📸 Skai Chan Photography

How to Become a Model in Singapore

Be a Singapore model

Types of Modelling & Requirements

The first step for modelling is to ask yourself what kind of model you want to become. You should be looking at your interest and not simply aiming for whatever you think is more "high class".

There are many types of modelling. I have many model friends on my social media profiles. I observe that most of them are working mainly as event or photo models.

Basically, for most types of modelling, you simply need to look good and/ or unique. Unfortunately, if you do not have impressive looks, height and figure, your chance of doing well may be lower than other models, but it does not mean you have zero chance.

  1. Commercial models
    Commercial models help to market certain brands and products. They get to do motion pictures like television advertisements and also appear in magazines and posters. This job is the most competitive. I have personally heard of a model who has done many commercial shoots for free in order to gain exposure but it leads to nowhere.
  2. Runway models
    Runway models help to showcase clothes and of course, they catwalk on the runway. Ideally, you should be tall (1.7m and above) and slim, have a collarbone and carry an aura. You should have broad and straight shoulders, ideally with a hip measurement of 35" to 35.5".
  3. Event models
    Event models include showgirls and models who do promotional work on the street for brands or products. Their jobs may also include joining parties to mingle with guests. Obviously, you need to have quite good socialising skills.
  4. Blogshop models
    Blogshop models are similar to photo models but they take still pictures of whatever the blog shops are selling - usually, clothes. Blogshop owners may pick girls next door to become their models. There are also cases where they need some less physically outstanding models to showcase their products, in order to open to a wider range of consumers. Blogshop modelling is one of the most trendy jobs.
  5. Photo models
    Photos models do photoshoots. There are many "photographers" who will pay models to do different photoshoot themes for the sake of a hobby or special agenda. Photo models may not need to be tall as long as their body proportions are good.

    The highest-paying type of photoshoot is nude shoots. Lingerie and implied nude shoots can fetch high prices as well, followed by bikinis. The most basic is a sexy fashion shoot. For sexy shoots, many "photographers" have fewer expectations of the looks and figures of the models.
  6. Body parts models
    If you think certain parts of your body, such as your hands or fingers, are nice, you can make use of them to earn money. Jewellery companies may need a beautiful hand to appear in motion or still pictures for advertisement.

    However, do note that this kind of job is very limited and thus chances of you depending solely on this job to feed yourself is near zero, especially in Singapore.

Physical Appearance for Models

No matter how good or bad looking you are, there're always chances for you to do modelling; however, if you don't possess some good factors, you will be at a disadvantage.

  1. Age
    Most models start at young ages. Some reputable modelling agencies even have an entry requirement of age around 14 to 23. This is the reason why you can see that most of the girls who post photographs from their "photoshoot sessions" on social media are generally young. It's common sense that as human beings age, their complexion tends to worsen. Therefore, people who complain about photographers shooting XMM ("xiao mei mei" aka "little girls") are probably just being jealous.

    However, it doesn't mean that if you're older than the unofficial modelling age, you can't do modelling. Some photoshoot concepts and commercial work do specifically require girls of an older age. For instance, if a client (hobbyist photographer) is looking for a sexy shoot, a 14-year-old model may give the viewers an impression of child porn. Whereas, for commercial work that's targeting older customers, they probably have to get a model who's closer to the age group. There will still be photographers who will want to document the ageing skin.

    Thus, even if a lady is in her golden age, there will still be jobs available, except that the chance may be lower.
  2. Looks
    Most people go for good looks. Beautiful faces are pleasing to the eyes, no? Models with pretty faces certainly have a huge advantage in modelling.

    However, if a model has a unique face, she can become popular as well. If you've observed your local TV station, not all the artists are pretty.

    For people who don't have a pretty or unique face, there are still chances. Some modelling agencies do have two categories of freelancers under them, namely "models" and "talents". Getting into the "talents" group can still have some opportunities, such as in acting. Personality can help.

    However, do note that complexion is important as well. If a girl has nice features on her face but has lots of pimples or acne scars, many photographers and makeup artists would avoid her. Although makeup may be able to conceal the flaws, they can still look obvious in photographs, especially with harsh and angled lighting. That means lots of post-production work is required and after fixing the flaws, the makeup work may look different.
  3. Height
    Tall people usually have the advantage as long legs are considered as beautiful. Given the same looks, if someone has to make a choice between a tall and a short model, he would likely choose the tall one. For modelling jobs such as runways, height is extremely important.

