How to become a successful model – Important tips from Fashion Photographer Varun Patel

Every good looking guy or girl wants to become a Model today. They see glamour, fame, success behind that but what they do not see is, All the hard work models has to put to reach at that point. Modelling requires more than your 100% efforts. A model should be able to act, express and perform as per the photographer’s requirement. You will have to leave behind lot of your favourite food and late night parties. If you are ready to do that then lets talk about this. 

How to be a successful model? This is our topic today, so i will not be covering about what model should be eating or the hours of sleep you require. I will be focusing more on the Important parts. I am obviously not a model, but during my 10 years of Fashion photography career I have been working with so many, International and Indian models. So here are some basic pointers a model should know before entering in the Industry.


Models BrazilianDecide how do you want to work?

You have got two options. Either you can work as a Freelance model, or you can tie up with a good agency and work as their model. Both options has their own Pros and Cons. When it comes to finding the right modelling agency for you, be aware. As there are many fake or non legit agencies are there. Specially in my city Ahmedabad. I do not see any good agency for models. All the modelling agencies in Ahmedabad are either fake or run by non-professional people whom you can not trust for sure. But there are really some good agencies in Delhi, Mumbai. As you can see most of my models are agency approve models. I prefer agency approve models more over freelance models.

Being a freelance model

  • You will have to have some good connections already in the industry, with photographers or clients.
  • You will get your self the work, so you need to market your self well.
  • Maintain good relations with the clients and photographers as they will be the one giving you the work.
  • You are your own boss.
  • You do not have to give any cuts or commissions from your earning.
  • Some client or photographer might not prefer working with you, if you are not agency approved model.
  • You will have to manage everything from your portfolio to your clients and dates.

Being an agency approve model

  • Your agency will get you work on regular bases, so if you are a new model in the industry it is good for you.
  • You do not have to find connections in the industry for work.
  • Your agency will represent you as their model so from your marketing to your portfolio is their responsibility.
  • You will have to give cuts or commissions to your agency according to the contracts.
  • Your agency might send you on job to other cities, so you should be ready for travelling.
  • You will have to do what the agency says, as they are your boss. Do not worry they are nice people for sure.
  • You can not take any assignments by your own, everything has to go through the agency only.


Modelling portfolio Prepare your professional modelling portfolio

If you are working as an agency model, than there is no need to worry about. As they will get your professional modelling portfolio prepared with their photographers. Being a freelance model it is your responsibility to prepare your portfolio. Your modelling portfolio is going to get you work. So the better the portfolio is, the better are your chances of getting good work. Modelling portfolio is really very important in your career building. As you can not meet all the clients personally, you need to send them your portfolio first. So in a way your portfolio will decide weather you will get the job or not. The photographers or clients gets so many models sending them their portfolios, so if you want to stand out of them then make sure you have the best portfolio.

So while selecting the photographer for your modelling portfolio shoot, make sure to select best available photographer in your city, or travel to other city if you have to. I get so many models coming to me from other cities, for their portfolio shoots. Go through my gallery, and you will know the reason why they come to us for their modelling portfolio. If you want to book me for your portfolio shoot then feel free to inquire on the number given on our website. But always make sure to have a very good professional portfolio ready on your hand, specially if you are planning to enter the Industry as a freelancer.


ModelsSelect what kind of model you want to be?

You need to select what kind of modelling you want to do on regular bases. Because modelling is a really vast field. You can be fashion model, swimwear model, lingerie model, ramp model, print model and many more options are there. Your portfolio should influence more of your selected categories, so the client can see how you will look in their products. Your agency will be able to easily channelize the assignments according to your categories, and will send you on the assignments which you are comfortable with. For an example, lot of indian models do not prefer to go for the swimwear or lingerie assignments. So your agency knows what are your comfortable categories and they will give you the job accordingly in future.


ModelsBe Aware.

One of my top tips for becoming a model is to be aware of what you’ll face. Know that girls can be cut-throat, the wrong agencies may ask you to sacrifice your morals, integrity or beliefs just to obtain certain photos, and know that it can be a very tiring job. Many girls who don’t intend on compromising their values end up doing so if they don’t know ahead of time just what their values are. Don’t ever sacrifice yourself to be a model. The modeling world can be laced with drugs, alcohol, sex-trades, greed and more if you get in with the wrong crowd, which is easy to do when you’re looking for a quick route to fame and fortune.

Never do anything it takes to get to the top. You’ll regret it later. Outside of local modeling gigs, most outlets for modeling lead to sketchy, compromising situations. Know your values and stick to your guns! On the other hand, the right agencies will honor your values and can lead you to a great career.


Models IndiaGroom Yourself

There is no ‘mantra in heaven’ to look good but you can make heads turn by making simple tweaks in your day-to-day life. When you are aspiring to be a professional model, it becomes all the more important to look good. Then you need to invest in things and procedures that will help enhance your appearance since having good looks is essential to climb the success ladder in the fashion industry, where at all times you have to look your best.

You should know what exactly your photographer is looking for and how to deliver it. You should learn and practice your poses in your free time. Try to face the camera as much as possible. That way you will have more experience before going for your professional shoots. You should also have basic knowledge about makeup, your inner garments for specific clothing. Your presentation on shoot is also very important so wear decent clothes and talk and present your self in a friendly and well mannered way.


Models IndiaKnow your limits

The modeling industry is one of the hardest careers to achieve and maintain. Most models who haven’t been modeling up to age 22 are almost guaranteed they won’t make it in the runway industry unless they seek out commercial modeling options, which I’m actually more fond of anyway. You don’t need to be a certain size to model, nor do you need to look a certain way. You just need to know what the odds are in the market you’re in. If you don’t look like a runway model, that’s fine! Know the odds of what you face in terms of the area you live, what your look has to offer, and how hard each specific outlet for modeling is, such as commercial or runway.


 Models india Learn and improve yourself

A good model is persistent but a very good model always improves. Never stop learning. As a model your goal should be, learning new things and improving yourself. Compare with the model you were before rather then comparing your self to others. If you see improvements in yourself that means you are on right path to be a successful model in future. Your improvements will come with confidence.


I know lot of my followers, who’s photographers, are reading my blogs on regular bases. So I would like to tell you all fellow photographers, as now you know how much efforts it takes to be a good model. My request to all the photographers is, treat your models with respect and always make sure they are comfortable working with you. 


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Varun Patel is big name when it comes to Fashion Industry. His work has been published in magazines like FTL, Femina and many others. He also conducts Fashion Photography Workshops and shares his knowledge with other photographers. He mostly shoots Fashion and Commercial Portraits, during his free time he also likes to experiment with the conceptual editorials.

8 thoughts on “How to become a successful model – Important tips from Fashion Photographer Varun Patel”

  1. It was indeed great to read this blog.
    I have shared this blog personally so that they get to know all the things in detail!
    Special thanks to Varun Sir & team to spare your precious time in writing such blogs and educating everyone! 🙂

    1. Hi
      We suggest you should try some agencies or bookers who are looking for old age models. As your age is not a good age to start as fresh fashion model. But you might fit into the mature category so try for that and you might be lucky to find a good booker.

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