- Confidence. Clients are looking for someone who is confident and can sell a product convincingly. If you’re not naturally confident, consider using one of the many self-help books or CDs available that can help you to build up self-confidence. To renew your confidence in your looks, remind yourself of compliments you’ve received from others.
- A ‘thick skin’. You must be able to handle the rejection that every model faces, while still putting yourself forward whenever there’s a chance of getting the job. You can’t expect to meet the expectations of every client. Try to think, ‘It’s good if I get the job, but if they don’t want my look I won’t feel bad about it’.
- Stamina. A model needs to be fit and healthy so they can work all day and still look good at the end of it. Maintain a healthy diet and work out at least three times a week. If you can’t afford a gym, walking and running are great exercises that anyone can do. If you’re too busy to exercise, build exercise into your daily routine by walking to work or to the shops.
- Independence. Professional models may have to travel often, so you need an independent spirit and a self-starting attitude. You’ll need to get yourself up in the morning and make sure you arrive at the job on time and ready to perform. You also need to be comfortable if you need to be by yourself for long periods.
- Organisation. You need to be well organised in order to keep track of the dates, times and locations of your castings and appointments. Keep a paper diary with you or use one of the many online tools available to enter and edit your appointments. Keep all your papers in a single safe and secure location.
- Willpower. Working models can’t afford to indulge in drink, drugs or partying. You must have the will power to say NO. An agency will drop a model very quickly if it becomes clear that his or her lifestyle could affect her work – or the agency’s reputation.
- Availability and responsiveness. Make sure it’s easy for agencies to get in touch with you if they need to. When you have a confirmed job, communicate with the photographer/agency as much as you can, and answer their queries as quickly as possible.
- Fashion. Keep up with the latest styles and clothing trends, particularly those that suit your looks and style. Keep your portfolio updated with shots that use recent looks.
- Persistence. This is perhaps the most important attribute of all. It takes a lot of work to be a professional model! It’s no good waiting for work to come to you – you need the get-up-and-go attitude of someone who sets goals and goes after them. As George Bernard Shaw said, ‘The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.’