After speaking with other photographers & designers, and just simply having the experience, I have decided to drop my list to help those interested in modeling. Besides having the obvious good looks, there are many other characteristics one should have in order to become a great model. Just like every other industry, the modeling world is very cut-throat but can also be very lucrative. Here are a few DO’s & DONT’s that will help you survive the industry.
1. DON’T BE LATE: Whether the modeling gig is a free one or paid, it is a must that you arrive on time. By being late you are showing that you are not dedicated to your craft. And the staff will not take you seriously. Of course things happen, tires flatten, rides get cancelled, dogs eat homework…BUT it is still important for you to arrive on time. Mapquest your destination the day before to calculate your time accordingly. Leave early. If you are too early then hang around the area. But by any means, do not show up late.
2. DO HAVE THE RIGHT MANAGER: Managers are great, but only when they’re knowledgeable. An amateur manager can make or most of the time BREAK your career. A friend who is just trying to look out for you does not automatically mean they will be a great manager. Some photographers will not work with you if the manager has been a nightmare to deal with. So make sure that someone handling your career knows the craft.
3. DO KNOW WHEN TO TURN THE DIVATUDE ON & OFF: No one likes a Diva 100% of the time. Know when to turn the attitude on & off. You DO NOT have to walk on set with an attitude to be taken seriously. In fact that may cause some people to purposely push your buttons. Before going to a shoot or a show, find out if there will be hair, makeup, clothing, food and compensation. Those are the main issues that can cause a misunderstanding if unclear. So if you know hair is not provided, do not go to a set demanding it or complaining about why it is not provided. And this goes back to having the right manager, because he/she should gather as much information beforehand.
4. DO LEAVE YOUR ISSUES AT HOME: No one on set needs to know about your relationship problems or financial issues. Remain professional. Treat each new project like a job interview. You don’t want to mess up your chances of being referred or called back for more work. No matter how beautiful you are, if you have too much KNOWN baggage you will always be judged based on your many issues.
5. DO HAVE CONFIDENCE. Confidence controls about 100% of what you bring as a model. Having low confidence is seen through your work instantly. If you are not at least 85% confident in yourself and in your looks then you will not succeed as a model. The photographer or designer chose you for a reason. So walk on set knowing that you are the closest thing to perfection because you were chosen specifically. Think of confidence as your degree in the field.
6. DON’T BAD MOUTH PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES: Don’t fall into the gossip on a set. Bad mouthing photographers, makeup artist, and even other models is a major red flag. Always remain professional even if other people aren’t.
7. DO BUILD THE RIGHT PORTFOLIO: Your portfolio should showcase the type of modeling you are trying to do. Leave out the glamour photographs if you’re trying to be a high fashion model. It’s great to show versatility, but a consistent portfolio represents true professionalism.
8. DO HAVE STANDARDS: All modeling gigs are not conducive to your career or portfolio. Research photographers, makeup artists, designers, etc, before agreeing to work with them, even if it’s free. If you have no interest in posing nude or in anything uncomfortable make sure you stand strong on that decision. Do not get talked into anything against your interest. Many girls make this mistake early into their careers.
9. DON’T BE A BUGABOO: If a photographer tells you he/she will return images within 2 weeks, do not contact him 3 days after your shoot asking about your images. This is probably one of the biggest pet peeves to photographers. More than likely you will have an email as contact information. Do not inquire about your images through Facebook, Myspace, text messages, etc. Once the 2 weeks have passed, simple inquire professionally through the contact information that he or she gave you.
10: DO KEEP AN UPDATED PORTFOLIO: We are expected to renew our licenses every so often for a particular reason…Our looks change. Treat your portfolio the same way. If you gave birth, gained/lost weight, changed hair, it is important for the photographer to know that. If you are still using pictures from 2005 and you’ve clearly changed, you are setting yourself up for a disaster. Weight gain is the biggest secret kept from a photographer. That is great that you have gained a bit and are feeling more confident then ever before, BUT it is important for you to show the more current you. Outdated images is false advertisement.
I hope these tips have been helpful to you. Always remember that your reputation as a model is just as important as your looks.