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Model
Melodye Joy
Posts: 542
Rancho Cucamonga, California, US


I have come across a few artists that suggested commercial modeling for my genre of choice, as I am petite/short.

However, some artists believe that commercial modeling is 5'7" to 5'10" and standard modeling is 5'10" and up. Various articles will argue the same...

But...another argument is the fact that a beauty model doesn't necessarily have to be a particular height if promoting a makeup or skincare line, right?

Same for accessories, with the slight exception to shoes (because if the model need stand or set, she needs to elongate and "look tall" if not be so)...

So what IS commercial modeling? It seems to encompass fashion & lifestyle from what I can see, however, the line between both seems to be a bit thin.

What are YOUR thoughts on the matter? Is commercial modeling casual fashion, is it a combination of print and runway, is it a combination of print and (literal) commercial/videography, is it lifestyle with a twist of casual or couture??
Dec 03 12 11:41 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
BMR-MUA
Posts: 548
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Melodye Joy wrote:
I have come across a few artists that suggested commercial modeling for my genre of choice, as I am petite/short.

However, some artists believe that commercial modeling is 5'7" to 5'10" and standard modeling is 5'10" and up. Various articles will argue the same...

But...another argument is the fact that a beauty model doesn't necessarily have to be a particular height if promoting a makeup or skincare line, right?

Same for accessories, with the slight exception to shoes (because if the model need stand or set, she needs to elongate and "look tall" if not be so)...

So what IS commercial modeling? It seems to encompass fashion & lifestyle from what I can see, however, the line between both seems to be a bit thin.

What are YOUR thoughts on the matter? Is commercial modeling casual fashion, is it a combination of print and runway, is it a combination of print and (literal) commercial/videography, is it lifestyle with a twist of casual or couture??

See Misunderstood/misused words and phrases for a definition of this and other terms.

Dec 03 12 12:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,113
Tampa, Florida, US


Dec 03 12 12:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R Michael Walker
Posts: 11,957
Costa Mesa, California, US


To me, commercial modeling has always been the seeling of products. Sort of like acting without lines. You sell beer, or a computer, by taking on the character of a member of the target audience. If that person is short you are in business. If they want a fashionable look then you need to BE tall not LOOK tall. And yes, most real commercial jobs are fulfilled by agency models and they are usually tall. Of course if you got famous for something else short is OK as they are renting your "brand" to sell their products.
Dec 03 12 12:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
V Laroche
Posts: 2,745
New Orleans, Louisiana, US


Beauty models usually do makeup ads and skincare products. It's a whole other subgenre. They are usually very young.
For accessories, etc., sometimes advertisers get parts models (hand models, etc.) to do those, but I would imagine it would be much more efficient for them to just get a bunch of regular commercial models and then have them wear the jewelry, socks, whatever, for a few shots.
Dec 03 12 04:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
291
Posts: 11,911
SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, California, US


Melodye Joy wrote:
What are YOUR thoughts on the matter?

unfortunately i was in the brig during your previous "petite/short" thread so i couldn't respond.  i did, however follow it and there was one thing that wasn't mentioned and it's probably the most important factor in why height matters.  it also applies to this thread.

most "commercial" modeling falls into the lifestyle aspect.  whether that's selling products or services at the corporate/retail level or health and beauty aids such as cosmetics.

the vast majority of that work is booked at the agency level.  the reason being is many of the campaigns are built through ad agencies and when models/talent are required the art director can make one call for a go-see "pull" and the bookings become relatively hassle-free.  in the grand scheme of things this is the easiest part of the whole process and going freelance for models/talent is just a pain in the ass.

so here's why height matters.  when the campaign calls for a lifestyle mix of males and females, whether it's executives standing in an office setting or being together about town (whatever the case might be), they are paired toward being similar height that doesn't make for an awkward pairing of the female standing no taller than her nose at the male's breast level.  in essence it removes the dominant factor that can subliminally work against the messaging. 

there is also the factor of campaign success that could lead to longer term and wide ranging presentation.  think "flo" at 5'8 from the progressive insurance ads.  if she was 5'2 for the initial print campaign she would never have made it when moving to television spots which would have put the ad agency into an awkward position to extend the campaign equal to her height.

so, what about all the pretty 5'2 models that can equally present head/shoulders facial/hair products and cosmetics?  the fact is, beauty isn't the lone qualification sans celebrity endorsement by those who are recognized through other forms.  julia louis-dreyfus comes to mind as well as other actresses.  for models without a brand?  no.

the reason is simple.  agencies that book at that level simply don't have room on their roster for those who don't meet the stats.  as well, there is no loss of beauty to choose from for those who qualify.  this also allows one with applicable stats to expand the "beauty" campaign to more moderate lifestyle presentation where a short model would be severely restricted (per above).  for this, think in terms of the early cindy crawford (not the household name cindy) where she was able to expand beauty/fashion to lifestyle.

it's a conundrum for short beautiful models, but that's what it comes down to in terms of opportunity.

Dec 03 12 06:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Melodye Joy
Posts: 542
Rancho Cucamonga, California, US


Thanks, all! Very helpful and definitely more clearly defined for me when it comes to commercial modeling.

Thanks much!
Dec 04 12 09:41 am  Link  Quote 
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Model
Anna Adrielle
Posts: 18,762
Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium


well, it's like this. Imagine that you're an agency. Two girls walk in. The first is this short girl with a gorgeous stunning face, perfect for beauty. But that is pretty much all she could do within the agency, cause she doesn't have the height for anything else. Then the second girl walks in, also great face for beauty, but also has the height to do loads of other stuff. Which girl would be the smart decision?

In regards to your question about commercial modelling (again, talking about agency stuff here): they tend to be not as supertall as fashion models, but still 5'7-5'8 or so. commercial is lifestyle, catalog, magazinework (well, commercial magazines :p), often advertisement (both print and film),...

that doesn't mean there aren't any modelling opportunities out there for short girls though smile. good luck!
Dec 04 12 10:25 am  Link  Quote 
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