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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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bathing Suits Part 2

Even though I've already made a post about Bathing Suits, I felt it would be helpful to do a post with suggestions for the right swimsuits for the right body type. Please keep in mind the age appropriateness of the subject. I am in no way encouraging 14 and 15-years old to go out and buy a string bikini!

It is very rare that any model under the age of 18 is going to be asked to do a swimsuit shoot, unless it's for a safe and age appropriate swimsuit line. So for the gals who are under 18, please stick to a one-piece or a tankini, as these styles are very suitable for younger body types and won't cause any waves.

The problem: small bust

The solution: Victoria's Secret was really on to something when they came out with their padded, push-up bathing suit tops. Any bikini top with an underwire or pads will give you the boost you need without looking fake. Adding horizontal stripes or ruffles around the neckline also help to give off the illusion of a fuller bust. The key is to create more curves so avoid dark colored tops and tank styles. String bikinis flatter both small and large busts because they can be tied to fit snugly.

The problem: large bust

The solution: chances are if you have large breasts, the last thing you'll need is anything padded or with an underwire. Give your back a break and opt for wider straps or halter styles, which will keep your breasts in place and will offer maximum support. Don't take a chance with a fragile string bikini top. Vertical stripes also give off a slimming effect.

The problem: short torso

The solution: in order to create the appearance of a longer torso, choose bikini bottoms that sit really low on the hips and stay away from high waisted bikini bottoms. Boy shorts and binikis with skirts will only make your torso look shorter. Vertical stripes, solid bottoms with a printed top and solid colored one-pieces wtih a plunging neckline will all work in your favor.

The problem: long torso

The solution: horizontal strips are famous for creating the appearance of width, so your torso will look more in proportion with the rest of your body. Tankinis worn with high-cut bottoms also work wonders. One-piece swimsuits with a cut out pattern also draw attention away from a long torso.

The problem: large hips and/or junk in the trunk

The solution: the key here is to draw the eye away from your lower body and make your whole body appear more proportional. As cute as side string bottoms are, they put the most attention to the areas you want to lead the eye away from. Instead, go for high-cut bottoms that give off the appearance of longer, slimmer legs. Boy shorts are your friend and will give you great coverage while still looking stylish. Wearing printed and colorful tops with darker bottoms will also do the trick and strapless bathing suit styles will make your top and bottom appear more proportional.

The problem: a little tummy flab

The solution: if your stomach isn't quite a six-pack, then go for styles that have ruching, side shirring or suits that have tummy control features. One-piece swimsuits with diagonal lines, dark colors and a high wasitband creates a slimming effect. Avoid horizontal styles that can make you appear wider, as well as two piece suits that would either dig into your stomach or allow it to hang over.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Latest on Me and FORD

It didn't really hit me that I was a FORD model for a while. Because FORD decided to include a commercial/print division in its company, they went to San Francisco to tap into that market. Instead of taking the time to establish its own office, FORD decided to merge with an existing agency that was doing well. Lucky me, they picked my agent, Generations Model & Talent. So I technically have two agents--Generations for television, commercial and film work and FORD for commercial/print work.

I actually signed with FORD last year but because of all the paperwork and things involved, they're just now getting things together so I, along with the other models and talent, were in limbo. I was finally able to get some feedback and instruction on my modeling career from my agent sometime last week.

Of course with me being 5'4", FORD cannot submit me for fashion/runway print work so I've been instructed to update my portfolio (which I've been needing to do desperately) to reflect commercial/print because FORD really wants to sell me to those types of bookings. So for the next month or so, I'll be networking with various photographers doing TFCDs (remember those?) to include shots dealing with corporate/formal, business casual, healthcare and college student themes.

This is why updating and building your portfolio is so important. There will be changes in the industry and you will need to produce images that will keep up with the demand. I've never done a lot of the themes that my agent mentioned so it'll be an exciting new challenge for me to do. I look forward to my shoots and will continue to post my experiences, both good and bad, in my attempt to get my portfolio up to par so FORD can do its job of getting me work. I'll also be sharing my latest photos with you so you can see the way my portfolio develops and I'll be including any tips or further advice that I feel you all need to be aware of.

As a model, keep tabs on your career and the direction you want it to go in. Do as your agent says, but also look out for yourself and developing yourself outside of what your agency requires. It would be hard for me to submit myself to a gigs looking for fashion models if I didn't have any of those shots to show. Regardless of height, there may be an opportunity for me to be involved in a fashion shoot and I want to be able to show the client that even though I'm short, I still have everything else that a fashion model would require. Let your agent look out for you, but also keep in mind the bigger picture.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

What Does it Take to be a Model?

One of the most common answers to that question is usually: "You have to be really beautiful and really tall." Eh, not really the truest answer but the physical aspect does account for a lot in the modeling world. But there are many other factors and traits that you must have in order to not only be a model, but to be a good model.


No photographer or client wants to work with someone who has a dull or boring personality--or worse--no personality at all. If you're not the type of person who can open up and get to know others or if you aren't excited or enthusiastic about the work you're doing, modeling is not for you.

The ability to take criticism 

  If you have soft nerves, you'll be sorely disappointed if you want a modeling career. Not everyone is going to love your look or your photos. There will be jobs that you just won't be right for, and they'll tell you so. Your agent may tell you the things they don't like and will need you to change. A model is put out there for the world to see and you will be criticized just as much as you'll be praised and complimented.

Build up nerves of steel and be prepared to be fully inspected, stereotyped, picked at and critiqued. It doesn't reflect on you as a person so don't take it as a personal attack. This is a business and criticism is a huge part of the terrority that you agree to take on once you sign a modeling contract.


Nothing happens right away and the modeling world won't always be so fast-paced. Photo shoots take time, getting the right shot takes time, even getting the right bookings takes time. Time is money but if you aren't able to handle delays or standing around for periods of time without throwing a fit, then you'll have a tough time making it in this industry.


There will be other models, crew, clients, photographers, etc. that you may not get along with. No matter what, you have to maintain a high level of tolerance to deal with difficult situations, shooting conditions, and other factors that can come into play that will try your patience. Having a good level of tolerance will help you get through the toughest times and the toughest people.


If you don't believe in yourself, who will? Wear your confidence on your sleeve and make it be known that you are a person who believes in what you have to offer. Loving yourself and knowing your self-worth is a must-have trait that I can't stress enough. Having the ability to believe in yourself is half the battle in the modeling world.


