Forums > Model Colloquy > Modeling Success: RESEARCH

Photographer

udor

Posts: 22381

New York, New York, US

Revised January 23, 2007

Dear models;

Whatever your body proportions (height & weight) are, or your "openness" to nudity, etc.: if you want to be successful, research the market/industry and see where you fit in and research the crap out of it!

Don't try to "change the industry" to your own specifications if you are starting out and have NO NAME... it will NOT work!

Find a segment that you fit the general criteria and get in contact with those "players" who are representing that industry and become the best you can be.

If you are under 5'8" in height and a size 6+, don't try to make Haute Couture your livelihood!

You may be able to do commercial gigs with ease and make a decent living with it, but if you pout and try to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week for a major designer while being 5'5" and 165lbs... I am sorry to say, no matter how cute your boyfriend or mom thinks you are... it ain't happening! (Unless you are a major celebrity!)

However, if you do your own research and find what industry is using your body specifications and let THEM know that you exist... your chances of making it there are much greater.

Yet, if you are not fitting any of the "mainstream" requirements, you may want to see what segment of the industry is hiring "your type".

One of the best resources on the internet regarding the real life modeling industry was written by the former owner of the largest and oldest commercial print agency in New York... it covers pretty much everything, check it out at http://www.newmodels.com

EDIT: The former MM member aka TXPhotog aka Emeritus aka Roger Tulley, wrote a book based on that website: "A Professional's Guide to Modelling" and is available via Amazon etc.

I am not certain if those who read this post understand what I am trying to convey... but I just shot close to 10,000 images of high fashion models at Couture Fashion Week and Olympus Fashion Week's Spring 2007 Collection, and see the threads on Model Mayhem and other boards, written by those who don't "qualify" and hope that some understand my tips the right way and try to utilize what the creator gave them.

Lastly... modeling is a privilege and not a right... bear that in mind!

udor

Sep 17 06 08:36 pm Link

Model

PlusModelNikki

Posts: 1196

Inglewood, California, US

As always, words of wisdom. smile Thank you kindly for sharing.

Sep 17 06 08:39 pm Link

Model

Vincent Vega

Posts: 941

Cleveland, Ohio, US

Where do you think I fall???? What am I able to do?

Sep 17 06 08:47 pm Link

Photographer

lll

Posts: 12295

Seattle, Washington, US

Udo, did someone just tell you that you just ate a piece of meat?  smile

It's not going to work.  smile  Boyfriends are very persuasive, who doesn't want to date a "model"?...

Sep 17 06 08:47 pm Link

Photographer

udor

Posts: 22381

New York, New York, US

lll wrote:
Udo, did someone just tell you that you just ate a piece of meat?  smile

It's not going to work.  smile  Boyfriends are very persuasive, who doesn't want to date a "model"?...

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!! wink

Sep 17 06 08:56 pm Link

Photographer

Emeritus

Posts: 21947

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

UdoR wrote:
Don't try to "change the industry" (it won't work!) to your own specifications

Good luck with that.  Each and every "non-standard" model seems to think that she will be "the exception".  I mean, you've heard of Kate Moss, right?  And that Devon girl?  Hey, if they can do it, so can our wannabe. 

How many hundreds of times have we seen models lecture us on how we were wrong and they would prove it to us . . . only to never be heard of again?

"Be what you are" seems to me to be excellent advice, but modeling seems, all too often, to be about being what you are not.

On the other hand, this site is full of "non-standard" models who have done a wonderful job of finding things that they could do and aggressively pursuing them.

Sep 18 06 08:27 am Link

Model

Miss Christina

Posts: 92

Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden

I wish I knew where I fit in LOL
There doesn't seem to be a genre called "rockchick"...

Sep 18 06 11:28 am Link

Model

Damaris

Posts: 24

Brentwood, New York, US

Thank you very much for writing this . I will definetly take this into consideration.

Sep 18 06 05:45 pm Link

Model

Shyly

Posts: 3870

Pasadena, California, US

This should be made a sticky on the forum so we can just refer new models to it.  It pretty much says it all.

