Suyama Images | A Model is a Business

A Model is a Business

February 21, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

First, this isn't about the physical characteristics of a model's body, that is a very subjective thing and certainly what I like in a model will differ from what some others like. In addition, I don't always gravitate toward one body type, height, color, weight, eye color, or anything else. I find someone that fits the vision in my mind. Again, all subjective.

This is a post that explains what separates the amateur models from the professionals.
The first thing is that a model has to realize that they are a business. They ARE A BUSINESS just as I am a business as a photographer (contractor, investor, etc.). They are not just a pretty face or body that moves and holds poses. There is SO much more to their success than their technical skill. So here are the points I've weeded down to a concise list.

1) You are a business. Not just a model. And in realizing you are a business you do the things of other successful businesses. You have a service you perform (technical skill; modeling) and you know how to (employ administrative skills) market, communicate and respond to your customer base to expand and grow your business and you do these actions.


Factually every artist is a business. And the successful artist will not only know their technical skill cold, but know also administrative skills and will use them to their advantage over other artists who only focus on their craft.

There are GREAT photographers and models out there that no one has heard of and it isn't because their work isn't great, it's because they aren't treating themselves like a business. There are plenty of mediocre photographers as well who are in business and they do alright, not because of their skill but because they can run a business.

2) Your skill set is the technical aspect of your business but it's nothing if you neglect the administrative side of your business which includes:

3) You realize that Communication is king! and the basis for relationships to form and continue. One of the fastest ways to drive customers away is with poor or NO communication. Answer people's questions and be prompt in your reply to people inquiring about your services.
4) You have and you exude professionalism including; keeping appointments, understanding your role in the shoot, not indulging in drugs or excessive alcohol before or during your shoot. There are a myriad amount of apps that make scheduling and appointments easy. There's no excuse anymore because we've had the technology for a while now!
5) You are personable, friendly and outgoing. This helps in business and it will help as a model.
Looking for an edge?
6) Bonus: You understand other aspects of the industry (different than knowing your role as a model or in a particular shoot), such as dabbling in photography as a flanking skill. Photographers that also know how to model are some of the best, just look at Peter Hurley! This guy has got to be the king of head shots yet he was also a successful model!
7) Bonus: You just KNOW how to pose and work it. I don't expect every model to be there, in fact I don't expect most models to be there as it's, in my opinion, an advanced skill of someone very experienced. But you are always working at perfecting your craft, just as a photographer should never stop learning more about their craft!

The purpose of this writing was to give you the correct perspective as to how to treat yourself as a model and that is as a business. There are many books on what makes a successful business. A modeling agency is such a place that handles the administrative functions of your business for you so that you can focus on your craft. They will take their cut as well. The advantage of being part of a reputable agency is that they will be able to market you and get you work. But understanding you are a business may give you an advantage from the start!

Feel free to chime in on what you think as well. We all have a different point of view.


 


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