Putting Together a Modeling Portfolio: Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

DO – Great pose, composition and futuristic mood by Oladimeji Odunsi

When first beginning a career as a model, you likely won’t have many contacts in the industry. Before establishing the kind of reputation that will open doors and secure bookings, the only way to get a start in the business is simply by having a really strong portfolio, full of top quality photography.

The problem is, when you’re new to the modeling world it can be difficult to identify all the different elements that go into making a good photograph. You might know what you like when you see it on Instagram, but the fashion world doesn’t always function in the same way as social media.

And so some of your favorite photos might not in fact be the ones that will get you jobs.

How do you go about putting together a professional looking modeling portfolio?

Which kinds of images should you include? And, perhaps more importantly, which ones should you leave out?

In large part this is a question of good taste. But taste is not something anybody is born with. And nor can taste be easily explained: it’s just something you come to instinctively know. Indeed, good taste develops over time, with experience.

Looking on the positive side, then, this at least offers some hope for those of us who still can’t tell the difference between a good and a bad fashion photograph: sooner or later we’ll acquire this knowledge. Yet knowing this doesn’t help us to solve the immediate problem of which photos to put in our portfolio.

Luckily though, even if you are still relatively new to the world of photography and styling, there are some pointers you can look out for when trying to decide which images you should – and should not – include in your modeling portfolio. Here we take a look at some of the most important ones in turn.

DON’T – With its awkward pose, over the top styling, unconvincing retouching, and weird color palette, this photo is a master-class in how not to shoot a good fashion image.

Know Your Market

The photos in your portfolio need to be appropriate to the kind of work you are suited to doing as a model. There’s no point in selecting super arty fashion images if your look is classic beauty and you’re more suited to commercial work – such as lifestyle advertising or swimwear catalogues.

Likewise, it would be pointless to fill your book with clean and romantic wedding-style images if you’ve got a strong, quirky, or characteristic face that will be more of interest to high fashion and cutting edge editorial clients.

DO!! – High Fashion oriented test photoshoot by Nick Karvounis

As a rule, if your look is quite commercial, you’ll probably want to use photos with a fairly upbeat vibe, clean lighting, and showing you in scenarios of the kind typically seen in lifestyle advertising campaigns. On the other hand, if your face is more likely to end up on the cover of I-D or Dazed than helping to sell coffee or toothpaste, then you will want to avoid overly clean and commercial photography and go for more arty, moody, and even aggressive images.

DO!! – Commercial style photo by Eduardo Dutra

This means that you need to have a clear and objective understanding of your look as a model.

If in doubt, ask for advice from photographers, stylists and other industry professionals.

Consulting friends with no fashion industry experience is probably not a good idea though, as the average person has a very inaccurate understanding of what makes a good model – usually just assuming that the main qualification is classic physical attractiveness. So asking your mom, partner, or friends whether they think you are best suited to mainstream advertising or edgy editorial will likely not prove very illuminating.

Also, note that the kinds of photos required for a good acting portfolio usually differ somewhat from those appropriate for fashion modeling. For actors, photos tend to be less about strong atmosphere and style, and much more about clearly showing your face and personality. Indeed, acting photography is often quite simple and neutral, with more emphasis on expression and movement, and showing the actor’s ability to adapt to a wide range of characters and roles.

DO!! – Acting portrait of Dash by Ylane Duparc

Naturally, some models will need to cover more than one market – say commercial advertising and acting. If this applies to you, you’ll probably need to include both styles of photography in your portfolio.


DON’T – Inappropriate and overly-dominant styling can detract from the effect your photos will have on the viewer

There’s a reason why people hire professional stylists: not all of us dress as well as we think we do. Just because you’re aiming to put together a fashion portfolio doesn’t mean you should fill it with lots of obvious fashion items. That’s the stylist’s or client’s job once you get booked for a shoot.

But if your portfolio contains unsophisticated styling – overly fussy outfits in cheap synthetic materials; fast-fashion; clothes that are no longer on trend, or perhaps never werethen you may never get that booking in the first place.

Your portfolio needs to show off your potential as a model, not your talents (or lack of them) as a stylist. Many industry professionals will be seriously put-off by bad styling in your photos. And if they are too busy looking at glaring fashion crimes, they’ll likely not be paying all that much attention to you and your true talents as a model.

However, if you don’t have a good stylist who you can work with, then clearly you’ll have no choice but to do things yourself. But even if you feel confident in this area though, try to keep the styling as neutral as possible. Any item of clothing that is super on-trend today will be totally out of fashion tomorrow – meaning that your photos will have a very short lifespan before they become embarrassing and unusable. Be particularly cautious about adding any showy accessories to your outfit.

Instead, go for classic and unfussy items, in just one or two simple colors, as these will be much less likely to date quickly. You can also ask the photographer to make less of a feature of the clothes by means of the lighting or framing.  

DO!! – In this photo the styling is barely noticeable, making the image all about the model and her expression.


Skillful use of studio lighting can transform a good photo into an amazing one. But bad studio lighting will look cheap and amateurish. The problem is, if you are not an experienced professional photographer, you are probably not qualified to judge what classes as “good “ or “bad” studio lighting.

However, many of the people viewing your book will have years of experience in this area, and will immediately be able to spot the difference. And if they don’t like the lighting in your photos, this will detract from their overall impression of your portfolio.

Rather than going for dramatically lit photos that risk alienating your audience, better to stick to ones taken using natural light, as these are less at risk of looking cheesy or fake. In any case, natural light is incredibly versatile, and a talented photographer will be able to work with the available lighting to create a variety of moods.

With that said, if you’ve worked with an experienced photographer who is already at a high level in their career, and they used studio lighting on your shoot, you should of course put your complete trust in their photographic abilities. Just bear in mind that in photography “a high level” does not simply mean having lots of Instagram followers, but actual commissions from prestigious magazines and clients.

Framing and Point of View

Photos in your portfolio should be about you, not about showing how talented the photographer is. Mostly you’ll want photos without any distracting elements coming into frame, and maybe with the background nicely blurred out. This way you can be sure that the viewer is looking at you – not at the photographer’s clever composition, or worse still, at some annoying detail the photographer accidentally included in the background.

Be wary of selecting photos for your portfolio that were shot using a wide angle lens, as these distort perspective and are unflattering for the face. They are also likely to include much more background in the shot, while also keeping these background elements relatively in focus – and therefore potentially distracting.

DON’T – Be careful where you plant that palm tree!

Similarly, avoid using any photos where your position in the frame coincides with background elements (blurred or otherwise), as these can be annoying for the viewer. Classic examples of this are when trees or lampposts appear to “grow” out of a model’s head.

In short, try to select images with a simple, graphic composition and which don’t include a lot of unnecessary clutter and distractions in the frame.

Expression and Pose

DON’T – The pose needs to tell a coherent story

For some reason, when people think of high fashion photos, they often imagine melodramatic and over-the-top poses. Or models looking longingly off into the distance, their hair glamorously tussled by a wind-machine. Yes, occasionally a well-known photographer might go for a very stylized and camp look (some, like David LaChapelle, have even made a career out of it). But such photos tend to be the exception. In any case, when poses are seriously exaggerated in this way, it’s likely because the photographer is looking for an effect that is quite tongue in cheek.

For the rest of us, though, it’s better to avoid the “arms in the air and shielding your eyes from the atom bomb” pose. Or indeed anything remotely similar.

DON’T – Nothing can compete with a woman’s love for…rustic masonry.

Even quite simple and undramatic poses can look bad if they are stiff, unnatural, or make no sense within the context of the photo: for example, one leg slightly raised or a hand touching the wall for no apparent reason.

