The New Model Guide

While taken from a post I put up on this site over a decade ago and the models who helped create it have long retired the advice is still good and I thought it would may help get the resource section up and going. Over time a model develops their own style. They get to know what looks good on them and what style of work they are best suited to. Everyone has to start somewhere however. So here are a couple of suggested lists by professional models of the ‘basics’ every model ought to have. Your list may vary of course but at least this advice from successful models will help get you started. First though a few general tips from the photographers point of view. [list] [*]Make sure all labels are removed from you modelling clothes. These pesky things can be a real irritant to remove later if overlooked during a shot. [*]Keep your modelling clothes for modelling. In particular lingerie, which soon looks ‘tired’ after regular use. [*]Shoes for modelling should NEVER be worn normally. Some poses show the soles and if they are scuffed up it spoils the shot. Oh and remember to remove labels from the sole! [*]Photographers hate cheap fake tan or strap marks showing. [*]Make sure you buy clothes that fit well rather than make you feel good because they are a certain size! Bulges round tight bra straps and the top of pants are not a good look [/list] [b]Fi Stevens list of Basic clothing:[/b] [i](Fi Stevens was a former Page 3 model )[/i] Plenty of shoes in prime condition but at the very least:- [list] [*]Plain black heels [*]Plain white heels [*]Black knee high boots [/list] As many different varieties of lingerie as you can possibly fit in your bag for a lingerie shoot – because if you don’t bring it, you’ll wish you had! So to start…. [list] [*]Black, [*]White (simple set and something with detail), pink, [*]Blue, [*]Yellow, [*]Orange (whatever suits colour wise – if you’re really pale skinned, white won’t look as good as when you have a tan) [*]Lacy, [*]Patterned, [*]Vest & pants sets, [*]Suspender belts in various colours – but if all else fails, get a black one as that will go with everything black you have (which is often more!) [*]Stockings – fishnets in various hole sizes, plain, hold-ups and ones that can be attached to suspender belts. Ensure these are free from holes, ladders BEFORE packing away – and keep them in a small plastic bag so they don’t get caught on bra hooks/shoe heels. [/list] [b]Note: Make sure your lingerie is ALWAYS in a matching set[/b] Loop the knickers over the bra hook and then close the fastening – voila! you never lose the matching pants! [b]Basic clothing for simple fashion work.[/b] [list] [*]LBD – Little Black Dress – it can be dressed up or down. [*]Dark jeans [*]Light jeans [*]Plain black vest top and t-shirt [/list] If you are not sure on what to bring to a shoot ask for examples of the kind of thing they are looking for. [b]Xena’s suggested clothing list[/b] [i](xena was a full time model who worked to a range of fashion styles. ) [/i] [b]CLOTHING[/b] [list] [*]Casual fashion set. (Jeans, white/black shirt, other casual tops). [*]High fashion set. (High fashion trousers, cropped trousers, shorts. Tops to match the bottoms e.g. embroidered or detailed). [*]Little Black Dress. (As mention, invaluable) [/list] [b]LINGERIE[/b] [list] [*]Matching black lingerie set. [*]Matching white lingerie set. [*]Make sure they are PLAIN. As detailed lingerie will be obvious underneath tops, skirts, dresses etc…. [*]At least 2 lingerie sets e.g. the ones you buy, but rarely wear as they are for “special occasions”. [*]Any other relevant undergarments you may consider suitable to wear with items you are taking. [*]Stockings, suspenders, hold ups, fishnets. [/list] [b]FOOTWEAR[/b] [list] [*]black killer heels, [*]flat casual shoes, [*]wedges. [*]Any other shoes that you accompany with specific outfits. (Make sure footwear is clean & polished & labels are removed from soles). [/list] [b]JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES[/b] [list] [*]Hair accessories, slides, clips, headbands etc…. [*]Belts, chain belts. [*]Any other items/props (I have random things in the boot of my car) Like duck tape & rope & a heavy chain)… Hmm sick weirdo in the house… [/list] [b]OTHER REQUIREMENTS[/b] [list] [*]Be sure to have any hair removal treatments at least 24 hours before the shoot. This will ensure that any redness or swelling has subsided. [*]If you use any false/spray tans please make sure they are fully developed & there is no tan residue left on your skin. Also if you regularly use tans. Be aware of the “patchy time”. If on the day of your shoot you will be at this tan stage, make sure that exfoliation is completed the night before. [*]Take a dressing gown or old top & bottoms set to wear. This is for set/make-up changes, to avoid marking your garments. [*]If you use an MUA on your shoots. Take along your own make-up as well, in case you forget to tell them you have any allergies eg. Lanolin.. Lots of people are allergic to this! Also most MUA’s are happy to share tips on how to use the full content of your make-up bag. [/list] Hopefully others will add to this thread over time but please try not to duplicate what has already been said, don't use this thread as a personal soap box to vent and keep it to stuff aimed at those new to the industry.

