Not before time, the modelling industry is waking up to the reality that it is time to celebrate our differences by employing real people from diverse backgrounds.
And when it comes to representing those with disabilities, this means booking disabled models for modelling assignments.
Models Direct, a keen promoter of diverse modelling, has been at the forefront of this change in recent years and is proud to have a significant number of models with disabilities on its books.
Its models of diversity take on all manner of assignments, from campaign and photo shoots through to advertising and television work.
So, if you are a model with a disability, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
1. Do you find the idea of being a model exciting?
Perhaps you are someone who follows fashion, watches celebrity models with interest and has noted how models with disabilities now have much more of a presence in the world of modelling. If so, and you have wondered whether to give it a go yourself, why not apply?
2. Are you confident in front of a camera?
No-one expects new models to know what to do, and we at Models Direct, only work with clients who have a good reputation for supporting and gently guiding beginners in the business. But we do like to see that our models of all ages and backgrounds are comfortable, confident and happy to be centre stage for a while as they are photographed or filmed. So, if this might be you, why not consider it?
3. Do you enjoy meeting new people?
If you are friendly, outgoing and sociable, then modelling could be perfect for you. All our models relish the opportunity to work with different people while they are on assignment. They enjoy broadening their horizons, experiencing change and getting to know people they might otherwise not meet in their day-to-day lives.
4. Would you like to earn some extra income?
Our models differ in their expectations almost as much as they do in their looks and backgrounds. Some people only want to do a little modelling work for a short time before they pursue another career, while others see a full-time future in it. Nevertheless, however they hope it will pan out in the end, they all enjoy earning some extra money.
One of our models, Keeley Williams, asked herself exactly these questions and then went on to work with us.
This is what she had to say after her first assignment, for which she was paid £300:
“Having my first assignment modelling for a wheelchair company in Cardiff was amazing. I was so excited as this is what I’ve always envisioned myself doing. The staff, photographer and occupational therapist (OT) were all so lovely and happy to help. I was asked to have shots taken at various locations by Cardiff Bay – in a bar, bowling alley and a few shots outside. The photographer was so happy to give directions when needed. I thought I would have been nervous, this being my first shoot, but I was full of adrenaline yet felt so relaxed. The other models I was working with were more experienced but more than happy to help with advice on what was best, and they were genuinely lovely people. My confidence was really brought out on the shoot as I felt relaxed and not pressured one bit. I felt even more comfortable knowing there was an OT as she helped to position me in the wheelchair correctly and was there to assist with everything I would generally need help with. I loved the whole set up of the shoot and changing into different outfits. The day was the perfect first time experience and I cannot wait to do another one.”