The fashion industry works by seasons, and the modeling world follows suit. There are busy times where you can hardly keep your bookings straight, and then there are slow times where you’re checking in with your agent constantly to see if there’s anything coming up you could be submitted for.
While there was a mad rush right before the holidays, as they get closer we’ll begin to see the clients need for models slow down as they also take a much needed holiday break, which in turn causes agencies to have less and less booking requests. While the slow times can be a bit discouraging, they’re the perfect time to work on yourself and your skills as a model.
Read below for some things you can do during the slow times to help elevate yourself to be ready to hit the ground running once the fashion industry comes out of its holiday hibernation!
Now is the perfect time to really take a step back and evaluate your skills. One of the things I like to do is set up my phone and record my runeway walk, then watch it back and make critiques. Watch the latest season's runway shows online to use as inspiration and see if there are any new trends popping up that you need to be aware of (90's twirls coming back, or is it still the zombie look?). Take note on what you like and dislike about other model’s walks and apply it your notes when you practice. Also practice 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.
Same goes for your posing. Use this time to step out of your comfort zone a little and work on doing bigger, more creative posing to create more interesting images. Really work on different facial expressions so you can have more variety next time you shoot. Being able to create eye-catching images will get you noticed and lead to more jobs.
Now that so many casting calls are virtual, use this slow time to practice submissions and self-tapes. Since the digital submission may be all a client gets to see of you, it’s important to make sure you are able to send in quality videos or photos. Practicing getting good content and sending it to your agents for feedback before you have to send something in for a real booking could greatly improve your chances at getting the job and make the process less stressful for you! Get your setup down so that you can throw it together at a moment's notice.
A great way to advance your career is to hire a coach. Whether it be for modeling or acting, having someone other than yourself to give critiques and feedback can be the best thing to do to boost your skillset. Many coaches are able to set up a safe environment to meet one-on-one, or even set up virtual sessions where you can have them give you feedback and advice to take you to the next level. Check out The Model Board for local agency represented model, pageant, and acting coaches!
Learn To Do Your Own Beauty Looks
Knowing how to do your own hair and makeup well is a must for both male and female models. 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 someone before the shoot to get everything done professionally.
Even if you’re pretty good at doing your daily makeup and hair, photoshoot and runway beauty looks are much different and require a more skill. With YouTube and Social Media apps at our fingertips, the how-to video options are endless.
Being comfortable with doing your own hair and makeup is not only going to make you more skilled as a model overall, it will save you money and stress when it comes to bookings where you're responsible for hair and makeup.
Update Your Portfolio & Resume
Now is the perfect time to get in the studio and update your portfolio images. Have a chat with your agent and review your portfolio to really evaluate what type of images you may be missing. After you narrow down what you may be lacking, research local photographers that can get you the type of images you need and set up a shoot with them to capture those images.
It’s also a great time to go through the last few months and make sure you have shared any images from bookings or photoshoots you’ve had with your agents so that those images can also be added to your portfolio. Also review your resume and make sure your bookings from the year have been added.
Study The Industry
Models of all experience levels should regularly be keeping up to date on the fashion industry as a whole. The more you know and continue to learn, the better equipped you'll be when the busy seasons start up again.
Follow agencies and fashion magazines on IG and other social media to stay updated on what they're doing. Check out what your favorite models are up to. Read blogs and articles about the modeling industry and how it's changed over the years. Watch the latest fashion shows and learn about emerging designers. The more you learn about the industry as a whole, the more well-rounded you’ll be as a model.
Even though things may be slow booking-wise, you can still take this time to connect with photographers and hair/makeup artist, wardrobe stylists, local designers, etc. and see if they have any personal projects or concepts they’re working on that you could possibly be a part of.
Make sure you're keeping up with industry professionals on social media and don't be afraid to comment on their posts or send them direct messages when you see them post stuff you like. This is a great way to "meet" new professionals in the industry to expand your network. Meet up for a coffee and discuss the upcoming holiday season or whats happening in the local industry.
Set Goals For 2022
The slow time at the end of the year is the perfect time to take a moment to reflect on what you’ve accomplished so far this year, and what you want to achieve in the year ahead. Make a list of things you’d like to do and industry professionals you’d like to work with and then come up with a plan to make it happen. Schedule some time to talk with your agent and go over your goals with them as well, they will most likely have ideas on how to help you achieve your goals.