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Saturday, July 6, 2013

5 Tips for Beginner Models!

Photographer Kevin Thom is an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared around the world in magazines, art galleries, on television, websites, produce packaging, billboards, sides of building, and practically anywhere you can put a photo. Thom specializes in shooting portfolios for beginner models and has offered some beginner tips. Having a beautiful face and body is not enough to make a model's career take off. As you might expect, there's more to it than that. Here's Thom's no-punches-pulled advice for anyone who wants to be a model.

1. Be Professional and Reliable

It should go without saying, but sadly, a lot of people don't really get it. Modeling is a business, so you have to treat it that way. If you're booked for a shoot, show up on time. Don't call at the last minute and say your car broke down and you can't make it. Do everything you can to be the most professional and organized person on the shoot. Follow up on phone calls and confirm your appointments. Arrive 15 minutes EARLY for your meetings. A model who develops a reputation for being flaky won't last long, but a model who is professional and committed to the job will turn everyone's head! If you're working freelance, your clients will recommend you to their associates, or hire you again themselves. If you're represented by an agency, word will get back to your agent, who will be more likely to recommend you for other jobs if you've gotten good feedback.

When you're just getting started, hire the best photographer you can find to shoot your portfolio. A good portfolio is a solid investment. If you are serious about modeling, you'll make that money back quickly in bookings. If you're trying to get by with snapshots and poor quality photos, you'll have a much harder time booking work.

2. Learn about Clothing

Learn what looks best on you. Learn what cuts of clothing are the most flattering on your body. If there are certain types of clothing that don't look good on you, then know about that too. Even better, find ways to wear that unflattering clothing so it fits you better. Figure out which labels and brands suit you best. Know your size and ALWAYS be honest about them. Lying to wardrobe people about your measurements means extra embarrassment later when you're popping buttons on your jeans! Keep an eye on fashion magazines so you can follow trends and keep your wardrobe current. The added bonus of flipping through fashion magazines is that you get to be inspired by the world's top models at work!

Here are a few magazines you should be reading:

3. Know your Job

It takes much more than being gorgeous to be a model. It takes a real understanding of what a model's job is. At least in the commercial world, a model's job is to sell a product. Whether it's jeans, perfume, jewelry, cars, cell phones, pencils, or whatever, a model is only there because they are promoting the product. When you're doing commercial modeling work, you should not be thinking, "How can I look better?" Rather, you should be thinking, "How can I make this product look better?" 

Barbizon Midwest Rising Stars in Training!
Learn as much as you can about modeling and the industry. Read and watch interviews with models and photographers in the media. Talk to other models. Join modeling communities online. TAKE CLASSES. Learn new skills that apply to your job. One of the most important skills a model should learn in order to do their job better is how to convey emotion and attitude through pose and facial expression. The best models are able to match the mood or feeling of the image the team is trying to create. This takes some PRACTICE, but if a model can master it, it becomes a very powerful tool.


Great models understand that they're just one part of the team. Every person on that team - including hair dresser, makeup artist, photographer, art directors - is there for the same purpose too: to sell the product. Models who realize that they're no more or less important than anyone else on that team end up being the most successful.

4. Take Care of Your Body

Realize that your body is your product. As a model, you have to take better care of yourself than the average person. LEARN everything you can about nutrition. I am NOT saying you should starve yourself into anorexia, or that you should be perfect. I mean, what is "perfect" anyway? It's a crazy ideal that no one can match. But you do need to have some discipline about your lifestyle. You'll need to eat healthy and nutritious food to keep yourself looking and feeling your best. Exercise regularly to stay fit. Care for your hair with quality products that don't damage it. Your hairdresser can help you with this.

Your health and well-being extend beyond those obvious points about nutrition and exercise too. It's also important to get enough sleep and to try and reduce stress in your life. If you take care of those things, it'll make it easier for you to follow through on the next tip...

5. Have Fun!

Barbizon Midwest Model Theresa Croft
Modeling should be fun, and if it's not, you're probably not doing it right! When you've taken care of the business side of modeling, and you are comfortable with your position in the job, it's actually pretty easy to relax and have a good time in front of the camera, and that's when a model can really shine. Enjoy your job! It's a dream to be a model!

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