Types of Modeling

Types of Modeling

There are essentially five types of modeling. They are 1) Actor as Model, 2) Print Modeling, 3) Runway, 4) Catalog, and 5) Spokesmodeling/Promotions. Within each of these types, there are even more breakdowns based on the appearance and age of the model needed.

Actor as Model -- These are model assignments which require acting on-camera or in film. Often these jobs requires the model to have a nice voice and some acting ability, such as in a commercial or in a "walk-in" part on a TV show or movie. Models who get into acting are much better able to find work (because they can accept twice as many jobs), even in more rural areas. Taking acting lessons is a great long-term strategy for your career, because commercials and movies need persons of all ages. A "actor as model" can keep his or her career going long after they are too old for "runway" work.

Print Modeling - These are modeling assignments where the model is photographed and the resulting photographs are used in some print medium or some print advertising. These jobs generally fall into three classifications, which are A) advertising, B) editorial, and C) product.

Advertising work is intended to have the model somehow "sell" the product. Whether it is jewelry or running shoes, the model is there to make the product look good! That's his or her job, in advertising. For many products, you won't even know "who" the model is, because the photograph may include just a portion of the model's face or body (for example -- many perfume and jewelry ads are shot in "profile" looking at the model's ear with the face turned away).

Editorial work is intended to "illustrate a story." Just page through any magazine or newspaper, and you'll see photos accompanying the articles. Besides the "live action" photos of news events and photographs of celebrities and political figures, there are many photographs which are just there to give the viewer a better understanding of the story. For instance, a story on breast cancer may have a photo of a woman performing a breast self-exam. Another story may have a photo of a man playing video games on his computer, another story may have a trick photo of a man standing next to a "shrunken" woman -- to illustrate discrepancies in corporate salaries.

Editorial modeling is not just for magazines and newspapers though. It also includes such things as corporate annual reports, textbooks, promotional literature, and virtually anything else that provides "information" to a reader or viewer.

For many editorial photos, professional models are used -- because they can get the job done right and done quickly.

Print Product modeling is yet another area -- but this time all the attention is on the model him/herself. These are shots that are used for calendars, posters, postcards, greeting cards, etc. They aren't advertising (well, except to draw attention the to product and the model), and they aren't illustrating a story, so many other types of jobs in print modeling fall under this category.

Runway Modeling -- This is typically what people think of when they hear the term modeling. Runway modeling is a very small segment of the overall field of modeling, but it is the area where "supermodels" get their big breaks. Most runway work takes place in major cities, such as New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London, or Tokyo. Women must be at least 5'9" to be considered for "big city" runway jobs, and men must be at least 6'0" tall.

An offshoot of Runway Modeling is Mannequin Modeling. In this type of work, models stand in department store windows or outside department store doors. They hold poses perfectly still as if they were a living mannequin.

Catalog Modeling -- Catalog modeling is the area where most of the "normal" fashion work is done. Models are hired by the day to wear many different outfits -- each for only a few shots. These shots are then used for catalogs, advertising flyers, and in-store displays. Just by looking through your clothing catalogs, you will see each model keeps appearing over and over again. If a model is good, the manufacturer or advertiser is likely to hire him/her over and over again.

Spokesmodeling/Promotions -- This is the unsung field of modeling -- where there is a lot of opportunity to make money. Spokesmodels are persons who demonstrate or get attention to a product at a trade show, convention, or even local beach. Often, these people will have to have excellent "people skills" because they are people greeters. They will also have to be able to learn a great deal about the product they are demonstrating in a short amount of time -- so this area requires that models be "smart" as well as "good looking."