DON’T – “What do you mean? I always stand on one leg with an arm over my head”

And watch out for nervous reactions such as running your fingers through your hair or placing a hand on your temple or forehead. For some reason the latter is a favorite pose of non-professional male models  – perhaps because they believe it makes them look pensive and mysterious, like James Dean.

DON’T – Placing your hands in unnatural positions such as this will only make you look like you are uncomfortable in front of the camera. Better to remain relaxed and natural in your pose.

In reality, what these poses actually look like is that the photographer didn’t give sufficient direction to the model; and feeling self-conscious in front of the camera, the model tried to think of something to do with their hands. Even many top models feel self-conscious when being photographed. That’s totally normal. What’s important is that the self-consciousness doesn’t come across in the photos: rather than striking weird poses, focus on building inner strength and charisma.

A good fashion photograph has a lot in common with a good portrait. And just as with a portrait, where you place your hands (or indeed any other part of your body) isn’t as important as what’s going on inside your mind. Get into the right mood and mental state, and this will show in your posture, on your face, and in how you play with the camera. I.e. work on how you feel inside, and your external pose will come naturally. After that it’s the photographer’s job to capture the moment.

And here we get to one of the most important points: the pose you strike in a shot is only 50% your responsibility. Fashion photography is always a collaborative process, and the results depend upon there being a strong rapport between model and photographer.

This might mean that the photographer gives you clear instruction as to what they want you to do, explaining their concept and objectives in a way that’s easy to understand. But it can also be as simple as demonstrating respect for you, and leaving you room to be yourself. Or developing a relaxed and positive working environment. Even if the shoot takes place in near-silence, there can be an unspoken understanding; like you are both tuned into the same vibe, with the same goals.

DON’T – It seems unlikely that anyone would spontaneously choose to lean against the middle of a window. Aside from anything else, it just doesn’t look very comfortable. A suspicion that is confirmed by the unnatural and tense positioning of the model’s hands. Bad styling and heavy-handed retouching complete the shot.

Remember: If you feel uncomfortable (either physically or in any other way); you probably look uncomfortable. Conversely, if you feel relaxed, confident, and at ease; you’ll likely look great. If the photographer has put you in an unusual pose, ask yourself why? What’s the point? And if you can’t think of any reason why somebody would naturally assume that position other than because a photographer asked them too, then it probably doesn’t work. And if it feels awkward, it likely looks even more awkward.

Really though, the word “pose” is part of the problem, as it suggests a fixed position. Good photographs usually come out of a situation that is more lively and spontaneous, or just simple and relaxed. Look at campaigns for the brand Margaret Howell by Alasdair McLellan: one of the most important fashion photographers working right now. There’s no ridiculous posing. No exaggerated facial expressions. Just simple, confident postures and a good dose of attitude from the model.

DON’T – Even a fairly simple and undramatic pose can look bad if it is stiff and inhibited looking.

Retouching and Filters

DON’T – In this case an otherwise quite acceptable photo has been ruined by a very obvious black vignette and totally unnatural skin retouching

As with pretty much anything in fashion photography, the higher you move up in the industry, the more subtle and under-stated things tend to become. Again, there are exceptions here, but most top-end fashion photography will at least look like it hasn’t been messed around with too much in photoshop. In reality of course, a lot of postproduction work may have been done to the images – but this will rarely be apparent to the average viewer.

Photos that rely upon a lot of heavy-handed postproduction in order to “pop” (e.g. crazy colors and exaggerated sharpening effects) are not good photos. Avoid using obvious Instagram-style filters that radically alter the colors or contrast of your images. And forego the temptation to add a dense, black vignette around the edge of the frame. Other effects that will cheapen the look of your photos include HD (high definition) photography and the old trick of turning a photo to black and white, leaving just one element still in color (red shoes, blue eyes etc.).

And what about skin retouching? Well, there’s a big difference between removing a few imperfections and adjusting skin tone so it looks healthy, versus the amateurish application of Photoshop “frequency separation” techniques (you know, the ones that leave the model’s face looking like a featureless, glowing pancake).

Again, if it looks natural, it probably looks good. But if you can easily see what the photographer has done, that’s usually a bad sign.

Watermarks, Logos, and Graphics

As mentioned in our recent guide to managing photographer’s image rights, adding a watermark or logo to a photo isn’t particularly classy. And while graphics of this kind tend to be more tolerated within fully commercial styles of photography – particularly wedding photography for some reason –  they are definitely off-limits for anyone trying to build a modeling career in the edgier, more creative, and higher end of the fashion industry.

Of course, it’s perfectly reasonable that a photographer might want their work to be credited in your portfolio – especially if the photo was from an unpaid test shoot. However, there are more subtle and sophisticated ways of achieving this than by adding tacky graphics directly over the image itself. If a photographer has provided you with the files from a shoot with a watermark or logo already on them, you’d do well to ask for clean copies. Instead you can offer to add a simple typed credit next to the photo in your book and promise not to share these files without the photographer’s permission.

It almost goes without saying though, that the above advice only applies to graphics of a “personal branding” variety. But if the photos are from editorial work or an advertising campaign for a prestigious client, you will of course want to show this off in your portfolio by using tear sheets or original digital files – complete with branding and logo etc.

Final Thoughts

DON’T – Unnatural colors, overly retouched skin, a distracting earring, and an obviously fake pose all combine to make this image a poor choice for the model’s portfolio

Nobody expects your portfolio to be filled with totally cutting edge fashion items and world-class photography right from day one. Anyone in the fashion industry who knows what they are doing will be able to spot your potential without the need for you to spell it out with over the top photography and styling.

In any case, individual photographers, stylists, and clients tend to vary considerably in what they are looking for in a model’s portfolio. While some will definitely be paying attention to the photography and clothes to get an idea of the kind of editorial and commissions you’ve previously worked on, others will mostly skip the professional images and go directly to your polaroids at the back of the book.

This is because some people are less interested in learning how another photographer or stylist has used lighting, clothing, hair, and makeup etc to change your appearance. After all, they might not even like that particular photographer or stylist’s work. Instead, they want to see who you are “in the raw.”  To find out what makes you you, so that they can interpret your talent in a way that works with their own creative vision.

For this reason, when putting together a modeling portfolio, you should try to select a good mix of images: from strongly styled and more obviously fashion-oriented shots to some very neutral “straight up” portraits that show who you are in your more natural state.

As a general rule though, the simpler and more natural looking a photograph is, the better a candidate it’s likely to be for putting in your book. Keep the photography subtle and understated, so it’s you that shines.

Influence Marketing: Power Posing at the Pitti Circus

A visitor being photographed at Pitti.
A visitor being photographed at Pitti.

There’s a major power shift taking place within the fashion industry right now. Some might say that things are becoming more democratic. Sure, the major brands have always paid close attention to what’s happening on the street. But this usually feeds back to the general public by means of a top-down process; dictated from on-high via the carefully curated looks designers show on runways, before finally going mass-market. 

Yet by bypassing the key players and disseminating street-level fashion innovation direct to the masses by means of social media, Instagram influencers have destabilized the long-established fashion industry power structure. 

Nowhere is this more evident than at Pitti Uomo. Taking place twice a year in Florence, Italy, Pitti is ostensibly a tradeshow for the buying and selling of high-end menswear. Yet due to the flamboyant outfits of many attendees, Pitti has become synonymous with a male sartorial elegance and extravagance that influences how many men around the world dress.

Indeed, the street style trends out on the Pitti piazza each January and June will likely prove to be significantly more influential over the coming years than any of the catwalk shows taking place as part of the official program.

The Pitti Circus

They come lumbering and lurching; strutting and staggering; parading heads-high, or skulking on the fringes. A ministry of silly walks; decked out in even more ridiculous outfits. Here a prancing fawn in day-glo sportswear; there a befuddled aristocrat, wearing the entire contents of his closet all in one go. 

