Important update: UK Models re-opening of studios and new Covid-19 safety rules.

What’s in a model’s bag?

  • Freya Hill

Or more importantly, what does a model need in their bag?

We don’t expect you to buy a full sized rucksack (or one of those giant Adidas bags you walked around with as a year 7) but we hope you have one large enough to fit a selection of the following items inside. Over our twelve years of involvement in the industry we’ve learnt all are invaluable to male and female models alike.


To be the most efficient and organised model you can be:

  • Phone – As a model, freelance or signed, you need to make yourself 100% contactable. Your agent or client may call at any time wanting to organise work and if they can’t get hold of you they will move on and find someone new. An unreachable model is not a professional one.
  • Diary (and pen!) – As you become more successful, castings and jobs will start flying your way. Castings are held at all times of day, often one after the other right across town, so it’s vital you know where and when you need to be at all times. Carry a diary around with you (or use an app on your phone – great if you’ve got a small bag!) and always keep it updated.
  • Portfolio – A professional portfolio speaks volumes about your modelling style and capabilities and although it’s not 100% necessary you have one, most casting agents and photographers you meet will ask after your own. Contact us via our UK Models website if you would like help producing a quality portfolio.


  • Z-card – This is the model equivalent to a business card. They’re small sheets that have your name, contact details, model statistics and photos printed onto them. The advantage of carrying them in your bag is that you can give out your details quickly (and professionally) to anyone you meet in the industry. They are especially effective because models rely heavily on networking.
  • Map (download) – Models can be sent all over the place to find work. Six castings for example may be held in one city but at the furthest possible points from each other. Having a map with you will mean you can plan your route and avoid being late (this won’t impress anyone). To save on space and clutter, download Google Maps and any relevant bus/train app.

To look the part:

  • Concealer – Concealer is a godsend for covering dark circles under the eyes and spots and blemishes. Make-up brands have also designed male friendly types. Use this instead of foundation to give a perfect but natural appearance.
  • Blusher – Add a little colour to your skin using blusher. Don’t think that a brighter one will mean you look fresher, that’s not the case. For best results you need to wear blusher that matches your skin tone.


  • Mascara – A little bit of mascara on your eyelashes will open them up, instantly making your face look brighter.
  • Make-up wipes – If you turn up to a casting with a full face of make-up on you may find that you’re asked to take it off so that the make-up artist can see what they’re going to be working with. If you have secured the job and you’re at the shoot, you will definitely need to start the day without anything on your face, so grab these and get wiping! Also keep a packet on hand for the end of the day; some of the make-up you’ll be wearing won’t be suitable for high street viewing!

To stay one step ahead of the game:

  • Hair grips / hair bobble – If you attend a casting with your hair down (and your hair is long enough to be tied up), keep some hair bobbles in your bag; you will probably be asked to tie it up so that they can see your face. The same will be said for a fringe so keep come clips handy.
  • Hairbrush – A quick brush of your hair will give it life before a casting, it will also make a hair stylist’s job easier on the day of the shoot!


  • Water – As a model you should be drinking water constantly throughout the day (more water related heath benefits can be found on our blog) but you will also find that drinking regularly between castings and shoots will help make you feel more awake.
  • Magazines – There can be a lot of waiting around to do on set, grab a magazine or book and don’t feel embarrassed about whipping it out backstage.



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Posted by Freya Hill

Freya is been writing for many years on fashion and modelling. Her hands are a bit too wrinkly for a 23 year old and she has worked with MTV, New Look and Vauxhall Fashion Scout.