Saturday, July 9, 2011

Are You Ready to Be Famous? A Male Model's Guide to Fame, Fans and Flakes (Part 1)



My goal as a photographer and videographer with any shoot is to create images that highlight the very best of every male model, to enhance their marketability and increase their public profile. That is also the goal when featuring models here on After all, this is an online magazine where people around the world can learn more about the world of male models, and discover up-and-coming new faces. And if you're going to become the best-paid male model in the world, you'd better work the fame angle all you can.

Unfortunately, some aspiring male models may not be quite ready for the public exposure they may get by launching a modeling career. Of course, many people interested in modeling are, by nature, great self-promoters who welcome the public adoration and attention that comes with having their images seen and appreciated. But a few may not be prepared, only to later realize that 21st-century media can make your name known much faster than expected. After all, there is no such thing as just a print portfolio anymore. Today, it's more electronic — and more accessible.

Almost all of the male models with whom I collaborate are ready and eager to build their name with the public. But it was a different case with a young man I photographed and interviewed several months ago. He contacted me after finding my studio online — and since he had a great look, I decided that rather than charging for my services, I would offer to feature him in my portfolio and on, with photos, video and an interview highlighting his talents. He agreed, and loved the photos that we took. The readers of and visitors to the modelJOCK Youtube channel also had nothing but praise for this new face in the industry.

Several weeks later, he contacted me again, saying that he was starting to feel uncomfortable about having his name out there, and that he’d been getting friend requests and comments from people he didn’t know on Facebook. He didn’t know how to handle the fact that people were noticing him and that he was already building a public presence.

I felt bad for him, and wished that I could help him to appreciate being in the public eye. I decided that perhaps it would be helpful to other newcomers to the industry to hear some words of wisdom from experienced male models, to help them decide if they're ready for the concept of fame.

So before you sign that model release form with a photographer who promises to feature you in his portfolio and help to launch your modeling career, here are a few questions to ask yourself (and see below for links to parts 2 and 3 of this series).

1. Do you really want to be famous? If you feel uncomfortable being in the public eye and don’t like the idea of the general public seeing your work, a modeling career may not be for you.

2. How can fame help you? Obviously, being a model is about being seen, becoming known and building a base of followers and, eventually paying clients such as agencies, advertisers and photographers. You may also be planning to build a business with your own blog, Youtube channel or other endeavor for which you want to attract followers and fans. Figure out your specific goals and strategy for achieving them, and how photoshoots and becoming famous fits into that strategy.

3. How will you handle the fans? I told one well-established male model about the problems my recent model has had with the “fame monster,” and he could definitely relate. “It was weird for me at first too,” he said. “He's just got to take it as compliments. That's the best way. In this field, attention is a good thing, so he’s doing something right. As it goes on, he'll be able to sort out the bullshit comments or creepy people from legit — but for now, just accept everything and get a fan base and try to make the best out of the comments, but don't take ‘em too seriously.”

Don't miss:
• Part 2: How to Protect your Privacy as a Male Model
• Part 3: How to Deal with Fans — the Good and the Bad

Subscribe to the modelJOCK Youtube channel!

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