Five Rules for Models
I am frequently asked...
Q: How do I become a fashion model?
A: You're not going to like this, but there are five rules...
Rule #1 Be realistic- Part A. You must meet physical criteria to begin a career.
Criteria used by Ford Models for Open Calls
| Women||Men |
|13 - 19 ||17 - 24|
|2 - 4||38R - 42L|
5' 8" - 5' 11"
|5' 11" - 6' 1" |
|108 - 130 lbs|| 170 - 185|
|25" || 32"|
| 34-1/2"|| N/A|
Rule #2 There are no short-cuts to success. DO NOT PAY an agency, modeling school or photography studio 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. If you have been a victim of such a scam, report it!
Rule #3 Be realistic - Part B. Do you have a model's temperament? Modeling is so much more demanding physically and mentally than anyone who is not a model or photographer can ever appreciate. It takes thousands of hours of practice to make the difficult look effortless. Models have to be prepared, learn fast on the job, be fearless and realize their role as muse to designers, photographers, makeup artists and hair stylists. This description fits maybe one person in 250,000. More people are struck by lightening every year.
Rule #4 Here is what it takes to be a top model:
- Patience - you could spend several hours in hair and makeup.
- Professionalism - you're a muse, not a prima donna
- 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!
- Homework - Study classical paintings and sculpture to see how to imply motion when posing for photographs. Practice these in front of a mirror every day.
- Flaws - You're beautiful, but have flaws. Learn what they are and how to minimize or hide them.
- Test and experiment relentlessly. Work with the best photographers willing to collaborate with you and spend any down time to make new portolio pictures.
- Fitness - diet and exercise daily.
Rule #5 Be comfortable with picture concepts and workplace safety. Nudity and erotica are legitmate dimensions to explore for fashion photography, but it is understood that many models are not comfortable doing this kind of work. NEVER do anything that you are not comfortable with for a photo session. Make sure you and your agent agree in advance to shooting lingerie, nudity or anything out of the ordinary in advance.
There are also safety concerns that may be of concern, like working with animals, on remote locations, in or near fire or water, etc. Make sure any safety concerns you have are answered adequately.
Good luck to all aspiring models! My hat is off to you for trying!
- Preston & Susan Page