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Quick Guide for newbie models :)

By Pyro Penny, written 1426979517

Who can model?

Anyone and everyone has the potential to model- all kinds of people are required for a variety of different photography projects.  Photographers look for diversity and personality, so the very best thing to be is yourself!  Some shoots may require specific looks and casting could be based on a variety of aspects such as height, gender, hair style, theme, age, etc.  Try not to be disheartened or discouraged if you get turned down for shoots- never take it personally, and just move on to apply for something else! :)


Test Shots and Stats

Take a few good quality test shots of yourself looking relaxed, happy and comfortable; these images should be clear and show a close up of your head, face and shoulders, and also a full body shot (fully clothed!).  The background should be presentable (like a plain wall or simple outdoors setting) with yourself as the main focus (ie, don't be somewhere cluttered or really busy).  Also ensure the light quality is good.  (Hint: If you're stuck for an expression/pose idea just try to come across as being friendly and approachable.)

Its sometimes useful (or required) for photographers and casting agents to know the basics about your physical attributes.  These details should be accurate- so be honest! ;) All sorts of body shapes and types should be celebrated and represented.  

Useful things to note down are things like:

• height, weight, age, gender

• hair colour, eye colour, hair style/length

• chest, leg and waist measurements, clothing sizes

• distinguishing features, scars, piercings, tattoos 


Describing Yourself

Sometimes its hard to know how we can sum ourselves up in a few snappy sentences so people can try and put a personality to the face in front of the camera.  

Try making a note of things like:

- How would your family and friends describe you in 3 words?

- What are your favourite hobbies?  Types of music?  Genres of books/films?

- What are your favourite themes, moods or styles?

- What kind of characters and emotions do you enjoy acting out?

- What kind of outfits, costumes, make up, wigs, etc do you have access to?


Photo Shoots

Have a think about what kinds of photo shoots you would like to get involved with- there's such a wide range to choose from such as fashion, creative, glamour, portrait, etc.  Only ever do what you feel comfortable with!  Local studios can be hired for photo shoots, or you may have a few exciting outdoor locations in mind.  If you are shooting in a public place or on private land you may need to get permission from the owners first.  Potentially anywhere can be used as a location- think about the space, lighting, ease of access, and if you're likely to be disturbed by others.


It's Not All About the Money

A lot of people think models make good money, but sadly for the majority this isn't the case.  In fact, if money is your prime motivation for getting into modelling then my advice is to save yourself some disappointment and forget it.  Unless you are mega experienced, or enter your photos into competitions or willing to pay agency fees in hopes they find you assignments then there's very little chance you'll get financial reward for your efforts.  Try and keep your costs of costumes, make up and travel to a minimal- you may get lucky and get your expenses back, but you'll have to be prepared to invest in yourself.

To start with I recommend working on a "TFP" basis.  "TFP" means "time for print" or "time for publication" or "time for pictures".  This is how a lot of photography shoots work out- the photographer, make up artist/hair stylist, and model all put in their time in order to get the pictures for all round portfolio boosting, or guaranteed publication.  It's a great way to meet people, to get involved with projects and gain experience as well as having pictures to add to your portfolio.  Be sure to state this when you are seeking photographers to work with so everyone knows where they stand.


Meeting Photographers

 Photography has certainly boomed as an industry, hobby and art form over the years, and there's all different kinds of photographers out there.  A good place to meet people is in online social sites, so try looking to see if there's a local photographers near to you on Facebook.  There's often a mix of pro's, people who do it as a hobby and students who need models for their projects.  Sometimes photographers post to look for models for their shoots.  Why not post a short thread about yourself with your test shots, a short description about yourself and the kinds of shoots you want to do and see who's interested?

Always think about your personal safety when meeting photographers!  Have a chat with them online, on the phone and meet up with them for a coffee and a chat in a public place.  Take a friend with you to meet them, and if you want to take a friend with you on shoot day, you should be able to if you need support or a helping hand- if a photographer says you can't have someone with you then my advise to back right off!  Always ask your photographer if they are bringing an assistant to the shoot so you know who is present.

Chat with your photographer about the kind of photography work they like to do- what do they enjoy about photography?  What skills are they wanting to practice?  What do they look for in models and when taking a shot?  Look at samples of their work and compliment them on what you like about their pictures.  Always agree to the terms of your work prior to the shoot!


Doing the Shoot

It's exciting, fun and challenging when the day of your shoot arrives so make sure you eat and sleep well to get your energy levels up.  Arrive on time to shoots and message your photographer beforehand just to double check that everything is a-ok and if there's anything last minute that needs to be resolved.  Be prepared and make sure your outfits and make up/hair products are packed.  Be relaxed and comfortable when you're in the flow of the shoot- think of an emotion, person or memory and let your body find a pose and relax into it.  Ask the photographer for direction if you need some help.


Sharing the Photos

Always get permission to use the pictures from the photographer as they have the copyright to the images.  Some photographers also like to watermark or add their logo to photos.  When sharing your pictures, always accredit the photographer (and make up artist/hair stylist) and include links to their photography page/site.  Model release forms specifying the conditions of using images can be found online.


Good luck and have fun with your modelling journey!!! :)

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