Types of Modeling, Modeling Styles Defined
There are many different types of modeling:
7. Art, Artistic Nude, or Figure
Fashion modeling is the use of a model to sell clothing. Fashion
modeling includes runway, clothing campaigns (which you see in
magazines and billboards), catalogue, and showroom presentations.
Fashion agencies have very strict requirements. Female models
have to be between the ages of 14-21 and to be 5'9" and above.
Male models have to 18 years or older, 5'11" to 6'2"
tall and a suit size of 40R to 42R. It is very strict because,
industry standard for clothing samples will usually only fit these
sizes. Occasionally, an agency might accept models who fall short
(no pun intended) of these requirements because they have unusually
beautiful faces and/or bodies. The further you are from these
requirements makes the more difficult it is for your agency to
acquire work for you.
Commercial modeling is the use of a model to sell products for
household or industrial use. These include cars, hair products,
alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, household appliances, industrial
appliances, machinery etc. Commercial agencies have no physical
restrictions. Commercial modeling includes TV, print, promotions
(e.g. the Budweiser girls) and more. Commercial agencies represent
models of all ages, sizes and ethnic backgrounds.
Specialty agencies usually represent talent with special bodies
or body parts and faces. Specialty agencies represent full figured
models, petitest, bodybuilders, athletic builds, or body part
This is the style Vividere specializes in. Glamour ranges from bikini, to lingerie, to boudoir. Might be fully clothed or nude like in Playboy magazine. Fashion is more oriented towards selling the suit, sweater, or jewelry, glamour is more about "selling" the model. A fashion model might be facing away, no eye contact, more or less a human "coat hanger". In glamour the appeal is the model, eye contact, a smile, a "come hither" look to draw the viewer to the person as opposed to the setting or attire. Glamour models are usually 18 or older, but generally not more than 40. There is however a growing interest in mature models defined as over 40. Glamour models typically have nice figures, toned but not muscular. Generally very few if any tattoos or piercings.
Erotic is similar to glamour but is more sexually oriented. The poses are more explicit, more geared towards arousing the viewer. Erotic doesn't need to be nude as sometimes showing less is better than showing more. Erotic can range from clothed to very explicit styles such as seen in Penthouse and similar style magazines.
Fetish model emcompasses a wide variety of things as there are more fetishes than you can imagine. Most people immediately think of kinky things, things that are a bit unusual or non-conformist. The most common fetish is probably BDSM, bondage, domination, and submission. Usually accompanied by leather attire, ropes, handcuffs, whips and related accessories. Fetish can also be wearing latex, spandex, or vinyl. Might be wet and messy oriented, playing in mud, syrup, honey, cooking materials, Might involve uniforms such as cheerleader, schoolgirl, or French Maid. Sometimes fetish is smoking, blowing up and popping balloons, etc. Basically anything you can think of is someone's fetish. Basically any age or body style is fine for this type of photography or modeling since the appearance of the model isn't the criteria. It is common for fetish models to have tattoos and piercings but they aren't required. Sometimes models of the goth and punk genre and lumped into this category as it is a small niche.
Art, Artistic Nude, or Figure Modeling
The art photography most people are familiar with are the black and white nudes usually seen in art galleries or in coffee table books. Quite often the model's head is missing or turned away, a play on light and shadows. Basically any age or body style is fine for this type of photography or modeling since the appearance of the model isn't the criteria. Most models used in college or art classes are called art models. They usually pose nude to be drawn or painted by the students. They are used so the students can learn how to deal with human curves and parts. Like with fetish modeling, the maint point is not the look or age of the model.
Finding an Agency
Now that you are aware of the different types of modeling, you can now figure out where you belong. To be on the safe side, call the agencies before you pay them a visit to find out whether they have open calls. If they do not, then send them a SASE with 3 of your best pictures. Give about 4-6 weeks for a response. If an agency is interested in you, they will call you and set up an appointment. Agencies might get turned off if you hound them with phone calls or go knocking on their doors. Many models find their foothold on the internet, bypassing the typical agency structure. For some kinds of work, especially print/catalog work, you will need to work with an agency as all of that type of work is obtained that way, but there is a lot more work being done now through the internet. Most of it is glamour, but that is the style most models will fit into more easily.
Modeling schools are the most part are scams as far as I am concerned. They are happy to take your money, teach you a few things and the models rarely get an assignment. A few do, but that is the exception, not the rule. If you have a unique look or something special going for you, you can find photographers to do free shoots with you and you can approach agents without going through formal modeling school. You can learn a lot by working with photographers.