Ah! That burning desire to become a model.
It keeps you awake at nights, right?
And why wouldn’t it? After all, you have all the reasons to believe modelling is your life purpose. For instance:
Girls of your class give you compliments.
Your girlfriend says you look like a model.
Even your friends say, “Hey, why don’t you try making a career in modelling?”
And you start visualising hot girls, tons of cash, celebrity status, and a lavish lifestyle.
No so fast baby.
Before you hit the road, you need to know a) What does it mean to be a model and, b) If you’re up for that.
So I’ve prepared a checklist for you. Go through it and decide if this is what you want to do. And if you do choose to become a model, then my story can help (coming up after the checklist).
#Fact Check 1: Modelling is Easy
When it comes to modelling, the common perception is that it is a route to get easy money:
Just wear branded garments, sport a pair of cool shades while a hot-looking girl hugs you from behind.
Stand in front of a camera. Get some pictures clicked. Get lots of money. And go home, right?
Well, not exactly.
A modelling career may appear glamorous to you at the moment, but know this – ‘Glamour’ comes at a price. Something we call “Hard Work.”
I remember shooting a TV commercial for a modular kitchen company in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh in November 2009.
The call time was 9 am, and I was on time. But the female model wasn’t, and I had to wait for more than 5 hours for her to arrive.
The cameras didn’t start to roll until about 4 pm, and the shooting went on till 11:30 pm.
No breakfast. No lunch. Just a burger and a glass of soft drink. Dinner was at midnight.
Phew! You call that easy?
If you’re willing to put in a lot of hard work, then hell yeah, go for it. But if you were thinking of earning some “extra cash” by having fun, then you should rethink, my friend.
Did I disappoint you?
Well, sorry about that. But you want me to cut the crap and give you the cold, hard truth–the inside facts of the modelling industry, right?
Then please, bear with me.
And so, the question arises – what kind of hard work?
Well, we’re talking about:
- Working out regularly in a gym to achieve an attractive physique.
- Polishing communication skills, especially your spoken English.
- Grooming yourself (table manners, general etiquette, and things like that).
And for all that stuff you need money. Yes, you need the money while still trying to become a model (consider that an investment).
The question is:
Do you have it?
If not, then how are you planning to get it?
Can you persuade your parents to support you?
And if they are not in a position to afford it or are unwilling, then you’ll need to figure it out yourself.
Here are some ideas for you:
- Can you move to a cheaper hostel to save some money?
- Would you start giving tuition to junior students?
- How about working part-time in an office?
- Have you ever considered designing websites as a freelancer?
- Can you give up the cinema visits and ‘Chhoti gold flakes’ (at least for the time being?)
What would you do to get the money?
Think about that. It’s really really important.
#Fact Check 2: You Can Be a Successful Model Even With a Fat Tummy
Well, you certainly can. If you’re planning to land the role of some ‘Uncle Ji’ in a B-grade TV serial.
But is that what you want?
You want to become a model, a successful one, right?
Then you must take care of your health, and your appearance–you have to have an appealing physique.
By watching what you eat.
Exercising in a gym.
Working out is a must. Period.
Maybe you’re used to late-night parties or watching movies up till late at night.
Well, guess what, you need to change that.
Junk food like noodles, bread-pakora, samose, chhole-bhatoore is a big no.
You need to focus on eating healthy foods like:
Whole grains – Dalia, oats, and Muesli.
Fruits – All types of seasonal fruits
Vegetables – Green-leafy ones and all other kinds of seasonal vegetables.
Nuts – Almonds, raisins, cashews, and walnuts.
“Smoking, alcohol, drugs?”
Are you serious? No way.
#Fact Check 3: You Need to Be Fluent in English
Not necessarily, but yes, it helps.
You see, modelling is just like any other career – accounting, hotel management, or engineering.
It does help if you could talk in English. Not some accented or stylish English, but plain, simple, easy to understand English.
And that should not be a challenge for convent-educated boys.
But for the rest of us, it can be a challenge.
So what would you do to improve your spoken English?
- Would you join a spoken English institute?
- How about participating in your college group-discussions and debates?
- Or would you prefer practising on your own with the help of self-study courses like fluentzy?
#Fact Check 4: Modelling Can Make You Rich Overnight
Yes, it can.