While it is important to believe in yourself and your capabilities, it is also essential that you not let your career go to your head. Developing an ego and acting like you're the best thing on the planet will be your downfall and people won't want to work with you.

Understand that while you may have it going on now, getting a big head will make you view the world in a distorted way. Don't treat others as if they're beneath you. It's very unbecoming and one of the easiest ways for the most beautiful person to be ugly.

The ability to multitask

There's more to modeling than just smiling. There will be times when you have to pose awkwardly but still capture the right facial expression, while also keeping in mind lighting, angles, etc. If you already have a keen grasp of how to do more than one thing at a time, modeling will be a breeze.

Be a morning person

Guess what? Photo shoots start early, usually at the crack of dawn, so if you're not a morning person, you may want to start learning! Not only do you have to be up at a ridiculous hour, but you've got to bring your game face and be ready and energized to work as if it was 2:00pm.

The ability to follow directions

I'm not talking about driving directions. Modeling involves taking direction from the photographer, stylist, casting director, etc. They will be telling you how to pose, which way to turn, to smile, to not smile and a whole score of other commands that you need to be ready and able to execute. If you don't like authority or don't take orders or follow directions well, you will not be a good model.

Be open-minded/ready to take a risk

Modeling is a world where you'll be introduced to many things that you may not be comfortable with or used to. And that can include the types of outfits you'll be required to wear, the types of poses you do, locations and themes. Maybe you're not used to being dressed so provocatively, or you don't like to be all touchy feely with the opposite sex.

In modeling, you're selling an idea, a theme, a product--not your beliefs. You have to be willing to try new things and settle into it as if you've been doing it all your life. No one has the time to hear you complain about how you're showing too much or how you don't want to pose in a sexually suggestive way with a male model you've never met before. If you're shy, squeamish or have very religious values, modeling will not fit you at all.

Be willing to travel

If you don't like planes, you're going to have an awfully hard time getting to another country for a runway show. Travel is a part of a model's life because you are the employee and your client is paying you a lot to represent them and that involves going to where the action is.

Be prepared to adjust to long plane rides, long drives in a car and other modes of transportation. It's a hectic lifestyle at times and you'll need to know how to wake up early to catch a flight or how to pack just the essentials so you don't cause a delay.

Know how to have fun

Modeling is fun, too! Take the risks and put yourself out there while you're out on your bookings and shoots. The best model is a happy model so show the world that you love what you do!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Hold Your Head Up High!

One of the most important assets a model has is his/her self-confidence. There is no room for jealousy, intimidation and insecurity. I'm not saying you need to be a robot because it is human nature that allows us to have these feelings, but they are feelings that you need to keep in check if you want to be successful.

Even after all these years, I still take a second look at girls who are my competition. I do my best to acknowledge and give respect to them because they are there for the same thing I am. But that's about as far as it goes.

As a working model, you don't have the time to wonder about what the other models are doing, what jobs they're getting and so on. The best thing you can do is focus on you and the progress you're making.

If you're just getting started, it will undoubtedly be super intimidating to be at an open casting call or other venue where you are among a group of girls (or guys if you're an aspiring male model). And it's normal to worry that you won't stand out.

My best advice to you is to use this opportunity to use your charm, personality and people skills. No one wants to hire a model who looks nervous or is busy staring at the other girls/guys in awe and intimidation. A girl/young lady or young man who is sure of her/himself holds her/his head up! She/he acknowledges the other models but doesn't pay so much attention to them. A confident person knows how to flash a killer smile--a natural smile--and show that she/he can talk to anyone and stand her/his ground.

Body language is key. Whenever you walk into any modeling agency, maintain good posture, hold your head up, be alert and observant of your surroundings, and smile! Agents can tell off the bat who is comfortable their skin and who isn't.

Don't let your insecurities cost you the opportunity to be signed. An agent wants to make sure that whoever they sign can bring that same poise, personality and attitude to each go-see, booking, photo shoot and fashion show. If you give them any inkling of weakness, that will hurt your chances and they won't want you.

If you aren't already carrying yourself with self-confidence, then that's the first thing I suggest you work on before submitting to agencies. You need to make sure that you know your self-worth, that you love yourself and learn to accept and embrace the flaws that make you insecure.

Nothing impresses an agent more than seeing a young lady or young man who knows that she's/he's got "it" but doesn't let it go to her/his head. That's also important. Maintaining a good attitude also requires one to be humble. Ego will only hurt you in the long run. Remember that you are replaceable. Once you get the balancing act together, everything else will fall into place.

Always remember: as long as you believe in yourself, no one can tell you otherwise...more importantly, don't let them!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Where Do You Start?

So you want to model but don't know where to begin? The process can be somewhat time consuming, but definitely not impossible.

Figure It Out

The first place to start is to figure out what part of the modeling industry you want to pursue. This includes fashion/runway, commercial/print, petite or plus-size.

Then you have to research the requirements (which you can find on my post titled "The Different Types of Modeling") to see where you fit in. And be realistic--if you're short and know you aren't going to grow any taller, then go for the commercial/print industry. If you know you'll grow taller but not right away, try out for both commercial/print and fashion/runway and see what happens.

If you're a female and between 5'5"-5'7" then you're ideal for commercial/print.
If you're a female and between 5'8"-6'0" then you're ideal for fashion/runway/editorial.
If you're a male and between 5'11"-6'3" then you're ideal for fashion/runway/editorial.
If you're a male and are 5'10" or shorter then you're ideal for commercial/print.

***These height requirements aren't absolute but are typically the norm for large markets like New York, Miami and Los Angeles. Medium size to smaller markets may be more flexible with the height for female and male models but it is important to check the agency websites to find out exactly what the requirements are for each one.***

Cast The Net

Once you know where you fit in, it's time to make a list of the proper agencies that represent the type of modeling you're trying out for. It's helpful to start locally and work your way outwards. If you live in a small town or a state that isn't a hot spot, you may have more of a challenge in starting your modeling career. The common rule of thumb is to look for agencies that are no more than a two hour's drive from where you live.

Narrow It Down

After making a list of the potential agencies that you feel you'd make a good match with, go to their website (if they have one) and look up the guidelines for submitting pictures. Better yet, note if they have open casting calls so you can meet with them in person.

