Modelling Jobs: The Reality
Modelling is incredibly hard work. If you think you turn up, have your hair and make-up done and then leave after an hour’s worth of shooting, you’re wrong. From the minute a model signs to an agency and starts attending castings right through to the time that they finish on set, a mass of energy, commitment and enthusiasm is required.
Prepare to travel a lot and work weird and wonderful hours that are nothing like the standard 9-5, starting in the early hours of the morning and working until very late at night. That said, if you love a fast paced life that’s full of exciting twists and turns, you would thrive as a professional working model.
Myths vs The Truth
Myth: Modelling is a quick fix cash earner.
Truth: As much as we’d love to agree with this statement, sadly it’s a myth. At the start of your career jobs can be very poorly paid, in fact, you may even be asked to work for free in order to build your portfolio up if you don’t already have one. If you are paid, your agency will undoubtedly take a percentage of your fee.
Myth: Modelling is glamorous.
Truth: If you’ve made it as one of Victoria’s Angels, then yes, you’ll be treated like a modelling goddess, but until then, working as a model is tough. You are expected to turn up to photo shoots make-up less and your hair will undergo a fair share of damage throughout the years. There’s a lot of waiting around to be done on set and you will be expected to take direction all day long.
Myth: Models are employed if they look great, personality doesn’t matter.
Truth: This is a myth you need to stay well away from. Agencies and casting agents are no longer on the lookout for girls or guys with ‘just a pretty face’. Having a vibrant personality is just as important as good looks if you want to find modelling success.
Myth: Only young models are hired.
Truth: Sometimes, yes. It all depends on what the industry are looking for. That said, older men and women are employed as real-life models, for example, commercial clients will often be on the lookout for motherly/fatherly types, advertising clients may require a man or woman for their grey hair dyes, sixty plus schemes and so forth.
Where do models work?
Anywhere and everywhere! Although it does depend on what kind of modelling you specialize in.
Be prepared to travel.
- If you are a commercial, real-life, high fashion, fitness or advertising model, you are likely to work all around the country. One day you might find yourself working in a studio, club or stadium, the next you might be outside on location, whether that’s in the street, on the beach or knee deep in mud. Your guess is as good as ours; it really depends on your client’s brief.
- If you are an in-house model (a model who has a fixed contract for a prolonged period of time with a brand) you will tend to work in the same environment, or at most, travel with the brand. You will find yourself working in showrooms, workshops, at press venues or at fashion shows.
- London is the hub of modelling but models can find work throughout the UK and Ireland. The majority of work will be around the bigger cities so if you live in a small town or village then you would need to be prepared to travel.
- Hand in hand with these various project locations, models are expected to travel a significant amount of time. Whether this requires hopping on and off of the tube all day, traveling around the country or jumping on a plane, prepare yourself for living out of a suitcase away from home.
How do models find permanent work?
The best way to find a permanent modelling job is to be an in-house model.
Second to that, if you impress your clients, the chances of them offering you permanent work later on will be much higher. Make sure your portfolio is high class and kept up to date to give yourself the best chance of securing work.
Sign to an agency.
This really depends on the job, the model’s experience and what percentage of a model’s fees the agency takes. To start with, models may be asked to work for free to build up their portfolio.
Some models will be paid straight away but remember If you are new to the industry your work amount will be modest to begin with. In such cases, many models will take on a secondary job in order to pay the bills. If you stick with it though, pay will undoubtedly increase. Models prefer long contracts as these pay well and guarantee work for a set period of time.
Become a self-employed model.
The second way is to be a freelance/self employed model. This means that you choose to represent yourself. To give yourself the best chance of finding success as a self-employed model, put a marketing plan in place, join casting directories, advertise yourself and get an eFolio, portfolio and set of business cards made.
This can initially be a time consuming route in to the industry until you build up your contacts and modelling network but over time you should find that it pays off when the repeat work comes in and many find that the flexibility and being in control of their own diary really suits their lifestyle
How much do models earn?
This really depends on the job, the model’s experience and what percentage of a model’s fees the agency takes. To start with, models may be asked to work for free to build up their portfolio. Some models will be paid straight away but remember If you are new to the industry your work amount will be modest to begin with.
In such cases, many models will take on a secondary job in order to pay the bills. If you stick with it though, pay will undoubtedly increase. Models prefer long contracts as these pay well and guarantee work for a set period of time.
How can UK Models help?
Although UK Models do not literally find you castings and modelling jobs, the experienced team can provide you with the tools and resources to approach agencies and future employers. Armed with a selection of high quality photographs, experience in front of a camera and a new found confidence you are in a very strong position to secure a modelling job of your dreams.
Help me become a model