If you could establish yourself as a pro by marketing yourself wisely.
But, not everybody is good at marketing himself.
Should you be worried?
Well, you need to be concerned, not worried. Because nowadays you can learn anything if you’re willing to put in the work. And marketing yourself is no different.
But don’t expect to get rich overnight. You need to work your ass off, and even then, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to make it big because a career in modelling is as risky as it’s lucrative.
I am not saying you can’t make it big. I am only saying there are no assurances. Keep that in mind.
Also, be informed that in the beginning, you may have to work for free. And when you become a known face in the market, you might start getting some low-budget assignments.
And if everything goes well, then you can be on your way to becoming a highly paid model (or maybe the highest paid one).
#Fact Check 5: Modelling is a Long-Term Career
Yes, a career in modelling is full of opportunities, but it’s not what you’d call “a long-term career”. So before you decide to get into it, you need to figure out what would you do once it gets over.
So, what options you have?
The obvious one is, get into TV serials and eventually into movies (feature films, to be specific). And for that, you need to keep working on your acting skills while still trying to make it big in the modelling industry.
Be prepared for that.
I Also Wanted to Become a Model. Here’s My Story (And Some Important Lessons for YOU)
The first time I faced the camera was way back in 1997. It was an audition for a telefilm, which never went on the floor.
You see, I had just graduated from Delhi University. And, I wanted to become a model but had no idea where to start. So I tried whatever came my way.
Actually, I was clueless about what should I do with my life. And, now I realise the people I was hanging out with were nothing but just a bunch of smart-asses: people who make money by exploiting aspiring models like me, who has big dreams but little experience.
I spent 5 thousand rupees on my portfolio (a collection of photos). And later found out that I was duped (it was nothing but some low-quality photos compiled in an even lower quality plastic album).
And you know the irony?
I had no money to pay for the photo-shoot, and so had to borrow it from one of my relatives.
I lost the money, and two precious years of my life.
Then I faced the camera again in 2006. This time I was working as a TV anchor for a local health and lifestyle channel. I had no intention to host TV shows, but since I had no clue what to do, I stuck with that job for almost nine months.
Then in 2009, I shot for 13 episodes of a low budget sex-problems related TV show, in which I asked silly questions on behalf of the viewers. (By the way, that show is still being aired on some TV channels late at night. You may watch me talking with two doctors who call themselves ‘psycho-sexologists.’)
Later, in 2010, I also shot a TV commercial and a Hindi documentary.
So you see, I have quite an experience in the field of modelling and TV.
Am I a celebrity or a superstar? No. At present, I am a blogger and voice actor. But I have an inside view of how things work in the glamour world. And that’s why I’ve written this article so you can benefit from my experience.
Coming back to my modelling quest, I realise today that I couldn’t succeed because I didn’t really like being a model or a TV show host.
You see, I was confused at the time I started all this, and trying my luck in modelling was the only thing I could think of–to earn some money.
I wasn’t sure if modelling was for me and so I was kind of testing the waters. I was checking if it was the right career for me. And I think, subconsciously I knew it wasn’t.
I was like “Let’s try making a career in modelling for the time being and see what happens.”
So there you have a lesson – If you’re trying to become a model because of money, don’t.
Choose a career only if you like it. Money shouldn’t be the primary motivation behind choosing a career-path, because if it is, then it won’t last long. And even if it does, you shall be miserable all your life.
Hope I am not discouraging you.
I want you to succeed as a model, I really do. And that’s why I want you to stay away from the mistakes I committed.
What were they?
Mistake 1. Believing Everything You Hear
Media is a diverse arena, and there are different career opportunities available. For example, did you know that instead of becoming a model, you could become a model-coordinator?
A coordinator is a person who helps a model get assignments. The difference is that you work behind the screen, and you are supposed to help models move forward, which eventually helps your career grow as well.
Also, if you have an impressive voice, and a good command over Hindi & English (or another set of languages) you may try luck in the field of voice-overs. I’ve already written an article on this, titled “How to Become a Voice Over Artist.”
When somebody suggests you should try your luck in modelling, by all means, consider it. But don’t close your eyes to other options that might be available (in the same or similar fields).
Mistake 2. Never Cross-Checking
During my ‘hunting’ I met a guy who was a lookalike of a famous Bollywood star. He was a genuine person but not smart enough for a field like modelling. He assured to help me make my career as a model.