    However, height doesn't mean everything as body proportion is important as well. A tall girl may have a rather short pair of legs while a short girl may have a larger ratio of the length of her legs to her height. For jobs like photoshoots, a short girl with good proportions will likely give the impression that she's tall. Using heels can help as well.
  4. Figure
    The majority of the jobs require models who are at least average or slim in size; this is the reality. For commercial products, customers will tend to buy them if they look good on the models; good (slim) models would be able to give the illusion. It's also much easier to make a slim model look nice in a photoshoot.

    There's also a demand for plus-size models, as there are photographers who specifically want to work with this type of model. However, it may just be a small fraction of the modelling market - I have no statistics but you can guess it. Nevertheless, plus-size models, in general, do have bigger chests and thus it can be a plus factor.

    P.S.: Being a plus-size model can be beautiful or cute, but I will still encourage everyone to live a healthier life - both physically and mentally. Do note that there are times people will throw insults at models who are thicker than the usual models, and no matter how confident and strong the models are, they will somehow be affected mentally.

    Read: Fat girls can still look good in photographs
  5. Chest size
    Big chests usually attract more admiration from both genders. In a sexy shoot, a model with a big chest would definitely make the photographs look sexier. Cleavage is hot. Hobbyist photographers would likely be more willing to pay for a freelance model with a big asset.

    However, there are two major disadvantages for models with big chests. Firstly, models with big boobs have difficulty becoming professional runway models. Secondly, models with big boobs may make art shoots more sexualised as viewers would be focusing on the boobs rather than appreciating the photograph as a whole.

In conclusion, regardless of physical appearance, there will always be chances for a girl to become a model; it's just a matter of how high or low the chance is. However, personality and character will help a lot as well. Be nice, respectful and appreciative, and you can increase your chances.

How to Start Modelling?

fashion runway modelling

To get started with modelling, you will likely need a portfolio or com card. Potential clients and companies will want to see how you appear in photographs before selecting you for the job/shoot. Unless, otherwise, the client doesn't mind getting a newbie to do the work. Many hobbyist photographers would be interested in engaging fresh faces.

  1. Modelling Agency
    A modelling agency can help you to get started easier with whatever type of modelling job you are aiming for since they may have a client base. The catch is that the modelling agencies would need you to have a portfolio as well. Most of these agencies would make you pay a huge sum of money to shoot your portfolio. The problem is many modelling agencies are "empty shells" that have limited or no clients, such that you may not be given many or any modelling jobs eventually.
  2. Competition
    There are a number of pageant competitions in Singapore, ranging from small to big scale. Although some of these competitions do require you to be wealthy in order to emerge as the champion because votes are cast by the guests who have to pay to attend, the exposure will help you to reach out to more people. Rich contestants will usually buy "tables" themselves and invite their friends to be the guests.
  3. Volunteering
    There are some events that require models, and the organisers may not have the budget to pay for the talents. For example, a fashion designer may organise a fashion show and you can volunteer your services. You will gain exposure during the entire event and on the organiser's social media pages, such as the Facebook page. No doubt, for such an event that has big budget constraints, the photographers are likely to be hobbyists who may not be able to produce top-grade photographs. However, most people will likely think you are already a professional model and thus you may get opportunities in future.

    You can also volunteer as a model to a professional photographer. Professional photographers may need to do some test shoots at times or just for fun; they may occasionally want to do their own shoots instead of entertaining clients.
  4. Social Media Advertising
    It is possible to do your own advertising in social media to get jobs for photoshoots - for example, you can post in Facebook groups. It's free but you are going to get lots of new admirers (both decent and indecent) who may start pestering you!
  5. Blogging / Instagramming
    Pretty bloggers do get chances to do modelling as they are more exposed to the public. Apart from that, clients may like to ride on their popularity. Of course, if you are new to blogging, it will take you some time and effort to become popular. With the help of social media, it is, however, quite easy to gain popularity once you upload a few really good photographs of yourself.
  6. Networking
    Unfortunately (yes, I hate it and I don't do it), networking is a requirement for all trades to increase anyone's chance to become successful. You can make friends with photographers as they may have job opportunities for you.

