Who is a Model? Types of Modeling: An Intro to the Modeling Industry

Let’s start with,

Who is a model?

Models often work with a variety of companies that include consumer firms, fashion designers, photographers, and artists to promote a range of items. They are employed by consumer businesses to model fashionable clothing in magazines, on runways, or for cosmetic products. 

As mentioned, models act as representatives of a particular product or service with the sole purpose of promoting them. 

Stylists and makeup artists are generally responsible for the clothes, hairstyles, and appearance of models. However, they ultimately have control and decide how they should appear in front of the camera.

What are the different types of modeling

Modeling comes in different variations. Being one of those uncommon, modeling lets you utilize your unique skills in a myriad of creative ways. Most individuals try out modeling in its different forms before deciding on the one that best suits their abilities. You will become more well-versed in the many sorts of modeling over time.

Here are the major types of modeling recognized by Photo Want:

  • Baby Modeling (infant modeling)
  • Child Modeling
  • Commercial Modeling
  • Mature Modeling
  • Freelance Modeling
  • Instagram Modeling
  • Promotional Modeling
  • Runway (Catwalk) Modeling
  • Fit Modeling
  • Barbie Modeling (Compact modeling)
  • Fitness Modeling
  • Parts Modeling
  • Petite Modeling
  • Plus-Size Modeling
  • Runway Modeling
  • Fashion Modeling
  • Bridal Modeling
  • Tattoo Modeling
  • Piercing Modeling
  • Swimsuit and Lingerie Modeling
  • Glamor Modeling
  • Boudoir modeling

Let’s break down each of these categories.

Baby Models (Infant modeling)

A baby model typically refers to infants from birth through toddlerhood and that depends on individual state laws regarding minimum age requirements.

A baby model may appear in print advertisements for products like diapers, clothing, or toys. The work of a baby model is typically done under the direction of an agency on the lookout for infant models to represent products, with their parent’s consent.

Baby modeling can be very lucrative depending on the baby’s look and abilities but it does require lots of time to perfect the art form if you want to succeed within this industry too.

Learn more about Modeling in Kochi

Child Modeling

Child modeling is the type that involves kids. Being the most common type of modeling, it is solely meant to portray a very specific image. Child models are usually in their elementary school or younger, however, some of them as old as eighteen have been known to be in modeling from time to time too.

Modeling using kids is fairly simple, but it can be a bit difficult to break into this kind of field without an agency. If you attempt to become a child model yourself without having been represented by an agent or company, then there’s little chance that your portfolio will get noticed at all as the competition in this area remains high.

Fashion Modeling

This kind of modeling mostly includes fashion and runway shows where models showcase clothing by fashion designers and well-known brands for audiences and photographers alike.

Getting work in fashion shows will be more common than runway shows unless you travel quite often or get signed by one of the big agencies that send their talents around the world on demand. 

This form of modeling does not require speaking abilities because there is no dialogue involved with this style. What’s important here is your appearance!

You need an excellent build if you want to become a fashion model.

Fashion modeling has increased in popularity over recent years, but few people know what fashion models do or how they got their start. What you wear can make an impression about who you are and your personality which means that today having a taste for trending clothes can be crucial when looking for work as a fashion model.

Commercial Modeling

Commercial modeling is a kind of modeling that includes a comprehensive photoshoot to aid any marketing or sales activities of a business or product. This may be for advertisements (irrespective of online, print, or television), periodicals, and catalogs. These models are in high demand because top brands/companies hire them to promote their products or services to their preferred audience.

Commercial models are required for campaign imagery, online product shots, billboards, TV advertisements, and product packaging in fashion, beauty, technology, and homeware. The list is endless, which means the type of models required is also vast.

Mature Modeling

Modeling is not the sole domain of young individuals. If you believe that your appearance might influence an audience, you are model material. Mature modeling refers to any modeling where the age of the model is above 50 years old. 

A mature model is a specific type of model that is often used in the fashion industry to add character and experience. If someone over 50 still maintains an exceptional physical figure, a pleasing personality, and charisma, they are very marketable in this area of modeling.