Cigars are lit on approach to the entrance. And a suspicious number of phones receive incoming calls just as their owners reach the awaiting pack of fashion journalists: permitting biceps to be tensed, and expensively tailored sports coats to hang at a flattering angle. 

Some among the procession hold back: waiting until anyone who might deny the circling photographers a clear view of their sartorial handiwork has moved ahead. Only now do they advance: assured that their elaborately accoutered likenesses will be broadcast far and wide. Fleeting glory in the form of a #menswear hashtag.

It’s easy to poke fun at the outrageous vanity of some Pitti visitors, but there’s no denying that many possess real style. And whether the general consensus on the season’s dominant looks is a thumbs up or down, thousands of fashionistas worldwide are avidly following Pitti hashtags or Googling street style photos for pointers as to where trends will likely shift over the coming months.

Who Holds the Power?

Social media stars often belittle photographers, arguing that the latter would have nothing of value to photograph if it wasn’t for the celebrity-draw of influencers; to which photographers invariably respond that influencers would still be nobodies if it wasn’t for their own power as image makers. A more likely explanation of course is that the relationship between photographers and influencers is entirely symbiotic: one needs the other.

In any case, what’s clear is that the importance of both photographers and influencers has increased massively in recent years.

Within a fashion context, that influence is largely distributed in the form of street style photos.

Check #pittiuomo95 on Instagram and your feed will be filled with image after image of men’s street style –  encompassing everything from the smart and subdued to the more creative, outlandish, and even just downright trashy. Notably absent, however, will be much coverage of either the runway shows or even what is theoretically the main purpose of the Pitti tradeshow: over a thousand booths housed inside Florence’s Fortezza da Basso where the world’s most important menswear brands preview the next season’s collections to buyers.

Visitors to Pitti 95 in January 2019
Visitors Arriving at Pitti Uomo 94

Of course, with the rise of Instagram, street style has gained general importance worldwide. And many of today’s key industry figures have built their careers on little more than rolling up to the right shows in attention-grabbing outfits. Certainly no magazine feature on Paris or New York Fashion Week would be complete without a street style report. 

But do a Google image search for, say, “FW18 shows Paris” and the results will be almost entirely made up of runway photos. Barely a single street style shot in sight. So although street style has markedly grown in influence, the designers exhibiting their creations in the major fashion capitals are currently in no apparent danger of becoming eclipsed by their audience.

Yet at Pitti, it’s the visitors rather than designers who get all the press.

And often in very major, broad-interest publications too.

What Makes Pitti Uomo Special?

Pitti Uomo came into existence primarily as a trade fair, not as a fashion week. So while Pitti’s limited program of runway shows now attracts some very high profile designers (often by invitation), these are a later addition to the Pitti schedule and remain something of a sideshow in relation to the main event. 

A more accurate comparison then would be Paris’s own trade fairs, such as MAN, Who’s Next, and Tranoi: hugely important events in the international fashion calendar.

Indeed, at the close of Pitti Uomo, many buyers and exhibitors move on to the menswear shows in Milan at the weekend, and then go straight to Paris for the round of showroom exhibitions there the following week. 

However, don’t expect to see much in the way of innovative street style from the Paris trade shows. Or indeed any media coverage of them at all outside of the dedicated “rag industry” press.

In this respect Pitti is truly unique. 

Why is that?

It’s likely that a number of factors have contributed to Pitti becoming the colorful #menswear carnival it is now. 

Photos from Pitti are invariably billed by the international press as “Italian street style” – ignoring the fact that over a third of visitors to the event actually come from elsewhere.

Indeed, the dandies strutting around the Fortezza may just as easily originate from Nigeria, the United States, Norway, South Korea – or in fact pretty much anywhere. 

Nonetheless, the habit of milling around in piazzas looking “effortlessly” good is arguably a uniquely Italian cultural trait. What’s more, the venue for Pitti is a former fort offering wide open spaces and a backdrop of ancient ramparts mixed with the clean lines of contemporary architecture: all decidedly ‘grammable’. Thus it’s perhaps unsurprising that this casual peacockery took off at Pitti rather than, say, in the rather less glamorous setting of a dreary south Paris conference center.

When Is “the Street” Not the Street?

Undoubtedly a minority of Pitti-goers are just posers, attention-seekers, and even narcissists with no legitimate professional reason to attend the event. Yet the bulk of eccentrically-dressed Pitti visitors are there for business: promoting their own products, or because they are being paid to promote those of others. 

Many of us may sneer at these “brand ambassadors” for unashamedly selling their souls to corporate capital. And we might not even consider their outfits to be in particularly good taste either. Nonetheless, their weight as “influencers” is undeniable.  

Of course, quite how effective this tactic proves in generating sales for the brands sponsoring them is anybody’s guess.

But by being transmitted across the globe to a receptive audience of menswear enthusiasts, the looks sported by Pitti’s peacocks will prove to be massively influential within men’s fashion over the coming months – perhaps even years. 

Visitors Arriving at Pitti Uomo 94
Visitors to Pitti 95 in January 2019

Not every man will want to don a canary yellow suit with fuchsia pocket square purely because they’ve seen it on Instagram. But if it’s a look that was paraded around Pitti, rest assured that somebody somewhere will emulate it eventually.

Thus the Pitti runways that matter today are not those located in exclusive Renaissance villas around Florence, featuring professional models draped in the creations of officially-invited international designers.

Instead, the real trendsetting action takes place on a para-runway out on the piazza at the Fortezza. One that is arguably no less staged and choreographed than the big budget events, but which derives its superior power as a marketing tool from the apparent credibility of the street. 

At Pitti it’s the influencers and posers who hold the greatest sway.

But just as in any context where the concentration of power has rapidly changed hands, you can be sure that somebody will have identified an opportunity to play the game for profit. 

With all eyes on Pitti, the event presents a potentially lucrative marketing opportunity. For sure, most of those visiting Pitti are just regular people who work in the industry and enjoy clothing as a form of creative expression. But without wishing to sound like a paranoid conspiracy theorist, in some cases Pitti “street style” is less a genuine and spontaneous indicator of ground-level trends, and more an orchestrated attempt by certain business interests to pull the fashion industry’s strings back in their own direction.

And you, what’s your take on Influence Marketing and on how it impacts the modeling and photography industries? Share your thoughts in comment :).

J. Bramaan

Portrait of Flora Mathieu

Are You Photogenic?

Being photogenic is the ability to figure well in photographs.

French version

Indeed some people with ordinary faces appear as more beautiful on a cliché. The opposite is also true. Some beautiful people lose their beauty in front of the lens.

Being photogenic is the ability to figure well in photographs. Indeed, some people with an “ordinary” face appear as more beautiful in a picture. And the opposite is also true as some really beautiful people tend to lose their beauty in front of the lens.

What makes someone photogenic?

First, in order to define what makes someone photogenic, it is important to return to the notion of beauty.

Beauty is “the quality of being pleasing, especially to look at” without any semantic link with aesthetics. It is the quality of what is beautiful, of what is aesthetic, what approaches perfection. It is synonymous with delight and extreme rapture. It can refer to a man, an object or a landscape.

For photographers, photogenics is an important factor as a photogenic model will facilitate his work. A face that reflects the light, a good bone structure will add value to the image.

The eye of the photographer

The photographer should know how to perceive and use light. His eye is naturally attracted by the brilliance of a beauty according to his own sense of culture, taste and personality. A photogenic face can challenge you, just as a situation may reveal a subject.

The eye of the photographer is capable of highlighting the beauty of a face, a body.

You must quickly observe the model to find out what is the best angle.

And If you have a photogenic model who looks good from several angles, your work will then be easier! A photogenic face can also give you inspiration.

