What It Takes To Be An Alternative Model…

It was 4 years ago that like a lot of other women, I thought that modeling would be the easiest job in the world. Just a few nice looks into the camera and the photographer does most of the job. I figured out very quickly that if I was going to be a successful alternative model that there was a lot more involved.

As I learned from a photographer, Lee Single Chair, “You don’t have to listen to closed minded people. If you market yourself correctly you can open yourself to the type of work that you want.” But how do you market yourself? Yes, there are various modeling sites that you can list images of your recent work, list publication and sites that you are on and even find local photographers such as OneModelPlace and Model Mayhem, but the key to getting the work you want done is research. This involves looking at other models that have been in the business longer than you have and who work in the genre you are seeking (runway, alternative, fetish, etc.) See what poses worked for them, what costuming worked, the type of lighting that you might be seeking in a photographer, as well as the scenery.  But most of all observing what went wrong with some photos that perhaps did not get as many views or perhaps doing a comparison on your own pictures and seeing what does not fit.

Not all photographers are a match to each model. Sometimes the photographer you are seeking is located further away.  You can simply look for paid jobs that can reimburse you for travel or “above all else, just be patient. There are people in your part of the world that share a similar vision.”

But the most important lesson I have learned in modeling is to not be afraid to express yourself. Just like a musician would compose a song or an artist would paint a mural, a model can also be an artist that takes control of a shoot and gives input to a photographer of what he or she is expecting out of a shoot or imagines what their ideal image would be. Don’t be stuck on clichés. You can be the alternative model that is inspired by twiggy and wears vintage 60’s clothes or you could be the goth that gets into funny scenarios. Ask other models and photographers their feedback and tips for getting a certain image or even creating a certain persona. ” I who can be unguarded and open in front of the camera. I am interested in imperfect beauty, authenticity, and reality. Above all else, I am interested in models who feel passionate about what they do and share a desire to create images that captivate and confound,” says Single Chair.

~ Rachael Zaretsky, Associate Editor


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