Would you like to know if you have 'the look' of a commercial print model?
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You see, when you join a modeling agency all they say is ‘we do not guarantee you success’ because ‘we never know what our clients might want and what kind of look they might be looking for’. Therefore many agencies accept many people who just appear to be ‘pretty’.
So, in essence, when they happen to site someone else’s success all they say ‘he/she just had THAT LOOK’.
First things first: what is commercial print modeling? Commercial print modeling is representation/advertisement of different products. Think of TV commercials, magazines, hair coloring boxes (or any other packages/boxes in stores), fliers, bill-boards etc – do you see people on them? Those people are ‘commercial print models’. Your face could be on one of those boxes, packages, or billboards…provided you have ‘that look’.
Yep, it all boils down to that look. It is worth mentioning that unlike with fashion modeling, commercial modeling does not require you to be under 18 y.old, 6 feet tall, and to weight 120 lbs. (think of a TV commercial of a wheelchair with an elderly woman in it).
Today you will find out the truth no agency will ever tell you. Why? Because most of them live off your $$ paid for classes, trainings, and multiple photo shoots. Plus you may have to pay them some annual $$ for keeping you in their database duhhh… Do you find it strange? Me too.
Therefore modeling agencies accept almost anyone who 1) has no clue whether they have ‘that look’ 2) is willing to pay for the gimmicks (like walking classes, makeup classes etc).
It is not to say that modeling agencies are scam. NO! They are legitimate businesses who do legitimate work. It is that just their selection process is something I am not comfortable with...
And here, ladies and gentlemen, is the moment when you are about to find out the truth. Are you ready? Take a look at this sketch below. Image #1 represents a ‘normal’ face. This is the type of a face that most people have. Image #2 represents the face of a ‘commercial model’. As you can see now, the face in image #2 has a very strong jaw line (square jaws) and appears wider.
Why it is so important:
It is important because this type of face looks very good on TV and print. Just take a look at ANY packaging in your home, magazines, and online stores with images of people on them and you WILL see a stunning similarity – ALL of those people have ‘wide, square’ faces with strongly pronounced jaw lines.
Also, take a look at the examples below. Do you agree that ‘normal’ faces (9-12) do not look as good as the ‘commercial print’ faces (1-8)? Images credit - Canadian Stock Photo
IN CASE YOU STILL HAVE SOME MORE QUESTIONS:
Q. But what if I have high cheek bones?
A. High cheek bones without a wide jaw line mean nothing. If you however have high cheek bones along with wide jaws then it is an added bonus. Think of the super model Kate Moss.
Q. So if I don’t have that look all is lost?
A. No, not all is lost. There are agencies that need people for body parts. If you have beautiful hands, for example, you could advertise jewelry.
Q. Is a strongly pronounced jaw line a must? How about people in their 50s and 60s?
A. The base (wide jaws) should be there. Many older people put on extra pounds but as long as they have a ‘wide’ face they should be fine. When you are in your 50s and beyond having a pronounced jaw line is a bonus but not really expected. You will have to have a wide face though.
Q. I thought that being super pretty and tall were the requirements.
A. Many commercial models are not really THAT pretty. Many of them may not be as pretty as you are! The difference is that they got the job and you didn’t – it is that d*mn look I have been talking about.
Q. Do I need to relocate to a large city to increase my chances?
A. No, there are agencies all over the country! The smaller the metropolitan area you are living in (let’s say under 2.5M people) the less chances of getting booked (getting the job). Plus smaller markets are more lenient towards the ‘look’ which means you could be selected even though your ‘look’ is only 50% of what they need. See the next question.
Q. Are there exceptions?
A. If you live in a small town then the competition may not be as high. The downside is such that if you are not that competitive (in terms of looks and performance) then this is going to be the level where you will get stuck at for good.
Q. Why should I join the agency? Can I just approach advertisers on my own, work with them directly and get paid 100% of what I earn?
A. The idea sounds enticing but advertisers do not work that way. They strongly prefer working with modeling agencies because it keeps things ‘professional’. It is in your interests as well! Should some issue arise, your agency will take your side and defend your interests. If you are on your own… you may not even get paid. Believe it or not such things do happen.
Q. It is hard to believe that age does not matter. What’s the catch?
A. There is no catch. Actually the older you are the higher your chance of breaking into the industry. Why? Just browse ‘our models’ section of any agency. Make sure to click on their ‘classics’ or ‘seniors’ section. How many potential models will you see there? The list will be extremely short. And now think of an advertiser who needs a model to advertise something for an elderly population (cruises for seniors, viagra and other medications, special in-home equipment etc). The list of potential models won’t be as big and therefore the chances of being chosen are extremely high. This is ESPECIALLY true for males in their 50s and beyond.