As more people get increasingly connected and have broader access to digital devices, it’s without a doubt that there will be a huge requirement for quality content. A major disruption being put in place due to such extended connectivity is sure to propel modeling into new heights, particularly for those over 30 in the coming years 

You might also be interested in learning how to start modeling after 30

Freelance Modeling

A freelance model is a professional model who does not work for an agency. As a freelance model, you will be responsible for finding and scheduling your assignments like getting into photoshoots. A big part of this goes into keeping track of your meetings and schedule, as well as marketing and sales negotiations.

Freelance modeling can be both physically demanding as well as time-consuming. A freelance model needs to keep up with all their details to get work. This may require staying on top of any changes that come about from assignments or other opportunities you have going on at the same time. 

Freelancing might not be for everyone but it’s a good option if you are looking for creative independence and flexibility when it comes to getting work done the way you wish. 

Read also: How to prepare for your next photoshoot

Instagram Modeling

An Instagram model (also known as an Instagram influencer) is a person who is well known and has a huge follower base. They usually operate in their area of specialty and have a broader range of followers. 

Instagram models can be celebrities, bloggers, or simply a person with lots of followers on Instagram and they may work to endorse products through ads that fit their personal brand’s image.

They help companies by organically promoting and persuading their followers to actively try or buy the product without making them seem like advertising. What is good about working as an influencer is you will get paid for posting pretty and well-captured pictures!

Not all influencers are Insta-famous but this is one area that will turn out to be engaging and fun at the same time if you wish to break into modeling and make your brand visible to a large audience.  

Learn also: Modeling in Mumbai

Promotional Modeling

A promotional model is hired to encourage consumers to seek out a product, service, brand, or concept by directly engaging with them. The majority of promotional models are conventionally attractive in terms of their physical appearance.

They serve to make a product or service more appealing and can provide key information to a potential customer. Most companies employ promotional models at trade shows, retail malls, special events, clubs, etc. What’s particularly great about this is that you will be able to break away from the confines of a studio floor or TV stage and explore the outdoors in varied locations displaying your abilities by directly engaging with customers. 

Promotional modeling may seem like fun but it requires good social skills as well as the knack to engage with people face to face and actually convince them by persuasion. A big plus for those who are eyeing promotional modeling.

Runway Modeling (CatWalk Model)

Runway modeling is where a model walks along a narrow stage in between the audience to showcase designer clothing. During this, the audience of fashion designers, agency executives, and eminent figures in the industry gauge the different pros and cons of the new design/material being showcased. 

Runway models are expected to be tall (over 170 cm) for women & even taller for men with straight and stable posture. What makes runway modeling competitive is that it requires an established list of clients who can get you work. This is considered to be one of the ivory leagues of the entire modeling industry.

Fit Modeling

A fit model (sometimes fitting model) is a model who works directly with a fashion designer or clothing manufacturer to demonstrate garments for their design team.

A fit model must provide insight into what size and dimension work well with the consumers or end-users of these clothing items which are usually keyed towards a specific demographic group (age, gender, body type). Some fit models have special skills in garment fitting or designing and even own successful businesses in this area of expertise.

This career can work wonders if your goal is to become a fashion designer yourself!

Typically, a fit model is hired by an apparel company to work specifically in his or her size and body shape. What makes it special is that it lets you do something different each day. Fit modeling can be interesting but it’s quite difficult to get into since most fashion companies don’t advertise open positions for this kind of job.

Fitness Modeling

A fitness model is someone (usually a guy) with a well-defined physique who is compensated to demonstrate exercises or promote fitness equipment. With the recent surge in demand for lifestyle and fitness products, it is far easier for fitness models to find work today. If you have a passion for fitness and bodybuilding, getting into fitness modeling can open up opportunities in representing brands, magazines, and TV ads. 

What some people don’t know about fitness models is that they have impressive physical strength and endurance too. This profession requires someone who has an athletic build and a clearly defined muscle tone, so it might not be for everyone. 

Parts Modeling

Parts modeling specializes in modeling body parts like hands, feet, legs, and eyes to showcase a piece of jewelry or a particular product. What makes parts models unique is that they look at the finer details to help display a product.

Parts modeling work for companies who want detailed information about their products. This job is special because you will get paid based on what part of your body people will be looking at.

A hand model can get jobs for jewelry, nail, beauty-related products, and anywhere else where a client requires a “perfect” hand. Clients look for well-proportioned body parts that can perfectly fit shoes, gloves, or jewelry sizes.

