So, you want to be a model?
If you think that it would be all fun and glamorous, think again. Being a model is tough work. You will be expected to show up for a photographic session looking your absolute best regardless of the fact that you didn't get any sleep the night before or that you went to the beach two days earlier and have a horrible sunburn. You're getting paid to look your best and, if you don't or can't, you most likely won't get called back for any other work. Being late for a shoot is NOT an option.

However, modeling can be fun, educational, rewarding and LUCRATIVE! Being a model can lead to other career opportunities such as acting. And, at the very least, even if you don't get to see yourself on the front of all the popular magazines, you will make some money and perhaps, do a little traveling while you're at it.

Glamour, Modeling, and Boudoir Photographer in Jacksonville Florida Glamour, Modeling, and Boudoir Photographer in Jacksonville Florida
Glamour, Modeling, and Boudoir Photographer in Jacksonville Florida Glamour, Modeling, and Boudoir Photographer in Jacksonville Florida

Below I have listed the answers to most of the common questions you may have about becoming a model. Hopefully after reading the questions and my answers you will have a good understanding of what it takes to be a model and what is required of you as a model. The answers are not meant to be representative of the industry, but rather, they are representative of Jax Digital Photographer.

Q. Can anyone become a model?
A. Yes. But that's a really loose answer to a very broad question. A model is someone (or something) that serves as the subject for an artist, especially a person employed to pose for a painter, sculptor, or photographer. Period. Can anyone do that? Yes. However, when most people think of a "model" they think of some beautiful person (male or female) prancing around in front of tons of photographers getting their picture taken for a magazine. Will that happen to you? Most likely not. Just as most High School star athletes never make it into the "Pros", most models won't make it to "super-model" status. But unlike the athlete, you can still model; make some money; and, have fun doing it.

Q. Are there one or two things that can help me become a successful model?
A. Yes. As a Professional Photographer one of the most important things that we look for in a model is his or her DETERMINATION and DRIVE. If you aren't going to put 110 percent of yourself into your modeling career than don't bother to try to become one. As a model you must constantly be your best - look your best and carry yourself with pride. If you only plan on being a model when it's convenient or when you're "in the mood", then don't waste your time or that of the photographers. We have seen too many gorgeous "models" who had great potential lose work because they weren't in the "mood" to work that day or it was too inconvenient to get up that "early". So, in two words - DRIVE and DETERMINATION are key to a successful modeling career. Be AMBITIOUS!

Q. I really want to be an actress and I've been told that modeling is a good route to take - is this true?
A. Yes. Modeling is a lot like acting. As a model you will be required to put on as many different "faces" as possible during a photographic session. Just as an actor or actress needs to practice his/her lines a good model is constantly practicing expressions and "looks" to perfect them. In fact, we recommend that every model spend time in front of a mirror practicing his/her looks.

"Oh, guess what, I sent some of the photos we took to an events management company a few weeks  back. They loved the photos, and invited me to Atlantic City to compete with 30 other girls in a national model search. All of this started happening because of the beautiful photographs that you took of me. I am eager to get together again soon."

Lisa Hawkins


Q. Do I need to go to one of those modeling schools to become a model?
A. No. As a matter of fact some photographers prefer that you don't. Besides the fact that going to one of those so-called "modeling schools" will cost you a bundle (often thousands of dollars) you will learn more practical modeling tips from the very first photographers that you work with. And, of course, it won't stop there. Each photographer that you work with will continue to enhance your knowledge of the business. Once you have worked with a half dozen or so photographers you will have easily learned more from them then you would have from the modeling schools. And, have made some money in the process.

On their defense, a modeling school MAY teach you how to pose; how to dress; and how to apply your makeup.

Glamour, Modeling, and Boudoir Photographer in Jacksonville Florida
Model: Nicole
2006 Maxim Magazine Hottie
Photography by Jax Digital Photographer

Q. If you recommend not going to a modeling school, then how do I get started in modeling?
A. Every model will need a portfolio - something to show photographers what you look like and what you are capable of doing. To get started in modeling you need to build your portfolio. You can do this by hiring local photographers who are willing to help you build your portfolio. 

