Modeling 101- The Basics

11 Dec 2014

Dserum Hair (5)I get asked many questions from girls looking to get into the modeling world on how to start, what sort of photos the agencies need, what to eat to lose inches and what exercises to do in order not to bulk up. Because there’s a lot of information on this I won’t address it all now, rather I will give a few basics and in following posts I will go into further detail.

Modeling is one of those things that many girls want to do. We look up to the supermodels of the year, the girls you see in magazines, those strutting their stuff down the runways, and people being featured on those big billboards all over. I for one was always interested in modeling and was lucky to be genetically blessed with a body that would allow this. However, that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t told to slim down time after time, gain weight on certain areas of my body, change my hair, and spend lots of money to travel in order to get new tears for my book.

1 (12)Having been an international model for many years, I have learned the ins and outs of what it’s like to lose confidence, have your confidence boosted with billboards, love what you do, and also feel extremely isolated. This is not the glitz and glam that you would think and I feel it’s very important for people to realize that while this industry can be absolutely amazing, it takes patience, hard work, determination, a VERY thick skin and the ability to not allow rejection to kill you. Too many girls think that they can model and become Cara Delivigne overnight. This is not only very rare, but it’s getting harder and harder. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible and you should give up your dreams.

So here is my Modeling 101 and all the need to know basics.

TEARS: the pictures that you “tear” out of magazines. These are the ideal photos for your book because it means you are in demand. If you are just starting you won’t have tears, so you start with whatever pictures you do in studio or on location and just remember that it’s very important to keep working and building your book.

BOOK:  the portfolio you bring to castings to show off your most recent or best work. This can be printed {my favorite} or on the ipad. It’s very important to have the best photos there showcasing a variety of looks in a specific manner. When casting directors look at your book the best photos should be in the front and back, with an emphasis on showing your range throughout. I always advise models to change their pictures around depending on the casting {i.e. a sports casting won’t need to see your high fashion work}.

CASTINGS: this is where you meet the casting agents, people who own the clothing brand or magazine. It’s important to have personality, show that you are fun, and to always thank them for their time. A lot of models play it too cool and act bitchy when they go to castings, thinking they will get the job if they show they “don’t care.” My thoughts on this is if you are going there, it means you WANT to be there, so don’t be rude and waste anyone’s time acting like the shit.

BOOKINGS: congrats! You have a job. Whether it’s non paying, for-trade, or a rate, be sure to show up on time, with a smile, clear skin and not being hungover or tired. You want the company to hire you again, so the more you appeal to them, the more likely this is to happen. Word spreads fast in the industry about good models who are fun to work with versus the girls who are late, show up looking nothing like their photos, have bad skin or circles under their eyes and not easy to work with.

FOR-TRADE: this means you are making a deal with the company in exchange for your time. Typically this means you will receive no money, however you will get clothes, product or a feature in a magazine/website. Don’t blow these off. When you are starting it’s very important to get as many gigs as you can to practice, practice, practice. It also shows that you love what you do and are willing to showcase your work without asking for stupid amounts of money.

AGENCIES: the people who will be sending you con castings, booking your jobs and become your family. Treat them well because they can either promote you to all their clients or let you slide into the unknown if you are hard to work with. In order to get signed with an agency you will need to have photos to show them, whether professional or polaroids along with knowledge of how to move in a shoot. Different agencies have various ways to get signed, but note that the bigger agencies such as IMG, Next, Elite and Whilemina (to name a few) won’t speak to you unless you are a proven model with the body stats they are looking for.

DIGITALS: these are the pictures that agencies send out to their clients to showcase what you ‘really’ look like. Clients want to know that there is not a ton of photoshop done in each photo in your book, that you know how to look good in the most basic bikini picture and that your skin is clear. These are sometimes more important than your actual portfolio.


Athens (3)Agata Shoot

Stay tuned as I’ll be doing more posts on what to eat as a model, how to maintain or ‘get’ the body you want among other key things.

With Love, N


One Response

  1. Nina says:

    That first picture, is that from a Loreal add? for hair color? Funny question, I know, but it just seems familiar 🙂

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