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Tips for modelling

Photos : B.K. Agarwal

Cosmetics industry has taken the world by storm and is the biggest of all now. Thanks to its growth, all connected fields have also grown parallelly.

Suddenly there is a explosion of business in media, advertising agencies, creative people, publishers, signboard makers, photographers, make-up artistes, models, model coordinators and event managers, just to mention a few.

The awareness of the importance of advertising among the manufacturers has made them sit up and earmark a major budget for this type of publicity. And a major part of it goes to the payment of celebrity models like the Big 'B', Aishwarya, Sachin, Mallaika and members of the not-so-well-known band who smile at your from TV sets and magazines. The money and fame one gets in this field is almost a dream of all good-looking and smart people.

Then why do only a very small percentage of the bright and attractive people, who enter into modeling, finds any success? Do they know the rules of this game? Do they have the required elements like personality, knowledge, guidance and mindset required in this game? Let these aspects be analysed for the benefit of experience and upcoming models.

Personality: Presentable personality no doubt is a major requirement, but having that alone is not enough. Attitude, natural grace, flexibility, imagination, poise, confidence, expression, communication skill and how you carry yourself in front of the camera are equally important aspects of the personality. Height, age and skin colour are less important in product modeling. Rather excessive body hair, tattoos, horrendous scars on visible parts of the body and strong tan lines are a big no, no. Many of today's famous models were considered ugly ducklings before they entered into this field just because they were not beautiful in the conventional terms. Every extra talent like dance, yoga, athletic backgrounds is useful.

Steely determination: Many of the young models fail to reach their potential just because they don't have the drive or desire to overcome the initial hurdles and setbacks they encounter, like in any other field. Somehow every good looking Indian aspirant thinks that assignments should queue up in front of his or her doorstep just because one has expressed a desire to model now, but the same person doen't mind running from pillar to post, attending interview after interview for months and even years to get a simple job. But they simply quit, without giving any fight in modeling.

Business, pure and simple: Modelling can be great fun and quite remunerative, but it is business, pure and simple. Professionals involved in it like art directors, designers, agencies, photographers are all in it for money. And time is money for them. Even the most beautiful model will soon find herself without a job, if she does not show up in time. They have to meet a whole lot of highly influential clients and people in this career. Unless one knows how to handle people and rise in their eyes as a professional, one may not last long.


Portfolio: The client may not be able to visualise how the model will look in a particular role or costume. A model's portfolio is a set of professionally clicked pictures with various looks, costumes, make-up and expressions. It gives a chance to the client to visualise one in their ad. It is like a passport to modeling world. In the hands of a good photographer one can undergo a transformation one never felt possible and enhance his or her chance of getting a good break in the fashion industry. The model must take the portfolio shoot very seriously and the following types of pictures are a must in a model's portfolio.

---Head shots or close-up pictures in different expressions (soft, provocative, challenging, full smile, etc.)

---Casual look shots in jeans, shorts, T-shirts: these pictures can be full length or mid length shots.

Formal look shots in ethnic wear, evening gowns, formal sarees and suits and blazers for gents.

---Some special shots in swimwear, or action shots while in movement or in playful mood give an impression that the model is flexible and graceful. This helps in film industry and tele- advertisements where the model has to move and talk.

---Care should be taken to use well ironed and fresh looking trendy costumes. They can use accessories like hats, caps, goggles, fancy belts and similar stuff with western wear and heavy jewellery and flowers in formal looks. The most important thing is that the attire should suit the personality, cover flaws like big hips, heavy bustline and short legs. The model should be comfortable in them. Otherwise it is going to show on their faces.

Experienced models know that there is never a steady flow of work. A break is always welcome as too much media exposure also is not good. An intelligent model invests these leisure and spare time productively in self-promotion. Such models develop new contacts, renew old contacts, take care of their physique by exercising and add fresh pictures to their portfolios. They meet their coordinators again to refresh their memory. "Out of sight, out of mind'' is 100 per cent true in this business.

With millions of pretty faces around, only a different look or attitude is going to make the aspirant stand out and get noticed. One must be creative in hair styling, dressing and body language; be seen in the right places with the right people.

To sum up, successful models are made, not born. Be prepared for hard work. Do not stop due to minor setbacks. If you are confident that you have the potential, have a clear direction, chalk out a plan of action and execute meticulously. The world out there is waiting for you - explore and enjoy it!

Talk to your photographer to come up with something new to create a totally different and unique look in the portfolio. Believe me the photographers and the clients are also equally bored with the run-of-the-mill kind of routine works and looking desperately for a change.


---The aspiring model can take the help of these famous agencies in India to get their career off the ground:

---The Co-ordinator, Mumbai (run by one-time model Rasna Behl).

---Face!, Mumbai (former Miss India Meher Jesia).

---YSG-Worldwide Model and Promotion agency, Mumbai (it has branches and connection throughout the world).

---Catwalk, New Delhi (run by Kamal Hazuria).

---The Ramp, New Delhi(headed by Rasmi Virmani).

---Aditi Modelling Service, Bangalore (Anila Anand).

---Design and Print Group, Bangalore (run by Prasad Bidappa).

B.K. AGARWAL

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