This is the best way to introduce yourself instead of being just another photo submission in a huge pile in their office. Lay out which ones you'll submit photos to, either via email or snail mail, and the ones you'll go to in person.

***If you're concerned about photos or if you've never done a shoot before, don't stress. Agencies welcome snapshots and photos taken by your parents or friend. As long as they meet the requirements listed in the guidelines, don't worry about going out to hire a photographer.***

Put Your Snapshots Together

The keyword here is "snapshots." New and inexperienced models DO NOT need a portfolio, headshot, comp card or professional portfolio filled with glossy photographs. 9 times out of 10 it says directly on agency websites that they want non professional, digital snapshots with no makeup. Below are examples of snapshots agencies look for:

Models with experience that have had agencies before are allowed to submit their professional materials and photos. However, it helps to also have snapshots available so the agencies know exactly what your current look is.

Get Started

Now it's time to pound the pavement. This can be the trying part of the whole process because it involves a lot of rejection and waiting. Be sure to have your list handy and make notes of the ones you were rejected from, which ones said to come back at a later date and so on. Many agencies will allow you to resubmit or come back to another open casting call after six months to a year.

Only through careful research and consideration, waiting and patience, can you make it into the business. You may get signed right away or it may take a while. Just remember that you're not the only person applying and it does take some time for agencies and their staff to go through photo after photo until someone jumps out at them so be patient. It took only a few weeks for me to get signed by my first agent, but when I decided to find better representation, it took almost a year for my current agent to interview and sign me.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Modeling Contracts

Modeling contracts can be very intimidating for new models so I've decided to clear a few things up about them.

What is a modeling contract?

A modeling contract is a piece of paper (usually more than one page) that establishes the professional and official working relationship between the model and agency. It also contains the rules, regulations and guidelines as to the duties and obligations the model must fulfill as a committment to the agency and vice-versa.

What does a modeling contract talk about?

These contracts basically give the essential information such as how much the agency will take as their finder's fee from the model's booking (also known as "commission." The current percentage agencies are allowed to charge per booking they get their models is around 20%), the way payment works, the types of bookings and jobs the agency will get for the model and the way the working relationship will be run.

What is an exclusive modeling contract?

An exclusive modeling contract is one where the model is not allowed to be represented by other competing agencies. The model is bound to this agency and must follow everything the agency says. This type of contracts give a lot of power to the agency and are normally used by the top notch agencies such as FORD, Elite, IMG, etc.

What is a non-exclusive modeling contract?

A non-exclusive modeling contract allow models to sign with other agencies (usually not within the same market area) and find gigs on their own. This type of contract is very common and allows a lot of flexibility for models.

How long do modeling contracts last?

Normally a model is under contract with an agency for a period of one to three years. Sometimes there will be an additional year added automatically, which gives both parties time to decide if they are interested in renewing the contract.

What do I do when my contract expires?

Your agent will notify you of your contract's expiration date well in advance. They will simply have you sign another contract with the dates adjusted. Sometimes there may be new changes to the contract so be sure to read this one as well.

What if I don't want to renew my contract?

This is a big decision for a model to make and you should consult with your agency and be honest about your reasons. But it is your right to not renew--no agency can force you to do otherwise.

What happens if I want to get out of my contract but it doesn't expire for a long time?

Try to avoid this type of situation. Breaking your contract, also known as breaching, can be messy and will not make your agent happy. Depending on your reasons, you should always try to stick it out until your contract is up. There are legalities that may come with breaking a contract as well as the fact that the reason you signed the contract in the first place was to honor it.

However, most contracts contain an exit clause, which explains exactly what you need to do in order to terminate your contract. A modeling contract can be terminated by either the model or the agency at any time but there are procedures that must be followed. Check your contract and make sure you go by the book.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

My Beauty & Skin Care Regimen

A model's body, face and skin are his/her most important asset in the modeling industry. As with any job, it's important to maintain the factors that allow you to remain employed.

While everyone's skin and bodies are different, I've decided to list my skin care and beauty regimen here to help those of you who may want to start your own skin care routine but aren't sure where to begin.

(Morning - Night)

- Cleanse with Clean & Clear Morning Burst with Shine Control

- Tone with Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3

- Moisturize with Dove Deep Skin Moisturizer
- Exfoliate once to twice a week with St. Ive's Apricot Scrub

(Skin care/beauty regimen before a photo shoot)

- Shower/shave the night before and moisturize entire body with St. Ive's Renewing Collagen & Elastin Body Lotion
- Cleanse, tone and moisturize face once I get out of the shower (I don't wash my face in the shower because I like to treat my face and the rest of my body separately when it comes to pampering and getting it ready for a shoot)

- Use Biore Pore Cleansing Strips on my nose

(The day of the shoot)

- Cleanse, tone and moisturize

The most important thing to do when putting together your own skin care or beauty regimen, is to know your skin type and buy products that are made for that particular skin type. Visit a dermatologist as well so that you know exactly what kind of skin care products you should be using.

In addition to maintaining good skin, eating a healthy diet rich in fruit, veggies and some red meat will help you keep your weight together (and, no, starvation is not on the menu!).

As you pursue the modeling industry, you will always need to keep your health and your physical appearance in top shape. Aging works against you but there are many models who are well into middle age who still look great and get bookings because they started taking care of themselves at an early age. Do your best in this category so that you are among them.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Open Casting Calls

One of the best ways to snag an agent is to attend an open casting call. What exactly is an open casting call, what happens there, what do you bring, what do you wear? Don't worry, I'm here to answer these questions so it doesn't become so nerve-wreaking if you decide to go to one.

What is a casting call?

Casting calls are certain times during the day when an agency opens its doors to anyone without having to make an appointment. This gives you the perfect opportunity to meet face-to-face with top agencies. The only catch is that you will be among the sea of other new faces hoping to attract the agent's attention.

What do you wear to a casting call?

The most important thing to do when it comes to clothes is to be yourself or sport your own personal style. But please be age appropriate. Do not dress overly sexy but don't undress, either. Ladies, the best thing you can do is throw on a pair of comfortable, fitted jeans, heels (always wear heels!) and a solid colored top (tank tops or fitted tee shirts are best). Wear clothes that flatter your figure and that you feel good wearing. Fellas, nice and comfortably jeans, clean shoes (type doesn't really matter as long as they are presentable) and a fitted t-shirt is best.

