Should You Study Modelling?
Updated: Oct 2, 2022
Like many creative trades, many people pursuing modelling ask the question "Should I study this?" As it is with many roles in the creative industries, it is possible to start as a model without training or qualification, but is their an advantage to studying the art?
There is a common misconception that modelling is as simple as standing in front of a camera or walking down a runway. Don't get me wrong, as an oversimplify that is what modelling is, but as any professional model could tell you, there is more to it than meets the eye.
There is an art to modelling. There are many techniques and technical aspects to the craft. That being said, the question still stands, "do you need to study modelling to be a successful model?"
Like many questions of this nature, it can be a common case of "it depends on you."
There are no doubt many people, as with many creative roles, that could step into the work and learn as they go. However, in my experience this is a minority of people.
Even those who do train or study in the art will have a lot to learn when they enter the industry, though I believe most people would benefit greatly from at least a small among of training before stepping into a photo shoot or stepping onto a runway.
This doesn't necessarily mean you have to study a qualification, though if a qualification is want you want, then I encourage you to pursue it. I do however have some advice that I will explain in a moment, as it also relates to people looking for training who aren't looking for a qualification level of study.
Pursuing a qualification through a university, college, TAFE, or other academic institution or organisation is often referred to as 'Mainstream Education' or 'Traditional Education' as opposed to 'Alternative Education' which can refer to almost any other form of training and education.
Alternative education can include online courses, workshops, tutorials, and more. Self educating usually takes the form of alternative education. Reading books, watching videos online, going to workshops; all of these things and more can teach you what you need to know about modelling. This also applies to many roles in the creative industries, and even roles in other industries. Alternative education is another viable solution to anyone wanting to become a model, but doesn't want to pursue a qualification.
My own experience as a model is through alternative education. My first modelling experience was on runway. I attended a few workshops leading up to my first runway show. While it would have been possible for me to jump in the deep end and try to learn the techniques as I go (and as I said earlier, we will always have more to learn) it gave me a great advantage having had that instruction and training beforehand.
So with that all being said, my main advice for anyone who wants to train as a model, whether you choose to pursue traditional education or alternative education, is to pick a course or training that has the most practical work. Many courses and trainings will have a theory component, but choosing one with more practical training will give you the best experience to enter the industry with confidence.