    However, do make sure you know how to judge a photographer and not blindly mix with any. When you are new, there are probably many things about photography that you do not know about and boastful photographers can easily amaze you with their "knowledge". When a photographer tells you that he can help you to become famous, do not be naive unless you are ready to show a lot of skin. Eventually, what you will get is likely a negative impression from others. I have heard stories about a few photographers who basically produce very low-quality images of girls with little or no clothes. With such a portfolio, a female model will only attract rich clients who are mainly interested in her body, instead of real photographers who simply want to create good artwork. Of course, it's a way to make big bucks because such sleazy photoshoots can fetch a high price.

Comp Card & Modelling Portfolio

What is a Comp Card?

beauty shoot with model

A modelling comp card is a short form for "composite card", otherwise, also known as a business card. Unlike normal pocket-sized business cards, a comp card is usually in A5 size.

It should display a few photographs of your portfolio with at least a close-up and a full-body shot. It should also include your age, height, weight, three sizes (bust, waist, hips), shoe size and contact information. This information will help clients to understand if you're suitable for the projects, allow them to contact you and also prepare the wardrobe if necessary.

With limited space, the comp card should display only the best of your photographs that are good enough for your potential clients to judge your appearance and see if you are the kind of model they are looking for.

In the age of the internet, a comp card may be simply in the digital form but it will show your professionalism and enthusiasm if you have physical ones as well - that is if you want to impress those people you have met face to face.

What is a Modelling Portfolio?

modelling portfolio shoot

A portfolio is a sample work of yours. It helps your potential clients find out more about your physical appearance before meeting you face to face. The portfolio may also help to identify your personality. Needless to say, having a pretty face and an hourglass body is not enough, as you have to appear nice in photographs.

A portfolio is usually in the form of photographs but not restricted to videos, depending on what modelling industry you are targeting. Work that has appeared in commercial or printed publications will definitely lift your status.

Whereas for common portfolio, it should include photographs of you in casual, smart casual, and formal wear. You also need photographs taken from different angles like front and sides, and also both close-ups and full body shots.

A portfolio should sum up your work and thus you should include only the best photograph from each photoshoot you have done. There is no point in showing similar photographs as it may bore the person who is viewing your portfolio and also give him a bad impression of your mentality.

How to Get a Modelling Portfolio?

singapore model
  1. Modelling Agencies
    The first option, as mentioned earlier, is to pay modelling agencies the fee and they will get their photographers to do a portfolio shoot for you. Depending on the modelling agencies, they may not provide hair and makeup artists and wardrobes. They are likely to do a few sets of shoots in different outfits (casual, smart formal and formal) to help you showcase a few sides of you, probably both indoor and outdoor. The focus is likely to be indoor since their indoor equipment can be set up by a main photographer, such that it's difficult for any amateur photographer to go wrong. The photographs may not be very outstanding since the agency is probably squeezing the "photographer" tightly. There're a few reputable modelling agencies in Singapore but there're also modelling agencies that are depending on selling aspiring models their photoshoot packages to sustain their businesses.
  2. Professional photographers / Studios
    Next, you can hire a professional photographer or a photography studio to create the modelling portfolio. I personally think it's more worthwhile for aspiring models to engage professional photographers directly instead of modelling agencies or photography studios because there won't be any commission involved. You'll also get what you see from the photographer's portfolio instead of pinning hope that the assigned photographer is experienced enough. Some photography studios, however, may have props and outfits ready for you - prices will be factored into the total fee.

