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Believe it or not, there is a type of modeling where your posing and runway skills don’t actually matter…

In fact, quite honestly we don’t even care what your face looks like, whether or not you have braces, how high your cheek bones are or how chiseled your jawline is. Struggling with acne/break outs? We honestly couldn’t care less. But, how…?

Because Fit Modeling serves an entirely different purpose.

What Does A Fit Model Do?

Photos by Northern Lights Photography Studio Make up by Deb Reimer of Milwaukee Fashion Week.

Clothing and product designers need real life, every day people to work essentially as human-mannequins. The job of a fit model is to test out the clothing for the designers to get an idea of how their garment will fit their future buyers. Once a week for about 1-3 hours, a model will try on clothing and move around a bit so the designers can see how the product fits a real life human, and how it moves comfortably on the body.

Ever order clothing off a fast fashion/super cheap website, and when you get the product you wonder how it could ever possibly fit an actual human? You can bet Fit Models were not utilized (or even thought of?) during the development of the garment!

Fit modeling eliminates this problem altogether by ensuring proper fits, and is a standard procedure with reputable clothing brands.

Qualifiers of Becoming a Fit Model

Okay, maybe they won’t make you do THIS, but mad props to Nick Montag for his skills.

While many traditional modeling aspects do not apply to this division of modeling, a Fit Model must have measurements that just so happen to fall between the designated, target clothing size for the particular brand. (The measurements vary slightly from brand to brand.) And, just how closely does one have to fall within the target measurements?

A half an inch, MAX.

For example, if the posting is looking for a model between the heights of 5″5 and 5″8, models who are 5″4 are too short for the position, and models 5″9 are too tall for that particular fit modeling position.

Fit Models also have to have great communication skills to be able to articulate how the clothing fits, feels, or mention any pulling or discomfort the garment may cause. Designers enjoy working with pleasant, reliable models who have a strong sense of team work and a collaborative spirt.

Oh, and you most certainly be reliable…

Release dates for clothing are crucial, and if a fit model isn’t present for a scheduled fit, it could potentially uphold release dates for an entire line of clothing.

Yikes.

Often times, clients will have a few alternate fit models on call in case their main fit model is not able to make it to a session. Then, it’s up to the next fit model to be ready and flexible to be able to show up at the product development center at a moment’s notice. Clients favor models who follow up to emails QUICKLY as for many, it is the primary way models are contacted.

How Much Does Fit Modeling Pay?

Even though photos are not taken (well, a few phone snap shots may be taken for designer reference) Fit Modeling actually pays substantially MORE than print or catalog models:

  • The entire line of a garment falls on the reliability of only 1-2 fit models for that particular brand
  • It can be extremely difficult to find a Fit Model that happens to fall within the EXACT parameters of a particular size.

Therefore, higher pay.

Fit models can be compensated at either an hourly rate or a flat-fee per session. Depending on the fit model’s experience and the client’s needs, these rates tend to fluctuate between $50-$200 total for a session.

If you know your measurements fall within the specified range within a half inch tolerance, you are a good candidate! You will want to follow up with your agent to confirm they have your most up-to-date stats/measurements on file. If they think you’re a good match, they will set up a “Fit Appointment” or “Go See” with the client.

The Initial Fit Appointment:

Consider this the easiest audition of your life, and a chance to get a behind-the-scenes-look into what goes on in the product development side of fashion. You will be instructed by your agent on what to wear (standard runway attire is usually a great go to) and will be provided with all of the details and contact information before your scheduled appointment.

The a member of the technical design staff will meet with you to verify your measurements, and may have you try on various articles of clothing. They may snap a few phone photos to reference later.

That’s it…

Agency Notes & Tips

Agency talent know the importance of reliability, so leaving early is imperative. You may have to navigate your way around a massive office complex, so allowing enough time to arrive to the venue is extremely important.

Also, agency talent know to NEVER discuss payment or rate information at these go-sees. Your agent will negotiate on your behalf with the client if you are being considered for the fit modeling position.

Do not ask your agent “if you got the job” the very next day. Most often, the design team will be reviewing a few other applicants. They will also need to meet as a group to discuss who their next fit model they believe will most successfully meet their needs.

