From afar, modeling seems like such an exclusive world of velvet-rope parties, glamourous photo shoots and insider connections. It's definitely intimidating to outsiders looking in. If you're one of the millions of girls who are dreaming to be models but have no idea how to start, you're in luck. We've compiled a bunch of top tips for models to help you pave the way for a long and successful career in modeling. The modeling tips below contain some useful tidbits from building your portfolio to working your best angles in photo shoots, read on before you dive into the dog-eat-dog world of professional modeling.
A.) Tips on starting out in Modeling
Mastering the basics and getting started off on the right foot will help give you a head start for a lucrative career ahead.
1.) Find out what your modeling niche is.
Sure you might have legs that go on for days and a tiny waist that can give Marilyn Monroe a run for her money, but it takes more than a rocking body to make it in the modeling industry. Eager, pretty models are a dime a dozen in cosmopolitan regions, and if you're looking for a long term career you should zero in first on a specific market which you believe you'll have the most success in.
There are different specializations in modeling. You can choose to get your big break from cat-walk, commercial, intimate apparel or even plus-sized modeling. If you find yourself being typecasted in one field so much more than the others, it might be a sign that you should focus your energies and sharpen your skills in that niche before branching out.
If you're clueless about which aspect of modeling you fit naturally in, here are a few pointers to keep in mind. Catwalk models, don't go for less than 5'8'' and usually have a straight ruler-like body type. Lingerie models on the other hand, tend to be more shapely with curvier figures. Those with bigger busts and a tiny waists are preferred, but the good news is height is not a necessary requirement to succeed.
Commercial models, are even more varied, since different companies have very different needs. However, it's challenging to establish a career as a commercial model since prominent brands are always on the lookout for fresher and newer faces. Lastly, being a plus-sized model is a growing niche in modeling for girls who have thicker features. But be warned, being a few pounds overweight doesn't make you eligible for plus sized modeling, right off the bat. There are exact proportions that agencies look for, you must look shapely, not just bulky when faced to a camera.
2.) Build an impressive portfolio
The biggest benefit of a strong portfolio, is that if the creative team for a shoot views it ahead and is sufficiently impressed, your performance at the go-see (if they even request for one - sometimes just the portfolio seals the deal.) would just be icing to the cake.
It takes time and milking of connections to build a portfolio worthy of the attention of art directors worldwide, so start early. Prioritize doing the basic shots perfectly. Invest in good quality head shots and full body shots, since these are the pictures agencies request the most. If you're looking to beef up your portfolio to showcase your range, artistic friends who are perennially looking for models for product shots or even just to exercise their creative juices on are great people to collaborate with. Websites such as onemodelingplace.com are also a goldmine for beginner models who are looking for more experience since photographer usually post open calls for models that they can do freelance shoots with.
3.) Make healthy lifestyle choices
When starting out with modeling, one of the most important modeling tips to take to heart is to always remember that your body and your skin are now your biggest assets to book jobs. Photoshop can only go so far, and agencies will always prefer girls with clear skin and a fit body to be part of their roster of models. The bare minimum requirements such as washing your face every night, keeping makeup coverage light and applying lotion every day are good habits to cultivate early on.
To take care of your body, have a regular exercise routine, a nutritious diet, and enough sleep every night. Try to stay away from body-damaging vices such as cigarettes or too much alcohol. Remember that these habits will also be drilled in to you by your future agency so it's best to get a head start.
4.) Network, network, network
This is especially important if you're new to the industry and haven't been signed by an agency yet. In big cities such as New York and L.A, always remember that everyone you meet can be a potential client or source of valuable insider information. Go out of your way to be friendly and engaging to everyone you meet, from the people next to you at go-sees to the hardworking intern of the production crew.
Once you've become a full-fledged model, chances are you would see the same set of faces during castings, shoots and events. Take every opportunity as a chance to network and make friends. The bitchy model stereotype is one of the most inaccurate, and chances are that glamazon you're sitting next to, would make for a great friend. Bonus perks of having friends in the same industry is having a sounding board for advice and constructive criticism. They might even tip you off to other casting calls your agent may have missed!
B.) Tips on Acing your First Photo shoot
Booked your first professional photo shoot? Here are top tips for models to keep in mind to ace your first gig.
5.) Be best friends with your mirror
The mirror is one of the most important tools for models, and no it's not just to perfect your duck face. Contrary to popular belief, being photogenic isn't something that comes naturally for larger-than life supermodels. The skill of posing and knowing all your angles are boiled down to a science by the professionals.
The best way to hone your camera-ready skills, is to work it in front of a mirror. Study your features, and which body parts you want to play up and what you want to strategically hide. Studying your reflection in the mirror is also a good way to gauge how you are reflecting in front of the camera. It will help drill basics into your mind, such as the closest thing to the lens always ends us as the biggest thing in the picture, so keep your proportions in mind.