    Eventually, if you're not wealthy and also not super firm in your decision to model, you should think thrice because a professional modelling portfolio may cost you thousands of bucks.
  3. TFCD Photographers
    Doing TFCD photoshoot is one of the most common ways to start building up your portfolio by getting photographs for free. Although most TFCD photographers are mainly hobbyists, don't be surprised that many professional photographers do TFCD photoshoots as well. Of course, you need to be realistic about your looks and figure, and theme because it makes no sense that a professional photographer is going to collaborate with you while charging other clients for the same type of photography. Doing a TFCD photoshoot (usually just a theme/look) is likely not enough to build up a solid portfolio (you need different looks), although a few good photographs may be enough for you to secure certain modelling jobs. Do note that there are many weird "photographers" who do TFCD photoshoots and many are looking for dates or maybe more. You should read tips on doing TFCD shoot.
  4. Clients
    You can start charging hobbyist photographers to get your modelling portfolio - you get paid to get photographs. Eventually, it's up to individual photographers whether they want to give you the photographs since they have no obligation to do it when they're paying you to create the images. Nevertheless, which guy doesn't want to try to please pretty or hot girls to get into their good book? Sharing photographs is also a form of marketing for themselves. However, most (not all) hobbyist photographers, like TFCD photographers, can never give you top-quality photographs; otherwise, they won't be paying you to do the photoshoot in the first place. Rich people with ill intentions are likely to target you and most of these "photographers" are mainly looking for sexy and sleazy themes.

Despite what I've mentioned about ill-minded photographers and modelling agencies in the industry, you shouldn't be scared off. I do have freelance model friends who have told me of the many good souls around. You just need to learn to do research and also be more street-smart.

How to Present My Modelling Portfolio?

It's the IT era and you are reading this because I have uploaded my writing here. So, obviously, you should put your portfolio on a website too!

  1. Free Webhosts
    There are many free web hosts that can allow you to sign up for a free account. Nevertheless, some of these websites will place advertisements on your personal page. The domain names may not be the most ideal ones but depending on the web host you choose, they can be pretty neat. Your page URL will likely include the web host's domain name and your personal alias, which may end up being lengthy. Examples of free web hosts are Blogger, WordPress, Wix and Squarespace. Some of them generate income by allowing users to upgrade their free accounts in order to remove advertisements or increase the web space.
  2. Personal Domain Name
    By paying the domain name host to get a dot com (.com), dot sg (.sg) or dot com dot sg (com.sg), it'll help to build up your status and show your commitment. There's a yearly bill of course. You can pay for ".com" for less than SGD$20 per year while ".sg" and ".com.sg" are insanely more expensive - at least double the price. You need to know which domain name host to choose in order to cut down on the cost.

    You can host your domain name on a free web host. When visitors enter your personalised URL, it will load the actual contents from the web host. In case something happens to the web host, you can easily point your domain name to another web host, such that your visitors will still be able to visit your portfolio website by remembering your actual domain name. That's to say, you've to keep a copy of your content (photographs and writing) as backup!
  3. Social Media Platforms
    Another alternative is to upload your portfolio into social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Facebook and Instagram are currently the leading sites, however, their control of the users' newsfeeds may limit the exposure of your photographs sometimes, especially if nobody is helping you to LIKE and share the new post. That means if you have a few thousand fans on your page, your new post any not reach even 100 fans. Photos' qualities are also automatically reduced when you upload them to Facebook and Instagram.

    You may need to consider the organization and privacy level of your albums so that viewers are able to navigate around them easily. I've seen some freelance models who include their modelling portfolios in their personal Instagram accounts, such that their potential clients and co-workers would have problems scrolling through their accounts to find professional work, which is mixed with casual photographs. Some freelance models may create a few albums in their personal Facebook accounts and viewers will have a hard time navigating around to find the exact albums. In some cases, the privacy level of the modelling albums is too high that the viewers aren't able to view them. After all, you should try to look professional.
  4. Image host Sites
    Some people also use photo hosts like Flickr. Flickr's basic account does have a limit to the number of photos you can upload every month. Other free image host sites may have bandwidth limitations and thus when the quota is hit, your visitors may need to wait for a certain time before your modelling portfolio can be viewed. If you know of more good image host sites, do let me know so that I can update this section to help more people.
  5. Modelling Websites / Forums
    There are also some websites that are designed for networking among people in similar industries, like photographers, hair & makeup artists (HMUAs), models, fashion designers, retouchers... etc. One popular one is called ModelMayhem. The basic (free) account allows you to upload 50 photographs of yourself (it used to be 30, then 15 and it may be changed any time again). Of course, you can upgrade your account by paying a monthly subscription so that you can upload more photographs (it also has other premium features). However, having to present the best 5 photographs of yourself is a good start for beginners already. You may like to read tips for models using a modelling website.

