The fashion industry is known for being cutthroat, intense, and highly competitive, so breaking into the fashion game sure isn’t easy. As much as it is a very competitive field, it is also really wonderful. There are so many positive points, such as the friendships that are built (yes, its possible), and the way it inspires true creativity among the people who work together. I’ve seen some negatives here and there, but I LOVE the positive aspects and how they keep me on my toes! As I am working with aspiring and established models, I have begun to see a few tips that I think can be helpful for anyone in the modeling industry, and wanted to put them together today.
-Create a portfolio: This seems obvious, but this really is pretty paramount to your success. We recommend creating a physical portfolio in a solid color folder, with high quality prints. Don’t include low-res or blurry photos, and keep only your strongest work within your collection. You should also have an online version of your images on a simple, clean website that you can send a link to. Squarespace is a great web server to make a template website that is easy to use and affordable.
-Stay professional and keep your head up: As you well know, the modeling field is filled with rejection. Even experienced models get rejected, depending on the number of callbacks and queries they go after, so it helps to have a great attitude, and stay positive. No matter where you are in your career, remember to always be professional and employ great time management skills: arrive on time or slightly early, be respectful of the time of others, and get yourself on a good schedule for eating healthy, exercising, and working or going to school. Lastly, express your gratitude to everyone, always. Everyone involved with a shoot is an opportunity for you to show professionalism and gratefulness to, right down to makeup artists or caterers. This will go a long way with your reputation and your career!
-Be flexible: Whether it’s a high-energy photoshoot or an unique makeup look, having an open mind is the best characteristic. Flexibility when you are asked to do tiring poses or wear a heavy headpiece can carry you, and can make a great impression on your photographer as well. You might have to change clothes quickly, or jump into another pose when asked, so it’s great to be both teachable and ready to learn. We also recommend bringing along a little emergency kit to any shoots, filled with those items you may need in a pinch: hairspray, safety pin, a brush, etc.
-Make sure you’re being safe: In the modeling agency, there are plenty of scammers, fakes, etc. Be sure to tell someone when you go on a shoot and where it will be. Always speak up if you have questions about a contract, and never sign something you’ve not read fully or had someone else consult with you about. Be clear about payments, and understand your rights about the images, and what steps come after a shoot. Follow your gut when you are meeting someone new, and when possible, meet in a coffee shop or an agency office where there are other people around. You can never be too safe, and putting these steps into practice can really help protect you.
-Be Kind: Lastly, be kind. Kindness should always be your goal, and treating people with respect will always make you a winner, even if you don’t land a shoot. Many photographers and models are interconnected in the industry, so it’s always the best option to show the utmost respect and kindness to every model and agency you work with. You may end up also making new friends instead of competitors, and that’s always priceless!