What is a Model?

A model works in the fashion and entertainment industry, showcasing clothing, accessories, or products in various media, such as magazines, runways, television, or online platforms. Models are chosen for their appearance, physique, and ability to portray a particular image or style that aligns with the brand or designer they represent. They play a significant role in promoting fashion trends, influencing consumer behavior, and creating visual narratives for advertising campaigns. Models may specialize in different areas, such as fashion modeling, commercial modeling, fitness modeling, or glamour modeling, depending on their unique attributes and the demands of the industry.

Becoming a successful model often involves building a strong portfolio, working with modeling agencies, attending auditions and castings, and continuously networking to secure new opportunities. While modeling can be glamorous and rewarding, it is a competitive and demanding profession that requires discipline, resilience, and adaptability to succeed in a constantly evolving industry. Additionally, models may need to maintain their physical appearance, follow strict beauty and fitness regimens, and be prepared to travel extensively for assignments, especially if they aspire to work on an international scale.

What does a Model do?

A model posing for the camera with a designer  scarf, sunglasses, and long gloves.

Models play an important role in various industries, including fashion, advertising, and entertainment, as they serve as visual representations of products, concepts, and ideas. They help bring designs to life on the runway and in print or digital media, making it easier for audiences to visualize and connect with the brand or message. Models also influence consumer behavior, as their presentation and appeal can significantly impact the perception and desirability of products and services.

Duties and Responsibilities
The duties and responsibilities of a model can vary depending on the specific type of modeling they are involved in and the clients they work with. However, some common duties and responsibilities of a model include:

  • Photoshoots and Runway Shows: Models are often hired for photoshoots to showcase clothing, accessories, or products for fashion brands, magazines, or advertising campaigns. They may also participate in runway shows to display the latest designs during fashion events.
  • Posing and Expression: Models must be skilled in posing and expressing emotions to convey different moods and aesthetics as required by the photographer or creative director.
  • Attending Castings and Auditions: Models regularly attend castings and auditions to secure new modeling opportunities and contracts. They may need to showcase their portfolio and demonstrate their suitability for specific assignments.
  • Maintaining Physical Appearance: Models are expected to maintain their physical appearance, including their weight, body measurements, and grooming, as their looks play a crucial role in their profession.
  • Professionalism and Reliability: Models must be punctual, professional, and reliable when attending shoots, shows, or events. They are expected to be prepared and open to direction from photographers and clients.
  • Collaborating with Stylists and Makeup Artists: Models often work with stylists and makeup artists to achieve the desired look for a particular project or event.
  • Adhering to Contractual Obligations: Models need to fulfill the terms of their contracts, which may include exclusivity agreements, travel requirements, or confidentiality clauses.
  • Promoting Brands and Products: Models often act as brand ambassadors, promoting products and services through social media, interviews, or public appearances.
  • Adapting to Different Genres of Modeling: Depending on their specialization, models may need to adapt to various genres of modeling, such as fashion, commercial, fitness, editorial, or promotional work.
  • Maintaining a Portfolio: Models regularly update their portfolio with recent work and images to showcase their versatility and experience to potential clients and agencies.
  • Networking and Building Relationships: Models actively engage in networking to establish connections within the fashion and entertainment industry, which can lead to more opportunities.
  • Traveling: For models working on international assignments or representing global brands, extensive travel might be required.

Types of Models
There are various types of models, each specializing in specific areas of the fashion and entertainment industry. Here are some common types of models and their respective roles:

