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model market


Modeling Agencies categorize models in a variety of ways based on their image. No matter what look you are currently rocking, it is important for any successful model to understand their place in their local market, and making sure that your agent has up to date and current photos, and your comp card for pitching to local clients. By understanding which market(s) you fit into, you can effectively direct your focus on that particular area in order for you  to book more jobs.

Take a look at your geographical location. Your area plays a large role in determining what your general market is. Is your area more conservative, like the Midwest’s heavy commercial market? Or is it all about #beachlife and spending your days in a bikini along the shore of Santa Monica? If you are trying to book work local in your area, then fitting into your local market is critical to your success of booking local jobs.  While being aware of your local market, there are many different kinds of “markets” out there that you should become aware of for modeling.

Commercial Market

By far the largest part of the Midwest’s  market, a “Commercial Market” aims to showcase the average person, or every day, “girl next door” look. Models who fit into the commercial market spectrum have a very natural look. For example, their hair has a very natural length and color. Skin is clear and healthy with no body art, (or very minimal/easily hidden.) They have no facial piercings. Commercial market models can be a variety of heights and sizes, but the most marketable commercial models have an even/proportional body shape. There is a broad variety of work that commercial models are hired for.

Types of Commercial Market work:

Commercial Market City: Milwaukee, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami

  • Commercials
  • Film/TV
  • Commercial Print
  • Catalogue
  • Promotional Events
  • Convention Spokesmodels
  • Social Media Campaigns & Brand Ambassadors
  • Fit Modeling & Product Development
  • Commercial Runway & Hair Shows

High Fashion Market


Known to be the most difficult and subjective modeling market, these models must be young, tall, and very thin. These models are seen on the New York Runways and are showcased in fashion magazines for editorial print work. Nationally, females must be 5’10-6’0, while men need to be 5’11-6’2.

Types of High Fashion  work:

High Fashion Market: New York City, International travel with luxury brands

  • High Fashion Runway Shows (Nationally and Internationally)
  • High Fashion Magazine Editorial and Fashion Spreads
  • High Fashion Social Media Campaigns for luxury brands

Smaller Niche Markets & Market Vibes.


  • Parts Modeling: Models who have great looking hands or feet who are used for modeling shoes or jewelry. Small market in Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles.
  • Alternative Modeling: Rocker, LGBTQ promotional events and spreads, punk/goth, heavy body art and facial piercings are common attributes found in Alternative Models. It is pretty much the opposite of a Commercial-Market look. These models are booked for very specific/select roles, characters, music videos, and events.
  • Beach Look: L.A/Southern California has its own “vibe” or feel to it. These models are in extremely good shape and occasionally have augmented body parts. These models do a lot of freelance work. (L.A., Miami)
  • Glamour Models: While glamour models do not need to be extremely tall (especially in comparison to a high fashion market, these models still have to be thin and very attractive. They typically model swimsuits or lingerie for local magazine spreads, promotional calendars, etc. (Selected out of Commercial markets)
  • Plus Size: Must be very attractive and have a proportionate body type. Plus size runway models must be at least 5’9, while print plus size are usually at least 5’8. Plus size models tend to fall under the “Commercial Market” umbrella, meaning they generally pose a very natural and clean look. (Selected out of Commercial markets)

Plot Twist: Social Media Influencers

Social media has completely changed the game in the modeling world, and in my opinion, for the better, and for all the RIGHT reasons. Instead of  having to fit into a market, you can instead choose to pick your own aesthetic on social media, and connect with brands that fit your own sense of style. With a lot of hard work, creativity, and determination, you can develop the skills to become a successful social media influencer.  Influencers are strategic when it comes to developing their content, finding their audience, and maintaining a specific theme and aesthetic, while staying consistent in the game.

