The job title sounds controversial, but were it not for male models over time, Michelangelo's David, anatomical drawings of the male physique and other artistic and medical endeavors might never have seen the light of day. You’ll need an overabundance of confidence and a commitment to keeping your body in top form if you choose to pursue this field of work, but once you get comfortable modeling in your own skin, you’ll look upon your career as just another gig that requires no wardrobe changes.
Create a portfolio of photographs showing your body from multiple angles. Your objective is to prove to anyone seeking a male model — art schools, photographers, clubs — that you have what it takes to do the job and the head and body shots to prove it. Invest in a professional photo session. Request two sets of images from your photographer: prints and digital files burned to a disk.
Research nude modeling rates in your geographic area. Regionality is a fact of life; you’ll be able to bill more for your services in New York City than you would if you posed for classes in Boise. Fees structures can also determine whether or not you get work; art teachers on meager budgets may like your look, but if you bill too much, you won't be hired. Ask other nude models how much they bill and while you're at it, see if they bill by the hour, the session or both.
Create a model's composite to help you land work. This modeling essential is a single sales sheet that showcases a small selection from your portfolio and vital statistics. Construct yours by opening an 8.5 x 11 inch document in the software program of your choosing. Import up to five images that show your posing versatility. Add contact information. Use your composite to send a mass mailing to agencies if you want to be formally represented by an agent.
Become the world’s best self-promoter if landing an agent isn't your goal. Use your model's composite as a sales tool. Write a generic letter to teachers, art clubs, commercial photographers and other potential clients asking for an appointment to discuss your modeling skills. Include a copy of your composite. Follow up with phone calls to book appointments.
Commit to maintaining a professional demeanor as a male model. You’re building a career. Prove it. Exercise regularly. Learn relaxation techniques recommended by successful nude models that rely upon breathing, yoga and other mind/body diversions to mediate long periods of standing, sitting and posing. Some guys play mind games; others make grocery lists. Pick your own diversion.
Build a solid client list. Create a spreadsheet on your computer to capture data so your bookings are efficiently managed. Show up for modeling sessions on time. Bring along a generic modeling contract if none is offered so the hours, fees and intellectual property rights (you have none, by the way) covering your modeling assignment are spelled out. A modeling contract protects you and the client and makes you look as good professionally as you do on drawing paper.
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Based in Chicago, Gail Cohen has been a professional writer for more than 30 years. She has authored and co-authored 14 books and penned hundreds of articles in consumer and trade publications, including the Illinois-based "Daily Herald" newspaper. Her newest book, "The Christmas Quilt," was published in December 2011.