A creative encounter

Feeling at ease will help generating beautiful ideas, especially if the photographer’s imagination is stimulated. The opposite is also possible, you can photograph a “photogenic” model and not be stimulated because this very aesthetic face does not move you. You will have “beautiful” shots that do not reflect your work.

It is for this reason that photogenicity and beauty are subjective. Some photographers prefer the “atypical” beauties to the “classic” beauties preferred by others.

It is important to emphasize that a photogenic face can tend towards the non-photogenic if it is badly handled. A person can have photogenic qualities and get a disappointing picture if “the trigger” did not happen. I mean by “the trigger”, a successful communication between the model and the photographer (see previous article).


According to François Cheng ” Why speak of beauty if not to attempt to restore man to his best self?”

The writer explains that aesthetics can only achieve its true depths by letting itself be subverted by ethics. It is this ethics that brings us back to the relationship between beings, to the relationship in photography between the photographer and his model.

By Flora Mathieu

Flora Mathieu smoking a cigarette by Gilad Sasporta

Le Rapport entre le Photographe et son Modèle

Je suis photographe et jeune réalisatrice.

English version

Mais, j’ai précédemment été mannequin et comédienne. Grâce à ces expériences combinées, mon rapport à l’image a évolué au cours de ces dernières années.

Mes débuts en tant que mannequin

Lorsque j’ai commencé à poser devant l’objectif, je ressentais une grosse pression… Pour moi, il était de mon devoir de faire des propositions de pose.

Je me sentais responsable de la réussite du shoot.

C’est seulement après plusieurs shoots que j’ai réalisé que la mode était vraiment une industrie.

Une industrie dans le sens où bien que la photographie relève du domaine de l’artistique, avec l’expérience, notre corps acquiert des automatismes de poses.

Au fil des shoots, les mouvements du corps se rapprochent d’une chorégraphie.
Le corps bouge au rythme du déclencheur, à la vitesse des flashs synchronisés…

Une rencontre, un déclic

Un jour, j’ai eu la chance de faire une rencontre décisive qui a transformée ma façon de voir les choses. Ce déclic, je l’ai eu en découvrant l’univers de Gilad Sasporta, photographe talentueux pour lequel j’ai posé.
J’ai commencé à prendre la pose, comme à mon habitude. Mais à un moment donné et contre toute attente, Gilad m’a “bousculée” en me demandant de casser cette image froide quelque peu fermée que j’avais de la mode. Une première pour moi, car ce n’était pas vraiment l’attitude que l’on me demandait d’avoir d’habitude.

En effet, j’appartenais à cette catégorie dites des « gueules », qui par ailleurs fonctionne bien dans le secteur de la mode éditoriale. En d’autres termes, j’avais une image très genrée, dans le cliché Dark, donnant une attitude quelque peu inaccessible. Pour moi, j’étais cantonnée à cette allure et à cet univers.

S’approprier son image et défier les standards

Cette image, malgré certains reproches, appelle à une certaine fascination dans l’univers de la mode. J’ai aussi compris ce jour là que la mode était faite pour vendre du désir.
Avant de réaliser tout ça, j’avais une relation compliquée avec mon rôle de mannequin. Il est parfois difficile en tant que modèle de vendre et de jouer avec son corps devant un étranger et un appareil photo.
Mais finalement, une fois que vous comprenez que tout ceci n’est rien d’autre qu’un exercice, une performance artistique, tout devient plus simple.

Chaque physique et visage, développe un travail personnel, propre à son image. Moi, j’avais un visage dure et froid. Gilad m’a appris à ouvrir mon visage et à changer mon attitude face à l’objectif.
J’ai alors réalisé que plutôt que de rester dans ce style fermé, je devais au contraire travailler sur l’ouverture de mon regard et de ma personnalité.
Devenir plus accessible, donner une certaine joie, contre-balancer la froideur de
l’architecture de mon visage par un positivisme moral. Ajouter un sourire dans les yeux, décrisper la mâchoire… Jouer d’une multitude de subtilités pour créer des visuels plus profonds et captivants.

La subtilité d’un regard

Le problème, c’est que je n’y arrivais pas ! J’ai donc demandé à faire une pause et je suis sortie pour fumer. A peine avais-je entammé ma cigarette que Gilad m’a interpellée et me disant « Je veux ce regard ! ».
Là, j’ai compris que tout résidait dans la détente et la relaxation du regard. La photo fige, on attend un résultat de vous. Ainsi, le mannequin a tendance à arrêter son regard, alors que dans la vie de tous les jours celui-ci s’ouvre d’une manière différente à chaque instant. C’est alors que j’ai découvert l’essence et le secret de la subtilité d’un regard.

Flora Mathieu smoking her cigarette by Gilad Sasporta
Flora Mathieu by Gilad Sasporta

L’échange entre le modèle et le photographe

Le photographe donne des directions, le modèle doit les comprendre, les trouver
au fond de lui puis faire des propositions.
Mais le modèle seul ne se rend pas forcément compte de son regard. Il a besoin d’un
oeil extérieur pour comprendre où il doit travailler. Si la direction du photographe est bien établie cela se ressent dans la photographie. La direction du modèle est un art et un pilier du métier de photographe.

Fascinée par cette dynamique entre le modèle et le photographe, j’ai décidé de passer derrière l’objectif. Ma passion est celle de capturer des regards et des personnalités plutôt que de jouer de mon image.

La perspective de photographe

Flora Mathieu
Flora Mathieu by Gilad Sasporta

J’ai compris l’ampleur de cette pensée autour du regard depuis que je suis passée derrière l’objectif.
Quand je shootais des modèles, elles avaient beau être sublimes, si je ne les dirigeais pas bien cela se ressentait sur la photographie.

En outre, il est nécessaire d’observer le modèle, comprendre d’où il prend le mieux la lumière et quels profils et axes sont les plus avantageux pour lui.
Dans une collaboration pour un shoot, une rencontre a lieu et deux personnalités coopèrent ensemble.

Le rôle du photographe est celui d’être l’oeil extérieur qui va révéler le modèle.

Un échange au-delà des apparences

Il va sans dire mais la personnalité du sujet est très importante également. C’est elle qui va inspirer le photographe et donner de la profondeur aux visuels.

Pour moi, la photographie est un carrefour entre instants, direction du photographe et
personnalité du modèle. C’est une quête infinie au cours de laquelle chaque rencontre permet de grandir et de se remettre en question.

Et vous, quelle(s) rencontre(s) vous ont le plus fait grandir?

Partagez votre expérience avec nous en commentaire ou par email à info@elytiz.com .

Flora Mathieu

Flora Mathieu smoking a cigarette by Gilad Sasporta

The relationship between the photographer and his model

I am a photographer and a young director.

French version

But, I was previously a model and actress. Through these combined experiences, my relationship with images has evolved a lot.

When I started as a model

When I started to pose in front of the lens, I felt a lot of pressure … I thought that it was my duty to make suggestions about poses and angles.

I felt responsible for the success of the shoot.

It was only after several photo shoots that I realized that fashion was really an industry.

An industry in the sense that although photography is an artistic discipline, the more you acquire experience, the more your body poses automatically.  It’s a little mechanical.

During shoots, body movements look a little like a choreography.

The body moves to the rhythm of the trigger; you synchronize your poses to the rhythm of the flashes …

The trigger

One day, I had the chance to make a decisive encounter that transformed my way of seeing things. This trigger, I had it while discovering the universe of Gilad Sasporta, a talented photographer for whom I posed.

I started to pose, as usual. But at some point and against the odds, Gilad “jostled” me asking me to break this somewhat cold image that I got from high fashion. That shook me in a way because it was not really the attitude that I’d always been asked to adopt.