What is so great about Influencers is that they can be successful no matter what their local market is. Having a digital presence allows these game changers the opportunity to be successful no matter where they are, regardless of what type of market is surrounding them. They are always working with photographers, venues, and collaborating with other bloggers and influencers. They consistently team up with brands to continue  to produce a feed (or channel) of inspiration within their selected interest. I personally believe that these humans are the reason why the term “side hustle” came to be.  Just remember: Influencers are no slouches–the hardest working social media influencers make it look the easiest.

Have a question or awesome story to share related to your experience? Comment below–I would love to hear about it!


Whether you are signed with a modeling agency or are a freelance model, here are the top 5 materials you will need to work as a professional model:


Also known as “Comp Cards”, these 4X6 inch cards that feature a head shot or upper body shot on the front, and three to four additional photos of the model on the back. You will want to think of your comp card as a modeling business card; it is what you will take with you to any modeling/runway auditions, in addition to giving them to the photographers you work with. Your comp card should showcase yourself in various outfits and looks. Do your best to showcase as many different styles as possible to show off versatility across different model markets. (See “Top 10 Photo Shoot Outfit Themes) Make sure that the front of the comp card showcases your natural look–no dramatic makeup or overly done up hair; present yourself as a blank slate to the potential client. Remember, you’re not exactly modeling yet, so keep your outfits simple and leave cute animals and babies out of your photos… The focus should be on you and your natural complexion. I recommend ordering your comp cards here.


Measurements, statistics, stats–whatever you want to call them–are vital to your knowledge as a model. Make sure that you memorize all of your own current measurements in inches. You will be asked to list your stats for any modeling job, so it is critical that you know them and know how to take them. (They will also be featured on your comp card.) Keep a fabric measuring tape in your modeling bag.

Women will need to know the following measurements : 


This measurement is different from your bra size; it is the measurement around the fullest part of the chest (over the nipple, to be exact). Do not list your bra size instead of this measurement.

Natural Waist

This is the measurement around your waist, or the smallest/thinnest part around you. Although this is usually just above the belly button, it is slightly higher or lower for some people.


Take the measuring tape and wrap it all the way around the widest/fullest part of your butt. This is your hip measurement.

In addition to these measurements, you will need to know your exact height in inches, shoe size, and all clothing sizes.

Men will need to know the following measurements:

  • Chest: Measurement around the fullest part of the chest
  • Waist: Measurement around the smallest part of the waist
  • Inseam: Pant length (crotch seam down to the floor)


Ah, the classic 9X12 inch modeling portfolio. While not completely extinct, this is definitely something any serious model should obtain as more photos are accumulated. Fill your portfolio with professional photos from trade shoots (or Trade For Prints/TFPs), fashion shows, or any publications. Do not put every photo from your last photo shoot in this book; similarly to the comp card, we are going for a variety of outfits, looks, and locations. It is better to have fewer, excellent photos than a bunch of average ones. Remember, when it comes to portfolios, you are as strong as your weakest photo! Take your portfolio to agency interviews, talent expos, and auditions.

Social Media

Even more important than any physical portfolio or comp card is your social media presence. ESPECIALLY INSTAGRAM. Now is the time to up your gram game to give yourself more exposure and network on a local, national, or even global scale. Treat your first 9-12 Instagram posts like you would your portfolio. Make sure that you include or tag your agency in your Bio, and include your agent’s email address. This will direct potential clients or photographers to your agent–and if they are legit–they will reach out to your agent directly, with a personal introduction and model inquiry, instead of DMing you with a bunch of emojis inviting you to ‘become a Brand Ambassador’. Agents are great at negotiating rates with potential clients on your behalf, in addition to weeding out less than desirable projects with suspicious or inexperienced prospects…

Website/Online Portfolio

By now you have established yourself as a model and have had a number of photo shoots under your belt. It is time to create your own digital space for your work that gives potential clients, agencies, and photographers a place to learn more about you, view your photos and contact you (or your agent) directly. If you are with an agency, or thinking about agency representation, the agency will usually have its own modeling web database that they will have you create your own account on. This is a HUGE advantage because traffic will already be directed to your page under your agent’s name. (It will not be your sole responsibility to drive web traffic to your site).  Read, “Should I Get an Agent?”

