High fashion models have strong and distinctive features. Very striking, exotic looks are popular.
A model has to bring a designer’s clothes to life, and display them to their best advantage. The requirements for this type of modelling are the most stringent – models tend to be very tall and slim, and are able to move well in clothes. This is highly-paid work, and one of the most effective ways to gain exposure.
Generally, catalogue models are picked for a project because they represent the ideal of the market segment for which that catalogue is targeted. Often this is the classic beauty – tall, slender, healthy, and beautiful – but requirements can be fairly flexible. Catalogue modelling usually pays well because of the volume of photos that must be taken.
- Fashion Print
This is fashion and beauty for print advertising. It can be display ads or collateral print materials. This is the most demanding work to get but pays the best because of usage and exclusives. These are the ads that can make or break a designer’s reputation. With these ads it is very important that the concept, photo, and model work perfectly to convey the ‘image’ that is wanted.
The model works for a particular publication to produce photographs to illustrate articles and editorials. The physical requirements are often less strict than those for High Fashion modelling, and editorial experience opens doors. This work is very eagerly sought after by fashion models because of the exposure it provides. For this reason the pay rates can be quite low, but the payoff for this type of work is that it provides tear sheets for your portfolio that will help you get further work.
- Fashion Editorial
This includes magazines from Vogue and Elle to Bliss and Sugar. Requirements tend to differ according to the style and target audience of the magazine. For a glossy, high fashion publication such as Vogue, physical requirements will be quite strict, along the lines of catwalk work, whereas for a teen magazine like Bliss they will be more flexible.
- ‘Lad Mag’ Editorial
This type of editorial work could be compared to glamour modelling, as it often incorporates a sexual theme and limited clothing! Height is generally immaterial, but a slender, toned physique is important and curves are popular.
- General Interest Editorial
This includes magazines on computing, health, collectibles, and hobbies. Height and build requirements are often quite relaxed in comparison to high fashion modelling.
Glamour modelling is modelling for photos with a sexual theme. It does not necessarily refer to top-shelf publications. It includes clubwear, swimwear and lingerie as well as nudity – implied or actual, top or full. Some Figure and Art modelling, typically artistic nude photography, is included in the Glamour Modelling category. Because of the broad scope encompassed in the term it’s always as well to clarify carefully beforehand what you are and are not prepared to do, when putting yourself forward for a glamour shoot.
A curvy figure, larger breasts and good looks tend to be an asset in this type of modelling. Rates of pay can be quite good for glamour modelling.
The purpose of the photo is to advertise a product, and the model is used to show how the product is used. Also, model may be used to convey an image about a product. The physical requirements and look for commercial product modelling can vary a great deal. It all depends on the image or story you are trying to convey. This is where character models are used.
Models are used in photos showing a period of life or doing something in life to advertise a company or idea rather than a physical product. The models are used to act out some concept or idea of life. The physical requirements, age, size, etc. can vary greatly, but it tends to be the ‘beautiful people’ that are used. An aspect of commercial lifestyle modelling is commercial corporate modelling, where the photo has a business theme.
- Product Demo & Trade Show
The idea is that stores or trade show exhibitors want someone attractive that people will be drawn to. When you are starting out this pays better then any regular job and it can really build your confidence around people.
Some jobs require models with an everyday look, such as a mechanic, grocery clerk, schoolteacher, librarian, little old lady, and so on. Character models rarely become household names, but this is an extremely lucrative field if you’ve got the right look.
Like models, photographers need a portfolio, which they must constantly update as they develop new skills or keep up with fashion trends. Occasionally, professional photographers agree to do test shoots of established models with good portfolios. Even though there is no pay involved, these test shoots can lead to well-paying opportunities for the model. Advanced amateur photographers are usually willing to pay an experienced model, for helping them to improve their skills.