10 Top Tips For Models

  1. Make sure that your images show what YOU look like. Dark moody shots, ridiculous make up, over the top photoshopping and mad crops will not get you work. The 4 things you absolutely need in your portfolio are: 1) a clear headshot 2) a clear full body shot 3) a clear shot of your figure in lingerie or a bikini (not lying down/bending over/ doing any other glamour pose that hides a myriad of sins) 4) a nude or topless image of yourself if you want to work to those levels, and images of your tattoos if you have any.
  2. Do your due diligence. Check references, check out reputations, look at work, look at the same username on other websites – make sure that you’re safe.
  3. Don’t do escorts. Just don’t – they’re a barrier between you and your client. It’s starting a working relationship by saying ‘I don’t trust you’. That’s not good – it will harm your reputation and lose you work.
  4. Don’t fall for scam agencies – if you don’t look like the girls in reputable agencies, you will not get signed. Simple. Don’t waste your time and money trying to prove otherwise – simply being on a website that claims to be an agency does not make you a signed model.
  5. Remember that the images belong to the photographer. You do not own the images unless you have bought out the copyright and have a contract to hand saying that  you own them. You do not have the right to alter, distribute or publish images from a shoot. You do not have the right to tell the photographer what to do with them.
  6. Work out all agreements and details before the shoot. If you’re testing, agree a number of photos. If you’re arranging a shoot, agree what you need to bring and what levels you’re shooting to. Agree rates. Arrange times. Make sure you know exactly what is happening, when, where, and what you have to bring. It’s the best way not to get blind sided or screwed over, not to mention that forgetting shit like that just makes you look unprofessional and stupid.
  7. Take care of yourself. You are earning with your body and how you look. It’s your only tool in the business – take care of it. Sleep well, eat well, stay hydrated, don’t get bruises or marks and get your ass in the gym.
  8. Keep your book up to date. If you’ve changed your hair, you need to show that. If you’ve had a new tattoo, gained weight, lost weight, got piercings, grown a tail, you need to show that so that people can consider it when hiring you.
  9. Don’t respond to castings you’re not suitable for. That’ll just piss people off, and they won’t hire you even when you are suitable. Reading isn’t hard – you should be able to do it.
  10. Practice! Models are not born. They do not ‘wing it’ at shoots. They study their poses, know their angles, understand lighting and know how to work their expressions. They know that if you bring your shoulders up you’ll lose your neck. They know that if your arm is flat against your body it’ll look fat and gross. They know that you need to keep your fingers together and make sure your hands look relaxed. They know this shit, and they make sure they do it through practice.

6 thoughts

  1. Your blog is a real breath of fresh air to the modelling community.

    With more and more of the top 'Internet Models' dropping out of the scene because of foul experiences, it is great to see someone taking the time to warn newbies and give some valued advice.

    This post is as valid today as it was in the 80's when I started out in London. Testing or TFP as it has become known as now is important for both photographer and model. It gives us the ability to push our technical and creative abilities beyond our daily work standard. I will also say that I am more likely to consider a model that I have tested for a commercial assignment.

    Keep up the great work and stay safe.

  2. Great post; number 9 is a really valuable point to remember – when models are first starting, they're usually so convinced that they need to take just any job. It's really important though to start building up a realistic portfolio.

  3. Hi Model Bitch!

    I like to thank you for producing a fantastic blog of an real insight of model's life as yourself and other's had to put with.
    As someone who's interested fashion photography or fashion in general, it was a pleasure to come across this blog. To all any aspiring or even current models reading these pages from this intelligent woman…listen to your yourself.

    Anyway!, big respect to you MB and do please post now and again to let us know what's up. Without posts as this many souls would be in the dark.



  4. Couldnt have put it better myself. Im a photographer who deals with a lot of amateur models, and i have explained the points above, but amateur models for some reason seem to think that the "rules" dont apply to them. I think i will point all new models at this post before I let them book me in future.

  5. If only it were possible to make this compulsory reading for every model and every photographer life would be perfect. I've been shooting for a lot of years and collected so many horror stories from models and had so many frustrating times when new models just following your advice would have saved much time and grief both for them and me.

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