Modelling is hard work. The vast majority of the models who make a success of it do so, not because they charge a fortune per hour but because they work hard. Damn hard. The harsh reality is that the frock is made before the model is booked. If you do not fit the frock, you do not get the job.Modelling is not easy. Holding poses is one kind of physical effort but try this. Hide away in your bedroom and take your knickers off; put on another pair. Then change back again. Then change again. Keep doing that at the rate of 10 pairs an hour for three hours. Then have a 15 minute break and a cup of tea and then do it again for another three hours. Then you get a lunch hour and repeat for the afternoon. Do that for a week and your back will be on fire. You will be in considerable pain.NO ONE WILL CARE and if you fail to turn up on the Friday you will be marked down as unreliable and not be booked again. That can be the reality of catalogue underwear modelling. You get paid. You don't get a credit.You will achieve nothing by trying to be your heroine in the modelling world. She, whoever she is, is already better at being her than you ever will. You must be you, as you are the very best you there ever has been or ever will be. So be you. You are valuable, an impersonation of Twiggy or Jean Shrimpton (who they?) will get you nowhere.You will never get more than a small percentage of the jobs on offer. If the job needs a 60 year old man, you don't get it. If it calls for a 12 year old child, you don't get it. Etc. etc. etc. If it calls for someone your size, age, body-type, colouring..... you MIGHT get it.Get a reputation for NEVER No Showing. For ALWAYS being  a little bit early For ALWAYS being reliable. For NEVER complaining. That includes moaning about last weeks shoot or what you boyfriend did to the cat ESPECIALLY never tell a photographer another photographer's trade secrets. If you tell me his, I will assume you tell him mine. You must be organised. Keep a note-book with you at all times. Make notes of possible new contacts and how to approach them. Keep notes of who you have communicated with, how you communicated and what was said. Note when you need to follow up and do so. The hardest thing of all: strike the right balance between reminding people you are available and being a pest. That is very difficult and needs some social sensitivity in reading how people are responding. ABOVE ALL, ENJOY IT BUT KEEP SAFE.

Many people in the world of modelling and photography  are extremely nice people but some are not. This  is  to help you keep safe. It can not be entirely accurate butthe following principles will make a you safer than you would be without.There are three areas in which you must safe-guard yourself.You physical well-being. It may well be that the statistics for being indecently assaulted are such that you are at much more risk in a night-club than you are in a photographic studio but that should not mean you stop being careful. Contact models who have worked with him before and ask how he was. If your instincts tell you this is wrong then go with your instincts. You are always absolutely entitled to decline a shoot offer and do not have to give a reason. The photographer may make suggestive remarks, he may try to get shots that you have said you will not do, he may touch you inappropriately, he may try to persuade or even bully you into upping you levels.Most of us understand the difference between banter and verbal harassment. The sensible photographer will be wary of offering any banter as he is aware of the possibility of it being taken badly. A few will go well over the top. He may try to get shots down your blouse or up your skirt without either your knowledge or consent. This may not be obvious to the new model whose understanding of the camera's capabilities are limited but it will usually be fairly obvious. Do not stand for it.The old maxim in shooting is Never Touch The Model. That is a little ridiculous in many cases. I always touch my models: I shake hands with her when she arrives and I shake hands with her when she leaves. What I do not do is touch her inappropriately and what is appropriate and what not is very easy. If I would not do it in a normal social situation (like shaking hands) I do not do it at a shoot. If a stray hair needs to be brushed of the model's face. She can do it. If the hem of a skirt needs to be moved, she can do it. I always double the personal space I would usually use when photographing a model. If I (rarely) find a need to enter that space, especially if I am wanting to adjust a garment that for some reason the model can't do, I SAY WHAT I WANT TO DO AND ASK FIRST. You are entitled to say 'no'. Indeed, I tell my models that they are required to say no if that is what they want to say.You should never feel physically intimidated by a photographer's presence.If he touches you up that is indecent assault. It is a crime and should be reported to the police as well as to the moderators. Upping your levels is a phrase we use to cover the case of a photographer asking you to do a shot that includes more nudity (for example) than has been previously agreed. You may be happy to shoot topless but do not want to take your pants off. That is a 'level'. You have agreed to shoot 'up to topless'. You should expect the photographer to respect that. If, part way through the shoot, he asks you to do nude (whatever his excuse is) that is 'level pushing' because he is asking you to shoot at a 'level' that is 'higher' than agreed. You need to exercise a little common sense. “If you ever change your mind about doing nudes, please let me know because you could produce some excellent work”, is not quite the same as, “If you do not take your knickers off I can't pay you. It is ridiculous you not doing nude. You won't get anywhere in this industry if you do not work to nude.” is rather stronger and untrue. I have had models who have said to me that they think they might like to do nude and they have said it part way through a shoot where nude was not in the agreement. I usually send them away to come again another day so they can think it through. I do not leap in and do nudes straight away.All of the above also applies to adult work, of course. There is no substitute for detailed, explicit and clear discussion leading to a mutually fully understood agreement. That applies if you are modelling lipstick or sex-toys! Another part appears below.

