Let’s cut through the B.S. and talk about something that annoys me;

Fashion photography in a non fashion state.

As the days go by, I find myself shying away from model photography more and more. Why? Simple; I live in a glamour state!

It is NOT my job to educate people on their career choices, but lets be honest; to sell them a dream is making a ass out of me. Presently, I live in Denver, CO and as much as everyone here wants to make it so, Colorado will NEVER be a fashion hub! I realize this sounds very negative on my part but I’ve never been known to fluff. Before we get into it, let’s define Fashion modeling;

From my posts So you want to be a model I have covered the height issue. To be an Editorial model one needs to be minimum 5’8″ tall. This is non negotiable and has been standard since fashion was something to do. To walk runways you need to be taller.

Clothes look better on long limbs, this is indisputable. As a short guy, it pains me to say it, but they do. Long limbs look more graceful than short stubby limbs. This is why the fashion industry goes long, it’s the point of the designer to make their product desirable and statistically that’s been proven by decades upon decades of testing and learning. Before we move forward, let’s look at some fashion images by my favorite Fashion Photographer Mr. Patrick Demarchelier:





As you can see, tall models = fashion editorial images. Now I know what you’re thinking “JAY! Kate Moss is in there! She’s 5’7″” And I will say you’re right! However, that was a curve ball I threw you and you bit so now I will explain. I get a TON of people who use Ms. Moss as the exception to the rule. I explain to them she was signed with a major agency when she was barely a teenager because she was very tall for the time. She was expected to grow to Editorial or runway height. She hasn’t and if you do your research or know your fashion models, you will know there isn’t another model <5’8″. Sorry to have thrown you that curve ball, that wasn’t nice of me.

Here in CO, I’m thought of a Negative Nancy cause I always say fashion isn’t for those under 5’8″. Don’t get me wrong, you can shoot fashion inspired sets, but if you’re under the required height, then you’re not doing fashion. Here in CO we have a large network of photographers and designers that say often, “I’m going to put Colorado on the fashion map” and I feel sorry for them for the simple fact other than boutique fashion, CO will never be a fashion hub. Anything can happen, CO can become a fashion hub one day, but if we take an honest look at geographical and past fashion, we will learn a few things;

Colorado is a landlocked state. Designers put clothing on ships and send them over or have them sent over. Colorado is currently lacking access to an ocean.

Most legit agencies that are out there, have 5’8″ and taller models if you peruse their sites.

I keep talking about agencies and their models but yet have any supporting arguments. Let’s look at a few of the worlds TOP agencies:

Women Management
FORD Models
NEXT Models

These are some of the most legit agencies in the world and on them, you’re not finding non editorial height models. Now this being said, some of the agencies have adapted “Promotional Modeling” where they will hire someone who is a glamour model (i.e. looks good in a bikini) to hold shot glasses and do other things that aren’t related to fashion, but they are hired by legit agencies. Colorado is FAMOUS for the night club fashion shows where they take anyone who will show up. I’ve seen some young ladies that really didn’t represent well, while others did a damn good job!

Finally, while fashion may never honestly exist in CO, it IS possible for a 5’6″ person to model fashion. You just need to be willing to move to Tokyo, Japan. You will need to have an all natural girl next door look and of course be comfortable losing your top and bra at will. Fashion has more topless models than glamour…if you can believe that. Don’t? Look at Kate Moss topless up there. Never give up your dreams, just have realistic ones. My dream is to spend the rest of my days shooting celebrities. This will never happen as I never plan to leave CO. I am realistic in my dreams so I’ve been able to achieve every single one.


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