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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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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Branding & Modeling Pt II: Where Do You Start?

“What's in a name? That which we call a rose / by any other name would smell as sweet.”

One of the many famous quotes from Shakespeares's play, "Romeo & Juliet" is not only beautifully poetic, it also relates to the subject of this second installment in my mini blog series about branding as it relates to modeling.

When trying to figure out where to start, deciding what name you'll use for your modeling career is a great jumping off point. The name you choose as a model to brand yourself with is important but not to the point where you should over analyze.

Each person will have his/her own reasons for the name they choose to brand themselves with. In my case, I use "Dania Denise." "Denise" is my middle name. I own and operate several businesses that are unrelated to the entertainment field and don't want to "cross-brand" or overlap so I use my legal last name for those businesses and my middle name in association with my modeling, acting, pageantry and so on.

Some models want to keep their real name completely anonymous when it comes to their modeling career and will choose a totally made up name or something similar to their legal name.

Others get a bit more "theatrical" with their names by using some kind of title (i.e. Queen Jasmine or Model Jasmine--I totally made that up for the purpose of having an example, btw) or they try to have the supermodel effect by just using one name.

Modeling agencies have even been known to change a model's name that they've signed to the roster to make it more appealing to potential clients and for marketing purposes. So the concept of coming up with a name for a model to use isn't uncommon.

There really isn't a magical formula for what your branded name should be. If you want to just keep it as your legal first and last name, go for it. If you want to be more unique and create a name/persona for your branding, have at it.

The main thing to keep in mind is that whatever name you go with, you better love it because it will tie directly into your brand as a model. One of the biggest things that makes branding work effectively is consistency. Even the biggest company brands had trouble when the decision was made to change their name. Remember Kinko's? It became FedEx Office years ago but I can't tell you how many times I--and many others--still say, "I need to go to Kinko's."

That doesn't mean you have to live with your model name forever and can't change it because you can but it will save you a lot of grief in the long run if you at least choose a name that you know you'll stick with for a while.

Having a catchy or memorable model name to brand yourself with is helpful but doesn't always mean it will guarantee you success in your career. Make sure it speaks to who you are and what you want to represent as a model, that it is memorable and can be easily applied to your website, social media profiles, comp cards, business cards, etc. And remember to use it consistently across the board in all your projects, marketing materials and when promoting yourself.

Don't forget to do your due diligence and find out if anyone else is using the name you want. If so, the easier path would be to choose something else or a different variation of that name. If the person who already has your top pick is already established and/or has been using it for a while, it really won't do much good to share the name. Even if the person isn't a model, the last thing you want is for people to get pointed to the wrong person. Confusion can lead to disinterest and a potential loss for an opportunity or networking connection.

Once you've got your model name set, you can quickly start applying it, which is the best part so get those creative juices flowing and see what name (if you aren't going to use your legal name) would be the best fit.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Branding & Modeling Part 1: What Is It?

An article from the site Entrepreneur.com defines the word "Branding" as follows:

The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.

It goes on further to break down this concept:

Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.

I agree 100% with the statement/definition above. Of course we normally think of branding when it comes to actual companies and products but you may be surprised to know that this concept also applies to modeling.

How so?

The definition of branding doesn't apply literally in all aspects when it comes to modeling. For example, you don't have to create a logo for yourself as a model. You can and it'd probably be pretty cool but it's not mandatory.

However, the philosophy behind the idea of branding definitely goes hand-in-hand in the sense that as a model you want people to recognize your name, who you are, what you represent and what potential clients can expect from working with you.

In essence: by dealing with you, what are they going to get? Will they like the end results? Will they come back? Will they recommend you to others in their network?

Many models build their brand using their names and is the easiest way to do so. How would we even know who the most famous models were if it weren't for their names? The Kate Mosses, Giseles, Tyras, Naomi Campbells, etc, etc...these are models that have created empires for themselves based on their name recognition as it relates to their modeling careers.

Think about it: even people who hate the modeling world or those who don't keep up with it in any way, shape or form would recognize the women above as models just because of the prevalence of their names over the years.

The good news is you don't have to be a supermodel to be a brand. Once you decide you want to become a professional model you'll want to start critically thinking about how you want to approach things, what you want to do, the goals you want to set, what you stand for, etc.

