Kay Sukumar's Portfolio

Handling & Understanding The Pressures of The Industry

The modelling industry is one of the most competitive industries to work in. Models may deal with pressure to conform to a specific body type or look. In these circumstances, it is common for men and women to develop eating disorders as well as depression and low self-esteem. 


It is important for models in the industry to maintain a strong support group throughout their career. Whilst dealing with pressures and struggles, continuing open discussions with friends and family may prevent these feelings from escalating and individuals from feeling overwhelmed. 


Another essential and possibly one of the most important skills for a model to have is handling rejection. A large portion of a model’s career is spent attending castings, go-sees, and open calls. Unfortunately, most models will not be successful with every job they seek, therefore a thick skin will take you far in the industry. 


Models must understand that if you do not get booked for a job to not take the decision personally as you simply were not what the client was looking for for that particular job – And that’s okay.


If you’re a model who is struggling with any disorders or feeling down to the pressures of the industry, please make sure to talk to your agent as soon as possible. Your agent will be able to help you through many different concerns and point you in the right direction. 


Continuing to work in the industry without seeking help or being open for discussion could make your feelings worse over time. 


Industry Etiquette

The professionalism and etiquette of a model is vital to a long and successful career. Working on a set with a large group of people will occur often for a model so being easy to work with, efficient, and respectful are key. 


One of the most important practices as a model is to arrive on time and be prepared. Arriving to shoots at least 10 -15 minutes early will always give you ample room for error. A tip for new models; putting yourself in the brands shoes and realise that their photographer, hair and makeup, stylist, and marketing team are all being paid, too, so coming late can often mean the difference to whether a brand will work with you again, even if the shoot went well. Don’t waste their time and money. 


When working with creatives on set, always be ready to give your all in front of the camera and be sure to follow instructions from the photographer. Hair and makeup won’t always align with your personal style, however, please remember to have trust in the team you are working with as they have a specific look they are required to achieve. 

That being said, models must always feel free to stand up for themselves in situations they feel uncomfortable with. 


There are certain ways to respond to such circumstances. For one, always contact your agent first. Your agents first priority is the safety and wellbeing of their models. 


Once a situation is brought to their attention, they should respond right away to resolve the problem. Secondly and most importantly, responding to such a circumstance with authority and sensibility is of the upmost importance. Remaining calm and if need be removing yourself from the situation is most likely your best option in the event of a complication. 


There are also industry blacklists that exist publicly and privately. These lists contain the names and contact details of any models, photographers, and other people in the industry who have showcased and given bad experiences to other people. 


Keeping up your professionalism will keep you out of these blacklists. 


Presentation & Grooming

Maintenance of your look as a model in the industry is another important element of modelling. As a model, you are representing yourself and therefore it is crucial to maintain a professional yet practical look at all times. 


Both female and male models must arrive at every set, show, or event with clean hair, skin, and nails, as well as being cleanly shaven. Models may also be asked to follow guidelines indicated on their booking sheet. These may include “no chipped nail polish, arriving on set with little to no makeup, or please arrive with light day makeup”. 


If you do have any questions in regards to your booking sheet and the instructions given, always be sure to contact your agent to enquire first. 


The way you come across and portray yourself towards others in terms of body language as a model is also vital. Please be sure to exert a positive and diligent attitude at all times as this will set a tone to the team that’s working with you once you arrive on set. 


Remember to constantly be aware of posture, facial expression and your tone of voice. Don’t forget that having a personal grooming routine will help with keeping yourself in check. Always be diligent when looking after yourself. 


For some, this is the most difficult technique to master. Really listening to what your photographer or director are saying is harder than you think. So don’t just hear them, but listen and digest. By focusing on what the brand has to say, it shows that you care about their needs and shows a genuine interest in the products. 

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