Model Types

Babies - Celebrity - Character - Commercial - Figure - Fit - Fitness - Glamour - High Fashion - Kids - Mature - Nude - Petites - Plus Size - Specialty


Parents are frequently stopped and told their child is the next Gerber Baby. Yet as few opportunities as there are for kids in modelling, there are even fewer for babies.

The problem is there are SO MANY cute babies for so little work. And since you can't do much to train a baby to be better in front of a camera, there isn't much point in having a lot of babies on an agency's roster.

Another problem is that babies change very quickly, so photos need to be updated constantly.

One agency at which I worked, kept "Baby Books." Our policy was to accept pictures (even snapshots) of babies at no charge. If work came to those children, we would then deduct our commission. It was risk-free for the parents. Once the baby turned two, we would remove the pictures and hold them for the parents to pick up.


Celebrities don't have to look like other models in order to get work. Carrot Top's image might do as much to sell a product as would Tyra Banks'.

These models tend to earn a lot of cash, because their name is being licensed along with their image.

The Ford Agency in Toronto boasts an impressive list of Canadian celebrities such as Nelly Furtado, Colin Mochrie and Chantal Kreviazuk.


Ever wonder how they get a biker to wear a tutu and sing I'm a little teapot for an ice cream bar? They may have found a fun-spirited biker to do it -- or they may have used a Character Model.

Character Models can be found in all kinds of campaigns. Generally they either play they role of a well-known personality (such as Santa), or exude such personality that you can't help but notice them. Being attractive is not a requirement for being a character model. Being memorable is.

In Canada, commercial agencies may carry character models on their rosters. Other times, actors are hired from talent agencies.


Typically, the average person on the street, looking their best. You see them in Sears Catalogues, on posters for your local telephone company and packaging for your software.

The requirements for Commercial Models are a healthy, attractive appearance and a lot of personality.

Commercial Models can make a lot of money, but are at somewhat of a disadvantage since a lot of the commercial advertisements done in Canada are done with a low budget, and friends or family can be recruited, or stock photos purchased inexpensively.


A model with a stellar or unique body. Figure models are primarily used to display swimwear, lingerie, active wear or other tight-fitting or revealing clothing.


At first, when one hears of a Fit Model, they think someone on the cover of Men's Health or Shape Magazine. In fact, it has nothing to do with either.

A Fit or Fitting Model is one around whom garments are constructed. They stand in a designer's studio for hours while clothes are created.

These models generally work at a lower rate than other models, but can work more steadily, for longer days.

The requirements for being a fit model are having a proportionate body and the ability to stand on your feet for hours at a time. It's also useful to know a lot about clothing and how things should feel and move with the body. The designers often rely on the Fit Models feedback in order to perfect a design.


These are the faces and bodies you see on the covers of Health & Fitness, Shape, and other magazines where a well-muscled, healthy appearance is desired

Height usually isn't as important for a fitness model. In fact, it's often an asset not to be too tall.


Glamour models have taken on a whole new life and meaning on the internet. Whereas "Glamour" used to mean a refined beauty, the connotation has become more sleazy in recent years.

"Glamour Photographers" can be found frequenting many modelling message boards luring modelling hopefuls into "Time-For-Prints" arrangements.

If Glamour Modelling is what you are hoping to pursue as a career, this probably isn't the right web site for you.

High Fashion

These are the models most people typically think of when the work "model" is used. Typically, a female, between 5'8" and 5'11", with a lean, proportionate body, good skin and straight teeth. For males, generally 6'0" to 6'2" with a lean frame.

These are the models that typically grace the covers of top fashion magazines, glide down the runway during the collections, and stare you down from bus shelters and billboards on behalf of top designers.


If you are thinking of getting your child into modelling there are several things to keep in mind:

  1. There are a lot of cute kids
  2. There are not a lot of opportunities
  3. Rejection, which happens frequently, is difficult for a child to understand
  4. Other kids' parents can be obsessively competitive
  5. There is less money to be earned

For these reasons, think long and hard before attempting to introduce your child to modelling.

In the smaller markets in Canada -- even places like Calgary and Halifax -- there isn't much need for child models; most of the catalogue and commercial work is done in Toronto or Vancouver.

Advertisers in other markets will often find a friend who's got a kid to avoid paying the higher rates modelling agencies command. The fact is, most ads involving kids don't demand a lot of skill, so there isn't much need to go through an agency.

If however, you are still convinced your child is "the one," and has the inner-strength and personality required to be successful, there are several agencies which have kids divisions, and would be happy to take the time to meet with you.


Mature models are models that are older than typical models. Age is not the key factor, but rather appearance. A mature face, with a great smile and bright eyes is still quite a marketable commodity.

In most Canadian markets, maturity can be a asset as our market is more likely to book commercial campaigns featuring people who reflect the general buying public. In markets such as Toronto or Calgary it's 25-35 year-olds who get the bulk of the assignments.


There comes a point in the career of most successful models when they must decide whether or not they will pose nude. It's important to know exactly what is required of you at that point.

Semi-nude would mean uncovered, but so that the camera doesn't see any of the model's more private areas.

Sheer, on the other hand, is not nude, but means the model will be wearing a "see-through" garment that will likely expose areas of the body the model may not be comfortable showing.

The advantage of nude modelling is the higher pay associated with the bookings.

Obviously scars, odd birthmarks, excessive piercing and tattoos are hindrances to this type of work.


"I'm petite -- Where can I work?"

Although there is certainly a lot more work for taller models, petites have their place too.

Swimsuits to shoe ads, lingerie to lifestyle, sometimes a smaller frame is more desirable.

One model I used to represent was based in New York, and typically booked at $2,000 per day. Lingerie and swimsuit advertisements paid considerably more. This model was 5'6" and 26-years-old.

Why did she do so well? She had a great figure, an amazing smile, and tonnes of personality and professionalism.

A lot of agencies have petite or lifestyle divisions. Some agencies specialize in commercial modelling, and there are even agencies that stick strictly to petites.

The top booking model I had when I ran an agency in Saskatoon was 5'3". She was used frequently in commercial ads where she was positioned next to a taller male. She also had a great figure and an amazing smile.

Plus Size

Models that are larger than typical models are referred to as "plus-size." Generally these models are still tall, healthy and have beautiful features.

Toronto is a great market for such models, with top plus-size models earning as much as the other models.

A dress-size of 14-16 is desirable, as well as a proportionate figure.


A specialty model is one who is paid for having exceptional features such as hands, legs or eyes.

Often they are featured in advertisements where there is a close-up of a product. For example, a hand model might be used for ads featuring a cell phone or dish soap. A leg model will usually be used for nylons or shavers.

Getting this kind of work is very difficult, and demands a model take exceptionally good care of the feature for which they are noted.

In Canada, there are no agencies devoted solely to parts modelling, however many models who have exceptional features can earn extra cash by being particularly careful of such features.