Model Traits

Traits of Successful Models

Fashion - Beauty - Art

We are often asked...

Question: How do I become a Fashion Model?

Answer: Adopt the traits of successul models.

Trait #1: Be Realistic

With very few exceptions, fashion clients are look for these physical characteristics:

  Women Men
Starting Age 13 - 19 17 - 24
Height 5'8" - 5'11" 5'11 - 6'1"
Size 0 - 4 Dress 38R - 42R Suit
Max Waist 25" 32"

Work for Plus Size (18+) and Alternative models is starting to grow, but remains in niche markets.

Trait #2: The Model Temperment

Do you have a model's temperament?

Modeling is much demanding physically and mentally than anyone who is not a model or photographer can appreciate.  It takes thousands of hours of practice to make the difficult look effortless.  Models have to be prepared, learn on the job, be fearless and realize their role is to be a muse to designers, photographers, makeup artists and hair stylists. Models are actors, able to adapt to the direction of the photographer.

Model Temperament Checklist

  • Patience - You could spend several hours in makeup and hair prep.
  • Professionalism - Arrive on time, prepared, ready to be a muse.
  • Mind-Body Connection - models must move with grace and confidence on the runway and for the camera.  A formal background in movement is extremely important - dance, yoga, gymnastics, etc.  The best models I've ever worked with had martial arts training.  Practice running and jumping - in heels!
  • Autodidact - Teach yourself posing by studying classical paintings, sculpture and fashion photographs to see how to imply motion. Practice these in front of a mirror every day.
  • Self-Critial - Recognize your physical shortcominga and learn to pose in such a way as to work around them.
  • Physical Discipline - Diet and exercise are your way of life.  Top models are top athletes.
  • Always Room for Improvement - Experiment and test relentlessly to add to your repertoire.  The best photographers are willing to collaborate with you and take the time needed to make portolio pictures.


Trait #3: Master The Craft

The greater your skill, the more valuable you are to clients. That means your services are in higher demand at higher rates. The skill list is long, and you'll learn through testing. Here is some starter homework for your first test:

The Squinch

The Smize

Develop Posing Routines

Trait #4: Take No Shortcuts

Practice, Practice, Practice! Test, Test, Test!

Get in front of a camera as often as possible.  Don't be tempted by those who offer to sell you lessons, pictures or agency listing. Without exception, these shortcuts are scams.

DO NOT PAY an modeling agency, modeling school or photography studio a fee for lessons or portfolio pictures!  New York, California, Florida and Texas all have specific laws that make it illegal for a booking agency to charge money for training, classes, photography services, portfolios, comp cards, etc. In all other states model scams generally fall under the broader category of consumer fraud.

DO NOT ALLOW an agent or photographer pressure you into a situation that makes you uncomfortable or puts at risk your safety.

DO NOT PAY for portfolio pictures.  Be patient and persistent calling on experienced commercial photographers.  Make sure you get the "P" (print) for all TFP work.

Good luck to all aspiring models! - Preston & Susan Page