Modelling is a life of glamour and success, supermodel Erin O’ Conner expressed modelling as ‘a craft’, yet the model world is riddled with rivalry. The first thing
to remember as an aspiring model is that modelling is a business; as a model you are your own business, it is your responsibility to project a great and professional
image of yourself. With any business it takes time, dedication and persistence in order to become a successful model; below are top tips to help any optimistic model
venture into the fiercely competitive modelling industry.
To begin with you need to choose a market, a popular sector of modelling is commercial modelling but there is also fashion and editorial modelling. Commercial modelling
is a huge market that encompasses every kind of print, TV and online advertising; this can be magazines, billboards, advertisements, catalogue etc. Commercial modelling
is perfect for individuals that may not fit the high fashion type yet are able to represent products and attract the target market, persuading them to buy the product.
If you feel this is a suitable market for you then you need to do your research and specifically look for agencies that specialize in commercial work, also you need to
focus your research on agencies who are reputable, who they represent and their length of time in the business. One successful and reliable agency being IMM Models. A
superior, London based modelling agency, devoted to new faces and having over thirty years’ experience in the industry, representing top female and male models; from
petite models to plus size models and digital influencers. Concentrating on commercial advertisement, fashion modelling and curve modelling. They have consistently
worked with leading high street brands such as ASOS, Debenhams, River Island, Marks & Spencer, Miss Selfridges and Boohoo. Recently collaborating with London’s first
curve modelling agency Hughes and TV Talent Pool to form IMM Agency Group. With books brimming with talent, it is the spirit, commitment and longevity of IMM’s success
that makes them one of the most influential commercial forerunners in London.
To be a successful model you need a picture- perfect portfolio, it is your CV for agencies, scouts and casting directors. If you have decided to do commercial modelling
then make sure your images suit that market; in your portfolio ensure that you have a number of full length and head shots from different angles, if you are doing
commercial modelling make sure you including images of yourself smiling. Aaron Newbill stated in an interview with Marie Clare that a good book ‘should show a model
who is comfortable in front of the camera’, therefore wear clothes you feel comfortable in, act wacky in front of the camera to showcase your personality and do the
classic Tyra Banks ‘work your smize’.
Mean business –So you have sent your snaps to agencies and have landed a meeting, what do you do? Be yourself. As cliché as it may be all agencies will agree that ‘come
as you are’, is the best thing to do when attending your first meeting with a potential agent. Do not arrive with flamboyant make up and a disastrous vibrant costume on,
arrive natural with minimal make up, natural hair, clean teeth, nice nails and neutral clothing; preferably black on black, this ensures that when you have your polaroids
taken the focus will be on you and not your clothes. When taking polaroids do not freeze in front of the camera, be prepared look up references beforehand of your
favourite models or look on the agency website. For example on IMM each girl has there polaroids on the website, get inspired and perhaps find your ‘character’.
Many successful models have developed a certain characteristic they are good at such as Bambi Northwood –Blyth is known for an angry expression, experiment to see what
your character is or perhaps discover a key feature you are known for, Georgia May Jagger became known for the gap in her teeth.
Similarly at IMM Sophie G is known for having a striking smile, this is a perfect feature to have as a commercial model.
BE VOCAL – Heline Caroline Bodet from Elite models in Paris, once stated in an interview ‘you need to be a strong character’ if you want to succeed in modelling. Don’t
be afraid when meeting agents for the first time to speak up, ask questions to let them know you are interested in joining there agency. It is known in the industry that
those who are successful and professional models are confident, motivated and have a certain humility. Having an outgoing personality and being assertive will help you
break away from the other models, yet maintain your professionalism and modesty.
Congrats! You have succeeded in getting an agent. You can now have test shots in order to build a model card and portfolio; a model card is formed of a main head shot
with four other images, model cards are great to get your name out there with other casting directors, photographers and other important individuals in the modelling
and fashion industry. If lucky and you get booked for a job, hurray! Then make sure you have a professional attitude from start to finish, especially on a shoot, you
have to be prepared to withstand long hours waiting around and perhaps in uncomfortable clothing, make sure to always stay positive and have a helpful approach. This
is will result in good feedback to your agent and potentially means you will be re-booked for that position.
Whatever happens, do not give up. If modelling is your dream and you are waiting for your big break, keep pursing, giving model cards to everyone you can get in contact,
the best way to apply to agencies will be online, many refuse walk ins; IMM is easy to contact by email at email@example.com, if you have potential to be a
model you will be contacted. A good thing with commercial modelling is that you do not have to be a specific height, age or size thanks to the plus size modelling
industry now being a large market – IMM represent a number of curve models that currently work with numerous fashion brands. You just need to find the right agency,
create the right portfolio for your market and you are set to be part of the modelling industry.
What to take to a casting/ how to act in a casting
Many models hope that with each casting call they will get there big break and will have a global campaign, an editorial spread and be the next victoria secret angel.
However, sadly this is not the case, in order to be successful in a casting call you need to be aware of what you need to take and how to behave during a casting.
If you are a new model, the first casting call can be very nerve-wracking, below you will find advice on how to succeed in a casting call.
Do your homework, when attending a casting call especially for commercial work make sure you research the client, the production company, photographers and your
role – attain as much information as you can. With your research done, get prepared! Make sure you have yo0ur model cards with you and up to date test shots in your
portfolio. Many agencies will help you with this part, for example London modelling agency IMM will make sure each of their models have their model cards updated and
frequently sent to them for castings and other agencies. Make sure before going to the casting that you know what clothing is expected. Girls make sure that your outfit
is flattering and complements your shape. Model Alana Zimmer stated in an interview with Vogue about what to wear to a casting, ‘I think it’s always best to dress
fairly simple but put-together and chic’, for help on what you should wear, look at the IMM models webpage and view the models polaroids and videos. Also do not forget
your make up kit – you want to maintain your fresh appearance, a make-up kit is simple yet essential, with a hairbrush, a hair bobble in case the director wants an image
with your hair back and basic make up for touch ups; for help with what make up to wear on the day, look at models Susie Vie, Anne R and curvy sensation Poppy Dadd on
Instagram, all represented by London model agency IMM. Other key items for your bag include a swimsuit; the agent may want to take your measurements again to check they
match the ones you have and a pair of heels if you are asked to walk for the agent and client.
It’s the day of your casting call, with preparation done you need to have directions and be on time; time is money and agents will not tolerate a model showing up late.
Write the location down, make sure you have the correct location and confirm the place with your model agency. Always be early by 10 – 15 minutes and leave plenty of
time to get to the destination; if you are early it shows you are dependable, efficient and professional.
Now that you know what to take to a model casting, you now need to know how to act correctly. To begin with you should treat everyone with kindness and respect. You
have to remember that they are not just wanting the ‘look’, your attitude and personality plays a large part of the final verdict. A casting cannot just depend on your
looks and if you possess a strong walk, if you are hideous to work with then you will not be booked. To be a model you must be strong willed, you must accept criticism
and not be down disheartened by it. You may have been pleasant all day and still not booked the job; they are judging if you fit the brief not you as a person.
Agents and clients are aware that you are nervous, it is ok to be nervous they are pleased to meet you and view as a potential model for the role. Try and stay relaxed,
make eye contact with everyone you talk too and try to convey your personality. In an interview with Vogue, supermodel Adriana Lima reveals her advice for new models at
casting; ‘show your personality and let your inner beauty shine’. Just remember they can’t do their jobs without models, so relax, smile and enjoy.