    I do know of a few blacklisted photographers who are constantly hitting up on models with new accounts. Do stay alert.

Modelling Tips for Beginners

Caucasian model

Fortunately and unfortunately, models and aspiring models have been approaching me every now and then to help them with their modelling portfolios. It's good to be recognised and trusted, however, they do give me a lot of frustration as well. Many of them are half-hearted and just want to experience modelling. Knowing that they have a very slim chance of doing well in the competitive trade, many of them will give up without even trying. Some of these aspiring models can be pretty and hot, and thus may become popular for a while since many photographers love new faces.

Eventually, I hope all aspiring models who are serious about modelling will benefit from some of my modelling tips:

  1. Don't be over-conservative
    Many creative photography concepts/ themes require the showing of some skin. Models who are open-minded are usually more natural in front of the camera. A freelance model doesn't need to do nude or skimpy photoshoots nor allow anyone to take advantage of her.

    If the model has to wrap herself up for every photoshoot, she may not suit the modelling industry.

    Firstly, there will be limited modelling jobs for her due to her rejection of many creative concepts. Secondly, "sex sells" and lousy photographs of hot girls can usually attract more "likes" than professionally taken ones (of a well-clothed girl) in social media, and thus "photographers" may consider hiring other more open-minded models instead. Thirdly, being over-conservative will likely affect the model's performance since she may be spending too much time worrying about things during the photoshoot.

    Of course, some very conservative models may also "survive" in the modelling industry but let's just be honest that the chance is much lower. For aspiring models who are very conservative and yet don't possess angelic looks and figure, it's very advisable for them to focus on other non-modelling jobs instead.
  2. Allocate time for discussion with the photographer
    Discussion is very necessary to produce good photographs that the concepts desired by both the model and photographer for their individual portfolio. There should be a discussion of outfits, location, timing, props, styling and other things.

    Life in Singapore is hectic and everyone is busy but that's not an excuse for not allocating time for discussion for any photoshoot.

    Many aspiring models are too "busy" for discussion. Surprisingly, they can squeeze out the time to go for the actual shoot instead. Basically, they don't see a point to discuss because they only want to go for Garden shoot. The mentality shows how far they will go in their modelling careers.
  3. Be prepared to wake up early
    Lighting is one of the keys to the success of photography to produce great photographs. Early mornings are great for outdoor photoshoots because of the good natural/ ambient light and there will be fewer photo bombs (for most places). Even if the photographer owns professional lighting, good ambient light will aid a lot in producing good photographs. Be glad if the photographer is hardworking enough to volunteer to wake up early for the outdoor photoshoot. Unfortunately, many aspiring models will complain about waking up early, or they will even end up oversleeping.
  4. Don't insist on doing only themes that require smiling
    Models need to be versatile and it's good to be unique. Good photographers are usually looking for models who are expressive.

    Most girls look much better when they smile. Of course, the model is supposed to look good in photographs and thus smiling is good. However, if the model can only smile in front of the camera, she is restricting herself from taking up more modelling jobs and also limiting the presentation of her talent.
  5. Learn to judge photographer and photography work
    Aspiring models need to know who are the good photographers to work with, so as to make a better modelling portfolio. Blindly following boastful photographers will only degrade their portfolios and learn the wrong things. In actual terms, everyone holding onto a camera is a photographer while everyone standing in front of a camera can be called a model. Therefore, do clarify when someone tries to brag.

    Quality of work can differ gigantically between professional and amateur photographers. I started off without knowing how to judge the quality of work and thus I cannot fault anyone for my inability. However, a good model must know how to tell the differences.

    Perhaps, before you agree to do any photoshoot, do make sure that you know how to judge the photographer.
  6. Learn to select good photographs
    Modelling portfolio is important and will speak to the ability and experience of every model. Therefore, every model should know how to select good photographs to be placed inside her portfolio. A bad work among an album of good work may speak badly of the model and waste her effort.

    Similar to judging photographers' work, if the model cannot judge her portfolio to identify good and bad work, she may make big mistakes. The quality of a model's portfolio can affect the quality of clients and photographers approaching them. Needless to say, if the model's portfolio consists of work that looks more like porn, "photographers" and clients with ill intentions may be more tempted to approach her. Whereas if the model's portfolio looks very professional, the black sheep may assume the model is very experienced and firm, and thus refrain from contacting her since there's a lower chance that they can take advantage of her.

