The Life of a Swimsuit Model
At the most basic level, a swimsuit model’s responsibility is to show off a bathing suit. The model may pose for pictures, which are then used for promotions or advertising for the product. Or, the model may wear bathing suits in fashion shows in front of photographers, journalists and potential buyers. However, bathing suit models are not necessarily limited to just bathing suits. These same models may work with lingerie, undergarments or sleepwear. They may also work as specialty models, modelling their hands or feet.
Like most models, swimsuit models work under agencies that help models acquire jobs and name recognition. While there are some smaller modeling agencies that specialize in swimsuit models, models signed under the major agencies in New York, Paris, Los Angeles and Milan are the ones seen in major publications such as Sports Illustrated, Details and Maxim.
Swimsuit models may produce content for various media. For example, models may pose for magazine articles, catalogues, billboards, television advertisements or magazine covers.
How to Become a Swimsuit Model
Aspiring models should first acquaint themselves with the industry. Read as much information as possible about modeling and proper etiquette when interacting with agents, photographers, clients and other models. Subscribing to an industry magazine is a great way to learn about the industry and to find out about open calls or companies looking for talent. Consider attending a model training school to learn important interviewing and modelling skills.
Swimsuit models’ bodies need to be fit and toned at every angle. Work out often, and consider hiring a personal trainer to get results faster. Models also need beautiful hair and skin, so keep yourself clean and moisturize often.
Next, put together a portfolio. This portfolio will showcase you to potential clients, so focus on making it the best it can be. Include pictures of previous work you’ve done. It may be worthwhile to hire a professional photographer to help you start your portfolio. This can be expensive, but it is a necessary career investment.
This next step is critical. The most important career move model can make is hiring an agent. Many models start out in their local area and work their way up to agencies in New York or Los Angeles. Agents represent models to clients and connect models to work and opportunities. Large companies will generally only hire models through agents.
After acquiring an agent, attend open calls for swimsuit models and continue building your portfolio. Work on gaining experience and recognition to open the door to more work.
Payment and salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage of models was $15.83 in 2010. This amounts to an annual salary of around $32,920 per year. Swimsuit models are usually paid per shoot. Payment amount depends on the model, company and shoot. Most models must work hard to find new jobs and suffer occasional bouts of unemployment due to the ebb and flow of modeling work. While there are a select few models who are able to amass fortunes through modeling, these do not represent the norm.