In the past month, I have hosted three workshops and one talent prep weekend. I’ve seen many beautiful, talented young women come through our doors. But not all of them will be models or pageant winners.
Inspired by the new hit show The Face and what I’ve seen in my own studio, I’ve outlined five must haves to succeed as a model or pageant winner.
- Be Coachable. Do you watch the new modeling show The Face? Naomi Campbell, Karolina Kurkova and Coco Rocha coach a team of potential models through a series of tests. It’s not always the most beautiful girl who wins. It’s the girl who is coachable. It’s the girl who listens, learns and puts what she’s learned into action. It’s no different for you. If you want to succeed in anything, you must be coachable!
- Be an Actress. It’s not enough to step on set and strike a pretty pose. Or in the case of pageants, just stand in pretty feet! You have got to take a risk and let yourself go. Recently, Carolyn Miller shot a young girl in our studio who just started to move in untraditional ways, even scrunching up her face! When I looked at the proofs, these are the shots that blew me away; the shots that will end up on her comp card! Take an improvisation or acting class and let yourself become whatever character the client and photographer want.
- Stand Up! Good grief. Do I really need to include this here? Yes, I do! I cannot believe the number of girls who walk into our modeling studio with unbelievably bad posture. Whaaaaattttt? Sorry, I’m just so amazed. When you step onto the runway, or onto the stage in your gown, bad posture will disqualify you immediately. No question. There is no reason for it but laziness. Stand up. Look me in the eye. And go after this!
- Perfect Your Personality! In the movie When Harry Met Sally, Jess tells his friend Harry (who is setting Jess up with Sally), When someone’s not attractive, they’re always described as having a good personality. The thing is, often we see gorgeous girls who rely too heavily on their looks and they don’t have a great personality. To succeed in modeling and pageants, you must show some life. Clients, pageant directors and employers everywhere, don’t want to spend their day with someone who is boring! Quit looking at yourself in the mirror, cast off the fear of embarrassment and have some fun!
- Give Good Eye. I’ve written this over and over. In our last article, Karen Lee said the most important element to making a great photo is eyes that tell a story. At model camp last week, Sarah Stepanek was our guest. The minute she stepped on the runway or the photo set, her entire face changed. She showed the girls how to use their eyes…and their shoulders, hips, hands and feet! But it was her eyes that drew the girls in and made them all say WOW!
Agents and clients the world over continue to tell you all of this. Listen, learn, let go and just do it! It will be the difference between having a fighting chance at modeling or winning your pageant and not.