Indeed, I belonged to a category called “gueules” in French, which also applies in the sector of editorial fashion. In other words, I had a very gendered image, something a little dark, and a somewhat inaccessible attitude. For me, I was confined to this style and this mood.

Control your image and challenge the standards

This image, despite being heavily criticized by some, creates a certain fascination in the world of fashion. I also understood that day that fashion was made to sell desire.

Before I realized that, I had a complicated relationship with my role as a model. It is sometimes difficult as a model to sell and play with your body in front of a stranger, a camera and much of the time, a whole crew of strangers.

But finally, once you understand that all this is nothing but an exercise, an artistic performance, everything becomes simpler.

Every physique and face creates an individual response, specific to its image. I had a hard, cold face. Gilad taught me to open my face and change my attitude to achieve this goal.

I then realized that rather than stay in this closed style, I had to work instead on opening my eyes and my personality; become more accessible, give some joy, counter-balance the coldness of the architecture of my face with a moral positivism; add a smile to my eyes, relax my jaw … Play a multitude of subtleties to create deeper and more captivating visuals.

A subtle look in the eyes

The problem is that I could not do it! So I asked for a break and I went out for a smoke. As soon as I lit my cigarette, Gilad stopped me and said, “I want this look! “.

There, I understood that everything resided in the relaxation of the glance. The photo freezes reality and models respond to this. Thus, the model tends to freeze her or his gaze, while in everyday life, your gaze looks different at every moment. It was then that I discovered the essence and the secret of the subtlety of a look.

Flora Mathieu smoking her cigarette by Gilad Sasporta
Flora Mathieu by Gilad Sasporta

An exchange between the model and the photographer

The photographer gives directions, the model must understand them, find them

deep inside of her and then make his/her own suggestions.

But the model alone does not necessarily realize how she or he looks. She/he needs an

outside eye to understand where and how she/he has to work. If the direction of the photographer is very skilled, then it shows in the photograph. If the direction of the model is an art and a pillar of the profession of the photographer.

Fascinated by this dynamic between the model and the photographer, I decided to go behind the lens. My passion is capturing looks and personalities rather than playing with my image.

The photographer’s perspective

Flora Mathieu
Flora Mathieu by Gilad Sasporta

I understood the magnitude of this thought around the eyes since I passed behind the lens.

When I shoot models, they may be beautiful, if I don’t direct them well the photograph ends up being flat and shallow.

In addition, it is necessary to observe the model, understand where he/she takes the best light and which profiles and axes are the most advantageous for her.

In a collaboration for a shoot, some kind of magic happens between the two personalities respond to each other.

The role of the photographer is to be the outside eye that reveals the model.

An exchange beyond appearances

It goes without saying, but the personality of the subject is very important. It is the element that will inspire the photographer and give depth to the visuals.

For me, photography is a mix of special moments, the direction of the photographer and

the model’s personality. It is an infinite quest in which each encounter allows one to grow and to question oneself.

What are the experiences that helped you grow the most?

Share your experience with us by comment or by email at info@elytiz.com.

Flora Mathieu

Dash Luce: How did I get into modeling?

Each model has her or his own story, let me tell you about mine… 

I have been a model for more than 8 years. In my life, I had the chance to be on three covers of fashion magazines and worked as a professional model in Paris, London, San Francisco and also in Cambodia and China with brands like Nike, GoPro, LVMH, Samsung, NYX Cosmetics, and I also appeared on magazines such as GQ and ELLE. My friends always ask me how I got into this, so here’s my story…

This ugly little girl 

When I was young, I did not look like those cute little girls with curly hair and blue eyes. I had a boyish style, and I didn’t look great. Some adults and kids actually told me that I was ugly. I was a little taller than my classmates (unfortunately now I fall into the “petite” model category). That didn’t matter so much to me then. Unfortunately, adolescence caught up with me and I started to lose self-confidence because of the way I looked…

This teenager confused with her image

I had the feeling that every time I crossed the school playground, people were staring at me and judging me. I thought they were thinking, “Wow, look at how ugly she is!”. Yes, it’s totally stupid, but sometimes it is hard to get into the head of a teenager.

In high school, I wasn’t comfortable with my body. I was in the school swimming club and even though I loved swimming, walking from the locker room to the pool was always a painful experience.

And as time passed, I became a woman. The boys were beginning to show interest in me. I found it weird … and surely that was not enough to reassure me about my image.

At 17, I moved to Paris alone to study computer sciences.

Entering the job market

I wanted to make some pocket money but my schedule at school varied from one week to the other.

One day, however, I discovered a new job: managing the entrances and stands at trade shows. The job was ideal because it was part-time. The shifts were spread over 1 to 3 days over variable slots.

For this job, you needed a “good presence”. In other words, you needed to be good-looking besides other criteria like speaking other languages and having the ability to remain polite in front of unpleasant customers. A classmate had warned me that this job was very selective and that it was not given that I’d get it.

But I went for it and contacted some agencies. I got measured all over and photographed. Finally, “I passed” and managed to get jobs here and there. One thing leading to another one, I got asked to build a portfolio with better pictures for potential customers.

So I asked another friend at school if she knew a photographer that could take a couple of shots of me. That’s when I actually learned that apparently, I was “photogenic”. But back then, I wasn’t quite sure what it meant…

Signing with my first modeling agency

Then, little by little, I was encouraged, to do more and more photos, to go to castings and beauty pageants (although the latter are completely useless in my opinion) … until a model agency called me up for a meeting. And that was it, I had become an agency model. It was kind of an accident in a way.

Three years went by between my first photo shoot and my first modeling contract with an agency. Yes, three years is quite a waste of time, especially if you are seriously planning on growing a modeling career.

There are good reasons why it took me so much time. I got it all wrong for a while and I really started from scratch: zero contact and zero experience.

So, I spent three years looking for serious websites and castings, working for free to build my portfolio, spending hours on finding photographers I could collaborate with… And it took me even longer to work on my insecurities.

To complicate matters, my first shots were disastrous because let’s be honest, neither I nor the photographers I worked with had any real experience. I did not know how to pose, not to mention that I didn’t know anything about my angles, light, colorimetry, and retouching. Let alone the decor, makeup, and style – I am still ashamed of it. To put it simply, I was a novice.

Gaining experience

By finding the right people, learning by accumulating hours of shootings that are poorly paid or even unpaid, my eye for photography finally got sharper and sharper.

I also understood that working for free for jobs that should be paid wasn’t helpful to my peers… It is not fair and puts pressures on prices and devalues the profession. I also understood that in order to get exactly what one wants or to save time, one must invest either time or money in one’s career. Two or three times during my career, I paid for a photoshoot because I needed new photos as soon as possible. Unfortunately, it is still a problem to get the photos from free collaborations after the shoot … The agencies need recent pictures, and too often I have waited more than four to five months to get the pictures after the photo-shoot … While some photographers may have good reasons not to deliver the pictures, it’s quite problematic for a professional model to have a portfolio that is not up-to-date …

I also learned to detect phony ads, avoid suspicious casting posts. Eventually, I started to feel at ease in front of the camera, to know what to do, to be preselected and booked by nice brands and projects whose names and remunerations left me dreamy every time …

Today, I see those same photographers I worked with at first, evolve and progress.

It’s simple, investment in experience = added value.

Experience is the time spent honing one’s talents and pursuing one’s career with passion.

It’s also the moment when the passion for photography becomes lucrative.

Today, I have achieved almost all my personal goals in modeling: magazine covers, cosmetic ads, billboard displays, etc.

The last remaining objective I have is to build a project to help other models achieve their personal goals. It’s ongoing!

Indeed, in this industry, you always want more and always want to go further. It is therefore important to set up concrete objectives in order to reach the first level of satisfaction!

And you, what are your career goals?

