I get asked so many times “How do you become a model?” and “Could I be a model?” Well, here is your answer!..
Firstly, as I have said in a past blog, you need to know if you are sellable. You have to have a complete honest look at yourself. Who would you appeal to? Are you good enough? If you think you’re not then you might as well stop reading here!
So, you think you’ve got what it takes? Right, the first thing you need is a portfolio. To start off with you don’t need anything flash. Basic head shot, full length, clothed shot and underwear shot to show what you have. Minimal makeup and as natural as possible! A lot is talent is signed up to agencies on the basis of these minimal shots as it is the true representation of you. They don’t even have to be professionally taken! To build up your port of pro photos I would highly recommend finding a top photographer in your field of work and paying them! You can go down the TF route but it can be a disaster!
TF work, for those who don’t know is either TFCD (time for cd) or TFP (time for prints) which means the model and photographer works without a cash payment. The model gives up her time for free images to promote herself and the photographer gets images to use as promotion too. The problem with this is the majority of photographers who do TF work are not very good, new to it or just there for the kicks of seeing half naked women sprawled out in front of them, no doubt having a Wank over them later in the day! So, if you are new to the industry, it would be like the blind leading the blind and you will have wasted a day shooting for something that would even get rejected by Housewife hussies!! I’m not saying that all photographers who do TF are bad. Some top pro’s still do it if the model is outstanding or they have an idea they would like to try out. Just be very picky! The same applies to yourself. Do not over saturate yourself with TF work. You will be labeled as a model who will work for free and getting paid work will be extremely difficult. Again, there is a time and a place for TF. I do it occasionally but stick to no more than once a month just to keep myself topped up in recent images. I tend to collaborate with photographers I have used before and know their work. It ends up being more of a catch up but with lights and cameras instead of over a coffee somewhere! It’s lovely when you become good friends with others in the industry!
Where do you find work and photographers?, I hear you ask! Well, the best place is here! The Internet! I really shouldn’t be giving these secrets away but fuck it. I’m at the end of my career so really don’t give a shit! There are portfolio hosting sites such as purestorm, model mayhem, purpleport and many more. You can host your photos and info on there to be seen by other models, photographers, makeup artists, agencies and stylists that may be interested in working with you. These sites also have casting call sections where you can apply for work being advertised. It’s a bit like the job centre but for beautiful people and smells better!
If you want to stay self employed Then keep doing all the above. But if you want to be agency represented then you need to do a lot of hard work. Some people are very lucky and fall into an agency because you are just what they need on their books. I was extremely lucky as my first agency approached me walking down Fargate in Sheffield!! As I’ve got older (and weirder) it’s got a lot harder though! You have to be submitting every week, and don’t take knockbacks too hard. And never ever pay to be with an agency. They make money by getting you work, not money off the model themselves. Any agency that asks for money are conning you. Be warned! Also don’t take a place at any agency just because it sounds good to have representation. Some of the best models I know are completely self reliant on finding work. You could also find yourself limited to the work you do and not be able to work freelance alongside agency work, which is a bit of a knobend. If you do get signed with an agency then read the T&Cs first, carefully, very carefully and then read them again before signing anything. Plus a lot of Internet based agencies are not real. If the agency does not want to meet you in person before signing you then something is wrong, VERY WRONG!! you could be submitting anyone’s photos and they wouldn’t know!
So, hopefully that should help you if you’re thinking of stepping into this weird and wonderful world. But please remember, it’s not all glamour and big money. It’s a lot of hard work, dedication to your upkeep and paperwork and for very little money. There are very few people who earn lots of money at it. Personally, my set rate is £10 an hour. There’s people cleaning the streets for more than that!! so yeah, hard work, shit pay, working conditions can be cold, wet, smelly, and that’s just some of the studios! Location work gets much more fun! People leering at you, being treated as a piece if meat, people looking to use you as much as they can and a lot of travel!
Welcome to the world of modelling!!!
I do love it though!