Below are some good examples of what is acceptable to wear to an agency casting call:

Hair? Makeup?

Wear your hair how you normally would. If you like it up, then put it up. If you love it down, wear it down. Make sure your hairstyle doesn't draw attention away from your face so keep your style simple. Also make sure that it is out of your face. Don't hide behind your hair. A low ponytail is a default hairstyle that works perfectly fine. Wear little to no makeup. Period.

Agencies don't care about you glammed up. They want to meet the real "you". Men don't have to worry as much about these two aspects as the women do but do make sure your hair is groomed and out of your face (if it's long).

What do you bring?

If you have a portfolio, then by all means, bring it with you. If you haven't done any photo shoots or don't have a portfolio, don't worry, this won't count against you. At minimum, bring a few snapshots of yourself. These don't have to be professional but they should be good quality and show your face straight on.

Write your name, stats and contact information on the back of each snapshots in case the agency asks to keep them (this means you'll more than likely have to make copies of your snapshots if you plan on going to more than one agency casting). No funny poses or pictures with other people. At the casting call, the agent may take a picture of you to put a name to a face for reference later.

Below are examples of snapshots to bring to agency casting calls:

What happens at a casting call?

Each agency has their own way of conducting their casting calls, but expect to be looked over head to toe by the agency's staff. They'll ask you questions about yourself, if you have any modeling experience, why you want to be a model, what makes you stand out, what your plans for the future are, etc. Be honest, be confident and be yourself.

They may also ask you to walk for them (as in a runway walk--if you don't know how, just do your best, they don't expect you to be a pro), so they can see how your body moves. They'll also tell you what you need to work on and what you can improve.

At the end, they'll get your personal stats and contact info, unless you're required to fill out a model information sheet beforehand with this info. If they're really interested they'll let you know...if not right then and there, in a few days.

Or they may tell you straight up that you aren't what they're looking for. There are times when they'll tell you to come back at a later date, which could be months or even a year or two from now. Don't take it personally. The good thing is that they want you to come back so don't question their reasons. Listen to their feedback and work on improving.

Casting calls can either be a madhouse with tons of model hopefuls or you might get lucky and catch them on a slow day when there may only be a few people. If there are a lot of people in attendance, the time spent with the agency staff could be quick. In general, the casting call process is supposed to be in and out. Should you get invited back for an interview at a later date and time, that is where you'll be able to be one-on-one with the agency and the meeting will be longer compared to the casting call.

Casting calls are your time to shine above the others there. Agents can always tell by body language who is comfortable being there and who is a nervous wreck. Believe in yourself and show them why you are worthy of being represented by them.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Being Around Other Models

Thanks to Glamour from YM.com for suggesting this excellent topic, as well as the one below: "The Anatomy of a Photo Shoot."

There will be times when it won't be all about you and you will have to shoot and interact with other models, male or female. This is a part of the industry where having an outgoing personality and solid people skills will serve you best.

Chemistry can be captured in a photograph--so can faking it. It won't always be rainbows and butterflies but when it comes to posing or being around other models, keeping your cool and knowing your self-worth will always pay off.

In the fashion/runway world, you can't do a runway show by yourself. You'll be required to walk the same catwalk with a score of other models and you all deserve to be there, so don't give in to insecurities or allow catty models to make you feel inferior. If there is a model who you don't get along with, stay out of each other's way. If she is provoking you, then kill her with kindness.

Do not retaliate because that only produces sore losers. Make her feel stupid by ignoring her and focus on what you have to do. This of course is a worst-case scenario, and it isn't always how the media portrays it. Many of these models get along like sisters or girlfriends and when that chemistry is shared, then you all can shine without overshadowing anyone else.

Posing with other models during a photo shoot is easy in my opinion, but can take some getting used to at first. You have to be able to play off one another. If you feel awkward, it will show in the photos so you have to put any negative thoughts aside because the person you are shooting with will have to be your best friend that day and you need to treat each other as if you've known one another for years.

It can be intimidating to work with or be around other models that you've never met before, but as I've stated before, a good model will accept and look forward to any challenge that is put in front of her/him. I've been in situations where I've worked with other models and had a blast.

We keep in touch and hang out, go to dinner, have some drinks, whatever. If you can make a new friend afterwards, that's great because there may be a time where you have to work with that model again and you'll already have an established relationship.

On the flip side, I've also worked with models where we didn't have to pose together but we did have to be around each other for the same shoot. One of the girls was very overly confident and always talking about all these great shoots she did and what places she was going to be flying to. Personally, I can't stand models who name-drop and brag about their gigs if they aren't asked.

If people want to know what I've done, all they need to do is ask. I don't have to brag and boast because that's not what got me to where I am. One of the other girls had never modeled and it was clear that she was intimidated and felt threatened by me and one other girl.

 As girls sometimes do, they play favorites and she did try to turn the others against me. Which was fine, because I wasn't there to be her best friend--I was there to work. I paid her no mind and the other models didn't play her game, either. We were all cordial to each other but knew that we weren't going to be best buddies. And that's okay.

No matter what your situation, being around other models is always going to involve some kind of ego, jealousy or intimidation. And it's natural if it's you who is feeling this way. BUT you cannot translate that into your work. Sometimes you'll have to fake it, but in a natural way. Hard to explain, but when you're in that situation, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

My secret to getting along with other models? Humor. I like to show that they can talk to me and joke around. I'll always say something sarcastic or funny to show them that I'm comfortable being there and that I'm not threatened by them and that they shouldn't feel threatened by me.

There are so many negative stereotypes about how models treat each other and act around one another, that when a model actually opens up and is the opposite of that stereotype, it's a shock but it also helps other models realize that they don't have to be on their guard all the time with the competition. There are more catty/snobbish models than down-to-earth ones, and those are the ones that I stay away from or at least ignore.

The Anatomy of a Photo Shoot

This great topic given by Glamour from YM.com will take a closer look at what models do 110% of the time: photo shoots. Whether you've done one before or not, it's important to know how a typical photo shoot operates. No photo shoot is always the same but there are a few basic elements that are always present.

Photo shoots can be as short as an hour and a half to two hours or as long as 4-5 hours. Most shoots rarely go past that, but it has been done before. But in general, expect to be shooting for no more than 4 hours. There are many factors that contribute to the length of a shoot, including weather conditions, loss of natural sunlight, delays in setting up, and moving to different locations, to name a few.

