1. How to Land Freelance Modeling Jobs
Freelance modelling jobs are starting to appear online a lot more these days. More and more employers and brands are looking for freelance models to work with directly which is good news for independent models and the hundreds of freelance models out there looking for work. Model agencies are adapting too and very few are asking models to sign exclusivity contracts as they recognise that their models will want to find work with and without their booking agent.
In fact, at Freelancer Club, we regularly add paid freelance modeling jobs to our website and help freelance models fill their diaries with more paid work.
Do you feel ready to apply for freelancing model jobs now? If so, click the button below to see which opportunities match your experience. Should you like more information on how to land the job, keep reading.
2. What type of freelance model are you?
Think of a model and you may think of Cara Delevingne walking down a catwalk at London Fashion Week or Kate Moss posing for a beauty campaign in a fashion magazine, however, the majority of paid freelance modelling work is much more varied.
What type of freelance modelling should I do?
- Editorial / Catwalk freelance modeling - although not mutually exclusive, editorial models generally work catwalk or high-end fashion campaigns. Editorial models need to be a certain height and shape. 6'2+ for male models, 5'10+ for female models. However, catwalks and campaigns are changing as designers aim to stand out with models of all shapes and sizes.
- Commercial freelance modeling - commercial models cover a lot more ground. Everything from a toothpaste advert to an online boutique shoot. ASOS, Misguided, Pretty Little Thing, BooHoo all use commercial models. Height and measurements are more flexible which is good news for shorter freelance models. Think Alessandra Ambrosio.
- Promotional freelance modeling - promotional or promo models work like a human marketing tool. They are often used to promote a new product or brand. Promo models can work in nightclubs, handing out flyers or as pit girls at the Formula 1 for example. There are far fewer restrictions in height and body shape for promo models with a lot more emphasis on personality. A background in sales is also beneficial for promo modeling.
- Plus Size freelance modeling - plus size, also referred to as curve, refers to models with larger measurement than editorial models. Plus size models work in a range of sectors from fashion to beauty to bridal.
- Fitness freelance modeling - another strand of commercial modelling is fitness modelling. The core difference is the definition and tone of the body. A great sector that is often coupled with personal training.
Once you know what areas of modelling you're able to cover, the next stage is to prove to a potential client that you're suitable for the work. This starts with the portfolio.
3. Portfolio options
Let's clear up some matters first and foremost. Should you be applying to a modeling agency, you DO NOT require a portfolio. You can send them a natural headshot of you without makeup and taken on your phone and a full-length body shot. There's no need for high-end styling, in fact, a vest top with leggings or fitted jeans is preferable. Alternatively, you can find out when they do walks ins (the time when aspiring models can walk into the agency to be seen by an agent). Check each agencies website for details or call up to find out if and when they do walk-ins. To take it to the next level you could record yourself walking in a short video clip should you be going for editorial / catwalk modelling but this is rarely necessary at the early stage. Once signed, it's the agency's job to help you build your portfolio in their vision. They will decide where to position you (what type of model you are) and who to send you out to (go-sees).
However, if you want to look for work outside of a modeling agency then you DO require a portfolio and a good one at that. The majority of models who have agencies will also have an extensive portfolio that they use to find work themselves. It's great when your agency is finding you regular work and you don't need anything else but there are a lot of models out there and only a small percentage can say that they're able to earn a living purely off their agency.
What should you include in your portfolio? We recommend every model (particularly when starting out) have a basic portfolio that covers an array of sectors. Start with around 8 to 12 images from different shoots. Include a beauty shot (typically a headshot with natural or minimal makeup - think Dove advert), a full body shot generally swimwear or lingerie and then 6 or more images that match your look. If you're a commercial model you might have e-comm images or commercial adverting shots whilst a high-end model would have editorial shots for fashion magazines.
Q Do I have to pay for a portfolio? A: No.
The majority of models build their portfolio by test shooting. You can pay for professionals to shoot you but we would recommend researching the company or team behind the shoot. For a day's shoot with a professional photographer (not including makeup, hair or styling) you can expect to pay anything from £300 - £800 for an established photographer. See below how you can apply to test shoots for free or source a team safely.
4. Test Shoot
5. Your Freelancer Club profile
The Freelancer Club posts jobs and test shoots on our site all the time. To help maximise your chances of landing the job, we've put together a list of tips to follow in order to produce the perfect profile.
Start off by creating a professional freelancer profile on The Freelancer Club site for free, add your name, location and discipline (what you do ie: model). Then the fun part, choosing which portfolio images to use and talking about yourself.
- Choose a profile pic that is clear and a good reflection of what you look like.
- In EDIT PROFILE include:
- your model website (if you have one)
- all social media links
- your hourly rate and day rate
- your Skill Set (eg: trained dancer)
- your experience, achievements and measurements in the About Me section
Pro Members are able to create multiple galleries when uploading portfolio images and feature hirer in the freelance directory.
6. Top tips when applying to jobs in the freelance modeling industry
Your profile is sorted and your portfolio looks amazing. It's time to start applying to jobs. Here are 4 top tips to consider when doing so.
Tip 1: Each job application comes with a message section. This is your chance to tell the employer about your experiences and achievements. Keep it short and sweet whilst ensuring that you address any details of the job. Should the job involve the promotion of a service or product it doesn't hurt to mention your social media following. The more value you can add to the application, the better your chances.
Tip 2: Every job comes with a budget range. When you include your quote, stay within this range. If you feel it's too low then quote what you think is right with an explanation as to why or don't apply at all. Employers may be looking for a new model or a highly established model and be using the budget to filter.
Tip 3: Pro Freelancer Club member can create multiple portfolio galleries. Not only does this keep your profile tidy but you're able to choose which gallery to send when applying to jobs. This is a massive advantage as the employer will see your relevant work first and be much more inclined to check out the rest of your work.
Tip 4: Modeling is an industry that thousands want to get into but very few get the chance. You have to stand out by being professional, realistic, accommodating and hard working. Watch out for misspellings, be polite, turn up on time when you do get the job and engage with the rest of the team. We're constantly amazed at the number of models who turn to their phone while on set when it's the perfect opportunity to build contacts with the rest of the team.
Now you've got the knowledge, it's time to get cracking. Modelling is a fantastic industry that allows you to travel the world, meet interesting people, collaborate on creative projects and get well paid. To reach these heights, it takes hard work and dedication like everything else. Thinking that you're able to get by on your looks alone because of the nature of the job is a BIG mistake. We've been working in the industry for over 15 years and the models who last are the ones who are professional and easy to work with. Personality plays a much bigger role than many think.
We recently conducted an interview with freelance model Emily Denton who talks about her experience as a working model starting out. Emily works as a model part time in conjunction with her other role and talks about the challenges facing freelance models as well as the benefits. Click below to watch.