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Getting Started in Modeling


Success in Modeling , like in any field,  is based on two things;  talent and hard work. In Modeling that is genetics,i.e. your appearance and how well you market yourself.  Achieving that success is dependent upon a realistic evaluation of your strengths and weakness. If you are 5'2" no matter how hard you work and how great your looks you will not be successful as a high fashion runway model. Runway models have to be above all else tall. There are many other forms of modeling besides runway and the list of successful models under 5'7" is quite lengthy. Popular "E" network hostess and fabulous swimsuit model Brook Burke  and former MTV hostess and Playmate of the Year Jennie McCarthy are both under the Magic 5' 7". McCarthy was turned down by every Modeling Agency in Chicago before she went to Playboy. In addition there are thousands of other models pursuing successful careers in other forms of modeling.

Where do you start  in you pursuit of fame and fortune? Some models are lucky, like Claudia Schaeffer or Cameron Diaz discovered in a club and party respectively and then booked by major agencies. The agencies then took over the direction and planning of their careers. Most models will usually start either working with a photographer or Modeling School.  Modeling Schools often get unfair criticism because of  the unrealistic expectation that completing the course will assure success in modeling. This is of course no truer than graduating from MT guarantees success as an engineer of a football scholarship to Penn State a NFL career. They provide a starting point and a base of knowledge to build on. Success will be based on what you learn and how you apply it. Some Modeling Schools may be good some poor. Many of the models we use for our workshops come from Baboon Models  in Philadelphia and we have always found them to be well trained, talented and punctual.

Some photographers disparage Modeling Schools by pointing out few top models have gone to modeling schools, what they fail to mention is that they do   get training through the agency that they have signed with. The reason for this disparagement is often that both the photographer and school are both competing for the model's (or model's parent's) dollars. Fact is you benefit from training to get a good portfolio and you will need a good portfolio to get work so really you need good schooling and a good photographer.

Where can I find a good Photographer? Well if you are at this web site you have already found one. The most important thing you need to look for in a photographer is experience in model photography. This is different from portrait or wedding photography so this eliminates many Portrait and Wedding photographers as well as Uncle Joe who has a fancy camera and the guy you know at school who takes a photography course. A professional may be an excellent photographer but unless he understands model photography he may produce great photos that will not get you any work, if he say he does model work ask to see his portfolio. Uncle Joe and your classmates may take good landscapes and candid's but in all likelihood do not understand or have much experience with posing people. In many cases your best photographers for model work are advanced amateurs and semi professionals who have a real interest in shooting models. Many of the Internet Web sites for models also  have listings for photographers organized by state and with online portfolios. Some photographers will work on a TFP basis some only for pay almost all are willing to negotiate to some extent. Some photographers will do TFP only if you happen to fit a project they may be working on or if you present an interesting project of your own. See section on model safety.