If you think that there is an age limit to getting started as a model, we have news for you. Older models have become more and more popular in the modelling industry, whether for photo sessions or in advertisements. Especially women and men aged 50 or older are gaining in popularity, as they represent a modern and mature lifestyle as well as someone who has both feet on the ground. The potential for identifying oneself with these models is especially big in the largest consumer group of our society, people over 50. Usually, having experience in front of the camera is not required to get started as a Best Ager Model ─ with a bit of potential, everyone can make it, no matter their background.
The key to success for older models is simple: With their life experience, the over-50s-generation embodies values like sympathy, trust and authenticity. Their positive attitude inspires the fashion scene. But, as in any other field, there are certain criteria you need to be aware of.
We have put together a list of everything you need to know about what is desirable for models over 50 and mistakes you should avoid.
The Dos: What you should do and successful behaviour
1. Your Appearance
Whether you’re 20 or 60, there are some guidelines that are relevant for all models, no matter their age. One of them is their appearance. It is important to mention that different aspects are most important for the different age groups. For Best Ager models, the most important criteria are having good teeth and healthy, well-groomed hair. Things like a defined six pack for men or an hourglass figure for women have lost their significance, as the focus is on naturalness. Small imperfections are no deal breaker; self-confidence and a positive personality are a lot more important.
2. Start small
When you get started in the modelling industry, you should be aware that you won’t be on big international screens right from the start. Everyone needs to start small. But even if your shootings are initially only for smaller campaigns or ads, they still help you become more established in the industry. This means, the more assignments you can get, the better. An additional benefit is that you learn with every single assignment and casting and become more experienced.
3. Versatility is key
As a model, you will often have to take roles that you never would have seen yourself in. This is why it is important to stay flexible and versatile even later in life. This will also give you the chance to discover completely new sides of yourself. And the better you represent a role, the better the product you’re promoting will sell, so make sure you discuss in detail what is important for each shooting. Being able to present the spontaneity and changeability of your personality with enthusiasm is especially well-received.
4. Regular Assignments
Having a comp card is an advantage for models of the older generation, too. You can imagine a comp card like your personal business card that gives potential clients a first impression of your modelling skills. It is important to update the photos on it regularly. Having a large variety of images makes it easier for the client to recognise the model’s versatility, so we would recommend choosing pictures in different outfits and situations - for example, one in business attire, one more casual, and another one in sportswear. Portraits are very important to present your personal charisma.
If you want to get more information about a comp card, click here.
5. Physical Fitness
When we mention physical fitness here, it doesn’t mean that Best Ager models are expected to hit the gym several times a week or have daily endurance training sessions. However, models over the age of 50 should still try to be healthy and in good physical shape. You should be aware that photo sessions can take several hours and can be exhausting. It might help to have a snack before the shooting; a light salad will provide your body with all necessary nutrients and sufficient energy.
6. Being Present Online
Social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram are only for the younger generation? Not anymore. People over 50 have become more and more established in social networks. They even got their own colloquial term: users who are at an advanced age are sometimes referred to as Silver Surfers. Often, social media platforms can help with getting started in the modelling industry because this is where many clients look for new talent. However, not every website is equally significant. Instagram is particularly relevant for models, as the pictures you upload give a first impression of you as a model. This is another great opportunity for self-promotion, just like the comp card.
If you have trouble setting up a profile or navigating social media, don’t hesitate to ask family members for help. You can also find many useful tips and tricks on the Internet, so don’ t be shy ─ no one is born a master. With time and practise, you will get used to the websites and will be able to operate your account all by yourself.
7. Preparing for a Photo Session
First of all, you should arrive on time for your first shooting. This leaves a good first impression with the client and shows that you are motivated to work in the industry. Set aside enough time for the session on that day; especially the styling process can take a long time. To make it quicker, arrive at the set without make-up and make sure to wash your hair beforehand. It is very important to appear hygienic.
The Don’ts: Things you should avoid
1. Beauty Standards for the Young
Best Ager models are so popular in the industry because they represent an experienced and mature lifestyle. This is underlined by the model’s naturalness. Whether small wrinkles in your face, glasses for a clear view, grey hair or a few extra pounds, those aren’t flaws but characteristics that reflect a lot of people in our society. So those are things that you absolutely shouldn’t change about yourself when you become a model. Clients love models who are true to themselves and their age. A model over 50 shouldn’t try to imitate younger models. Your greatest asset is your maturity and experienced personality as well as your charisma. Experts will take care of the appropriate styling at the photo shoot.
2. Being reserved
As a model, you should always be open to new things. If you insist on established standards and your own opinion, you can expect to have people against you quickly. In the modelling industry, you will often be confronted with new situations that you should face with anticipation and motivation. If you take the chance that these opportunities offer, you will surpass yourself and learn more about yourself. Sometimes, it can take courage to try new things that will eventually have a positive effect on your life. Of course, you still can and should voice your opinion. If you are unhappy about certain aspects of a photo shoot, you should talk about this openly. There might always be an outfit that just doesn’t fit you right, and that’s something you know best. The stylists on set will be happy to help you in that case.
3. Limited Mobility
The modelling industry is a field that reaches around the world. That means that you might be booked by an international agent. So when you start, you should be aware that photo shoots are not only going to take place in your hometown. Now of course, Best Ager models are not expected to lead a jetsetter lifestyle, flying around the world. But you should be prepared to travel across the country for a shooting. So don’t limit yourself to jobs in your region, but be open for assignments all over the country and even beyond.
4. Requests on Social Media
It often sounds too easy: Once you have established your account on social networks, you will start getting requests from agencies who want to book you as a model. But be careful! Unfortunately, due to the anonymity and worldwide interaction, there are lots of dubious operators on social media. Avoid accepting requests or even sending your pictures when requested as it is often impossible to know who is behind the request. Always check the accounts carefully or simply reject them.