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Top 5 Things Every Model Needs To Survive

The thing that you need to consider when modeling is that your body is going to technically become part of a piece of art.  A piece of art that is going to need to be able to survive the test of time.  If you look at it this way you are essentially transforming yourself into a tube of paint just waiting to be smeared onto a canvas.  This is one way to put it that is; The limits of the demands of both you and your photographer go as far as the imagination does. 

When you look at modeling in this light, you are no longer limited to the stereotypical Calvin Klein or Victoria’s Secret model that you all would instantly plant into your brain thanks to the fashion model advertising here in the United States.  But that’s neither here nor there..  This only brings me to my point which is:  The things that you need to survive are not physical but philosophical instead.

1. Imagination 

An imagination is the only thing that will allow you to truly stand out from the crowd and be able to express yourself to fit anyshoot, company or photographer’s needs. 

In order to make a completely original photograph you and your photographer alike will need to see past societies restrictive and consuming traditions.   Both you and your viewer will then be able to really engage yourselves in an unique way to provoke a thought or emotion through art.  Which, let’s face it, whether it is commercial, academic or art for art’s sake, that is what succeeds and goes the distance.  The more unique and “out there” it is the better.

 2.  Patience

Caught At Sunset

As a model you will discover that patience is the name of the game when it comes to any shoot or ad campaign.  This means that if the photographer or creative directer wants to experiment and move things around, you will most likely have to be the one working the hardest to hold a pose or a look through all of these improvisations.   One of the worst thing to do is to rush through a shoot.  Taking time to see the details that your consumer will really have to engage intellectually to appreciate is and should be one of your main concerns.  Time is all it takes to stumble upon a great moment to be captured.. so you better get used to it.

3.  Focus


Now, focus is a tricky one..  You will be focusing on one thing only.  How you look and is it matching with what your director or photographer is telling you to do.  This means that you can’t drool over the beautiful cliffs and cascading waterfalls behind you.. until after the shoot.  Your mind should be free during the shoot.. but at the same time not free to roam outside the bounds of the shoot either.  Focus on the camera and whats happening at that very moment.. life can wait an hour or two.

4. Confidence

Samba Rocks ShootThis is the most important thing to have going into a shoot.. that’s why I put it as #4 on the list. Just kidding, but seriously.  They key to finding the best look and completely fulfilling the demands of your photographer is to drop the fear of failure.  Any artist will tell you the same thing when you ask them about how they arrived at a successful piece of art:  The best piece of work could be the 1st or the 1000th of a series.. with 999 bad ones in between.  It is part of the process so the only thing you can do is to have confidence in the fact that those 2 good ones are in there somewhere. 

                                                   5.  Courage

What else would you need after you have all of those 4 things down?  I’m going to tell you now to officially give up all of the 5 things that you need to survive as a model no matter the shoot, the set, the photographer, the location, the humidity in the air, the social economic state of your surroundings or the hangover from last night.  Is peace.  You should be completely at peace with what you are doing in life at that very moment.  That is the only way to truly and openly express yourself to the extent of any photographer request. With god’s speed all 5 are possible and we can be as good as Katie May from Arsenic Magazine or Gian Luca De Sotto modeling around the world on a day to day basis.

Mei Lee