But his ‘help’ was more of a burden: I had to put in a lot of time helping his elder brother at their shop, something that I hated the most. I used to do that almost every day – hoping to get a lucky break.
Nothing happened for almost two long years.
Now, you see, the most important thing for any aspiring model is portfolio – a collection of photographs to demonstrate how good you’ll look on screen. And that arranged for a photographer whom he thought was a decent one. And boy was he wrong.
I was quite happy to hold my portfolio in my hands. I didn’t realise it was completely useless until I approached an agency for work. The coordinator gave me a strange look while going through my photos. And then she showed me some portfolios. OMG! Those portfolios were something I had seen for the first time. And it was crystal clear to me that mine was nothing compared to them.
Despite their best intentions, some people (who’re trying to help you) might not be able to because they aren’t made for that stuff.
Evaluate your options carefully and decide what’s right for you.
A portfolio is the first thing a modelling agency would ask for, so make sure yours is the best you can get–do proper research before hiring a photographer.
Mistake 3. Clinging to False Hope
Despite my initial failures, I thought it was just a matter of time. So, I put in more efforts and waited for some more days. And wasted some precious years of my life.
I don’t want that happen to you.
Now let me tell you a simple truth: having a positive attitude is great, but there’s a thin line between being positive and being naive and you know must know the difference.
Every day you pass clinging to false hope is a day wasted. Utilise your time wisely.
There’s no shame in quitting for the right reasons.
What You Need to Become a Successful Model (And How to Achieve That)
Getting a fit physique is a must for anyone wanting to be a model.
No, I am not asking you to start eating like a monster and start lifting as heavy as you could. But you must try to get fit and presentable.
There are certain things in your physical appearance which you cannot change (apparently).
For instance, your facial features, height, and complexion.
But don’t believe that.
You know why because there are people, real ones, who say that you can change whatever you want if you just believed it.
You can change your facial features.
You can improve your appearance.
And can also increase your height by an inch or two, or more.
I have a little experience of increasing height, and we’ll talk about in a later section. For now, let’s discuss facial features.
There are certain unique features in your physical appearance that makes you distinct and recognisable from other people.
A pointed nose.
Dimples in your cheeks when you laugh?
Your facial features are set in stone (well, almost).
You have little control over them, and you cannot change them entirely. Though, some celebrity magazines claim that a few movie stars have changed/improved their facial features with cosmetic surgery.
While it’s true that cosmetic surgery is advancing by leaps and bounds, but it is also true that not everyone can have access to such insanely expensive methods to change/upgrade/refine their facial features.
But yes, it is an option if you have the money.
Complexion is also somewhat of a unique feature that you cannot manipulate, well, again, almost.
I am saying almost because you can get 1 or 2 shades fairer than you currently are.
To give you an example, I have a whitish complexion, and once I had developed some blemishes on my face. At that time, I used an Ayurvedic cream named “Panchavati cream” (and still do) which worked quite well for me. It comes in a small bottle, small enough to fit in your palm, and it should be readily available at your neighbourhood medical store.
You’re supposed to apply it on the face at nighttime, right before you go to bed. Here’s how:
Wash your face with soap or a good face wash. Pat dry. Take a little cream (almost equal to the size of a wheat grain) and apply it on your face in a circular motion for about 1 minute. You’ll feel a little warmth on the skin, and you may also experience some droplets of sweat. That’s normal. Within 21 days you’ll notice glow and fairness on your face.
Betnovate – C
Betnovate – C is a wonderful cream to remove the dead skin from your face. You can see the dead cells coming off of your skin, literally. And just like Panchvati cream, this one should also be available at your local medical store.
But this one is a little tricky to use. Be careful to apply it only at night (right before going to bed) because if you go out in the sun with this cream on your face, your skin may get damaged.
I had experimented with Neem leaves during one of my summer vacations at my Nana Ji’s home in Baghpat with a noticeable difference in my complexion within 25-30 days.
Though when I started the experiment, I had no intention to get fairer skin. I did it for some other reason:
You see, I hate mosquitoes because they love biting me, and my eldest grandmother (who’s no more) used to boast that mosquitoes rarely bite her. She used to say, “Mosquitoes bite you because your blood is sweet. They don’t bite me because my blood is bitter-I used to eat 4 – 5 Neem leaves every day when I was your age.”
