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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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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Dos & Don't of Modeling Snapshots (Male Models)

Submitting quality snapshots is just as crucial for aspiring male models as their female counterparts.

While there isn't as much for male models to worry about, that doesn't mean the snapshots they submit to modeling agencies should be a free-for-all.

Some of the dos and don'ts listed below are the same as listed in my blog post for female models, however, it is still important to mention it separately here as well.

DO: Follow Any & All Instructions

Agency websites contain all the info new models need to know, including what kinds of snapshots to send. Many even post reference images to copy. If you come across an agency site that has all this laid out, follow the instructions to a tee.

DON'T: Take Random Snapshots

It's great when there's a site with full guidelines but even if you come across an agency with a website where there isn't much info or none at all about what types of snapshots to send, you can follow the bare minimum requirements:

- 1 closeup headshot (smiling if you're submitting for commercial/print/lifestyle, non-smiling if you're submitting for runway/fashion/editorial)



- 1 half body shot (facing the camera, hands at your sides, no posing)

- 1 profile or 3/4 body shot (body and face should be in profile to the camera)

DO: Have Someone Take Your Photos for You

Even though I've seen a few agency websites state that "selfies" are acceptable, a larger majority of agencies want better quality snapshots and that can be easily accomplished when someone else is taking the photo of you. Not only will the resulting images look better, it'll give you less to worry about so you can focus on taking a good picture.

DON'T: Treat It Like a Photoshoot

Snapshots are non-professional in quality for a reason: it gives modeling agencies the opportunity to see what you REALLY look like. The purpose of modeling snapshots is to show what you look like at your most natural. This is also why you don't need to pose. Fellas, that means no "GQ" poses with your hand resting underneath your chin like you're deep in thought, no far off gaze like you're trying to find the meaning of life, etc.

Facing the camera directly and not posing is going to be your best bet.

DO: Wear the Right Clothes

Obviously, the type of clothing male models should wear in snapshots is going to be drastically different from female models. Similar guidelines apply when it comes to color and style of course. When it comes to choosing the clothes you'll wear, avoid the following:

- brand names/logos
- graphics
- busy patterns (plaids, tiny polka dots, stripes)

The focus of the snapshots should be you, not the clothing. Ideal wardrobe choices include:

- solid colored t-shirt or tanktop
- solid colored shorts that aren't baggy (no sagging, please!!!)
- no shoes or socks are necessary (pay attention to that personal grooming when it comes to your tootsies, guys!)

DON'T: Get Naked

We all know that male models are famous for sporting amazing washboard abs and a physique that just makes people drool. However, that doesn't mean you should show agencies all your goodies up front. You'd be surprised by how many naive models (ladies, this does apply to some of you as well), who think it's required and appropriate to submit naked snapshots of themselves for agency consideration.

The clothing ideas listed above are more than enough to meet the minimum requirements for submissions. Want to really show off your body but in a way that is acceptable to agencies? Then you can go shirtless with jeans, a solid colored pair of swim trunks or underwear (boxer briefs, boxers or tightie whities are all fine).


DO: Put the Focus on You

Your snapshots should only have you in the photo. That means no cropping your friends/girlfriend/family out of the group photo that you think you look fabulous in. Additionally, take your snapshots against a plain, light colored wall with no clutter around it. That means no hanging paintings or picture frames or piles of clothes/shoes on the floor. Anything that can take the agency's attention away from you in the photo is a major no-no.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Dania Denise Latest Tearsheet - Second Book Cover

I haven't had a chance to blog about my experience shooting for romance novel covers but I will be sure to recount that most interesting work experience soon. :-)

Till then, I am happy to say I can share my latest tearsheet, which happens to also be the second book cover I've gotten in my modeling career. The male model is Jimmy Thomas who is the new Fabio (for those of you not old enough to know Fabio, he was THE heartthrob of women everywhere by being one of the most popular male models on romance novel covers back in the 1980s and 1990s).

Jimmy Thomas is currently one of the most popular male models in the romance novel genre and his images have appeared on thousands of covers (you read that right--thousands...that's thanks to the huge boom with e-books and other digital formats).

Here's the cover we both appear on...I believe it should be on the market soon if it hasn't already been published:
Me and Jimmy shot many different sets for our shoot and the cool thing about that is those images will be used just like stock photography--any author has the ability to purchase the limited rights to use the photos of their choice for their book covers.

That means this won't be the only image I could potentially be on. Jimmy told me that soon as any of our other images gets published, he'll send me the cover like he did with this one. Fingers crossed that I get some with my face in it! LOL

Monday, January 12, 2015

Dos & Don'ts of Modeling Snapshots (Female Models)

As you've probably already gained from my blog, the role of snapshots is hugely crucial to new models hoping to get into the industry--namely, those with goals of snagging an agent.

Learning how to put together quality modeling snapshots is a great way to make a strong first impression and improve the chances of getting invited to an agency interview.

Below are some easy dos and don'ts for aspiring female models when it comes to putting their snapshots together (male models, don't worry--I haven't forgotten about you! The next blog post after this one will be filled with snapshot tips just for you). :-)

DO: Follow Any & All Instructions

Agency websites contain all the info new models need to know, including what kinds of snapshots to send. Many even post reference images to copy. If you come across an agency site that has all this laid out, follow the instructions to a tee.

DON'T: Take Random Snapshots

It's great when there's a site with full guidelines but even if you come across an agency with a website where there isn't much info or none at all about what types of snapshots to send, you can follow the bare minimum requirements:

- 1 closeup headshot (smiling if you're submitting for commercial/print/lifestyle, non-smiling if you're submitting for runway/fashion/editorial)
- 1 full body shot (facing the camera, hands at your sides or one hand on the hip)
- 1 full body profile (body and face should be in profile to the camera)

DO: Have Someone Take Your Photos for You

Even though I've seen a few agency websites state that "selfies" are acceptable, a larger majority of agencies want better quality snapshots and that can be easily accomplished when someone else is taking the photo of you. Not only will the resulting images look better, it'll give you less to worry about so you can focus on taking a good picture.