If you are an unsigned or freelance talent looking to start a website for your work, I would  encourage you to invest in a secure domain that is http accredited right from the start. (You won’t be able to go back and change this later!) Your hard work is worth protecting, so security should be a top priority.  I recommend WordPress for servicing your site.  They are secure and have so many modern web templates to choose from. (They even have layout options specifically for digital modeling portfolios!!) 

Final notes

Make sure that your usernames are the same across all of your social media platforms. This is a mistake that I made early on…my Instagram username is positivelife5489.  Also, be sure to add your new website link in the website portion of your Instagram page to help drive traffic to your website!

Have a question or a helpful tip?? Comment below to join the conversation!

Hey models! I wanted to do a quick recap of what you should always come prepared with to your photo shoot. As we know, full preparation is key to a successful photo shoot. (Yes, this blog is going to cover things for men, women, and kids!) I’m putting together a list of things you should ALWAYS pack with you to ensure you will be camera ready! I’ll also be linking my favorite, most affordable photo shoot cosmetics and hair products.

Want more info on photo shoot preparation? Click here to read “The Pre Photo shoot Discussion all Models and Photographers Need to Have”, and make sure you become familiar with the “Photo Shoot Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts”

Okay, let’s get into it!!

1. Basic Photography Make up

Now, if this shoot is for a paid booking, you are probably going to have a make up artist. While you won’t have to pack all of your make up, it is still a great idea to bring the basics. If this is a student photo shoot or a trade shoot you will want to bring ALL of your makeup. Adults will need the following:

Oil-free Moisturizer

Not only will the moisturizer hydrate your skin, but it will prep your skin for a nice even layer of foundation. This SPF 15 moisturizer is my absolute favorite because It is the only one on the market that provides SPF protection against both UVA A and B rays, and works wonderfully under make up. It’s non greasy, PABA free, and is great for sensitive skin. #WIN

TIP: Use a sweatband to hold all of your hair back while applying your make up

Under Eye Corrector

Note, THIS IS DIFFERENT FROM CONCEALER. The under eye corrector will be slightly pigmented to neutralize the red, purple, or brown circles under your eyes. You will want to get an under eye corrector pigmented to suit your under eye situation:

GREEN=redness under the eye

YELLOW=dullness (medium/olive color skin tones)

PINK/PEACH=blueish/dark purple color under the eye (This is my absolute favorite under eye brightening corrector)

ORANGE/RED=Dark circles for medium to dark skin tones This one will last all day and give you the perfect matte finish!

BLUE=Yellowish tint under the eye

Use your finger tips or beauty blender sponge to lightly apply the corrector in an inverted triangle patch underneath the eye and onto the side of your nose. Be sure to blend up close to the water line (lower lash line)

TIP: Make sure you always wet the beautyblender/sponge before using it, or it will absorb all of the product and not blend very well.


Hide the pigmented corrector by concealing it. Choose a concealer that is your same skin tone, or half a shade lighter. Tip: you can also use the concealer to highlight the inner areas of your face. Concealers come in different forms (solid stick or liquid). There are definitely fancier concealers out there, but I find that when paired with the right corrector, this $6 option from Maybeline works just fine.

TIP: Pat blend with a dampened sponge or beautyblender.

TIP: DO NOT USE HIGHLIGHTING POWDER unless discussed with the stylist/photographer. Highlighter will drastically change the lighting effect, and it may not fit the aesthetic of the shoot. They way the lights are positioned for studio/print photography will already add highlights to your face. Don’t make yourself look like a rookie. Leave off highlighting powder for head shots & print photography. READ THIS BLOG for more on Photo Shoot Etiquette.


You will want a full coverage foundation that matches your skin tone perfectly. While there are plenty of high end options out there, the product doesn’t need to be on your face for that long, so an inexpensive option will suffice. I recommend the Stay Matte shades from Rimmel. This one is full coverage and works great. It comes in multiple shades and is super mattey…perfect for photo shoots!! The best part? You can get it here for under $5.

