There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Modeling FAQs

Even though this blog has been around for a while I still come into contact with new aspiring models that tend to ask questions I've pretty much memorized the answers to. To make things easier on myself and those looking for answers, I decided to do a basic FAQ post. I may add questions from time to time so this post will be updated as needed:

Q: Can I model?
A: I don't know, can you? Much more information is needed, such as your age, height, weight and measurements (bust, waist, hips for the girls/women and suit, shirt, waist and pants for men).

Q: Where do I start?
A: Do your homework. Find out what type of modeling you qualify for--your height is a quick way to find this out. Ladies: 5'5"-5'7" means commercial/print, 5'8"-6'0" means fashion/runway/editorial/plus size. Men: 5'9"-6'2" means fashion/runway/editorial. Commercial/print height requirements for men vary but in general they prefer them to be taller than 5'8" in most markets.

Q: Kate Moss is a short supermodel so that means I can be one, too, right?
A: Kate Moss is what we call an "exception to the rule." Yes, she is a modeling icon who is much shorter than the typical fashion model but she is only an exception, not the majority. There are a few short fashion models out there but overall the industry wants taller models. Until they change that requirement, only apply for the type of modeling you completely meet the requirements for.

Q: How much do I have to pay a modeling agency?
A: A legit and reputable agency does not ask for upfront fees prior to giving you a modeling contract. By law, agencies can only charge a commission from each gig they book their models. Period.

Q: Do I need to go to modeling school or take classes?
A: No, no and no! Training and classes are mandatory--not a requirement. Agencies actually prefer new models with little to no experience since they are easier to train. The agency you sign with will train you and mold you into what they want so save your money and time.

Q: What degree do I need to be a professional model?
A: There is no degree, diploma or certification needed to become a professional model. Simply submit your pictures or attend an open casting call and if the agency likes what they see, they will sign you, train you and begin finding you work. No schooling needed and no, there is no such thing as a "modeling college" or "modeling major/degree"...believe me, I've been asked this!

Q: How old is too old to model?
A: There is no exact answer to this because the modeling industry has a need for models of all age ranges to target specific audiences. Fashion models typically range from as young as 13 to 14-years-old up to 21-years-old. Of course there are exceptions to the rule. If you can manage to "look" younger, that will extend the life of your modeling career. Commercial/print is always in need of people in their 20s and 30s. Older than that? Then look into "mature" or "lifestyle" modeling, which is in great demand.

Q: How do I get my baby/child into modeling?
A: Find a legit agency in your area that has a baby or child modeling division. Not all agencies represent babies or children. Learn what photos they want and prepare your submission according to their instructions, which can be found on the official website.

Q: I'm short, can I do petite modeling?
A: Unfortunately, the demand for petite models is slim to none. As a result, not many agencies have petite modeling divisions--although some do. It is worth looking into but don't expect to get a whole lot of work in this area until the demand changes.

Q: I'm larger than a size 0-4, can I do plus size modeling?
A: Being a plus size model means more than simply wearing a larger dress size. The requirements for plus size models are as strict as those required for fashion/runway models. The height requirement is 5'8"-6'0" and your measurements (bust, waist, hips) should ideally be at least 10 inches apart...for example: 42-32-42. Being proportional is a must! You also have to be between a size 10-16 in most markets.

Q: I know models are supposed to be skinny. How much weight do I have to lose?
A: Before doing anything drastic like losing a lot of weight, learn what the requirements are first. A rule of thumb for fashion/runway/editorial models is to weigh anywhere from 100 - 125 lbs if they are 5'8" or taller. Sure, that's not realistic, but again this is what the modeling industry has set--it is not supposed to reflect the "reality" that everyday folks live in. Commercial/print models don't have the same strict weight requirements...it is more important that you are proportional and healthy in appearance. If you weigh more, evaluate whether it would be a healthy move--never jeopardize your health just to fit into the industry. It is more about measurements anyway than how much you weigh.

Q: What are the ideal measurements for a female model?
A: The standard is 34-24-34 (that is bust, waist and hips in inches). You can be smaller but no larger than one inch in any of these areas. That is because you won't be able to fit the sample sizes designers make. It is easier to take in a clothing item than to add more to it. This is simply about practicality.

Q: Do I need professional modeling pictures and a portfolio to get signed to an agency?
A: No. If you are a new model, agencies will 9 times out of 10 ask for non professional, digital photos. Snapshots tell more about your potential as a model than retouched, perfected professional images. Once you get signed, the agency will set up your first test shoot, which will be the basics of your portfolio. After you start working you'll be able to update your portfolio with more photos. Models that are already working in the industry are able to use their professional images when submitting to a new agency but may still be asked for snapshots. If you are a new model and have professional images, the agency will still consider them but may also ask for snapshots as well.

Q: What is a casting call?
A: Also known as "open casting calls" this is an event where anyone can come into the agency and be evaluated by the staff without making an appointment. Most agencies set their casting calls during certain hours and days of the week. For example, an agency may only have casting calls on the first Monday of each month from 12pm - 1pm or they may have open calls every Wednesday from 2pm - 3pm. It is first come, first served.


Anonymous said...

Hey- I'm 5'6, have good curves (34C, 26" waist, 35" hips) natural blonde hair and blue eyes. I was looking into Victorias Secret but I am too short. Do you know of any fields that demand models with curves (probably swimsuit) but the height requirement is lower? I'm also 21 and have never modeled before, just kinda curious. Thanks!

Dania Denise said...

Hey, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #186." Thanks for being a reader!

WickedGleek96 said...

Hi Dania! I was considering pursuing modeling sometime in the near future, and I had some questions for you.
1) I have lots of freckles, is that a bad thing, or does it even matter?
2) My measurements are 31-27-34, and I'm 70" tall. What kind of modeling, if any, do you think I should pursue?
3) Is a test shoot a good idea if I don't have any modeling experience at all?
4) Is there any other advice you can give to someone just starting out?


Dania Denise said...

Hi, Aly! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #532," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!