5 Things Every Model Should Learn

Most models know about posing, catching the light and looking elegant while walking down the runway, but there are several aspects of modeling that aren’t necessarily obvious to a new model.

Basic Hair/Makeup. People are not as reliable as we’d like to think. Oftentimes, hair and makeup artists cancel. What do you do if your makeup artist is a no show? You have to do it yourself.

Example: I was waiting outside a makeup artist’s home for an hour waiting for her to come home to do my makeup where we would both go to the photographer’s studio. She was a no show so I had to run back to my apartment and do it myself.

How to nail it: Keep it clean and simple. Oftentimes less is more. If you have extensive makeup experience and want to explore with colors, knowing you can execute a bight bold look successfully, then I would suggest going all out. But for the average model, if you’re not a professional makeup artist, keep it clean and simple highlighting your favorite qualities and cleaning your complexion, without overdoing it on the contour and highlight.

Styling. It’s fashion. It’s all about you and the clothes. From basics to high-fashion, finding the right clothes is essential to any shoot. Your overall sense of fashion and trends could make or break you.

Example: In Chicago it’s hard to find amazing stylists, and when you do find the top quality stylists, they book so far out in advance they may not be available.

How to nail it: Put together a moodboard and go through images with the whole crew. When you have a specific look chosen with sample images, search your closet (or a friends) and possibly go shopping with one of the crew members to find what would fit the style your moodboard has set. As you’re picking up items, always run through the choices with the photographer to confirm your picks will look killer for the shoot!

Who’s-Who of Your Market. When you’re trying to make connections and make your shoots higher quality, finding a top tier crew is essential, while maintaining a realistic view on your own abilities. When you identify the top photographers, makeup artists, etc. you can set goals for who you want to work with and the skill level you want to be at. Getting to know your market and where you stand that market will help you get a better understanding of how to grow and build your portfolio.

Example: When I’m looking to shoot a high-quality production, I am always looking through Instagram, friend connections on Facebook or asking my own connections. I have photographers and models I aspire to work with and/or be like. By setting my goals for connections I make and understanding who is at the top, I’m able to understand my market more and how to market myself to new audiences.

How to nail it: RESEARCH! RESEARCH! RESEARCH!  Comb through Instagram, Facebook and your favorite creatives’ websites to find new talent and people who you’d be interested in working with. When you see someone’s work that’s nice, go through their portfolio. The three things I look for is:

  1. Consistent quality—their work is always maintaining a certain high standard.
  2. Versatility—their book of work showcases a diverse range of styles and talent they work with (for example a MUA with not only just Caucasian models—but also African American models).
  3. Connections—the biggest thing I look for is the quality and skill level of people who they are working with and shooting. If they’re a newer photographer, do you feel they have enough potential to work with them before they work with well-established models?

In-Person Networking Skills. Online communication is important, but if you don’t have the skills to carry your online personality to real life, your job opportunities and room for growth is limited. With how much people are on their phones texting, there is a lack of in-person interactions, what the entertainment industry is all about. Working on social skills and properly communicating to clients and photographers is an underestimated skill.

Example: A by-chance encounter introduced me to two of the top Chicago designers, who have turned into close friends. Even though I’m shy when it comes to large groups, it’s important to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people. Because of this many other jobs have been offered to me as companies and photographers get more used to seeing my face and my images through our mutual friends.

How to nail it: Attend networking events. Don’t be afraid to go up to people. Stay confident and chatty, asking questions about themselves and their career is important showing you’re interested and invested. Use active listening skills and be genuine, people will be able to tell.

Conducting yourself like a business. Managing yourself like a business and conducting your communications and interactions in a business-like-manner are so important. From sending emails to phone calls and castings to being on set, it’s crucial to act as if you are a business—because you are. If you’re not just taking images for Instagram/social media and working with companies, again, this is crucial.

Example: I receive so many emails that are unprofessional and uneducated about my career in general. As a result, my screening process for bookings is rigorous. My response rate to professionals is much quicker and more friendly than people who just send me a DM saying “shoot?”

How to nail it: Keep your emails and messages professional. Title your emails correctly and when on set be polite. Remember that the entertainment industry is fun, but still a business, even when emailing friends. Learn how to save your earnings from modeling and how to invest in the industry to build up your brand. Slay the game by showcasing a business

People will respect you, and therefore book you, more if you know the ins-and-outs of your business, from marketing to understanding ranks and other local businesses around you. By expanding your horizons, you’re expanding your business and flexing your abilities proving you’re not just another pretty face but a force to be reckoned with.

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