    I have seen quite a number of "models" who have continued to display some bad work in their portfolios even when they've already done quite a number of photoshoots, and this may affect how their potential clients would view them.

    Fortunately, most people who approach me sing compliments of my work and unfortunately, some of them also express their admiration for other amateurish work at the same time.
  7. Don't be over-confident
    Being over-confident is a double-edged sword. Confidence enhances performance and can be shown in the photographs. However, being over-confident can also lead to poorer performance.

    I've encountered models who think they can do better makeup than professional makeup artists; I've also met models who have the poor fashion sense and some who think they can model well even though they are lacking the skill, talent and experience. Generally, it's difficult to correct an over-confident person and thus difficult to work with her. I have seen many "models" with very lousy modelling portfolios and yet claiming that they're very experienced. I've also encountered "models" without any modelling portfolio and yet asked professional photographers to pay them.
  8. Build up on your confidence
    Similar to being over-confident, low confidence can reduce the quality of work. The confidence level can be seen in photographs. Being low confidence can restrict many things and create other problems like being conservative and "die die have to smile" in front of the camera. I often have to remind people that "you are better than what you think you are".
  9. Build up on physical level
    Modelling requires stamina. Sometimes, a model may need to stand or walk a lot, or even climb the hill to get to the actual venue. Tiredness can be shown in photographs. It's also not pleasant for a photographer carrying tens of kilograms of equipment to hear grumbling from a model who's simply carrying a bag that is very much lighter.
  10. Explore more to build up creativity
    Creativity helps to deliver interesting work, which generates more interest from viewers. Without creativity, the model cannot perform even if she has props on hand. A model can't rely solely on the photographer to cue her since he has to focus on the camera as well.
  11. Don't bring boyfriend as an escort
    The word is "awkward". Many aspiring models will claim that they won't be awkward shooting in front of their boyfriends but the fact is they will - judging from their performance. It may not only affect the model herself but also the photographer. It's good to have an "escort" around if the model is new and is afraid that the "photographer" has ill intentions. Professional photographers may even welcome the "escort" because of the free assistance, however, having the presence of the model's boyfriend or admirer is just too awkward. I have experienced it a few times and it really affects the quality of work.

    Read: Reasons why models shouldn't bring their partners along for photoshoots
  12. Allocate time for the photoshoot
    The entire team spends the time and effort to prepare and get to the location. The photographer brings along bulky and heavy professional equipment and set them up. Eventually, the model has to end the photoshoot early instead of trying out more ways to get better photographs. It's a big waste. The worst case is when the model expects more than one good photograph out of the short duration.
  13. Your attitude matters a lot
    To go far in the modelling industry, it takes more than your looks and luck. Your attitude can also determine how smooth your journey gets. You have to show others that you're humble and willing to learn. Being late for jobs is one of the biggest taboos. Of course, some snobbish "models" can somehow continue to get modelling jobs due to their looks but do not assume every male client is thinking with his second head.

    When I was new in photography, I did a lot of test shoots in order to improve my skill and build up my portfolio. Once, I shot with a hot but problematic model. She approached me a few times to collaborate again and I turned her down regardless of her looks.
  14. Don't cancel a job or photoshoot
    Cancelling a job or photoshoot with short notice may speak badly of you, no matter if it's a paid job or just a collaboration for exposure. Before you agree to one, you should do your due diligence and also work out if it would benefit you.

    There was, however, an incident of an aspiring model who had arranged a TFCD shoot with a blacklisted photographer and she was worried that she would be blacklisted by him if she were to call the shoot off. Luckily, she headed my advice that she shouldn't be bothered with a blacklisted photographer.

Do read Good Models vs Bad Models to know more about the good and bad practices of models.

Dangers of Modelling

Is modelling a risky career?

Most jobs pose their own dangers and modelling may pose a higher risk, especially for female models.

Apart from stereotypes and mistreatment, sexual harassment and assault are big concerns. The risk level will depend on the type of modelling job you are taking up. For example, if you do private sexy photoshoots, there's a high chance that the "photographer" may try to take advantage of you physically during the session.

