Competition and criticism: Understand photographers and clients as a model
From the very beginning you they will put you to the test. At castings for jobs, a lot of people will meet within a very short period of time – not only models. Also marketing managers, chef designers, stylists, make up artists and helpers. The competition is very high at castings.
Competition and criticism in your daily life
Everybody has great measurements, they all look good and of course everybody wants the job. They all have great pictures and a great book. You will experience your competition at a casting very closely and all of them are amazing in their very own unique way. But stay calm, shine with your charisma and experience, don’t stress – it is a challenge, in particular for younger models. In the big cities like New York or London you might have ten or fifteen castings in one day.
In United States that won’t happen so easily – only at Berlin Fashion Week. Nevertheless, you should make it to every casting, as if it was your first one! Not only castings, but also test shoots or photo shoots – it is vital to have a positive vibe towards clients and photographers. Always show up at appointments with full confidence and trust in your abilities! As a model you will get booked because you are the expert for the visual sale of products and services or brands. You should never forget that: you, wearing fashion garments makes them look amazing! The expensive watch looks even more expensive when you wear it. And whilst less talented models will overestimate themselves, you should stay humble and look at yourself critically. Remember what went well on a job and improve yourself steadily. You can be proud of yourself even though you might have to face a critical photographer or client.
Critical photographers and clients
Buddha says, “Start every new day with a smile”. This philosophy will help you a lot, particularly in difficult situations. When you are loosing all your self-confidence you will get it back together and nail it on set. Your job as a model demands calmness and positive energy; you may meet critical photographers who might not like you. Maybe they had a bad day, or maybe the client wasn’t happy with the last result or maybe the flash doesn’t work. Like everywhere else you will be confronted with people with bad energy and who can’t handle these themself.
Still, as a professional model that should not affect you and it should not bring you down. You have been booked to do your job and you will finish it professionally. Even if nobody of the production team will have laughed on that day, your day will have been perfect, because you had been booked. You will deliver a perfect result to the client and it will not matter if the photographer had a bad day or not, end of story.
Colleagues instead of competition! They can be friends
Communication and social skills are inevitable for models. We will get more into the subject of self marketing of models and that you should try to make your own connections within the industry. You will be confronted with a variety of different people and characters than your friends in their usual life. If you are open and looking for a conversation, you will easily make friends. For young models, it is nice to meet people who are living a similar life. Models, photographers and media people who travel a lot themselves and who are not living a usual everyday life. Being in touch with them and having conversations is a good thing as you are confronted with challenges your friends will not have to face. This includes freelancing at a very young age.
As a young model you will get a lot of attention in social networks. You will earn money when you are young and you have to speak to somebody on how to invest or spend that money, instead of going to parties. So if you are making friends who are modelling as well in showrooms, fashion shows or photo shoots you can always exchange your experience with them instead of always talking to your agent or parents. Friendships within the industry usually develop out of a situation and last long, even if you might be going overseas. After living a long time in a model apartment and having common dinners in restaurants or visits in your local fitness studio or jobs together. It is a long and intensive time of real friendship. Another season you might not meet up again in Istanbul but Hong Kong. You can grow together and will always meet again. Isn’t that a great time when you can live your life and be that flexible? So in order for you to make it that far, communication is vital. Social skills will open doors for you in your modelling agency, with photographers, clients and other models and later on in foreign countries.
You have to be good in conversations, be open and friendly with people, and be able to do small talk. You will have to start many conversations, even if you are in the middle of a photo shoot or getting your hair and make up done. Everybody wants to talk to you. And after the show or the shoot, the networking will not be finished. Some teams meet up after the production to have dinner together. And sometimes you all drive home together or to the airport. You will meet other models, photographers, and clients on a regular basis. Use this chance to build up a network. Your contacts can help you out sometimes, whether it is for travel tips regarding certain cities or job recommendations. As in every industry, a good network helps.
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