The different types of modelling

What are the different types of modelling?

There are different areas of modelling depending on your look. Besides fashion / editorial modelling which usually includes runway, there is also commercial, fitness / body modelling, classic / timeless, curve / plus size, child or teen modelling and newer categories for extraordinary talent, special bookings and influencers. 

Therefore even that you might not look like a supermodel you might still be able to fit to one of these categories. It is no longer the case that you have to be stick thin to be a model. Even top agencies like IMG are now more inclusive and open to all sizes, nationalities and ethnicities. In places like France there is now a ban on super thin models and this is country where models used to be told they were too fat if they were not size 0! Times are really changing and consumers especially millennials don’t want to see extremely thin models advertising products. There is no longer an age limit either with commercial ‘timeless’ or ‘classic’ models modelling until their eighties. The world’s oldest model Carmen Dell’Orefice is in fact 86 years old - she is a testimony that a model’s career can now span decades - her first Vogue cover was at the age of 15.

Fashion / editorial and runway modelling

For this type of modelling you would normally be expected to be very tall and lean with an unusual, edgy look. It is extremely competitive to get signed by a big fashion / editorial agent. They often scout models themselves.

editorial fashion model Alexandra at IMG

Editorial shoot with Premier’s model Harrison Griffiths

editorial outdoor shoot with male model Adam Werner

Commercial modelling

If you have a great smile and a commercial appeal then you are likely to fit commercial modelling. The plus side of commercial modelling is getting paid for any commercial jobs. Commercials can be very lucrative. If you have some acting skills that can be additional bonus.

Commercial modelling - beauty image of Sophie at Profile Models

Commercial model portfolio of model Skye

Commercial modelling portfolio example

Classic or timeless modelling

Any model over 25 would usually be in such an agency category. Many commercial agencies now have ‘classic’ or ‘timeless’ divisions and the demand is growing in this area. It is a less competitive area than editorial / fashion modelling. 

Talent agencies / divisions

This category includes actors, dancers and other talent. Are you a talent? Book your talent portfolio shoot now to build a versatile talent portfolio for agencies and castings. 

Extraordinary talent / Special Bookings / Celebrity agencies

As the name suggests this category is for extraordinary talent like musicians or established actors. Often well-known actors would have two agents: the acting and modelling one. Many top agents now have such a division recognising an increasing demand for celebrities. 

Extraordinary talent Deano Bugatti actor - special bookings at Select

Special Bookings - actor Craig McGinlay

Curve / Plus-size modelling

There is a special division of many modelling agencies for those models who are more curvy. There are some agencies which specialise in this area and are doing very well with the growing demand for more curvy models from many brands and not only those that specialise in clothing for curvier women. Many brands are looking to diversify and include models of all sizes in their campaigns. 

Fitness / sports modelling

If you are an athlete or quite sporty with a great physique and a healthy lifestyle then fitness modelling might be your strength. Book a fitness model portfolio shoot

fitness model Jamie smiling

model Jamie showing off his abs, great physique in his fitness model portfolio

Body modelling

There are some agencies which have a division which specialise in body or body parts e.g. hands, legs and feet. So if you do not look like a supermodel but have beautiful hands, legs or feet you can still do modelling. There is a demand from magazines, spas or companies that specialise in products for a particular part of the body e.g. legs for stockings. 

 There is no point trying to apply to model agencies that do not fit your strengths - e.g. applying to top fashion / catwalk agency if your are not tall.  Commercial or talent agencies require a professional model portfolio before they can list you on their website and send you to castings. There is also freelance modelling. 

Junior modelling 

There are modelling agencies which specialise in kids and teens models. Many commercial agencies also have a junior modelling division that kids can join. The demand for child models is increasing and there is even Burberry and Gucci Kids. Book a junior model portfolio shoot with best model portfolio photographer. 

In any case, the best model portfolio photographers (one who shoots with all of these agencies) should be able to advise you once they see you in person and photograph you; what types of modelling might be most suitable for you depending on your look. A model portfolio shoot can be built around your strengths to maximise your chances of getting into the category of modelling that you have most potential in. 

Book a model portfolio shoot with the industry leading photographer Zuzana Breznanikova of London Photo Portfolios.

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