If you want to know how to be a model in South Africa, we’ve got you covered. In this article we are going to detail what a model does, how to become a model in South Africa, and some the pros and cons that come with a modelling career.
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What does a model do?
The work of a model can vary depending on the type of modeling they specialize in. Generally, models are hired to represent a brand, product, or concept in a visual way. Some of the things models may do include the activities detailed under the various types of modelling listed below.
In addition, models may also be hired for promotional events, such as trade shows or product launches. Overall, the work of a model involves using their body and appearance to convey a specific message or image on behalf of a client or brand.
Types of Models
There are several types of models in South Africa, each with its own specific requirements and opportunities. Here are some of the main types of models you might find in South Africa:
- Fashion models: Fashion models typically work in high-end runway shows, fashion editorials, and advertising campaigns. They are expected to have a tall, lean physique and striking facial features. Most fashion models in South Africa work with modeling agencies that specialize in fashion modeling.
- Commercial models: Commercial models represent a broader range of brands and products in advertising and marketing campaigns. They can be of various ages, sizes, and ethnicities, and are expected to have a relatable and approachable look. Commercial models can work with a variety of clients, from local businesses to national brands.
- Fitness models: Fitness models represent a healthy and athletic lifestyle in advertising and marketing campaigns for sports brands, fitness equipment, and health and wellness products. They are expected to have a toned and muscular physique and be knowledgeable about fitness and nutrition. Fitness models can work with a variety of clients, from gym chains to supplement companies.
- Parts models: Parts models are models who specialize in modeling specific body parts such as hands, feet, or eyes. They are expected to have a specific physical attribute that is particularly attractive, such as long fingers or symmetrical features. Parts models can work in a variety of campaigns and editorials.
- Glamour models: Glamour models work in fashion and beauty campaigns, and are often focused on showcasing a particular style or trend. They are expected to have an attractive and alluring look, with a focus on makeup and styling. Glamour models can work with a variety of clients, from fashion magazines to cosmetics brands.
These are just a few examples of the types of models you might find in South Africa. Other types of modeling can include swimwear, lingerie, plus-size, and child modeling, among others.
How to become a model
Here are the steps to becoming a model in South Africa:
Develop your modeling skills and knowledge
While natural talent and physical features are important, modeling is a profession that requires a certain level of skill and technique. Consider taking classes or workshops to learn about posing, facial expressions, walking in heels, and other modeling basics. Some modeling schools and agencies offer training programs, but be cautious of scams and do your research before investing in any courses.
Build your portfolio
A portfolio is a collection of professional photos that showcase your range, versatility, and potential as a model. Collaborate with photographers, makeup artists, and stylists to create a variety of looks that highlight your strengths and unique features. Include headshots, full body shots, and shots in different outfits and settings. Your portfolio should be high quality and tailored to the type of modeling you’re interested in.
Research and approach reputable modeling agencies
A modeling agency can help you find work, negotiate contracts, and provide guidance and support throughout your career. Do your research and look for established and reputable agencies that represent models in your desired category (e.g. fashion, commercial, fitness). Check their websites or social media pages for information on how to submit your portfolio, and follow their instructions carefully.
Attend open casting calls and modeling events
Open casting calls are opportunities for models to meet with agents or clients in person, and potentially get signed or hired on the spot. Check social media or online listings for upcoming casting calls or modeling events in your area. Dress professionally, bring your portfolio, and be prepared to demonstrate your skills and personality.
Be persistent and patient
The modeling industry can be highly competitive and unpredictable, and success may not come overnight. Keep working on your skills, improving your portfolio, and networking with industry professionals. Don’t get discouraged by rejections or setbacks, and stay focused on your goals.
Overall, becoming a model in South Africa requires a combination of talent, hard work, and perseverance. By investing in your skills, building a strong portfolio, and connecting with reputable agencies and clients, you can increase your chances of success in the industry.
Requirements for being a model
The requirements for becoming a model in South Africa can vary depending on the type of modeling you are interested in pursuing. However, here are some general requirements that are typically considered by modeling agencies and clients:
- Age: Most modeling agencies in South Africa require models to be at least 16 years old, although some may accept younger models for certain types of modeling such as child modeling.
- Height: Height requirements for models can vary depending on the type of modeling, but in general, fashion models in South Africa should be at least 5’9″ (175cm) for females and 6’0″ (183cm) for males. However, there are also opportunities for models who do not meet these height requirements to work in other areas of modeling such as commercial or fitness.
- Body type: Models are expected to maintain a healthy and toned body. While there are no specific measurements required, most fashion and commercial modeling agencies in South Africa look for models who have a well-proportioned body and clear skin.
- Personality: Models are expected to be confident, outgoing, and professional in their behavior. They must be able to take direction well and work well in a team setting.
- Professionalism: Models are expected to be reliable, punctual, and dedicated to their work. They must have a positive attitude and be willing to put in the time and effort required to succeed in the industry.
