On Assignment

So, you've secured a model assignment - great! Now read our handy tips to make sure you prepare well and perform brilliantly on the day.

Be prepared

  • Get as much information as you can about the company you will be representing. It is useful to have an idea of what is expected of you on your model assignment. Most companies will have a website you can use to get some details, or your agency may have a visual of the shots they are looking for. This will give you an idea of what is required of you, as well as understanding 'the product'.
  • Make sure you have all the necessary information about the model assignment itself, including contact numbers for Models Direct.
  • Make sure your mobile is switched on and fully charged!
  • Check the final details of the Model Assignment with Models Direct. These may include: What will I be expected to wear? What clothing and shoes should I take? Can I park on site? What time will I start/finish?
  • Make sure you know the contact name of your client on site and who to report to on arrival. Be sure to have the stand number for a promotional job, or entrance number for large premises. These details will often be provided to you on a booking form.
  • Never be late - in fact, aim to arrive at least 15 minutes early. Plan your route in advance and give yourself plenty of time on the day in case something unexpected happens. This is particularly important if you're going to use public transport.

What to take

  • Make sure you fully understand the clothing brief. If you are asked to wear smart black trousers to the model assignment then that is what's required - don't turn up in jeans!
  • Ensure you take plenty of clothes, shoes, accessories and make-up from your own wardrobe.
  • It is sometimes useful to take props or accessories like scarves or simple jewellery. Bring a fake wedding ring (for couple shots) and a pair of glasses too.

For male models

  • Find a liquid foundation and translucent powder that matches your complexion and learn how to apply them.
  • You may be asked to take a suit. Remember that it's far better to own one £1,000 suit than four £250 suits. Buy something classic that won't date - you can use it on future bookings. Many male models have a variety of suits and business wear as part of their standard wardrobe for their model assignments.
  • Many model assignments require khakis and knit polo shirts, so have khakis and polo shirts in a variety of classic colours (tan, olive and navy blue) that suit your colouring.
  • When choosing shirts, avoid bold primary colours in favour of subtler shades. Instead of blue, go with periwinkle; salmon, not red; and teal instead of green. Take a selection of ties and make sure your shoes and socks match your suit.

In the studio

  • Introduce yourself to the hirer. Be polite and personable but keep chat to a minimum - they are paying you to model, not stand there chatting! At a typical model assignment you will meet six people: the photographer, his assistant, the stylist, the makeup artist, the ad agency account executive and the client.
  • If you get the chance, ask to see the Polaroid before the photographer goes to film. Look for ways to improve your expression or movement. Know your own personal problem areas.
  • Remember a genuine smile shows in the eyes, not the mouth. Make your eyes smile for the camera by thinking about a happy time, a funny moment or someone you love.
  • Listen carefully to instructions and ask if you're not sure what you should be doing. Remain calm even if the pressure and tension rise.
  • Make sure you let Models Direct know how the model assignment went.

Children and babies

  • Make sure your child looks clean and smart when going to the model assignment.
  • Leave plenty of time to get there so that you can arrive on time and you and your child will not get stressed!
  • Try to arrange jobs to suit your child's day (working around nap or feeding times) and/or let your model agency know that your child will need a sleep or a feed.
  • Make sure you have all the necessary equipment with you (spare clothes, nappies, wipes, food, toys and dummies).
  • Be prepared for long waits, as photo studios can be very busy and model assignments don't always run to schedule. Take something to keep your child amused - perhaps a new book or toy.
  • Keep your child under control at all times - there will usually be lots of expensive equipment around!
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