Meet Samantha Snedorf, a model from the agency Chrome Models, who has been with the agency since 2005: “I saw the ad in the newspaper one day and after sending my pic through, I decided to throw all caution to the wind and sign up. Best decision of my life!”
What are your working hours?
As a model there are no set working hours. Your day starts at your call time and ends whenever they call it a wrap. It may be a few hours to a full day – it just depends on if it’s print or TV and how many other models are shooting with you.
What does this job entail?
Basically, as a model, I am paid to appear in print and TV ads – and recently social media has been added to the mix.
Are there any ‘glamorous’ aspects to being a model?
Well, my absolute favourite part is sitting in hair and make-up, having them spend up to an hour using everything that comes out of their bag of tricks. It is soothing for me and I love being pampered. There is also the moment you see your ad out there. I love when my friends and family see me and get all excited.
What are the mundane aspects?
Mundane would have to be the waiting. They call it the hurry up and wait industry. Recently I was on a shoot where there were three other girls before me and I had to be there from the call time even though I only shot a few hours later.
What are some of the personality attributes required to make a great model?
The biggest one would be resilience and perseverance. It’s not as easy as being booked on a job and shooting. There are hours spent attending auditions all the time, and the energy you put into your outfit and then you end up not being selected. It feels like rejection and it is sometimes tough to get motivated and put yourself out there again. But the only way to work in this industry is to keep trying.
Are there different aspects a person could get involved with in this career field?
There are a few different types of performing artists, so print and TV as well as voice-overs, body doubles and even shooting as a background extra in TV ads. There are also all of those on the other side of the camera – stylist, hair and make-up artist, photographer, shoe co-ordinator, and so forth.
How do you keep in shape?
Pole dancing. It builds muscle strength and is so much fun J.
I also try to monitor what I eat – no diets or cutting of delicious treats but balancing meals with plenty of water and fresh fruit and veg.
What is your beauty routine?
I LOVE pampering myself with long bubble baths and rich body creams. On my face I also take care to spend a little extra time on the skin under my eyes, which I have realised is so delicate, I use midnight recovery oil before I go to bed. I also make sure to take all my make-up off as well.
What is the weirdest thing you have had to do at a shoot?
Hmmm. Once I shot for Kellogg’s cornflakes – well just my tummy. While they were setting up I had to basically lie on the couch so that my tummy wouldn’t get any crease marks. That and the time I shot on the top of a building in town and my dress had a giant hole right by the bum!
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I would have to say when I had a contract with Legit clothing. I shot photos regularly and they were used as HUGE window display posters. I used to stand outside the stores and take photos next to them! I still have a few, though they are too big to do anything with other than take them out at parties and impress my friends. J
Is it every model’s dream to ‘make it’ internationally? How would you go about achieving this?
I think the dream of ‘making it’ internationally crosses every model’s mind at some point, though not all of them pursue it. I myself considered it a few months back. If you were aiming for an international career, you would have to work between the Jo’burg and Cape Town markets for a few years while applying at a few international agencies. If your portfolio is big enough and you have what it takes, then there is no stopping you.
What can I expect to earn in this career?
It varies from job to job as well as how frequently you shoot. It can go anywhere from R1,000 to R18,000 or more just depending on the product, where it will be flighted, the duration and also if you shoot a few jobs in a month.
What are the benefits in this career?
I am going to have these beautiful photos forever. One day when I am a grandma I will show everyone that I used to be a model in my heyday! It has also built my self-confidence to the point where I LOVE being in front of the camera – even when there is a room of people. I still get nervous, but it is an awesome feeling when you push through and see the final product.
What is the market like in terms of jobs and competition?
It can be very tough and competitive – as with the audition I went for that I didn’t get. Sometimes you attend castings and there are like 20 girls in front of you. So it’s easy to become disheartened, especially when you compare yourself to other models (which you shouldn’t!!!!). As I said before, sometimes the clients choose you, and sometimes they don’t, but as long as you keep trying, you will get your break.
Any tips for teens who may want to pursue a career as a model?
Go for it! You have nothing to lose! Even if you are never booked for a job – it is still SO fun to be in front of the camera AND you get some awesome pics for Facebook of course! It has taught me so much self-confidence and THAT is something well worth doing it for.
“My favorite thing about doing photo shoots is just being able to have fun, meeting new people, getting dressed up, and I just love doing it. So, I have a lot of fun.”