One of the most asked questions of a fashion photographer like I am is “Can I be a model”?
All I can say is maybe since there are so many variables. The first variable is what many of us in the business call “The Look”. This is referring to the package…your face and body together as a whole. This is somewhat confusing to many since being beautiful in-person and being photogenic in a photograph are diametrically different ideas. One of the problems with this is that the look tends to keep changing. This is in fact a necessity since fashion is always reinventing itself. Many times what is beautiful in person doesn’t translate well to a camera since photography is a two dimensional medium, not three.
Now lets talk about height. Most of you don’t want to hear this but these day models need to be tall and very thin. This is not my fault. It is by design since the designers make the samples and in my 20 years plus in this business the sizes have been getting smaller and smaller. Now most models are between 5’9” and 6; tall and are a size 0-4. Matt Dunn Photography doesn’t implore the same standards many in the business use since there are so many genera in the fashion biz. For swimwear, many times I need a more voluptuous or curvy model. I also may need athletic models depending on some specialty client I may have.
So why must models be so tall? From a photographer’s viewpoint, a model needs to be tall since there are no perspective limitations. This means I can shoot her laying down, standing up, or squatting down ect and I can photographer her with me standing, squatting, kneeling, laying down, or overhead; no limitations. And prospectively they look great.
Another question I get is why are they so young or why do the agencies just want young girls. Simple. So the agency will have the time necessary to build their books(portfolios) and skill so by the time they are late teens or early 20;s they are making money for the agency. A 19 or 20 year old would have to be amazing in an exceptional way, these days, to be chosen by most agencies since the competition in the modeling field is tremendous. Age, many times, is a determining factor in an agency accepting or rejecting a prospective model.
I was a model for many years in New York and Chicago and I can tell you the competition was stiff back then in the early ‘80s. As competitive as it was back then it pails in comparison today. The world is involved and there are tens of thousands more models in the market as well as much more work. The media outlets have created avenues of work never before imagined.
I know that it is very difficult to know legitimate agencies so if anyone reading this needs help with this don’t hesitate to call or email me. (954)529-1390 or firstname.lastname@example.org I will send you a list of legitimate model agencies. A legitimate agency makes it’s money from a percentage of earnings that you get from modeling jobs they have provided for you.