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9 Things You Should Never Say In Your Model Mayhem Bio

We don’t like to talk about our bio text much. It’s not glamourous, and most people think no one ever reads it. But over the past several years I have not only seen changes to my own bio text create amazing results in my career, I have watched the models I work with enjoy similar results from changing theirs.

I want to offer a quick guide to help you troubleshoot your bio for any glaring errors that might be discouraging people from reaching out to you or otherwise harming your career. Below you’ll find a list of 9 phrases I highly recommend against using in your bio, along with my recommendations on how to rephrase them.


Model: Eleanor Rose; Photographer: seconD lifE

1. “I’m passionate about modeling.”

This phrase is massively overused and has become a marker for newbies and hobbyists. It’s safe to assume that you wouldn’t be online as a model if you weren’t at least a little passionate about modeling, right? If you really feel a need to express this, take some time to think about why you’re so passionate about modeling. What does it mean to you?

Don’t just stop at your first answer – dig deep, and offer potential clients a glimpse of what motivates and drives you. Without the right wording or a deep enough reason anything of this nature will end up feeling empty, so unless you really have a compelling reason that you’re passionate about modeling consider removing it altogether.

2. “I’m very open minded/willing to try anything!”

This phrase tends to be interpreted as code for “I do adult (explicit) content”. When I hear from models that they keep getting offers of that nature and don’t know what to do about it, I often find some variation of this in their bio text. It tends to be a given that models are willing to try concepts not yet in their profile, so it’s not really necessary to express that willingness. However, if you really want to communicate that message, try to add a bit more detail – if what you really mean is that you’ll shoot outdoors, roll in mud, or climb trees for a photoshoot, say that!

3. “People keep telling me I should model.”

This phrase is overused and cliché to the point of not meaning anything, and it’s another clear mark of a newbie. Often it sounds as if the model isn’t actually invested in modeling and is just trying it because they think they should – or because they think it’s easy money. It also indicates that a model might have unrealistic expectations of what modeling actually entails.

You can just leave this one out of your bio altogether. If you’re actually just in this to try it out that’s fine, but it doesn’t need to be specified. And if you are serious about modeling, the feedback of your friends and family won’t help convince photographers that you’re right for their project.

4. “I’m short, but I photograph tall!”

5. “I’m not skinny but I know I can model anyway.”

These two and others like them draw attention to whatever you perceive as a weakness in a negative way. Also, they feel apologetic, and you don’t ever need to apologize for your body. The great thing about freelance modeling is that it allows opportunity for every body type. Don’t assume you know what a potential client is looking for – if you leave it for your stats and portfolio to convey and let photographers make up their own minds, you may find that what you think is your biggest weakness is what makes them excited about working with you.

If you do need to share necessary info about your appearance, such as scars, you can do so using neutral language. Conventional beauty norms may still sometimes be barriers, but they don’t hold as much sway in the freelance world and you shouldn’t give them any space in your bio. That said, if you’re 5’2″ and convinced you’re going to take the runway by storm I’m rooting you on, but adding that to your bio is also not recommended.

6. “I don’t shoot nudes, I have morals.”

7. “No nudes, stop asking.”

This type of language can come across as more aggressive than intended. Additionally, language like the first (a real example from my bio when I first started modeling – oops!) passes judgment on others who do shoot nudes, which is not recommended: photographers who shoot nudes but want to hire you for a clothed concept may pass because of this type of wording. Instead, just use neutral language to state your boundaries calmly but firmly. It can be as simple as this: “I do not consider assignments requiring nudity, including implied work.” And don’t use your bio to lash out at disrespectful individuals, no matter how fed up you are, or you risk being seen as a diva.

8. “I require an escort for my safety.”

This type of wording immediately puts potential clients off by implying that you expect to be unsafe while working with them. If you have done your research and have decided to still require an escort for the time being, state that in neutral language, preferably also acknowledging that you understand it’s controversial:“I prefer to have an escort accompany me to shoots. I understand that may cause issues for some photographers and am happy to provide references for my friend from other photographers I’ve worked with.”

Please note that bringing an escort does not guarantee your safety and that photographers have many legitimate reasons to not allow them on set. To learn more about this topic and additional methods to keep yourself safe, check out my video on YouTube.

9. “I want to try these concepts: (followed by a list).”

Having a long list of concepts you want to try blocks up your bio, making it look too long to read, and emphasizes concept over photo quality. From my own experience, having done this in my bio at one point, it’s much easier to decline a potential trade offer from someone whose work won’t benefit your portfolio if they didn’t initially message you offering to shoot something you’ve listed in your bio as a desired concept.

Instead, you can just use language that indicates you’re open to trade but selective, then discuss concepts once you’ve decided to work with someone. Also, remember that if you’re actively looking to shoot a concept it’s always better to find photographers you want to work with than wait for them to come to you.


Model: Eleanor Rose; Photographer: T H Taylor

This is not a comprehensive list of every phrase that could detract from your bio text, but by making the modifications recommended here you should find your experience booking shoots a little bit easier.

That said, I have enough to say on the topic of bio text that I literally wrote the book on it! “Your Work Doesn’t Speak For Itself: A Freelance Models Guide to Booking More Paid Gigs, Faster” was created to teach you exactly how to update and improve your bio text – without spending a lot of time rewriting it completely!

If you want a free step-by-step guide to writing highly effective bio text your potential clients will read and enjoy, you can download it for free at www.empoweredmuses.com/ebook

Eleanor Rose

Eleanor Rose is a freelance model, mentor and coach based in Southern California. As founder of Empowered Muses she helps freelance nude models who are tired of getting all the wrong gigs attract plenty of great clients. Find more resources at www.empoweredmuses.com

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