The desire to share

My story is the one of a young girl who took too much time to understand the industry and to identify her strengths and weaknesses as well as her ideal market. I would have loved to have had someone to guide and help me speed up the process. I have not had the chance to come across an agent or agency who invested enough time in growing my career. It’s totally my fault and I probably did not put enough heart in it either. I did not understand the industry well enough. But I could have entered the agency 3 years earlier if I had known, and I could have made a better living, even as a student …

So I decided to launch Elytiz.

The concept is to create a close-knit community and a set of tools and resources to make professional models and photographers’ lives easier.

What is your story?

I want this blog to be about you and for you. I want to hear your opinion and your own story.

So please, if you are interested in the industry and want to support the initiative in one way or another, write to us at info@elytiz.com!

Dash Luce

Dash by Laurent Becotruiz

Pourquoi ai-je créé Elytiz?

English version

Je vais vous raconter pourquoi j’ai lancé le projet Elytiz: un hub dédié aux mannequins et photographes professionnels.

Tout d’abord, parlons de la profession de mannequin.

Pourquoi? Tout simplement parce que j’en sais plus sur le mannequinat que sur la photographie, étant moi-même mannequin en agence depuis 8 ans.

Etre mannequin est un travail intéressant à bien des égards.

En outre, cette profession suscite à la fois des critiques et une sorte de fascination.

Elle fait rêver certaines personnes mais elle est également associée à des tonnes de clichés tels que :

  • “Les mannequins ont une vie facile et n’ont rien dans la cervelle.”
  • “Il faut juste être bien né(e) pour devenir un mannequin.”

Étant donné que les modèles travaillent principalement avec leur apparence, il en résulte une grande confusion qui mérite éclaircicement.

La vérité est que si vous regardez le monde du mannequinat de l’extérieur, il est plein de mystères et d’histoires inédites. (Au passage, le blog a notamment pour objectif de s’attaquer à ces sujets.)

A propos de l’histoire d’Elytiz…

Tout a commencé quand je me suis lancée dans le milieu de la photo. Je dirais que c’était un peu par accident, mais je réserve ce sujet pour un autre article.

En bref, je suis mannequin pub et comédienne. Au cours des 8 dernières années, j’ai eu l’occasion de travailler et de voyager à travers l’Europe, aux États-Unis et en Asie.

Bien qu’à l’époque j’aie réussi à construire un réseau décent à Paris, chaque fois que je rentrais en France, c’était comme si je devais tout reprendre à zéro.

Construire un réseau et voyager

En construisant un bon réseau, j’entends être régulièrement appelée par mes agences pour des castings de qualité, être tagguée sur des annonces de casting pertinents sur les réseaux sociaux, recevoir des messages et des demandes régulières de la part de photographes qualifiés et de marques sympa. Cela ne veut pas dire que j’ai forcément gagné beaucoup d’argent à ce stade, mais cela montre clairement que mon dur labeur avait porté ses fruits.

Malheureusement, dès que je partais vivre quelques mois dans un autre pays, non seulement devais-je partir de zéro sur ce nouveau marché. Je devais aussi “réactiver” tout mon réseau et mon activité une fois de retour à Paris.

Lorsqu’on est quelqu’un qui aime profondément voyager, vous pouvez imaginer la frustration que cela peut engendrer.

Cela a soulevé la question suivante:

Pourquoi est-il si chronophage de devoir se créer un nouveau réseau chaque fois que vous changez de pays?

Mettons de côté le fait que, d’une part, il faille en apprendre davantage sur la culture et les pratiques générales du nouveau pays dans lequel on vit. Nonosbtant que les normes de beauté et le sens de l’esthétique soient très différents d’un pays à l’autre un.

J’ai cependant découvert que, quel que soit le pays dans lequel je vivais, le processus de recherche de photographes avec qui collaborer est relativement le même partout.

Trouver des portfolios qui me plaisent

Quand j’arrive dans un nouveau pays sans qu’une agence ne m’y ait envoyée, je découvre les plateformes dédiées à la mise en relation entre professionnels localement les plus utilisées et passe des heures à trouver des portfolios de photographe qui me plaisent. Puis, j’envoie des demandes un peu partout. Parfois, je n’obtiens pas de réponse, parfois on me demande de payer pour le shoot et parfois, je finis par trouver le bon candidat pour une collaboration. Cela peut sembler décourageant et, malheureusement, selon l’endroit où l’on se trouve, chercher des personnes avec lesquelles on souhaite collaborer peut prendre énormément de temps.

Gérer les demandes entrantes

Et cela va dans les deux sens : lorsqu’on est modèle, on est régulièrement sollicité(e) et on doit rejeter des demandes ou envoyer nos tarifs. Ce n’est ni commode ni agréable. Personnellement, je déteste faire ça. Certains photographes ont une approche très sympathique et demandent politement des collaborations. Le problème est que lorsqu’on sent que leur travail ne correspond pas à notre book, une collaboration serait faire mauvais usage de son temps (hormis pour le côté intéressant humainement). De plus, on ne peut pas risquer d’avoir des images qui ne correspondent pas au branding personnel que l’on se crée. Mais il est délicat de “rejeter une collaboration” et encore une fois, je déteste le faire. J’aimerais pouvoir le faire moins souvent.

Planifier de séances photos

Ensuite, une fois que j’ai trouvé quelqu’un avec qui collaborer, je dois planifier la séance photo. Cela peut prendre quelques semaines, voire plusieurs mois, avant de trouver un créneau horaire qui fonctionne pour le photographe et moi.

Les plus courageux iront même chercher une équipe artistique comme une maquilleuse, un(e) styliste et un(e) coiffeuse… Ensuite, encore faut-il travailler sur le concept du shoot, trouver le lieu, etc.

Obtenir les images du shoot et les partager

Ce n’est pas comme si le travail était terminé à la fin de la séance photo. Après cela, il faut être patient et espérer obtenir les images à un moment donné. Dans l’idéal, pas 6 mois plus tard (ou jamais), lorsque vos cheveux auront poussé, votre teint aura changé et les photos ne seront pas assez récentes pour vos agences et vos clients.

Ensuite, vous devez choisir les meilleurs à mettre dans votre book et à partager avec les agences et sur vos réseaux sociaux.

Pour moi, même cette partie du travail m’est pénible. Personnellement, j’ai du mal à choisir les bonnes images pour me vendre et obtenir plus de jobs.

Mieux travailler avec les agences

Je suis également frustrée par le fait d’avoir à attendre après mes agences pour être envoyée sur des castings. Et j’en ai assez de leur dire que je leur enverrai sous peu de nouvelles photos mais fini par ne rien envoyer car je n’ai jamais reçu mes photos ou parce qu’elles sont déjà trop vieilles.

J’aimerais pouvoir être plus proactive envers mes agences et faire moi-même une partie du travail, même si je dois l’apporter ensuite à mes agences.

Chacune des étapes que j’ai mentionnées prend du temps. Elles créent de la frustration. Elles sont parfois source de confusion, de malentendus et de pertes de temps.

Tellement de travail pour finalement pouvoir s’éclater en shoot et à créer des liens avec de nouvelles personnes.

Tant d’étapes sont nécessaires pour améliorer son book constamment…!

Je dirais qu’être mannequin représente 90% du temps nécessaire à la réalisation de tâches ennuyeuses pour 10% de pur bonheur et de plaisir.

Infographic illustrating the life of a model perceived by different people: friends, family, society, agencies, and models themselves
Funny infographic about modeling

Ne vous méprenez pas, je trouve que les 10% en valent tout à fait la peine! Je ne serais pas resté dans l’industrie autrement.