Pre-shoot: After arriving at your shoot location, you'll need to be prepped for your shoot in hair and makeup. There may be times when you'll have to arrive "camera ready" and in those instances, you'll be in the comfort of your own bathroom doing your hair and makeup.

But if you're being prepped at the shoot, expect to be sitting in the chair for a while. While your hair is being curled, set in rollers, brushed, etc., the makeup artist will apply your foundation, powder, eye shadow, lipstick, etc.

Next comes your first outfit of the day. You'll get dressed and the stylist will make sure that everything fits and is in its proper place. He/she will give you a once-over to make sure that you have the green light.

During the shoot: You better work it! Obviously this is the meat and potatoes of the process. You'll be striking your poses and may be required to change in and out of clothes, while having your hair and makeup retouched if needed. There may a change in location where you'll have to pack your belongings and set up shop somewhere else.

Post-shoot: Now that the work has been done, you can get comfortable in your favorite pair of sweats or jeans and get a snack or drink of water. If you're lucky, your photographer will let you get a sneak peek of your shots. After all is said and done, you thank your photographer and crew and go home to prepare for another photo shoot all over again!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Signing that Contract!

You've found an agency that's interested in you! YAY! This is the moment that all model hopefuls wait for. But just because there is someone who wants to represent you, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a complete green light.

Thoroughly check out the agency (if it's a top market agency like FORD, Elite, etc., then it's a given that they're the real deal), learn how long the agency has been in business, how many models it represents and what the list of clients are and who they've worked with in the past.

When you meet with the interested agent, take your time getting to know them and don't just listen to them talk about themselves. Ask questions, even ones you may think are dumb and make sure you are satisfied with every answer they give you.

Lay out a clear outline of what the agency expects of you and vice-versa. In other words, make sure that you know how the agent is going to market and represent you and let them know the type of modeling and project you are interested in being submitted for.

If you've caught the interest of more than one agent, then that's great but don't tell the other agencies that. It's not very professional and can backfire on you. Be subtle and look over all the info and contracts from each agency on your own time and then make your decision based on what will suit you best.

When turning down an offer, you don't need to go into detail. A simple, "Thank you but I have to politely decline your offer" will work just fine. Don't flaunt that you decided to sign with a different agency...even when turning someone down, you never want to burn bridges. It will always find a way to bite you in the butt later on.

If everything checks out and you're ready to roll, sign the contract --BUT-- take time to look over the contract and PLEASE READ THE FINE PRINT! Bring a magnifying glass if you need to. Ask them to clarify anything in the contract that you don't understand and be fully aware of the bigger picture--don't just limit your knowledge to what is going on at the moment.

No agent will pressure you to sign a contract. If you are underage, your parents may want to take the contract home or get a copy of it so they can take a closer look. This is fine by all means, so don't think that your parents are trying to ruin your life. If the agent is legit, they won't have a problem, but will let you know that the offer won't stay on the table forever.

Be sure to note whether it is an exclusive contract (meaning you can only work for that agent and can't be representated by anyone else) or a non-exclusive agent (meaning you're free to receive bookings from another agent who isn't in the same location/market). Each type of contract has its ups and downs so make sure you know what you're getting into and that it won't be a decision you'll regret.

How Much Does Modeling Cost?

Getting started in modeling isn't going to be free, but it doesn't have to put you in the hole, either. The main factors where money and modeling come into play deal with photography and putting together a portfolio.

Notice, I didn't mention paying money to get signed with an agency. That's because legit, reputable agencies will NOT CHARGE YOU UP FRONT IN ORDER TO SIGN WITH THEM.

If this is what you're dealing with, you need to run the other way! Any so-called agency that requires you to pay money up front--in other words, they want you to pay before offering you a contract--is not operating as a true agency and you should be suspicious.

All that aside, when you get signed, you will need a top-notch portfolio that your agent can use to begin submitting you for jobs. More than likely, your agent will give you a list of photographers that they know and recommend.

The prices and rates for each will vary so if you want to go this route, expect to pay somewhere between $200-500. This does not necessarily mean that your agent is trying to get over on you. If you are a brand-new model, this is a smart investment to make in order for you to have a great portfolio that your agent will be able to use right away.

However, most agents will not force you to use one of their photographers. They should allow you to make the final decision of whether you want to use their photogs or if you want to use someone else of your choosing.

The only thing about using your own photographer is that your agent may be picky about what photos to use to build your portfolio and they may appear harsh or criticize the shots, not because of you, but simply because they are not familiar with that person's work. Whatever route you take, this is the one area where you may have to drop some cash.

Other less obvious costs can include, but aren't limited to: travel expenses that aren't covered by your agent (driving to and from auditions/gigs/bookings/go-sees), building up your wardrobe, etc.

The reason many people think it costs a lot to get into modeling is because of the various scams, agency-wannabes charging out the nose to sign talent/models, the presence of modeling schools and modeling expos/conventions. These are costs that can be avoided since they are not always a sure-fire way to become successful in the industry.

If you have the money to spend, then by all means, blow it in any way, shape or form that you want, but for the many who don't have that kind of bread, you can be assured that pursuing modeling doesn't mean being in the poorhouse.

Updating Your Portfolio

If you already have a portfolio and have a couple of gigs under your belt, that's great. One thing you always want to make sure of is that you are updating your looks in your portfolio. With each gig/booking you get, you need to include key shots from that shoot in your portfolio.

Maybe it's been a while since you've gotten work and your photos need some updating. It's as simple as arranging for a TFP/TFCD. The easiest way to make sure you always have current shots in your portfolio is to do at least one photo shoot a month. If you're able to do at least two to three different looks per shoot, you'll have more than enough to update your portfolio.

In order to draw clients, you're always going to want to have something new to show. Take this time to do some looks or themes that may be really out there or something you normally don't do. You never know when such shots will come in handy. This can range from wearing wigs and crazy makeup to posing in costume.

Not only are these types of shoots fun, but it adds variety to your portfolio. I once came across a stunning photo of a model with extreme makeup and hair in a photographer's portfolio. You should have seen my face when he told me that the model was a man who was dolled up in women's makeup and a wig. Of course, I'm not encouraging anyone to add cross dressing to their portfolio--it's just an extreme example! LOL.

Try different and new things. Posing with animals will add a great dynamic to your modeling and future clients may like those shots and could end up hiring you for related projects because you've shown that you've modeled in this element before.

