What is a model?

I bet you thought you were immune from my blog huh? 😉 As it turns out, you will get just as much commentary as the photographers on my blog. Models are just as important to the photography process, so you need to be addressed summarily.

Wanting to be a model takes more than good looks and a nice body. It takes dedication and attention to detail. It takes commitment above and beyond the weekend “wannabe” claim. I want to touch on a few things that I see common in my shoots, and many other shots out there. These are tips and tricks that will help you be the best model you possibly can.


As stated at the opening, looks makes up a small part of being a model. To be taken seriously as a model, you have to act seriously. Part of that is taking extra special care with regards to your look. You should always be on the lookout for things such as:

Fingernails: Your fingernails should be kept to a reasonable length and manicured. There shouldn’t be any chipped or old fingernail polish on them. Avoid getting the long curled fingernails as they say the exact opposite of professional. You can visit any nail shop in town and get a full manicure done for around 12.00-15.00.

Hair: Your hair should be healthy and have a shine. It should be well kempt and full of bounce. Natural hair color works well; duotones aren’t really fashionable when it comes to photos. Unnatural dual tones such as blond streaks up front and spiked across the head, unless for a salon, are usually something to be avoided. Remember hair ties belong in your hair and NOT on your wrist.

Body: To be a model, you should have an above average body type. There are many different facets of modeling; you should know which type your body is suited for and how to maintain it for such style. Eating healthy and working out regularly are things that you have to do not only for personal health, but modeling.

Tattoos: Unless you’re specifically trying to get into the Suicide Girls or God’s Girls niche, excessive tattoos is not very industry friendly. I’m not telling you that you can’t have tattoos, but let’s be honest, how many heavily tattooed models do you see in any of the major magazines? It’s a nightmare to try and Photoshop out tattoos. If you decide to get one, small, easily hidden ones are best during the life of modeling.

Make up: Part of being a model is having the ability to do basic-simple makeup. You should be able to have a good Evening face, as well as light-casual face. In this day of TFCD shooting, most photographers don’t have an MUA on hand, so you’ll be forced to put on your own makeup. If the situation calls for it, you should be able to apply make up in a functional way. Also, there are times when a MUA is provided. It would be courteous if you provided your own foundation. Most MUA’s will have their own, but it shows everyone on the set, that you’re serious about what you’re doing. Also, things happen to MUA’s, so you should always be ready to do a simple self application if needed.

Clothing: Should always have a big assortment of clothing and accessories. Sometimes, you’ll have jobs where there is a clothing designer involved, other times, the photographer will use your own clothing. The clothes you bring to the shoot should be pressed and ready to wear. You should have accessories to match the clothes such as hats, scarves, shawls etc.

Look: The final big one is the look of a model. Not just anyone can be a model, for those that are; you should ALWAYS look the part. By looking the part of a model, you will feel like a model and everything you do, will help you when you’re actually working. You should practice posing and looks several times per week. By doing this, you’ll have a lot to bring to the table other than your looks. As a photographer who teaches others across the country, I can and will tell you that a major complaint photographers have about models is the fact that the model isn’t aware of her body and how to pose and give different looks. Some of the best models I’ve ever worked with were models that spent time in front of their mirrors working on posing. One model who was 14 at the time, spent two hours in the morning, and two hours before bed EVERY DAY working on posing and looks. She was a dream to work with because I didn’t have to tell her anything, just give her the idea of what I wanted and sit back and watched her work.

Now again, as I always state, this isn’t something that should be taken to heart, this is just a guide to go by. There are MANY different types of modeling, the one I focus on mostly, is glamour. When I speak, it’s mostly to glamour models.


Leave a Reply