Basics of modeling in India: Types of modeling work

There is a few types of work which comes in a definition of Model’s work. How does such work differentiates in India?

– Photo-shootings:

The differences between the types of fashion shootings (and their prices) usually depend on the usage of the photos after the shoot.

  • Catalogues. Catalogue in fashion industry is a printed book of entire collection of the season of some particular brand or designer, which is required to show the collection to brand’s potential buyers. Catalogues often can be found in brands stores as well. On the catalogue shooting designers/brands usually shoot not more than 30 outfits (but it depends) and the models are required to know catalogue type of posing according to the type of clothes presented (which I will write about later), unless the client wants some specific posing. On catalogue shootings models are expected to give many poses for each outfit, focusing, first of all, on the displaying of the garment in the best manner.
  • Online-catalogues (e-commerce). E-commerce photo-shootings can be said to be the most common type of shootings in India. The pictures shot for online-catalogues can be used ONLY online (if you have been told you are going to have e-commerce shoot but have found the same photos anywhere in print after, you have been fooled). E-commerce shootings considered to be the simplest kind of shootings due to the simple, mostly straight posing (since for online shopping brands want to show their clothing the way it is, without any wrinkles). The hard part in e-commerce shootings is that the amount of garments you need to shoot for is usually around 70-100, but sometimes it can be even more. However, you don’t need to pose too much for each garment: for online catalogues people do click just a few shots for each garment usually. Yet, even being restricted in poses, you have to be a little creative in it and can’t be just the same on each picture.
  • Magazines and newspapers. Magazines and newspapers do not happen too often to models, and if they do – models shoot for them usually for free. Why do they do it? Because being published in a magazine or newspaper is adding benefits to model’s portfolio. Especially if you want to work as a model in Europe or USA: you can be asked to show publications in magazines and newspapers as a proof of your professionalism for getting the visa. But even if you do not want (or can not) work abroad, being a published model takes your career on the next level, especially if it is a cover page of known magazine.
  • Campaigns. Campaigns are considered to be the most prestigious, the most expensive and the hardest to get kind of work for models. The reason for that is the pictures shot for campaigns can be used everywhere: on hoardings, first of all, in all kinds of prints and online as well. Models should have strong portfolios and should match brands requirements to be selected for campaigns.
  • Lookbooks. Lookbook shoots are usually not so different from catalogue ones in usage but they are being shot in a simpler manner. Lookbooks are being used preferably to show the collection to potential buyers, so the buyers can as well tell what kind of changes in garments they want to make if they buy it in bulk. Lookbook pictures are not always available for public. The posing required for lookbook shootings is usually quite straight but the moods and expressions are supposed to be different from e-commerce shoots.

– Fashion shows:

Fashion shows happen to showcase designers or brands collections for different purposes. Most of the fashion shows are not open for public and do happen for buyers, however sometimes you can get work for fashion shows in malls as well or on some public special occasions where the brands want to be noticed. The best type of fashion show work is considered to be the participation in Fashion Weeks, of course, because they give the models a fame in fashion industry. But selection for Fashion Weeks is very strict and competition is big. Models are usually being selected to fashion shows by their ramp-walking skills, first of all, but other requirements also can matter, like size, height or any other specifics in model’s look the designer is looking for.

– Video-shootings:

  • TV – commercials
  • Video clips
  • Movie shootings

Every model is very happy to get a video-shooting. However, models more often shoot for TV-commercials or video clips, rather than for movies. Yes, you can get a movie shooting working as a model, but it is not a standard practice. Actually, to get any kind of video-shooting, you should have not just model’s skills but actor’s skills as well, which are being considered somewhat similar but actually are different things: not every model can be actor, but some sure can! Yet, if you are coming into fashion industry with the hopes to become an actor only – it’s better you go to acting industry directly, because in fashion industry you do not get too many chances for video-shootings. Generally, acting and modeling are 2 different professions which can just cross in few people lives.

-Exhibitions and events:

Exhibitions and events are usually not the favorite work of most of the models (however, some like it because they find it easy). I personally used to hate it because it was very boring for me: when I had to just stay or do some extremely simple work (like distributing flyers, suppose) for few hours – the time seemed very long to me. Some people differentiate exhibitions and events as NOT modeling work but a “standist” work. However, most of the modeling agencies still do consider it as modeling and most of the brands want to have model-looking people to present them on exhibitions. There is nothing bad in working for exhibitions but being a local model in India you can choose if you want to do them or not, while being an International model – not always (because of expenses system in International modelling agencies).


There are 2 types of fittings: paid and unpaid. Most of them are unpaid and it is those that are happening after you have been confirmed already for any of the types of work mentioned above: photo- or video-shooting, fashion show or an exhibition – just to see how the clothes fit you and if it requires any adjustment before the work day. Paid kind of fittings happen very rarely in India but quite common in Europe. They are usually being done by designers to show to the buyers how the clothes look on people or just for designers to see how the clothes look on models before some important event, like fashion show, for example. Usually the amount of clothes on paid fittings is big, but on unpaid fittings is not. The models who are being selected for paid fittings are usually the ones that have close to standard sizes (sewing standards) body measurements.

Escort and parties are not a modeling work!

To clarify: You can surely go to parties, you can be invited to fashion-parties as well, which would be good for you to know many people from the industry. But it if your agent is telling you to hang out with some random guys – this is more likely to be escort and it is not a part of your work, it is not something you must do if you don’t want to.

There are some models who do escort but when they do it, they usually know about it, they do it for easy and fast money, they do it by their choice – but this doesn’t mean they are doing modeling at that moment! They are doing another work just. There is also some girls who are not doing modeling at all, only escort but yet call themselves the models. Both of these types of girls just spoil the image of modeling industry and create wrong stereotypes about this profession in people minds.

There are some fake agents in India as well who try to confuse the beginning models about such kind of things. Such agents try to install ideas about it is not possible to grow your career without doing dirty things in newbies minds. This is a LIE! This has, again, nothing to do with fashion industry! Just run away from such people (unless you want to do such kind of things, of course) – they aren’t going to be helpful in your career, and find good agent instead.

Saying NO to any of this won’t prevent or spoil your modeling career FOR SURE! 🙂 For complete information on modeling in India Click Here.

Too see the complete info on modeling in India, please Click Here.

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