How to make a career in modelling

How to make a career in modelling

Modelling is a career that involves skills that can give you poise and confidence. In this career, you get the opportunity to travel to new places, meet creative professionals and earn a handsome income. Given the competitive nature of this career, however, you should be well-prepared before entering this profession. In this article, we explore how to become a model, what they do and what skills and qualifications they need.

What does a model do?

A model uses their physical appearance to help a company advertise a product or to help an artist create or display a work of art. A model might work with a photographer to create fashion pictures or walk down a runway to introduce a fashion designer's latest clothing line. Artists often hire models to pose for them while they draw, paint or sculpt. Companies hire models for advertisements and marketing campaigns.

How to become a model

These are some common steps you can follow to become a model:

1. Decide what kind of model you want to be

There are many types of models including fashion, commercial, runway, shoulder and neck, fitness and hand models. Additionally, you can specialise in modelling for still images or videos. Given this extensive range of options, it is important you begin your modelling career by identifying the type of modelling that best suits you.

2. Start practising at home

You can begin practising for a modelling career at home. Look for videos of professional models and study the way they move and pose. Imitate your references to learn basic poses, postures and mannerisms. You can observe and perfect a runway walk in front of a full-length mirror if you have one.

3. Train and exercise

Consider using a local gym or dance studio to develop a training regimen. You can also start monitoring your diet and exercise to build your physique and maintain it. Modelling can be a very demanding career and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help you stay mentally and physically well.

4. Build your portfolio

You will eventually need to invest in a photographer to take professional shots for your portfolio. Make sure you have a good range of pictures in your portfolio showing you in different poses, costumes and characters. You can also experiment with props and make-up.

5. Look for an agent

Most clients prefer working through a modelling agency, so you should try to find an agent. When you visit an agency, take your portfolio and be prepared to audition. You should know all relevant information about your body, like height, weight, eye colour, costume measurements and shoe size.

6. Take relevant classes

There are modelling schools that teach about the industry and train models for performing at photo shoots and maintaining good health and nutrition. If you want to take classes to complement your modelling skills, consider acting or dance classes. Acting classes might help you in a photo shoot where you have to convey a mood or character. Dance classes can help you develop poise and good posture.

7. Look for opportunities to be noticed

You need to invest some time in self-promotion to succeed as a model. Always look for opportunities to model that could get you noticed by potential clients. You could, for example, work with portrait photographers who can give you some exposure by featuring you in their social media or portfolio.

8. Use social media

The Internet is a great way to promote yourself since you can post photographs and videos that potentially thousands of people will see. Through social media, you can build followers and develop a platform to showcase your work. If you do not already have a professional social media presence, start building one. Focus particularly on visual platforms that emphasise pictures and video.

Essential skills and qualities for modelling

If you want to start a career in modelling, you should consider developing the following skills and qualities:

  • Passion: You have to be passionate about what you do and cultivate a professional interest in facing the camera. Modelling is not entirely about looks. It is also a craft that has to be practised and developed with consistent efforts.
  • Technical knowledge: Although not mandatory, basic technical knowledge of photography, cinematography, lighting, set design, costumes and make-up will help you work smoothly with skilled technicians. A good model can make the work of photographers, costume designers and make-up artists easy.
  • Looks: Models need to be aware of the strong aspects of their visual appearance. They should also be able to bring out these aspects in front of the camera consistently. Maintaining a fit, toned body is essential for most modelling careers.
  • Confidence: Having a confident personality on and off the camera can help you succeed in your modelling career. You should be confident enough to wear all types of garments and carry them with ease and elegance.
  • Determination: Modelling is a highly competitive field, so it might be difficult to find regular work when you start out. However, you should consistently try and build your work experience and portfolio. You will also have to follow strict diets and exercise routines for different assignments.
  • Stamina: As a model, you may have to work on long shoots where you have to go through multiple garments, backgrounds and styling in a day. Holding poses for an extended period of time takes a lot of energy, and you may have to repeatedly do this while working with visual artists.
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