In the world of modeling, it’s hard to know where to start, who to trust and what to do first. Luckily, you have me. If you’ve been reading my blogs on modeling, you’ll already know, that you are a product that models products in the world of fashion. So, in thinking along those lines, how can you make your product stand out at a casting where there are 100 other products with similar looks also waiting to present to the client?
In the world of agency models where the basic requirement is you are a blank canvas, it can be a challenge to stand out. You can’t change your hairstyle, color or size unless you want to change your entire portfolio, which isn’t a big deal if you don’t mind dropping $1000 everytime you get the itch.
If you are a freelance model, it can be even harder! You are solely responsible for your marketing, your advertising, your hustle…you don’t have that agent submitting you and having your back, feeding you advice or direction, which means that sometimes, you think, “Maybe if I change my hair, I’ll work more”, and you end up with the reverse, no one wants to hire you because you’ve taken your look too far from the commercial aspect of what the clients are looking for.
If you can’t change your appearance, how do you create a lasting memory?
For one, fashion. After all, it is the industry we are in. Fashion is the one way in which you can create your own unique style. Our industry introduces us to designers, stylists, and other fashionistas, so make friends, pay attention and then incorporate those lessons into your own wardrobe.
If you are just starting out, pull those fashion magazines off the shelves and use those to guide you in your fashion quest. Remember though, clients will use your personal fashion sense and ability to sell what you are wearing as an inclination of how you’ll be able to sell what they have to offer, so make sure you aren’t taking things too far and keep it respectable and tasteful while still expressing your style. You don’t want to be dressed like Anna Nicole or L’il Kim when the client you’re meeting is ultra conservative.
Another thing you can do to stand out is take a makeup lesson or two. More often than not, you will need to do your own makeup for shoots or shows. Having taken a lesson will not only allow you to present a professional product (which is you) but will also make sure the final product is perfect in post. The less a client or photographer needs to touch up, the better. Knowing how to do runway makeup vs print makeup vs go see or casting makeup will definitely help you stand out from the others.
Learning to stand out in a sea of beautiful people is a talent in itself. Make sure that if you test with the same photographers as others in your agency, that your photos look different in a way, if your agent needs clean shots, use some color vs just a white tshirt or tank top. You don’t want to have your portfolio sitting next to someone elses with photos that are identical…also, don’t use other models in your test shots. Keep your portfolio pics to you. Otherwise you are advertising your competition and you just might lose a job because the client thinks the other model in your photo looks better.
If you are freelance, you can go back to an earlier post I did about how to select a photographer. Make sure your photos speak to a market. If you are a plus size model for example, there isn’t a lot of work for nudes or risque styled photos, so if you are shooting, style your shoot with a specific client in mind. That way, you can always tag the store or designer when you publish the photo and maybe, they’ll see something they like.
One of the best things I ever did for my career was take a dance lesson…ballet to be exact. Ballroom can be a great asset too. Modeling is like dancing, you are moving from one pose to another and it needs to be seamless…you achieve this by learning how to dance. Arm movements, body shape, foot placement, and grace all come from dancing. You’ll be amazed at how much your photos improve and you’ll be far more comfortable in front of the camera when your body moves as the wind blows.
Adding in these few tips to your bag of tricks will move you to the front of the line when it comes to castings and set you apart from the competiton…just don’t forget to SMILE!