Everything You Need To Know About Commercial Modelling

“Who are commercial models really?

Well, they are mostly actors, housewives, retirees and students. As a commercial model, you would need very basic acting skill, after-all, you’re portraying someone else in adverts.”


The first thing you need to know about commercial modelling is that it’s a no-brainer really. Okay did I just say it’s a no-brainer?! Well, what I really mean is that just about anybody can become a commercial model if you have enough determination and you have a good work ethic. In this type of modelling, really you are not limited by height, your size or even look. Commercial modelling is an all size fit type of modelling.

According to Front Models commercial modelling is;”a niche that spans across a wide area. Advertisements (both print and television), magazines and catalogues all fall under the commercial umbrella”. So how does a typical commercial model look really? One of the most common ways to distinguish a commercial model from a  fashion model is a fashion model will always be tall and look distinctive. While an editorial model, on the other hand, can have any look. She can be pretty and not so tall.  A commercial model usually has a generic look as they have to portray normal people.

A typical example is a company launches a new product and the target market are young mothers. It is hardly proper to use a skinny tall , 19 year old looking lady for the advert (that’s not say there are not mothers that fit this profile). The look is just not generic enough for the advert campaign. Only a handful of mothers would fit that description. The more acceptable profile to use is that of a lady who is is say 30, average height and not necessarily skinny.


Who are commercial models really? Well, they are mostly actors, housewives, retirees and students. As a commercial model, you would need very basic acting skill, after-all, you’re portraying someone else in adverts. Some commercial models are very successful and make a good deal of money at it. But they are not commercial models in the same sense that editorial fashion models are editorial models. This simply means a commercial model has no special look (as I mentioned earlier), while a fashion model will always be more distinct!

You can of course be successful, in other words, regularly booked if you show up on time, dress appropriately, follow instructions and are easy to work with, all of these traits help an agency place you. Some experts actually believe a commercial mosel will still not be a  “name brand”. This “name” thing is a big deal.  When you are a name- you are ultimately a brand and you can then command money more freely and demand certain things.

“Think about it this way: If you’re not an industry insider, can you name a model that is not an editorial model?” This is what some experts believe but I say that’s NONSENSE!! Yes it is easier to be a commercial model than a fashion model and it’s more difficult for a commercial model to be a “name brand” but it’s not entirely impossible. You just have to grind harder than anyone else; you have to show that you really want it! When you become a regular, you’d soon realise they’d begin so ask for you by name.


Commercial models do not always get paid huge fees although the pay can be very good, it is usually a nominal fee for your services though some contracts can be highly lucrative such as national advertising campaigns. Commercial modelling is the backbone of the industry and is where the main portion of jobs are available.

Fashion models can also work as commercial models, even though the reverse is rarely true. To be a commercial model, there are a few things that you can do to improve your chances of getting work. With enough research, you can learn about the types of photos that will get you the most work. Your headshots should portray a variety of looks to help promote you to a wider variety of clients. Having this information will help you to put together powerful headshots and a high quality portfolio.

The top tips include –

  • Rehearse looking comfortable in front of the camera
  • Make a list of the different emotions you want to work on
  • Go through magazines and find advertising campaigns that you can really see yourself being cast in (make sure you are honest with yourself)
  • Think of situations that will help you feel those emotions and practice your facial expressions in the mirror
  • Exercise your skill as a commercial model and you will have more chance of appearing professional on a photoshoot.

The great majority of commercial jobs are booked through agencies. With enough research, you can find a reputable agency that will help you to get reputable jobs. You will gain access to expertise that can help you to understand what is expected of you as a professional model, and learn how to practice before entering the business. The people who have done their research will have the greatest chance for success.