You should understand that many scammers and predators are targeting aspiring models who are likely easier to be manipulated due to their lack of experience and knowledge. It's partly due to the fact that aspiring models may not know the current modelling/ photography industry's unspoken/common practice well.

Aspiring models should research for blacklisted photographers in Singapore to avoid working with those black sheep, and also understand the dangers of doing sexy photoshoot in order to take precaution.

If you want to start earning quick money through doing sexy photoshoots, you should know that the photographs would eventually surface even if you were to sign an agreement with the "photographer" to keep the photographs private. The trick is to take only photographs that you do not mind others would see.

FAQs

Modelling

  1. Is modelling a competitive industry?
  2. Is modelling difficult?
  3. Is modelling a happy career?
  4. Is modelling a good hobby?
  5. Is Singapore good for modelling?
  6. How do I get scouted for modelling in Singapore?
  7. How can I be a model for free?
  8. Do I have to pay to be a model?
  9. Do I need a very good modelling portfolio?
  10. How much does a model make in Singapore?
  11. What qualifications do I need to be a model?
  12. Can I be a model with no experience?
  13. Is 25 too old to be a model?
  14. What are the minimum requirements to join a model modelling agency in Singapore?
  15. Can models have tattoos?
  16. Can I be a model with scars?
  17. What is the most common mistake models make in their makeup?
  18. Should I trust a portrait photographer as long as I can't find his name being blacklisted online?
  19. What's the modelling trend in Singapore?
  20. Is it easy for a new model to get jobs in Singapore?



Modelling

  1. Is modelling a competitive industry?
    Modelling is a very competitive industry, just like photography and makeup, because "everyone can also become a model". In Singapore, many people own good camera phones while the majority of people also use phones (much smaller screen size than laptops) to browse the internet, such that the quality of photographs isn't as important/obvious as in the past anymore. Therefore, it's easier for young girls to present themselves as models on social media platforms and thus increasing the competition.

    Unfortunately, not many Singapore models can make it big in the modelling industry. For some girls, it's a stepping stone towards joining showbiz like MediaCorp. A few of the celebrities actually began as models before they were poached by MediaCorp.
  2. Is modelling difficult?
    Modelling may seem easy but it's actually very challenging; it requires hard work, determination and talent.

    A good model must know how to take care of her personal grooming and on a good diet to maintain body figure. Models have to handle different types of people and understand their requirements. They must know how to present themselves elegantly and naturally in front of the audience and camera. They must also endure holding their expression and postures, and standing for long hours. Most of the professional models have to undergo training. Lastly, they must also know how to handle crooks and touchy "photographers".
  3. Is modelling a happy career?
    Modelling, like air stewardess, is one of the dream jobs of many young girls. It is a symbolism or "certification" of beauty and fame because not every girl can become a professional model or air stewardess. Their Lives can be glamourous and thrilling.
  4. Is modelling a good hobby?
    Modelling is a good hobby as it allows you to understand yourself better, develop your confidence and interpersonal skill, and make some extra cash on the side. Being able to network with more people will also give you more opportunities in life. However, do be wary of people who will try to take advantage of you directly or indirectly.
  5. Is Singapore good for modelling?
    Singapore is small and thus the modelling industry is smaller than most other countries'.
  6. How do I get scouted for modelling in Singapore?
    The most common way you will get scouted for modelling is on the street. Modelling agents will look around for models in the town area. However, do take note that many such modelling agents may be approaching you for the sake of asking you to sign up for modelling portfolio photoshoot packages; hence, they scout for models who may not have a high chance of making it big.

    On the other hand, you can also join a modelling agency or pageant to get noticed.
  7. How can I be a model for free?
    You can model for free easily as most photographers and 'photographers' require models.

    Professional photographers usually have to accommodate their client's needs and are thus unable to create their personal artwork. Thus, you may approach them to volunteer for them and they may agree to work with you if your appearance fits what they may want to create.

    On the other hand, there are plentiful hobbyist photographers who are always looking for free models, and many such photographers are even willing to pay a newbie.