At Jax Digital Photographer we offer a "Start Modeling" Package. The package is specifically tailored for the beginning model who wishes to rapidly create a marketable portfolio for him/herself. The package includes two three-hour photo sessions over the course of two consecutive days and includes both studio and location images. Upon completion of the two sessions your portfolio will contain a total of five different "looks" - Fashion, Casual, Swimwear, Glamour, and Lingerie or Artistic Nudes - appropriate to immediately market yourself as a model.

You could also "volunteer" to model for a photographer in exchange for some of the images that he or she takes. This is known in the Industry as a "TFP" shoot. TFP stands for "Time For Prints". You are exchanging YOUR time and effort for the PHOTOGRAPHERS time and prints (or images). We already know why a model would agree to a TFP shoot (it's a cheap way to build a portfolio - although, this method will take you much longer to successfully populate your portfolio with "marketable" images), but why would a photographer agree to work for nothing? Because he or she may have a special project that they want to photograph or they may want a certain "look" for their own portfolio (yes, all photographers have portfolios representative of their capabilities, too). Most likely though, he or she may just be starting out (like YOU) as a photographer. If this is the case then it would be fair to say that you will "get what you pay for". In other words, don't expect great images to come out of working with this person. There is NO substitute for hiring a professional to shoot your portfolio. So, ultimately the question is - do you want to PAY a professional photographer to get a portfolio full of professional images right away OR do you want to repeatedly volunteer for photographers that are just starting out and slowly build your portfolio? Remember this - the quicker you have a MARKETABLE portfolio then the quicker YOU can get PAYED modeling jobs.

Finding a photographer that is willing to do a TFP shoot is as easy as opening the phone book. If you can't find a photographer willing to shoot TFP then you should resolve yourself to the fact that in order to get started you will have to lay out funds to start your portfolio. Some photographers (like some models) just don't seem to see the value of a TFP session. Hence, their portfolios are usually skewed with only one or two types of photography. Even after you make it as a "Super Model" you should still do TFP sessions with photographers.

Glamour, Modeling, and Boudoir Photographer in Jacksonville Florida
Model: Erica
Photography by Jax Digital Photographer

Q. Are there different types of modeling?
A. Sure. There are many different types of modeling. You can be a Runway model or a Swimsuit model or a Catalog model or a Fashion Model or a Glamour model or a Lingerie model or an Artistic model or an Adult/Erotic model. Or, you can do any and all of the above. Why limit yourself to just a specific type of modeling? The more types of modeling that you are willing to do the more modeling offers you will receive. The "types" of modeling that you are willing to do will determine how many job offers you receive. If you only want to be a Runway Model then you should be prepared to receive only occasional offers of employment. However, if you are outgoing, friendly, and uninhibited then perhaps you should consider being a Swimwear or Glamour or Lingerie or Artistic Nude model ... as such, job offers will be frequent because, as the old saying goes, sex sells products.


"The work you did with Heather, along with the Makeup Artist you hired, is stunning. I am very impressed. You nailed it! I'd like to send other models to you and I will recommend that they get images done with you for their books. Thanks, and GREAT job!"

K. Ross Talent


Q. I can tell what most of the types of modeling are but what is Glamour modeling?
A. Glamour modeling is kind of a "catch-term" used differently by each photographer. So, when a photographer asks you to pose for Glamour shots you should ask for the photographer's definition of Glamour is so that you and the photographer can completely understand what is expected of you and what is expected of him/her. To most photographers, Glamour means SEXY - posing in a sexy manner or wearing low-cut or transparent blouses, short skirts, open shorts and/or shirts, or topless. Let's face the truth - regardless of the great strives women have made in today's society, SEX still sells. It sells the jeans, the beer, the makeup, the automobile, and, it sells YOU and the photographer. Modeling is a BUSINESS and your BODY is your business. Models that pose for Glamour probably get paying jobs 10 times more often than models that do not. A photographer wants to shoot what's going to sell - he's in the business of making money. So, if you aren't willing to pose for Glamour photography (often with less showing than you would wear to the beach on a normal Sunday in front of strangers) you may be limiting your capability to get photographers to work with you.

Please note that while the term "Glamour" is subject to many interpretations it is NEVER appropriate (and, may be illegal) for any minor-aged model to poise topless or nude.

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