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How to Become a Model in Singapore

singapore model

Types of modelling

First of all, you should ask yourself what kind of model you want to become. There are many types of model and the most common ones are commercial models, runway models, event models, blogshop models and photo models. Of course, there can be a combination of a few of them.

  1. Commercial models
    Commercial models help to market for certain brands and products. They get to do motion pictures like television advertisement and also appear in magazines and posters. This job is 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 do catwalk on the runway. Ideally, you should be tall (1.7m and above) and slim, have collarbone and carry an aura. You should have broad and straight shoulders, ideally with 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 socializing skill.
  4. Blogshop models
    Blogshop models are similar to photo models but they take still pictures for whatever the blogshops 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 wider range of consumers. Blogshop modelling is one of the most trendy jobs.
  5. Photo models
    Photos models do photoshoot. There are many "photographers" who will pay models to do different photoshoot themes for the sake of 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 none other than nude. Lingerie and implied nude shoots can fetch high prices as well, followed by bikini. The most basic is sexy fashion shoot. For sexy shoots, many "photographers" have less expectation of the looks and figure of the models.
  6. Body parts models
    If you think certain parts of your body, such as 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 on this job to feed yourself is near zero, especially in Singapore.

Basically, you should be looking at your interest and not simply aiming for whatever you think is more "high class". If you do not have an impressive looks, height and figure, your chance of doing well may be low.

Physical appearance

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 the 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" in social media are generally young. It's a common sense that as human beings age, their complexion tend to worsen. Therefore, for 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 a child-porn. Whereas, for a 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 down the aging 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 artistes 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 runway, height is extremely important.

    However, height doesn't mean everything as the 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 length of legs to her height. For jobs like photoshoots, a short girl with good proportion 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, the 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 statistic but you can guess it. Nevertheless, plus size models, in general, do have bigger chest 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 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 the big asset.

    However, there are two major disadvantages for models with big chests. Firstly, models with big boobs are difficult to become 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 the physical appearance, there will always be chances for a girl to become a model; it's just the matter of how high or low the chance is. However, personality and character will help a lot as well. Be nice, be 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 the 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 client, such that you may not be given many or any modelling job 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 casted 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 in the organiser's social media pages, such as Facebook page. No doubt, for such event that has big budget constraint, 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 photoshoot - 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 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 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 art work. Of course, it's a way to make big bucks because such sleazy photoshoot can fetch a high price.

What is a comp card?

beauty shoot with model

A modelling comp card is the short form for "composite card", otherwise, also known as 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. These information will help clients to understand if you're suitable for the projects, allow them to contact you and also to prepare the wardrobe if necessary.

With a 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 internet, 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 up face to face. The portfolio may also help to identify your personality. Needless to say, having a pretty face and hourglass body are not enough, as you have to appear nice in photographs.

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 publication will definitely lift your status up.

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 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 artist and wardrobe. 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 in 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 photoshoot as well. Of course, you need to be realistic over your looks and figure, and the 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 photoshoot 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 the 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-intention are likely to target you and most of these "photographers" are mainly looking for sexy and sleazy themes.

Despite 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 researches 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 webhosts that can allow you to sign up for a free account. Nevertheless, some of these websites will place advertisement on your personal page. The domain names may not be the most ideal ones but depending on the webhost you choose, they can be pretty neat. Your page URL will likely include the webhost's domain name and your personal alias, which may end up being lengthy. Examples of free webhost are Blogger, WordPress, Wix and Squarespace. Some of them generate income by allowing users to upgrade their free accounts in order to remove the advertisements or increase the web space.
  2. Personal Domain Name
    By paying domain name host to get a dot com (.com), dot sg (.sg) or dot com dot 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 "" 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 the free webhost. When visitors enter your personalised URL, it will load the actual contents from the webhost. In case something happens to the webhost, you can easily point your domain name to another webhost, 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 contents (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 site, however, its 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've a few thousands fans on your page, your new post any not reach even a 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 into their personal Instagram accounts, such that their potential clients and co-workers would have problems scrolling through their accounts to find the professional work, which are 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 to the modelling albums are 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 limitation and thus when the quota is hit, your visitors may need to wait for 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 modelling website.

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

Modelling trend in Singapore

Caucasian model

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 phone (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 in 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 the showbiz like MediaCorp. A few of the celebrities actually began as models before they were poached by MediaCorp.

Generally, the market is more open to Caucasians due to their "exotic" features and open-mindedness. They are usually taller and have better body proportion while their open-mindedness brings them 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.

Note: I have many model friends in my social media profiles. I observe that most of them are working mainly as event or photo models. This means the number of professional models doing commercial work is much lower.

New to modelling

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. However, you should understand that many scammers and predators are targeting aspiring models who are likely easier to be manipulated due to the 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.

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.

Cancelling a job with short notice may speak badly of 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.

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. That's to say, 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". The trick is to take only photographs that you do not mind others would see.

Perhaps, before you agree to do any photoshoot, do make sure that you know how to judge the photographer.

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 if when someone tries to brag.

