4 Things To Consider Before Engaging a Model for your Fashion Business in Nairobi


Generally, fashion shoots work around extremely tight schedules: from the photographer trying to get the right natural light if the shoot is outdoors, to the make up artist doing and re-doing different looks on the subject etc.; all players work together to make the cog turn smoothly. Promptness is therefore necessary not only to ensure the project runs on schedule, but to also allow some extra time towards the end in case the shots need to be retaken. The fact that models should be on time, or preferably earlier than requested may seem obvious, but it is crucial at fashion shoots so that the team can get through many looks, angles or poses within the given time frame. This is key especially because the model’s hair and make-up have to be completed before the actual shoot, yet if the model commissioned is not on time, this eats into the photographer’s time too, who most often than not, charges by the hour. Thus for your fashion business, be wary that if the subject of the shoot is late, it delays the whole process and costs your start-up.


Models have always been diverse, should be diverse and will continue to remain diverse. They come in all shapes and sizes and there is a model for every style. Fashion houses should be open to this fact. Additionally, what aids this process is the confidence of the model. In our experience, we mean it when we say, modeling is ALL about confidence… more than it is about good looks! A model who is confident in their form and flaws is the best type of model. Confidence here is not a moniker for arrogance or display of diva antics. A confident model is a model that knows how to communicate your fashion business’ message through their anatomy; a skill that is built through practice. Posing for commercial shoots is definitely not a walk in the park so it always helps to review a model’s portfolio to gauge their experience before hiring them.


Unfortunately, there are no modelling schools in Nairobi… however just like any other performance art such as ballet dance or singing, modelling does not come naturally and requires tons of practice, just like the best athletes out there. As a start-up of any fashion business (whether that’s fashion designing, fashion retailing, or independent fashion journalism and so forth), you and your team will probably have zero to little experience in recruiting human talent, therefore it always helps to hire a model with experience posing for brands here and there, or even if you recruit a model who does not have exponential exposure, ensure they have a decent portfolio. This assists the photographer, stylist or art director, in managing and directing the shoot.

A model that is coachable, takes direction very well, and is open or adaptable to feedback is definitely one to keep in your books and refer to your networks for future shoots, because they arerare. Coachability thus ensures that the shoot runs smoothly, and since the working environment between the photographer and model is a very close one, it is essential that there is a working chemistry between the two that allows for the shoot to go according to plan without delays or disruption.

Remember, as mentioned in Part 1 (here), you are the client and so your needs and objectives as a fashion business or startup with limited resources, whether that’s in capital or human talent, should always be prioritised and considered throughout the shoot. A model who cannot take direction even when requested is certainly not worth working with in subsequent shoots.


Diva antics on sets are commonplace, however, no body wants to work with someone they cannot get along with. It is important to find a model that understands professionalism in the work place particularly because sets usually involve various actors: photographers, hair stylists, make up artists, directors and sometimes assistants. Professionalism also stretches post shooting, as you want to keep hiring the same model for all your imaging needs and the synergies that a good professional model brings. If there are any disagreements it is helpful if the model is able to seek redress in a professional way that does not only damage your brand but theirs as well, as it is hard to be associated with a brand that has been tarnished.