1. Modelling is not your average 9-to-5 job.
Everything from the hours you work, to the time frames between jobs is far from traditional. There will be times initially when you wonder when your next job will ever arrive, and then once things get going there will be periods when it’s so busy that you’ll wonder when you’ll ever get your next day off. If you like variety, it’s great, but if you’re looking for something secure and consistent, then it’s probably not for you.
2. You'll become a seasoned traveller - just don't expect much sightseeing.
Travelling has got to be top of the list when it comes to things you might not expect from modelling when you start out. From when I first got scouted, I have been on the move ever since. You will usually fly in for one- or two-day shoots, then get straight into a cab and on to the studio. Sightseeing is rare but you get skilled at doing it from the cab window. Sometimes you're on location, which is usually amazing. A production team scout out places to shoot off the tourist track so you get to experience places, spaces, venues, people and culture that you wouldn’t normally get to see - it’s definitely one of the perks of the job. There can be a lot of waiting around though so make sure you have a hobby, and preferably one that keeps you occupied on long-haul flights too.
3. Learn how to pack in a hurry.
Speed-packing has to be learnt sooner rather than later. With phone calls coming in more often than not saying; “Today, you're off to New York for a few days” you’ve got to hone your packing skills. Quickly.
4. Be prepared to cancel all your plans for a job.
Birthdays, holidays, weddings, football games or just a night out at the pub have to be cancelled at the drop of a hat, and that can mean peeing off people off who you’ve promised you will be there for. It’s tricky as you don’t want to let people down or miss out but you (and they) get used to it - it comes with the job.
5. Don’t have your hair cut without talking to your agent.
Changing your hair style without talking it through can be costly in this game. A few inches off the side could cost you a huge ad campaign as you don’t know who’s considering you based on images your agent has sent to them based on a particular look. Longer is always better. To be safe, leave it - you can always cut it on a big job.
6. It's not just a young man's game.
Modelling is a career which can last from your youth to when you’re older. The demand for different looks is really diverse so when you’re still growing and not quite as filled out, you are perfect for some campaigns, then as your body grows that opens up different campaigns and opportunities. Also, you can be deemed too big one day and too skinny the next day, without your body changing at all. You soon learn that you’ve not changed, it’s just that brands have different fits and the shape that suits a particular brand’s clothes, might not size up for you.
7. It never gets any easier to tell people you're a model.
There’s still a lot of stigma around male modelling so when you're asked, “What do you do?” some people look down on it.
8. Learn how to get dressed in the back of a car.
You must be prepared to be available to get changed anywhere, in any conditions and fast. You shoot outside a lot, which can mean getting changed in the back of a car or van. Just do it without any complaints and you’ll go far.
9. Make the most of the parties.
You get to go to some of the best parties in the world. The fashion industry really know how to throw a good bash and as a normal guy from Hitchin, I’m lucky to go to a few. It’s great fun, you meet some amazing people, get to experience things you’d never thought you’d experience and collect some good memories along the way.
10. Pace yourself.
You need to look your best when you’re out and about. During fashion week that’s especially true - you're up at 6am for work and out until the early hours of the morning at events and parties. It can take its toll over a few days, so you need to learn to pace yourself.