Translucent Face Powder

Time to set all of those liquid based products on your face. Opt for a powder that matches your skin tone, or that is neutral in color. The one I use has been on the market for about 100 years and I love the way it smells. Get it here for about $6.


Aside from my mascara, eyeliner, contour, and lip color, I’m always sure to bring extra bobby pins, scissors (for loose threads/tags) eye drops (for redness/irritation)  and chapstick. Oh, and you’ll definitely want to bring a lint roller!!

2. Hair Products

While you will want your hair to stay in place, too much hairspray (or cheap hairspray) can make your hair look wet or stiff. While it’s totally okay to use less expensive cosmetics (they won’t be on your face for that long anyway) I definitely advise getting a great hairspray that will give you a soft, touchable hold. My go-to hairspray is this one from Rusk. It provides all the hold I need and doesn’t make my hair look stiff or stringy. And, by now you guys probably know that I’m kind of a sucker for anything that smells good. I am happy to report that this one definitely passes the #smelltest.

I actually think it smells like roses…

Also, I personally think “texture” sprays are kind of a waste of time. Most of them just end up weighing my hair down. Instead, try using some dry shampoo to maintain volume. Be sure you get one that matches your roots! There are a few options from Batiste: Blonde dry shampoo and brunette dry shampoo. They also offer a white/neutral color option as well.

To tame frizz, add shine, and retain moisture, I highly recommend this silkening treatment. One drop for all of your hair is all you need. Seriously. This product changed my life. I love the way it makes my hair look and feel, and it’s especially great for color treated hair like mine! I swore to myself that I would only use it on photo shoot days, but…I don’t know how to not use it every day. IT’S THE BOMB!!!

Bottom line:

When it comes to hair, you definitely want to be neatly styled. The “Messy Bun” or “bed head” looks do not photography well. Tame all baby hairs and fly aways back with bobby pins.

3. Nude & Strapless Undergarments

Okay dudes, you can skip this one. But only this one!! (And only if you promise to take your phone out of your pocket–we’ll be able to see the rectangle impression it will leave in the photo!)

Ladies. It kills me when I see a gorgeous girl with an elegant dress on, only to have the whole look cheapened by lime green bra straps peeking out.


Do not let your undergarments be an afterthought! If you are wearing a strapless dress, you are going to want a strapless bra or some nude inserts. Plan ahead of time, and clean up the details!

4. Clean, New Looking Shoes

Your shoes need to look new. No side scuffs. No salt stains. New.

Think about this for a second. Would you EVER see scuffed up shoes in a clothing advertisement? It is your responsibility to own a couple different pairs of shoes that you take excellent care of so that they always look new.

Once again: Details Matter.

5. Small Accessories to Compliment or Enhance the Look

Purses, belts, yoga mats, tennis racket, etc. If the shoot is for a comp card or digital modeling photo, you will definitely want to read, “How to Dress for a Comp Card Photo Shoot.” It’s a great idea to bring in a prop that compliments your outfit/style. Leave pets and babies at home–you want the attention to be on YOU.

6. Composites

To learn more about Comp Cards and other important modeling materials, read “5 Model Marketing Materials YOU NEED.” Think of composites as your modeling business card. While you may want to keep a few on hand, your digital modeling portfolio and social media are even more important to keep maintained.

Well, I’d say that just about covers it! Now that you know what to bring, it’s time to make a checklist before your photo shoot day. Be sure to read, “The Ultimate Photo Shoot Checklist”.

Know someone who will need Senior Photos soon? You may want to have them read this.

Have a question? Drop it in the comments section below! I’m happy to help 🙂


Want to know a secret? It actually isn’t just all about your look or acting capability. When you are signed to an agency, you take on a new role of responsibility. Being signed to an agency is an honor, as your agent has decided that you possess qualities that–with consistency and determination–will yield to success in your local market.