I would have no idea until today if she were speaking the truth. But after hearing her ‘bitter blood theory, I decided to give Neem leaves a chance.
And so the neem juice experiment began.
Crushing the Neem leaves with a stone grinder, pouring some water, filtering the Neem juice, and drinking it–it was a daily ritual for me.
The taste was disgusting, but the results were heartwarming. I didn’t notice any improvement in “mosquitoes-bites”, but yes, when I went back to my village, my father commented that my skin had grown fairer which obviously was a side effect of my efforts to get “bitter blood.” But since you don’t have any such intention, you can use the formula to get fairer skin. I proudly call it “Neem juice formula.”
Neem Juice Formula
Get a couple of Neem twigs. Pluck the leaves and wash them thoroughly. Grind them in a mixer for about 1 minute and then add 200-300ml of water. Run the grinder for one more minute. (A word of caution: Using the same jar over and over again for grinding the Neem leaves is likely to spoil the taste of other dishes which you prepare in the same jar, so be careful.)
Separate the water from the mixture with a sieve.
Now you have the miraculous Neem juice. The smell and taste? Oh! Can’t even describe.
Imagine the sweetest dish you can (mine is a glass of mango shake with ten spoonfuls of sugar). Close your eyes and gulp down the green liquid in one go. And then, eat 3-4 tablespoons full of sugar to counter the bitterness. Be brave for at least 21 days.
Plucking, washing, and grinding Neem leaves can be overwhelming. So, here’s an alternative – Neem leaves powder.
Get a reasonably good amount of Neem leaves. Wash and rinse. Take a cotton cloth (an old bed sheet will do just fine). Spread the leaves on the bed sheet and let them dry in the shade.
(For about three days in summers, and about eight days in winters)
Try crushing the leaves, and if they feel ‘dry’ to your hands, they are dry enough.
Grind the leaves in a mixer and make a fine powder. Now, transfer the powder to a glass jar and keep it a cool and dry place (away from direct sunlight).
Take 1-2 teaspoons of this powder daily with water. It’ll not only help you get a fairer skin but shall also tackle many other skin problems.
A doctor in the old Delhi area claims that his medicine can help you gain a little more height even after 35. I tried, and it seemed to have worked for me. It’s called “Herbo Height Therapy.”
You can check it out for yourself (of course, with the understanding that there can be no guarantees, simply because not everything works for everybody).
Exercises can be mainly categorised as aerobic and anaerobic.
Aerobic Exercises (for Decreasing Fat)
Aerobic exercises can help you keep the body fit and healthy, but they cannot help you gain muscles. (If you want to increase muscles, then you must consider anaerobic exercises or “weight training” commonly known as bodybuilding).
Climbing the stairs.
And a lot more.
Anaerobic Exercises: (for Building Muscles)
Bodybuilding is like “Hind Mahasagar” (Indian ocean) – stretched till eternity. There are many exercises to develop chest, shoulders, upper back, lower back, abdominals, biceps, triceps, forearms and other body parts. It’s crucial that you familiarise yourself with bodybuilding in general before you start.
You can read lots of informative articles on BodyBuilding.com to understand the terminology and how things work. There, you’ll find articles related to diet, exercise, supplementation, rest and recovery, and a lot more.
And now I am giving you just an overview of the exercises used for developing a muscular physique.
- Bench Presses
- Dumbbell Presses
- Dumbbell Flys
- Lat machine
- Bent-over rowing
- Seated rowing
- Military Presses
- Arnold Presses
- Lateral Raises
- Behind the Neck Presses
- Leg Raises
- Barbell curls
- Dumbbell curls
- Preacher curls
- Concentration curls
- Hammer curls
- Pulley push-downs
- Skull crushers
- Close-grip bench Presses
Bodybuilding and Steroids
A word that invokes curiosity, confusion and confidence at the same time.
Steroids (sometimes called anabolics or anabolic steroids) are basically synthetic compounds (produced in laboratories) similar to the natural substances the human body produces. They have gained a lot of popularity in the bodybuilding circles. Because many people claim that one can achieve a muscular physique with steroids which otherwise would be impossible. I’ve heard that most of the fitness models and pro-bodybuilders use steroids to gain muscle mass and increase strength.
