There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Monday, January 2, 2017

Wardrobe Tips for Female Commercial/Print Models

If you haven't already, I would recommend reading my blog post about Commercial/Print modeling (Understanding Commercial/Print Modeling) in order to better understand/apply the info in the following post.

Commercial/print is a category all its own--and with good reason. Often misunderstood, this type of modeling is one of the most popular and in demand because it targets the largest demographic out there: the every day consumer.

Those interested in getting into this category of modeling may have some new territory to conquer since commercial/print isn't like fashion and runway. Because print models are not representing a designer's collection (like fashion/runway/editorial) that means they're not going to be wearing some else's clothes to showcase.

Print models are all about representing the average consumer and that means dressing casually or for a certain occasion. There are wardrobe stylists that may be onset with supplemental wardrobe and in those instances a print model could end up wearing an outfit they don't own but it is completely common for clients to require commercial/print models to bring their own wardrobe.

The best way I can describe wardrobe when it comes to commercial/print modeling is to think about the "roles" you may be hired to portray for a modeling job.

If you need to expand your wardrobe needs to better suit this category of modeling or aren't sure where to begin or what you should have in your closet, below are some of the most common "roles" female print models represent: 


The Look: casual and comfy
Examples for Tops: tank tops, t-shirts, cute blouses, sweaters
Examples for Bottoms: jeans, shorts, skirts
Examples for Shoes: sneakers, flats, sandals
Examples for Accessories: earrings, necklaces, watches

(can also be applied to "Parent/Mother" depending on the age range portrayed)

The Look: stylish/dressy casual
Examples for Tops: blouses, cardigans, camisoles, sweaters, sundress
Examples for Bottoms: jeans, skirts, leggings
Examples for Shoes: heels, boots, flats, sandals
Examples for Accessories: earrings, necklaces, watches, bracelets


The Look: corporate, business casual
Examples: pants suit, skirt suit, blouse paired with skirt or slacks, dress (not a sundress or casual dress)
Examples for Shoes: heels, boots, pumps, flats
Examples for Accessories: earrings, necklaces, watches, bracelets

(sometimes also known as "Smart Casual" or "Upscale Casual")

The Look: sophisticated, high end
Examples: blouses paired with skirts or slacks, cocktail dresses, modern dress styles
Examples for Shoes: heels, sandals, booties
Examples for Accessories: earrings, necklaces, bracelets


The Look: sporty
Examples: leggings, shorts, sports bras, tank tops
Examples for Shoes: sneakers
Examples for Accessories: watches, ear buds, armband for smartphone


The Look: campy, casual, ready to participate in outdoor activities
Examples: tank tops, t-shirts, shorts, jeans, vests, jackets/windbreakers
Examples for Shoes: sneakers, hiking boots
Examples for Accessories: watches, ear buds, small accessories (earrings), beanie, cap

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Happy Holidays & The Latest From Dania Denise

'Tis the Season, folks!

I'm sure you're all busy juggling shopping, work, cramming for finals (for you students out there), planning holiday travel and the list goes on.

As you could probably tell--for my loyal readers out there--2016 was my slowest year ever in terms of posting new content here on Modeling 101.

I hope I haven't let you down too terribly or given you the impression that I've retired or no longer do anything with this blog but if you have been keeping up with things, you already know that my lack of posting new stuff wasn't on purpose or to torture you.

I'm the type of person who doesn't like to do anything halfheartedly. That includes emailing, blogging, even visiting with friends/family. If I don't have the appropriate amount of time to be focused on the task at hand, I would rather put it off until I have ample time to be at my best and give my full attention.

I hate skimming through emails and rushing my responses and the same goes for blogging. I have a list of topics so rest assured that my falling behind on posting isn't because I've run out of steam or ideas. Quite the opposite! But in my typical workaholic fashion, I've taken on more projects and commitments that have stretched me pretty thin this year and I just had to get them knocked out.

What kinds of projects, you ask?


While I love modeling I also love acting and 2016 had me really engaged in more acting projects, including commercials, short films and some feature film work (all in various forms of production). Several short films I was in are being shopped around the film festival circuit so, unfortunately, they're not allowed to be posted online so I can't view or share them just yet.


Apparently, being in front of the camera isn't enough for me because I've also spent some time this year being behind the camera. The main role I've been taking on these days is as producer but I've also been in charge of holding auditions, working with actors, coordinating shoot schedules, scouting locations, managing the cast and crew onsite, set design and pretty much being HBIC status, lol.

