Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Top 15 Tips For New Models

Hey guys! So for my first post I decided to create this list of the top 15 tips that I give new models. Many of you know that I am a MUA but I also do a lot of modeling consulting. When I start working with a new model I sit them down and tell them everything on this list. I want my models to be as successful as they want to be and love sharing the things that I have learned over the years with them. Now I want to drop my knowledge on you guys for any models that I don't have the opportunity to work with. Hopefully you find this helpful and motivating!! ENJOY!!


Know what kind of modeling your interested in. Contrary to popular belief there is more then just one genre of modeling. Shocking yet true! 

Editorial: Probably the most well known type of modeling. Think Vogue, Elle, Cosmo, Harper's Bazaar. People that book for these shoots are looking for a very specific guy or gal. Most editorial models are tall, 5'9 and above, slender, size 5 and below, and their faces are ascetically pleasing, simply put they are beautiful. Not to say that if you don't fit these standards your going to be thrown out with yesterday's trash, there are plenty of models that do not fit into these criteria. Just know that you are going to work especially hard to show that you have what it takes to become a staple in this industry.

Runway: When booking runway models, clients are looking for the best of the best! Twice a year, spring and fall, buyers for all over the world gather at fashion shows to watch these girls strut their stuff down a catwalk. Runway models have to be the creme of the crop because they are modeling to potential buyers, garments that will hopefully be put into stores worldwide.  The criteria is basically the same as what is being looked for in editorial shoots, but you have to be able to walk like nobody's business. You must EXUDE confidence! You must PERFECT your runway walk and your posing. Most of the big big $$$ is in runway modeling.

Swimsuit & Lingerie: Ok so im pretty sure that everybody thinks of Vicky's Secrets, when lingerie modeling is brought up and Sports Illustrated for swimsuit modeling. These models must be very fit and toned because obviously they aren't wearing much. 

Part: These models model certain parts of their bodies. Hands, feet, ears, legs, mouth things like that. Which ever part they are modeling needs to be virtually perfect. After all the part is what your being paid to show.

Glamour: Glamour modeling is the more sexualized less fashion side of modeling. When I say less fashion, don't think they through fashion out the window. Glamour modeling tends to focus more on the models then on the clothes. Your selling a image rather then an article of clothing. Think about your sexy calendars, car magazines, tattoo magazines things like that. The model has to be able to pull of the seductress element that will entice the consumer to buy. Glamour doesn't have height or weight requirements because you can pretty much find a demand for any size or shape somewhere. Most of glamour models though are, unlike fashion models, preferred to have curves, take Megan Fox for example.

Commercial: This type of modeling is very broad. It basically encompasses everything else that hasn't be mentioned. Print work in those catalogs you get in the mail from clothing distributors. Advertising models on the billboards. The happy elderly couple in complete bliss in the Cealiss (sp??) commercial. These models are more of what you see everyday in the "real" world. They are suppose to look like you and me, instead of the one out of a million beauty that's gracing the 6 page spread in Vogue. 

If you don't know what kind of modeling your interested in pursuing then you won't have anything to focus on. Not saying that you have to choose one and never try anything again but make sure that if you want to be a glamour model your portfolio is mostly of glamour type photos.

Google is your best friend! You need to devote a lot of time to understand the ins and outs of the modeling industry. If you go into any situation blind then it will be easy for people to get over on you. Don't be a sucker!! Also when you talk to other people in the industry you want to sound knowledgeable. If you sound like you don't know what you talking about most likely you don't know what your talking about. This is a quick way to become a unknown and unsigned in the modeling world. You need to know how things work so that you can interact with other that have been doing this for years. If people don't know that your a newbie then you won't be written off as a newbie!

Every one is going to get bad critiques. Ask Tyra how many agencies turned her down before Elite signed her. Your not going to be everything everybody wants all the time so you have to expect to hear the negatives about you or your performance. But the key point is to not let those bad words affect your drive. You need to hear the bad so that you know what you need to work on to better your self. I always say that positive feedback is great but negative feedback is the best. Its constructive, it shows you where your faults are, and most of the time they are things that your would have never thought about yourself. So don't take the "no's" and the "that's not right" laying down. Stand up and say okay that's just one more thing to improve on thanks for the words of wisdom!

By definition self marketing is the selling of oneself to a consumer. Now once you take the raunchy implications out of that statement your left some critical points. You have to make yourself seem like the only solution to the consumer's, being the client, problem, being the need to show off merchandise. You have to know your strengths and show the client why those strengths will help bring in profit. The model that can prove that they can market themselves is a model that can definitely market a product to the desired target consumer. Bottom line: SELL, SELL, SELL!!!!

For every outstandingly fantastic photographer and makeup artist, there's hundreds more that all in all suck. Sounds harsh but its the truth. Everybody wants to be the next photographer for Vogue or the next Billy B. but just like there are tens of thousands of models that won't make it there are tens of thousands of photographers and MUAs that don't have what it takes either. You need to find that one in the million that will make your portfolio something great. A bad photographer can make a great model look bad, same goes with MUAs. When presenting your portfolio to agencies or other prospective employers you want to make sure that your best work is being displayed. Trust me they are not going to cast someone with mediocre work that says they just had a bad photographer. Sorry not going to fly. Your portfolio is a representation of you, and you in turn will be a representation of the product if hired, clients are only going to want the best for their campaigns.

