So you want to be a model pt III

November 8, 2012

We’ve already covered a lot in this segment;

You MUST have a support system.
You must know your body type
You must know and be realistic about the genres you can work in
You have to find a competent photographer
You have to have a portfolio or body of work

Now let’s move on. Lots of pretty ladies expect that once they decide they want to become a model, the world will come knocking on their door, or they will get hundreds upon hundreds of paying gigs. Once neither dreams happen, they give up on modeling or become suspect and think they (the photographers) are full of it. This is NOT the industries fault, but your own! You failed at modeling because you didn’t do the one simple thing; network! Before we get into networking, lets talk a bit more about your career and the things you need to have to be taken seriously.

Your portfolio should contain the best images for you. As a model, you should be able to tell the difference between an O.K., good and great image. Yes, we understand you love taking photos, but that doesn’t mean you should take photos with just anyone who asks! You have to be selective in who you shoot with. Most photographers that know the industry and can get you those amazing images, are going to charge you. They have the knowledge to get you what you want. That being said, there are guys who shoot free and either make money another way or just want to do photography for a hobby. Sometimes, they are better than charging photographers, but you need to understand their limitations. There are basic things you should look for in a photo:

 

Does the skin look like a barbie doll? I.e.no texture?
Are your eyes the correct color?
Do the photos contain more props than needed? does it take away from you?
Are the photos dark or bright?
When you look at the photos the photographer has, does it look like something out of a magazine?

To further this, networking involves using things such as social media (Facebookis the most popular) and other model network sites. The best way to network is by joining one of those sites and introducing yourself to photographers. At my consultations, I always tell the up and coming model to plan long weekends on one of the coasts. Here in Colorado, everyone escapes to Las Vegas for a long weekend, I tell them instead of spending all that money in Vegas, go to Cali and network. This of course, is assuming they really want to be models. I tell them they don’t have to go out there with the idea of getting shoots, but go and spend some time with photographers, talk to them, let the photographer bring up the idea of a shoot.

Since we’re talking about networking, lets talk about the pink elephant in the room; models getting paid. It’s something that is on the minds of everyone and let me make it clear before we even get into it; getting paid to model is going to be difficult! Paying work is the apex of every model (and photographer) desires. Big money doesn’t start until you get sponsored and walking the runways of Paris, Milan, Japan and other MAJOR markets. The chances of landing one of these jobs is much like getting drafted into the NFL, NHL, NBA and so on. I’m not saying it will never happen, but don’t wait for Donatella Versace to call you. From the first two segments, you should know by the amount of emphasis I put on knowing your body and knowing the styles your open to, this knowledge will help you better understand where your paying jobs will come from.

To make a comfortable living at modeling, one has to either be signed with a major agency, or networked their butts off! Agency models if they work hard, can make a normal living at modeling. Other models can make money by networking, getting published and having their own portfolio sites. I’m of the opinion that every model should have his or her own portfolio site! One of the models that does very well with her networking and portfolio site is a friend of mine, Carlotta Champagne. Carlotta was a guest model of mine a few years ago at a Jay Kilgore workshop and she was awesome. She knew her body, knew how to pose so it made it so everyone got plenty of photos and we ended up with a lot of down time! I’ve started to do portfolio sites again, not just for the money, but it looks better to perspective clients if they can go to one location and see a lot of your photos. It’s one thing you have that your competition doesn’t have and a way for you to make money modeling! To get paid modeling, I’m of the opinion you should have several years of SOLID photo shoot experience under your belt. The photographer shouldn’t have to tell you ANYTHING because you already know it. I see lots of model wannabe’s have on their portfolio that they just started modeling a few weeks ago and list rates. My rule is if you have more nationally published images than I, and more corporate sponsors, then I’ll pay you. Until that point, you’ve not made enough of an impact on the industry for me to justify paying you. Now that doesn’t mean you’re not worth it, it just means I’ve been doing it longer and have more to offer than you.

Next subject we’ll discuss is the shoot. There’s far more to modeling than just being pretty! Long hours, mean and crabby photographers and art directors, diet, workout and worth!

This one will be a good one!

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