They will inform your agent about the results in 1-3 weeks. 

Have you ever Fit Modeled?

Share your experience in the comments section below!

Be sure to check out our Auditions and Events page to join us at our upcoming open studio event!

Everything you need to know about Trade Shoots or “TFPs” (Trade For Prints.)

So, you want to get into modeling? Awesome! At this point, you probably know that your first step is to build your modeling portfolio & social media presence. Building a competitive portfolio is a lot of work, especially for someone who is just starting out. You will need to obtain a variety of top quality images that showcase you in the most marketable ways, so that you (and your agent) can effectively market you for future bookings. Your portfolio should always be growing and changing.

Hey… guess who is in a very similar position as you?

…Many up and coming photographers, that’s who! Just as much as you want to take part in professional photo shoots, there are people who just as much want to take your photos.

How it works:

When a project is done as Trade, it means that there is no monetary compensation between the two parties. This is the perfect opportunity to trade services to increase portfolio content for both the model and photographer involved. The model walks away with a few photos to use for her portfolio and Instagram, and so does the photographer!

Details to consider…

Trade work can be a lot of fun, but there are a few things you need to consider. First, you need to understand that photos obtained though trade do not give you the rights to the photo. Which means:

You are NOT allowed to edit the photo in any way. To be even more specific:

ABSOLUTELY NO FILTERS, PRESETS, COLOR OR LIGHTING ADJUSTMENTS, BORDERS, RANDOM EMOJIS, ETC.

When you agree to a Trade Shoot, you are agreeing to keep the photos in their ORIGINAL STATE, to reflect the photographer’s authentic work. Not only is tweaking the photographer’s photo rude and disrespectful, some photographers have trade agreement contracts that include penalization fines for tampering with their work. Agency talent know and understand the importance of respecting the photographer’s work, and always credit the photographer each and every time they share the photo on social media or other web sources.

So…who should I trade with?

It is flattering when you are contacted to collaborate for a trade shoot. However, just because you are asked doesn’t mean you should agree to shoot. First, take a look at the artist’s work: Do you like their style? Will working with them help you generate more marketable content for yourself? Can they provide you with credible references? Can you see yourself having a successful shoot with them…Have you met them in person before? Do you jive with their personality?

If you are signed to an agency, your agent may have a list of awesome photographers or models they think you would be a good fit for. I always tell our talent…when in doubt–REACH OUT! We are here to help!🙌

If you are a freelance model, you must use extreme caution when working with new people or participating in collaborations.

You will want to discuss all kinds of other details prior to agreeing to shoot, so be sure to read The Pre-Photo Shoot Conversation all models & photographers need to have.

Find this article helpful? Give it a ❤️so I know it helped you out! Have a question? Leave it in the comments section below! I respond to all of them!🙌

Photo credit⬆️: David Bernacchi

Digitals (or “snapshots”) are JUST as important as your professional photos, if not even more so important. Often times, casting directors or agents want to see what you look like naturally, without all the fancy lights, professional make up, and photo editing. In fact, we don’t even want you to pose in your digitals. We literally just want to see your basic body shape, height, and overall look in the present moment.

Digitalsin addition to your professional head shots and portfolio photos–are used for all kinds of things:

  • Extras castings for TV, Film, & web series
  • Fashion Shows
  • Promotional events
  • Applying to an agency or mother agency
  • Fit modeling

Digitals do not require professional photography. They can be taken from your phone, however…

DIGITALS ARE NOT SELFIES…

THEY ARE ALSO NOT MIRROR SELFIES.

Your digitals should be taken by someone else, or by having your phone set up on an awesome phone tripod. I highly recommend getting one BEFORE you actually need it.

This one ROCKS. And for $20, you can’t go wrong.
Click photo for details.

Okay, now let’s get into how to actually take great digitals…

1. Wear a well fitted, simple outfit

Avoid patterns and graphics–they are too distracting. Avoid hats, sunglasses, and excessive jewelry. If you have been asked to wear specific attire, wear it. Otherwise, stick to the basics. Standard runway attire would work perfectly for your digitals.

Girls & Ladies: Wear black leggings, a black cami, lightly padded bra and age age appropriate runway shoes. In some cases, your agent may ask you to stand barefoot. ABSOLUTELY NO JEWELRY.

