The beginning to everything is hard. The first time I rode a bike I accidentally biked down a large hill and ended up in the hospital. The first time I had a beer I destroyed my Playstation and my toilet. (don’t ask)
…and modeling is no different. It’s not easy to start up, not knowing what you’re worth, being told by society that only perfection is good enough, eat less, squat more, urrrgh…

So I’m here to try to help you on your journey through the troubled waters of the photography world. Here are 5 things you need to remember to get the photographers and clients you want.

1. Provide information

When a photographer searches for a model, it’s because he wants something from that model. It’s never just her looks, it’s how far away she is from a shoot, if she does her own makeup, what is her height, waist, chest, shoe size, which Power Ranger is her favorite, etc.

2. Take care of yourself.

Stay with me here, I’m not talking about maintaining a reasonable weight, I’m talking about sleeping right and creating eating habits that will make your skin and face happy. Black lines under your eyes, acne, cellulite and rough skin are things that a healthy diet and sleep can all help with. For more information, you can go to How food affects your skin and The truth about beauty sleep
This saves the photographer a lot of work and will – before all – make you happy and give you the energy you need to work hard everyday, which brings me to number three.

3. Practice

This will seem like a no-brainer when said out loud, but many upstart models have this idea that being a model is just about looking good or not looking good.
This could not be more untrue.
I’ve seen amazingly pretty girls completely blow their chances of being picked because of their lack of a strong expression. And I’ve seen professional models hurdle through the business with their niche expression. As I practice Photoshop and photography, so does a model have to practice her mimic and poses, and not just “in the field” but at home in front of the mirror every day.

Here is a great video about smiling as a model.


Find similar stuff, and go test it out and get it into your backbone so you can do it on command when you’re out shooting.

4. Don’t ever just write “interested” on model requests

This basically translates to “don’t give the photographer the impression that your time is more important than his“. If there is one prejudice that rules them all when it comes to models (and photographers) is that they are snobbish, and letting the photographer dig through your Facebook Profile and find your portfolio (the right one that is) instead of you just throwing in a link to begin with is what really gives the impression that you fall into the snobbish category, even though you might just be a nice girl who forgot to post a link or didn’t think about it.
Link, few essential information, and you’re good.

5. Clean up your portfolio

I talk about this a lot, but this is still very important. When I get 50 models/upstarters writing me with their portfolio, I don’t have much time to dig, as the previous point explained. If I open the portfolio and the first image is horrendous and the second and third are only “okay”, it totally demotivates me. If I don’t shut down the portfolio there, I will at least go through the rest of it with a biased opinion.
A model is only as good as her worst photo. It doesn’t mean you haven’t improved since then, and that I can’t use you for a great photo, it just means you still haven’t moved on and I get the impression that you’re not able to see what a good or a bad photo is. This can influence some things, depending on the photographer. Maybe the photo was from that one photographer that was probably a really nice guy but maybe not the absolute best at his job/hobby, and maybe you really loved that photo when it got taken many years ago, but… All I want to see is 5-10 really great images of you, and that’s it. Not 30, not 70, I don’t want your color AND monochrome versions, or random photos from behind the set with your friends, I just want your proudest work lined up nicely. Boom, quality. Make an impression! Be picky and start removing all the mediocre or worse photos, you’ll be grateful you did it later.

There are exceptions to everything as well as these pointers, but at least they are food for thought and will likely make your journey towards becoming an established model easier and more fun.
Be sure to send this to anyone who could use a helping hand or a kick in the butt because their potential is being wasted 😉
And don’t forget to subscribe and let me know what you think about all of this

Kind regards, James