Confessions of An Aspiring Model – Part 2

A Lost Fresh Face

So I was and still am all enthusiastic on becoming a model. I signed myself up for modeling, joined a top modeling agency on an exclusive contract, and am just starting out – a new fresh face. It is inevitable though, that you will feel lost in the unfamiliar environment, trying your best to pounce on every modeling opportunity available.

Being a model in Singapore is no different from being a model in any other country. The process of getting started is more or less the same. Every model needs a portfolio to start with. From profile shots to full body shots, videos and clips if any, a model’s portfolio is likened to the resume of an individual applying for a corporate job. So your first question might be, I am new to the modeling industry. How do I build a portfolio from scratch? One way might be to seek out budding or aspiring photographers and volunteer to be their model subject. It is a little like free modeling. Make sure you get a variety of shots, of different angles of your body and face. It is important to have a mix of close up and full body shots.

Models are also expected to be flexible – top modeling agencies appreciate models who are able to cater their look to a variety of clients. An essential shot that is almost a “must-have”, is one in a white body hugging top, most often a tank top, and jeans, with your hair pulled back and basic minimal make up on.

Some modeling agencies also offer new models a basic shoot to give them a portfolio to start with. This is dependent on the contract signed with the modeling company.

If you feel lost because of your lack of experience before the lens, experiment with copying poses of the Internet and modeling sites. Practice your poses in front of the mirror and familiar yourself with your angles.

With more modeling opportunities and exposure in front of the camera, you will find yourself lowering your initial barriers and feel more free modeling, performing better as you go along.

It is important to understand the role of modeling agencies as well. Modeling agencies function as a mediator, representing their models and serving their clients. As a model, it is important to uphold your reputation, as well as that of your modeling agency. With a relatively tight knit scene, word spreads fast and a bad reputation will do you more harm than good. Modeling agencies do not guarantee models the job – such is a common misunderstanding amongst most new models. However, top modeling agencies are more likely to garner a wider pool of jobs with their reputation and are committed to nurturing and grooming their models.

Models go through a selection process in order to get the job, also known as casting, which is something like an interview in the corporate world. Some clients opt to shortlist models by assessing their portfolio and perceived compatibility with the brand or job. These shortlisted models are then asked to come for a casting, where models meet the client face to face and “audition” for the job.

Here is an example for you. Company A, the client, wants to come up with a commercial and needs models to star in this commercial. Either Company A or their vendor (the client) will then engage a modeling agency or a few modeling agencies. The modeling agencies then send these available modeling opportunities to their pool of models whom they think will be best suited for the job. The models, upon indicating interest in the job, will be assessed by the modeling agency once more before being referred to the vendor or Company A (the client). The vendor or Company A (the client) will then shortlist a few models from the submitted pool for a casting call. The shortlisted models go for the casting call and will eventually be notified of the results after that via their modeling agency. Upon being selected, the model will deliver on the job and receive their pay via the modeling agency. Delivering the job with exemplary performance increases your chances of getting re-invited back for more jobs in future, both from the vendor, Company A and your own modeling agency. Somewhat like gathering good karma or brownie points!

Oh, how do models prepare for a casting call?

What do you wear? The standard attire comprises a white tank top, a pair of jeans, and heels. Always pull your hair back neatly into a ponytail for females, and style your hair such that your facial features can be seen for males or females with short hair. Basic make up with blusher, or bronzer for males, minimal eye liner, mascara and lip gloss for the females would be highly recommended. Refrain from having anything too fancy or out of the world. The key too looking like a model is to be effortless, professional and confident of your look.

Always plan and rehearse your self introduction. Include things like your name, your hobbies and talents. Make it short and sweet. Some clients like to record the model’s self introduction on video so it will give you an edge to videotape yourself multiple times, re-watch the clips and improve on your introduction. The more times you do this, the more comfortable you will get in front of the camera and you will sound more confident and natural in your speech and expressions.

Top modeling agencies emphasize on the quality of these elements such as the model’s self introduction clip, their ability to speak comfortably in front of the camera and to an audience, and the level of professionalism a model carries him or herself with.

It will be difficult at first, but after overcoming the initial hurdle and getting yourself seasoned, you will eventually find yourself becoming more like a professional model and growing closer to your modeling dreams! Go for as many casting calls as you can, do as many modeling jobs as you can – go gain the invaluable experience that will prove itself worthy when aiming to land that dream modeling job you have been working towards.

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