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Modeling is acting for 1/200th of a second – Part 1
29-05-2015 Posted by Lee M. Ross in Developing your talent

When you hear someone say 'they’re a model', you usually envision a beautiful creature who’s spoiled by their easy jet-setting lifestyle, flitting from one fashion show to the next. Here’s a fact, modeling isn’t as simple as it looks, in reality, and it can be extremely demanding and exhausting. And modeling is not only for fashionistas, those overweight builders advertising bags of cement are models, too.

We all imagine it's easy; after you arrive at the beautiful location you're led to the dressing room where you sit comfortably in a chair while a make-up artist pads creams and color on your face and you drink a nice cup of tea that an assistant brought you.  A hair stylist works their miracle so you have the perfect coiffeur.  Then a group of stylists help you get dressed and guide you as you float out over to the set where the lights have been meticulously set with a stand in.  The photographer welcomes you with a compliment and an open smile.  The clients ooh and ahh.  A few clicks and it's time for lunch.

And now for a more likely scenario; the shoot is in an industrial area between nowhere and does that place really exist?  You drive around in circles because the complex is in the shape of a figure eight and the name of the street is the same.  All the units look the same; two stories, an entrance door and a large garage door where the architect placed the building-numbers on the bottom right, directly behind where people park.   With building anxiety, you finally find the studio, park (is this a legal place?), knock on the door (the door bell is nowhere to be found) and wait.  And wait.  Finally after a bit of pounding, the door opens and you're confronted by a wall of loud music and a teenager.  He's the photographer and he's just arrived.  Sorry it's so cold, I just put the heat on.  Oh and the client will be late.  Would you like a cup of coffee?  Sorry, we only have instant... and no milk.

The client arrives an hour later with a mock-up of the shot they want. The photographer starts to set up. It takes another hour with you standing in your ‘spot' so the lights can be aimed.  Then they ask to see what clothes you brought with you (the agency asked you to bring your entire wardrobe). They look over your clothes, 'is that all you brought' and choose a couple of outfits.  The photographer pats a bit of powder on your face, smoothes your hair and the actual photography begins. 

By the way this is a true story. And, more often than not, it is a lot closer to the experiences most models endure.  But don't be discouraged most jobs fall somewhere between the fantasy and this reality. 

In another blog we'll get into what it takes to start modeling and how to prepare for a shoot.


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