6.) As a general rule: To appear leaner, bend as many body parts as you can
There's a reason why all those fashion bloggers contort their bodies in the picture: the more angles you create, the slimmer your body looks. So make sure to have a gap between your limbs and your trunk in photos lest you end up looking bigger because your body parts are squashed against each other.
A few more tips to shed pounds in front of the camera: If your photographer is directly in front of you, stand a bit off center, and always make sure to angle the body parts you want to hide towards the shadow and not the light. Accentuate curves by learning how to pop your hips or crossing knees slightly. One of the oldest but most effective tricks in the book is still putting your hands on your waist to create a more defined hourglass shape.
To elongate the arms, utilize your hands. Lay them out flat with the middle finger lower than the other and the rest of the arm in a soft curve. Don't spread out your fingers, but keep them relaxed in the frame, this will create the illusion of length.
7.) Stick to where there's light
Those hours of basic physics lectures in college aren't moot. A good understanding of light does wonders in creating a better picture. The golden rule is that the body part closest to the flash or any light source will be tons brighter than the rest of your body. Said body part will also cast an unflattering shadow, so try to avoid posing directly into direct beams of light. If you're shoot has multiple light sources, make sure you know which one is the key light.
8.) Know what you are selling
While you have to concentrate on looking your best in the shoot, always be aware of what message you are trying to communicate to those who will view the picture. Is it a straightforward ad for clothing or is it more of a lifestyle shot wherein you have to convey a degree of emotion. Know what aspects of your look you have to highlight, This understanding will also help you decide which poses to utilize, and will save the client a ton of time in selecting the final image if their product stands out as much as you do in all the pictures.
C.) Top modeling tips for becoming a top model
You've been booked by a reputable agency and you now have a few shoots under your belt, congratulations! Now how to do you make sure your career is built for the long run and not the modeling equivalent of a one hit wonder? Read on.
9.) Mind your manners and your attitude during shoots.
It's a given that you have to be extra accommodating to the big bosses, but it takes a great sense of character to be just as friendly to the production crew, the interns or the assistants getting coffee. During shoots, models are often treated as talents and are waited on by almost everyone in the crew. Don't be haughty and do everyone a favor by being pleasant and cooperative. Who knows, that production assistant you shared style secrets with might be the the future editor in chief of Vogue.
Also basic courtesy such as punctuality and honesty should never be forgotten. Show up to shoots on time (or even 10 minutes early!) and be sure to be honest about things such as clothing and shoe sizes. Sure, you want to be a size 0 but if you're currently a size 4, it's better to be honest with the stylist rather than risk embarrassment with too-tight clothing. Being professional goes a long way in this business. So, if you don't cause production teams a major headache by flaunting your diva ways, it usually scores you major points in their books. Always remember that aquiline noses and whistlebait figures are a standard in the modeling industry, but a track record of professionalism is what usually makes you stand out from the rest of the pack.
10.) Have an emergency modeling kit that never leaves your bag.
While the shoot will have a bunch on stylists, it will always earn you brownie points with the production team if you come in prepared. Not everything might have been communicated during the pre-shoot meetings, and usually it's these small items that are forgotten that cause hours of delay.
Be a trooper, and make sure to bring the following items as basics: A set of seamless bra and undies in black and nude, A pair of black and nude pumps, a basic makeup kit with the most flattering colors for you, body oil to elongate your limbs, and your own water and snacks just in case the shoot extends into the wee hours. Since there's also a ton of waiting time involved, make sure to tuck in a book or two to keep you entertained during shoot prep.
11.) Always be eager to learn
Once you're high up in the modeling food chain, you might feel like people in the lower rungs can't teach you anything valuable. This kind of ignorance usually spells the demise of many supermodels. Just look at Kate Moss, she's still relevant today because she is constantly reinventing herself. The beauty of the modeling industry is that you get to work work with so many seasoned professionals who are already experts at their respective fields. Couple this with the long waiting times during shoots, and you have a great opportunity to pick their brains on how they achieved success.
One of the best modeling tips on how to succeed in this cutthroat field is to always keep an open mind. A few minutes chatting up the shoot stylist would give you invaluable feedback on how to dress better and reviewing pictures with the photographer would also give you insight on how to pose better for future shoots. Always look out for ways to improve yourself and stick to people who you can constantly learn from. This is the secret for securing coveted supermodel status.
12.) Always have fun
There's a marked difference between the women who are modeling because of their love for the craft, and from those who are using modeling as a means to another end. Modeling is deeply immersed in the creative industry of fashion and advertising, and passion for the job goes a long way. People would definitely prefer working with a passionate model who puts her heart and soul into the shoot rather than a lifeless mannequin. It's also important that you work hard and take breaks so you don't experience burnout. Modeling is extremely fast paced, and it's hard to take the time to stop and smell the roses. Always remember that a long term career in modeling is not a race, it should be like a marathon. Don't over exhaust yourself and remember to enjoy all the perks and adventures that a life in modeling offers you. Good luck!