Tips for aspiring models

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've 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 in modelling will benefit from some of my modelling tips:

  1. Don't be over-conservative
    Many creative photography concepts/ themes require 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 photoshoot 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 over 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 are desired by both the model and photographer for their individual portfolio. There should be discussion of outfit, 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 morning are great for outdoor photoshoots because of the good natural/ ambient light and there will be fewer number of 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 end up oversleeping.
  4. Don't insist in 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.

    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 the inability. However, a good model must know how to tell the differences. 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.
  6. Learn to select good photographs
    Modelling portfolio is important and will speak the ability and experience of every model. Therefore, every model should know how to select the 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 look more like porn, "photographers" and clients with ill-intention may be more tempted to approach her. Whereas if the model's portfolio look 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.
  7. Don't be over-confident
    Being over-confident is a double-edged sword. Confidence enhances performance and can be shown on 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 poor fashion sense and some who think they can model well even though they are lacking of the skill/talent/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 asking professional photographers to pay them.
  8. Build up on low self-confidence
    Similar to being over-confident, low confident can reduce the quality of work. Confidence level can be seen in photographs. Being low confident can restrict many things and create other problems like being conservative and "die die have to smile" in front of 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 hill to get to the actual venue. Tiredness can be shown on 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 to escort
    The word is "awkward". Many aspiring models will claim that they won't be awkward to shoot 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-intention. Professional photographers may even welcome the "escort" because of the free assistant, 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.

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


Modelling, like air stewardess, is one of the dream jobs of many young girls. It is a symbolism or "certification" of beauty because not every girl can become a professional model or air stewardess. Most people think they are easy jobs, which is absolutely wrong.

A good model must know how to take care of her personal grooming and on a good diet to maintain body figure. Models must know how to present themselves elegantly and natural in front of the audience and camera. They must know how to hold their expression and postures, and also stand for long hours. Most of the professional models have to undergo training. Lastly, they must also know how to handle crooks and touchy "photographers".

Young girls should find out more about modelling before deciding whether to go into it.




  1. What's the most common mistake models make in their makeup?
    Eyebrows - lack of it or badly drawn. Some girls do up their face 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.
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  2. 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.
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  3. As a model, why do I need a good 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 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.
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  4. How much will you pay me for a shoot?
    I have never ever paid any model in my entire life. Clients pay me to take their photos. You need to read this. Thanks but no thanks for insulting a professional photographer.
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  5. Can I wear a low-cut top if I don't have big boobs?
    Yes, your confidence level matters the most.
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  6. I think my selfie photos look good after I have edited them using my phone app, don't you think so?
    If you think by just blurring out your face will make a photo look nice, I have nothing more to say other than we have too different taste.
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  7. What is the best angle to do selfie?
    Not everyone looks good in the same angle. However, for most people, lifting the camera higher may help to 'reduce' weight on the chin.
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  8. Why do my face look fatter in selfie?
    Usually, camera phones' lenses are nearer to the 'wide' angle range. Imagine you are using a fisheye (ultra wide angle) lens, your face will be enlarged or distorted. The phone camera lens you are using is probably between the standard and fisheye lens' range. Try to keep your face in the middle of the photo to minimise distortion.
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  9. What are the main differences between doing a shoot in a studio and outdoor location?
    Outdoor shoot is usually more interesting and challenging while studio shoot is usually limited to the plain backdrop, unless you have the budget and time to doll up the studio to create special scenes. A studio is more comfortable and has more privacy, except some studios that have installed CCTV. For a studio shoot, there won't be wind and thus lighting can be set up easier. Of course, there are many other pros and cons for both.
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  10. What kind of portrait photoshoot is most difficult?
    It's probably the sexy themes. Even though I'm extremely open-minded, I'm quite shy with girls who don't know me well. As a male photographer, it's also more sensitive and thus more difficult to make the female model feel comfortable. When less body parts are hidden or covered, it means you have to really work on them to show that the model is elegant. If the subject doesn't know or trust me enough, it can be awkward, which will affect the overall performance. Being tasteful and distasteful are also just a thin line apart.

    Besides, the more skin a model shows, the more editing work will need to be done.
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  11. I like your personal tagline 'You don't have to be pretty to appear in photos; you just need to appear pretty in photos'. Will you shoot for me for free?
    If you can benefit my photography, I will consider. If you love children, will you help me to give birth to a dozen of them for free?
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  12. Will I become famous after doing a shoot with you?
    Not really - only to a certain extent - unless you are daring enough and we work on some themes that can really attract attention. Some of my models are being recognised on the street. I'm skilled in internet marketing and you will be exposed to online platforms such as my Facebook, Instagram and website definitely, but web presence has its limit somehow. Obviously, I don't want to over-promise anyone, although my social media profiles and website do have a certain number of daily traffic.
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If you think you have what it takes to become a model in Singapore, do contact me.

You may like to read:
- Modelling casting calls & auditions for photoshoot in Singapore
- Bespoke (customised & personalised) portrait photographer in Singapore
- How to make a stronger modelling portfolio
- How to judge a model
- Good models, bad models
- Top modelling mistakes that models make
- Survey - questionnaires for nude models
- Fashion disasters for portrait photoshoots

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