What is a model - The model test

It seems the question we keep hearing and trying to define now is... 'What Is A Model'?

Sounds like a dumb ask i know, but it's more than valid in this era when every pretty girl claims to be one, and various clients are not impressed after hiring some.

DICTIONARY DEFINITION (in reference to the person)
*A person or thing that serves as a subject for an artist, sculptor,writer, etc.
*A person whose profession is posing for artists or photographers.
*A person employed to wear clothing or pose with a product for purposes 
of display and advertising.

So it seems by basic definition, a model is someone who poses, has this profession, or is employed to do modelling.

In past history, models were those with the rare genes and beauty admired by others who went on to take that fashion, print or TV job. Aspiring models were required do a 'test shoot' with many being rejected, while others were developed and trained before gaining success.

The Insta models of today want Instant success. This invites creeps and different scams, but you can read about that topic in our other posts. 

Too often we hear of teenagers calling themselves models after a TFP (Time For Print - FREE) shoot or two, and many adults claiming the same with little or no training, confidence, or ability. 

The problematic issue surrounding this topic, is that we get thousands of these aspiring models applying to model jobs. Not a problem on the surface, but when we see those aspiring happy to do work for free or for next to nothing, it means a loss for genuine models being paid, and leads the profitable industry into melt down. Sadly the signs have appeared! 

We also hear the grumblings of commercial brands who employ these 'amateur/aspiring models', then finding dissatisfaction and frustration in their choices.

Quality model agencies wont just sign you up and take your money, but rather the opposite. They don't charge but help you to develop, gain the right attitude, understand the industry, and have the right tools in hand before unleashing you into financial success.

Did you know there's a legal Australian Government award for models? Yes, minimum pay rates employers of models must pay. Sadly many don't know about it, or utilise it as a guide to keep the industry viable.  Some commercial brands have been prosecuted over this and all models need to be aware... why rip yourself off anyway? Aspiring models are entitled to the same minimum payments, while experienced models tend to only work at rates far above.


While the title of 'MODEL' can no way be easily defined to one type of person, all models need to respect the profession and work towards maintaining fairness for the industry's future.

There are more paid opportunities for models today than ever before. Glamazons still exist and get much more work, but even commercial models come in all shapes, sizes and ages now, which is good news for many.

So back to the topic. Can we call a model someone who does mostly TFP work and a few paid jobs in their spare time? I'm not dismissive, but not so sure! Maybe us identifying with 2 or 3 names would be better - Model, Part time model, Aspiring model?


2017 will be a big year as our industry heads look for feedback and meet to discuss what a model really is. This way we can raise standards or impose guidelines, and achieve better success for all who choose to genuinely model in this desirable industry.


Are you a model?


1. Do you have a passion for the industry and eagerness to model?

2. Have you done several paid photo shoots or catwalk shows?

3. Have you had any professional training in the industry: posing, catwalk, casting?

4. Do you get paid award rates or higher for your modelling time?

5. Are you with a reputable agency or properly set up as a freelancer?

6. Do people tell you that you look amazing and should be a model?

7. Are you still mainly doing TFP (free) work as a model?

8. Do you feel uncomfortable on either a photo shoot or catwalk?

9. Have you got both a quality portfolio and comp cards'?

10. Do you look at magazines or TV and try imitate poses in the mirror?


Score your points as listed:
1.   1
2.   2
3.   2
4.   2
5.   1
6.   1
7.  -2  (subtract 2 points)
8.  -2  (subtract 2 points)
9.   1
10. 1

Our pass mark is 6 points or above.

Of course this is just a simple guide not intended to offend, and as we discussed it's hard to define a model.

We see some who are not so passionate or unskilled, but still have a natural ability to do it well, then others have natural supermodel potential. The best thing to note is that if you scored low, you now have some areas to work on.

We believe nearly any pretty and healthy person can be developed into a successful model, but most times it's just the lack of knowledge, training, or attitude holding them back. 

If you're still waiting for your big break, getting in with a professional network and quality agency will help unleash your real model potential, and get you proper paid work. 

Many top International models got rejected over and over before they made it. Never give up!