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Modeling Tips: How to Stay Productive During Slow Times

It's always been normal for models to experience slow seasons but with the pandemic still making itself at home out in the world, many of us have been grappling with how to stay productive during a slow year.

The modeling business is still thriving--just at a much slower pace and with the holidays now here, many agency offices have either closed for the rest of the year or dramatically reduced its activity since the clients they typically work with have also gone into holiday hibernation.

Are you wondering just what to do with yourself in the meantime? Allow me to throw some ideas your way if you've been feeling stuck lately (or for a while):


Being self-sufficient is a wonderful trait for a model to have, male or female. Thanks to IG, Tik-Tok and YouTube, being a DIYer couldn't be easier.

Playing around with makeup and hair for fun is one thing but step it up a notch and focus on mastering these skills as it relates to modeling. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean learning how to become a professional HMUA but I believe female and male models should know the basics of makeup, application and tools.

It isn't uncommon for some modeling jobs to require models to arrive "camera ready" because there is no HMUA onset. With COVID protocols the way they are, many projects are already pressured to have as few people as possible present and sometimes that means sacrificing a makeup artist and/or hair stylist.

Hiring someone to do your hair and makeup before arriving to a gig is totally acceptable and oftentimes unavoidable if the look required is particularly unique or extraordinary. However, if it's a lifestyle shoot or something where you need just a bit more than daytime makeup, it wouldn't kill you to know how to achieve those types of looks on your own.

Male models obviously aren't in the same arena as the ladies when it comes to this but, fellas, you should know important factors, including but not limited to:

  • How to take care of your complexion
  • Understanding how to use concealer for hiding blemishes or patches of discoloration
  • Color matching foundation & knowing what foundation type you need (if applicable)
  • How to choose the right clear pressed powder for combating shine  

For the ladies, there is a lot more to makeup but some of the basics you should know and understand include but are not limited to:
  • Applying foundation
  • Understanding proper contouring 
  • How to apply false lashes
  • Color matching foundation & knowing what foundation type you need
  • Picking the right concealer
  • How to apply liner and mascara without looking like a vampire
  • Eye shadow application (not every shoot requires a smokey eye!)
  • Selecting the proper makeup tools
Not only is dedicating yourself to mastering the basics of makeup going to make you more skilled as a model overall, it will save you money and stress when it comes to gigs where you're responsible for hair and makeup. 

Paying someone for HMU every single time you have a shoot is going to add up quickly so save yourself some funds, that way when you really need a HMUA for the major projects, you'll be able to hire a pro without severely impacting your bank account.


It doesn't matter if you consider yourself a runway veteran, get in those heels and do "laps," as I like to call them. Find a suitable walking environment in or around your home (i.e. a flat, paved, smooth surface--no carpet!) and start doing your runway walk back and forth. 

Male models, this also goes for you. Just because heels aren't part of the territory for you, I would still implore you to maintain your skills when it comes to your walk.

Grab a full length mirror if you've got access to one. It's extremely helpful to watch yourself in a mirror and make adjustments/corrections accordingly. Record yourself on your phone or laptop if you don't have a full length mirror handy. These are ideal ways to catch bad habits or weird stuff we tend to do without realizing it.

Because most of us have been cooped up in the house for months, that means few occasions to even put heels on. I recently slapped my stilettos on for a zoom training with a client and I couldn't believe how much my feet hurt because it'd been so long since I had them in anything other than house slippers.

Don't let yourself get rusty! Newbies, this is also the prime time to work on your walks. Find videos online of different fashion shows and walking tutorials and get to struttin'. For more blog posts about runway walking in general, check out this link: 

What better way to feel confident than knowing you've used this time to work on your walk, body posture and posing? This will be especially beneficial to newbies preparing to start their agency searches and submissions come the new year.


Models of all experience levels should do something on a regular basis to keep them connected to the modeling business but also expand their knowledge. The more you learn, the better equipped you'll be navigating the industry moving forward.

Continue practicing poses in front of the mirror. Watch videos about what goes on in front of the camera and behind it. Follow agencies on IG and other social media and see what they're doing. Check out what your favorite models are up to. Read blogs and articles about the modeling industry and how it's changed over the years.

