Saturday, January 19, 2013

How to prepare for Modeling In 6 Easy Steps

Wendy Alane Wright with Model/Actress Isabella Mulford

When I was a kid, I used to spend a lot of time looking in the mirror at myself, imagining I could be a model and have my picture in magazines. I always loved the camera and loved being the center of attention. Do you feel that way too? Do you want to see your face on a billboard or in magazines? I totally understand that. I have done many photos shoots, appeared in magazines and music videos when I was in my twenties. Today, I am a talent manager in Los Angeles. I represent kids, teens and adults. I help my clients get into film, tv and modeling. I love helping newcomers like you break into the entertainment industry. With over 25 years experience, I know how this business works inside and out. I am going to give you some very useful advice that will help you learn how to model. Yes, modeling is a skill that you can develop. If you follow my professional advice, you will start to develop the skills you need to become a model. Be realistic as these skills will take time to build and you will need to practice a lot. Eventually, you will become really good at them and be ready to take professional steps into the modeling industry. Okay, let's get started.


1. The first thing you need to understand is that modeling is like dancing and acting. It is all about movement, emotion and expression. Models are always moving, changing poses, changing expressions, moving their heads, bodies, arms, hands and legs. First you must learn how to move from pose to pose, easily and confidently. Then you have to know how to give off emotions and attitudes like innocent, happy, cocky, curious.

In order to move from pose to pose you have to know about 20 different poses. When you get in front of the camera, the photographer will want to see what you can do. You can't just stand there. You have to know how to work your body, arms, head, expressions and have various poses they can shoot. You learn poses by looking at magazines and copying the poses the models are making. Pick up some fashion magazines and tear out the pages of 20 poses you think look great. Now your job is to learn them and memorize them. Practice making the same pose in the mirror. See where their hands are placed, how they are standing, which part of their body is facing the camera. Copy it, and practice, practice, practice. Learn all 20. Then you move from one position to another. Hit your first position, then your next one, next and so on. Do all 20. This process can take you days, weeks or moths. It doesn't matter. What matters is that you become good at this.

Another extremely important thing you must learn to become a model is how to give off emotions and attitudes. Look at the magazines. What are the models saying with their faces, their eyes? How many different expressions can you make? Try surprise, shyness, joy. Your eyes are the window of your soul. Everything you feel is transmitted through your eyes. If you are having sad thoughts your eyes will show that. If you are happy and having joyful thoughts your eyes will show that too. If you are not thinking specific these thoughts your eyes will be blank, and no one wants a blank model. So pick 5 very basic emotions and learn how to express them with your eyes.

Find a friend who will take a million pictures of you so you can practice. Look at them and see what you look like in the different poses you have learned. Some poses may look better on you than others. Get rid of the ones that make you look short and squat. Always go for the longer looks, the long neck. You need to become familiar with how you look on film.

Take pictures in every color shirt you have and then look at them. See what colors look best on you, with your hair color, skin color and eye color. Ask your friends and family which colors they prefer on you. Try different styles of clothes and shoot in everything. Learn how to touch the clothes you are wearing. Go back to your magazines and see how the models are touching the collars of their shirts, or have one hand in a pocket. If you are modeling clothes, knowing how to show show off the features of the clothes is important.

When you are shooting with photographers for the first year or two, remember, you don't have to be the greatest model in the world. You are just a beginner. You will get better and better the more experience you get. The instructions I have just given you will help you develop some basic ability and that is very important. Best of all you can learn the basics right in your own home, starting today!

If you have some poses memorized, can move through them and have several different emotions then you are ready to start contact local photographers in your area. Get out the phone book or go online and Google photographers. It's time to start calling them. Photographers always need models to pose for them so they can show potential clients how well they take pictures. Many times photographers who are just starting out can't afford to pay models so they need models who will work for free. They also do not charge these models to take pictures of them. This is called TFP of Trade For Print. It means you go in their studio, they take your pictures, it doesn't cost you anything and you get to keep the images for your modeling portfolio. You are helping eachother out. They get pictures to show off their work and you get free pictures they have taken of you. Perfect.

Your goal should be to find every photographer in your town who is willing to take free pictures of you and shoot with everyone of them. Indoors, outdoors, in natural light. You will find every photographer has a different style of working and a different personality. Your shots will be different from photographer to photographer as they use different lenses, different lighting and backgrounds. This is so much fun. When you are doing these practice photo shoots have fun. Try all the positions and expressions you have learned. Sometimes the photographer will also tell you how they want you to stand, or where to place your hands. Try their suggestions too. You may discover different poses that look really good on you. I really loved the time in front of the camera.

Ask for all the pictures they shoot of you on a CD or Jump Drive before you leave their studio.

If you follow my direction you will develop some wonderful skills that can help you with your modeling career. After mastering the above, you will be ready to go meet modeling agents. You can find out how to do that in my blog "Open Calls At Reputable Modeling Agencies."
I wish you good luck and much success!
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Wendy Alane Wright Smith
Talent Manager

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