There are many different forms of steroids but for the sake of basic understanding, let’s talk about ‘synthetic testosterone.’ And even before that, let’s first understand what testosterone is and what it does.
Testosterone is a male hormone produced naturally by the body. This hormone is responsible for maintaining muscle mass and sex drive. In youth, the body produces sufficient testosterone in healthy male adults. With age, the production of testosterone decreases and men tend to lose muscle mass, and may also start gaining fat.
That’s where synthetic steroids come in. Synthetic testosterone is kind of similar to the natural one except that it was produced in a laboratory. Doctors use it to cure low levels of natural testosterone to prevent premature ageing and several other conditions.
When a healthy young adult (whose body is already producing optimal levels of testosterone) uses a synthetic steroid to boost his (already high) testosterone levels, he is ‘abusing’ steroids. And abuse can create havoc if you don’t know what you’re dealing with.
When I Tried Synthetic Testosterone for Gaining Muscles
The first time I tried synthetic testosterone was way back in 2001 when I wanted to gain some weight. A past friend of mine had basic knowledge of steroids, and he explained that steroids were not magical, as some people would like you to believe. One must follow a healthy diet to reap the muscle gain benefits.
I tried a single dose but had to discontinue because of lack of money. I was in between jobs and was hardly able to eat two meals a day, forget about eating a healthy and nutritious diet (which is a must if you’re using steroids).
Later, I tried them again after several years. But even at that time, I under-dosed because I didn’t want to get into an uncomfortable situation.
I noticed a slight improvement in my body weight and strength. My diet was clean, and I was also working out in a gym. But I discontinued because I had no intention to harm my body. It was more of like ‘testing the waters’, rather than being enslaved to something I did not yet fully understand.
Planning to Use Anabolic Steroids?
Be cautious about what you use and how because lack of proper information and education about the steroids can cause you severe harm.
Educate yourself first and get a basic understanding, so you know what you’re dealing with.
Experienced steroid users warn that a 20-year-old boy has no business mingling with steroids. If he does abuse steroids, side effects can be devastating. You cannot blame anyone but yourself if things go south. It’s your responsibility to take care of your health.
You need to decide if you’re willing to take the risk because it is there.
Remember: prevention is always better than cure.
If I were to choose between sleep and food on a particular day, I’d pick sleep.
You can get away without eating dinner. But you cannot get away without a sound sleep.
In older times, people had no difficulty sleeping. Life was slow paced and less demanding. But times have changed.
Now we live an overstimulated and fast-paced life. And one of the significant reasons why sleep has become disturbed is the overuse of electronic devices–mobile phones, tablets, TVs, etc. And let’s be honest, it’s not just overuse, it’s actually addiction especially addiction to social media, right?
I mean, look at the people around you– the majority of them are busy checking WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and what not.
Social media, mobile phones, TVs–all that stuff was invented to stay connected. But we went overboard. The result? Our minds are preoccupied most of the times–getting not enough rest. And sleep needs time because it is a gentle and slow phenomenon.
Has there ever been a day when the sun was there in the sky, and suddenly it went down the very next minute? No, it doesn’t work like that. The process of day turning into the night is gentle, soft, and natural. The sun sets down gradually. The darkness crawls in beautifully. And that’s precisely how the body is supposed to prepare itself for sleep.
But in this ‘modern age’, quite often you find yourself:
Playing video games.
Working on the laptop.
Then suddenly you look at the watch, and you’re like, “Oh my god! it’s 11:30 (yawn), I should get some sleep now.” And then you go straight to bed.
What do you think will happen since you just gave your body and mind a ‘jerk’ instead of a ‘transition?’ And moving through a transition from awakened state to sleep in impossible? I am not saying that. But yes, we need to make little changes in our habits to make that happen-some lifestyle changes.
Letting the Transition Happen
First of all, watching the news at 11 in the night is really not a good idea. Because most of it is full of murders, scams, rapes, political struggle, and things like that. So, basically, negative things. Things that aren’t working instead of the ones that are.
But let’s keep the concept of ‘negative’ vs ‘positive’ aside for the time being. We’re just trying to get a sound sleep here. And watching TV or staring at a mobile phone screen tricks your brain that it’s still daytime, which forces your body to stay awake.