Q. I am fat, petite, too skinny etc. Do I have a chance?
A. If you have ‘the look’ we were talking about earlier then yes – you do. There is modeling for ‘plus sizes’, for short, fit, petite people, etc.
So... at this point, since the truth is out, you should be pretty clear on whether you should be enrolled with modeling agency(ies) or not.
In case you have discovered that you do not have ‘the look’
Over 90% of people reading this article will fall into this category. If you still insist on trying it out, I suggest contacting modeling agencies who need models for ‘body parts’.
Also, do you think your boyfriend/ girlfriend has that ‘look’? Provided they are open to the idea you could suggest to them signing up with a local agency. You just never know! Considering that agencies accept a lot of people (‘look’ or ‘no look’) them having the ‘right look’ will put them into a great advantage!
In case you have discovered you DO have ‘the look’
Congratulations! Yey! (I love you too). Less than 10% of readers will fall into this category.
In case you have ‘the right look’ and would like ‘to try and see what happens’ I have some more useful stuff with you to share.
Remember all the classes and photo shoots I mentioned in the beginning of this article? They are gimmicks for most people because as you have figured by now 90%+ of people do not have the look and therefore they will never have to use the learned skills.
Since you have the look of a commercial print model you will have to obtain some skills to compete with others to book the job.
HERE IS HOW IT ALL HAPPENS.
1) An advertiser comes to a modeling agency to get one or several models to advertise a product.
2) An advertiser scans through a database of photos and selects several candidates (sometimes an agency does it for them)
3) All the selected candidates get a call/e-mail/sms to attend casting. The place and time is usually provided.
Casting – is a selection process. Of all the 50…100+… candidates only one (or two or three… depending on how many models they are looking for) will be selected.
4) The chosen one(s) is the ’winner’, i.e. the one who gets booked for the job, performs the job and then gets paid 45-60 days later. The agency will take some % of what a model makes.
In a nutshell this is it.
As you have probably noticed that although your’ having the look’ did get you to a casting, it does not mean however that you will get booked for a job. This is because you will be competing with many other candidates who have ‘the look’ and at this point it will be a different ball game. It is not about your looks anymore, it is about your SKILLS.
Those who know how to do cold reading (it is hard if you are clueless, believe me!), how to look into a camera, how to speak, how to move and pose during a fast-paced photo shoot, etc., will have a tremendous advantage over those who do not. See what I am saying here?
The classes I have mentioned in the beginning are something you would probably want to consider strongly if you are looking to beat the competition. You do not have to take the classes but there will always be those who do and therefore they will perform better at casting and will get booked for the job. The next thing you see is them being on a local or national television or featured on a billboard. It could have been you if only you had performed better. This is just my personal suggestion, I have absolutely nothing to gain from it, it's just friendly advice.
SOME MORE MISC STUFF:
~ Having ‘the look’ is great but it was just an entry point, just the beginning. Here are the other things that will play role in your success: condition of your skin (in case you have scars and would like to get rid of them – click here), your hair, your overall healthy/unhealthy appearance, your posture. Plus when you speak into a camera you are expected to sound (and appear) confident AND natural.
~ Casting directors prefer those who are ‘easy to work with’ and have a good attitude.
~ If you want to kill your modeling career be late. Or better yet – never show up. Let all the photographers, the production team, makeup artists and other people who get paid by the hour wait for you. If you ever let it happen it will be the end. You may also face some penalties and fines (depending on the agency).
Still excited? Here is my suggestion – kill two birds with one stone and get your photos exposed right away to many agencies, agents, and casting directors. All at once! See details here - get a national exposure
Of course you could still sign up with your local agency, still pay them something (it is a given), and then sit and wait to be noticed. The suggestion above is a much better solution because you get a much wider exposure. You just never know what might happen!
And as a bonus - here are my winning photo suggestions secrets:
~ make sure to show off your strong jaw line :). To do so just turn your head (slightly) sideways and pull it a little bit forward (as if you are trying to take a picture of your cheek). See images#5,6,8 above.
~ avoid the dreaded look of a dead fish in your eyes! All you have to do is to slightly squint your eyes. You will be surprised of the effect it has!
~ another way to not have an ‘empty look’ – try to super-focus your eyes on the camera’s imaginary small dot (any dot!). That way your eyes will appear ‘live’ on the photo.
~ ladies – light makeup is the best (no heavy makeup!). It is also not recommended to use eyeliner on a lower eyelid. Do not use anything shiny or sparkly.
~ if you have long hair do not block your ‘right look’ with it. Let the casting directors and agencies clearly see the shape of your face.
INTERESTING FACT: this ‘look’ thing does not apply to modeling agencies only. A lot of actors and actresses, TV personas, and news commentators have this ‘look’.
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