Top Model Tips – Part 2


In my earlier Top Tips For Models post it was all about which genre of modelling suits you best. This post is some advice on how to get started.

Sell Yourself With Your Images

3 – HOW DO I START?

DO NOT BE TEMPTED BY AN AGENCY THAT CONTACTS YOU ON THE PHONE OR THROUGH THE INTERNET AND SAYS THAT YOU HAVE POTENTIAL, OFFERS YOU AN APPOINTMENT AND THEN ASKS FOR A DEPOSIT OF ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY. IT WILL GENERALLY COST YOU A LOT MORE.

BE AWARE THAT THE RIGHTS TO ANY PHOTOGRAPH BELONG TO THE PHOTOGRAPHER UNLESS HE HAS SOLD THEM TO A BUYER. YOU WILL NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY WHERE THOSE IMAGES MAY APPEAR AND WHEN THEY APPEAR ON THE INTERNET THEY WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR MANY GENERATIONS.

SUPER MODEL – If you fit into this category, you do not need to put together a portfolio. You will only need a headshot with no or little make-up and possibly a full body shot in a swim suit. You will not need to go to a professional photographer but the images should show you clearly, be in focus and in an even light. Nothing cheesy and do not use phone pics taken by yourself or anyone else. I would also recommend that you leave behind A4 prints or a CD after your interviews.

Next step is to go to Alba Model Information, do a bit of research and find the top agencies. Then get on the phone to try and get an appointment to sell yourself in person at their office. I suspect they will tell you to send your pictures first, be ready to email the two I suggested first. Be prepared for rejection. Do not use textspeak and make sure you have a well thought out and well written bio giving your vital statistics. Try and show your personality in it. To this crowd I wish you luck, work hard and be persistent.

A Head Shot

COMMERCIAL MODEL – If you fit into this category then I would certainly recommend that you have some photographs done by a professional. You won’t need more than 5. A simple headshot with little or no make-up showing you at your best and preferably with a smile is a must and some full length in natural poses. Commercial is all about selling product using normal everyday people. The Super Model – category is all those fancy poses. Look alive and like you are enjoying yourself. If you are in swim wear, don’t just show your body, show the swim wear using your curves.

If it’s your hands or legs or whatever else you are thinking is your strong point you need to make sure they are shown to their best.

Leg Models

Leg Models

Choose your photographer carefully. There are a lot about both professional and amateur who are shooting model portfolios. It is time to gather together all the catalogues you can from Boden to Littlewoods. Look at the photographs carefully and then, after you have done your Google search for photographers in your area, study their portfolios and compare with your catalogues. Remember the purpose of this exercise is to put together a portfolio of images that sell you and make you stand out from the crowd. Commercial agencies receive so many images from hopeful models, you must make yours stand out. Those that can produce images of a similar quality as the catalogues should be the photographers you put on your short list. Badly lit and moody images are not what you need here.

Poses should be natural

If you have been picky you will have narrowed down your search to less than 5 photographers. It is time to pick up the phone and talk to the photographers to find out what they charge and what they can provide.

Wait you shout…..there are photographers already offering me shoots for free and they will also give me a print or two. Yes, there are a lot of amateurs out there and even a few professionals that offer TF shoots (see Ian Thompson’s guide). You will be surprised how many drop out when you say clothed only, because you really don’t need these to start as a commercial model. You want control of these images and which are displayed, generally copyright remains with the photographer. At this early stage you only want the best of you to be shown. When you pay for a shoot you negotiate the rights ownership. A photographer who does model portfolios regularly will have worked with inexperienced models and first timers and will be able to show you the ropes and help get the best out of you.

Fun and eye catching is the key

What is this investment in your future going to cost you? Remember you are going to need 5 images from 5 different sets, preferably some studio and some location and I have found in my experience that this could take 6 to 8 hours including make-up time for an inexperienced model, basically a day’s work. If you are a girl and reading this I would strong recommend a make-up artist who can also do hair. This person should be experienced for photographic work. A make-up artist will generally cost around £80 to £150 for a day’s work in the UK. A photographer will charge between £150 and £250 for a day’s work. For this outlay you can expect to get a minimum of 25 edited images to make your choice of 5.

You have picked your photographer, what do you do next?

No, you don’t just sit back and wait for the big day. Remember all those catalogues you ordered, grab them and go and find yourself a full length mirror. It is time to practise your posing. Play and enjoy yourself but make sure you see what works and what doesn’t for you. Keep looking at those catalogues and see what they are doing. They look natural don’t they? Do the same. Pay attention to your hands, they can look claw like if you don’t think about them. Smiling shots will get you commercial work, don’t pout and try and be sexy, try and put together a range of facial expressions. Each time the photographer clicks his camera you will need a new pose. If you think that for each set the photographer might have taken 36 shots, that would mean you have to have 180 poses ready to give. Spend some serious time with the mirror and catalogues, just think click and move until it comes naturally. The night before your shot make sure you have a high protein meal and an early night.

Time for your shoot. No make-up, loose fitting clothes and no bra is how I would recommend as your dress code. Take bottled water, you don’t want to dehydrate, it will be your lips that will suffer first. Take some snack energy bars, it will be hard work and you will be tired out when you are finished. Now it is time to shine for the camera and remember what you did in front of that mirror.

Casual Commercial

Chose your images carefully and remember less is best.

A Studio Head Shot

Next step is to go to Alba Model Information, do a bit of research and find the top agencies. Then get on the phone to try and get an appointment to sell yourself in person at their office. I suspect they will tell you to send your pictures first, be ready to email the two I suggested first. Be prepared for rejection. Do not use textspeak and make sure you have a well thought out and well written bio giving your vital statistics. Try and show your personality in it. To this crowd I wish you luck, work hard and be persistent.

In another post I will give tips on Internet Modelling and I have asked a guest photographer for his help on how to get started in Glamour.

Watch this space

Make Your Comment






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s