If you follow every major fall & spring fashion week and know the names of every new face of Victoria's Secret, if you look through every magazine wanting to be the girl on the cover, know that it's not some magical happenstance. Most models work hard to become successful and stay on the haute list. However, one of the biggest mistakes aspiring models make is; not putting their money where their mouth is. If you you want to model you must, I repeat must invest in your craft. You must also put a value on your work.
No matter how much more glamorous the lifestyle of modeling is, it is still a career. If it's treated as such it can be very rewarding you.
I've been in this industry for some time and have seen people sink or swim, I will share what I know works the best.
If you're going the agency route, most agents have preferred photographers they want you to use. Those photographers usually cost between $300 to $700 bucks to shoot the looks you'll need for that specific agency. Pick from the list the agency gives you and cough up your cash, it's worth your while giving the agency what they want rather than shooting with your homeboy and risking not getting a callback or getting signed.
If you're not sure about signing to an agency and want to experiment and build your portfolio first then, do your research. Lots of websites such as modelmayhem.com and others showcase a plethora of photographers from pros to novice and from pricey to TFP. While you're researching photographers find an experienced make up artist.
Do not waste your money on wardrobe. Pick timeless simple looks.
For example: skinny denim jeans and solid color (white, light blue, pastel) top, & black pumps, solid color (black, gold, red) swimsuit, mid length bodycon dress.
If the photographer wants to shoot something "edgy" let them work on the wardrobing or provide a list of specifics. If its not in your closet only purchase it if you wanted it anyways or you can return the item.
Do not waste your time shooting TFP with amateurs (Ok, in all fairness, maybe the first two shoots can be- just to get out newbie jitters). However, rule of thumb is, if you want to be a pro, work with pros even if it cost $200 for just one look. It's worth it honey! Work with photographers who have published work, professional clientele, and/or have magazine quality pictures. The point is for you to get in the habit of making modeling your business, exchanging your (or photographers) talent and time for money.
An unknown fact is EVERYONE in this industry has worked for "free", however you must discern rather or not your "free" work is adding value to your name, your brand. Do not be afraid to negotiate pay, your talent is an asset. Usually pro photographers have a good budget and will pay their talent whenever doing a project to ensure quality results, but this is not always the case. When I'm unsure of working on a project "free" or "paid" I do my research to find out who else has worked with the person, what is their scope of influence and exposure, is their name known in the industry, media, etc.. Once I've assessed all those factors my decision is made.
As a beginner or someone trying to get to the next level, these are the basic must knows of money & modeling. Take it, run with it, and see those success wings spread and soar.
Purple Earthling (Special Guest Blogger for Troy Bogar Photography
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