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Everything You Need to Know About Commercial Modelling

  • Amy Bebbington

Are you interested in becoming a commercial model but are unsure of how to make it due to the competitive industry?

We’ve got you covered with an in depth guide including all aspects of the commercial modelling world.

If you’re interested in becoming a commercial model, let us help! Register now to start your modelling career.

What Is Commercial Modelling?

Commercial modelling is a niche that spans across a wide area. Advertisements (both print and television), magazines and catalogues all fall under the commercial umbrella. Brands such as H&M and Zara hire models to promote their product to their target audience and therefore, require talent that fits their vision.

As a result brands require models for campaign imagery, online product shots, billboards, TV advertisements and product packaging for fashion, beauty, technology and homeware; the list is endless.

Since the modelling industry has embraced diversity the commercial niche does include plus size, petite, fitness and body part modelling. Brands who cater for these markets will hire a suitable hopeful yet are currently less in demand than the stereotypical commercial model.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

The Requirements For Commercial Models

Typically, a pretty female model who possesses even, natural features with luscious locks and a charming, handsome male with a chiseled jawline is hired.

Most brands look for potential who is accessible to a wide audience. Of course, there are some exceptions to the rule yet generally a natural and desirable look is sought after.

  • Height: Since there is less pressure to reach the heights that top fashion demands commercial models are slightly smaller. Therefore, female commercial models are usually required to measure at 5’6” and a male should stand at 5’11” tall. Of course, petite clothing brands will hire a model that reflects their ethos.
  • Gender: Both female and male models are required by the commercial brands to promote their product. Gender fluidity is now recognised in the industry yet, only a select few brands are featuring transgender models in their campaigns currently.
  • Physique: It seems like a slender, toned body shape is sought after in both male and female models. Therefore, it is important that both emerging and established models maintain a healthy physique through a sensible diet and exercise regime. Plus size modelling is building a place in the commercial industry and also demands for curvier models to look after themselves.
  • Age: There is little discrimination in the commercial world with child and teenage modelling being very present in the industry. Brands require kids to model their designs and promote their product. Female and male models are typically aged between 18-35. Mature models do have their part to play yet are hired less often than the younger generation.
  • Race: Although the modelling world is accepting of different ethnicities shaping a diverse industry there remains accusation of racism. As a result, fewer black models secure roles. Hopefully brands will continue to respond positively.

How to Become A Commercial Model

Photo Credit: Unsplash

It is no easy feat! Most of all commercial modelling demands dedication, hard work and commitment to eventually find success. Take a look.

  • The main goal is to sign up to an agency that caters for the commercial industry.
  • First of all research agencies that have a good reputation and links to commercial brands. Most of all take your time to avoid any that are not legit.
  • Find out how to contact the agency via there website and proceed accordingly.
  • The majority usually have an application form that you need to complete. Ensure that fill out correctly avoiding any errors.
  • Upload professional images in the format and style asked for. It seems like some prefer portfolio shots whereas others favour simple headshots. Never attach amateur photographs.
  • Agencies also host walk in sessions that are scheduled between a specific time. Many models prefer face to face communication. Ensure that you are aware of the time slot to avoid turning up unable to be seen.
  • In conclusion, do not limit yourself to one agency. Keep your options open and apply to as many reputable agencies as possible to increase your chance of success.

Castings Explained

Once signed to an agency you hopefully will be invited to castings; a model audition that allows for the brands to choose models suitable for their advertisement. This is your time to shine and secure the opportunity of your dreams.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Please be aware that you will attend a lot of castings in your commercial modelling career and not get all of them. Therefore, rejection is a huge part of the process unfortunately.

  • Arrive on time. Plan ahead to avoid being late. Find the location, the route and the length of time it takes to get there a couple of days before.
  • Wait your turn. Castings usually involve a lot of waiting around with the actual judgement lasting a couple of minutes. Be patient.
  • Wear jeans and a tee (unless specified otherwise) and a pair of comfortable shoes. Also, leave the hair and make-up natural to avoid distraction.
  • Be prepared to strike a few poses on demand or demonstrate your model walk.
  • Ooze confidence by being friendly and positive.
  • It is a daunting experience but do not let the nerves spoil your performance.

The Expectations At A Photoshoot

Photographers and the organisers will have high expectations. The performance of the model is everything to produce the winning shots for the brand. Therefore, it is important that as the model you are well armed with a selection of suitable poses to impress on the day. Also, when given direction, listen and respond in a confident, positive way to make a great first impression.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

How to Prepare For A Photoshoot

To deliver at a photoshoot make sure that your prepare before hand. Practice poses that are suitable for commercial modelling to ensure that you feel confident on the day. If you are unsure what poses are considered appropriate do some research. Usually brands like to keep the posing simple and focused on the clothing. Therefore, truly understanding body awareness and how a slight movement can change the complete look of the pose is required.

How Much Do Commercial Models Earn?

This is a tricky question to answer as the amount varies depending on the brand and experience of the model. Commercial models will get paid considerably lower than high fashion yet the average hourly pay should be substantial. Do remember that your agency will take a percentage of the your wage due to their part in securing the role. Furthermore, only work for free if the collaboration and experience is beneficial to you and your future.

How Much Travel Is Involved?

Do expect to travel for work as the studio or location can vary for each shoot. Commercial modelling demands flexibility. It is not a career for someone who likes to remain working in one place. It is certainly not a 9-5 role. Be prepared to travel a fair distance and potentially staying overnight depending on the location and budget provided. Those who live in London will find that a lot of work is held in the capital yet will need to commute to different areas in the city.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

The Competition

Commercial modelling is fiercely competitive with a high amount of hopefuls all striving for the same roles. It is a tough industry to break into with only the dedicated and committed who succeed. Rejection is rife in the modelling world with potential being knocked back countless times for different reasons. It is important to keep going as your big break may just be round the corner.

High Fashion Vs Commercial Modelling

The high fashion world is led by top fashion designers with money to spend. Models who work in high fashion have a striking, unique look that will add a new edge to the industry. These models are pushed into the limelight creating a celebrity status to promote the elite labels. Only the select few are chosen for the roles. Typically, extremely tall, slim girls are recruited with agents constantly scouting new talent. It is a fickle industry with only the toughest surviving.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

The Portfolio

Also, building a portfolio is essential to your success. The resource showcases your talent and experience to potential employers. Always select high quality photographs that look professional to impress. Never use amateur shots. Opt for either an online or printed format depending on your preference ensuring that the portfolio includes all the correct information, has a sleek layout and looks professional. Remember this evidence of work is representing you as a model potentially before you have met the client.

A Quick Guide to Commercial Modelling

  • Commercial modelling covers a wide area including advertisements, product shots, TV Commercials and campaigns.
  • Do you match the requirements of the niche?
  • Sign to an agency.
  • Attend as many castings as possible.
  • Prepare in advance for a photoshoot to appear confident and deliver on the day.
  • Be flexible to travel and working hours.
  • Do not be put off by the competition.
  • Build a professional portfolio.

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Posted by Amy Bebbington

I express my love of fashion through writing, blogging and styling. My creative personality ensures that I produce unique and original work. I am a keen knitter and enthusiatic dancer.