Sep 18 06 06:53 pm Link

Photographer

Ransomaniac

Posts: 12588

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Good shit Udo.  I had actually been meanign to post a thread similar to this  since I blogged about it, but int he spirit of not making 17381237819 threads about the same shit, I'll just add what i was going to say to your already wise words:

WHAT TYPE OF MODEL ARE YOU?

Lets cut the bullshit. There is a ceiling that the average non-standard model can attain. It's a hard reality and until there is a complete paradigm SHIFT in the modeling world (which happens once every 30 years or so) you will always be pigeonholed into a specific type of modeling based off of your body type and skin color. Shit sucks BUT that's how it is. Own it! Learn IT! Capitalize off it.

High fashion work is built for models that are typically 5'9" to 6'0' with 33-22-34 measurements or smaller. What that equates to is a walking hanger. If you have BIG breasts you can't do high fashion no matter what your build. If you have BIG thighs and ass you can't do high fashion no matter what your build. If you are a black/ latin/ asian (well not so much asian)  woman it's harder to get signed to a major agency even IF you have the build because there aren't that many slots available to women of color. I say all this because if you are short, thick, heavy chested, or have a big ass, your options to be able to model are limited to glamour, adult, swimwear (you still have to be evenly proportions to "white girl thick" standards i.e.36-24-36) SOME, I repeat SOME commercial, goth, alternative, art, and urban wear modeling. This is where you fit in and this is where you will find work. If you aren't comfortable with that type of modeling then move on and become a librarian or something. No sense in having pipe dreams of a sports illustrated cover or Vogue cover if you have a 46' ass. IT'S JUST NOT HAPPENING. So find out what type of modeling you CAN do and DO it. If you spend your career trying to do what you aren't fit for you'll be turned away and BROKE.

Sep 18 06 07:07 pm Link

Model

MelissaLynnette LaDiva

Posts: 50816

Leawood, Kansas, US

Ransom J wrote:
Good shit Udo.  I had actually been meanign to post a thread similar to this  since I blogged about it, but int he spirit of not making 17381237819 threads about the same shit, I'll just add what i was going to say to your already wise words:

WHAT TYPE OF MODEL ARE YOU?

Lets cut the bullshit. There is a ceiling that the average non-standard model can attain. It's a hard reality and until there is a complete paradigm SHIFT in the modeling world (which happens once every 30 years or so) you will always be pigeonholed into a specific type of modeling based off of your body type and skin color. Shit sucks BUT that's how it is. Own it! Learn IT! Capitalize off it.

High fashion work is built for models that are typically 5'9" to 6'0' with 33-22-34 measurements or smaller. What that equates to is a walking hanger. If you have BIG breasts you can't do high fashion no matter what your build. If you have BIG thighs and ass you can't do high fashion no matter what your build. If you are a black/ latin/ asian (well not so much asian)  woman it's harder to get signed to a major agency even IF you have the build because there aren't that many slots available to women of color. I say all this because if you are short, thick, heavy chested, or have a big ass, your options to be able to model are limited to glamour, adult, swimwear (you still have to be evenly proportions to "white girl thick" standards i.e.36-24-36) SOME, I repeat SOME commercial, goth, alternative, art, and urban wear modeling. This is where you fit in and this is where you will find work. If you aren't comfortable with that type of modeling then move on and become a librarian or something. No sense in having pipe dreams of a sports illustrated cover or Vogue cover if you have a 46' ass. IT'S JUST NOT HAPPENING. So find out what type of modeling you CAN do and DO it. If you spend your career trying to do what you aren't fit for you'll be turned away and BROKE.

I'm just excited that if I succeed in my diet I'll be considered "white girl thick"  At least I can one day be considered thick to someone cuz black girl thick I am not.

Sep 18 06 07:19 pm Link

Model

Nataliya Lavry

Posts: 57

Brooklyn, Indiana, US

Ransom J wrote:
Good shit Udo.  I had actually been meanign to post a thread similar to this  since I blogged about it, but int he spirit of not making 17381237819 threads about the same shit, I'll just add what i was going to say to your already wise words:

WHAT TYPE OF MODEL ARE YOU?

