What they do

Models wear and display clothes, accessories and other goods in photographs, on television and at live events, such as fashion shows. Most models generally have a contract with a specialist modelling agency, who arranges for the model to attend castings and auditions. Depending on the type of work and the product, models may pose for photographs, walk down catwalks, act for video clips or demonstrate how a product works.

Working conditions

Models may work in photography studios, television studios, fashion stores or catwalks. They may also travel to various locations for photographic shoots, which can range from tropical beaches to dirty, industrial areas, and may involve working outdoors in a range of weather conditions. Models will frequently be required to travel for work. The hours of work can be very irregular and long. Working on weekends and in the evening is common in this occupation. Most models will need to have their hair styled and have make-up applied before modelling a product. They will also generally need to carefully manage their diet, exercise regime and personal grooming in order to maintain their look.

Tools and technologies

Models usually work with fashion clothes and accessories, though some may work with other equipment, such as sporting goods. They will need to have a basic familiarity with the product they are modelling so that they can demonstrate and highlight its features effectively. Most models carry mobile phones and a diary or organiser to keep track of their work. Models often manage their diet, grooming and fitness regimes closely and will need to be aware of the effects of a wide range of foods, beauty products and exercises may have on their appearance. Changes to their appearance may affect their chances of finding work.

How do I become one?

Education and training

It is possible to work as a model without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, you will need to develop a good quality portfolio showing potential agencies and clients the full range of your work.

Most models engage a modelling agency to represent them in finding work. Modelling agencies present clients with a selection of potential models to choose from. Clients select the models they would like to cast and the models may be required to audition for the position.

Most modelling agencies will assess potential models based on photographs and body measurements. Different agencies may have different requirements and you should contact a number of reputable agencies for full details of their requirements

Required registration and licensing