The word “Model” itself strikes up an air of glamour, of a lifestyle that’s always in the limelight, being worshipped upon as the representative of the “perfect” human example. In a certain sense, that’s quite true, but being a model is more than just that… Much, much more…
But before I go further, I want to make it clear that I’m referring only to female models here. Of course, there’s always a market for male models. It is due to my lack of experience in dealing with male models that I can’t speak on their behalf in this article. Okay, with that out of the way, let’s explore the many fascinating facets of the modeling world.
There are generally four main areas of modeling that a potential model can explore – promotional, fashion, glamour and video (acting). Each of these areas are further broken down into a more specified categories of their own.
The brand ambassadors representing the client’s interests in the eyes of the consumers, as well as the general public.
While some may argue that promotional work isn’t exactly modeling, but then again, who would want to hire just about any Tom, Dick or Harry (or in this case, Mary, Jane or Susan) to represent the identity of their brand or even their corporate image?… Be it in a corporate formal function, product launch, road show, car exhibition, or even just the annual dinner. Hiring these beauties will help enhance the identity of the company in the eyes of their bosses, clients, or even if only to the management and staff of the company itself.
In some more elaborate cases, a particular personality is hired as a brand ambassador on a long-term basis, thereby establishing the celebrity as representing that particular brand in all of their promotional activities and advertising work.
So what does it take to be a Promotional Model?… Well, for one thing, a pleasant personality is a must; though it is also advantageous to have a little on the physical beauty part as well. Remember, you’re representing that particular brand or corporate identity, so it pays to remember that whatever you’re doing will reflect on the brand that you’re representing at all times. There’s no strict height, weight or body shape requirements, so almost every new model in the market would have done this at one time or another.
Fashion modelling is the epitome of the modeling industry. Almost every model aims to go towards this direction, though most models won’t end up here. There are basically two sub-categories in the Fashion Modelling area – Fashion Photo Modelling and Runway Modelling. We’ll start with the Fashion Photo Modelling first.
Fashion Photo Modelling is a niche area where the target market is almost exclusively for use in the fashion magazines or advertising material for fashion designers or fashion boutiques. The main requirement for this segment is that the model can fit into the apparel, and that she’s able hold a pose to display the apparel at its best. Everything that she does has to look good to the camera.
While there’s no strict requirements for a Fashion Photo Model, it does make a difference if you’re tall and slender. Remember, the designers will probably only have one size for that particular design that is to be used for the photo shoot, so it’s highly likely that only the “average” sized body will be able to fit nicely into the apparel.
Then there’s also the Fashion Runway modeling too. The whole emphasis for the Catwalk event is to showcase live models wearing the apparel, and parading it proudly for the audience to see.
Runway modelling is all about the Catwalk, or more precisely, parading down the runway (thus the name Runway Modelling) in the apparel to let the audience view the apparel on a live model, and how the apparel will actually look in a fluid and dynamic movement. Aside from the live audience, you can safely assume that there’ll be lot’s of still photographers, and probably also videographers recording the event as well. Like a live performance, there’s not second take, and everything has to go according to the planned sequence without a hiccup.
The requirements for a Runway Model is also one of the strictest in the industry. There’s generally a minimum height requirement, and that the body has to conform to the “average” body shape, so that the model can fit into the “standard sized” apparel for the show, and still be able to flaunt the apparel in its glory.
Glamour Modelling is all about flaunting the feminism, sensuality and sexuality of the model. This is also the only category of modelling that the model herself is the centre of attraction, and not the dress she’s wearing, nor the brand she’s representing.
The market for Glamour Modeling is rather small in the commercial sense. About the only client base in the Glamour Modelling are glamour magazines, lifestyle magazines, men’s magazines, pin-up posters and calendars, and any advertising photo shoots or promotional events that require sexy models to be present to create the sexy ambience. However, the average Glamour Model can command a higher price than the average Fashion model, since the model is literary “selling” her body rather than to be a “live clothes hanger” for the Fashion Models. The rule-of-thumb is the less she’s wearing, the higher the asking price for the job is.
The requirement for a Glamour Model is a little more lenient than for the Fashion Model. There’s no minimum height requirement, though the taller ones will have an added advantage. But unlike the Fashion Model, having a voluptuous body is more of an advantage than a disadvantage, since they don’t need to conform to the “average” body shape.
The other areas of modeling are considered less important, since a lot of them are overlapped into other industries too. Video Modelling is one of them, and most of the successful ones eventually go into acting full-time.
There is no hard-and-fast rule as to which category you want to go into. A good advice is to try everything that comes along your way. Eventually, you’ll find out which ones are the ones that you’re good at, and clients will come back looking for you for future jobs.
And another important thing to remember is that in this industry, either you have it or you don’t… This isn’t about a skill that you can learn, so you’ll have to accept what you have and don’t have. With that in mind, capitalise on what you have, and grow from there.
And remember, modelling isn’t all about glamour and glory. There’s a lot of hard work involved too, if you’re really intending to make it big in this line. Always make friends with those working with you, e.g. other models, designers, photographers, make-up artists, stylists, art directors, even the domestic helpers who are there to deliver your food and drinks… You won’t know when you’ll need to “pull some strings” to get a job that you want badly…