Over the last few years, I started seeing some patterns of mistakes that aspiring models make. Such mistakes could range from poor business practices to certain bad habits that prevent them from getting work. Below are, in my opinion, the top 10 mistakes that newer models make:
1. Not showing up to shoots/meetings/appointments/fittings, and then giving every excuse in the book for doing so. That is a no-no. Shoots take a lot of organizing, from getting the whole team together to planning the theme of the shoot. So, for you to not show up is a poor business practice and very presumptuous. You will be labeled as unreliable, and thus not worth working with. If you want to impress the right people, then treat their time as valuable.
2. Showing up late. Again, the reliability factor is at stake here. When you are late, other people on the set will start to wonder if you are even going to show up at all. The whole world doesn't wait for you, so why should the creative team wait for you while you think up excuses for why you weren't on time? If you will be late, call the photographer immediately to let him/her know that you are still going to be there and give them an estimated time of arrival so that they can get other things done while they are waiting for you.
3. Badmouthing other models, photographer, and other industry professionals. People will think that you are a drama queen, and no one wants to be around that. If you have nothing nice to say about someone, then don't say anything at all.
4. Complaining about your make-up/hair and wardrobe in front of the team who took part in the shoot. You won't always like what you are wearing, or the job that a make-up artist/wardrobe stylist/hair stylist did, but if you get snotty about it on set...people will think...well...you're a diva (among other things).
5. Thinking you will instantly be a star and/or full-time model. It's a nice thought, but the chances of that happening are slim to none. VERY few girls make a living at modeling and most models have other, more stable streams of income for when the modeling jobs don't come in. Be very realistic with your expectations, and be aware that getting to a point where you make a living is a LOT of hard work. So, be prepared to respond to countless ads looking for models, attending hundreds of auditions, going to casting calls, submitting to several magazines, and networking your butt off with seemingly no apparent results.
6. Letting yourself get out of shape. Just like other people, you are not always motivated to work out. However, what happens if next week there is a shoot and you are in your worst shape ever? Always be prepared and be in your top shape. Girls who get into magazines are usually in their top-notch shape.
7. Waiting for opportunities to come to you. Sorry, but that just won't work anymore. Gone are the days where you can be walking in a mall in a small town with your mom and all of a sudden a scout from a huge modeling agency like Ford or Elite approaches you, flies you to New York, and you are rich and famous. That is history! Currently, there are millions of girls competing for the scarce modeling jobs. If you want to work as a model, you need to be realistic about what you have to offer the client/company/photographer/etc and aggressively market yourself on the basis of that. Agencies and clients do not look for their models on the Internet because they receive hundreds of submissions/applications from aspiring models who are chasing their dreams.
8. Having too many demands. This is often the case with new models on the social networking sites for models and photographers. The model asks the photographer to sign over the copyrights to the images for free, that the photographer pays her a ridiculous amount of money, that the photographer covers all the costs of the make-up artist/hair stylist, and other demands. People don't want to work with someone who will be a pain in the butt to deal with. This does not mean that you should be a pushover, but understand that you can't make crazy demands on people you're working with.
9. Coming to a shoot unprepared. Forgetting different clothing items, shoes, make-up, or other props that you agreed to bring is just one part of being unprepared. If you say you are going to bring something to the shoot, take extra care to be true to your word. People don't like to work with someone who always forgets important things...and if you can't get organized for a shoot...then consider a different hobby/career.
10. Showing up to a shoot tired and/or hung-over. Late nights and partying the night before a shoot are a "no-no". It WILL show in the pictures, and the photographer will not be very happy, since those probably won't be his/her best pictures. So, if you're a big partier and a night owl, save it till after the shoot :)
If you are an aspiring model and have done any of the above, it is a good time to re-assess your goals in the industry and change some habits.
What are some other mistakes that new models make?
I wish you all the best! If you found this helpful, please share :)