies, but just do your research to make sure they're reputable.
•Backup plan: Always have a backup plan or a plan B, or a part time for your career. Modeling has shelf life and the best super models always have a retirement or a backup plan to move into.
•Be self reliant: Learn to do makeup, hair, understand what suits you, the best styles are, be flexible and take a wide variety of assignments. Model trainers and schools help but the best models have an innate natural charm that works for them.
•Communications: In this fast-paced business, stay alert and connected at all times, Stick to pre decided schedules and be open to more work at all times. Be internet savvy both for learning and work related interactions.
•Being a Model is also a “role”: At a shoot, there are clients, client representative, stylists, photographer art directors, the ad agency personnel and visitors and buyers if it is a fashion show. The model has to learn to be approachable, helpful and creative and be good observer and follow the rules of the studio or the project team.
Models have a role, they need to sell a product and in some case be identified for it so that the average woman or man will want to spend the money to be like them, wear what they wear, and use the cosmetics that they use. They need to project a desirable image and lifestyle.
A model is a “Model” in the real sense she is the glamorous representative of the clients plan for a product and is very much the client’s team member.