Making Lifestyle Changes
The mind is a trickster. It loves to keep us in stress by creating more and more desires. And as long as you’re stressed, you cannot have a sound sleep because desires themselves are the primary reason for undue stress. And you know what I am talking about–as soon as one desire is fulfilled, another one surfaces, right?
It goes on and on and on.
So, you need to realise that you cannot have it all. And why is that?
Because most of the desires you have are artificial ones – planted in your mind by advertising agencies. Such agencies work for companies that produce stuff. And these companies spend billions of dollars on making TV ads, Radio ads, YouTube ads, and so on. The idea behind spending so much money is simple: the more people consume their stuff, the more money they make. And the scary part? The more you consume, the more you crave. It’s a vicious circle.
I am not saying that you shouldn’t enjoy the latest mobile phone or a bar of yummy chocolate, or a “better” car. But you must remember that the point of running after “better” things or “better” life experiences is not to have something better. The point is “enjoyment” – living life to the fullest at this very moment. And sleep is the best thing you can enjoy if you could control your desires and move through a transition every night to prepare yourself.
Here are some ideas to help you:
Use a Camphor Dispenser
It’s a cute little thing used for burning camphor. You need to turn off the lights to enjoy the otherworldly aroma of camphor.
Wash Your Legs and Face
Washing legs up to the knees are said to have a calming effect on the mind. If your feet are aching, try soaking them in warm, saline water. Also, try washing your face.
(I wash my face and feet, comb my hair and then go to sleep. It makes me feel good.)
Play Relaxing Music
Music has always been my best bet for a good night sleep. I prefer listening to soft music or discourses by Rajneesh (Osho). Try this piece of Celtic music. And here’s another one by one of my favourite artists Adrian Von Ziegler.
Stare at the Moon
Funny? I know, but it works like a charm to relax the mind. Try it
Drink Warm Milk
Warm milk helps to get deep sleep. Try drinking a cup of warm milk 30 to 45 minutes before going to bed (preferably without sugar).
(Just a side note: I can’t stand milk without sugar. But I know you’re brave than me.)
You must have excellent communication skills if you’re serious about becoming a successful model.
But let’s get this straight: communication skills does not mean spoken English skills.
Of course, strive to improve your spoken English, but don’t confuse excellent communication skills with excellent spoken English skills. Had that been true, all native English speakers would have been remarkable communicators. But that’s not the case.
Having strong communication skills mean you are good at expressing yourself in plain, unambiguous language. And that’s it.
Respect Your Mother Tongue
Many young people from rural areas don’t speak in their mother tongue because they’re ashamed of it.
If you want to rise high, you must learn to respect your mother tongue. Else you’ll keep fighting with the fact that you were born in a rural area. You may also start hating your parents and yourself. You may feel intimidated seeing boys and girls speaking in English in cities. I know I used to. But then I realised that everyone’s life is unique.
Accept who you are.
Own and respect your mother tongue.
You are what you are. You cannot change your past. The sooner you accept it, the better.
Have at least working knowledge of your mother tongue. And improve your Hindi. And also, work on your spoken English.
But remember: your mother tongue is the basis of your verbal skills.
Opening Yourself Up
Want to gain confidence in talking with people? Read Aloud.
Reading aloud forces vocal muscles to get more open and flexible. Start reading a small paragraph for 10-15 minutes each day. Soon, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your voice.
Vocal exercises can also help you open up. Sit in a relaxed posture, breathe deeply and chant “Aum.” Try it for 15 to 21 days (preferably in the morning before breakfast).
Update your wardrobe.
Because you may have been following some dated fashion rules, just refresh yourself up in modern colours and styles. You don’t need to wear the same types of clothes your friends wear. It’s good to follow the latest trends, but you must realise your uniqueness. The clothes need to reflect your personality.
And yes, by all means, wear modern clothes (modern does not necessarily mean western, mind it), and remember that by “modern”, I don’t mean some bizarre looking costumes. But yes, you need to update the choices you make about the colours and styles.
I’ve once had the misfortune of eating alongside a man who was making annoying sounds while chewing. Arggh! I can still hear him.
Now, I want you to think for a moment…
Do you make weird sounds while eating? (Chop-chop sound being the most common).
Do you pick nose while talking to somebody? (Yes, some people do).
Is munching on biscuits while speaking over the phone your favourite pastime?
