If you’re getting into modeling, chances are you envision a glamorous lifestyle of being adored by fans and photographers, traveling the country, meeting interesting people, and of course making lots of money. And while this vision is definitely justified and attainable, it eludes the vast majority of models for reasons that have nothing to do with their beauty.
Modeling has never been more lucrative or as easy to get into than it is now, but to have that fantasy lifestyle come true and become an elite level talent, requires marketing and promotions, a professional and diverse web presence, style development, and alternate revenue generating platforms.
For all aspiring models, it begins with that first photo shoot, typically courtesy of a friend, family member, or local photographer willing to do TFCD (trade for images). Then its time to head on over to a popular modeling directory like Model Mayhem or OMP. Once the portfolios are created, the messages start rolling in from interested parties. This can be exciting for the beginner because it seems that all is going perfectly according to plan. The big money is sure to be coming soon, and in next to no time, her picture will be gracing the magazine covers on newsstands. This however, is hardly how it ends up happening.
Aspiring models, and even experienced models, make the mistake of getting into modeling without an understanding of how the industry works. They don’t know the market, and as a result they don’t know their place in it. More importantly, they don’t know how the money flows, and therefore they don’t know how to make it flow to them. Sure, they may get a few paid gigs off Model Mayhem or OMP, but how many of them understand that the majority of those photographers are photo hobbyists – not that there’s anything wrong with them. Money is money, and who really cares where it comes from, but there’s a reason it doesn’t come consistently, reliably or in abundance.
The professional photographers on those sites typically don’t pay models unless she can bring them value, or unless they are hired by a company that gives them the money to hire the models. But even then, they’re usually going to choose a model with high value.
And how is a model’s value determined?
It is determined by her popularity. How many people know about her, and how much exposure does she have.
If a business or individual is going to hire a model to essentially represent them, they want someone that fits their budget, and more importantly, someone that has exposure to a large audience. The reason being, they know that her audience will then become their audience – it’s that simple.
Gaining exposure and building a fan base is critical to the success of a model. It’ll mean the difference between modeling part-time; scraping for jobs on sites like Craigslist and weeding through the litany of sometimes sketchy offers on Model Mayhem and OMP, or modeling full-time; living that glamorous lifestyle envisioned from the start and creating long term financial security.
For a model to increase her exposure and gain at the very least local recognition, if not national recognition, takes more than just Facebook. Before anything else, it requires her to select the style of modeling to get into and then excel at it. And selecting this style is where most aspiring models go wrong.
Fashion and print is obviously very appealing because it is so safe, but the truth is, very few models can actually do it successfully. If she doesn’t get signed with a top fashion agency, she’ll have to just hope and pray that some local designer or clothing company happens to see her portfolio, likes her look, and hires her. But the other problem is that fashion modeling is very body specific, meaning if the model isn’t a certain height or weight, even the local designers won’t want to work with her. She may be a pretty model, but their designs aren’t going to look as good on her as they will on a model that is 5’10” and 115 pounds. Realize that in fashion modeling, the focus is on the outfit and clothing design – not necessarily the model.
If a model is willing to just do it as a hobby and work with the local photo hobbyists – usually for little to no pay – then freelance (not agency represented) fashion and print modeling is perfectly fine. But if a model has the stars in her eyes and wants to take modeling more seriously, and possibly make a living at it, earning consistent and good money, then her only other option is glamour modeling or porn.
Once glamour modeling is chosen as the style she’ll pursue, she then must understand what glamour modeling entails. A Google image search of “glamour models” will provide the answer quickly. But basically, glamour modeling envelopes a wide spectrum of modeling styles that range from skimpy casual wear, all the way to full nude. Obviously a glamour model doesn’t have to do all those sub-styles, but she almost certainly will need to be able to do at least bikini and lingerie.
Now that she has chosen glamour modeling, its crucial to develop a portfolio specific to glamour modeling. And portfolio development doesn’t end with just a couple of shoots. It requires constant updating and addition, for marketing purposes at the very least. And if lucrative revenue generation methods are going to be implemented, such as producing and publishing content through a membership website, then portfolio development becomes a weekly process.
The truth is, the successful models don’t make the bulk of their money off of photo shoots, instead they have taken the route of producing and publishing their own content. This entrepreneurial concept of making money through the monetization of a fan base through a personal website, is fast becoming the preferred method of revenue generation with elite models. Outside photo shoots, while paid, and often quite substantially, become more for marketing, and driving people to their website than for earning a living. This may sound absurd until you understand that a glamour model can easily earn $5,000 – $10,000 per month through her website. It would take a lot of paid photo shoots to match that income.
In summary, a model’s failures usually start at the very beginning, even before she does her very first photo shoot. Not knowing what style of modeling to get into, not having an understanding of the industry, and not knowing how to properly pose to accentuate her best features, are all major pitfalls that many models fall into right out of the gate. And if those don’t happen to mire her down in Model Mayhem obscurity, then lack of portfolio development, marketing, self-promotions, and a professional web presence will surely catch up to her and make her experience less than fulfilling.
Glamour Sensations caters to ambitious, aspiring talent with high expectations and lofty goals. We provide the full spectrum of development, management, marketing and production services required to turn the beginner glamour model into a nationally recognized personality on the independent modeling scene. And unlike some companies that charge hundreds or thousands of dollars to provide models a fraction of the services we offer, we do it with zero fees. Instead we work on a strictly commission basis. So in other words, if we don’t make our models money then we don’t make money. As a result, we choose to keep our talent group small so we can provide the maximum attention to each one of our models and ensure her success.