I know I've only just started freelance modelling, but after this weekend of shoots it's safe to say that I've figured out what the absolute essentials of it are! I did two shoots- one with the photographer from last week, and one with a new photographer. I got very different images from both, which is important to building a portfolio. Anyways, here are my freelance modelling essentials.
1) A Model Mayhem profile
There are definitely other sites around for freelance models, but I'm on MM and won't be changing any time soon. MM is great because it's very easy to find photographers. Make sure you put your interests into the sidebar- I've been contacted primarily for dance shoots. However, photographers rarely shoot straight up dance, and I get additional photos as well. I'll talk more about MM in another post some day. Be wary of creepy dudes, check references, and bring a friend.
2) A thick skin
Modelling is a competitive industry, and starting out isn't easy. You're going to get rejected. Shoots are going to be in tough conditions. You're going to freeze outdoors in the wind, or sweat it out in the sun. Sometimes people are rude and never reply. There's a lot to suck up, and you have to decide if it's worth it.
This sounds quite obvious, but freelancing takes a lot of willpower. You're the one setting up these shoots. You're the one making the commitment- and it's all under your name. So, if you don't show up, it's no one's fault but your own. In addition to having willpower, you have to be enthusiastic! Be passionate about what you do. Enjoy it-- you're getting amazing photos from your work (and some non-noobs might even be getting paid). Modelling is as fun as you make it, so if you go into it wanting to have a good time, you will. Stop photographers on the street and make them shoot you in tunnels (like I did above). Take risks-- the worst thing you can get is a bad photo, which you can delete afterwards.