Work on your confidence and connecting with the camera. Have fun at home with impromptu photoshoots. Start recording videos of yourself so you can become comfortable with that form of media. These days there are video components to fashion shoots and runway shows, not just the still photography. The more you know how to move in front of a video camera as a model, the stronger you'll be as a professional and the more marketable you'll become.


The specific activities allowed during this time vary from state to state (I can only speak to the US since that's where I live) and before the latest uptick in COVID cases, people were getting out and shooting again. That's probably slowed down considerably in the last few weeks and if you're wondering how to stay connected, well, that's what social media is for. 

Start thinking about what you want to do in 2021 as far as shoots go. Maybe there's a creative idea or theme you've always been wanting to shoot. Or perhaps it's time to update your portfolio or get new headshots. Have you been procrastinating on putting together a team to create photos to submit for magazines? 

Now's the time to reach out to photographers, makeup artists, wardrobe stylists, local designers, etc. to see who is working on what and when. Find out if you can be part of the action or ask around to see who wants to help you create some action once it's safe to do so. 

Communicating via email, text, Zoom, etc. and discussing ideas or even just talking shop are all productive ways to stay connected to the industry as well as to other professionals. Get active on the modeling groups you belong to on Facebook and DM the people on IG that you've always wanted to work with. Start the conversation and see what opportunities come of it.


...but most importantly: be prepared to take action to get what you want!

Ready to get those digital snapshots you've been procrastinating on?

Are you ready to put together a modeling website and put your professional foot forward?

Is your goal to finally get an agent?

Do you need to reach out to photographers to put together a portfolio?

Tired of waiting around for someone to discover you and want to strike it out on your own as a freelance model?

These are all things you can pull the trigger on and start setting up for the new year. Don't wait until it's almost 2-3 months in before taking any action. 

We can't predict the future and don't know what things will look like BUT that doesn't mean you can't still make plans or create goals for yourself. As a model, take time to reflect on where you're at, where you've been, what you've yet to do and where you want to be at. Then trust in yourself enough to do what it takes to bring those goals to fruition. 


Anonymous said…
Hi there with the modeling industry changing do you see models with a smaller height breaking into the industry. I have the body measurements of a runway model but I’m lacking in the height department because I’m 5’6. Do you think it’s possible I can have an editorial/runway career if i work hard enough?
Dania Denise said…
Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #1,013," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!
Paul said…
Ah sehr cool dein Blog, lese ihn immer wieder total gerne.Wann kommt den dein neuer Artikel ? Würde mich freuen nach meiner Arbeit beim Mercedes Benz Hamburg wieder bei dir zu lesen.Liebe Grüße Paul
Dania Denise said…
Hi, Paul!

For my readers who aren't German, below is the English translation of your original comment/post:

Ah, very cool your blog, I love reading it again and again. When will your new article come? I would be happy to read with you again after my work at Mercedes Benz Hamburg. Greetings Paul

Thank you SO much for the kind words! I love all my blog readers and am excited that you are eager for new content. I did a poll recently, asking my readers if they would like to see video blog posts in addition to written posts and so I'm working on some pretty cool, new content to update you all with. :-)

I'm hoping to post something new in the next few days. My goal is to post at least once a month so thank you for your patience and I promise I will have something for you very soon. And best of luck to you with your Mercedes Benz Hamburg project!

German translation:

Vielen Dank für die freundlichen Worte! Ich liebe alle meine Blog-Leser und freue mich, dass Sie sich nach neuen Inhalten sehnen. Ich habe kürzlich eine Umfrage durchgeführt und meine Leser gefragt, ob sie neben schriftlichen Beiträgen auch Video-Blog-Beiträge sehen möchten. Deshalb arbeite ich an einigen ziemlich coolen, neuen Inhalten, mit denen ich Sie alle auf den neuesten Stand bringen kann. :-)

Ich hoffe, in den nächsten Tagen etwas Neues veröffentlichen zu können. Mein Ziel ist es, mindestens einmal im Monat zu posten. Vielen Dank für Ihre Geduld und ich verspreche, dass ich bald etwas für Sie haben werde. Und viel Glück bei Ihrem Mercedes Benz Hamburg Projekt!

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