Petite Modeling

Petite women are generally 5 feet, 7 inches, or shorter in height. What makes this job unique is that you will be able to work with a variety of people. While petite models don’t usually do runway work, they’re frequently hired for swimsuits, lingerie, and other modeling projects. 

Because petite models almost always have smaller shoe and glove sizes, they’re ideal as foot and hand models. Besides, what’s great about this job is that you get to meet other people in the industry.

This career might not pay as much as others, but it’s great for those who want to make connections and network. What some petite models don’t realize is that they can find success in beauty pageants or fashion shows too.

A key challenge for professional petite models is their height restriction, which limits the number of jobs available for them. What makes this job interesting, however, is that there are always different types of projects that come up every day. 

Plus-Size Modeling

A plus-size model is a person who is 12 years old or older and specializes in modeling plus-size apparel. Plus-size models wear clothing that is intended specifically for big and tall men and women.

Models who are considered “plus-size” range from sizes 12/14 to 30/32 or larger depending on their age, height, and body type. This career might look awesome but it’s quite difficult to break into because clients usually hire professional plus-size models through an agency.

What’s great about being a plus-size model is that many of them have successful businesses in the fashion industry.

Swimsuit and Lingerie Modeling

Models in swimsuits and lingerie pose for magazine advertisements, special features, store catalogs, and internet product photographs in bikinis, bras, underwear, and lingerie. That’s what you see in mostly Sports Illustrated swimsuit editions or Victoria’s Secret advertisements.

Swimsuit modeling is much more competitive because of the lucrative employment prospect, which means that your body type and physique might be something that sets you apart from the crowd.

The main challenge for professional swimsuit and lingerie models is being able to pose confidently, which can take time before someone feels 100% ready. What makes this job beneficial, however, is that you will get paid a lot depending on how well your shoot goes!

Glamour Modeling

Glamour modeling is a kind of modeling where models are required to showcase their bodies to create sexually appealing images. Their poses tend to be more sexually intriguing than those of other models and are traditionally geared toward a male audience. Glamor modeling is intended for those who are comfortable in their own skin and have a perfect body to show for the sake of representing a product. 

For glamor models, it’s important for them to feel sexy and confident because they’re constantly trying out different poses in front of the camera that are appealing. What most people don’t realize about this career is that many glamor models are also actresses or TV personalities. A good thing about being a model like this is that you might become well-known in your region, which could help boost your success as an actor or TV personality later on.

The level of competition in glamor modeling is relatively high as it is hard to find the necessary connections in the industry. Getting the required gigs implies that you have to build solid relationships within the industry, which means you’ll have to network hard. 

However, what makes this gig beneficial, is that there are always new opportunities for you to try out. 

Boudoir Modeling

Boudoir modeling is a type of modeling in which the model does nude or semi-nude poses for a photographer. Boudoir models need to feel sexy and confident in their bodies, which does take a while before someone feels 100% committed and ready.

This is a highly volatile area of modeling where people often land jobs through referrals. Boudoir modeling can be an effective way to build confidence and be more comfortable in your own body image as you take part in these photoshoots. 

What some people don’t realize about this job is that it also involves a certain amount of acting as most boudoir photo sessions are choreographed like mini-scenes with cinematic lighting and camera setups. 

Read more about what is a modeling tear sheet.

Summing Up 

As we have touched upon here, there are a lot of ways to make a career in modeling. All you need to do is do some research, own a captivating modeling portfolio, and find the right contacts and agencies that offer you a role in representing products or brands. 

Making an entry into modeling is indeed a big decision. One that you have to get through after serious thinking. The opportunities are endless, especially in this digital age and it largely rests on how you would be able to get yourself ready in mind and body. That in fact is super important. 

To be able to gracefully display a variety of poses and expressions as per instructions from the photoshoot crew requires a sound physical and mental state. Combined with the agility in putting on an impressive show in front of the camera and audience, this will surely put you in the right frame to deliver stellar performances. 

Good luck with your new endeavor!

About Author /

Sachin is a marketing content writer with a focus on technology and the arts. He’s been writing on the same for quite a while and is actively exploring and fine-tuning the craft.

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