Nothing worth having is free!!!!! I know that everyone has heard that saying but it makes so much sense I feel I have to say it again....NOTHING WORTH HAVING IS FREE! Ok now that that's of my biggest pet peeves in this industry is people who want everything for free. Don't get me wrong there are trade projects that are worth your time (notice I said worth your time and honey time is not free!). But you have to be cautious that you don't get into the habit of always asking for trade. This tip is directly connected with Tip 11 (build a great portfolio). If you want a great portfolio, be ready to spend some mula! Don't be afraid to pay. Lol I don't know how many other ways to say it. Find a stupendous photographer, a out of this world MUA and get some crazy great photos to put in that port of yours and watch how that money comes back to you ten fold!

Momma always said hope for the best prepare for the worst. This statement couldn't be anymore true. Simply put things happen. The MUA doesn't show up, know how to do a few basic makeup looks. It starts raining, have a umbrella on hand.  It gets really hot all of a sudden and you start sweating, have some deoderant on hand (this is for the sanity of everyone on the shoot, sorry but no one likes a musty model!). The point is you need to prepare for every situation you think possible. Because when you least think something will will happen. and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS more time...ALWAYS BE ON TIME. Better early then late. However long you think it will take u to get to a shoot add an extra 20 minutes. If you don't know the area add an extra 30 minutes. It's very easily to get lost and most professional photographers will not work with models that run late. Its inconsiderate, unprofessional and all in out RUDE.

I'm not saying starve yourself until your a toothpick. But you are the face/body that will be associated with a certain product. The world wants to see a healthy person next to that product or they will not buy. Its simply how the world works. Healthy does not mean you have to be a size 0. There are plenty of size 16's that are in perfect health (some healthy then the size 0's). Eat right, exercise, and drink lots and lots of water and not only will you feel better, which in turn will make you a better model, you will live longer. Great added bonus right there!

Don't do anything you are uncomfortable with. Don't let anyone pressure you into doing anything you are uncomfortable with. This is your body use it how you see fit. If you feel something is wrong, stand up for yourself and your values. If you feel that something is right, go for it! 

You will not believe how many people try to scam you. Don't put that John Hancock of yours on anything without reading it in its entirety. They could be asking for your first born and you wouldn't know without reading! I'm sure that this is a very very rare case, but hey you never know. The point is that you can be getting yourself into a binding contract to do something that you don't want or feel comfortable doing and now the person has the legal right to sue. All because you didn't take five minutes to read the fine print. READ people it will save you time and money in the end! 

Don't let anyone change you. You are a unique individual and you don't have to change who you are as a person to make anyone feel comfortable. If you don't believe in yourself and the work that you are doing then that will come across on paper. Models that love their projects are the most successful. This doesn't mean that your going to love every single shoot that you are booked for (especially if your agency represented becuase you have less control over which shoots you are booked for) but if your a animal lover then don't do a shoot where animals are being killed. Keep your values close to your heart!

As a model one of your main priorities on a job is to give the client what they are looking for. You have to be able to be the seductress in one photo and the girl next door in the next. Make sure that you have a wide range of looks and poses so that you can always get the shoot the client is looking for. 

The more your name gets out there the more shoots you will have available to you. Take every opportunity to get to know people and let them get to know you. The more connections you have in this industry the better. At every shoot you should be exchanging information with MUAs, hairstylist, wardobe stylists, assistants, photographers, and the other models. If you make a good impression on these people they will call you back for more work and they will spread the good news about you to their peers. I have been called for plenty of assignments because a photographer from a year ago said that I was a great MUA. Don't underestimate the power of word of mouth!

When you are at home you should be looking through every magazine possible and practicing the poses. Get your hands on as many different magazines and just perfect your posing. One of the main downfalls that I have noticed with models is that they don't know how to pose. You have to be able to do one pose and move into the next within the click of a camera shutter and with grace. If you go to Starbucks and order a Chai Latte with fat free milk do you want to tell the barista how to make it, NO! And no photographer wants to have to teach the model how to do their job either. Make sure that you have a wide repertoire of poses to choose from. And be able to switch things up (ties in with being adaptable). Even the most famous models still practice their posing.. Don't ever think that you have nothing more to learn when it comes to posing!

If modeling is what you really want to do. If it is the thing you have been put on this earth for. Then don't let anything get in the way of your dream. Don't let any bad experience or negative person stop you from achieving your goals. Becoming a model isn't something that happens overnight. You have to work your way to the top of that ladder. And while a few rungs might break on your way up, you can still make it if you have motivation and the right drive behind you! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!

Hopefully this list helped at least one aspiring model out there. If just one person reads this and uses these tips to get them where they want to be then my work is done! If you guys have anymore questions of any additions that you think should be on this list please feel free to leave a comment or email me at I love to hear from my readers!


Disclaimer: None of the pictures featured on this post are property of mine. All are courtesy of