So you read part one and thought “oh sh&t, well what’s the point in even being a model” right? Or did you think “nah, he’s just throwing shade to stop us from doing better than him” and push ahead with your dream? Or did you read the article again and started asking more questions and even hit me up on the DM and asked whatsup?
Well whatever it was, I sincerely hope that didn’t discourage you in anyway. When I wrote that article I was in a bit of dark place, I had lost a fellow model, who was one of the last people I saw before I left Durban and my model mentor passed away on Christmas day literally as I was unwrapping presents with the family, I got the news on my phone. But I still stand by what I said, I wanted to take the illusion out of being model and really give aspiring models something to think about.
I have been meaning to write part two but I have been BUSY and have been helping fellow aspiring models weekly. It was only after yesterday when I sent the link out to the first article did I realize I had forgotten to write part two and talk about the perks and beauty of being a model! I may have gone all doom and gloom in part 1 and I am glad I did because it’s the reality for a lot of models out there; not just in the country but the world, however here I am going to shine light on the wonders and pleasures of modelling!
Let’s start with the “Money”
I know I said models don’t get paid much which is true, but then I did mention that more experienced and good models can make consistent income. Here is how it can break down:
Models can make lots of money and depending on the type of modeling you do you can actually make a huge amount per day you work. Plus size models also earn a lot of money as do male models and body models. For just using your hand or foot, you will get paid a wonderful amount for the day. Let’s look at each type in more detail:
Runway/ramp model – Now at the dizzy heights of international modeling in the league of Naomi Campbell etc. You can earn about $20 000 (R277 600) per show or an hourly rate of anywhere upward from $200 (R2700+) If you are walking local shows in South Africa. You will also sometimes get paid for fittings and rehearsals.
Hand Model or Foot Model – You will earn a bit less than a runway model, but it will still be substantial at about $100 (R1400+) per hour. This job allows you to take on more work as you are not limited by a contract to work for just one product of a similar nature. If your face is shown however you cannot model for a competing product.
Photographic Model – You can earn anywhere from $100 (R1400) per hour or $1,500 (R20 800+) per day for catalogues and for advertising agencies $250 (R3500+) per hour or $10,000 (R138 000+) keep in mind this is if you arebooking major brands like Coca-Cola, DKNY etc.
Child Model – You can earn anywhere from $50 (R700+) upwards for the day (about 5 hours) there are a lot of restrictions around this in order to avoid exploiting children.
Range Showing Model – You will earn a salary based on how many days you work and this amount can be higher than some photographic shoots or ramp work.
Lingerie Model – Due to the nature of this type of modeling, you can earn one and a half to twice the amount of regular modeling fees.
Why are you putting things in dollars you ask? Because sometimes you will find yourself working with brands from outside the country and especially if you are a brand influencer with a social media agency, they strictly pay in dollars so get used to it as a model. Hard currencies pay more!
Now that we got that out the way, here are more great perks of modelling!
You develop a thick skin.
Yes this is a perk, trust me! One of the reasons I got into modelling is because I had low self-esteem and putting myself out there was my way to facing my insecurities, now I am comfortable in my own skin and don’t care how good or ugly people think I look. Also a lot more work goes into re-touching images than most people realize. Some models can be completely altered in pictures from the way they normally look. There are many tricks used to create that perfect image – I even once had my ears taped back because a photographer thought they stuck out too much. So you really learn to brush off the snide comments and body shaming. Haters are gonna hate! Might as well get used to it.
It’s ok to eat!
I mentioned this in the previous article that models don’t live off eating paper, Believe it or not, not all models live on sticks of celery and two grapes a day, the majority of models actually eat a normal healthy diet, and can even enjoy the odd burger and milkshake. But don’t tell anyone… full confession, I had a rack of ribs last night #NOREGRETS!
Shoots are not always as glamorous as the photos portray.
Yup, I wish I could go back on that one, but nope! There is often a lot more going on behind a photo shoot than the finished picture presents. A model may have to work on a really cold or hot day wearing completely the wrong type of clothes for the season, have had 100 outfit changes or had to pose in really uncomfortable positions to get the shots.
This is really shoot and company dependent, despite getting to wear the most beautiful, expensive, glamorous outfits, models unfortunately don’t always actually get to keep the clothes. Sometimes you may get lucky and get to keep something, but this rarely happens. Runway shows and big store shoots, you really are either wearing a prototype or sample, so you can’t really take it home with you, especially if the design isn’t in stores yet!
Modelling can involve a lot of time spent waiting around;
This is actually both a very good but also a little annoying thing, Whether that’s waiting to get your hair or makeup done, waiting for the photographer to set up, waiting to get your photos back, waiting for runway shows to start or waiting to be seen at castings. So you often see models with a book or iPhone in hand as there is so much free time. The flipside being that this is a good time to build relationships with the make-up artists, fellow models and photographers. Models with great relationships with crew and photographers, get more bookings because they are easy to work with and are a familiar face.
Models can be any age.
A common misconception is that you need to be young in order to model, however there are so many different types of modelling, if you have the right look, there are plenty of opportunities out there for the more mature lady. It’s never too late.
Publicity and exposure.
A lot of people can give up anything just to gain publicity. Whether you are a part-time model or a professional model, you are guaranteed a lot of publicity. As a model, you instantly become popular due to the many photographs taken which can be later printed on magazines and newspapers. You can also be invited to various TV shows where you talk about your experiences and some of your challenges, for example. These shows give you exposure to almost the entire world. So your Instagram, twitter can get really lit over time the more exposed you are.
Models get the chance to meet with very famous and influential people during the different modeling shows and parties. Such people tend to be attracted to beautiful girls/guys (models), thus models can easily make friends with them. Moreover, these people are often nice and you may count on their help and support whenever you need them in life. Also experienced models don’t get star struck like other people would, which is something that can put people off. I mean if we have both been in the same magazine, newspaper and TV show, why would I need your autograph?
Let’s take this one with a pinch of salt! Now it’s called being Rich AND Famous, I am talking about being Famous here, and fame has its levels. You can instantly become the center of attention and quite popular among masses either locally in your neighborhood, your province or country and if you really work at it, globally, this is actually much easier now because of social media. You shift from becoming a zero to a hero. Joining the modeling field means transforming your ordinary life to a “celebrity” life or you can choose to maintain a public profile and live your life privately in plain sight. However people will start recognizing you and wanting to associate themselves with you.
I’ll leave this here, as I don’t want
you reading forever! Maybe ill do a part 3 because the positives really outweigh
the negatives in my opinion. But I felt it very necessary to shed some positive
realities of being a model and to encourage all aspiring models to never give up
on their dreams, it’s worth it if you stick with it!