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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Update on Modeling 101 Skype Group Calls

Thanks for all those who voted on my most recent poll. Based on the results, it looks like there are many of you who would be interested in chatting with me via Skype group calls to talk about all things related to modeling.

These Skype group calls will be very casual in nature and is your chance to get your questions about modeling answered by me directly.

To make it worth everyone's while, I need you to add me on Skype, otherwise I have no idea how to connect with you.

Remember: If you voted "Very Interested" for my poll, that means you have to take action and add me on Skype.

So if you want to be a part of the fun, please add me: dania.denise

The people already connected to me on Skype will receive updatesto help figure out what date and time everyone can get in on the call. Depending on the demand, I will gladly schedule these chats on a bi-weekly or monthly basis.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Modeling 101 Skype Group Chat This Sunday 3/23

Making a quick announcement that I'm planning on scheduling the first Modeling 101 Skype group chat for this Sunday, March 23.

Time is TBD but will likely be after 5pm PST (please take note for those of you in different time zones).

There's a really important step you need to follow if you want to be a part of this group chat: you have to add me on Skype: dania.denise

No add, no group chat. I doubt many of you want to post your Skype usernames in the comments section of this blog post so that I can add you myself but if you're cool with making that info public, feel free and I'll send a request to connect. Or you can email me your Skype username directly to keep it private: daniadenise@gmail.com.

It's funny because there was a bunch of you that replied "Very Interested" to the poll I posted a month ago, asking if these types of group chats would be something worth putting together, yet not that many of you have added me on Skype to participate.

But regardless of the total turnout, I will make sure to host the group chat for those that do want to take advantage of the opportunity to talk about modeling related topics and receive advice, assistance and answers to questions.

Only members of the group will know exactly when the group chat will happen in terms of the time so that's another reason to join in on the fun this Sunday. I won't be posting the time on my blog so send me a request on Skype or comment on this post/email me your Skype username and you'll be in on the latest!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Why Strong Ankles Matter for Female Models

I gotta tell ya, I've trained a lot of female models when it comes to walking in high heels for runway and fashion shows and almost every time I've almost had a heart attack for fear that one of the girls was going to roll or break her ankle.

In the past I've vented about how I really hate the latest trends of high heels that place a lot of weight on the front of the shoe using the "platform style," which automatically makes the wearer feel like she's teeter-tottering.

Even I've had to do extra practice in these types of heels. To be quite honest, I'm looking forward to the day when high heels do away with excessive platforms and models can once again go back to wearing heels that promote more stability when walking. But then again, when has being fashion forward ever meant being comfortable?

But I digress...

Okay, back to what I was saying about training models to walk in high heels...newbies are the ones I worry about the most because they obviously aren't used to walking in these kinds of shoes and many times they're walking in heels they haven't broken in yet. Or if they have broken them in, they still require a lot of practice in getting their balance and using the proper posture when it comes to the runway walk.

It just dawned on me recently that one of the reasons why I think many new models have such a hard time walking in heels--for runway/fashion show purposes not every day walking--is because they have what I believe to be "weak ankles." Yes, it is a real thing.

When watching newbies practice in their heels, I almost always see their feet/ankles seem to give out suddenly and they almost go down for the count. Thankfully, I've yet to have a girl fall but it just seems like it'll only be a matter of time. It might not sound that serious but falling in high heels could easily lead to rolling the ankle, twisting, spraining or--in extreme cases--breaking it. I don't have to tell you that none of us want that to happen.

The main way to get comfortable walking in high heels so that it doesn't look like every step you're taking is as if you're walking with needles being jabbed into your feet, is to practice...and practice a lot. However, if you've been experiencing instances where you feel like you're about to fall or your ankles seem to give way, then I would greatly suggest taking the steps necessary to strengthen those weak ankles.

This is as simple as incorporating specific exercises that target the area. No, that doesn't mean you're going to have to go to the gym and buff up your legs. Strengthening the ankles is all about enhancing endurance of the muscles and tendons, not just in the ankles but the feet and calves as well.

Below is a link to a really useful article that gives examples of easy ways to strengthen the ankles:

PopSugar: 7 Ways to Strengthen Your Ankles to Avoid Twists and Sprains

The article doesn't talk about how these exercises relate to wearing high heels but the exercises mentioned will help strengthen and provide additional support to the ankles when practicing in heels for runway and fashion show purposes.

If you want a real challenge, purchase ankle weights. They shouldn't be crazy heavy, in fact, pick the lightest ones to start with if you've never used this kind of item before. I especially like the kind that look like scrunchies that come in various designs.

Using the ankle weights is simple: you strap them around your ankles and spend a few minutes each day wearing them around. Many people wear them while exercising but if you just want them for the purposes I'm talking about in this post, then stick to just walking around with the weights on at home.

Do not wear your high heels with your ankle weights! I haven't found any specific research that says doing so is bad but it just doesn't seem like a smart thing to do so for common sense purposes, I do not advise wearing high heels and ankle weights at the same time.

Wear the ankle weights around the house while in your socks, barefoot or you can put tennis shoes on and walk around a bit outside, whichever you like best. Start slow, 10-15 minutes each day. Do not go overboard--this is supposed to be a simple exercise. The idea is slow and steady because this is how you'll build endurance and strength in the ankles.