    However, do take note that most of these opportunities would require you to be open-minded.
  8. Do I have to pay to be a model?
    Generally, you don't have to pay to be a model. However, some modelling agencies may require you to sign up for their photoshoot packages to create your modelling portfolio and/or comp card before you can be listed with them; this is a big source of income (from you) for the modelling agencies. A legitimate modelling agency will deduct these expenses from your future earnings and it doesn't get paid unless the model gets booked.
  9. Do I need a very good modelling portfolio?
    The quality of photographers and clients who will approach you is likely linked to the quality of your portfolio. This means that if your portfolio is filled with lousy-quality photos, your chance of being approached by others will be lower. If your photos look distasteful or sleazy, you are likely to attract more 'pornographers'.

    Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to judge the qualities of photos. If you are hot, most of your fans are likely to compliment you whenever you upload any new photo, such that your ego may have blinded your judgement.
  10. How much does a model make in Singapore?
    The average salary for models is $5100, according to Glassdoor. As the result is based on anonymous submissions, the source doesn't take responsibility for the accuracy of the data. Please also note that there are many different types of models. I would say, generally, for a part-time model, expect much lesser.
  11. What qualifications do I need to be a model?
    You do not need any qualification to become a model. You can be hired based on your appearance (features, body proportion, hair), confidence level, experience, modelling rates and networking skills. Basically, a client can simply hire you if he or she likes you in aspect.
  12. Can I be a model with no experience?
    You don't have to have any experience to begin modelling, just like for many other trades. I started as a photographer without any experience as well. For modelling, the most important thing is your appearance. Your personality, talent, hard work and interpersonal skill will determine how far you can go.
  13. Is 25 too old to be a model?
    No, there's no age restriction to become a model. However, many modelling agencies do set an age limit for their model recruitment.
  14. What are the minimum requirements to join a model modelling agency in Singapore?
    The requirements from one of the renowned modelling agencies in Singapore are: Female model age 14-24 and height 1.65m and above; male model age 16-30 and 1.80m and above.

    Do note that different modelling agencies do have different requirements.
  15. Can models have tattoos?
    In general, models can have tattoos as the industry does not discriminate against tattoos. It's good to be unique and some artists (clients) do appreciate the inks because they can be cool and edgy.

    However, it is most advisable not to have tattoos for aspiring models in order to have a wider range of jobs. For example, a bridal studio needs a model to showcase their sweet wedding gown and they are likely to get a model who doesn't have a tattoo.

    Remember that you can get a fake tattoo any time for a specific photoshoot but you can't easily remove or even hide (by the makeup artist) your existing tattoos.
  16. Can I be a model with scars?
    Yes, you can, although it may affect your chances of getting a job sometimes because people are drawn more towards "perfection". As such, it can be extremely tedious and time-consuming for the photographer or retoucher to edit the photographs if the model has a bad complexion.

    Of course, there are popular models and celebrities who have stretch marks and scars. Do note that they are popular.

    The good news is that some brands are embracing a more realistic and natural beauty in their campaigns. That means these brands are presenting their marketing contents (photographs) with the models showing their imperfection (unedited).
  17. What is the most common mistake models make in their makeup?
    Eyebrows - lack of it or badly drawn. Some girls do up their faces with thick makeup without trimming and drawing their eyebrows. The contrast is too obvious. Many girls don't bother about their eyebrows. Others may just draw it wrongly.
  18. Should I trust a portrait photographer as long as I can't find his name being blacklisted online?
    Always try to find out more because some blacklisted photographers have been changing their names/nicks/aliases to avoid being recognised.
  19. What's the modelling trend in Singapore?
    Generally, the market favours Caucasians due to their "exotic" features and open-mindedness. They are usually taller and have better body proportions while their open-mindedness brings them a more natural expression. An obvious comparison is when going braless in a shoot, somehow Caucasian models will appear more stylish in the photographs; Asian models may end up with a negative effect. Of course, there are "lousy" Caucasian models and good Asian models as well.
  20. Is it easy for a new model to get jobs in Singapore?
    When you are new to the industry, it does not necessary mean that you cannot get modelling jobs. Some clients, especially photography hobbyists love fresh faces.


If you think you have what it takes to become a model in Singapore, do contact me.



You may like to read:
- Photographers looking for free models
- Modelling casting calls & auditions for photoshoot in Singapore
- How to make a stronger modelling portfolio
- Good models, bad models
- Top modelling mistakes that models make



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