Cependant, je pense que le curseur pourrait être déplacé vers un meilleur équilibre entre les tâches ennuyeuses et le plaisir d’être un modèle. Je pense qu’il faudrait consacrer plus de temps à la créativité et à la performance qu’aux activités nécessaires mais déplaisantes.

Bien que j’aie exploré de nombreuses plates-formes et applications mobiles potentielles, je n’en ai trouvé aucune qui me permettrait d’économiser suffisamment de temps et qui serait véritablement dédiée aux photographes et aux modèles professionnels.

J’ai donc décidé de créer une application.

L’application de mes rêves. Celle qui faciliterait ma vie de mannequin.

Cela dit, le but n’est pas de concevoir une application pour moi-même!

Je veux créer une application qui sera utile à d’autres personnes.

Je veux co-créer cette application avec d’autres professionnels de l’industrie de la mode. Avec des gens qui auraient connu les mêmes défis que moi, ou encoredes défis plus importants.

Construire un project impactant axé sur les besoins réels des mannequins et des photographes.

Je veux entendre parler des problèmes quotidiens du photographe et du modèle.

Je veux les aider à développer leur book et leur carrière avec ce que j’ai appris au cours des dernières années.

Parce que c’est fun.

Parce que j’aime les passionnés.

Parce que j’aime voir les gens rêver et grandir.

Parce que je pense que l’industrie peut gagner en efficacité.

Parce que j’aime les relations humaines que l’on peut développer dans cette industrie.

Par conséquent, je cherche à rassembler une communauté de personnes qui souhaitent concevoir l’application de leurs rêves avec moi.

Avec petites ou grandes contributions. Temps, idées, opinions, soutien sur les réseaux sociaux … Aucune contribution n’est trop petite!

C’est aussi simple que ça.

J’ai besoin de mannequins et de photographes pour me dire ce qu’ils aiment et ce qui les fait rêver. Je veux qu’ils me disent comment leur rendre la vie plus facile et agréable.

Alors contactez-nous si vous voulez faire partie de l’aventure, il existe une multitude de se joindre à nous !

Contactez-nous en nous écrivant à info@elytiz.com et suivez-nous 🙂 https://instagram.com/elytiz_casting/

Fondatrice déterminée d’Elytiz

A top model now standing for the environment Featured

Being a Model: a Business and an Art

Version Française

“If modeling is not a profession, let me throw the first stone! ”

Anne Astrid Colette. Model and blogger.

The model has long been inaccessible, in a world of stars that was identified as a parallel universe, between gods and men.

Assertive models

Today Facebook and Instagram has brought models into the real world. Bar Refaeli has more than 3 million fans on Facebook. Doutzen Kroes has 6 million subscribers on Instagram. The account of Emily Ratajkowski @emrata, assembles more than 10 million subscribers.

But being photogenic is not enough. Indeed, the personality also comes into play so are ethical choices or the way of getting away from the codes established in the world of fashion for decades.

Be beautiful and shut up, it’s over.

You want to be a model? Set free rules and let your beauty speak freely.

Envied, copied, followed by adored admirers, the models today no longer appear weekly or monthly. We want to see them every day, every minute, every second. This job has become more intense, more addictive, more imposing.

Models and social networks

The models create an Instagram account to present their work and develop power by encouraging self-confidence and to raise awareness for causes in which they are involved. Models all over the world now have accounts on the internet (eg: @angelcandices) because catwalks and portfolios are no longer enough. Stars of the social networks, they make the front page of the magazines. People also want to know about their lifestyle, their views and want them to get involved in the political and cultural life of their respective country. Did not Carla Bruni become French First Lady?

On her Instagram account, Constance Jablonsky is wearing a simple swimsuit, that draws attention to a lake in Iceland rather than on her. This is another way to promote natural beauty, unvarnished, to remove the hype side of photo studios and promote a model of simple happiness. What does this simple photo express? A reflection of the abandonment of the first role in favor of the beauty of nature. We see the model in the background, slightly erased in the immensity of natural beauty.

When the dream becomes part of the reality …

The model is part of our everyday lives and this change has the lives of those who follow them. It’s a real job. And to those who say that “It’s easy to be a model. Very simple. Just ask and you win millions without even doing anything “, correct them!

The fashion world is sometimes eccentric, electric, whimsical, brilliant. We must constantly adapt to different couturiers, demanding customers and photographers, who ask their model to live in front of the lens, to embody a sometimes extreme character in a setting that is also changing. The challenge? To be appreciated by faithful admirers who are eager for images and novelty.

Fans closely follow these icons on a day-to-day basis. We do not just wait for them on the catwalks. They have gone down to the arena to enter the daily lives of their fans. To be a model is to be also a major player in society, to be an actress who will participate, according to her whim, in a new lifestyle.

Models are therefore going to strongly influence teenagers and the perception of a balanced family life and will promote a certain lifestyle. Just yesterday, I was watching Doutzen’s story on Instagram showing her best moments with her father.

The model becomes a role model.

She reminds all girls that a dream can become real – in the simplicity of the real world. On her Instagram account, Constance Jablonsky is wearing a simple swimsuit, that draws attention to a lake in Iceland rather than on her. This is another way to promote natural beauty, unvarnished, to remove the hype side of photo studios and promote a model of simple happiness. What does this simple photo express? A reflection of the abandonment of the first role in favor of the beauty of nature. We see the model in the background, slightly erased in the immensity of natural beauty.

Constance Jabonski posing in swimming suit in a lake
Constance Jablonski in Iceland

The model in Polaroid mode

Today it is even more difficult to impose oneself without promising a world that does not exist. And yet, this is the major challenge of being a model. To dream by mingling with the crowd, and to promise, despite undeniable physical qualities, sometimes supernatural, that happiness is a simple thing and that can be aspired to by millions of people… The people want a snapshot…A pseudo-instantaneous capture of her own life. The public is asking for these moments because individuals want to live like the model they have chosen. The fans want to see everything from their role models: their glasses, their shoes, their car, their last boyfriends and even which lipstick they are wearing.

In short, a model must deviate from the norm and give us a sense, a direction to follow.

The model emancipates us through her freedom that he or she takes. Models are remarkable persons because they do not look like others, because they draw a new voice, a new way of being and constantly redefine the notion of femininity.

A secret then: cultivate your soul as much as your beauty!

Learn more about @Elytiz.

Thierry Azzopardi



How Long Does the Career of a Model Last?

Version française

Ten years ago this article would have been quite different. But within ten years, society has changed a lot and the women’s revolution has not been reduced to a war against men. We have claimed an end to the dictatorships of forms, colors, and ages. It is true that starting a model career at the age of 60 is less easy than at 20. But nowadays, a model will no longer be required to stop her career at age 30 if she doesn’t want to.

Model of all ages …

It must be said that the baby boomers became the grandfathers and grandmothers of the Grandpa-boom. Nothing would have been done without them. Their ability to renew our society combined with their purchasing power means that senior models have an increasingly important place in the media landscape. They are more and more solicited for communication campaigns of big brands. A model of 73 years old even told me that he had been contacted to pose for the calendar of the ‘Dieux du Stade’ ( a French charity calendar with revealing pictures of rugby players) and he did it !

Even the nakedness of the third age is less and less taboo when accompanied by an aesthetic approach.

At 38, the age at which a model is normally already retired, Gisèle Bündchen shows that success continues to come at any age. Indeed, in 2012, when she was 33 years old, the Brazilian model earned more than 42m$ and remained the top model most in demand. Today, Gisèle continues her journey and has become an ambassador for the environment at the United Nations.

Subsquently, in her forties, Gisèle Bündchen not only carried on her modelling career but also proved that a model can become a leading woman whose fame supports a noble cause.


The same path has been followed by Ines de la Fressange or Linda Evangelista.

