Why having some modeling experience is not the same as being a professional model

Having “some modeling experience” is not the same as being a professional model.

Yes, maybe you’ve invested in some clothes (perhaps you’ve invested a lot), you are comfortable in front of a camera, and you have your poses down.

A professional photographer, and by “*professional photographer” in this case, I mean someone whose soul source of income is from photography, still has a lot to offer you.

*There will always be debate about what a “professional [anything]” is.

A. A professional photographer has generated enough demand in his service and abilities to make a living from it. This is saying a lot considering that photography is very expensive, including thousands of dollars worth of equipment, costly studio rental space (if he works in a studio), liability insurance (to cover you if you have an accident), and that nearly 30 percent of his income goes directly to taxes (no, that is not fun).

B. A professional photographer often has years of experience. Experience doesn’t necessarily signify that he’s a good photographer, but if you are considering working with him, then hopefully he is. This experience can be valuable. A professional photographer has (hopefully!) worked with a lot more models than you’ve worked with photographers.

Why a model shouldn’t take their online photo feedback seriously.

Having people say nice things about your work is always a nice thing, but if you are serious about modeling, it is important to consider the source of your feedback.

I’ve seen this again and again, much to the detriment of the models… You have a portfolio or some photos posted on ModelMayhem and others have left feedback…

“Great photo!”
“Best shot evaaaar!”
“You look soooo good in this!”

While it may be true that model is attractive, the outfit is revealing, the location is stunning — none of this really matters if the photo is flawed.

While “John Smith” thinks your photo is “the best shot ever!” and someone else thinks you are “Sooo sexy!”, the photo itself may be complete crap for modeling purposes.

Why? It’s usually something along the line of:

Poor lighting, an awkward expression, odd pose, or distracting background.

And yet, some of the worst photos featuring any (or all!) of the above get rave reviews on public sites.

This doesn’t mean you should invalidate all feedback you receive, it just means you should always take it with a grain of salt.

Unfortunately, the people who most likely have an eye for good photographs don’t leave feedback because it may offend the model. Especially if it follows any of the types of comments listed above…

“This is an awesome shot!”, says one person.

And then your review…

“The expression on your face is completely out of sync with the style of the photo and the lighting is very poor.”

Doesn’t exactly work, does it?