Breaking Into Modelling

So you want to be a model? So do thousands of others, and only a few become famous. Most working models – the men and women who make up most of an agency’s employees – aren’t chased by the media around the world. Most models are constantly going out on ‘go-sees’, selling themselves to potential clients. They must always be cheerful, patient and hard-working. Still interested? If you are, this site will give you the information you need to break into modelling without being ripped off (which can happen all too often).

How to be a Model

If you can’t get out of bed in the morning, you might as well forget modelling now. Models must be punctual, and be available whenever necessary. If you don’t show up for a job your agent will think twice about ringing you again. Everything you do is important. There are many thousands of others who want the job. Even if you’re new, you must have a very professional attitude towards your work.

Models must be two different things at once: themselves and a ‘character’ that the client wants. To do that, you must let your self shine through, but also be versatile and be able to look like different people. Either way, what you are selling is you! Everyone you work with on a job will be taking note of you, forming judgments and wondering whether they want to work with you again. Make sure that you are a pleasure to work with. Be friendly, keen and versatile. And, obviously, be neat, clean (without a blemish), and clean-shaven (men and women). Your hair and nails must be immaculate. And the photos shown to your prospective employers must depict you in a professional light, in a range of poses and ‘characters’.

How to Move

You might look great, but usually even that’s not enough. You must be able to move well, too. Everybody walks and stands differently, so it’s good to know just where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Your agent and photographer will be able to help point them out to you. Many famous models aren’t particularly graceful but they know how to compensate, and they’ve been gifted with or developed other qualities as well. Concentrate on bringing out your best.

Every model knows that they must keep their greatest asset – their body – in shape. Start your exercise regime while you’re young, and the sooner the better. Aim for exercise that produces well-defined long, slender muscles: ballet, gymnastics, swimming, running and tennis. Sports and dancing also help you develop coordination and body-awareness. But don’t overdo the exercise, either, or you’ll only be modelling in body-building magazines! Keep your fitness regime within reason (a few times a week).

How to be in Public

Ever noticed, when you flick through old family photos, how uncomfortable so many people seem? Well, they’re not alone. Maybe you feel the same when asked to pose for a picture? Not many people can automatically feel comfortable in front of a camera. If you don’t prepare yourself and you’re very lucky, when you start work you’ll be completely at ease, but most models don’t start to relax until they’ve been working quite a lot, for many months. It’s a good idea to start practicing as soon as possible. Get friends or family to photograph you, trying different poses until you get used to a camera being pointed at you for hours.

Join choirs, act in plays, try out for beauty contests, even join a debating team. Anything you do in public will help you to feel more confident. The more you stand in front of a lot of people, the easier it will become, and the more natural you’ll feel and look. It’ll all add up for the time when the photographer says, ‘OK, let’s shoot.’

How to Look and Dress

It may sound obvious, but how you look is extremely important. Prepare yourself now for selling yourself. Potential employers can make instantaneous decisions as soon as you walk in the door. But looking good doesn’t necessarily mean piling on the make-up and spending thousands on a designer outfit. All you need is to be immaculately clean and neat. Freshness impresses more than anything else. And you have to look fresh all the time. A go-see doesn’t win all the jobs. You might be offered a job just by walking down the street!

How to use Makeup

If you’re a woman you may think you know all about makeup. But on a fashion shot a makeup artist or a stylist will do your makeup and can take a couple of hours or even longer! However, if you are doing a catalogue or similar job you’ll need to do your own makeup. And then you will have to be an expert. Study makeup books now and practice with different looks. It’ll save you time and possible embarrassment later. Your lips, cheeks and nose need to be given special attention, and it will depend on what sort of look the client wants. You’ll need to become proficient at ‘putting on your face’ fast, making sure it’s just right for the type of job you’re doing. You should also get together a model’s kit.


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