It's really given me an adrenaline rush to be even more involved in the industry behind the camera, not to mention being able to actually star in a few of the projects I'm helping to produce. Getting the momentum and funding for such projects isn't easy and it doesn't happen overnight but I will be sure to share all the latest goodness with you soon as everything is ready to go!


2016 was filled with amazing experiences as Ms. USA Petite. Not only did I spend my time as a titleholder participating in various events, I had the honor of hosting the 2016 Universal Petite Pageant, which took place on a cruise ship that took us to the Grand Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico this summer.

Getting to spend a week with titleholders from different countries, as well as reuniting with my sister queens, was such an incredible chapter in my life and it was definitely bittersweet when I crowned my successor earlier this month in Florida. It was sad to say goodbye to my sister queens but I am thrilled with our new titleholders and know they will all make us proud as the newest members of the USA Petite Family!

Speaking of pageants...I am working on something pretty big and using all of 2017 to prep for it in 2018 so while I can't say right now what it is, I promise you it's gonna be worth the wait. :-)


I could never stray too far from modeling among all the other things I've got my hands in. Modeling for the most part was slow for me this year but that was because I hadn't put myself out there too much in terms of castings but suddenly I found myself in front of the camera and back in model mode doing a bunch of fun shoots.

I actually did two sets of editorial shoots with the mega talented hair and makeup artist/stylist Nomi Nguyen. The images have already been sent to various magazines and I was just told that they've all been selected for publication!

It was great to know that despite my shorter stature, Nomi believed in me enough as a model and the fact that I now have my first set of editorial tearsheets--including a cover!!!--continues to motivate me to seek opportunities that may not otherwise have been on my radar. All it takes it someone taking a chance on you to make things happen and get the ball rolling!


For those of you waiting and hoping for new content, I truly apologize for not being better about making time to stay on top of my blog posts. The good news is that I've been scheduled for more work from home days with my other businesses so that means the downtime I need to focus on getting more modeling tips, tricks, info and other tidbit type of posts out to you on a more regular basis.

I don't believe in making New Year's Resolutions but my effort to be more diligent in blogging is probably the closest I'll come, hah.

Your patience will be rewarded and I am aiming to give you a new Modeling 101 blog post before the end of this month. That'll make two blog posts in one month, which hasn't happened for a long time here...baby steps, right???

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tips for Getting to Your Modeling Castings On Time, Every Time

It goes without saying that arriving on time to castings is one of the biggest ways to make a good first impression when it comes to establishing a good reputation in the modeling world.

Those new to modeling--especially you freelance models out there--have a lot of new territory to encounter and I hope this post gives you less to stress about.

When you're not stressed, you're able to focus more on performing well during the casting and hopefully setting yourself up to get hired for that modeling job!

Some of these tips are common sense but like I always say, "Common sense just isn't common enough." Believe me, if I didn't feel these things needed to be mentioned, I wouldn't even bother but if I can help even one person have an "AHA!" moment in realizing mistakes they may have made in the past (and can now correct moving forward), then I will have considered this post a success.

Lets get to it!


Soon as you're confirmed for a casting and have the date/time/location, make sure to identify who your "contact person" will be at the casting (if this info hasn't been provided to you already).

You'll want to know the name of the person and a number they can be reached at during business hours (8a-5p). BTW: It is extremely unprofessional to call your contact person in the evening, especially if it is a personal cell phone that they use to conduct business. The only exception is in the case of an emergency or if you cannot make it to the casting last minute.

If you haven't been told who your contact person is, just ask. Even if you're told that you don't need to worry about having a contact person, the fact that you asked reflects very well on you and is a great sign of your professionalism.


Nothing is more nerve-wracking than sending an email inquiry or leaving a voicemail the day/night before a casting and not hearing back from someone in time.

Avoid putting yourself in this situation by confirming all the details and asking any questions you may have several days (2-3 days) before the date of your casting. This gives the client/casting director the time necessary to get back to you soon as they are available. Remember, they have busy schedules as well and may not be able to get back to you right away.

The sooner you get things clarified, the better prepared you'll be by the time the casting date comes around.


We have too much technology these days to have the excuse of being late because models didn't know where to go.

Whether you're taking public transit or driving, look up the directions for how to get to your casting soon as you have the address available. Doing this in advance instead of waiting the day of will decrease the odds of any unexpected surprises. You literally have to be prepared for anything so do yourself a favor and plan ahead.

Don't just know how to get to the casting--use Google Maps to look up what the actual location looks like. Being able to recognize the building when you get there shaves minutes off your arrival time.

Go a step further and look at the parking situation if you plan on driving. Are there meters? Parking garages nearby? Free parking in a residential area? Google Maps shows the surrounding areas so take note of that and factor it into how much time you'll need to get there on time.