Are you guilty of shoving in and pushing people while using an elevator or metro train?
If you do, you need to rethink.
Etiquettes do matter.
Learn to be Selfish (and Wicked)
Did it come as a shock?
Well, I can’t help it. If you want to become a model, you must learn to be selfish and also wicked because It’s a necessary evil.
You see, the modelling industry is a highly competitive field. And people can go to any, and I mean any extent to grab an assignment.
Let me tell you from my experience that such people will make friends with you (not because they like you), but because they want the information you may have about the next big modelling assignment.
And the funny part?
You won’t even suspect a thing until one fine morning you’ll wake and find out that the project you had pitched for is freaking gone. Well, guess who won the deal? Your best friend, who else?
So, if you can’t stand being wicked (at least a bit) and selfish, then probably you are in the career. Seriously.
Pay Extra Attention to Your Portfolio
A portfolio is a collection of professionally clicked photographs. These photos demonstrate how you would appear on the screen, how you would look in a magazine.
Getting a portfolio of 30-40 pictures can take around 2 to 3 days, depending on how many costumes (clothes) you change during the photo shoot.
A portfolio can cost anything (depending on the photographer you choose to work with). But don’t’ even think of getting one done by your neighbourhood photographer. It just won’t cut it.
Selecting a professional photographer who’s good at his craft can be challenging when you’re a complete beginner. So, the best way to choose one is to ask people in the industry…
Post a query in online forums.
Read online articles.
Ask around ( you may surprise yourself).
Beware of Low Profile Photographers and Agents
If you compare the rates of a professional photographer and a low profile (so-called) professional photographer, the latter would have lower prices, but even if you get a portfolio for cheap, you most probably will not lend any assignment. (That’s what happened with me. Sigh!)
Have Your Portfolio Ready? Time to Find Work
When you have your portfolio, then you must start hunting for some modelling work. Make sure you have the pictures both in digital and physical form.
Search “modelling agencies in (your city)” on google. And you’re sure to get many results. But don’t select any agency randomly.
Once you have shortlisted some reputed modelling agencies, research more about them, and find out what people have to say about their services. Find reviews about them and if possible, do try to get in touch with some models who worked for them in the past (or are working). That’ll give at least an idea about the agency you’re interested in working with.
Approach the agency via phone or email and ask for more details.
Beware that some agencies might ask for a “registration fee” to register you in their database as an aspirant.
Don’t pay any money to any agency no matter how reputed they claim they are.
You see, there are many fraudulent agencies and also some individuals who guarantee overnight success in modelling if you paid them money. Beware. It’s a scam to rip off aspiring models.
The golden rule: don’t pay money to anyone.
Some agencies might ask for a share of the money you’ll be receiving for the assignment, instead of a ‘registration fee.’ Now, that’s a tricky situation. If you feel like it, say yes. Pay the agency their share after you’ve received the fee from the client, not before.
Get a Website (or at Least a Facebook Page)
Anyone wanting to become a model must realise that it pays to be visible on the Internet.
Getting a single page website or at least a Facebook page would be the least you should do.
A single page website serves as an online resume. You can post some of your best photos along with brief intro and contact details. If you’re willing to spend some money, then your aim should be getting a domain name (preferably in your name). But if you don’t want to spend money on a website at this stage (which I completely understand), then you can build a website free of cost on WordPress.com.
What’s the Difference?
Let me use my name to help you understand. i.e., Avdhesh Tondak
You’re reading this article on avdheshtondak.com.
“avdheshtondak.com” is the domain name of my website, which is an individual domain. I have purchased it, and I need to pay every year to keep this domain name active (along with hosting services and some other necessary stuff).
However, if I wished to create a free website, I could search for the domain ‘avdheshtondak’ on WordPress.com. If the domain name’s available, I could create a website on WordPress.com.
The difference would be in the web address of the two websites.
The website with individual domain name shall be www.avdheshtondak.com.
The website with the domain on WordPress.com shall be www.avdheshtondak.wordpress.com.
Basically, by creating a free website on WordPress.com, you’re building a site on a sub-domain. In this case, ‘avdheshtondak’ shall be a sub-domain of the primary domain WordPress.com.
There you go. I hope this guide has made things clearer about making a career in modelling.
Will you give me an autograph once you have become a successful model, please? 🙂
All the best!