There are three genres of models: high fashion, commercial and lifestyle. While few make it to the level of high fashion, fashion show producer and modeling expert Charleston Pierce says opportunities are out there for every model—no matter shape, height or age—who knows the rules of the game.
A 20-year veteran of the fashion industry, Pierce teaches a class in modeling and recently held a Model Boot Camp session during the San Francisco Fashion and Merchants Alliance Beauty Expo 2011. To be successful in the model business, Pierce said, you have to follow a few guidelines. Here are five key steps Pierce offered up that every aspiring model can use to further his or her career:
#1 Do your homework.
Research and study model poses to practice at home. Just like a university student trying to earn a degree, models need to continuously study their craft in order to perfect it.
#2 Always be prepared.
Be prepared to pose on a moment’s notice. If a potential agency asks you to show them a graceful ostrich trying to find a mate in the middle of winter, don’t make excuses—do the best you can and commit to it.
# 3 Keep it simple.
Modeling is about the product, not the person. Too much animation is a distraction clients are not interested in keeping around, so cut it out of the routine. Connecting with the audience is one of the most important things to selling a product, and it’s hard to concentrate when a model is flailing about the runway. Learn how to create magic on stage without doing so much.
#4 Network, network, network.
Find someone more experienced and partner up, because the people you know can take you places. It takes courage to ask for help when needed, and the more people you meet, the farther up the ladder you will climb.
#5 Understand the power of good exposure
Everyone needs to pay bills, but if Elle offers to do a cover shoot without a currency exchange, you take it. The exposure from one big-nam job can generate enough buzz to pay off in the long run.
Photography courtesy Shaun Tiangsing