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Friday, February 23, 2007

Model Behavior

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to talk about model etiquette...the dos and don'ts when it comes to being a model. This may be obvious or self-explanatory but if it wasn't still a concern (or at most, very annoying) then I wouldn't have to make this post.

Being a model does not give you the right to be a diva, especially if you're just starting out or have a few years of experience under your belt. There are enough bonafide divas in the world and it's important to maintain a positive and fun attitude and personality, no matter how far you get into the modeling game.

The "holier than thou" attitude and thinking that you're better than somebody else is a quick way to make enemies and burn your bridges--not to mention that people won't want to work with you. Be smarter and more mature than that.

1) Be on time. There is nothing worse than having a photographer and crew waiting on one person. It's even worse when the missing/late person is the model. Whether you only have one person waiting on you or ten, it's just unprofessional and rude.

2) Leave early. Traffic, accidents, and forgetting things are all normal everyday factors but they can be avoided and if you are running late due to these conditions, don't expect sympathy from the photographer or casting director. Unless you were attacked by aliens or are dying (which I hope isn't the case!), there is no excuse for being late.

It may sound ridiculous to you now, but it's always best to leave a half-hour to an hour earlier than you normally would to get to your shoot. Embrace this quote given to me by one of my favorite teachers: "If you're 10-15 minutes early, you're on time. If you're on time, you're late."

3) Be prepared to work. If you know you've got a big shoot, or even a small one, make sure you take care of yourself the night before. Go to bed earlier than you normally would and get extra rest so you're not dragging yourself out of bed the next morning. Pack anything you need--clothes, makeup, paperwork--the night before and do a checklist so that in the morning all you have to do is get up, grab your things, and go.

4) Bring snacks. Some photo shoots can be long and you may or may not get a long enough break to eat a decent meal. If you have the time to eat breakfast, that's great. If not, make sure to bring little snacks with you to munch on on your way to your shoot. Also keep a bottle of water on hand to avoid being dehydrated. Sometimes these snacks and drinks are already provided for you on the shoot, which helps.

5) Be professional. Leave the catty attitude at home. It's so tacky and rude to be disrespectful or argue with the photographer or anyone on the crew or staff. Everyone is there to work and the atmosphere should be as tension-free as possible. If you're not getting along with anyone, especially the photographer, do not make a scene and refuse to continue the shoot. Keep the lines of communication open and allow the crew to do their job. They expect the same of you.

6) Don't whine or complain. This can be the most annoying thing about any model. Don't spend more time complaining about your location or whining about what you're wearing than you spend modeling. That just makes you look immature and childish. I'm not saying bite your tongue if you're uncomfortable about something.

But all means, speak up, but address your concerns in a grown-up and professional way. Screaming a little if the water you're posing in is too cold is one thing, but if you're making squeamish noises and are paying too much attention to what's bothering you, you'll only be wasting time and money.

7) No trash talk. Please don't air anyone else's dirty laundry. Trash talk and bashing other people in the industry, whether it's an agent, another model or photographer is very disrespectful and in the modeling game, who you know can make or break you so don't think that small comments or leaks of gossip won't be taken seriously. Avoid a trainwreck and keep your bad experiences, opinions and judgements to yourself. Trash talk has no place on a shoot, even if others are doing it. Be better than that.

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