StarCentral is privileged to present this guest post by Azzi Williams. Azzi got her start in the fashion industry as a model and has since used that experience being in front of the camera to create a successful career as a makeup artist. Her skill has graced the print as well as the visual mediums of TV and film both in London and Sydney. She also holds a double degree in Arts/Law and is a professional writer who has freelanced for ‘The Times’ (UK) and for the news industry benchmark firm of Thomson Reuters.
A model’s life can be exciting and rewarding, but also very hard work. Five years ago, after discovering my love of modelling when living in Sydney, I moved to London and was signed within months, and the jobs kept coming and coming. So how did I do it?
1. Get a portfolio that gets you paid work
Don’t make the costly mistake of going to a ‘makeover studio’ hoping to get images that are agency standard. The most effective way to get signed and to get paid work is to visit the agency sites you wish to join, see the pictures of the models and ensure your own images are of that standard. It is a simple strategy, but often overlooked in the excitement of starting out.
Find a photographer who has a makeup artist and stylist at hand, so your pictures look polished and portfolio-ready. So many models try to get shots from photographers for free, and although this is great for experience, it is a long process and you may need to work on dozens of time for print shoots to get the few pictures you can actually use.
2. Diva days are out
In today’s turbulent economic climate, we are all disposable commodities. Turning up late, or hung over, or cancelling last minute, will make you look unreliable and you won’t be hired again. Even if you are signed, clients will give feedback to your agent, and they will be reluctant to put you forward for future jobs.
A little etiquette goes a long way. If you are hired in a studio consisting of the photographer, makeup artist, stylist, designer and production co-ordinator, you are not the star of the production, but part of that team. So being able to work cohesively is the key to being successful and rehired.
Do not, at any given time, stop production to take pictures of yourself on your phone to upload on social media. Narcissism is just not cool.
3. Respect your body
There is no need to go down a dark route of starvation and body obsession, but do take care of simple grooming. Girls, don’t turn up to a shoot with hairy legs and guys, turning up with stubble or a man beard may not be what the client had in mind when they cast you from your clean-shaven headshot. Shave, shower and shine – you’ll be fine.
4. Be your own manager
Gone are the days where the model sits back and lets the agent manage them. Even Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss work hard to constantly network, promote themselves and interact on social media. Get yourself a business card, a website, a blog, go on social media and get your name and picture out there. You never know which photographer, makeup artist, designer or production company may spot you.
5. Know there is room in the industry for everyone
High fashion may be strict on body and age stats, but there is plenty of room in the industry for all ages, ethnicities, shapes and sizes. Commercial modelling, beauty, hair, parts modelling, fitness, pinup, glamour, art, the list is long and the opportunities wide. Find your niche and go for it.