Those who are trying to make it in the world of modeling need a little more than just a pretty face. There are some things which are more important than talent. In fact, talent without these things can be meaningless. This applies to a lot of similar professions, too - such as acting, being an artist, and even a photographer.
These five things are the most important factors which will decide whether you succeed or not.
1. A Can-Do Attitude
Someone who can get the job done is someone who will be remembered. Photographers and agencies aren’t looking for a model who is too afraid to take a chance. They don’t want someone with a long list of things they won’t do. It’s perfectly acceptable to have boundaries, but if you always stick to safe work and refuse to do anything out of the ordinary, you are unlikely to be memorable. The same applies for getting up early, travelling, being too hot or too cold for a while, and so on. If you are willing to push yourself in order to get the shot, then you’re the one who will get the shot. Those who don’t want to take the chance will not get far.
Good manners cost nothing - a phrase you’ve probably heard or read countless times before. It’s something that is repeated often because it is true. It’s very easy to be rude to someone, but it gets you nowhere. Being polite and well mannered will be something that people remember you for. It will make you an enjoyable person to work with. It leaves a good impression. Plus, you never know who that person you’re being rude to might be. Even if they are not important now, in a few years they might be in a position to make your career - or break it.
3. Good Time-Keeping
Showing up late is, in many cases, about the same as not showing up at all. In fact, sometimes it can be worse, because now everyone has to scramble around to accommodate you. There is no such thing as being fashionably late when you are working. If you set a time, stick to it. Arriving early is even better. Even if you have to sit around for a while and wait, you will at least have shown that you are keen. That time can also be spent chatting to people and helping out. Building connections is very important, as we will discuss in a moment. Being organised and on time is crucial to building a good reputation and getting good results. No one wants to have to rush through what might have been a great project if you had had the time.
4. Working Hard
This one should really go without saying, but the sad thing is that many people take it for granted. Models think that a pretty face is all they need, and they just have to stand in front of a camera for an hour a week to make money. It’s not true. You have to be prepared to work very hard. Recently I attended a talk by Tim Walker, and listened to him describing his Vogue shoots. He talked of models getting up at 5am on 3 hours’ sleep in a remote location. He told us how some of his shots were a natural capture of a model who was quite simply exhausted and fed up. He described climbing down steep, rocky mountainsides in platform shoes and couture dresses to get the shot. If you want long lay ins, parties six nights a week, and a tiny bit of work at the end, then you’re in the wrong business.
5. Getting Connected
Knowing the right person at the right time can get you anywhere. This is why networking is one of the most important aspects of working in the fashion industry. The current crop of supermodels have been dubbed the InstaGirls because they use the power of social media to connect with millions of people around the world. You can use it on a smaller scale to get started. Even just a few comments here and there can lead to getting the attention of people who will help your career. Once you have worked with someone, don’t lose touch. Stay connected - you never know what opportunities may arise. When I’m reminded of a model by a message or even a simple “like” on one of my images, she’ll stay in my mind while I’m casting for my next project.
Let’s see you start to practice these 5 factors that will get you further than talent. Can you give an example of a time when one of them helped your career? Leave a comment below - and let’s get connected!