Anyone who's had to find parking in an area that is metered or offers free sidewalk parking knows it can take forever to find an open spot nearby and could take even longer if you have to park blocks away and walk.


I purposely make it a habit to arrive to castings at least 30 minutes before my casting call time. I have no problem getting to places really early because it not only guarantees I won't be late and have plenty of time for parking, it gives me a moment to prepare my game face and go over what to expect at the casting.

Additionally, it allows me to double check that I have all the stuff I need (i.e. headshot/comp card) and to check my hair and makeup one last time before heading in.

Trust me, it's much better to find yourself with time to kill instead of rushing into the casting frantic because you came close to being late or ended up being late.

If you have the habit of being late to everything in general, chances are you won't be a favorite at castings. Implementing these tips and learning to embrace them as a part of your modeling career will produce instant results not just in building a good rep for yourself in the industry but giving you peace of mind as well that you'll have less to worry about before each casting and give you the confidence that you'll be stepping in as the best version of yourself.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Other Forms of Modeling Compensation (Other Than Money)

There is a lot to be said for how one measures "success" or defines "professional" when it comes to an industry like modeling. Most people automatically think about money.

Of course it makes sense that a professional model is one who gets paid for his/her services. Supermodels make tons of money so it's easy to see why the every day person would consider the almighty dollar as a major factor.

However, while earning income for modeling is a big perk, it isn't the only form of compensation female and male models receive for their efforts.

Sometimes models have to determine whether a gig is worth taking or not based on the form of compensation. Project type, budget, client and job duties all factor into what type of compensation will be provided to a model and as with much in the industry, the details almost always vary from project to project.

Below are a few of the most common forms of modeling compensation aside from money that models will want to be aware of when submitting to and getting booked for assignments:


Tearsheets are the best form of compensation (some believe it's even better than money) for models because it serves as direct "proof" of publication. I've talked about tearsheest in the past but the important takeaway when it comes to this type of payment is that models should definitely seek as many opportunities to earn tearsheets as possible.

Whether it's a hard copy tearsheet from a magazine/catalog or other printed form or a digital tearsheet printed off the Internet (or bookmarked), these are the types of images that are gold for portfolios.

What better way to show people what you've accomplished than a publication that has you in it?


Clients with smaller budgets or just starting out with their business don't always have the deep pockets that their larger competitors do. Giving models free merchandise (clothes, accessories, product, etc.) counts as a form of modeling compensation, although getting freebies as payment is sometimes a hot button topic for those in the industry.

Some models don't see getting free merchandise as acceptable and won't accept or submit to jobs that list this as compensation. Other models love getting free stuff and see it as a perk so they don't have any problem with it.

Free merchandise is a commonly used form of compensation when it comes to fashion shows. If you really love the designer's clothes, getting a free outfit (or maybe a gift certificate to their store/site) may sound like a great deal. If you'd rather get paid, this may be a gig to pass on.

For photoshoots where the client is giving free merchandise in lieu of monetary compensation, it's a good idea to find out beforehand if you'll also be able to get copies of the photos. If the resulting images will be published that means tearsheets so in that instance, getting tearsheets and free merchandise is a pretty sweet combo meal. But if you're not going to receive images, walking away with free clothes might not sound very appealing.


Tearsheets and regular modeling photos are not the same. Tearsheets describe "published" work, while photos from a shoot are just that--photos. Getting copies from a professional shoot is good for adding new images to a model's portfolio and is considered a form of compensation although it is at the bottom of the ladder in terms of priority, at least for models with a lot of experience.

Newer models learning the ropes, however, can greatly benefit from getting copies from shoots they've done.


Some clients may combine any or all of the above to sweeten the deal for models if they don't have a large budget to work with. A lower pay rate combined with free merchandise/product is a popular option, as well as a lower pay rate combined with copies of the resulting images.

Other clients might give models the option of choosing between monetary compensation and free merchandise or copies of images from the shoot (not talking about tearsheets here). Those aren't the best situations to be in and while it doesn't happen frequently, it happens enough that I felt it was worth mentioning.

If you find yourself in this kind of situation where you can only choose one or the other, it will be up to you to decide if you'd rather take the money or if the copies of the photos or free merchandise/product would benefit you more. In this case, it's important to look at the client you'd be working with, what's required of you as the model and where you are at in your career.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Agency Recruitment Warnings: What All Models Should Know

I'm often a broken record. I repeat a lot of the same things over and over and over.

That's usually because I find that it drills important info into people's heads and helps them remember things more easily.

Referring to modeling agency websites is one of the most common things I repeat constantly and with good reason--many questions and concerns can be answered by visiting an agency's website. Period.

