Have you ever seen a model holding or wearing something in a magazine, billboard, or commercial and thought, “I have to have that!” but couldn’t figure out why? It’s likely because the model was a great sales person and as a great model, you’ll need to be one, too!
When modeling for an accessories company, make the accessory the main focus. Make sure the handbag, watch, necklace etc. is clearly visible and in the forefront. New models often make the mistake of being so concerned with their poses that they forget about what is most important. Always make sure that you are holding the item in a way that makes sense, unless otherwise directed. If there is a logo on the item, make sure it isn’t being covered by your clothing, hair, or hands. If you’re modeling both clothing and accessories at the same time, make sure that everything is being showcased with equal importance. If you’re wearing a jacket over a shirt and both are being photographed, make sure to keep an eye on the jacket to make sure it isn’t covering too much of the garment, for example. Don’t make the photographer do extra work by having to remind you throughout the shoot.
Be the Brand
You’ll want to keep in mind the brand you are representing and get a solid idea of the type of crowd to which it caters. If a luxury handbag company books you for a print ad, you’re going to want to give off an aire of sophistication because that is what their audience will expect. If you’re an athletic model who gets to ride skateboards for the day’s shoot, a more laid back demeanor will be more appropriate. Your personal style doesn’t matter, here. Whatever the culture of the brand that is hiring you is the culture you must embody. Brands will often hire models who more obviously fit the culture they represent but for busy working models, a versatile range is important. Unless you are happy with just working within one genre of modeling (beauty, for example), make a habit of studying different lifestyles so that you can draw from experience when on set with a product you wouldn’t normally use yourself.
Along with embodying the culture of the brand, you’ll also want to either actually gain a level of excitement for the product or at least be able to fake it really well. It is easy to tell when someone is not truly interested in something. A great model will make it look like that product is something she or he uses every single day. Even if you’ve never used that type of product before, your job is to make it seem like it’s the most important item anyone could ever own.
Look At the Big Picture
Don’t forget that even though you are there to model an accessory, you are still expected to make the entire picture look great. Unless the photographer tells you s/he is only going to be shooting from the collar bone up, model with your entire body. In fact, even if only a specific section of your body is being photographed, it helps to model from h to t (head to toe) anyway in order make your posing look natural and authentic. If you’re holding a purse, for instance, don’t think that means your feet can be in any old position. One of the most frustrating things for a photographer is to try and choose the best photos, after a shoot, only to realize that the model was doing something weird with her fill-in-the-blank body part the whole time.
Don’t ever model for a company you don’t respect. If you’re asked to go to a casting for a Abercrombie and Fitch to model their latest jackets but you don’t agree with them not carrying plus sizes because they only want “cool kids” wearing their clothes, tell your agency thanks but no thanks. If you’re a freelance model booking your own jobs and in need of money, see a casting for a company that makes watches out of leather but you’re a proud vegetarian, don’t apply. If you’re a social media model getting offers from various accessory companies but only a few resonate with you, only accept those few. Modeling is a job and like any job, you should never feel the need to compromise your morals to make a buck or for the sake of ending up on a billboard.
You might not consider yourself a salesperson but if you’re a good model, you are one by default. Whether you are modeling hats, jackets, watches, or, well, anything else, your job is to convey to the consumer that they need what you are wearing. Hopefully the tips above will help you do this at your next booking!
Photo Credit: Lola O Photography