Model Characteristics

Good Complexion - Health and Stamina - Height - Intelligence - Organization - Perserverence - Personality - Realism

Good Complexion

Why is important to have clear, smooth skin when computers have made photos incredibly easy to touch up, and make-up is almost always applied, even to males?

Models are still expected to take care of their skin for two reasons:

  1. Not taking care of your skin will result in premature aging, thereby shortening a model's career.
  2. Clients working on a budget don't want to pay stylists to "fix" you before a shoot, or the film experts (be they photographers or film processors) to "fix" you after a shoot. It's a waste of time and money.

Models should be following a skin care regimen consisting of daily cleansing, toning and conditioning, as well as regular facials, steamings, and whatever else is required to keep your skin looking clean and healthy.

Beware of exposure to the sun, and drink plenty of water to help maintain a desired appearance.

Health & Stamina

A successful working model has to be healthy, not just on the surface, but inside as well. Days can be long and grueling, and without proper maintenance the body can betray you.

Simple things like walking when you get the chance and drinking plenty of water can make a big difference to your appearance and your well-being.

It's uncommon to hear an agent recommend starving anymore. Nobody wants to see a model collapse at a casting or a booking. If you're unhealthy, you aren't going to get the opportunities -- it's that simple.

Instead, it's the model's obligation to invest in their health by getting to the gym and having a fitness regimen in place. A lot of cardiovascular and stretching exercises are the key to a lean, firm body.


Why is it important?

Modelling agencies often receive criticism for recruiting models that don't reflect the general population. Why do they do it? Frankly, it's because that's what the clients request. In order to remain financially viable, agencies have to have models that clients want to hire.

Typically, successful, working models are taller than the rest of the population. Exceptions such as Kate Moss and Devon Aoki are notable exceptions, however height is a definite asset in the world of modelling.

To understand the reason for this, it's important to understand the process of bringing designs to market.

Designers almost always premiere their new lines on the runway, where the success of the show can make or break a designer's career. Most designers believe that tall, thin bodies are best suited to display their creations in a way those in attendance will find appealing.

So why can't people who are 5'5" just do photography? They can. But agencies are more likely to enthusiastically promote taller models since they can do both. Even for commercial print and catalog work, if a model doesn't fit the clothes that are being featured, a different model is required.


Despite the stereotypes, intelligence is often what makes one model better than another. An intelligent model understands the industry and keeps up-to-date on trends.

Although there is a lot that can be learned in modelling schools, such training isn't a necessity. A wealth of information is available on web sites such as this, in books and through mainstream media such as magazines and television.

Things a model needs to know are how to handle money and keep track of expenses. If you aren't good with such things, find somebody trustworthy to handle such things for you.


Many modelling jobs have been lost due to a lack of organization. Dayplanners, maps, cell phones and a well-stocked model's tote bag are essential to getting the job done properly.

When a model screws up because they aren't organised, they not only leave a bad impression with the clients, but with their booker as well.

Keep records and make a point of planning ahead for every booking. Obtain a reputation as a model that is prompt, understands what is required, and prepared for the unexpected.


Getting into modelling can be an exhausting and expensive experience. Most models give up before they're ever successful, and end up wasting a lot of money on photos they will never again use.

Things change very quickly in this industry. It may take a while until you are what clients are looking for. Once, though, you've formed a good relationship with a client, the possibilities for repeat bookings are quite good.

Most people get into modelling without really knowing what to expect. Learn from your experience and stick with it. The better you've prepared yourself, and the longer youíve been involved in the industry, the more clients will trust in your abilities.


Personality is one of the biggest keys to being memorable. A friendly, warm demeanor will endear you to potential clients, and possibly open doors for future bookings or repeat jobs.

Conversely, a model that is stuck-up or rude will also be remembered, but likely not in a way that will beneficial.

Clients, by the way, aren't the only ones a model needs to be friendly with. The bookers at your agency are the ones that decide whether or not you'll get to meet the clients in the first place.


Modelling is filled with rejection, and until you get to the point where you are booked for your name alone, you will have to attend castings and compete for jobs.

Donít expect to get every job. Sometimes you may be competing against hundreds of other models for one position. If you go into every casting expecting to get the job, you're setting yourself up for some major disappointment.

Instead, realise that clients don't decide who is more attractive or a better person. Rather, they decide whom they think is best suited to their particular campaign.