Modeling Career Profile

The modeling career is one of the most glamorous, most highly publicized, and unarguably one of the toughest types of career in any form of media. There’s a lot of hard work, training and experience in the most basic modeling job, and in a modeling career you can expect to do a lot of different types of work.

The Work Environment

Models work in studios, on location, and at all hours. They have to work with the requirements of fashion agencies, photographers, advertisers, product manufacturers, and media production companies, and their schedules can be unbelievably busy.

Depending on the type of modeling work, a model can spend hours in makeup, hours in wardrobe, and hours in shoots. Those three processes alone can involve a day that starts at 5AM and finishes at 8PM, in one shoot.

We need to debunk one particular myth about modeling at this point. Modeling isn’t about a model looking good. It’s about the products being modeled looking terrific. Models are the workhorses of one of the toughest businesses in the world. This is the fashion industry, and it’s all business, all the time.

It can also be disappointing. The modeling business is perhaps the most competitive business in the world. Everybody, including the models, is in permanent competition against someone else for jobs. A model can spend a long time waiting for work. 

A good illustration of the sheer diversity of the modeling industry is Model Mayhem, a huge internet site which covers all forms of modeling from all over the world. If you browse the site, (use the Browse tab, and check out the search categories), you’ll find a vast range of different types of modeling work. You’ll also find a lot of modeling and photographer’s portfolios, another good indication of the depth and range of the modeling profession. Have a good look through the site, and you’ll also see the range of specializations and some of the model portfolios, many of which are very impressive.

Types of modeling work include:

  • Fashion
  • Accessories
  • Artistic
  • Magazines
  • Media

This is definitely the most visual profession in the world. It allows a lot of scope for models, too, many of whom specialize in certain types of modeling.

Salary: Extremely variable, depending on agency rates, fees, contract rates, and the professional status of models.

Hours: Any hour of day or night. Models shoot at all times of day, and travel adds time to the working schedules.

The Career Environment

To get to the top of the modeling world is extremely difficult. The “supermodels” are a very rare breed. However, many models make an excellent living out of modeling, particularly in consumer fashions, magazine shoots, and other high cash flow areas of the market.

Career progression is based on a portfolio and industry contacts. A strong modeling portfolio, backed up by an agency or the model’s own agent, is the primary business mechanism for success in modeling. A lot of networking is inevitable, and often extremely valuable in this ultra competitive, fast moving environment.

The big name brands are the top of the heap in all areas of marketing. Whether you’re modeling for Vogue, L’Oreal, Playboy, or Woman’s Day, these are the hallmarks of success in those fields of modeling.