Lets cut the bullshit. There is a ceiling that the average non-standard model can attain. It's a hard reality and until there is a complete paradigm SHIFT in the modeling world (which happens once every 30 years or so) you will always be pigeonholed into a specific type of modeling based off of your body type and skin color. Shit sucks BUT that's how it is. Own it! Learn IT! Capitalize off it.

High fashion work is built for models that are typically 5'9" to 6'0' with 33-22-34 measurements or smaller. What that equates to is a walking hanger. If you have BIG breasts you can't do high fashion no matter what your build. If you have BIG thighs and ass you can't do high fashion no matter what your build. If you are a black/ latin/ asian (well not so much asian)  woman it's harder to get signed to a major agency even IF you have the build because there aren't that many slots available to women of color. I say all this because if you are short, thick, heavy chested, or have a big ass, your options to be able to model are limited to glamour, adult, swimwear (you still have to be evenly proportions to "white girl thick" standards i.e.36-24-36) SOME, I repeat SOME commercial, goth, alternative, art, and urban wear modeling. This is where you fit in and this is where you will find work. If you aren't comfortable with that type of modeling then move on and become a librarian or something. No sense in having pipe dreams of a sports illustrated cover or Vogue cover if you have a 46' ass. IT'S JUST NOT HAPPENING. So find out what type of modeling you CAN do and DO it. If you spend your career trying to do what you aren't fit for you'll be turned away and BROKE.

34-24-34 more accurately-standard dress dummy. Smaller isn't better for designers when fitted clothing doesn't fit right on a model. But of course its easier to take clothing in than to let out the seams and make it bigger, 34-24-34 is just the ideal. Just a note to add to the rant.

Sep 18 06 07:19 pm Link

Model

ElizabethJ

Posts: 198

Portland, Oregon, US

UdoR wrote:
Lastly... modeling is a privilidege and not a right... bear that in mind!

Exactly!!

Sep 18 06 10:03 pm Link

Model

ang m

Posts: 511

Chicago, Illinois, US

UdoR wrote:
Dear models;

Whatever your body proportions are or your "openess" to nudity, etc.: if you want to be successful, research the market/industry and see where you fit in and reasearch the crap out of it!

Don't try to "change the industry" (it won't work!) to your own specifications if you are starting out and have NO NAME...

Find a segment that you fit the general criteria and get in contact with those "players" who are representing that industry and become the best you can be.

If you are under 5'8" in height and a size 6, don't try to make Haute Couture your lifelyhood!

You may be able to do commercial gigs with ease and make a decent living with it, but if you pout and try to walk the runway at Olympus Fashionweek in NYC while being 5'5"... I am sorry to say, no matter how cute your bf thinks you are... it ain't happening!

However, if you make your own research and find what industry is using your body specifications and let THEM know that you exist... your chances of making it there are much greater.

Yet, if you are not fitting any of the "mainstream" requirements, you may want to see what segment of the industry is hiring "your type".

I am not certain if those who read this post understand what I am trying to convey... but I just shot close to 10,000 images of high fashionmodels at Couture Fashionweek and Olympus Fashionweek, and also see the threads on MM of those who don't "qualify" and hope that some understand my tips the right way and try to utilize what the creator gave them.

Lastly... modeling is a privilidege and not a right... bear that in mind!

TXPhotog wrote:
Good luck with that.  Each and every "non-standard" model seems to think that she will be "the exception".  I mean, you've heard of Kate Moss, right?  And that Devon girl?  Hey, if they can do it, so can our wannabe. 

How many hundreds of times have we seen models lecture us on how we were wrong and they would prove it to us . . . only to never be heard of again?

"Be what you are" seems to me to be excellent advice, but modeling seems, all too often, to be about being what you are not.