Keep your make up simple (daytime/natural). If you are submitting for a top level or exclusive agency, they will probably be very strict on not wearing any make up at all in your digitals. When in doubt, ask your agent or corresponding casting director.

Boys & Men: Well fitting jeans (nice jeans without much distressing) and a well fitted T shirt will work perfectly with runway shoes. Take off all wrist bands or watches. Oh, and take your phone, wallet a & keys out of your pockets.

*Cue Adam Sandler’s, Phone Wallet Keys*K

2. Consider your background & light

Remember, the focus should be on YOU…not your messy bedroom. Find a solid color wall to stand in front of that is in a well lit area. Your light source should be directed at you to avoid shadows.

3. No need to pose

Stand straight up with tall posture with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at your sides. If you have long hair, make sure it is out of your face. Your face should be relaxed–no need to smile.

TIP: The camera should be in line with the center of your body (about belly button height, instead of being aligned with your face.)

4. Snap 4 photos: Front, Back, and two side profiles.

Stand directly in front of your phone/camera for your front facing shot:

Model & Singer, Nick Montag

Notice how Nick stands straight up with great posture. Hands are relaxed and at his sides.

Next, you will want to take your Profile shots. Profile means “side-view”. They will want to see profile/side views of you from each side:

Profile side LEFT
Profile side RIGHT

Along with a back view:

Back view

5. Upload your digitals to your talent account within your agency’s database

And be sure to keep them updated. Your agent will need to have access to them at a moment’s notice for any last minute casting opportunities!!

TIP: I always appreciate when our talent email me to let me know that they have uploaded new digitals 🙌

Special shout out to Nick Montag for his awesome digital modeling! Nick was booked on the set of Chicago Fire (thanks to his awesome digital!) The episode is set to aire February 6th at 8:00PM on NBC! Nick is also the lead singer in our pop cover band, Down 2 Dance.

Still have questions? Let me know in the comments section below–I’m happy to help!

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.

Concealer

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.

Foundation

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.

Other

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.

#detailsmatter

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 🙂

⭐️CYNTHIA

Listen up all MODELS, PHOTOGRAPHERS, AMATEURS & PROFESSIONALS: We need to have a LIFE CHAT about photo shoot etiquette in today’s ever changing world of photography.

First thing’s first: We all know there are so many different types of models, bloggers, designers, musicians, artists, etc. That said, there is no difference when it comes to photographers. Each one has their own angle (literally!) But in all seriousness, this art requires a high level of collaborative spirit rooted in equality and creativity from both the model and photographer. So let’s get into it:

DO: Discuss details ahead of time

If you haven’t read, “The Pre-Shoot Conversation all Models & Photographers Need to Have”, READ IT. You will want to make sure that you understand the scope of the project in full detail, and know what questions to ask.

DON’T:

Assume that you will just discuss details “as you go”. Not being aware of the details pertaining to wardrobe, location, shoot duration, photo terms/releases or even compensation will add unnecessary stress, and may cause problems in the future.

DO: Prepare Accordingly

Carefully select an outfit that will compliment the venue. The photographer will have ideas in mind as to what stylistic goals they are trying to accomplish with the photo shoot. Make sure that you discuss all of this ahead of time so that you are fully prepared. Be sure to bring everything you will need to your photo shoot. Read: What’s in my modeling bag

Part of preparation is being on time…which means being EARLY. Should any difficulties arise, contact the model, photographer (or corresponding agent) immediately.

DON’T: Show up in your favorite club dress “just cuz”

Or any outfit that doesn’t flatter the shoot location or venue. Discuss all wardrobe and venue ideas ahead of time, and work together to determine the desired theme or aesthetic of the photo shoot. Not caring about the photographer’s vision and simply wearing whatever you feel like is not only disrespectful, it shows that you only care about your vision. This is a TEAM EFFORT.

DO: Communicate kindly

Sometimes an idea just doesn’t work, and that is OKAY. Whether you are the model or photographer, if something isn’t working, calmly and kindly explain that you need to modify what is being done, or simply change directions. Do not pretend to be comfortable doing something you are not. Chances are, it will show in your face, and ultimately…the photo.

