MODELLING AGENCIES

You too can aspire to become a model, provided you have the following:

Hard work: Glamour is very alluring. But there is a lot of hard work involved behind the scenes. Models rarely breeze effortlessly into the spotlight. You need a lot of patience and tenacity. And a sense of humor always helps. Do you have it in you? That's something you need to know before you jump into the fray.

People skills: You will need to interact with ad agencies, model co-coordinators, cameramen, and organizers. You need to be business savvy. Judge if you are getting paid sufficiently or are you expecting too much? Use your common sense. Are you being exploited or is it a fair deal? Learn how to manage without letting it ruffle your feathers.

Own portfolio: Every model needs one. A portfolio is a book or an album of your pictures that shows your versatility. Use a professional photographer. Go through his work. If it impresses you, use him for your portfolio. The pictures can be a mix of black and white and colored shots. Variety is important. Restricting the styles to any one-fashion era will limit your options. About eight to ten pictures are sufficient to start with.

Home work: Visit various ad agencies and model co-coordinators with your portfolio. Go out there and resolutely hunt for business. If you sit around waiting for them, your career will never take off. Practise dressing like a model. You have to build an image for yourself. When you're comfortable with the image, you'll radiate confidence.

Judgment: Don't sign up with the first agent. Shop around and judge the worth of each deal. Be prepared for rejects. But remember tenacity is what you need. Try again elsewhere. Keep trying.

Opportunities: You've got big dreams. But it is little drops of water that make a mighty ocean. So accept a deal even if it is a small one. You'll get a bit of visibility and money. Besides it's a terrific way of building up your experience and portfolio. Remember that a reputation for refusing assignments will work against you.

Independence: Once your career is underway, you may travel for various shoots or even move to a bigger city. You must look after yourself totally. You need independence and the ability to combat loneliness. Cultivate hobbies that will keep you occupied. Books are ideal traveling companions. There are long hours between shoots. Boredom or impatience will show on camera. Keep your cool.

Physical fitness: Long hours in studios and outdoor locations call for physical stamina. Eat sensibly and drink lots of fluid. Visit a gym regularly. It helps you keep you body in prime form too. Make sure you get adequate sleep. Maintain a regular beauty regimen.

Level head: The world of glamour is an enticing one. There will be plenty of opportunities for partying, drinking smoking and maybe even doing drugs. Have a firm head on your shoulders. Too much of high living will tell on your career. Besides, agents don't like working with people who have a reputation for such excesses.

Knowledge of industry: Learn all you can about the fashion world. Use this information to your advantage. Know which agencies do better work, which cameraman can bring out the best in you, how to catwalk, pose, emote and what is best avoided. Learn to value your contacts and your friends. Public relations play a large part in this career.

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