Modeling Careers: An Overview

modeling careersThe field of fashion modeling encompasses a wide variety of products and merchandise that are intended to catch the attention of a target audience through the use of a model who appears as their peer. By witnessing how a certain clothing item looks on an individual who possesses the same body shape as your own, you are more likely to picture yourself wearing the product and then purchase it. However, a career in fashion modeling is not all glitz and glamor. Much of it contains a great deal of anxiety and stress, which each model must come to terms with before deciding to settle into the career path. In the sections to follow, we will discuss the definition of fashion modeling, as well as a job description, annual salary, education requirements, location of work, and, finally, types of fashion models.

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What is Fashion Modeling?

While the term “fashion modeling” may conjure up the image of petite women parading around on a runway in clothes that, while fabulous, do not appear to be appropriate attire for a wide variety of occasions, the reality of the subject is that the field of fashion modeling is incredibly broad. When a designer creates a product, he or she chooses a model that most accurately fits into their target audience and then presents that model to the general public in order to show individuals how they themselves will look in the clothing.

However, clothing is not the exclusive item advertised by fashion models. Hand models, foot models, and even hair models are often called upon when the product relates to a specific body part rather than the individual as a whole. Cosmetics, jewelry, and accessories are also often displayed to the general public through the use of fashion models.

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Job Description

The career path of a fashion model may appear, on the outside, to be simply glamorous and a great deal of fun, but by simply stepping into a model’s shoes, you will find that the job presents quite a bit of stress. Models are required to maintain a certain style and keep up to date with current fashion trends, which often proves to be a very pricey endeavor. In addition to remaining stylish, models are also expected to maintain a certain body shape, which can cause excessive anxiety if the shape happens to clash with the one the model was born with.

Besides bodily image, the fashion modeling career can become stressful when it comes to factors such as work hours, outfit expectation, and socialization. A fashion model’s schedule is often unreliable and requires the individual to work for long hours, keeping them away from their families and other obligations. When they are on the job, they are expected to appear confident and comfortable in the clothing, no matter how much discomfort they must feel. Also, models are expected to be extraordinarily outgoing, always engaging in enthusiastic conversations with stylists, designers, and photographers, which may prove difficult to those who fall on the introverted side.

Average Salary

Contrary to popular belief, fashion modeling is not a very lucrative career path. In fact, some fashion models fail to even garner enough money to live on, relying instead on the assistance of friends or family, as well as other jobs to pay the month’s rent. However, the good news is that this fate is not true of all fashion models. Many models who work hard and experience a few lucky breaks make a decent annual salary to live on with enough left over to add to a savings account.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics declares that the average annual salary of those employed in fashion modeling is $32,920, but models who become relatively successful often earn a great deal more. In addition to monetary benefits, models are also often rewarded with the products they advertise, such as clothing, jewelry, or make-up.

Education Requirements

There are no specific education requirements that are necessary in order to gain entry into the world of fashion modeling; when it comes down to it, the only necessary prerequisite is sustaining the look that the designer is searching for and maintaining a positive and enthusiastic attitude throughout the shoot. However, many ambitious aspiring models do take part in modeling classes or even enroll in schools specifically designated for modeling. Unfortunately, participating in a modeling class does not guarantee entrance into the modeling career path.

For those individuals who do make it into the field of fashion modeling, experience from a modeling school will come in handy when it comes to interacting with designers, as well as other modeling staff, as well as proper behavior during shoots. Modeling schools teach students how to act and dress in the world of modeling and also give models the confidence to display their body to the world.

Location of Work

Modeling jobs are available in nearly every major city, as well as quite a few quaint towns. However, most models work for modeling agencies that find available positions for them. Most designers refuse to hire independent models and instead insist on interacting with modeling agents who represent models who fit the look.

Independent modeling, models who work for themselves rather than a company, is often referred to as “freelance modeling” and tends to present challenges when it comes to gaining and maintaining steady work in the field of modeling. Because of this, freelance models often only model as a hobby or part-time job, rather than as a career.

Fashion Modeling Careers

  • Live Modeling

Live models are those that are most frequently brought to the mind of individuals when the word “modeling” is mentioned. Live models walk runways in the clothing of the designer they work for and present the outfit to a large crowd of people from a variety of angles. On occasion, live models are also required to interact with a prop from their environment.

  • Modeling for Print

Print models include those who pose for photo shoots and frequently interact with photographers and other photo-related staff. Flip open any magazine and you are likely to land on a page that features a print model, whether it be an ad for clothing, sports products, facial washes, feminine products, or cologne. Models who are featured in print ads often remain with the product’s company for a long period of time.

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  • Parts Modeling

Parts models model only one specific part of their body, rather than the body as a whole. The most commonly hired parts models are those who model their hands and feet. When it comes to products such as shoes, sandals, nail polish, or other accessories, parts models fit the bill better than any other type of model.

  • Audience-Specified Modeling

Audience specified models are intended to be representative of the target population that the company is attempting to reach through their product. For example, one specific type of audience-specified model is the plus-sized model who presents to an audience how a specific product or clothing item will look on those who fall into the same category.

For more information about the ways in which photographers accentuate a model’s best features in advertisements, take a look at this course on fashion and glamour photography. Also, if after reading this article, you’ve decided that modeling is the path for you, check out this blog post on how to start modeling.