Commercial Modeling: How to Become a Commercial Model. You don’t have to be tall or a specific body type to break into the modeling world. Commercial modeling embraces all looks, ages, and body shapes for advertising campaigns and product marketing.
What Is Commercial Modeling?
In the modeling industry, commercial modeling is a niche type of modeling that uses relatable, everyday people in advertisements selling products and services. Unlike runway modeling, which often favors models that conform to a sample size, the commercial modeling industry embraces all ages and body types to represent a wide swath of the population.
The commercial modeling world welcomes plus-size models, petite models, and older models for catalogs, TV advertisements, editorial modeling, fitness modeling, and more.
Fashion Modeling vs. Commercial Modeling
Though fashion and commercial modeling share some things, they differ in crucial ways. Some of the areas where they differ include:
- Age: Fashion models tend to skew younger, usually between eighteen and thirty-five years old. Because commercial models represent the world at large, including young children and older people, the commercial modeling world welcomes all ages.
- Attractiveness: In fashion modeling, your perceived attractiveness means a great deal. Female models usually have symmetrical features and a unique look: beautiful eyes, a stunning smile, or high cheekbones, while male models tend to be chiseled and handsome. Commercial models can look like the average person.
- Height: Fashion models, particularly female runway models, tend to be taller than average, between 5’9″ and 6’ tall. Commercial models can be any height, and petite models tend to be shorter than average.
- Physical fitness: While fashion models tend to be slim and fit, commercial models cover the gamut of all physical types. In recent years, many clothing companies have included plus-size models in their advertising campaigns and fashion shows to be more inclusive.
- Work environment: Fashion and commercial models work in front of the camera for photo shoots. Often fashion models shoot images for use in fashion magazines, displaying high-end clothing brands, while commercial models often shoot advertisements for products and off-the-rack clothes. Fashion models also participate in fashion shows where they walk a runway or catwalk in front of an audience.
How to Become a Commercial Model
Follow these steps to begin your commercial modeling career:
- Build your modeling portfolio. A model portfolio contains photographs that show your look to prospective modeling agents, casting directors, and clients. A professional photographer and a hair and makeup artist can help you create a comprehensive selection of photos with different looks to build out your portfolio for submissions.
- Practice in front of a camera. As an aspiring model, you’ll want to feel as comfortable as possible during photo shoots. Practicing photographic poses with different emotions, looks, and moods will help you feel more confident when you have a professional modeling job. Learn more about how to pose for photos.
- Build a website and a social media presence. A professional website gives potential modeling agents and clients access to your portfolio and information about you in one easy place. Creating profiles on social media platforms for your work can help build your professional brand. It also offers a way to network with industry professionals and connect with other commercial models breaking into the industry. Learn how to use social media with tips from Kris Jenner.
- Secure modeling representation. A commercial modeling agency or model management company can help you find professional work. Before reaching out to potential modeling agents or managers, research their companies and clients. Many modeling and talent agencies have online submission portals for new faces or list agents you can contact directly via email. Learn more about how to get a modeling agent with supermodel Naomi Campbell.
- Attend open calls. Some modeling agencies hold open-call auditions to scout for new talent. You can check agency websites or online entertainment industry casting call websites for opportunities in your city.
- Always be professional. Like most professions, your reputation helps spread the word of your value as a successful commercial model. Always strive to be kind, professional, patient, and respectful when you meet or work with others in your field.