Modeling is among the most stylish professions in the world. You get to sashay your physical skills on ramps or on screen, and it provides you with a peculiar way to strengthen self-confidence and groom personality. It is said that modeling takes courage and patience because it is immensely competitive and if I can say bluntly, cruel. The pressure emanating from expectations is intense, but it can be handled through wise planning and self-determination.
While the traditional modeling through modeling agencies is still the one that rules, freelance modeling is coming out in the open with force and quality. Many believe that freelance modeling is not a workable option, but these are misconceptions fit for a quick rejection. Freelance modeling is one of the most popular sources of income in the freelance community and has been growing strong both in presence and opportunities every day. Even modeling agencies have acknowledged the advantages of freelance models.
Despite being a viable option, freelance modeling is relatively more strenuous than traditional freelance options such as content writing, but there are always wise ways to avoid strain and augment possibilities of success. In this article, we shall explore some of the key ways to become a successful freelance model.
Here are few things to keep in mind:
1. Job Requirements
One can become a fine model, with or without any previous academic certification. Modeling is about self-control, confidence and physical appeal; if one possesses them in adequate amounts, he/she is bound to succeed as a model. However, all these three things will not serve any significant purpose if you lack knowledge about basics of modeling such as walking styles, etc. Hence, some prefer courses to master their skills and gather as much knowledge possible to boost their modeling career.
Let us look into the job requirements in detail:
- Employers such as modeling agencies, magazines, etc look out for professionals with extensive experience and preferably, certain academic qualifications in the form of courses. Presently, there are a number of institutes that offer certificate courses in the country such as Film and Television Institute of India and Frankfinn Institute of Modeling and Acting. These courses cater to the varied requirements of modeling, from basics to highly advanced.The course curriculum includes studies on choreographies, posture making, camera walk, modeling with accessories, etc.These courses incorporate essential personality development programs which home attitude, improve body language, conduct transactional analysis, and teach stress management; grooming programs which include model makeup, personal care, skin care, wardrobe styling, etc; health & fitness programs which include Yoga, nutrition tutorials, etc.Modeling courses provide a theoretical as well as a practical insight into the whole world of modeling. It imparts the right amount of knowledge to kick-start a modeling career and hence, such courses hold value in the freelance community.
In case you want to pursue a modeling course from outside the country, then you have some really ambitious options to choose from such as Cinderella Modelling School, Manchester; John Casablancas; Barbizon Modelling School, Steele Model & Talent Management, etc.
A certificate is an authentic proof of skills and experience and a relatively easy way to attract the attention of employers and clients.
- There is another possibility in which you do not want to empty your pockets and earn a certificate. You are monumentally confident about your physical appeal and modeling skills and want to become a freelance model relying on them alone. Well, then, you can do it, but you are required to do extra homework.Modeling agencies and other employers are conscious about the surging competition, and considering the volume of money involved in the modeling business, they will want to have the best ones from the humungous crowd. This makes it slightly difficult for models without certifications to find work, but, as I said before, there is always a way out of any situation.You have to do the following: Create a portfolio by taking up small or big (whatever you can get) modeling gigs, or having a professional photographer (even a friend with a professional camera would do) shoot pictures of yours. It is recommended that you include in the portfolio well-shot pictures category-wise. For example, if the background setting of the shoot is abstract like wonderment, assemble all related pictures together.Engagement in modeling activity improves skills and increases experience, which will ultimately work as tools of persuasion and impression upon the employers or clients.
2. Skills needed
A model is required to exhibit the following skills, only then he/ she can find a place in the modeling empire:
- Photogenic: What good a model is if he/she is not photogenic? Being photogenic is not a universal skill, and only a relatively less human population is gifted with such skills and rest is but the work of filters and customized
A model must know what posture will accentuate his/her physical appeal the most and should be able to coordinate smoothly with the photographer. It is absolutely necessary to strike a chord with the photographer since it is the latter who will command control on your body movements and facial expressions from behind the camera lens.
- Runway: Those who are runway models or want to become one of them, they should be able to maintain an appealing and graceful gait on the ramp. Models must be prepared to sashay revealing clothes before a large mass of people with confidence and panache. Models should be able to display comfort in high heels.
- Networking: Networking is fundamental in the expansion of modeling career. Modeling jobs generally last for a few days and therefore, you may find a need to look out for more modeling stints. That is where networking plays a role; the more connected you are with modeling agencies or other sources of information, the more aware you become about opportunities.
- Organization: Freelance models may expect to work in far-off places at odd hours, as per the work requirements. This may make schedule hectic, but should not hinder organization. Throughout your assignment, you must be able to conduct yourself with integrity and organization.
- Stamina: Photo shoot settings may be bizarre such as ice-cold cities or sundry countryside; therefore, you should be prepared to withstand all kinds of working conditions. If you are asked to wear skimpy clothes in freezing temperatures, you should not fail yourself as a model by running out stamina.
- Self-maintenance: This is the gospel of truth in the modeling world. If you are not able to maintain your body and appearance, you will most probably miss out the modeling opportunities. The beauty and body fitness criteria will vary from one country to another, from one agency to another, but what will remain constant is the unchallengeable importance of beauty and body fitness.
A model is required ensure presentation, or you will be ruthlessly banished from the industry.
3. Where to work?
Models are wanted by modeling agencies, marketing agencies, magazines, etc and each of them states independent requirements from models and therefore, you should accordingly apply. You should keep in mind the type of modeling project you are applying for and to what company you are applying. For example, if you are applying for, let’s say Victoria Secrets Bikini shoot, submit a portfolio of all your best bikini shots and avoid submitting unrelated photo shoots such as a countryside shoot in traditional wear.
There are a number of magazines you can work for such as Verve, Grazia, Harper’s Bazar, Elle, Femina, etc. Nowadays, there are several online fashion outlets such as Myntra where models can find ample work opportunities.
As far as modeling agencies are concerned, there are a number of prominent agencies in India such as INGEA models, Jasmine Model Inc, Urban Model Management Agency, South Cast Professional Agency, Kalia International & Casting Agency, Runaway Agency, CrizareModeling Agency, Star Models Agency, Nudeye Productions LLP, etc. If you want international exposure, you can apply to International Modelling & Talent Association, Richards International Model Management, and London Model Agency etc.
If you want an easier way to explore possibilities, you can create a portfolio on websites such as freelance.com, worknhire.com, guru.com or upwork.com which bring closer employers and freelancers.
4. Pay rate
The pay rate is determined by many factors such as the age of the model, previous work experiences, affiliation with modeling agencies, certifications, appearance, and whatnot. If you are a well-established model with wonderful credentials at hand, you are entitled to a hefty pay rate, which is usually at or above the prevalent pay rate. In case you are a rookie freelance model, you will have to consolidate your foundations first and therefore, you are not generally in a position to demand a lavish pay rate. You will have to keep the par rate at or below market pay rate, but if you have worked with some really prominent modeling agency or achieved anything too good in the modeling industry, then you may be open to a higher pay rate.
To know more about the pay rate, you should connect to other freelance models through forums and online portals. Networking will help you get a better picture about freelance modeling from the perspectives of those already a part of it.