Like footballers, fashion has become an increasingly complex phenomenon. The model, can also, if she wishes to, share her experience with young models and agencies. Coaches, talent scouts, trend promoters and counselling blogs are now flourishing and enabling young girls and boys to find their vocation and a path to success.

” Graduate first! “

Thus, we can say that from now on a model can start her career from 14 years for competitions. However, you need to be at least 16 years old to make modeling a real job according to the laws in France. In general, young models prefer to graduate before launching their career. As a matter of fact, if we take the example of the Elite agency, the models really exercise up to 30-35 years. After that, they have to consider a reconversion in the world of fashion or to move to a different field and sometimes become designers or photographers. Many models are in front of the camera. Their ability to focus on a lens is useful to play without shyness in front of a director and a technical team. In fact, we often forget that Monica Bellucci first signed up for Elite before becoming an actress. Kate Upton, Cameron Diaz, Charlize Theron, Diane Kruger, Laetitia Casta were also models.



Fashion under your skin

Finally, the model business never stops. As the model scout Lou Carrion puts it, “This job is a passion, it’s something you do all the time. As soon as I step outside, I am automatically looking around to see if there is not a girl who might matches what I am looking for.”. Here it is understood that Lou Carrion, a former model, is not really exercising another profession. She continues her modeling job but in another form. This demonstrates how much fashion can get under your skin. When listening to branch managers or recruiters the words “instinct”, “flair”, “intuition” come back regularly. This environment permeates and also develops a lifestyle. Fashion becomes deeply rooted in your life and perception.

Considering that the luxury industry represents a global turnover of 212 billion euros, having a background in fashion is a great opportunity. There is a place for anyone for anyone wanting to realise their dreams.

A model must understand that the environment is based on concepts, not forms as beauty is not really palpable and appreciate that this is the universe where he or she will have their profile.

Beyond the notion of age, today, the model is a woman of intelligence that should not be limited to being young or beautiful. She must propose a way of being.

What Saif Maddhi summarizes by “The new faces”. A bit like an actress, the model must present a way of inhabiting her garment without limiting herself to wearing it …

A bit like an actress…and we can speak as much about the game of a model as we can of an actress.

It is up to each of you to find this game or tweak it!

Success is at the end of the road!

Learn more about @Elytiz.

Thierry A.


A top model now standing for the environment

Etre Mannequin : un Métier et un Art

English version

« Si le mannequinat n’est pas un métier, qu’on me jette la première pierre! » 

Anne Astrid Colette. Mannequin et blogueuse.

Le modèle a longtemps été inaccessible, dans un monde d’étoiles qu’on identifiait 

à un univers parallèle, entre les dieux et les hommes. 

Des modèles affirmés

Aujourd’hui Facebook, Instagram ont fait entrer les mannequins dans le monde réel. Bar Refaeli a plus de 3 millions de fans sur Facebook. Doutzen Kroes a 6 millions d’abonnés sur Instagram. Le compte d’Emily Ratajkowski @emrata, assemble plus de 10 millions d’abonnés.

Etre photogénique ne suffit pas. Il faut faire la différence par sa personnalité, ses choix éthiques, sa manière de s’affranchir des codes établis dans le milieu de la mode depuis des décennies.

Sois belle et tais-toi, c’est terminé.

Vous voulez être modèle ? Affranchissez vous des règles et laisser parler librement votre beauté.

Enviées, copiées, suivies par des admirateurs adulés, les mannequins aujourd’hui ne se déclinent plus dans les hebdomadaires ou les mensuels. On veut les voir chaque jour, chaque minute, chaque seconde. Ce métier est devenu plus intense, plus prenant, plus imposant.

Modèles et réseaux sociaux

Les modèles créent alors des pages Instagram pour présenter leur travail, et développer un pouvoir en imposant leur confiance en elle-même et des causes pour lesquelles elles s’engagent. Les mannequins du monde entier ont désormais des comptes sur internet (par exemple : @angelcandices) car les défilés et les photos d’album ne suffisent plus. Stars des réseaux sociaux, elles font la une des magazines. Elles sont aussi interrogées sur leur manière de vivre, de voir le monde, de s’impliquer dans la vie politique et culturelle de leur pays. Carla Bruni n’est-elle pas devenue la première femme de France ?



Quand le rêve s’inscrit dans la réalité…

Le mannequin est devenu un modèle de chaque jour et ce modèle change la vie de ses abonnés. C’est un véritable métier. Et à ceux qui vous disent : « C’est facile d’être mannequin. Très simple. Il suffit de poser et tu gagnes des millions sans rien faire », ne les laissez pas dans l’erreur !

Le milieu de la mode est parfois excentrique, électrique, fantasque, brillant. Il faut sans cesse s’adapter à des couturiers différents, à des clients et à des photographes exigeants, qui demandent à leur modèle de vivre devant l’objectif, d’incarner un personnage parfois extrêmes dans un décor lui aussi changeant. L’enjeu ? Etre apprécié(e) par des fidèles admirateurs qui sont avides d’images et de nouveauté.

Plus proche de leurs modelès, les fans suivent ces icônes au jour le jour. On ne les attend pas seulement sur les podiums, sur les aller-retour des défilés de grands couturiers. Elles sont descendues dans l’arène pour entrer dans le quotidien de leurs fans. Car être modèle, c’est être aussi un acteur majeur de la société, c’est être une actrice qui va participer, par ses choix, à un nouveau style de vie.

Les mannequins vont donc de plus en plus participer et déclencher de nouveaux arts de vivre, influencer des adolescents et la perception d’une vie de famille équilibrée. Hier encore, je regardais la story de Doutzen sur Instagram qui affichait ses meilleurs moments avec son père.

Le modèle devient un “role model”.

Elle rappelle à toutes les filles que le rêve s’inscrit dans la réalité. Dans la simplicité du réel. Sur son compte Instagram, Constance Jablonsky en maillot très simple, de loin, donnant la priorité dans le champs de sa photographie à un lac d’Islande. C’est là une autre façon de s’engager pour promouvoir la beauté naturelle, sans fard, destinée à ôter le côté hype des studios photos et à donner un exemple de bonheur simple. Ce qu’exprime cette simple photo ? Un reflet de l’abandon du premier rôle au profit de la beauté de la nature. On voit le mannequin au loin, légèrement effacé dans l’immensité de la beauté naturelle.

Constance Jabonski posing in swimming suit in a lake
Constance Jablonski in Iceland

Le modèle en mode… Polaroïd

Aujourd’hui le modèle a rangé les paillettes et les flash fluo pour se mettre au vert. Il est encore plus difficile de s’imposer sans promettre un monde qui n’existe pas. Et pourtant, c’est l’enjeu majeur du métier. Faire rêver en se mêlant à la foule, et promettre, malgré des qualités physiques indéniables, parfois surnaturelles, que le bonheur est une chose simple et qu’il se conjugue de la même façon pour des millions de personnes. C’est en fait un Polaroïd qui est demandé au mannequin. Une capture pseudo-instantanée de sa propre vie. Le public réclame ces moments car il veut vivre comme le modèle qu’il s’est choisi. Les fans veulent tout voir de leur role model : ses lunettes, ses chaussures, sa voiture, son dernier petit copain et jusqu’à son rouge à lèvre du jour. On veut tout savoir sur elle.

En somme, celui ou celle qui doit être un modèle doit faire un écart par rapport à la norme et nous donner un sens, une direction à suivre.

Le modèle nous émancipe par la liberté qu’il prend. Il est une personnalité remarquable parce qu’il ne ressemble pas aux autres, parce qu’il dessine une nouvelle voix, une nouvelle façon d’être et redéfinit constamment la notion de féminité.

Un secret alors : cultivez votre âme autant que votre beauté !

En savoir plus sur Elytiz.

Thierry A.