Job as a model

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John Green is a fashion model for menswear, modelling designer clothes on the catwalk and for fashion magazines. He is self-employed and travels all over the UK. However, being self-employed, he has to get involved in keeping his own business records.

What does your job as a model involve?

Modelling agencies contact me on a regular basis to check my availability. As well as editorial work for fashion magazines, my job involves commercial modelling for advertising. I might be offered a job for two hours, a half day, or a longer booking.

On a photographic shoot, the designers usually pick the outfits they want me to model. In any one session I may have to change garments up to ten times. The photographers take dozens of photographs of me to achieve different looks or angles. Depending on the shoot, I might be standing for long periods.

Are there any other aspects to your modelling job?

Models are self-employed, so I have to know all about running a business and paying tax. I also need to contact the photographers so I can have copies of their shots for my portfolio.

What hours do you work?

The hours can be long and sometimes involve evening or weekend work, particularly for catwalk modelling. Most sessions start at about 9am and are finished by 5.30pm, excluding travelling time. Occasionally, I could work until midnight. I combine my modelling career with a regular day job in IT.

What is the working environment like?

You can be working in all weathers, often modelling summer garments on a cold day. Photographic lighting can make the working conditions hot.

What personal qualities and skills do you need for a job as a model?

A lively and confident personality is important. The ability to build rapport with photographers is essential, as they will then recommend you to the model agencies. You have to be fit and healthy too.

You also need to be organised and reliable, as you are running your own business. It is important not to take the inevitable rejections personally.

What do you enjoy about your job as a model?

I really enjoy the social aspect of the work and travelling around the UK. I love wearing designer clothes and seeing the successful photographs.

How and why did you choose a job as a model?

I have enjoyed being photographed since childhood. When I was at college, friends suggested that I should try modelling to earn some extra money. I had a few professional photos taken and went around all the modelling agencies until I was offered my first job.

John's route to his job as a model

  • GCSEs.
  • Institute of Business Management – Diploma in Management.
  • European Computer Driving Licence.
  • IT consultant.
  • Fashion model.

John's model tips

  • Always have another career behind you, as continued success is never guaranteed.
  • Don't spend lots of money on expensive photographs – often family photos can be enough to begin with. Also, beware of expensive courses which may not be beneficial.

Model related jobs

  • Actor/actress
  • Beauty consultant
  • Beauty therapist
  • Dancer
  • Fashion/clothing designer
  • Make-up artist

Salary of a fashion model

  • Modelling does not provide a secure salaried income and models are selfemployed.
  • Pay varies dramatically according to experience and each individual job.
  • Models might earn between £50 and £150 for a job lasting half a day, whilst a top model can command several thousands of pounds a session.
  • Many combine modelling with another job.

Job as a model

  • Academic qualifications for this highly competitive line of work are not essential. Excellent physical appearance, with clear and healthy skin, good teeth, hair and hands are all vital. There are also height restrictions for models.
  • Do not spend lots of money getting a portfolio of photographs – just send two pictures and your details to agencies which are part of the Association of Model Agents.
  • A fashion related college or university course may be an advantage, and will provide you with skills for other areas of the industry. Be wary of private modelling courses, as they rarely lead to a career in modelling.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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