Your financial safety. There is a classic confidence trick. An advertisement appears looking for models and offering open auditions. You go along. You are interviewed and have a few photographs taken. You are then taken aside and told that you are the best thing to hit modelling since Eve put on a fig leaf. The world is your oyster, you are going far, you are amazing.... Well you get the picture. The only thing you need now is a good portfolio and a few introductions. Then comes the hard sell. They will say something along the lines of there is a special offer, one day only, you must sign by this evening of only... wait for it...£3,500 for a top class, leather bound portfolio that even God would be proud of. Of course they say this to everyone who turns up. They would even say it to me! They use the kind of high pressure sales techniques that time-share people use and they bully and harass until you cave in. The portfolio, if you get it at all will be poorly shot and worth, at best, £30! If an agency ever asks for money, tell them they may deduct it from your earnings at the rate of an extra 15% of your fee for each booking until the debt is cleared. If they say they can't do that, then ask them why you should sign with them if they have no confidence that they can get you work. Ask for their company registration number at Companies House, for their registered office address and for their VAT number. Better sill. Have nothing to do with such people. You can put together a portfolio without paying out any money at all. Though, it is true that you may do well to consider hiring a photographer for his normal fee but then you are in control. Also be very wary of contracts that tie you in. No one who is respectable will ever expect you to sign a contract without getting it checked by your solicitor first. The good guys will encourage you to take it away for examination. Another bit below.

Your emotional and social safety. Once it is out there, it is out there and it will never come back. A nude photograph taken today will be available for your children, your grandchildren and your great grandchildren to see. So do not do any shoots that you are not happy for your parents, you boyfriend, your employer to see. Consider that some professions see modelling as sordid (wrongly in the main) and will not accept you if you have a history of modelling. Especially nude modelling. If you want to be a teacher, a nurse, a police officer, etc. then a history of nude modelling may stop that happening. Consider how it may impact on your partner. Some love it. Some hate it. There are some very odd control freaks out there. Only you can decide which is more important to you: Wayne or modelling.Do all your communications via the site's Messaging system. If you have mobile 'phone conversations as well. Get into the habit of confirming what was said in the 'phone call with a follow upon-site Message. That way there is a paper trail and agreements that are in dispute can be settled. Save all texts but remember that in an emergency voice may be better than a text.Meet strangers in crowded, public places. A coffee shop is much safer than the alley round the back of the abattoir! Have some one call you on your mobile part way into the shoot. Tell the photographer this will happen. Keep your mobile fully charged and close by, you may need it.Chaperones are the most contentious issue in modelling. Use your common sense and follow your instincts. Some photographers forbid chaperones for very good reasons. Some forbid them so they can take advantage of you. Check references and be sensible.BE SAFE ABOVE ALL ELSE.I may want to photograph you one day and you are no use to me if you have been reduced to a nervous wreck or are on a mortuary slab. Well, actually I did that once for a gore shoot but she got up and walked away after!ENJOY IT. IT CAN BE GREAT FUN AND YOU WILL MEET A LOT OF VERY LOVELY PEOPLE.

I am a Fetish Scene person and am currently working on a book about safety on the fetish scene. It mostly concentrates on Health and Safety but all the medical syuff is slanted to the interests of fetishists. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have about the fetish scene. If I do not know the answer, I will know someone who does!

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