DON'T: Treat It Like a Photoshoot

Snapshots are non-professional in quality for a reason: it gives modeling agencies the opportunity to see what you REALLY look like. No makeup, no Photoshop retouching, no fancy hairstyles, etc. The purpose of modeling snapshots is to show what you look like at your most natural. This is also why you don't need to pose. At most, one hand on the hip is enough.

DO: Wear the Right Clothes

Piggybacking off the "Don't" above, your snapshots should show your figure and the best way to do that is by wearing what's sometimes called the "model uniform": dark skinny jeans and a solid colored, fitted tanktop or t-shirt. A two-piece, solid colored swimsuit is the second most common clothing option for snapshots. Heels are optional so you don't have to wear them, unless the agencies you're submitting to say they want you to wear heels in the photos.

DON'T: Be an Advertising Billboard

Notice that in the above "Do" I said "solid colored" twice? When it comes to choosing the clothes you'll wear, avoid the following:

- brand names/logos
- graphics
- busy patterns (plaids, tiny polka dots, stripes)

The focus of the snapshots should be you, not the clothing. Also avoid accessories so skip the earrings, necklaces, bracelets, hats, sunglasses, etc.

DO: Put the Focus on You

Your snapshots should only have you in the photo. That means no cropping your friends out of the group photo that you think you look fabulous in. Additionally, take your snapshots against a plain, light colored wall with no clutter around it. That means no hanging paintings or picture frames or piles of clothes/shoes on the floor. Anything that can take the agency's attention away from you in the photo is a major no-no.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Submitting to Modeling Agencies vs. Applying to Jobs

What I love about mentoring and coaching models is that I get to stay on top of what the most pressing concerns and challenges are for them, ultimately, allowing me to be mindful of what blog post topics I want to make sure to address here. This is one of those posts.

I want to point out that when I talk about agencies, I prefer to use the word "submit" and "submission(s)" instead of "applying."

My reason for this is because I don't want newbie models and those just getting into the industry to have the misconception that submitting to agencies is like applying for a job. Are they similar? Yes. Similar enough to be treated/talked about the same way? Not exactly.

The Submission/Application Method

Both agencies that sign models and companies that hire employees have their own respective submission/application methods. However, for models it is different compared to the average Joe/Jane looking for a 9-5 job.

Models don't go to the agency and ask to pick up an application that they can fill out and return at a later date. Nor do they call/email the agency to ask if they are hiring and what openings they have. It doesn't work that way.

Many agencies have submission forms on their websites for models to fill out and send in, along with photos and other requested materials, which is very much like a regular job application. The difference is that in order to obtain this kind of information, you have to visit the website, not call or email the agency directly.

The same could also be said for applying to regular jobs but it is crucial for models to know that phoning, randomly emailing or dropping by an agency office to inquire about representation is a big no-no. Regular 9-5 companies may also discourage this but in general, this practice of inquiring is more accepted in the overall job market--in modeling, it is not.

Resume/Experience

Unless you're applying to a job that is "entry-level," with no experience required, in the job market chances are you need to have a resume listing your previous experience and other information that shows why you're qualified to be hired.

In the modeling world, previous experience/training is not mandatory in order to be considered for representation by an agency unless they state on their website that they only represent professional level talent. Otherwise, newbies and inexperienced model hopefuls are more than welcome to submit their snapshots, measurements and info.

Again, the key is in the agency websites, which list the submission guidelines and whether or not they'll take on new models or only those with proven experience.

When applying to regular jobs, you're required to have some kind of resume that lists all the nooks and crannies of every job position you've ever held or at least those relevant to the type of position you're applying for. Models don't need resumes to submit to agencies. If you don't have any prior modeling experience, how can you be expected to submit a resume? Agencies work with new/inexperienced models all the time so they know not to expect these kinds of things from newbies.

Employee vs. Independent Contractor

This is the business side of the modeling industry I'm about to jump into here. When a person applies for a regular job and they get hired, they become an employee of that company. When a model gets signed by an agency, they become an independent contractor, not an employee. What does this mean?

The most significant point I want to touch on when it comes to this is the fact that "employees" receive a benefits package of some kind (health, dental, vision, vacation, 401(k), etc.)...models do not. As an "independent contractor," you are operating as your own business/employer, therefore the agency is not responsible for providing you with any kind of benefits. The contract you sign will state this and when you sign it, that means you are agreeing to and understand that you are responsible for providing yourself with those things and not the agency.

The Interview

A regular job interview means dress to impress. From business suits to business casual wear, job candidates already know their wardrobe needs to be top notch to make a great first impression. For models, interviews and open calls don't require nearly half as much pizzazz.

Heck, open calls at agencies encourage models to be as casual as possible. While female models typically wear skinnies, heels and a fitted tank-top or t-shirt, male models can keep things simple as well with jeans, sneakers and a regular t-shirt. So there's no need to invest in formal business threads for the purpose of going to a modeling agency open call.

Even if invited to a formal agency interview, the dress code doesn't change drastically--dressy casual for both female and male models is more than enough to get the job done. Additionally, no fancy briefcase or presentation is necessary. Digital snapshots with your name, stats and contact info written on the back is the bare minimum required. It doesn't get any easier than that.
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New models shouldn't make the process of submitting to agencies any harder than they need to. The process itself, when you really think about it, is very simple: the websites tell you exactly what to do. Follow the instructions and see where things go from there.