These days agencies take great time and care to post content on their websites to help models with everything from how to submit themselves for representation, reference photos for snapshots and--in recent years--vital information about warnings and scams to be on the lookout for.

Modeling recruitment scams are prominent and with technology making it easier for people to stay anonymous and/or pretend to be someone they're not, agencies are very aware that there are individuals posing as model scouts and preying on unsuspecting newbies.

Because a lot of people turn to my blog for advice, I decided to recap some of that essential info here. Much of this is posted on agency sites all over but I figured it couldn't hurt to have this content here as a quick reference to avoid scams and preventing a bad situation.


Ask for Models to Submit Photos of Themselves in Lingerie or Nude.

I don't care if you want to model for Victoria's Secret--they don't want to see you naked or modeling their bras and thongs. Modeling agencies do request snapshots but they want you clothed. Dark skinny jeans, heels and a fitted tank top for women and jeans and a fitted shirt for men are the norm.

Agencies that want to see the shape of a model's body better will request snapshots wearing swimwear (bikinis for women and swim shorts with no shirt for men, most times).

If you ever get a request from an "agency" for nude images or wearing lingerie, they're a fake agency. Don't respond and delete the email (better yet, report them to the proper online resource/authority/consumer website to make others aware of these creepers).

Send an Email From an Address That is Not Affiliated with the Agency.

Did you receive an email from someone claiming to be from a big agency? You better check that email address. If the extension doesn't contain the name of the agency after the "@" symbol, it's 99.9% a scam or other shady type of operation.

For example, if you get an email from a person that says they're a model scout or recruiter from Next Models in New York, their email address better have "@nextmodels.com".

Legit:  samh@nextmodels.com, sam.h@nextmodels.com

Not Legit:  samh@yahoo.com, samhnextmodels@yahoo.com, nextmodels@yahoo.com, nextmodelsrecruiter@yahoo.com

(The legit reference is not a real email address btw so please don't send an email to it, lol).

Agencies large and small have their own email addresses and don't need to use Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail or any other kind of "every day" email account.

What should you do if you get such an email? Don't reply. Instead, save the message and forward it to the agency directly. They want people to alert them of these incidents so in your email explain that you were contacted by this person and make sure you send them the body of the email message you received.

This will allow the agency to take whatever action is needed on their end to hopefully put a stop to the activity. Does that mean they'll be so thankful that they'll sign you? Probably not, haha, but they will greatly appreciate your efforts to get rid of one less scumbag.

Conduct Interviews via Skype

Social media, especially Instagram, has changed the ways agencies scout, contact and recruit models but according to several fashion agency websites I've reviewed, they all say that they do NOT conduct interviews for new models through Skype and that those who are offered this opportunity should be wary.

Even though Skype is great for connecting people across distances and is used for business communications as well as for fun, the more established and reputable agencies will not use it for interviewing new models. Why? Because even though Skype allows them to "see" you, they NEED to see you in front of them with their own eyes.

You can't properly evaluate a model's potential via webcam. The heavy hitter agencies know this and they also know that if a model really wants the opportunity, they'll make the effort to come to the agency office and have the interview in person.

If you're not sure whether an interview via Skype with an agency is legit, do your research by calling/emailing the agency directly and asking if they do Skype interviews. Remember, the scammers don't work at the agency so calling or emailing directly will help you verify whether or not that individual actually does work there and if the offer is genuine.

What happens if the person does work there? Then there's no harm and it isn't a bad reflection on you. If anything, it shows the agency that you're not a pushover who will fall for anything.

Ask for Money Upfront to Attend a Casting or Interview.

Legitimate agencies will never ask you to send them money to attend a casting or interview before they will meet with you. If anyone contacts you and asks you to send them money via wire transfer, through PayPal or another online payment method, that's a huge sign that it's a scam.

Money only comes into the equation after you've met with the agency in person, have a contract offer on the table, etc. Not in the early stages when they've never even met you or reviewed your photos and info.

Models don't pay to attend castings or interviews and legitimate agencies won't allow them to, either.

When in doubt about someone contacting you claiming to be from a particular agency, visit that agency's site to see if you can locate that person's name/contact info to verify his/her identity.

Can't find it? Then call the agency directly and ask to verify whether that person actually does work there. Make sure you know the person's name before you call. If the agency says no one by that name works there, then you'll know you dodged a major bullet.

Not all agencies are identical and not all of them operate the same way but when it comes to the safety of the models that submit to them, as well as their reputations, taking the above information to heart could save you a lot of stress, grief and an unfortunate experience/encounter.