Models are the kings and queens of the catwalk. The word “modeling” often brings up images of high fashion, but shows aren’t the only thing that models do. If you look in magazines and newspapers, you’ll see an amalgamation of people posing in advertisements for goods and services.
Those are commercial models, an important part of the business industry. If you’ve decided the runway isn’t for you, you might find your place in front of the flash of a camera. Let’s find out how you can get started.
There's a way to fast track your commercial modeling career (join a modeling agency that specializes in commercial modeling).
We recommend John Casablancas Modeling Centers - they have a proven track record of helping aspiring commercial models.
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What is a Commercial Model?
A commercial model is a person you see in ads. Plenty of companies enlist celebrities to help sell things, but many businesses can’t afford to do that. They’ll be looking for commercial models, and that’s where you come in.
People looking to hire commercial models will typically be less interested in tall and physically fit models and are more likely to hire models that the average person can relate to. They want to make their product seem useful to the average consumer.
People are drawn to familiarity. Average features tend to come off as more attractive to the average person, and if a company is unable to hire an actor that people are already familiar with, they will hire one with the kind of face that the consumer could have seen over and over again.
In commercial modeling, there is as much of a need for men as women, so this is also one area of modeling where masculine-presenting people have higher chances of landing a job, though females are still prevalent in the industry. If you are a male-identifying model, this may be a good area for you to break into the industry.
How Much Does a Commercial Model Make?
The average commercial model makes about $64,000 a year. There are a lot of factors that impact this. The area you live in, what advertisements local companies are making, and whether or not you are working through an agency affect how much you get paid.
Finding jobs on your own is likely to limit your opportunities, and if you live in a more rural area, the jobs available to you will be fewer than the ones you might have gotten in the city. In some cities, the average pay for a commercial model will be much higher than the national average. This is something to research before you commit to making this a career.
How to Become a Commercial Model
If you love photoshoots, commercial modeling is right up your alley. Models looking for a down-to-earth experience and those discriminated against because of their race, gender, or body type often find careers in commercial modeling.
If you’ve made it this far, you probably know that this is the modeling style for you. But how do you get started?
Make a Portfolio
Whether you’re interviewing for a modeling job or wanting to join an agency, you will want an example of what you can do. A portfolio with pictures of your modeling will go a long way towards securing the spot.
A standard portfolio includes at least one body shot, one clean face shot, and several images of you in various situations and poses. For commercial modeling, a lighter tone will generally be more appropriate. Find opportunities to show off your smile; people want to buy the products that will make them happy!
It’s important to hire a professional photographer to take these pictures. You want them to be clean and look good. Showing up with less than professional images in your portfolio is the hallmark of an amateur model and probably not the first impression you want to give when you go in for an interview.
Put Together a Composite Card
A composite card, or comp-card, is the business card of the modeling world. It consists of at least five images of you and a brief description of who you are and what you’ve done.
In commercial modeling particularly, the people hiring you will be busy with other things. They have a business to run, meetings to get to, and hundreds of people interviewing with them every day. Not all of them are going to have time to go through your entire portfolio or even interview you like a regular job.
A good comp-card can set you apart from your competitors without you having to say a word.
Find an Agency
As with any other kind of modeling, a good agent protects you and vets your jobs to find you the very best ones. It’s safer for you to work with a modeling agency and it makes you look more professional to your prospective employers.
If you work without an agent, you risk taking jobs from scam artists, not being paid for your work, or even working in an unsafe environment.
In most kinds of modeling, the picture speaks for itself. This is also true in commercial modeling but in a different way. The advertisements you are likely to be cast in are selling a narrative as much as a product; when people look at the picture of you eating the salad the company is trying to sell, they want to believe you’re enjoying it as much as you look like you are.
In this regard, being able to portray feelings to an audience is a great asset. Acting classes can help you learn how to move and emote professionally so that you’ll always be able to display exactly what your client wants to see.
If you are interested in modeling but don’t want to make a living walking the runway, commercial modeling might be the right career move for you. Get some professional photos for your portfolio, practice that winning smile, and see what agencies are looking for new talent. With a little bit of work and a little bit of luck, your commercial career might be right around the corner.