Glamour and other types of modelling
The definitions of the various types of modelling and the terms used to describe them vary greatly. This glossary is neither exhaustive nor necessarily accurate to everybody's understanding. The descriptions are my own - check out other sites, too.
Glamour is the holy grail of many aspiring models. "I want to be a model" very often means "I want to be a glamour model". In the past, glamour meant Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall and, possibly top of the list, Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Later, glamour meant Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and Alain Delon.
Glamour was the lifestyle of the famous and the rich (think Onassis and the Grimaldi family) with their yachts, exotic cars, expensive hotels and exquisite jewelry - and it was not about modelling.
Today's understanding of glamour modelling is difficult to define because it can mean anything: page 3, boys' magazines, top shelf magazines and even hardcore. At least in Britain, the term glamour modelling is commonly used for models, who appear in glossy boys' magazines, on calendars and in similar publications. Usually, glamour modelling involves a suggestive girl in a bikini, transparent or similar outfit - also topless or nude, but not particularly explicit - with an artificially inflated bust and lots of glossy make-up, trying to give young (18-25 year old) male readers of various magazines a moist bulge in their trousers, which makes them, once recovered, buy the next edition of said magazine.
Depending on your viewpoint, glamour modelling is either cheap and derogatory - or a girl power thing. In essence, glamour has become cheap and distinctly unglamorous.
Thinking that you are beautiful and spending thousands on a set of new breasts won't guarantee a spot on the cover of a magazine. You might attract someone with more money than hair.
How to become a glamour model
As with all other types of modelling, it takes hard work, discipline and luck. Make sure you meet the requirements and don't fall for the various modelling scams. If you are considering cosmetic surgery, remember that looks and physical attributes come and go, depending on the fashion of the moment. Surgery tends to be a little more permanent.
On all modelling assignments you should be prepared for at least some degree of nudity. It is a reasonable assumption that a model should not be all too prude. Still, it must be your choice.
Nude modelling in art and art photography
Nudes, artistic nudes, fine art nudes or simply body or figure is usually an artistic interpretation of the human body. Often very innocent, it can also be extremely explicit and sexually aggressive if it helps the artist get his message across. Whatever it is you are asked to do, even if you find it shocking at first, is never to titillate but to aid artistic expression.
There are no universally accepted definitions of what constitutes art and what separates it from pornography. Often, pornography is defined as the representation of the human body with the aim of sexual arousal, created purely for financial gains.
Then again, a work of art could have sexual arousal as its central theme. Consider this: Some of Egon Schiele's (Austrian painter; 1890 - 1918) work is extremely explicit, sexually stimulating and was considered pornographic at the time. The same can be said for some of Gustav Klimt's (Austrian painter; 1862 - 1918) work, particularly his drawings. And yet, both are today considered to be among the greatest, most important artists.
Other types of nude modelling
There are many more types of nude work with even more names, which have nothing in common with artistic interpretation: adult, hardcore, open leg, Continental, boy/girl, girl/girl, boy/boy, etc., often simply referred to (rightly or not) as pornography.
The more explicit the work you are considering, the more difficult it is for you to say no if you do not want to do something. Be careful when considering photo shoots that involve (foreign) travel. The offer of a few weeks in sunny California (or wherever) may be tempting but you may find yourself grounded in the middle of nowhere with your passport and return flight ticket confiscated ("kept safe"), which makes you very vulnerable.
Nude means no clothes
If you decide to model nude, it means that you are not wearing any clothes. Sounds obvious? You cannot model nude but, at the same time, not want to show this or that part of your body. If you model nude, it's all of you.
The term "implied nude" is a favourite with aspiring models, who fancy the idea but promptly get frightened by their own courage. The term is also nonsensical. You are either nude or not. If implied nude were a linguistically proper term, we would all be implied dead.
The artist may decide to partly cover you but as a nude model you have to offer your whole body.
Make up your mind what you are prepared to do, then discuss and agree with the photographer in advance and in detail what is expected of you - and stick to it.
So-called, because models pose - usually naked - for an artist to draw, paint, sculpt, etc., "from life". Life models are sometimes also used by photographers, but some life models choose not to undertake photographic work.
Like all modelling, life modelling is not just about sitting still, it is to realise an artist's idea with one's body. Life models need to be creative. A good life model is able to push the boundaries of poses and inspire the artist. Life models need to hold positions often for extended periods of time, anything from three to thirty minutes. Life modelling is a physically very demanding job, only suitable for the fit, healthy and self-disciplined.
Work includes posing for painters, sculptors, arts classes and sometimes photographers. Pay is relatively low but many life models charge more for photographic work and the job can be extremely rewarding.
One of the few authoritative websites for life models is the Register of Artists' Models (RAM).
Fashion modelling and catwalk
The term fashion modelling covers a wide range of work: from editorials and covers for fashion magazines to commercial advertising campaigns for manufacturers, including the top brands. Catwalk means modelling clothes in fashion shows.
Perceived to be glamorous, it is very hard work, very difficult to get into and only a few models make it to the top. You are probably more likely to win the lottery. Distinctive facial features are on and off in demand but the requirements and expectations change constantly. You need to be tall, thin and young.
Models appear in catalogues of major chains and mail order shops and on their online shops on the Internet. You could be advertising anything - clothes, kitchen accessories, cleaning products and anything else.
Average looks are sought, requirements are somewhat more relaxed and a little closer to the real world - but this still means having a dream body. There are niches, though, for models of a different age and shape.
In this section:
What makes Wolf Kettler Photographer different to the average photographer.
See examples of Wolf's work in the photography portfolio.
All about the photo sessions, services, products and prices.
Find out about modelling opportunities with Wolf.
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