How to become a model
This page has tips on how to
start modelling, how to make the right choices and what to expect
from the industry. Despite the glamour and hype you have seen about the
modelling profession, it's hard work. It's boring (sometimes). It's tedious.
It's filled with rejection, ups and downs, It's a lifestyle, not an 8-5
job. Not all jobs pay well. Unless you are seriously committed about modelling,
willing to work at it on your own time, live a healthy life style, etc.,
you will not succeed as a model. You have to understand that there are
many people who want to be models. They are doing everything they can to
be successful. Are you willing to put the time and energy into competing
with these people, 24 hrs a day?
Do you have inner
stamina to be a model?
Are you tall and slender
and unusually attractive enough that you are as good or better looking
than most other models? You also need to have the tenancy, patience, aptitude,
interpersonal skills, communication skills, stamina, confidence, business
skills, etc.? If you think you do, then you can try to be a model. Modelling
can be fun, exciting, and adventurous. Be sure to maintain realistic expectations
however, the chances of becoming a successful or famous model are less.
Famous models: Recently we had Marc Robinson, Bipsha basu now it's Priyanka
Chopra & Ashhwarya Rai, there are not many at the top!
The best measurements for
modelling are 5'9" , 34b bust, 24" waist, 34" hips. If you are within one
inch of these measurements you are fit to model almost anything. High Fashion
models are typically 5'7" to 6' tall and an extremely thin size 7 with
32-35" bust, 22-25" waist and 33-36" hips. They are not necessarily classically
beautiful. PETITE measurements would be 5'5" to 5'8" tall and a size 5
to 7. The model MUST have a well proportioned body. PLUS SIZE models are
5'7" to 5'11" tall and wear a size 12 to 14, have a well toned and proportioned
body with a thin face, good skin and beautiful hair. Always provide very
accurate measurements to the agency and to customers. (Helps to save embarrassment
if you get hired for a job and the clothes don't fit because you were not
honest). For a man, heights should be 5'11" to 6'2" and you must fit in
a 40-42" jacket.
The ultimate test
for an aspiring Model
Well almost... Send your
photo and resume to reputable co-ordinators. Set-up an appointment and
you will find out very quickly if you have what it takes. These people
are very busy, if they don't like the photo you won't get an appointment.
If they like it you will be invited for an assessment. Then again if you
don't have what it takes they will tell you on the spot. (they want quality
models). If rejected don't give up yet! Each coordinator/agency is different
and has different expectations and requirements from their models. Always
ask about any immediate physical changes (haircut, weight loss, skin treatment,
dental work etc.) and work on it for the future. Some coordinators/established
models offer good training(in the form of workshops/courses) for local
fashion shows and print work. This can be a great way to gain confidence
How to get started
and some tips to Succeed?
An agency or co-ordinator
should represent models. The model must have a portfolio, and comp cards.
The agency/coordinator provides you with work (That is their main purpose.
It is safe to say that they work for you!) They make a commission on your
fee (15 to 20%). Be warned about agencies/coordinators who ask for money
up front! Also check to see if they are reputable and genuine. The agency/coordinator
should provide you with a few photographers name. It's your choice to get
the photographer you want. Pay the photographer for the photo shoots not
the agency/coordinator. The agency/coordinator provides you with safe working
environment and looks after legalities of the paper work for the job. They
provide their clients with "Professional" models. Keep copies of all-important
papers, such as contracts etc. You may need these if you have a dispute
with the agency/coordinator. It is wise to choose the agency/coordinator
carefully so you can stay with that them. Constantly changing them gives
you a reputation of being flighty and unprofessional
How to find an agency/coordinator?
Since in India there is
no system for accrediting Modelling Agencies per sa. It would be best advised
for you to look up our co-ordinator section. If you are outside India,
please check out the INTERNATIONAL DIRECTORY of MODEL and TALENT agencies
& schools, a book with phone and address of all agencies across the
world. Printed by Peter Glenn Publications, ltd.
How to approach an
agency / co-ordinator?
The oldest way to go about
it is to visit them. Book an appointment ahead of time by phone. Bring
at least 2 pictures. They don't have to be professional pictures. A head
shot, natural and clear. Also a full length shot that somewhat reveals
your figure, a clingy dress , swimsuit, figure flattering clothes or other
tight fittings garments should be worn. Forget about baggy clothes! It
will tip off viewers that you have something to hide. Ask lots of questions.
Ask to see what work their models are currently doing? Ask for names and
phone number of clients and call them to verify the information, be concerned
if they promise you work right away or promise you high salaries. If they
don't allow you time to think about it or if they use pressure techniques
to sign the contract, be concerned. They should not ask for money up-front
for classes or training. Be concerned if the they claim to be looking for
ordinary people. Reputed agencies/coordinators might have open interviews
during the week, give them a call and find out. Also you can send your
photo and resume as mentioned earlier.
Portfolio: What is
It's a collection of your
modelling pictures. How many pictures you need varies. You should only
keep strong pictures, you are only as good as your worst picture! Models
should aim for quality not quantity! Avoid using 2 pictures of the same
shoot (same look) Black and White is the favourite of the industry. 9 by
12 inches are the standard size. Your agency will require you to buy an
11 by 14 inches for their book (portfolio). A basic but versatile portfolio
would have a casual head shot, styled head shot, body shot (conservative
swimsuit or lingerie), a fashion shot (sexy) , action shot, an editorial
shot and even a catalogue shot. As you gain experience replace the older
pictures with newer one. Keep your best picture at the end to leave a lasting
impression! Do not wear jewellery for those prints, it takes the attention
away from you. The wrong choice of undergarments may show panty line or
bra straps and will distract the viewer (on the job, or in interviews it
can mean the difference between looking professional or not). Tailor your
portfolio for your strengths and the type of modelling you are doing.
What is a Comp card
(not applicable in India)?
Comp card is a card with
a few pictures on it. It also has the information on how to reach modelling
agency. It contains your statistic and measurements. They cost between
US$ 200 to 300 for 200 cards. The model pays for them and your agency will
tell you how many you need to get started
Tips on how to choose
Avoid "portrait photographer"
they often don't understand the need of the fashion industry. See the photographer's
portfolio. Do you like it? Does it represent the style and format your
looking for? Commercial photographers might be a good source of work! Keep
that in mind. Be concerned about photographers who seek to take nude pictures
of you or claims to be working on a swimsuit calendar. Photographers should
be professional and respectful and you should bring a friend along. Always
be cheerful, you never know when you might get a free shoot or a free picture
or an extra roll done at no extra cost! If you bring your own clothes to
the shoot, always bring extra. If the photographer for example like your
look and decides to do an extra roll you will be ready to benefit from
it. Keep an open mind photographers loves to do editorial shots.