“Here is my photo. Do I have what it takes to be a model?”
I can’t even begin to tell you how many emails I receive from potential models that begin with this question. The problem is modeling isn’t really about looks so I can’t answer that question by looking at a photo. Besides – photos can be very misleading and often times are retouched (Photoshop) – so how do I know this person is making an honest presentation? Modeling agencies have the same frustration. They see thousands of retouched, altered images that do not truly represent the models looks.
I know – you are scratching your head because I said that modeling is not about looks. You read it correctly. Let’s face it – if you are not an attractive person, what are you doing even thinking about being a model? Besides – let’s take a trip to any shopping mall. In less than 10 minutes I can find any height, weight, skin color, hair color, race, etc.. Do you really think that agencies have a shortage of pretty people?
There are four main criteria for being a successful commercial model. These items increase in importance as we go down the list.
A successful commercial model must be an ATTRACTIVE, REAL PERSON, who can ACT and who has good BUSINESS SENSE
Like I said – there is a fair assumption that is made – if you are considering the idea of modeling you are an attractive person otherwise you might want to consider a different business.
When you look at an ad in a magazine or watch a TV commercial, the people that were selected were chosen because they have a look that you and I (the average consumers) can relate to. In other words – when we look at the ad or watch the commercial, we can see ourselves wearing those outfits, or eating that food, or visiting that vacation spot, etc..
WHO CAN ACT:
You are not going to be hired to be yourself. Don’t get me wrong – it’s nothing personal – but nobody cares what you like, what your favorite color is, how you like to dress, how you like to wear your hair – that’s not what they are paying you for. You are being paid to act (portray) a character in an advertisement or commercial. It is unlikely that you will be hired to simply be yourself and look at the camera and smile – that’s not what you see in advertising.
This is the MOST important of all the qualifications. Let’s understand a few basic facts. If an agency signs you, they are agreeing to a business partnership in which they are going to invest their time and money without earning a penny until they get you work.
You must also remember that as a model – you are starting a business. Part-time or full-time it is still the same – you are running your own business. That makes you the Chairman of the Board, CEO, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer of your company. That also means that YOU are the person who is ultimately responsible for finding work. You are hiring the agencies as sub-contractors to help you find work. They are NOT hiring you.
Regardless of the model’s age, an agency is looking for a good business partner. A person who will show up on time, dress properly, follow directions to the letter, has the right tools to market themselves with (portfolio and comp card), etc.
So. . . should you be a model?
If you understood this article and think it describes you…
then GO FOR IT!
Recommended Reading about The Modeling Industry
- So you want to be a model?
- What are the different types of modeling?
- Glossary of Modeling Terms and Phrases from A – Z
- Who should be a model?
- It’s not enough to be pretty if you want to model
- Do I need to take classes to be a model?
- Obstacles to becoming a model
- Location, Location, Location – You model where you live
- What is too old, Too short or Too heavy to model?
- Model Branding – It’s not just for cattle
- Models should NEVER arrive on time!
- I want to be a model – do I need a web site?
- How long will it take before I am making money as a model?
- Is Craigslist a good place to find modeling jobs?