Modeling is a competitive industry. First impressions equal last impressions so it’s imperative to be on your «A» game at every job. The world of Photographers, Make-Up Artists, Wardrobe Stylists, Directors, Models, etc. is a very small one. Just think of the hours of socializing and networking a crew does on each set. They’re sharing past and future projects, models they’ve worked with, and who they’d recommend-or not. This little game of Telephone can be used to an advantage or quickly become your worst nightmare if you lack common courtesy and professionalism. So here are the top 10 tips to make a profit and get hired and/or rehired:
1) Show Up on Time!
Arrive 15 minutes before your start time-no earlier to prevent being in the way. To do this successfully, you’ll need to allocate enough time for possible traffic or getting lost before arriving to your destination just to be sure there are no surprises. Better early, than sorry! This is probably the most important and easiest way to make a great first impression. If you can’t help but be late, though, call your Agent or person of contact to let them know and apologize. They’ll respect the common courtesy.
2) Be Prepared!
Have your lines memorized. Bring any and all wardrobe requests. Be camera ready if asked to do so (make-up and hair done). Furthermore, have your legs shaved, eyebrows tweezed, nails and toes painted, etc. I once knew a Make-Up Artist whose biggest pet peeve was unruly eyebrows because of the time wasted trying to tweeze them without wax. Also, a lot of models tend to forget to bring accessories because it’s usually not requested, but I always do knowing it can really make an outfit.
3) Leave the Drama!
Personal issues should stay personal. You’re a Professional today. Be careful not to bad-mouth anyone, even if the Make-Up Artist is on a rant. It’s the quickest way for rumors to start and most likely, you’ll probably end up working with the person you just gossiped about…and they now know. Karma is funny like that so it’s better to just be polite and pleasant to avoid any future awkward scenarios.
4) Be Willing!
Sometimes things don’t work out as planned, so be willing to go with the flow. They may need you to stay longer, or fill in for a different part, or change make-up completely. Whatever the scenario, the less stress and more support you can give by being adaptable can really help a shoot. Everyone appreciates a team player.
5) No Cell Phone!
If a client sees you constantly texting on your phone, they’ll think your personal life/issues take precedence over the job. It’s okay to check messages on breaks, but be quick and tactful. It’s to your advantage to show everyone at the shoot they have your undivided attention and focus.
6) No Hustling!
Sometimes the line between networking and hustling is blurred. I figure if an Agency has sent me the job, the only hustle I do is work hard and hope to be hired again. If someone wants to give me their business card, that’s fine, but I won’t pass out mine (usually an Agency will have a contract prohibiting a model from passing out her information and most companies know this as well). Now if it’s a job I booked myself, then I’ll pass out my business cards to network. What I won’t do ever is discuss compensation, look for a date, complain about an Agency or try to undercut them. It’s just poor business practice and ruins your credibility.
This seems like a no brainer, but I’ll add it just in case. Show up on set with a smile and enthusiasm. They may want you to look solemn, bitchy, or angry, but no one wants you to act like it. Be sweet and inspiring, like a muse. If your boyfriend just broke up with you, suck it up and think of how hot you’re going to look in these photos while he eats his heart out!
8 ) Take Your Turn!
Be respectful of everyone’s time. If a model showed up before you to get her make-up done, wait your turn. I’ve seen models cut each other off and it makes the energy on set tense. No budging, everyone will have their time to shine. Instead, be helpful to other models. After all, you’ll be spending a few hours with them so you might as well enjoy it. I know a lot of models who’ve end up becoming friends and network with each other, which has paid off well.
9) Don’t Be a Diva!
Don’t make special requests. Don’t bring your pet. Don’t leave early. Don’t bring your boyfriend unless it was approved beforehand. Even if you don’t like the make-up or outfit, it’s what they envisioned for you so bite your tongue and rock it. If they ask for your thoughts, you can nicely suggest alternatives, etc. but be mindful of how you do it. If they decide not to change anything, don’t be discouraged. The lighting and editing of a shoot can really transform your look so make the best out of it and the experience.
10) Say Thanks!
Send a quick note via email or Facebook to let them know you had a great time and would love to work with them again. Keep it short and sweet. This is not the time to self-promote other appearances or activities. If you really want to go above and beyond, you can mail them a thank-you card, instead of an email.
Jayd A Lem