Photo credit: Upfront models and production

Jobs 101: Model

This glamorous job is more than just posing for cameras.

Yasmeen Farha
Yasmeen Farha

Published: 26 October 2017, 11:17 AM

Full-time model Gerald Luke Pereira started his career by chance, after winning a model search competition he initially turned down.

Managed under Upfront Models and Production, Luke does a variety of fashion, advertising and commercial modelling as well.

Who: Gerald Luke Pereira, 23
What: Full-time Model
Studied: RMIT Bachelor in Communication Studies (Professional Communication)

Tell us more about yourself! 

I grew up running in the track and field team. After breaking the national records for the 400m and 800m events at the age of 10, I represented Singapore in the Western Australian Little Athletes in 2005.

Apart from that, I enjoy watching soccer, playing the guitar and just hanging out with my friends.

Why did you become a model?

I was scouted by Teens Model Search at the age of 17 during Temasek Polytechnic’s open house. Initially, I turned them down. My mum, however, promised them that I would turn up at the auditions, so I practically did not have a say.

Luke’s modelling career started out as a fluke. Photo credit: Farha

I did not expect myself to enter, let alone win. But I guess it’s true that mama knows best.

After winning the contest, a friend referred me to Upfront modelling agency and I have been with them ever since.

How long have you been doing this, and how has industry changed? 

I have been modelling for five years, and the only notable change is the sudden influx of influencers modelling. This means more competition for models. I would honestly be lost in this industry without my director’s patience and effort to groom me, and I’m thankful for that.

Describe a typical day at work. 

A good day at work usually involves two or three castings, followed by fittings. Fittings are the unofficial guarantee that we got the job.

Some days, it is just a short morning shoot and the rest of the day is free. At times, I spend the entire day travelling to different venues for castings.

Free lunch after shooting McDonald’s Angus Beef burger commercial. Photo credit: Upfront models and production

What are some of the challenges you face as a model?

A real challenge is having to compete with Caucasian models. Unless the shoot specifically calls for tanned or Asian features, my look may not be the most popular among clients.

Do you have to make any sacrifices for your job? 

I had the opportunity to shoot a commercial for Cadbury in Bangladesh, but the shoot fell on Dec 26. It really put me in a spot, since Boxing Day is important to my family.

Having to sacrifice time with loved ones never gets easier – but it comes with the job. Photo credit: Farha

I knew it was a rare opportunity, and I did not want to be left with any regrets, so I went ahead anyway.

What are some unexpected things that will happen? 

I once walked the runway for a show, with pants that were two sizes too big. The fitters had forgotten to alter my pants and we had no time to get it fitted. They merely clipped the pants and sent me down the runway.

Halfway through, the clip fell off and I walked the rest of the runway fearing that my pants would drop. Luckily it did not, but it was a really close call.

What advice would you give to youths considering a career as a model? 

Keep your standards high so that you will push yourself to achieve as much as you can, but stay realistic.

“It’s also important to stay grounded and not take anything for granted. Always remember that hard work and effort beats everything,” Luke advised. Photo credit: Upfront models and production


Educational requirements: None, but the proficiency of English and Mandarin will help in communication with crew on set.

Qualities needed (by model): Have to be photogenic, patient, and comfortable in front of camera. In fashion modelling, girls should be at least 170cm tall, with body proportions around 34-24-34. Males should be at least 180cm, chest 40 (suit regular), and inside leg 33ins (84cm). Models should have generally clear skin, good hands, nails and teeth, healthy hair and regular features.

Salary range: Depending on project basis and client’s budget, $4000 to $6000 on average per month.

Working hours: Five to 10 hours depending on the deliverables.

Career prospects: You can diversify and go into all areas of modelling, or move to hosting and acting.


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