How To Be A Professional
The simplest definition of being a professional is this: someone who does a job well, putting aside personal issues in order to provide a service for their client. Throw out the idea that models are prima donnas! You are the service that you’re providing. You need to make sure that every person you work with will remember you favorable. If you take pleasure in dumping on others, you might as well look around for another line of work now. Modelling involves working closely and cooperatively with other professionals. The hours can be long and the environments anything but luxurious. So start practicing being a delight to be with, right now.
Sacred Rules of Modelling
- You will never be late for a go-see or a job. There are many other people relying on you. Keeping them waiting can be an expensive business that will not amuse either your employer, your agent or the other professionals. If you fall desperately ill, ring your agent as soon as you can so that alternative arrangements can be made. ‘Sorry’, a few days after the missed appointment isn't good enough.
- Be prepared for the job by making sure that you are clean-shaven (whether you are male or female), that your teeth, hair and nails are immaculate and that any makeup has been applied appropriately. Take your model’s kit. More generally, be fresh, healthy and joyful. Forget about drugs and over-drinking. Eat well and exercise regularly.
- Be alert during the session to what the client, photographer and art director want. Don’t wander off in your mind to what you’re going to do afterwards. Keep focused on the job at hand so that you don’t waste others’ time putting you back into the proper position.
- If you create a mess, clean it up (preferably during the session, or immediately afterwards). Hang up clothes, take out safety pins and return things to their original position. If you walk out with something that’s not yours, return it straight away. A reputation as a thief won't get you very far.
- The employer – the client – is to be respected, and their taste not ridiculed. Neither the client nor the art director want your opinion about what you’re wearing or how the shoot has been designed. You’re there to help sell the product to the public, not give design advice. A happy client is one who might ask for you again.
- The photographer is the next closest thing to god for a model. The photographer is your closest working ally. He or she wants you to look your best, and so do you. Most professional photographers have been working for many years and are sought after by clients. They have worked with many models and in many different situations. They know what they are doing. They may want your input into the shoot, or they may not. Ask before the start of the shoot.
- Don’t tolerate inappropriate behavior from others. If others at the session are fooling around (or sexually harassing you), leave right away and tell your agency. They will no longer use those people.
- Sort out your finances so that what money you do get from modelling doesn’t go down the drain. It’s very easy to spend lots of money, quickly, but most models’ careers are over before they are 25, and if you fritter it away you’ll have little to show for all the work. Being a good money manager means you won't be begging on the streets while you’re waiting for jobs.