Words of wisdom from the two wise men smile

Sep 19 06 08:23 am Link

Photographer

Leonard Gee Photography

Posts: 16412

Sacramento, California, US

Don't know, Udor. Research implies work and effort, not something that MOST wannabes are any good at.

It's certainly something that's good to encourage. Just like answering e-mails and showing up for scheduled appointments, on time and ready to work.

There was a thread about why these problems seem to be so prevalent with photographers as well as models. It's mainly because the wannabes see photography and modeling as a lazy/easy way to make money and "not have to work"

Get your picture taken and make gobs of money. Pick up an automatic camera and make gobs of money hanging around half naked girls.

What? RESEARCH? I thought they just come to forums and ask silly questions!

Sep 20 06 07:50 pm Link

Model

Juan Enrique Rivas

Posts: 26

Virginia Beach, Virginia, US

I'm a "new" model...how about for men?  I'm I too short at 5'10"?  I know there has been a lot of interest in female latin commercial photography with the influx of immigrant from south of the border who are gradually becoming affluent here in the states.  I figure by the time I'm 40 I might be a good insurance ad "Dad" or something.

Should I stay behind the lens? (I'm also MM# 190110).

Thanks!

Sep 20 06 10:54 pm Link

Model

Alex

Posts: 306

Santa Barbara, California, US

Thanks for the advice guys...
What about agencies?
How does one go about looking into those?
Should I just hit up the ones in my area off yellow pages once I get a decent port together? Agencies are key to getting paid work, aren't they?
Finally, any specific advice for  5'6, 36-24-36 White me? sounds like I'm what you guys are describing as white-girl thick... I'm no fool looking to do haute but is there anything for me other than glamour/playboy/maxim style, etc? appreciate any advice you guys have!

Sep 23 06 11:48 pm Link

Model

Alex

Posts: 306

Santa Barbara, California, US

bump...

Sep 24 06 01:18 pm Link

Photographer

Emeritus

Posts: 21947

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Alex  wrote:
I'm no fool looking to do haute but is there anything for me other than glamour/playboy/maxim style, etc? appreciate any advice you guys have!

www.newmodels.com

Read, then bump.

Sep 24 06 01:31 pm Link

Model

Electra T

Posts: 15462

Brooklyn, Indiana, US

33-22-34??

i thought it was 34-24-34(gemma is pushing 35! tongue )

Sep 24 06 01:43 pm Link

Photographer

udor

Posts: 22381

New York, New York, US

bump

Oct 11 06 09:47 am Link

Photographer

oldguysrule

Posts: 6129

*listens to the sound of falling on deaf ears

Oct 11 06 09:57 am Link

Photographer

udor

Posts: 22381

New York, New York, US

oldguysrule wrote:
*listens to the sound of falling on deaf ears

That is sooo "Zen"... wink

Oct 15 06 09:40 pm Link

Photographer

CLT

Posts: 12979

Winchester, Virginia, US

Shyly wrote:
This should be made a sticky on the forum so we can just refer new models to it.  It pretty much says it all.

I second this

Oct 15 06 09:43 pm Link

Model

VEE

Posts: 2

Saint Paul, Minnesota, US

I realized everything said above, but is there even a market for petite (asian) models?

Oct 16 06 01:58 am Link

Photographer

shaitan999

Posts: 12

i've totally agree with mostly everything that Udor and Ransom said, you have to know where do you fit and choose your path and then follow it.

while on your path you may find many crossroads and oportinities to change something.
and the fashion industry is a very picky one.

Udor, your words are very bold and wise, modeling is a privilege, not a right.

Oct 16 06 02:22 am Link

Photographer

JM Dean

Posts: 8930

Cary, North Carolina, US

Nevermind. I'll drink more and talk less smile

Oct 16 06 02:23 am Link

Model

Ellynyn

Posts: 350

Bristol, Connecticut, US

I loves me some UdoR!

Spot on!

Oct 16 06 04:37 am Link

Photographer

Zave Smith Photography

Posts: 1420

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US

For commercial and stock photography, we look for models who have nice skin, who are attractive and most importantly, who can emote. The size issues is less important and we do look for a lot of ethnic people.