While it's fine to showcase your favorite photos, be sure to never submit photos that are more than a year old. You always want to be fresh and never outdated.

The Go-See

A Go-See is actually what it sounds like: you go to see a client that is interested in booking you for a gig, whether it's a photo shoot for their brand/company, a runway show, etc.

It's important that once you know the date and time for your go-see, that you arrive early with plenty of time to spare. Give yourself plenty of time to get gas, run errands or get lost trying to find the place.

There have been many times when I've left super early if I had to go somewhere that I wasn't familiar with. It makes you feel a whole lot better when you're lost and driving in circles, to know that soon as you find your way, you'll still have a good half hour or so before your actual appointment time.

There is no excuse for you to show up late to a go-see. That's one way to lose a booking right away, not to mention that it makes a bad first impression.

When you meet the client, be polite and personable. Give him or her a firm handshake and a genuine smile. They will ask you a few questions to get to know you and familiarize themselves with your work. They will look over your portfolio to get a good idea of the type of work you've done, as well as the different types of looks/themes you can pull off.

They will have you try on some of their outfits and have you do your runway walk in front of them. This is so they can see how you move and if you've got the attitude and personality they are looking for. Before you leave, they'll also take a few snapshots of you for reference. Don't worry about these photos having to look glamorous--they only need them so that they can place a name with a face--you're not the only model they're seeing that day!

And that's it. If the client likes what they see, you'll be booked for the job. When you attend a go-see, wear comfortable clothes that suit your style, but don't wear anything too flashy or that takes away from your face or physical appearance. You'll be changing clothes anyway so just dress to impress but don't go overboard.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Age and Modeling

There is such a thing as being too young. In the beginning, agents were scouting girls as young as 13 to become top models, but when it comes to submitting yourself, the situation may be a little different.

When an agent scouts someone, that means that the girl in question didn't submit her photos or make the first move. Scouts find potential models everywhere, from shopping malls, restaurants to theme parks. This expedites (or moves along) the process quicker, because the agency is already interested in this model and if she is young, they'll definitely make an exception to the rule.

However, if you are the one inquiring about representation and you're going through the regular channels or attending open calls, or submitting your photos, an agent may not want to sign you if you are really young.

Whatever the case may be for you, if an agent tells you that you are indeed too young and to come back in a few years, please take the advice. It may be devastating news for you and if may feel like your life is over. But they wouldn't tell you to come back if they weren't interested.

Agencies deal with a lot of legalities and liability issues when it comes to models, and these are extremely more serious when it comes to underage models. Labor laws, schooling, etc. are all factors that agencies have to deal with when using younger models. And sometimes they'll turn away younger models not only because of their age, but also because they want these girls to mature more before getting into the business.

It may sound stupid to some, but it takes maturity, attitude and personality to be a great model. And sometimes being too young and immature or simply not having enough life experiences can affect a model's career. This in turn, affects the agency. It's also easier to book models who have at least completed the first two or three years of high school. There are a number of reasons why an agency won't sign a model who is too young.

Take this in stride and don't see it as a bad sign. Stay in touch with the agency in question. Pay your dues and go to school, hang out with friends, etc. When all that is said and done, the agency will welcome you back to see where you are at in life mentally and emotionally.

There is always a risk with too-young girls in the modeling world. So trust the professionals and work on your self-esteem, your personality and your people skills while you're still young. In the long run it will greatly benefit you not just as a model, but as a person.

The Height Factor

Height doesn't have to make or break your shot at a modeling career. For years, fashion and runway modeling has reigned supreme for decades, so many people believe that this is the type of modeling all of us should go for. And if we don't fit the height requirement? Well, then that's the end of it and we should go about our daily lives.

Well, I disagree with that and I am trying to get others to feel the same. Everyone is so obssessed with being a fashion/runway model and when they find that they are too short, they either give up any hope of being a model altogether, or they sourly decide they'll "settle" for commercial/print.

If you just don't have the height, then that's fine but it doesn't mean that you can't be successful as a commercial/print model. I think that the media portrays fashion and runway to be way more glamorous than it really is and that only models in this part of the industry will make the big bucks. That may be true to an extent but there are big-time models who have made it huge without the height:

Carmen Electra: 5'3"
Melyssa Ford: 5'4"
Vida Guerra: 5'3"

While these women will never be on a catwalk, they are being paid millions of dollars to appear in magazines, billboards, posters, catalogues, commercials, videos, etc.

There should be no reason why you can't be a successful commercial/print model. Just because you aren't 5'8"+, that doesn't mean you can't be just as bad as Tyra, Giselle or any other supermodel. Don't look to commercial/print modeling as a last-resort. This part of the modeling industry is tailor-made for you and also allows you to maintain a healthy height and weight, unlike fashion and runway.

Sometimes girls don't want to be just a model, they want to be the best model and that means going all the way to the top with the supermodel elite. Commercial/print modeling shouldn't be viewed as modeling for those of us who couldn't make it in the fashion/runway world. It should be embraced and no, it doesn't mean that you are like everyone else if you model in this part of the industry.

A lot of people don't know that fashion/runway agencies have separate height requirements for their models depending on their age group. Normally, there is a shorter standard for model hopefuls who are between the ages of 13-16.

Agents understand that there are still years where you will continue to grow so if you aren't a certain height, read up on the specific height and age group requirements that these agencies have. Even if you don't end up being tall enough, many of these agencies have commercial/print divisions, so you can still be represented by a top agency but doing commercial/print work.

If anything, if you become a commercial/print model, that should give you even more reason to go at it full-force and make yourself stand out among the crowd and become the next "It Girl". And it's totally possible.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

America's Next Top Model Critique

I wish that just once I could sit in on the judging panel of America's Next Top Model so I could have five minutes to slap all those girls across the face (well not all but a good majority) and tell them to stop crying, whining, complaining and bitching about every little thing! This is a prime example of how a model should NOT be.

Even though it is only the second week of the latest cycle and most of these girls don't have any legit modeling experience whatsoever, they are already taking many things for granted and acting like they deserve to be there. There are only a handful of girls that this does not apply to and they know who they are because they keep it real and they stay focused.

The statement I heard the most during last night's episode, was how all the other models got to do themes that they were already good at, while others pouted and complained that they didn't get the theme they wanted. Ladies, let me tell you right now: modeling is not an industry that is going to cater to you, what you want and how you want it. It's as simple as that.

