Body part modelling

When a small part is really anything but…

Not sure where to start in the wonderful world of modelling? Read on, because this blog could be the piece of advice you’ve been looking for.

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When we consider models with elegant hands, shapely legs, eye-catching nails, flawless feet, radiant hair, sparkling eyes, immaculate teeth or seductive lips [That’s enough adjectives - Ed], we look for models whose features look incredible under the unforgiving scrutiny of a camera.

Body part modelling is all about capturing the perfect photograph, no matter how pedantic the shot may seem. And that is precisely the point: a photograph which just captures one finger or a couple of toes is extremely important to the client, and therefore to the consumer. It can make or break the photo session, so if you’re selected as a body part model, you’ll be treated as essential to us as a full body fashion model. If you’re required for catalogues, adverts or editorial campaigns, the product being sold is only as effective as the model who’s there to improve the product’s image.

Examples include:

  • A close-up shot of an expensive watch. The customer will be drawn to the intended target product - naturally - but the hand and wrist that advertises the watch could well be the first thing the customer sees. It depends on ratios, colour and angles, but the fact is the hand is an elemental part of the promotion shot.
  • An ankle and foot image advertising strapless shoes. Not including the background, the lower leg will make up the largest percentage of the photo.
  • Teeth advertising toothpaste - here there is no leeway for anything other than pristine teeth - nor should there be!

Let’s categorise each main section of body part modelling to give you an idea of what is desirable.

Hands - Males: Smooth skin, with minimal hair. Straight fingers with no blemishes (sportsmen and women might struggle here, if fractures and other injuries are to go by). Females: Soft skin, with even, natural nails - optimal length should be “medium”. False nails are not usually accepted, unless the shoot specifically requests them. As a rule of thumb, do not use nail polish. Hand models can be used for products such as phones and other gadgets, jewellery and food.

Legs - Often used in campaigns for lingerie, boots, skirts, shorts and even furniture (with models sitting down), clients regularly look for legs on the longer side, with no signs of veins, discolouration or blemishes. Apart from sports modelling, legs should not be too muscular.

Feet - Advertising shoes? Then you need feet - particularly for sandals and other footwear in which toes are exposed. Feet are also used to flaunt the colour and texture of carpets and other floor materials. Toes and nails must be clean and even, with no signs of fake tan or imperfections.

Hair - Here’s a sub-genre of modelling where variety really plays to a model’s advantage. Lots of clients are always looking for the perfect hair-do for their marketing needs, and their requirements can range from outrageously frizzy hairstyles to straight, glossy, precisely-cut hair. Your barnet should be in the best possible condition, and you might need the flexibility to change your style depending on the shoot. One factor a hair model has to be ready for, and that’s waiting: it’s not uncommon for hair models to sit for hours at a time before the all-important photo shoot. But the results will be worth it!

Eyes - Clear, full of character and symmetrical, eyes are the focal point for many product placements. How do you know if you have a pair of potentially money-earning eyes? Well, if you receive compliments about them, you’ve just answered that question!

Lips - Full-bodied (but not thickset) lips are essential for cosmetics promotions. We don’t want to get too personal here, but have a close look at your top lip…if there are any hairs it’ll be worthwhile considering waxing. Just saying!

Teeth - A set of evenly-spaced, sparkling white dentures is one of the most sought-after when it comes to body part modelling. If you’ve looked after your teeth and are proud of their appearance, you could be heading for your first modelling job.

Body part modelling is crucial for all manner of advertising campaigns and modelling shoots. Models Direct is keen to hear from you, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us using the application form. Keep your shapely fingers (and your perfect toes) crossed, and hopefully we’ll see you - and your body part - in a modelling campaign soon!

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