top of page

10 Modeling Styles Worth Your While

Learn about the roles, expectations, limitations, and benefits for the10 different styles of professional Modeling.

If there’s one thing you need to know as a new aspiring model ready to enter the modeling industry, it’s the 10 different styles of modeling that are out there for you to pursue. This will not only help you know what works best for YOU but also what works best for your professional Career as a booked model.

Of course it can get pretty overwhelming to figure out through experience alone what all is required for each style of modeling, so I thought I’d put together this list and a few examples that will help you remember each one.

1. Fashion (Editorial) Modeling

Editorial Models have the pleasure of working with Top Designers and are normally seen in High Fashion Magazines such as GQ and Vogue. Fashion Models enjoy the limelight of being the face of some of the most elite brands and are normally seen in the most fashionable clothing. It's common that most editorial models you see will be tall, slim, with very unique features, but don't be surprised when you see that there are many curvy models also dominating in this field. Photographers, stylist, models, and top labels take the spotlight in these type of shoots. Showing off the creative side of fashion, these photos add another dimension to designers work. High Fashion modeling is also the highest paid division in the modeling industry.

Average Pay: It's common that models in this category may see an annual salary as high as $147,000 or as low as $15,000. The majority of todays magazine models range from $28,000 - $61,00 with those in the 90th percentile making over $104,000 a year. As an average model who does well in this category, it's common to be paid $100 an hour per shoot.

Modeling Tip: Remember that you are giving the viewer a glimpse into an imagined reality and focus on the emotion you want the photo to have.

Naomi Campbell - British Vogue's March 2022 Cover Star

2. Runway Modeling

The second most popular type of modeling is Runway. The Job of a runway model consists of wearing the creations of different designers and cat-walking in front of an audience, in order to advertise the clothing and that brand. Runway Models are normally considered blank canvases for the designer to dress up and highlight their art. It's common that most models specializing in runway are taller than 5'9 and very slim, but this is simply because most designers create pieces with limited amount of fabric and allow whoever can fit it, to wear it. What makes a model stand out is their confidence and highly developed walking techniques.

Average Pay: The salaries of Runway Models in the US range from $17,050 to $54,670 , with a median salary of $27,530 . The middle 50% of Runway Models makes $27,530, with the top 75% making $54,670. Models who can easily make anywhere from $0 - $20,000 per show.

Modeling Tip: Always think tall. While walking down the catwalk, be sure to stand up straight, leaning slightly back so your legs are leading.


3. SwimSuit/Lingerie Modeling

Models in this category are normally seen advertising a swimsuit, beach wear, lingerie, pajamas, and other forms of under garments. It's common that models in this field are curvy, toned, and comfortable with showing more skin than others. Although as a swimsuit model you can be any size and have any feature, it's common that professional swimsuit models take pride in eating good and staying in shape all year long. It's also often that swimwear and lingerie models undergo having makeup applied to different areas of their body to enhance their look. It's also typical for a model in this category to keep their arms, legs, and armpits hair free.

Pay: Swimsuit or Lingerie Model's can make an average annual salary of $37,240, or $18 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $18,780 or $9 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state they live in.

Modeling Tip: Be confident in your own skin.

Tanaye White - Sports Illustrated

4. Commercial Modeling

Commercial modeling is one of the most diverse categories. There are no age, height, or size requirements (unless for a particular project) but you may notice that most commercial models have clear skin and a nice smile. As a commercial model your job will be to advertise a wide range of products in commercials, catalogs, and campaigns. You'll be modeling with the intent to promote sells. The goal of any good commercial is to feature relatable people using goods and services that allow people to visualize how they would look or feel if they used the product or enrolled in the service. Commercial modeling is often overlooked by aspiring models but the truth is, it's much easier to get into than fashion modeling.

Pay: This type of modeling can be very well paid, with an average of $200 per hour. You may earn less for smaller brands, or more for nationwide campaigns. Top Earners may make up around $105,500 yearly and around $8,791 monthly. Average earners may make around $62,525 and about $5,210 monthly.

Modeling Tip: Model from Head to Toe – Every part of your body should be engaged and strong from head to toe.

Zendaya - Signed to Cover girl in 2016

5. Fitness Modeling

Fitness models have a job of advertising all things fitness. You may find yourself in a commercial advertising fitness attire, or in an add for a new gym company. It's obvious that as a fitness model you may be more toned or in shape than most, but it's also common that a model who isn't as fit nor into fitness is seen as the perfect candidate for a get in shape campaign or to advertise fitness products.

Pay: Models are typically paid by the job, so a model who books more clients will get a higher paycheck. The majority of fitness models can make between $40,000 and $70,000 per year depending on their modeling schedule.

Modeling Tip: Having proper body language and facial expressions to showcase the results is vital to a successful fitness shoot.