A good model is one who embraces every challenge put in front of them with no questions asked. Whether you love the idea for the shoot or hate it with your entire being, that doesn't change the fact that you still need to go out and shoot. The modeling industry does not care about your opinions, whether you are good or bad at the theme you are portraying and doesn't care about your morals or ethics. The sooner these girls learn that, the better off they'll be.

The modeling world is one that will introduce you to a whole new lifestyle and a whole new slew of people that you may not be comfortable with. That's why what's-her-name got sent home (I was so mad with her I didn't even care to remember her name). Just because you're a "country girl" who is used to a slower pace and not being around so many people, is not an excuse.

 If she really wanted to be there, really wanted to be a model and cared to familiarize herself at all with the industry, she would have been somewhat prepared to do the challenges and photo shoots. The one good thing I will say about the girl who left is that she left with a positive attitude and accepted her evaluation from the judges and left without a whole bunch of tears, or harsh words for why she was better off not being there in the first place.

Although avoiding tension, trash talk and jealousy can be nearly impossible in a house full of girls, it's still vital to keep such thoughts to yourself, ignore other people's negativity and keep it moving. If one model is excelling far above the others, then give the girl her props--even if you want to strangle her. Give credit where credit is due. Producing strong photos will get you on top and I hated it when the other girls on the show were so quick to have something bad to say when any of the girls received rightful praise from the judges. It's so petty to me.

I enjoy watching America's Next Top Model because of the commercial interest, the themes for the shoots, and the outfits they wear. I don't take the show too seriously because it is a reality television show. Reality television is not reality but a type of reality that is created by professionals in the producing, directing and editing world.

You really can't believe everything you see on television. I take the show at face value and I hope that through this next cycle of ANTM, model hopefuls will learn what to do and what not to do based off of the actions and statements made by the girls on the show.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

A Note to the Parents

Normally it's the child who comes to the parent with the notion that they want to be in the modeling or entertainment industry. But there are parents who dream of making their kids stars and automatically devote time and money to help their son or daughter make it "big". Well, I have a few words of wisdom for you.

Be honest with yourself

The first thing you need to ask yourself is, "Is this something that my child wants to really do, or is this something that I really want them to do?" It's important to realize the signs that your child truly is happy and enthusiastic about going after this goal. The last thing they need is you putting pressure or pushing them to perform if it's not something their heart isn't fully committed to.

Don't let your child's education and childhood take a backseat

In the rush to put your child in front of every modeling and talent agency known to Man, friends, hobbies, outside interests and school activities can be left behind. You only have one childhood and adulthood is permanent so don't unfairly take those years away from your child or teenager. Find a happy balance that ensures your child or teen is getting the best of both worlds.

Keep a level head

To me, the most disturbing thing to see is a youngster who has talent and knows it. While it's fine to encourage self-confidence in your child/teen, it is so unnecessary to inflate their ego. The modeling industry is tough and the competition is there, but it's also important to practice humility. Teach your child people skills and that the world will not revolve around them.

Be able to take criticism

If an agent or other professional in the modeling field gives you criticism, learn to take it in stride without taking offense. Your child/teen may not have the right look or they may be too young. Listen to what they have to say and let the information sink in. Get second and third opinions. From there, come to a conclusion about what parts of their criticism you need to take seriously and which ones don't really apply from you. Then take it from there.

Be supportive

Not everyone gets to make it and you need to be the best parent you can be at all times, especially when you reach a dead-end. Crushed hopes and dreams are the hardest to soothe but being there to comfort them will help better than telling your child/teen what they did wrong. If you know you helped them to do their best, then that's all that really matters.

Don't put all your eggs into one basket 

I already advise younger girls and other up and coming models about this but for parents it is especially crucial that you help your child/teen develop future goals aside from modeling. Don't get them so wrapped up in trying to make it that when it doesn't work out, they're left with no skills outside of that field. School and building basic working skills should be full-time and modeling part-time. Keep your child/teen rooted in the real world and prepare them for it if the curtain comes crashing down on their modeling dreams.

Be a parent

Sometimes in the face of success, parents can tend to enjoy the ride a little too much. If you have a child/teen model, know your role as the parent. Always be cautious of the gigs your child/teen takes and how their image is being presented. In the modeling world, you do have to "sell yourself" but there's nothing more disturbing than a parent who "pimps" their child/teen. You are not there to be the best friend, groupie or servant...you are the parent and you need to act like one.

When your child/teen's modeling career takes off to the point where they're jet-setting to different countries and making waves in the fashion or commercial print world, always remember that until they are 18-21, they are still children. Pay attention to your child/teen and be sure to note any change in behavior, attitude or personality.

The grind to be successful and make parents proud can be just enough to cause a child/teen to hide their true feelings. This age group is incapable of knowing real world experiences and what the consequences of their actions and decisions are, so it's up to you to monitor their progress and oversee every step.

At the end of the day, your child is still your child.

Plastic Surgery

I am a firm believer in being happy with what you were born with. When I was younger, I toyed with the idea of getting breast implants but as the years passed and I finished fully developing, I found that I was just the right size. I would never dream about getting any type of plastic surgery now. Of course, I can only speak for myself on this issue.

There are a number of girls out there who have had plastic surgery in the hopes of being more successful in modeling. In my opinion, if you are thinking of getting plastic surgery for any reason other than a pre-existing condition, to correct a deformity, or because you genuinely want to feel good about yourself, then you are going about it for the wrong reasons. You should never go under knife for a career boost. To me, it just isn't worth the time or money.

It can seem easy for younger girls to think about getting breasts implants because their chest isn't growing to the size that they want but it's also dangerous to try and speed up nature. If you're underage, the last thing you should be worrying about is how big your breasts are.

Smaller chested models are common in fashion, runway and editorial modeling so this may hurt your chances of making it, if this is the part of the industry you want to get into. For the young girls: wait until you're at least 18 and done growing to decide if this is something you seriously want to pursue.

If you want to be a glamour model, adult model or stick to men's magazine print work, then breast implants may serve you well. But keep in mind, for every modeling gig that requires models to be very busty, there are many more that specifically request natural and unenhanced models.

And if you do end up getting breast implants, for God's sake be realistic about it! There's nothing sexy about a woman who has obviously fake boobs that are so big, they smack her in the forehead when she runs. Keep it simple and don't go overboard.

