The modelling world, even with all that glitz and glamour, is a rather mysterious profession. 

b’Source: Nimisha Dean/Instagram’

We see young men and women walking the ramp, posing for big brands and assume they’re lucky to be earning money for just getting photographed. We often envy them as we sit behind our desks, running to complete deadlines. We wonder how they manage getting jobs and are jealous of all these fashion-forward models who have the best clothes and accessories.

But what we often don’t realize is that a profession is a profession. Nothing comes easy to anyone, be it a corporate job or a modelling assignment. But the mystery that surrounds the working of the modelling world always leaves us with so many questions.

We got in touch with Nimisha Dean, a 22-year-old model who has modelled for brands like Tanishq and L’Oréal, who gives us a small glimpse into how the modelling world works.

Nimisha Dean/Instagram

We’re all aware that every profession has its own ups and downs but since modelling seems like a profession with only pros, we asked Nimisha about the struggles, and there are quite a few of them. From uncertainty of the immediate future to payments, here’s how scary it can all be:

“At first glance, the model life isn’t the hardest. You’re made to pose in front of a camera, you may have to change outfits a couple of times, you wrap up your last shot, you wipe off the make-up and then you’re a free bird! At the end of the day, there’s a vague sense of excitement at having worked hard but not having “worked” worked, like your friends from college stuck in their offices. 

But it isn’t the rosiest situation either – a lot of times you don’t know when you’re getting paid for the gig, in addition to having practically no control over what other jobs you’ll book in the near future, or how much you’ll earn in a month. There’s a very real chance you’ll go to 10 auditions in a week and land none. False promises are made and promptly forgotten by the other party. It’s all a little unpredictable, so the important thing to do is take things as they come.”

The Luxury Chronicle

We assume that being a model will bring you fame. But how exactly do models get projects initially? 

“When I first moved to Mumbai to model, I ignorantly assumed that the models scoring the coolest shoots were a) Unbelievably well-connected or b) Had been in the city for a long time. 

Turns out, neither of those are prerequisites. 

While it holds true that being in the city and gradually building up work history is how models start booking better shoots, sometimes it’s the newest arrival that has everyone excited and books the bigger campaigns. A large chunk of this depends on intangibles like luck, timing and chance meetings. Becoming “famous” (and not in the, ‘oh wow she has a 100K Insta followers!’ way) takes a while, so you gotta practice your patience.”


How difficult is it to get signed by a reputed modelling agency? Do they take an initial fee? Is it easier for people who know the big shots in the industry?

“At the start of your career, it’s reassuring to have a family that’s looking out for you – which is exactly what being with an agency feels like. They groom you a little, they try to build your portfolio, they keep track of your auditions. They assign you a manager, who reminds you of the flight you have to catch that day to reach a shoot, or passive-aggressively scolds you for missing an audition. If this still sounds fun and you want to be represented by an agency, your best bet is to email their scouting department. If they’re interested, they’ll invite you to meet them at their office and take a few basic pictures. It helps to reach out to different agencies before finalizing on one, because every agency looks for different things in the talent they represent.

Also, you don’t have to pay an initial fee and if you’re being asked to, please be careful and inspect your contract.”


Bollywood is quite famous for casting couch. Is it true for the modelling world as well? 

“I can only speak for myself, and I’m quite happy to report that I’ve never been approached in an uncomfortable manner. Everyone at an audition or shoot is just there to do their job and leave as quickly as possible, so that they don’t have to deal with the savage traffic Mumbai nights are infamous for. Models are always treated with respect, and if I have my earphones in and coffee in hand, no one bothers me. I’ve never felt obligated to anyone for having gotten a job, or felt like I owed anyone anything. Everyone is here to work.”


We had to ask her that one question that has often been on every girl’s mind: How do the female models manage their work when they are on their periods?

“Most days, you roll with it. You’re usually just prancing about in front of a camera, so unless your face is contorting with pain or you feel faint, you smile through it and then go home and take a monster nap. At my first shoot in Bombay, photographed by Tarun Khiwal, I nearly passed out because of the heat and everyone on set was only sensitive and helpful. If you do feel too sick to make it to work, you can always inform your agency in advance and they’ll apologize to the client on your behalf.”

Devansh Jhaveri

Since the modelling world is mostly about a person’s appearance, we wonder if it would make for a rather toxic environment for young girls. Does it?

“Everyone’s a little skeptical when I tell them this, but some of the sweetest, most down-to-earth girls I’ve met are models. As you get closer, you realise you have a confidante who empathises with your niche work-related qualms, and also just someone you can goof around with at slow auditions. Sometimes, when you are really lucky, you even get to shoot with your friends.”

But then how does one deal with days when you don’t feel comfortable in your own body?

“As a model, you do get more acquainted with your body. You don’t necessarily fall in love with it, but you become more aware of what you have working for you (and what you could maybe work more on). Chances are, people will very casually tell you to very drastically alter your appearance (I’ve had this come at me from well-meaning people at shoots and I’m openly admitting that I’ve never listened to their advice) but it’s up to you how you process the scrutiny. Before committing to anything, like a certain kind of diet or even just changing your hair colour, understand that your look is unique and that ultimately, that is what sets you apart.”

So, then just like all other professions, modelling has its ups and downs. 

Check out – Bollywood Rain Songs