In addition to these requirements, it’s important for models to have a strong portfolio, good communication skills, and the ability to adapt to different situations and clients. By meeting these requirements and working on your skills and portfolio, you can increase your chances of success as a model in South Africa.
Who are some of the top modelling agencies in South Africa
There are many reputable modeling agencies in South Africa, each with their own specialties and focus areas. Here are some of the top modeling agencies in South Africa:
- Boss Models: Boss Models is one of the leading modeling agencies in South Africa, with offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg. They represent models in a variety of categories, including fashion, commercial, and fitness.
- Fusion Models: Fusion Models is a Johannesburg-based modeling agency that represents models in the fashion, commercial, and editorial fields. They have a diverse range of models on their roster, including plus-size and disabled models.
- Ice Model Management: Ice Model Management has offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg and represents models in a range of categories, including fashion, commercial, and child modeling.
- Outlaws Model Agency: Outlaws Model Agency is based in Cape Town and represents models in the fashion, commercial, and editorial fields. They have a strong reputation for representing models with unique and alternative looks.
- Figures Model Management: Figures Model Management is a boutique modeling agency based in Johannesburg that specializes in representing high-end fashion models. They have a strong focus on model development and have helped launch the careers of several successful models.
These are just a few examples of the many reputable modeling agencies in South Africa. When considering an agency, it’s important to do your research, read reviews, and speak with current and former models to get a sense of the agency’s reputation and how well they might fit with your own modeling goals and aspirations.
How much do South African models get paid?
The pay for models in South Africa can vary widely depending on factors such as the type of modeling, the model’s experience and reputation, and the specific job or campaign. Generally, experienced and established models can earn higher rates than those who are just starting out.
For fashion models, rates can range from around R500 to R5,000 per hour, with an average rate of around R1,000 to R2,000 per hour. For commercial modeling, rates can be higher, with some models earning up to R20,000 per day or more for a major campaign.
It’s important to note that models in South Africa are often classified as independent contractors rather than employees, which means they are responsible for their own taxes, healthcare, and other expenses. Models may also have to pay fees or commissions to their agencies, which can affect their take-home pay.
It’s worth noting that these figures are general estimates and can vary widely depending on individual circumstances. It’s important for models to negotiate fair rates for their work and to have a good understanding of industry standards and practices.
Benefits of being a model
There are several potential benefits to being a model, which can vary depending on the type of modeling you pursue and your level of success in the industry. Here are a few possible benefits of being a model:
- Exposure and visibility: Models can gain exposure and visibility in the fashion and entertainment industries, which can lead to other career opportunities, such as acting or hosting.
- Travel opportunities: Modeling can provide opportunities to travel to different locations for photo shoots, fashion shows, and other events.
- Financial rewards: Successful models can earn substantial incomes through modeling, which can provide financial stability and independence.
- Personal growth and development: Modeling can help individuals develop confidence, poise, and professionalism. It can also provide opportunities to network and meet other creative professionals in the industry.
- Access to fashion and beauty products: Models can receive access to fashion and beauty products, which can help them stay up-to-date with the latest trends and styles.
- Positive impact on body image: Modeling can help promote a positive body image and self-confidence for individuals who are underrepresented in mainstream media, such as plus-size or disabled models.
It’s important to note that modeling can be a highly competitive and demanding industry, and success is not guaranteed. However, for those who are passionate about modeling and willing to put in the time and effort required to succeed, there can be many potential benefits to this career path.
Challenges of being a model
Like in any industry, there are challenges that come with being a model in South Africa. Here are some of the main challenges that models in South Africa might face:
- Fierce competition: The modeling industry in South Africa is highly competitive, and there are many aspiring models vying for a limited number of opportunities.
- Lack of diversity: Although the industry has made strides towards diversity and inclusion in recent years, many models in South Africa still face discrimination based on factors like race, body size, and disability.
- Unpredictable work schedules: Models often work on a freelance basis, which means their work schedules can be unpredictable and subject to last-minute changes.
- Low pay for new and emerging models: Starting out as a model in South Africa can be financially challenging, as many new and emerging models are paid relatively low rates or may even be expected to work for free to gain experience.
- Pressure to maintain a certain appearance: Models are often expected to maintain a specific look or body type, which can be difficult and even harmful to their physical and mental health.
- Exploitation and abuse: Unfortunately, some models in South Africa may experience exploitation, abuse, or harassment by industry professionals, which can be damaging to their well-being and career prospects.
It’s important to be aware of these challenges and to have a strong support system in place to help navigate them. Modeling can be a rewarding career, but it’s important to enter the industry with a realistic understanding of its demands and potential obstacles.
In conclusion, becoming a model in South Africa requires meeting certain requirements and navigating the challenges of the industry. Some of the requirements to become a model in South Africa include having a unique and photogenic look, being in good physical shape, and having a professional attitude and work ethic.
The industry can be highly competitive, and models may face challenges such as discrimination, low pay, unpredictable schedules, pressure to maintain a certain appearance, and even exploitation or abuse. Despite these challenges, modeling can be a rewarding career for those who are passionate about the industry and willing to work hard to achieve their goals.