Wednesday, 18 September 2013


What is Modelling?
People outside of the modelling industry, often have the perception that modelling is about beautiful people having their photographs taken. That it’s all about the model…

The reality is that Modelling is actually all about selling.

Clients book models through agencies, to showcase their products. From clothes to cars, furniture to food and holidays to household goods, whatever someone has to sell, they will employ a model to wear it, sit on it or eat it… It’s all about selling.

Every client has an idea of what the model selling their product should look like and agencies have to have a selection of models on their books that they think clients will like.

Top Agencies are generally given the best jobs by the top fashion designers and the advertising companies working on behalf of the big name products we see in glitzy ads on the TV, billboards and in magazines. These agencies know their clients and the type of models they like to use and sign models onto their books who they think will fit their Clients requirements.

But, there are many other designers, clients and companies that require models to promote and advertise their businesses and products and these jobs go to the other agencies based up and down the country. These clients may need a model for a brochure, a catalogue or an advertisement, to model clothes at a fashion show, an exhibition or conference, or to promote them at an event, exhibition or leafleting campaign. The work is very varied and the more a model can diversify the more work they are likely to get.

As a model, YOU are your business. You need to look after your body, skin and hair. Which means eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep and generally taking care of yourself. Your hair and nails should be well maintained and your skin clear.

You should also keep your portfolio up-to-date and keep on top of running your business by keeping in touch with your agencies and on top of your paperwork.

Fashion – covering designer shows (catwalk), catalogue and magazine (shoots)

– covering product advertising (shoots / vt ), corporate advertising (shoots)

– covering product launches, exhibitions events and conferences

Glamour – covering magazine & newspaper shoots and exhibitions


Designers, manufacturers and retailers of fashion will use models to showcase their clothing ranges, either at fashion shows where the model has to walk on a runway or catwalk or walk amongst buyers so that they can see the garments before they purchase them. They can also use models on photographic shoots to show their clothes in a catalogue, on a billboard or shop display or in a magazine.

Fashion also covers shoes, underwear, sportswear, make-up, skin products and hair styles and products.

To work as a fashion model, you need to be over 5’ 8 as a girl and over 6’ 0 as a guy for most jobs. This is because at these heights you are more likely to have better  ’leg to body’ proportions which fit the cut of the clothes and photograph better. Runway models are required to be lean and tall, as when showcasing their new range, the designers don’t want people to be looking at the models! It’s the clothes that they are showing…

There is some fashion work available for girls over 5’ 6 and guys over 5’ 10 with good body proportions but it’s not regular enough to build a full time career on and will not earn you enough money without other work to support it.


There are hundreds of different sorts of companies who design, manufacture and sell just about anything you can think of. These companies may produce cars or furniture or cat food, or they could sell insurance or mobile phone deals. In many instances these companies use models to demonstrate or highlight their products, either in photographs for brochures, packaging, advertising or corporate information. They can also film for use on TV or Internet advertising.

To work as a commercial model, you need to be over 5’ 5 for girls and over 5’ 9 for guys. The term used for these models is often ‘real’ models. In other words, more average height and build.
Commercial models still have to have good body proportions, be toned and photogenic but they also need to be very adaptable and be able to take direction. There is no room for ‘divas’. Days can be long, hard and very tiring.


Promotional is the most diverse form of modelling.

A company may decide to exhibit at a trade or public show, event or conference. Promotional models are used to hand out leaflets, to talk to people about the product or even sell the product.

Promotional models can also be used at to meet and greet at events and conferences and as hostesses to serve drinks and refreshments to visitors. Sports events are a great source of work for many promotional models.

Often promotional models have skills such as acting, dancing, sport, sales, languages and much, much more and can be booked on jobs that require their particular skills. Many models, actors, dancers etc, work as promotional models alongside their modelling, acting and dancing work as this keeps them in more regular work and earning. However, promotional work should be taken just as seriously as any other work undertaken. It is an important job in its own right and you never know who will see you or where it may take you.

There is no height restriction as such in promotional work but you will find it more difficult to get work under 5′ 4″ and you should be over 18yrs. You will find it easier to get promotional work if you have done waitressing or shop work or have some work experience and a reasonable level of education.

Glamour work is the odd-man-out in the modelling world as it is the only form of modelling not generally used to sell a product as such, but simply to sell a magazine, newspaper or publication of some sort… This work is not for the faint hearted! You need to be confident and self assured and need to maintain yourself to an immaculate condition at all times. You should never undertake a glamour shoot without making sure you have lots of details about what will be required of you and it is wise to take someone with you. If you are under 18 this should be a parent or guardian. If you are under 16 you should NOT apply for this type of work.

There are no height restrictions for glamour work but you will need to have good proportions, be well toned, keep yourself in great condition and be very photogenic.

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