Speaking for myself, I use my name heavily in relation to my brand. When you think of "Dania Denise," what do you automatically think of? Most people would automatically say: model, blogger, actor, coach, pageant winner or entrepreneur. That's pretty accurate in terms of what I do and, while basic, it gets the point across. You don't have to guess what any of those things actually are, hence, making it clear what I do within the entertainment industry and making it easier to match me up with potential clients.

Just like a traditional business uses branding, models need to make sure they understand what type of experience they are providing to those that want to work with them. I would hope you aim to be branded as a model who is professional, reliable, easy to work with, diverse, etc.

When people work with you and those branding ideals are displayed, they'll know you stand by your brand identity/reputation. That is what will keep them coming back and motivate positive word of mouth among the industry.

I pride myself on the fact that I have a good reputation within my respective networking circles. Nothing makes me happier than knowing when I reach out to people about projects, they're more than happy to jump on board because they know (based on my branding and consistency with results) that anything my name is on or associated with means they're going to be treated well, professionally, their time will be respected and we'll produce the highest quality end results that will benefit everyone. And THAT is what drives my branding to continue to be at its best at all times.

If you set your branding to high standards and can uphold them, you'll attract like-minded clients, networking contacts and quality opportunities. Do the opposite and you'll also get the flip side of those results.

There is more to branding in modeling than one post can cover, which is why I'll be breaking this up into a mini series of blog posts to tackle specific areas in more detail and hopefully provide a blueprint of sorts for how you can create your own brand successfully and effectively.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Wardrobe Tips for Male 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" male print models represent:


MALE STUDENT (HIGH SCHOOL/COLLEGE)


The Look: casual and comfy
Examples for Tops:  t-shirts, collared button up shirts, sweaters
Examples for Bottoms: jeans, shorts
Examples for Shoes: sneakers, sandals
Examples for Accessories: watches, caps


MALE SHOPPER/CONSUMER 
(can also be applied to "Parent/Father" depending on the age range portrayed)



The Look: stylish/dressy casual
Examples for Tops: sweaters, collared shirts, button up dress shirt
Examples for Bottoms: jeans, slacks, shorts, khakis
Examples for Shoes: sneakers, dress shoes, boots, sandals, loafers
Examples for Accessories: watches, wedding band (if portraying husband)

CASUAL/LOUNGING AT HOME






The Look: super comfy/casual
Examples for Tops: sweaters, tank tops, t-shirts
Examples for Bottoms: jeans, shorts, boxers, sweatpants
Examples for Shoes: socks, sandals, loafers, barefoot
Examples for Accessories: watches, wedding band (if portraying husband)

BUSINESSMAN



The Look: corporate, business casual
Examples: full-on suit, blazer and dress shirt, slacks, jacket, peacoat
Examples for Shoes: dress shoes
Examples for Accessories: watches, tie

UPSCALE/FORMAL MAN



The Look: sophisticated, high end
Examples: suit, slacks and dress shirt, tuxedo
Examples for Shoes: dress shoes
Examples for Accessories: tie, watch, cuff links

FITNESS/GYM MAN



The Look: sporty
Examples: tank tops, t-shirts, jerseys, shorts, sweatpants, sweatshirts
Examples for Shoes: sneakers
Examples for Accessories: watches, ear buds, armband for smartphone

THE OUTDOORSY MAN



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

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: 

FEMALE STUDENT (HIGH SCHOOL/COLLEGE)


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


FEMALE SHOPPER/CONSUMER 
(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

CASUAL/LOUNGING AT HOME



The Look: super comfy/casual
Examples for Tops: sweaters, tank tops, t-shirts, cardigans
Examples for Bottoms: jeans, shorts, sweatpants, leggings
Examples for Shoes: socks, barefoot, house slippers
Examples for Accessories: watches, wedding band (if portraying wife)

BUSINESSWOMAN



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

UPSCALE WOMAN
(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

FITNESS/GYM/YOGA WOMAN



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

THE OUTDOORSY WOMAN






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?

ACTOR MODE

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.

PRODUCER MODE

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!

PAGEANT MODE

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. :-)

STILL MODELING, TOO

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!

I STILL LOVE YOU, BLOG READERS!

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???