  • Fashion Models: Fashion models work in high-end fashion, showcasing clothing, accessories, and beauty products on runways and in photoshoots for fashion designers, luxury brands, and fashion publications. They are known for their tall and slender physique and often work in the world of haute couture and designer fashion.
  • Commercial Models: Commercial models are more relatable to the general public and work in advertisements and campaigns for everyday products and services. They can be seen in print ads, television commercials, billboards, and online promotions. Commercial models represent a diverse range of ages, body types, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Fitness Models: Fitness models have a well-toned and athletic physique. They promote fitness products, sportswear, and health-related brands through photoshoots, social media, and fitness publications. Fitness models often work with nutrition and fitness companies and may participate in fitness competitions.
  • Glamour Models: Glamour models focus on sensuality and allure. They appear in men's magazines, lingerie catalogs, and adult-oriented publications. Glamour models may also work in artistic and tasteful nude photography.
  • Editorial Models: Editorial models feature in editorial spreads for magazines and other publications. They represent a fusion of fashion and storytelling, often conveying a theme or narrative through their poses and expressions.
  • Plus-Size Models: Plus-size models promote clothing lines designed for larger body types. They aim to break the industry's traditional beauty standards and promote body positivity and inclusivity.
  • Petite Models: Petite models are shorter in stature and work in the fashion industry, representing lines designed for petite individuals or featuring in petite-focused publications.
  • Runway Models: Runway models, also known as catwalk models, walk the runway during fashion shows to present the latest designs of fashion designers. They must have a confident and graceful walk and the ability to display garments effectively.
  • Fit Models: Fit models work behind the scenes, providing feedback to fashion designers and clothing manufacturers during the design and development process. They help ensure that clothing fits well on real bodies before mass production.
  • Parts Models: Parts models focus on specific body parts, such as hands, feet, or legs. They often appear in close-up shots for beauty and product advertisements.
  • Promotional Models: Promotional models, also known as brand ambassadors or event models, represent brands at trade shows, events, and promotional campaigns. They engage with the public, distribute samples, and create a positive brand experience.
  • Social Media Influencers: While not strictly traditional models, social media influencers leverage their online presence and large followings to collaborate with brands and promote products through social media platforms.

Are you suited to be a model?

Models have distinct personalities. They tend to be artistic individuals, which means they’re creative, intuitive, sensitive, articulate, and expressive. They are unstructured, original, nonconforming, and innovative. Some of them are also enterprising, meaning they’re adventurous, ambitious, assertive, extroverted, energetic, enthusiastic, confident, and optimistic.

Does this sound like you? Take our free career test to find out if model is one of your top career matches.

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What is the workplace of a Model like?

The workplace of a model can be diverse and ever-changing, depending on the type of modeling they specialize in and the specific assignments they are engaged in. Fashion models often find themselves working in bustling fashion capitals like New York, Paris, Milan, or Tokyo, where they participate in high-profile runway shows, fashion weeks, and photoshoots for prestigious fashion designers and brands. The backstage of fashion events can be hectic and fast-paced, with teams of makeup artists, hairstylists, and designers working together to create the desired look for the models.

Commercial models, on the other hand, may have a more varied workplace. They can be found in studios, on location for photoshoots, or in front of cameras for television commercials. They promote a wide range of products and services, from fashion and beauty items to household goods, food products, and more. Commercial modeling often involves a lot of travel, as models may be required to shoot in different cities or countries depending on the brand's marketing strategy.

Fitness models often work in gyms, fitness studios, or outdoor locations for fitness-related photoshoots and promotional campaigns. They are focused on showcasing their well-toned physiques and inspiring others to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Fitness models may collaborate with nutrition and fitness brands or participate in fitness events and competitions.

Promotional models and brand ambassadors may work at trade shows, conventions, or promotional events, interacting directly with the public to promote products and create a positive brand image. They engage with consumers, distribute samples, and represent the brand's identity and message.

While modeling can be glamorous and exciting, it can also be physically demanding and challenging. Models may need to maintain specific beauty and fitness standards, adhere to strict schedules, and cope with long hours during shoots and events. Their workplace can vary from professional studios to outdoor locations, requiring them to adapt to different environments and conditions.

Additionally, the workplace of a model is highly competitive. Models often face auditions, castings, and frequent rejections as they strive to secure coveted assignments. They need to continually network, collaborate with agencies, and build a strong professional portfolio to enhance their chances of landing desirable opportunities. The modeling industry demands a strong work ethic, resilience, and adaptability, as models navigate their way through a dynamic and evolving profession.