It won't take long to notice a big difference once you slap your high heels back on again. The heels will feel lighter and you should be able to feel more fluid and graceful as you walk--hence, the whole purpose of the ankle weights.

The more comfortable you feel when walking in high heels, the more solid you'll feel as far as balance goes and with stronger ankles, the less likely you'll be to take a spill that could put you out of commission (and out of your favorite stilettos) for a while.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Shooting for a Magazine Publication? What Models Should Know

Being published in a magazine couldn't be more exciting for a model. Female and male models alike know that when you get published, you've easily upped your status as a professional.

Aside from the bragging rights, publication means tearsheets, which provide the ultimate boost for a modeling portfolio.

This particular post is designed to help "school" newbies and those currently learning the ropes of the industry about what to expect when it comes to shooting for potential magazine publication and to avoid making mistakes that could cause issues later on.

Before I proceed with my gems of wisdom, lol, let me first say that I am a girl scout when it comes to modeling. I've never been the one to rock the boat, act like a diva or behave in an otherwise "dramatic" manner. I follow the rules and make sure that I'm going by the book. There are models out there that don't or won't follow what I'll be writing about in this post and that's their call--I can't control or outright tell someone else what to do. 

The purpose of this post is to inform you about a subject I am very familiar with, in the hopes that you use this newly gained knowledge to make better decisions when it comes to your own modeling careers. Now that I've said my piece, let's get to it...

Magazines Have Strict Guidelines

Whether it's a new magazine or a well established publication, all magazines want to stay fresh and ahead of the competition. Because of this, many now list very detailed guidelines for models and photographers interested in submitting their images for possible publication.

Many--not all--magazines will only accept images that have "never been published." However, the definition of what this means is much more involved than meets the eye. What many of you may not know is that this includes posting pictures on social media--even selfies or behind the scenes flicks. These types of photos are super common now that everybody's all Internet crazy but magazines are cracking down on their guidelines when it comes to this...and for good reason.

Selfies & BTS Photos

A behind the scenes shot may not seem like a big deal but once posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or elsewhere online, you've basically already let the cat out of the bag and many magazines could consider it as being "published," even if it's not the actual image(s) they've selected.

Think about it: everyone with access to your social media profiles are able to view your makeup, hair, outfit, maybe even the location (depending on what's depicted in the photo) so technically, it's no longer "new"--at least according to the magazine.

Does that mean you can't take any of your own fun flicks while on a shoot for a magazine publication? Of course not. You can take those pictures BUT do not post them anywhere until the magazine has been published and you've been given the green light.

Not sure what the guidelines are or what you should or should not do? Then ask before you post! Contact the photographer or ask him/her while on-set that day. Never assume anything when it comes to magazines and getting published. Assumptions get more people in trouble than anything. If the photographer isn't sure, they'll find out for you, more than likely by contacting the magazine.

Either way, don't get so excited to post your own photos until you know 100% without a doubt that it is okay to do so. The same goes for cases where the photographer gives you copies of the images from the actual shoot. It's super exciting to see the professional images that could appear in a magazine but until publication has been confirmed, sit on those pictures in the meantime. Don't post them or add them to your online portfolios.

And besides, tearsheets are going to do much more for your portfolio than the regular images from the shoot so even if you get copies of the photos from the photographer, wait for the real deal--those tearsheets!

The Consequences

Failing to comply with these guidelines could get your submission disqualified. What does that mean? The magazine can no longer consider it for publication because the rules were broken. Or if the images have already been chosen and scheduled to appear and the magazine finds out you've leaked photos, the decision could be made to withdraw your images and have them replaced with something else before the magazine officially comes out. Regardless of which one happens, both really suck so don't take the risk.

It doesn't take much for word to circulate about a model who got her publication pulled or had a submission disqualified for not following the rules. Whether the ripple effect is slim to none or creates a buzz, it's not a good reflection on the model from a professional standpoint.

Exceptions to the Rule

Before you start rattling off situations where you've known models to not follow what I've written and who still got published with no consequences, please know that I'm well aware that exceptions to the rule happen. But as I started earlier in this post, I always make it a habit to play it safe and that is the approach I will always teach/advise to those who seek my expertise about modeling. You don't always have to go with the "Monkey see, monkey do" mentality when it comes to models who break the rules.

The Bottom Line

Not all magazines are crazy strict about their guidelines but I can tell you that the biggest ones--namely the publications many aspiring and working models dream of appearing in--are Nazis when it comes to their submission guidelines.

Whether you are working with a photographer to create images to send to magazines for possible publication or whether you've been hired by the magazine directly to appear in it, please make it a habit of learning, understanding and following any rules, guidelines or instructions given when it comes to what you can and cannot post online prior to publication.

If your submission ends up not being chosen, then find out if the photographer will be sending the pictures to other publications. You don't want to ruin any future chances at getting published elsewhere so check in with the photographer once you find out what's going on and then take things from there.

Again, if you don't know or aren't sure what you should do, ask somebody, anybody. These kinds of inquiries are perfectly acceptable and won't make people look at you like you're a dummy. Little mistakes can lead to big issues in modeling so play it safe when it comes to submitting to magazines for publication and I promise you, the path towards becoming an established, published model with a great reputation will progress without a hitch.