Column: Personal tips and tricks from a model

Photographer: Michel Zoeter

Last week you could discover my story as a young model, who I am and what my course has been till where I am now. Today I’m sharing with you some answers on frequently asked questions and personal tips and tricks. This might help you to make your dream, as a model, come true!

On Instagram, Facebook and any other Social Media channel I have, I often get a lot of questions, especially as I am a young model and still growing in the business. These questions often come from younger girls who are following my work or from other who are interested in my story. And even if I don’t have all the answers, I will always do my best to give the best informations possible.

They often say: “It’s only for the happy few.” Well, we are all unique and deserve a chance to make it!

As you know it all started when I was eight years old and I danced for a well-known dance company in Belgium. This studio is one of the largest ones and work for many (kids) TV shows. So when I had the opportunity to make videoclips for them, they told my mom that I should try modeling work as they believed that there would be a future for me in that world. My mom followed up their feedback and that’s when the first bookings came in. But how can you become a model without having any background?

The first thing we did was subscribing me into different casting agencies. And there are many of them! Try therefore to find an agency that fits with your future goals, with a team that motivates you to always give the best of you and that will find the deals you’ve been looking for. Any agency that doesn’t feel like the right match is probably not the right one for you. Keep looking, make appointments and it will all start from there.

Once we found a couple of agencies, they were the ones that gave me the first chances in commercial shoots. Since the start of our collaborations I had the chance to work for example for Leonidas, Lotto and Orange. And if you wonder which ones have very good energy, here are the few I know: The Profiles (Ghent), Casting Sien Jospephine (Antwerp) and Casting Studio (Ghent). PS: be flexible as deals and work might pop-up only a few days before the actual photoshoot date!

When I did commercials and I still love to do it, I learned how the whole modeling world worked. There’s a make up and styling team who are taking care of your hair, outfit, your looks and the overall image. You also have the director who’s managing the whole shoot and the most important thing you need on a setting is patience. Why? Because we often have to do it over and over again till we reach the perfect shot! But at the end, when you see the final work, you know that it was all worth the hard work.

The next important step is Social Media. When we discovered the most important platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and now even TikTok or 21Buttons, we didn’t expect it to be such a big deal to have strong profiles, but it definitely is as clients often search for that one particular and unique face. And if you’re very active on Social Media, you might have an extra chance that they discover you as well. Share your shoots, backstage shots and the finals results. Show your day through Instagram Stories as people love to see the real you and what a day as model looks like and be you. It’s also the perfect channel to create a community and to share work of others, what they will always appreciate if you do.

But next to having a good and professional Social Media account(s), you definitely need a nice portfolio to present to your clients. And this is how the next question pops up: How do you build a strong portfolio?

Most of the models start with doing photoshoot on TFP-bases. This means “Time for pictures” and are non-paid jobs. It’s a way for both, or the whole team including the make up artist, to create pictures to build up their portfolio. It can be a shoot for a specific theme, a try-out of new equipment etc. On modeling platforms you often see this questions and opportunity popping up and when you have some extra time, it’s the best way to create new images. But of course you also need commercial shoots or other professional images to present these to your future clients.

As I danced in the Studio and I always had some small photoshoot opportunities before, I was lucky to have a couple of first pictures that I could put into my portfolio. And after meeting up with amazing photographers such as Ton Van Liempd and Bert Schaeffer, we worked out a lot of other projects that made my portfolio more complete. Also remember that if you love what you’re doing, things are coming more easily then when you’re doing it without passion. Therefore always look for photographers that understand who you are, what you need and find some strong collaborations where both parties can rely on each other. It’s like finding a matching agency. You will know and feel when there’s the right connection.

Another tip I want to give you is that you need to dare to pose. Go stand in front of a mirror and try some poses out. Find inspiration in other peoples images, try to reproduce these shots in private and find out what your best angles are. Exercise on creating the right eye-looks for different emotions such as looking in love or having a sad expression. It’s super important to train this. But also make sure that your poses are elegant, smooth and powerful. No photographer is looking for a model that doesn’t know which expression or pose she has to make. Time is money and being prepared for a photoshoot is super important. Let your creativity flow while posing and dare to step out of your comfort zone to discover new talents which are hidden in you. In this way you will grow on a daily base!

However, one of the most asked questions I get is about girls who are wondering if they should be a size zero and the answer is NO! You are you and it’s more than perfect. Remember that everyone is unique in their own way and has something to offer to the world. Also agencies nowadays are looking more and more for genuine, natural models with a strong personality. Models that are happy with who they are and who shine when walking through the door. Loving yourself isn’t only when you have a size Zero or having that flat stomach. Love comes from the inside and shines out through your eyes! People see that too, believe me.

Of course it’s often easier said than done as we are all very critical for ourselves. Also I am too and I often catch myself doing it when I look at myself in the mirror. Then I always think “my hips and thighs could be smaller” but hey! I love dancing and this is who I am: a professional dancer with strong legs! And in the end, it’s my strength.

And last but not least: always take care of yourself. Give your skin the love it deserves and hydrate it enough. Treat your hair with the right products so the stylists have healthy and good hair to work with. If you give your body all the love you can, you will feel the love from within as well. And if you have a bad day or negative response on a shoot: never forget to hold on to your dreams. If you have the right people around you, whether you’re a fashion- or sports model, they will motivate you day in and day out. Through your whole process!

Every one can chase their dreams and if you work hard enough for it, you will achieve them!

Good luck and love, Margaux

This article has been written in collaboration with @MARGAUX.DECKERS

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