How to be a Successful Events Model in Singapore?

Without the shadow of a doubt, being a full-time events model in Singapore is tough given the saturation of event models available in Singapore. It is not a jet set lifestyle where you fly to Dubai for a show and make it back to Singapore for dinner. Some models seemingly gets 80% of the event jobs and most are actively sending their composite cards for consideration. What really sets apart the few successful models Singapore has and the ones who are struggling?

Selecting Your Niche

The modelling industry is divided into a few sub-categories, namely events model, photo shoot models and runway models.

Focusing your efforts in a single niche is highly recommended. Of course, if you are still figuring out which niche suits you best, you are always welcomed to try a bit of everything. Pre-determining a niche at the start of your modelling career has a causal effect in the future, as your contacts built will be entirely different from the other sub-categories. Ideally, you want to be remembered by clients as “the best model for events” rather than “events model”.

Events Model

Typical job scope for events model includes mingling, promoting, answering enquiry, ushering, etc. The market for events model is always increasing, thanks to the success of Singapore’s MICE industry.

Besides having beautiful facial features, event models require a higher level of socializing skills as they are on the front line when coming into contact with public/guests while representing a certain brand.

A beautiful smile is also required for the job. No one wants to look at a grumpy model.

Photo Shoot Models

E-commerce websites require models to showcase their design to enhance digital sales. Fashion-related e-commerce websites is the main client in the photo shoot industry. The photo shoot models for clothing related e-commerce stores are often thought to be the gateway to “Stardom”, only for most to find out that the dream does not transit through e-commerce shoots(unless you are shooting for major retailers with the budget to put your photo at every MRT station).

Runway Models

Runway models is the most competitive niche within the modelling industry and can also be the lowest paid job for models. The intense local competition for a runway spot and the limited amount of runway jobs available for Singaporeans as runway model is why this industry is deemed to be the lest attractive to have a career in despite the media’s spotlight of runway model’s life(think Kendall Jenner, Alessandra Ambrosio, etc.)

Singaporean models, I hate to break it to you but the fact is major brands who can afford their own fashion show will ALWAYS prefer a western model to Singapore model. Sure, there could be some deviation. What are the odds that high-end fashion retailers use a Singaporean model?

Composite Card- Model’s Essential

What is Composite Card?

Composite cards serves as a business card for models. These cards are provided to agencies or event organizer’s for their consideration of using your services. Generally composite cards are made up of 5 photos with information of yourself(height, weight, bust, waist, hips, eye color, hair color, shoe size). Ideally, models put their best photos in these 5 shots to create the best first impression of themselves. The first 3 seconds of the client’s attention on your composite card is all that matters.

For events model, client would require a digital composite card as compared to a runway model or fashion shoot model where a printed composite card would be preferred. Besides, digital composite card means that you are free to swap out photos whenever you require and more importantly, it is inexpensive to create.

The industry standard template of a composite card requires a huge photo, preferably taking up the left half the composite card, and 4 other photos taking up the other half of the composite card.

Of course, having photos professionally taken will be ideal. However, if budget does not allow for having photos taken professionally, it is not the end of your career. There are several options available to get good photographs too!

  • Grab a friend and ask he/she to help you take nice photos
  • TFCD(Time for CD of digital images) – Being a model for free to photographers. Its a good way to start your portfolio for both you and the photographers. Do understand what the photographers require for their shoot and the theme of the shoot. ***WARNING*** Some “photographers” have hidden agendas, and should you feel your safety will be compromised, please walk/run away from the shoot. Trust your gut instinct. Some common surefire telltale signs include, but not limited to- touching you, asking you to remove more clothing then agreed, etc.

How to Optimize your Composite Card?

Highlight Your Strengths

Always highlight your strengths. If you’ve got the most chiseled jawline, play around with different light effects to bring out your perfect jawline. You’ve got the perfect body shape? Feature it by posing sideways with your face in the camera.

Ensure there is Variety of Photos

One of the more common mistakes new models make is that they lack variety in their composite cards. Ideally, the best composite cards I’ve come across encompasses Beauty Shot(also known as Clean Head Shot), Full Length Body Shot and Smiling Shot. To inject your personality into these photos can be tricky, but it can be the differentiating factor among all the other composite cards. Having all 5 beauty shots or all 5 selfies will make it easier for the client to disregard your composite card.

The Power of Suggestion

The audience of your composite card should be thinking “Looks fun to work with!” or “Classy!”, which is subtly spoken by your photos on your composite card. I’m more inclined to work with models whose composite card “speaks” to me.

Some days when I post advertisements on jobs available on Facebook Groups, I get about 50 composite cards within the day. Out of the 50 composite cards received, I’ll probably have 5 models I’d like to consider at the back of my mind. This goes the same for all clients. End clients will be susceptible to the overwhelming information and photos, and if your composite card does not stand out, someone else will be getting the job. And this will happen 80% of the time.

Model’s Work Ethics

Being a model in Singapore, you got to understand that you are your own brand. And being your own brand, you want to be known for the good attributes – being early, responsible, etc. I’ve encountered event models being way more engaged in their cellphone than the job, and I’ve had to tell them to leave within the first 2 hours because of their poor work ethics.

Developing strong work ethics is an important part of being successful in this line. The feedback from your services as a model will have direct impact on the client engaging you. You get the idea. In short, the more clients you impressed, the more they will want to work with you again.

Your Confidence

The internet always says that confidence is beautiful, but models are placed under public scrutiny, often compared to and accompanied with negative feedback. Miranda Kerr, 2nd highest paid model in the world and wife of Orlando Bloom, commented that ‘Models are some of the most insecure people I’ve ever met,’ she said. ‘They’re constantly being told they’re not good enough. You’ve really got to practice loving yourself’.

