I’ve had the good fortune to enjoy a lot of modelling in my time. I’ve done work for clothing, lingerie and swimwear brands across South Africa. I’ve done work for hotel groups, television shows, automobiles, photography student projects, editorials and beauty shoots. I’ve been to Top Model UK in London as well as shot for fashion events in New York and Johannesburg. I remember my first “gig” was modelling a Phillip Treacy hat for a fashion event and I was very nervous. But after 3 years in the industry, here are some basic guidelines I can give any aspiring models. There’s no hard and fast rules, but these may help you.
+ Take comfortable clothes
Photoshoots take a long time to set up. Arrive in comfortable stuff that’s easy to slip on and off. You’ll be wearing it while they do your hair and makeup. Soft button-up blouses work, as do easy tracksuit pants and slops. You’ll change into these for lunch break and when you go home. As for what to wear underneath; nude bras and nude g-strings are a safe bet. Make sure you know what you’ll be modelling because if you need a backless bra, you don’t want to forget it!
+ Pack low-calorie snacks
Believe it or not, you get really hungry posing! It’s stressful finding the perfect position for lighting, as well as to show off the garment in the best way. You’ll want to have water and snacks nearby to see you through the day and to keep you in a good mood. You don’t want to be grumpy because you’re hungry, do you? Nice ideas: nuts, fruit, salad, crisps. Bring a kitbag with all your stuff in it.
+ Have a few stock poses you know you look good in
This is work and time is money. You can’t waste everyone’s time figuring out how to stand/sit/lie in order to look your best. All women know their “good side” and what angles work best for them. This is a strength. Play it up. Before you arrive on set for the shoot, practice taking photos at home in different poses figuring out your best side and best poses. Be aware of what shows off your assets and the clothing/jewellery/make-up/product in the best possible way. Use the timer on the camera or ask someone close to take of you. Of course if you have some experience in front of the lens, you’ll have a good idea of how to “pose” already.
+ Bend your body into positions that dont feel natural
Usually the positions that don’t feel natural are the ones that make us look the slimmest! If what you’re doing feels weird on set, it probably looks great on camera!
+ Have your headphones and good music on your cellphone
Setting up takes time. You’ll find yourself ready with clothes and makeup and have to wait. You’ll be waiting for the photographer to sort out his lighting. You’ll be waiting for other people doing the shoot with you to be ready. Either way, you want to keep upbeat and positive. Having good music and headphones with you is a must.
+ Get lots of photos while you work
It’s always handy to ask someone to snap you working. This is good for your morale and great for your marketing down the line.
+ Don’t do anything on social media while you work
Remember, there’s no rush to post anything anywhere there and then. Rather be professional on the day and concentrate on the job at hand. Any “update” can wait until you get home. It can wait until the job is over and you have time to sit and update on your social platforms, as well as interact with your audience.
+ Always credit your photographer, make-up artists and hair stylist
When you post the photos, it’s important to credit the photographer and the make-up/hair stylist. If they have social platforms, link back to them.
+ Make sure you’re within your contract
Legally you may be unable to post the photos or say anything about the job until the campaign/film/photoshoot has been officially “released”. If it’s a big job, you usually sign a contract with the company to keep everything secret until they say you can release stuff to the public. That makes sense. Keep professional and wait until it’s okay to release your stuff. This includes behind-the-scenes photos and photos with fellow artists/performers/models.