As the holiday season fast approaches, many models will see a significant decline in booking requests as clients go on holiday break. While many models may also be tempted to lay low after the rush of pre-holiday bookings, this quiet time is actually the perfect time for you to work on your skills.
Read below for some things you can do during the slow season to help elevate yourself to be ready to hit the ground running once the fashion industry comes out of its holiday hibernation!
The slow season is a great time to take a step back and evaluate your skills. Is your runway walk solid? Are your poses versatile? Are your self-tapes professional and appealing to clients?
When it comes to runway, one of the things I like to do is watch the latest season's runway shows online to use as inspiration and see if any new walk trends are popping up that I need to be aware of ('90s twirls? Lots of hip? Stiff zombie?). It's also a great idea to practice your runway walk in different styles and heights of shoes and over different types of surfaces (carpet, tile floors, wood floors, etc.) so that you are 100% comfortable with whatever may be requested of you when show season starts again.
When it comes to posing, use this time to step out of your comfort zone and practice doing bigger, more creative poses to create more interesting images. If you know your weakness is facial expressions or posing your hands, really focus on improving that so you can feel more confident about it the next time you shoot.
Now that most casting calls are virtual, your digital submissions and self-tapes must be on point. Get your self-tape setup down so you can throw it together at a moment's notice and know it will look good on camera. Practicing your slates and even acting out minor roles to send to your agents or fellow model friends for feedback can significantly improve your chances of getting the job and make the process less stressful for you when submitting actual booking requests!
Work with a Coach
Sometimes, practicing on your own just isn't enough, or you need an outside perspective to help you identify areas to improve. Hiring a coach is a great way to get that assistance and advance your career. Whether for modeling or acting, having someone other than yourself to give critiques and feedback can be the best way to boost your skillset. Check out The Model Board for local agency-represented model and talent coaches!
Update Your Digitals, Portfolio & Resume
When regular bookings are slow, it's the perfect time to get in the studio and update your portfolio images. Chat with your agent and review your portfolio to evaluate what type of images you may need to include. If you don't have an agent, look at local agency websites, check out their model's portfolios, and compare them to yours. If you notice types of images (fitness, lifestyle, etc.) that they have and you don't, that's your cue to get with a photographer and get that style of images in your book.
Also, make sure you go through the last few months of bookings or photoshoots you've had and share any images from them with your agents to add them to your portfolio. This is also a great time to get updated digitals done so you have them on hand when the busy season picks up again.
Don't forget to review your resume and ensure any bookings or training from the year have been added and all your stats and contact information are current!
Learn to do your own Beauty Looks
Both male and female models must know how to do their hair and makeup. It isn't uncommon to be asked to show up to set "camera ready," and you may not have the time or funds to go to a professional before the booking. The how-to video options are endless, with YouTube and Social Media apps at our fingertips.
Beauty trends also change constantly, so it's essential to stay on top of what is current and make sure you can do it on yourself in case you're asked to do your own looks for a booking.
Study the Industry
Models of all experience levels should regularly be updated on the fashion industry as a whole. Follow agencies and fashion magazines on social media to stay updated on what is trending. Keep tabs on what your favorite models are up to. Watch the latest fashion shows and learn about emerging designers. The more you know about the industry, the more well-rounded you'll be as a model.
Even though things may be slow booking-wise, parties and social gatherings will ramp up as everyone celebrates the holidays. Attend events when you can to network with others in the industry. Reach out to photographers and hair/makeup artists, wardrobe stylists, local designers, etc., and meet for coffee or lunch to connect and get to know them better.
Staying connected through the slow season will help keep your name top of mind when the busy season picks back up and people need models for their projects!