Within the industry, you will be constantly pressured to lose more weight or tone certain parts of your body. These comments can be particularly hurtful to the weak minded. Not getting the job you really wanted could also undermine your self-esteem. The list is literally endless as to how the industry can affect your mentality.

It is important that models understand that no one single person can please everybody. Your struggles are with your thoughts on how people perceive you. If you are consistently troubled with thoughts of “What will people say”, you are subconsciously giving these “people”, who might not exist, power. The power to live your life and dictate what you “should” do.

Always remember that what you think of yourself is more important than what other people think of you.


Overconfidence is also another issue in the industry. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of models insisting on doing their own make up, when there was a professional hair and make up artist(HMUA) on site. Without a doubt, the outcome was far from ideal and guess who got the blamed? Not the photographer, even if the photographer was delivering sub-par work, everyone blamed the model for insisting her own make up.

Remember, fluidity is the essence of survival. Having a fixated mindset and method of doing something is cancerous to your career as a model.  Learn to adapt and understand the instructions.

Common Mistakes of Models

Everyone was once new, and while it is wise to learn from your own mistakes, it is wiser to learn from other people’s mistake. Here we will talk about how to piss clients off effectively and how you can be a successful model in Singapore by avoiding common mistakes.

Negotiations of Remuneration

Negotiations for remuneration is perfectly fine if you have the specific skill set you think can value add for the end client. Soft skills like sales are highly sought after within the events model industry. All these negotiations are to be done prior to having any confirmation. So if you think that the remuneration is too low, voice it out prior to agreeing to do the job.

However, agreeing to a specific pay package and then changing your mind because you think the pay package is too low AFTER client confirms is a career ending move. This is not negotiation. This is a hostage situation. Any modelling agency will be stupid to work with you again.

Calling in sick

We all get sick. I’m not saying that no one falls sick, but all I’m saying is that it is always better for the client to tell you that you need more rest rather than just calling it in. It shows your attitude, that you made the effort to show up sick rather than just giving a last minute notice.


Most event jobs starts at 7am-8am for conventions, and if you think that partying ’til 3am and you could wake up at 6am, think again. You have a responsibility to show up earlier than expected, or on time. There is a difference between a wannabe and a professional – a professional will always show up earlier, and a wannabe tries. Worse is if you overslept.

Clients will only remember that you are late, instead of why you are late. Remember, any explanation will only be deemed as an excuse from the client’s view.

Using Personal Gadgets During Work

A very common feedback for event models is excessive usage of phone during work. The professional models for events I’ve worked with only attend to their phone when they are on their break, and this also separates the wannabes and professionals.

Always, always switch your phone to silent if you are carrying it with you while on conventions or events, as it is unprofessional to have your phone ringing away in the middle of a conversation.

Keeping Fit

Contrary to popular beliefs, event models do require to keep fit. Some events may require the models to be standing for hours in insane heels while other events may require models to walk long distances while keeping a smile. These job requirements demands a certain level of physical fitness, and let’s face it – it is tough to squeeze an hour a day or even an hour a week out solely for exercise.

Sleep is also another crucial factor, with studies proving a good night’s sleep can improve the quality of skin. More importantly, sleepiness is one of the toughest emotion to hide. Skimping on sleep will adversely affect your performance at work, and no one likes a cranky, tired model. It is tough to keep a beautiful smile on while you are constantly yawning. So, models, please get sufficient beauty sleep.

High Intensity Interval Training

HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is a training technique that emphasizes on the short recovery period in-between sets with maximum intensity to achieve higher heart rate and burning of more fats in less time. It does not require any equipment and it could be done almost anywhere.

This is one of the more recommended work out training for models given the hectic nature of work schedules.

Yoga and Pilates

Yoga is another highly recommended work out for models as it improves posture. Pilates is known for it’s ability to achieve a sleek and slender frame. Both these exercises don’t build muscles, which is perfect for models as this is precisely what the models require.

Besides losing fats and keeping fit, yoga and pilates also improve the overall well-being of a person. Both yoga and pilates have profound effects on the energy of participants. This means that daily, people can experience improved moods, better focus, and a deeper sense of peace.

Many Victoria’s Secret Angels swear by yoga and pilates as their go-to work out routine. Combined with a healthy diet, plentiful of hydration and a good night’s sleep, it will be tough not to look younger or at least maintain their looks.

Model’s Diet

Dieting is probably the toughest thing if you are the kind that eats a grape and your tummy immediately protrudes. It is also evident that some models develop eating disorders after prolonged diets in order to maintain their image. While it is always tempting to pop a pill to help lose weight, many of those pills are in fact unhealthy and could cause organ failures.

There have been some reports of models eating tissues(Yes, you saw it right. Tissues.) as tissues expands when in contact with water/stomach  acid. That’s crazy, and trust me, if you begin eating tissue, please seek medical attention.

Intermittent Fasting, also known as 16:8 Diet

Intermittent fasting is an effective method to burn fats and has been in the spotlight for years now. Generally, the 16:8 rule for intermittent fasting suggests that you should only be eating during an 8 hour period block in the day, and stop eating for the remaining 16 hour period. An example would be if you consume your breakfast at 7:00am in the morning, your last meal ideally should be before 3:00pm. The next day’s breakfast will be at 7:00am again. Within the 16 hours of not eating, the body begins to burn glucose, and subsequently your body will be running on burning fats for energy.

In Singapore, models often avoid rice as rice is the main source of carbs in Asian diet. Also, rice acts as a filler for the stomach, and the carbs from rice will subsequently break down into sugar and then to fats. A serving of rice providing 90 grams of carbohydrates will break down to about the same amount of sugar found in 22 teaspoons of sugar(source).