DON’T: BE RUDE OR CONDESCENDING

This really should go without saying, but showing patience and kindness in a moment of frustration is the only way to maintain professionalism and mutual respect. Do not make passive aggressive comments about the model’s look or photo movement. Models, don’t ask the photographer to see the photo in the preview screen every third shot. If there is something you do not understand, kindly ask the photographer to clarify, or even demonstrate.

DO: Freely create & explore

That said, when you establish a respectful, effective working dialogue, the creativity is limitless. Set a tone that is kind and open. Inspire the model to feel comfortable and explore new ways to showcase their personality (and fashion!!) When both the model and photographer take an equal role in creating, the final product will be much more vibrant and captivating!

DON’T: Feel like you are not “allowed” to do certain poses.

I’ve styled so many photo shoots, and often times the models will ask if they can raise their hands, jump, sit down, etc. You can do whatever comes to mind. Your photographer is open to capturing your on the spot creativity.

DO: Reflect and discuss

Did you love the way your photographer was able to catch you in mid air while you were doing a back flip? SAY SO! Compliment your photographer’s adaptability and expertise. Think you need to work together to develop a better way to communicate or plan? Also let them know. It is also helpful to mention anything that you feel that you did well with, in addition to mentioning things you could improve yourself.

DON’T: Pretend everything was perfect if it wasn’t.

If there was something that ;made you uncomfortable, tell your photographer. Many times, it may not have anything to do with the photographer. For example, letting your photographer know that you don’t feel comfortable shooting in front of strangers is something he or she should be aware of.

DO: Say Thank You!

Thank your photographer/model for their work on the project. It takes a TEAM to accomplish the vision, so be sure to extend your sincere gratitude. Take a selfie together and post it on Instagram! This is a great way to let your following audiences know that they can expect some awesome photos yet to come!

Don’t: Bolt out as soon as the last photo is taken.

Help clean up and load up the photographer’s supplies if needed. This is a kind gesture and shows that you care.

DO: Review Details

Discuss when the photos will be available, how you will receive them, and ask the photographer any questions you may have regarding their release form before you sign it. (Read this blog for more details)  Also, leave the photographer with a couple comp cards. This is a great way to leave a reference of yourself. The photographer may pass along your comp card to other awesome photographers. Click here to learn more about Composites, or, “Comp Cards”, along with other standard modeling materials.

DO NOT: Harass the photographer for photos the next day

Chances are, your photographer has a TON of other projects going on simultaneously. Do not expect to receive the photos that week! By this point, you should have already discussed an approximate timeframe of when you will receive the amount of photos that were previously agreed upon. At a very minimum, most photographers will not offer the photos prior to two weeks. Photographers usually take an average of 2-4 weeks for a single photo shoot, or 2+months for a wedding or large event.

DO: Follow up with your agent

Definitely let your agent know how the shoot went! Your agent will want to know the positives and negatives (if any) pertaining to your shoot. Was your photographer on time? Did he/she communicate effectively? Did they facilitate a comfortable environment? Any feedback you can provide your agent is always extremely helpful. Remember, your relationship with your agent is also a TEAM.

DO: Always Value Professionalism

Even after your shoot is over, always be professional no matter what. Chances are, you are going to have a few fantastic photos!! However, if for any reason you run into problems with your photographer (or model) you need to let the corresponding agent know right away.

Unfortunately, if you are not working with an agent, there is not much you can do when it comes to a photographer failing to deliver photos, or deliver photos that matched your expectations. The best thing you can do in this unfortunate situation is to remain calm and kind. Your reaction is always a reflection of your character. Do not turn to social media to verbally bash or lash out on anyone. (Doing so only makes you look immature and inexperienced.) A true professional knows how to endure unfortunate situations calmly and respectfully. If you really were not pleased with your collaborator’s work, simply do not shoot with them again. 

Photo shoots are a blast, but behind the scenes they are a lot of work! The best artists are the ones who are confident and collaborative.

Are you ready for your next photo shoot? Be sure to read, “What’s in my MODELING BAG” (available next week!!) to make sure you are ready to go the next time you hit the set!

Did you find this blog helpful, or have a follow up question? Definitely leave a comment! I respond to all of them 🙂