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Pros and Cons of Being a Model

Becoming a model can be an enticing career choice for many, as it offers various opportunities to work in the fashion, entertainment, and advertising industries. However, like any profession, there are both pros and cons to consider:


  • Exciting and Glamorous Lifestyle: Modeling can offer a glamorous lifestyle, with opportunities to work with top designers, travel to exotic locations for photoshoots, and attend high-profile fashion events and parties.
  • Versatile Opportunities: There are various types of modeling, from fashion and commercial to fitness and glamour. This versatility allows models to find niches that align with their interests and physical attributes.
  • Networking and Exposure: Models have the chance to network with industry professionals, celebrities, and influential figures, leading to potential collaborations and exposure to new opportunities.
  • Financial Rewards: Successful models can earn substantial incomes, especially those who secure high-paying campaigns, endorsements, or long-term contracts with major brands.
  • Building Self-Confidence: Modeling can help individuals build self-confidence and self-awareness, as they learn to present themselves confidently in front of the camera and on the runway.
  • Global Opportunities: The modeling industry is international, allowing models to work with clients and agencies worldwide and potentially travel to different countries for assignments.


  • Highly Competitive: The modeling industry is intensely competitive, and only a small percentage of aspiring models achieve significant success. Many models face numerous rejections and struggle to secure consistent work.
  • Physical and Emotional Demands: The pressure to maintain specific beauty and fitness standards can be physically and emotionally taxing. Some models may face body image issues and develop eating disorders or other health concerns.
  • Inconsistent Income: Modeling income can be unpredictable and inconsistent, with periods of high-demand followed by dry spells. Models may struggle to secure steady work, especially at the beginning of their careers.
  • Short Career Span: Modeling careers often have short lifespans due to the industry's focus on youth and new trends. As models age, they may find it challenging to secure the same opportunities as when they were younger.
  • Unpredictable Schedule: Models often have irregular and long working hours, with early call times and late-night events. This can make it challenging to maintain a regular routine and work-life balance.
  • Exploitation and Ethics: Some models may face exploitation, unfair treatment, or ethical concerns, particularly in certain segments of the industry. Models must be cautious and aware of their rights and boundaries.

How to Create a Great Portfolio

Having a great portfolio as a model is essential for making a strong impression on agencies, clients, and industry professionals. Here are some tips to help you create an outstanding portfolio:

  • Choose a Variety of Shots: Include a diverse range of images in your portfolio that showcase your versatility as a model. Include headshots, full-body shots, close-ups, and different looks to demonstrate your ability to adapt to various styles and concepts.
  • Professional Photography: Invest in professional photoshoots with experienced photographers who specialize in fashion and modeling. High-quality images are crucial for a polished and impressive portfolio.
  • Showcase Your Range: Include images that showcase different moods, expressions, and poses. Demonstrate your ability to convey various emotions and styles, as this will make you more appealing to potential clients.
  • Include Different Styles: If you have experience in different types of modeling (e.g., fashion, commercial, fitness), ensure that your portfolio reflects this. Tailor your selection to the specific type of modeling you want to pursue.
  • Highlight Your Experience: Include images from past modeling work, collaborations, and projects with reputable clients and photographers. This adds credibility to your portfolio and shows that you have real-world experience.
  • Keep it Updated: Regularly update your portfolio with new images and remove any outdated or less relevant photos. This ensures that your portfolio represents your current look and style.
  • Organize Your Portfolio: Arrange your images in a logical order that flows well. Consider creating different sections for specific types of modeling or themes.
  • Limit Retouching: While some retouching may be necessary to enhance the images, avoid excessive editing that alters your natural appearance. Clients and agencies want to see the real you.
  • Include Full-Length Body Shots: Full-length body shots are crucial for showing your physique and proportions. Clients may need to see these to determine your suitability for specific modeling assignments.
  • Create a Digital Portfolio: In addition to a physical portfolio, have a digital version that you can share online. A professional website or a digital portfolio on platforms like Instagram or Behance can help you reach a broader audience.
  • Seek Feedback: Ask for feedback from industry professionals, experienced models, or agencies. Constructive criticism can help you identify areas for improvement and refine your portfolio.
  • Be Selective: Quality is more important than quantity. Include only your best work in your portfolio, even if it means having a smaller selection of images.