What does modelling in this new era mean?
The modelling industry has changed completely since the introduction of smartphones.
It might seem like a small device, but that screen changed our entire world. entire economies have been built around it, and this is not the end of it; on the contrary, this is just the beginning, as the new migration of Facebook to Meta will be dictating a whole new virtual world.
Before this digital revolution, modelling was limited to a restricted number of people that could truly be in front of a camera, and that could consequently see their image on billboards, tv, magazines or newspapers. As these powerful media started to lose power against the mighty mini screen; the possibility to reach more people instantly grew.
Digital cameras gave the power to creators to not be hindered by 36 posses (the 35-millimetre film used in analog cameras was limited to 36 photos at a time, after which a new roll of film needed to be inserted into the camera), and also the instant view of their shot allowed to always get exactly the shot they were looking for or create on the spot, not worrying about any technical limitations.
This immense freedom, and the freedom to share, post, engage with the content was something inconceivable before the advent of social media.
This immense power now changed the modelling industry, giving every model the possibility to create a following of users; the possibility to interact directly with brands—leaving behind the now obsolete model agencies—becoming not only models but entrepreneurs!
Deciding the style of the photos to publish, what brands to associate with, being socially conscious, caring for social issues, understanding the ever-evolving mechanism of branding; becoming in the end “influencers”, new terminology that we are all accustomed to today.
No limits, no walls, no rules!
No more shackles from model agencies; no limitations on the number of photos that can be created; no more boundaries on interactions. Basically digital freedom.
As a creative director and photographer, I look back at my career and I look at the time when shooting on film; I recall the move to my first digital camera, and I remember as if it was today looking at my creations being shared with the world. It’s a rewarding feeling. This era is the era of image.
The power of creation is truly limitless and we are all in control of what we can do. Models today have infinite possibilities, not only to model but to create a brand that can live long and expand into products, accessories, services, clothing, and much more.
So here are the fundamental tips to build your career in modelling:
- Create a website. Yes, never rely solely on social media, because these are not your property, but they are rented properties and you might lose them with all your followers, while your website will always be your no matter what;
- Every image must be flawless. The competition is tough and half-assed images will do more harm than good (no matter the unspoken rule of consistency to post regularly);
- Connect with or hire a great photographer. Remember that everyone has a camera, and everyone can click a button…but is that what you truly want?
- The retoucher is as important as the photographer. Your creations must be edited perfectly. Most photographers will edit their own photos, or you can learn to edit your photos. Consider though that a great photo editor goes beyond fixing a few skin flaws;
- Social media, the behemoth. You need to think like a brand. Choose a good name, be consistent in the creativity, fight for a cause, be real because there are too many fakers out there and your audience will catch up on it leaving you dry;
- Photos and videos both are a must and both need to respect all the above rules of quality and authenticity;
- Engage, engage, and when you are done engage more with your followers;
- Never undersell yourself. As much as you might be at the beginning of your career, never doubt yourself. Good things come to those who wait.
- Never do what you don’t want to do just because you are asked to do so. Many photographers will ask to do nude, implied, or “more.” The point is to be comfortable with what will be eventually shared online. If you feel that boudoir, implied, nude, are your thing, do it…but if you are not, DON’T! And if you are going to do it, be sure to choose a great photographer that will make your nude photos look at their best;
- Model release form. Always have one ready; always sign one that protects you, your creativity, your person. They are free online and they will protect you whether the gig is paid or free.
- Fight for a cause. As I mentioned before, fight for something. Being a model today means being bigger and better than yourself. People and brands will resonate with you much more when creating a deeper connection.
We interviewed Lily Frimpong for a fun chat about the modelling industry from her point of view. She is a gorgeous model that we enjoyed chatting with and that we hope you will take a moment to check her out.