For a long and dreary spell of time, the only types of female bodies celebrated in fashion, film, and advertising were the skinny waif archetype. Thankfully, that trend has shifted in recent years to be more inclusive of realistic shapes, creating opportunity for fuller figured women to enter the modelling world.
As an aspiring erotic photographer, my focus for the past seven years has been to concentrate on the types of women that I find personally attractive. Which is to say, I like big butts and I cannot lie, and it turns out I’m not alone. Having presented some of my material to the public, and received a warm reception, I’m now getting inquiries from women around the world who can see themselves diving in to this new and exciting revolution of style and sensuality.
While I can’t provide any sort of patent formula for success, I can at least offer a handful of advice to any would-be model who’s taking their first steps toward being in pictures.
1. Start a Portfolio
In order to be taken seriously by photographers and producers, you absolutely must be able to show what you look like. Websites like Model Mayhem make it very easy to put a few photos online and share them with photographers without having to link to your Facebook or other social networks. You can get away with using an inexpensive camera so long as you can provide a clear and honest representation of your face and body type. Try to avoid “selfies” if possible.
2. Do some TF shoots
TF stands for Time-For. You may see the terms TFP (time for print) or TFCD (time for CD) used online, but the meaning is ultimately the same: no one gets paid. You show up, the photographer shows up, and hopefully there’s a makeup artist there as well. Everyone pays their own expenses and leaves with more content for their portfolio.
3. Just say NO to photographer-wannabes
Before you go agreeing to a TF shoot, take some time to look at what the self-proclaimed photographer has to show. Anyone can buy a camera, but it takes a dedicated artist to also get adequate lighting, learn how to frame a shot, and apply tasteful editing techniques. When in doubt, get a second opinion. Forums on sites like Model Mayhem can help if you don’t have a photographer buddy in your life.
4. Just say NO to Instagram (and anyone who uses it)
Instagram looks like shit, and no self-respecting photographer would ever touch it. Nuff said.
5. Do it for the fun, not the money
We all have a dream deep down inside that we might find ourselves the next overnight sensation, getting offered contracts everywhere from Hollywood to Paris. The reality is: you won’t. Most models will never make more than a few extra dollars if anything. Even somewhat successful models rely on a day job or a significant other to pay the bills. If you're desperate for money, legitimate modelling is not the answer.
6. Network and Socialize
Facebook, Craigstlist, and Model Mayhem are all really crappy websites that do one thing well: they create opportunities to meet people with common goals. In order to get more content for your portfolio or to ever get a serious booking contract, you’ll need to make some contacts who are photographers, makeup artists, studio owners, indie producers, and other models like the one you aspire to become. Not everyone will have time or interest for working with you, but communication is the doorway to opportunity.