I’ve been modeling professionally since I was 16 and have had some great opportunities including being on the cover of a magazine. I really enjoy being in front of the camera, and I love fashion, so I’m always doing photo shoots. Due to this, many of my friends, classmates, and just random people from the internet/social media will ask me for tips on modeling. Below are the top 10 questions I get asked. If you’re interested in modeling maybe this will help you! If not, feel free to share this with anyone you may know who is.
- I’m 5’1″ can I still model?
Yes. There’s lots of different types of modeling. While runway may not be a practical option for you, print modeling is more lax on height requirements. Same goes with modeling for commercials, or even promo modeling.
- What do I wear to a casting call?
A fitted t-shirt or tank top (preferably in black, white, or grey), skinny jeans, little-to-no makeup, and a pair of heels you’re comfortable walking in. Your hair should be pulled back away from your face. The casting directors want to see you as a blank slate. If they’re distracted by your outfit or too much makeup, it could hinder your chance of getting hired because they can’t envision you wearing their clothes or being a good fit for their brand.
- How do I get started?
Start by building your portfolio. Work with a friend who is good at photography, or reach out to professional photographers and just start shooting! Once you have a few photo shoots under your belt, you can create a portfolio book with the printed images and present it to local agencies.
- What is a comp card?
A comp card is basically a model’s business card. It’s what you bring to any casting, interview, etc. On it, you’ll have your name, height, hair and eye color, measurements and 1-5 professional modeling photos. The standard size is about 5.5″ x 8.5″ inches.
- Can you help me with my portfolio?
I’d love to! I am a fashion stylist, and I have a lot of local connections with photographers, hair and makeup artists, etc. So, if you’d like we can work something out and shoot together. My prices are very affordable. To learn more feel free to email me at InexpensiveChic@gmail.com.
- Do you get to keep the clothes?
Most of the time, no. The brands and designers I’ve worked with don’t compensate me with clothing, but perhaps in bigger cities like NYC designers may. Especially if they’ve worked with you before.
- How should I pose?
Posing is a hard thing to teach over the internet. LOL. But I’d suggest taking a look at my modeling portfolio (Click Here) and getting a few ideas. Honestly, it’s all about practicing in a mirror. Open a few magazines as well and look at the editorial spreads for examples. Practice makes perfect. You’ll learn which angles work and which ones don’t work for you. If we do a photo shoot together, I’d be happy to coach you along.
- What should I bring to a photo shoot?
Sometimes if clothing isn’t provided, a photographer may ask you to bring your own. In addition you should always bring a makeup bag with your concealer, foundation, etc. just in case the makeup artist doesn’t have your shade. Bring a nude face, don’t wear any makeup if there’s a makeup artist that will be present. They need a blank slate. Also, if there’s a hair stylist, make sure you come with your hair washed and without any product in it. Other than that, bring a smile, your confidence, and maybe a magazine because it will likely be a long day!
- What are the ingredients to taking a good headshot?
Often times when you’re first applying to an agency, they’ll ask for a headshot. This can be taken with an iPhone. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Wear the same outfit I suggested in question #2, and find a blank, white wall to stand in front of. Make sure your hair is away from your face. Smize!
- Is Modeling as Easy as it Looks?
Honestly this is one of the biggest misunderstandings about modeling. Just like any other job, it’s not easy. The fashion industry appears far more glamorous than it actually is. I’ve had experiences where I’ve had to wear shoes 3 sizes too small on an 88 ft runway. Or, I’ve had to pose in an uncomfortable position for a while why I waited for the photographer to get the shot (Pro or con? Modeling can be a work out!). It’s a lot of go-go-go, STOP and wait for an hour or several… and then go-go-go! Not everyone is pleasant, because there’s often a lot of stress involved for the people behind the scenes. And your day is going to be long. No matter what you’re doing… a photo shoot, a fashion show, etc. you’re on fashion time, which inevitably runs slow. It’s not a job for the impatient, the irritable, or the opinionated. Your job as a model is to do what you are told, and speak when you’re spoken to. Your job is to be the pretty face, wear what people tell you to (even if you think the outfit is ugly) and get the job done. It can be exhausting, but to me it’s worth it in the end when I see how excellently the photos were executed.
Some more words of advice…
- Be selective with who you work with. The first opportunity you get may not be the best one. It’s okay to say no. Use your common sense!
- Modeling isn’t as glamorous as it looks! If you’re in it for that reason only, it’s probably not the right job for you.
- If this is something you really want to pursue, by all means try! Don’t let others take away your passion.
- If you’re really serious about modeling and think you have what it takes, travel to New York City and show your portfolio to agencies there. They will be real with you and give you honest feedback.
Do you have a question about modeling that I didn’t answer? Feel free to leave them in the comments below and I will answer it as best as I can. I hope this helps!