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A Map to Modelling

Modelling. We are exposed to it every day through media, fashion and the Internet. Many young people want to try modelling or make it a career often due to the prestige attached, and dreams of the high life, parties and free clothes.

Whilst that does happen for a select few, many other models are very hard working whilst studying and working other jobs to get their break. So if you want to try modelling and don’t know how to even start, Colosoul provides some useful advice and tips!

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/bride-viewing-woman-female-young-1082239/

Ever wanted to try modelling? Sure go for it!  But remember the industry is not as easy as it sounds and it is not just smiling or posing in front of the camera. Like most industries there is often hard work and a lot of organisation behind the scenes. The first thing is to work out your look(s) and why you want to model. This will drive you forward when your motivation is low or you are not sure if you can handle the industry. If you are doing modelling purely for fame and fortune, you generally have the wrong outlook like most industries. Obviously, you can be attracted to that glamorous lifestyle, but having the motivation and hunger to achieve or live out your dreams will be a better, more fulfilling choice.

It is crucial and this will determine your path in modelling. Modelling is a lot of hard work to be successful, and you really need that passion and drive to make something of it. If you don’t know why you want to do modelling or ‘not really that into it’ it will be difficult to progress. 

The next step is building a portfolio. A portfolio is basically a collection of images to show that you can model to an agency or client. A diversity of images is often seen as the ideal portfolio to show a client or agency you are versatile and not just suitable to one sort of look. Starting from scratch can be challenging and of course you could hire many, many great professional photographers to take pictures of you for your portfolio.

This is highly recommended particularly in regards to head shots and portraits, which are often frequently requested photos and used as cover photos on modelling booking websites. So a good headshot is crucial to ensure people in the industry access and browse your portfolio, and hopefully book you too! Once you have a diverse portfolio you can approach agencies for prospective work. There is no right way to do this, but the best approach is to be persistent and confident and have an up to date diverse portfolio that captures the style of modelling you like and something you enjoy doing.

Modelling is a lot of hard work to be successful, and you really need that passion and drive to make something of it.

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/people-male-person-man-young-1229576/

This can be expensive, so if you really want to do modelling and receive paid work, some great starter shots are a worthwhile investment. An alternative if you don’t want to pay or can’t afford photographers fees, is to do trade for print or TFP. This essentially means two creative parties exchanging their skills and talent on a voluntary (not monetary) agreement. For example a common situation would be Photographer x shoots model y, capturing 200 images from the shoot. The model is new and developing their portfolio and the photographer agrees they can have the best 8 images of the shoot to distribute on their social media and other modelling websites. However often in return the photographer will watermark the photos with their brand for copyright protection and self promote the model on their website and social media as well. The model often loses creative and intellectual property of their own images.

Specialities in modelling are also another key point. If you decide you want to do fitness modelling or runway for example will determine your skill set and physique. E.g. fitness models generally need to be athletic and bulky, while runway often restricts models that are too short. The latter also need to correct walking techniques for catwalk. So the former may engage a personal trainer and exercise regularly to achieve their fitness modelling path, where as aspiring runway models should work to keep lean and perfect their modelling work.

Creativity is also very important in modelling. Even when working for a client or agency, and the brief mostly dictates your placement, the setting, costume and lighting you can still have an input. Think spontaneously for things that could work in the shoot, perhaps an old shed, or a different pose. This allows you to think for yourself and express your vision and ideas.

Photographers often appreciate a different perspective and it may result in a better image. Simply matching your dress and behaviour with the theme of the shoot is really important. So if you are doing an Alice of Wonderland spin off, you would likely dress brightly and shoot with a eccentric, gothic facial expression. Of course sometimes clients and photographers can be very specific and you should follow their directions, but a bit of improvisation shows your skills as a model and paints you as dynamic and collaborative.

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/model-fashion-glamour-girl-female-600238/

Modelling is fun, exciting, and a great form of self expression. If you have always wanted to try it, do it! There are enough types of models and different personalities and nationalities out there that there is likely a niche type of modelling for you!

Words by Simon Chitre