Agency talent are held to a higher standard of professionalism, reliability, work quality, and communication. Whether you are modeling brands on the runway or advertising a product in a commercial, it is important to know that not only are you representing yourself, you are representing your agency as well. Agency work is a complete team effort: be good to your agency, and your agency will be good to you.

1. Quick follow up

In a fast paced industry like this one, prompt communication is essential. Often times, there is not a lot of lead time on auditions, so you need to be checking your email periodically. If you are selected for a call back, we will need to confirm your audition or self tape audition ASAP. You should also know your schedule a few weeks out so that when we touch base, we can confirm dates for auditions or bookings.

2. Professionalism. Professionalism. Professionalism.

Cheetah print bodysuit: A wardrobe staple this year! You need one in your life–Click photo!

There is a reason clients come to an agency to hire talent for specific jobs instead of taking a chance by hiring people off of Craigslist. Clients will happily pay for the added “polish” that an agency talent is guaranteed to provide. That said, the way you carry yourself, how you dress, how you write your emails and how you speak are all important factors that separate agency talent from the rest. Make sure that you emulate professionalism in all tenses. Check on this blog to understand the specifics and expectations of Agency standard professionalism.

3. Being flexible & willing to adapt to change

Totally in love with this blazer. Click photo for details<3

Sometimes the runway choreography changes. Sometimes your outfit changes. Sometimes the venue changes. Please keep in mind that the directors do everything they can to minimize changes, but sometimes they are necessary. Have a willful and collaborative spirit in light of unforeseen circumstances. DO NOT COMPLAIN or carry a negative or resentful energy. People will notice, and the odds of you being hired by that client again are extremely slim. This is a very competitive industry, and everyone is replaceable. Stay humble, work hard, and be pleasant to work with.

4. Have Integrity

Your agent works for YOU. Never trash talk your agency. If you are displeased with your agency, there is probably a misunderstanding of expectations, and you should contact your agent to discuss any questions you may have. If you are still displeased, simply ask if you can terminate your contract early, or wait for your contract to expire and simply choose to not work with them again. It makes you look unprofessional when you start trashing your agent. Other agencies will not want to take you on if you have been known to trash previous agencies.

Another case when integrity is important is when a situation arises when you notice that you are being “poached” by another agent or client:

If a client is trying to “pay you directly” by trying to avoid paying agency fees by not having your agent involved, that should be a red flag to you as a talent. If your agent isn’t involved, who is holding this person responsible for your payment? And, how will you know if what they intend to pay you is even fair compensation? Not to mention, if something goes wrong…you’re totally on your own.

As if that wasn’t enough, if your agent finds out you are working with one of the agency’s clients without their intervention, your agent can terminate your contract. (Yeah, we’ll fire that client too) But think to yourself…is it worth losing all of the opportunities provided by your agency by trying to go around them for just one job? All to avoid paying a 15%-20% Agency commission?

If you think you are being poached by a client, politely tell the client that you work closely with your agency and you honor your Agency Agreement.

And then tell us…we’ll need to know!!

5. Understanding the talent-agency relationship

Gold chain belt. A subtle way to tie the look together. Click photo for details!

By now you probably know that your agency (or the agency you will have someday) has your back. Agencies don’t make money unless you work, so we want to get you booked for as many things as possible!

It is also important to have realistic expectations going into an agency. You should understand Where You Fit into the Model Market, Understand the Importance of Reliability, know how to Dress for a Comp Card Shoot, know what to wear to a runway audition, as well as how to audition for runway. Trust your agent’s feedback on your photos, and let them help you. They know what will book as opposed to what won’t!!

Your agency will provide you with the materials you need to be successful, as well as groom you for optimal marketability. Your agency will do their best to market you and put you in the best light to potential clients and casting directors. You will be notified of castings and opportunities by your agent, and it is your responsibility to follow up promptly when those opportunities arise.

It is your agent’s job to keep you safe and away from low-value opportunities. (I hate the word “scam”–it’s too vague.) If you are offered a collaboration via DM through Instagram to “collab”…send it to your agent. We’ll tell you right away whether or not the opportunity is worth pursuing.