So for models who want to break into commercial work, develop a portfolio that has a lot of different looks.  Make sure that there are several nice headshots.  Make sure that you do not have the same smile in every picture. . It also helps that you can work well with others.  A lot of commercial works requires two or more models in the shot.  Can you look like a happily married person, a business partner, somebodys best friend or a parent?

Commercial work is less about the model and more about the character the model portrays.

Zave Smith
www.zavesmith.com

Oct 16 06 05:02 am Link

Model

JanetD

Posts: 23

Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

Just go with the flow! ;-)

Oct 16 06 02:30 pm Link

Model

Carrie_K

Posts: 10053

Orlando, Florida, US

I love this thread!!!!!!!!!

I get girls all the time asking me if they "have what it takes". I tell them sure, but maybe not what they would like it to be for. Promo modeling and commercial print is not often that glamorous or exciting, but it pays well and keeps me happy. I think I'm a pretty good example of a non-standard model finding her nitche and making good money at it.

Oct 16 06 02:38 pm Link

Model

_Tasha_

Posts: 67

Saint Petersburg, Florida, US

the model in the "before" photo for weight loss understands her place...and she's getting work.

Oct 16 06 02:51 pm Link

Photographer

Darren Green

Posts: 1374

Nottingham, England, United Kingdom

Ransom J wrote:
No sense in having pipe dreams of a sports illustrated cover or Vogue cover if you have a 46' ass. IT'S JUST NOT HAPPENING.

Did someone call for Jonah??  Harpoon to the starboard bow!!! 

(  :smile) sorry!! couldn't resist)

Oct 16 06 02:53 pm Link

Model

Carrie_K

Posts: 10053

Orlando, Florida, US

_Tasha_ wrote:
the model in the "before" photo for weight loss understands her place...and she's getting work.

Was this a cut on me? LOL wink

Oct 16 06 02:54 pm Link

Photographer

udor

Posts: 22381

New York, New York, US

burp

Oct 21 06 11:06 am Link

Model

KATHY JEAN

Posts: 5513

Pekin, Illinois, US

Thank you for the information, everybody!

36A-24-32

Oct 21 06 11:11 am Link

Photographer

udor

Posts: 22381

New York, New York, US

KathyJean wrote:
Thank you for the information, everybody!

36A-24-32

You are welcome! smile

Nov 01 06 11:16 am Link

Model

Samantha Grace

Posts: 3196

Los Angeles, California, US

What wisdom, I feel anyone can model. Well not just anyone, you do need the on the job skills. Like posing, sense of camera, and facial expressions. But I should say.... there is a nitch for everyone. The key is finding yours.

Myself I am 5'6 with an hour glass shape. I find I can work in Alt modeling, since my daily personal style is Retro, and I personally am into some fetish aspects. Like I wore corsets and latex before becoming a model.
But I also can do glamour and nudes because I do have the body for it. I tried for Playboy, and I do not ever see myself making the main magazine. I could probably be featured on Playboy.com, as cyber girl.
I would like to try commerial, but doubt that world would care for how open I am, about my personal enjoyment of fetish. But I could see myself enjoying it, and would like to take a stab at it. I do have really pretty hands, and nice legs?? Maybe a part model?

What do you guys think. Am I looking at myself the right way?

Nov 01 06 11:29 am Link

Model

L57

Posts: 10908

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

I've done quite a bit of research on modeling in general and I'm pretty sure that I have the proper porportions for Fashion, which is what I want to do and I think I have decent facial features, its just difficult for me to tell as I've lived with my face for so long I can't tell wether it looks good or not.  People seem to be interested in doing tfp/creative shoots with me so I suppose I have something...but am I just good for creative/unpaid or paid jobs?

Nov 01 06 06:15 pm Link

Model

LifeIsBeautiful

Posts: 814

Newark, Delaware, US

UdoR wrote:
Lastly... modeling is a privilidege and not a right... bear that in mind!

i like how you make that clear smile

Nov 02 06 08:16 am Link