1) Having the look and talent that someone needs (generally the client) bad enough for the project they are working on at that time that they will pay you for your time.
2) Making life easier for the art director and the photographer so they will want to work with you, and not throw you out of their studio.
3) Making sure the client, photographer, and art director know you exist and want to work.
Professional modeling starts with the client’s need and their willingness to pay. Modeling without paying clients is just a hobby or someone trying to rip you off. Having the right look and talent is what you inherited genetically and there is not much you can do to change that. The rest is where being a professional model comes in – knowing what to do and how to market yourself.
When a project calls for someone attractive to stand next to a new product, the person who can constantly look good in front of the camera, show the emotional expression that is needed on cue, show up on time and leave on time and in so many other ways make the shoot go quickly, efficiently, and successfully, is the person who will get the job. That is also the person who gets asked back the next time. The part after the genetics is what makes a professional model and leads to a career in modeling. This is also the person who will deliver what the client needs and is why we use them and not just pull someone off the street.
Guide lines for what it takes to be a professional model.
Well, all the above is fine but does not you give much to go on, so do you have what it takes to be a model? The first thing you have to consider is what type of model do you want be? If you are trying for high fashion modeling, the runways of Paris, the cover of Vogue, etc., the requirements are very strict. If you are hoping to do commercial modeling (such as product or lifestyle) the requirements are much broader. If you want to be a glamour, or pin-up model, this area has its own set of requirements.
First Thing to Understand,
All modeling, except for some glamour, is client driven. There is no need for a model (or for that matter, a photographer, bummer) until a client has something to sell (a product, service, or idea) or in the case of editorial an idea to convey. At this point, the client becomes willing to part with the dollars (the money stream) to accomplish his/her sales or editorial goals and a model is hired.
It is the size of the potential sales’ goals and the model’s importance in those goals that determines how much a model is paid (hourly fees. usage, etc.). Some types of glamour and stock lifestyle modeling can work differently as the photo itself has a value and the buyer can be found later. So, when we look at different types of modeling we are looking at different classes of clients.
As an example, the Fashion Industry is dependent on using models in its advertising, promotion, and sales material. In certain top fashion market cities this can lead to many job possibilities and high fees. So when considering a modeling career you must start by looking at the different types of modeling being demanded by clients, the requirements for a given type of modeling and if you’re physical, talent and personality are right for that type of modeling.