Your agent networks, supports your endeavors, and always has your best interest in mind. I strive to be my talent’s personal cheerleader, mentor, and booker.

You should have a solid, team-driven working relationship with your agent. Do your part to help us help you, and you will find the most success in all your endeavors!

When it comes to photo shoots, it’s the fine details that add up to make all of the difference. The wrong outfit or improper styling of an outfit can make the entire photo shoot a total bust. It’s important to clean up the details, and be mindful of what constitutes as agency standard photos in a competitive and fast moving industry. If you are always in the habit of preparing and paying attention to detail, you are sure to have plenty of photo shoot success!

Know the venue/location/theme of the shoot.

You will want to know every detail of the shoot in order to adequately prepare. What is the goal of the shoot? Are you accumulating basic photos for your online modeling portfolio? Guys I can not stress how important this one is. There are SO MANY different types of photo shoots. You need to be sure that you are absolutely clear on what the objective is for each photo shoot that you do. A comp card or head shot photo shoot will be COMPLETELY different from a themed experimental photo shoot such as boudoir or high fashion. (Read, “The Pre-Photo Shoot Discussion all Models & Photographers Need to Have.”)

Select clothing that fits the scene

Now that you understand the layout of the shoot, you will be able to select an outfit that best compliments the background/environment. Choose clothing that fits you well and gives you some definition. Most importantly, you need to wear clothing that you feel extremely confident in. If you do not have a lot of experience posing and expressing yourself on camera in a variety of styles, the wrong outfit can make you look very timid in your photos. The goal is to be able to embrace a variety of styles without letting your confidence take a dip.

Tip: Is this photo shoot for accumulating comp card/portfolio images? Avoid heavily patterned clothing, graphic tees/large print, & brand logos. The focus should be on YOU and your natural look.

Accessorize wisely

Keep jewelry simple. Keep your model type/market in mind. (Read, “Where do you fit into the Model Market?”) If this photo shoot is to obtain comp card/agency photos, you will want to avoid necklaces, large earrings, and bracelets. Remove any facial piercings.

Tip: Your agent needs simple, basic photos to utilize for marketing purposes. You must obtain these basic photos so that your agent can market you effectively. In these photos, the focus should be yourself and your natural complexion. We are going for a classic, simple look. Bottom line:

Your head shots are to get you a JOB…not a DATE.

Write it down

Have every single detail of every outfit listed out in it’s entirety. Here’s an example:

Details matter

  • All clothing should look NEW. No stains/unintentional rips/snags in any part of the clothing.
  • Shoes should look clean and NEW. It is your responsibility as an active model/content creator to have a few pairs of shoes that you only use for shoots.
  • Keep your nails CLEAN and basic looking. Absolutely no chipped nail polish. Clear or french-tip manicure only (No bold colors…No excuses.)
  • Keep your hair style clean and neat. “Messy bun” or “Bed head” looks may look cute in real life but they do not photograph well. Style your hair by taming all flyaways, baby hairs and frizz. I highly recommend this silkening shine treatment. It’s the perfect way to tame frizz and add just a touch of shine that will photograph beautifully. One drop is all you need to make your hair camera-ready.
  • Absolutely no hair ties should be left on your wrist. This should go without saying, but please cut off hospital bands or water park admission bracelets…
  • Make up must match the outfit. If this is a high fashion outfit, the make up needs to be more dramatic. If this is a basic print photo shoot or head shot photo shoot, the make up must be natural.

Have any questions or maybe even some additional tips? Let me know in the comment section below! Also, be sure to sign up for my newsletter to get all of the most updated notifications. You will receive everything from  the latest blog updates, upcoming Milwaukee fashion shows, auditions, and private parties–Like the Repeal of the Prohibition, this Saturday!!



Get all the deets on the upcoming Repeal of the Prohibition Party by clicking the photo!

Need some Gatsby fashion for the party? Read this to get some major inspo for all of your upcoming holiday parties!