Ike - personal trainer/ fitness model

6. Fit Modeling

Fit modeling is perfect for anyone who prefers working behind the scenes. As a fit model your job typically includes working with different fashion houses and assisting them with getting the correct measurements and sizes before garments are sent out to be manufactured. There are needs for all sizes in garments which leave this category open to all different sized models.

Pay: Fit models make upwards of $200 an hour for their services as live mannequins, and the most seasoned, sought-after ones can make a cool $400 or more for 60 minutes of work.

Modeling Tip: Have a body with industry standard measurements

Monty Rakusen / Getty Images

7. Parts Modeling

Parts models specialize in modeling their hands, feet, legs, arms, and other parts of their body. As a parts model you may book a job wear you model hand jewelry or a job where you model shoes on your feet. Have you seen a commercial with a woman shaving her legs? She's modeling parts of her body and getting paid. This category is open to anyone with well proportioned body parts that fit standard jewelry and shoe sizes.

Pay: reported that top parts models earn around $1,000 per day for TV commercials, and between $2,000 to $5,000 a day for print work. A female parts model with great legs and feet can earn about $75,000 a year – and even more in New York City, which is home to major advertising agencies.

Modeling Tips: Moisturize the parts you model most, throughout the entire day.

Parts Model For Kay Jeweler

8. Promotional Modeling

As a promotional model your job will include helping businesses and brands sell or promote a certain commodity to their audience and even yours. Much like a brand ambassador it's important that promotional models have a strong understanding of the product or services they are advertising. It's common that you will see promo models live events, shows, and more.

Pay: The average salary for a promotional model is $26 per hour in the United States.

Modeling Tip: Do your homework on the company you're promoting for and always plan ahead.

NASCAR Promotion Models

9. Print Modeling

As a print model you may be seen in magazines, billboards, flyers, campaigns, and booklets. You may be selling a product or you may have a different objective and be photographed based on the needs of the client. It's common that print models are selected based off of their skin, smile quality, or personality.

Pay: While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $145,000 and as low as $18,500, the majority of Print Model salaries currently range between $29,000 (25th percentile) to $56,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $102,500 annually across the United States.

Modeling Tip: Develop a good skin care and hygiene routine.

Chika - Calvin Klein

10. Glamour Modeling

As a Glamour model everything is centered around your beauty! You're facial features, curves, and demeanor are now being highlighted more than anything else. It's common that glamour models are curvier than most and that their poses are much more suggestive. You may see glam models venture off into swim suit and lingerie modeling as well. Glamour photography can take on many styles. The simple ones, like yearbook photos and personal profiles, are the most common. Models mostly use glamour photos for their portfolios.

Pay: Glamour modeling pay varies from state to state. In New York the average annual pay is about $65,441 and about $31 an hour. In California the average annual pay is $62,762 and about $30 an hour.

Modeling Tip: The main focus will be the eyes and face. Breath in your nose and out your mouth to relax the muscles in your face.

Makia J. Leonard - Erich Capares

Which Category Fits you? Now that you are aware of what main modeling styles are out there, which style would you say best fits you? It's understandable if you read each description and decided which ones don't sound like they fit you. It's also understandable if you feel you have to give each category a try before deciding what works. I actually recommend trying out different styles of modeling not only so that you can decide your favorites but also because your future clients will have favorites of their own. Let me give you an example. Imagine you try all styles of modeling and have a very versatile portfolio containing at least one photo from each category. Say your favorite genres happen to be Editorial and Glam Modeling but once your clients see your portfolio they always book you for Fitness modeling. Even though you don't consider yourself a fit model, you see that clients think this genre fits you well and are willing to pay. It's possible that if you never tried fitness modeling and added it to your portfolio that you would have missed out an every booking that came with it.

Be Versatile and Try Every Style

I always advise new models to try out each style of modeling for these reasons:

  • Shows that you are versatile

  • Allows your future clientele to decide what style they like best on you

  • Keeps Your Portfolio Full and professional

My favorite styles of Modeling include Editorial, Runway, Commercial, and Fit Modeling. My top clients love to see me do Runway, Swimsuit/Lingerie modeling, and glam modeling.

It's helpful for me to know what style I enjoy most as well as what styles get me booked most so that I can prioritize and invest more time into what benefits my career as a professional model.

When reaching out to prospects, it's beneficial to provide them with many different looks and styles that you can achieve so that it's easier for them to in-vision working with you on their specific projects.

I hope this helped you become aware of what styles of modeling you have available to you as well as how to go about deciding which ones to give a try.

P.S. Don't be afraid to request a payment amount that isn't listed as average, you are in control of your career and what your time is worth.

Comment your favorite Style of modeling below and which one you want to give a try next.

I'm so excited to read your responses!

147 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page