For all other plastic surgery procedures, such as liposuction, laser surgery, etc., it's always best to try and achieve the results you want the old fashioned way through exericse and proper diet. Don't use plastic surgery as a shortcut. Always be smart about the choices you make and do all your research.

There is life after modeling. Don't undergo plastic surgery without thinking about the maintenance and possible consequences for your health. Teens shouldn't even have the words "plastic surgery" in their vocabulary. Model with what you've got and be proud!

It's Not Always Fun and Games

Modeling isn't all fun and glamour all the time. This is the understatment of the year. The best models and photographers are those who can take a photo so good that when you look at it, you'd never be able to tell that there were any problems.

A lot comes with the territory of being involved in the modeling industry and for some it may be a cakewalk, especially if you've already got a fair amount of experience, but for newer models, you may be in for quite a ride.

Know that at one time or another in your modeling career, you will be posing in very cold temperatures. You may be wearing a bathing suit or some other outfit that shows some skin and you will be freezing your butt off. But guess what? All that has to take a backseat 'cause you've got a job to do and you've gotta keep smiling and posing as if it were the middle of July!

I've shot in San Francisco in both a thin dress as well as a bikini in windy and cold 50-60 degree weather. Surprisingly, I got used to the cold quickly and when the adrenaline kicked in, I was fine. It was when I stopped posing that I realized that I desperately needed a sweater! Looking at the shoot, you'd have no idea that it was that cold.

During a shoot you may be posing in water and it will not be warm, either. Unless you're lucky enough to be shooting in the Caribbean or some other tropical location, chances are you're going to get water that is as natural in temperature as breathing. Your teeth will chatter and your goosebumps will have goosebumps but focus on the importance of producing good quality photos.

This is the same with shooting in extreme heat. Try posing in Las Vegas in the middle of the summer with a full face of makeup. Even the bikini I was wearing didn't help at all.

Oh, and don't even get me started on uncomfortable poses! This may or may not happen but sometimes to get a natural-looking photo, the pose you have to do will feel very unnatural and while modeling doesn't mean you have to be a contortionist, you may have to get used to painful poses.

 Not only is posing painful at times, but having to hold it for minutes at a time while the photographer gets the right angle, lighting, etc. can be a nightmare. This is where the saying, "Grin and bear it" definitely holds true!

For my JET Magazine "Beauty of the Week" shoot, I posed with a scooter, which I thought was a cute idea. Unfortunately, because my makeup artist took a long time to get me ready, they rushed me out onto the set without giving me a chance to grab my high heels...so I had on some flip-flops.

While I posed, I had to stand on my tip-toes, which put a lot of strain on my legs, especially my calve muscles. Even though they weren't photographing my feet, I still had to give off the appearance of wearing heels. Talk about faking it!

Anyways, we played with different and fun poses for a few minutes. Then the photographer got the great idea (that's sarcasm) to have me straddle the scooter so that it was in between my legs. This caused my body to be at a profile stance to the camera. He then had me twist just my upper torso to face the camera. I don't know if you can picture that in your head and I wish I had the photo in a digital format to show you, but it was very painful.

But what did I do? I smiled like I could pose that way forever. The shot ended up coming out great. I actually have that photo shoot on VHS and you can see a play by play of my upper torso turning and turning until you think I'm gonna snap in half! A very trying time for sure but I'd do it all again if I could!

These types of situations, among many others, will present themselves and you have to be ready. No complaints, no ifs ands or buts. There's nothing like a challenge and even if it's a sucky challenge, they all add up to one thing: being a great model.

Add Some Music to Your Life!

Noting gets me in the mood to pose/shoot like having music playing. If you've been having difficulty trying to relax or get comfortable enough to let loose during a shoot, I highly recommend putting together a mix CD to play while you're shooting.

No matter what kind of music you like, having a familiar element around will help you remain calm and focused, and it gives you something to move to so that your poses come naturally. Giselle plays classical music during her shoots. I have different mix CDs, and depending on the moood/theme/look I'm trying to create, that's the CD I'll choose.

I'm more partial to R&B and Hip Hop, simply because the beats are very edgy, sexy and seductive. I don't pay attention to the lyrics, but tune in to the base line and the overall groove. If I'm doing a shoot where I need to feel sexy, I'll play my "Model Mixx Vol. 1 'The Take Over'", which is actually my favorite one so far. It has songs like "Black Sweat" by Prince, "Tell Me" by Diddy & Christina Aguilera, "She Wants to Move" by N.E.R.D. and a bunch of other great songs. The feel this particular mix CD has to it is total sex appeal with attitude. When the beat drops on this CD, my mindset is: this is my world and I'm going to take it over--hence the name of the CD.

If I'm going for a more subtle and seductive theme, I'll pop in Janet Jackson, Maxwell and Robin Thicke. It all depends on however you're feeling and what music brings out the best in you.

When using music, make sure to ask the photographer first if it's okay. The type of music you like may not be the photographer's favorite and for others the music may be too distracting. Of course you should always try shooting without music first to see how you feel and there will be times when music will not be an option so you may as well get used to it. But when you are able to use music in the background, do it...it may bring out poses or an attitude you never knew you had!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Makeup Tips for Hispanic Skin

The best thing you can do in addition to learning how to apply your own makeup is to know what colors and makeup styles are right for your skin tone. With the advancement of cosmetic companies creating colors for every shade under the sun, there should be no excuse for you to not know what eye shadows, lipsticks, blush, etc., will complement your skin. We'll focus on makeup for Hispanic skin.

Hispanic Skin:

- Many Hispanic women have naturally medium to darker skin tones. Enhance and don't overdo or undermine your darker skin tone and dramatic features.

- Because this skin tone tends to have a very dramatic look--dark brows, eyes and lips--you need to apply your makeup in a way that maximizes the overall effect. Look into mineral-based foundations, and ask a makeup expert to help you select the right shade.

- Go for soft colors such as pinks and mauves for lipstick and eye colors. Avoid browns and burgundy colors, since these tend to make you look overly dramatic and very unflattering.

- Using brown-black mascara will soften dark eyes. For eye shadow, try to keep the colors soft and light but try to stay away from silver and copper colors that contain too much shimmer. Keep it simple.

- For blush, choose shades such as Salmon, Peach and Tangerine.

- Don't overpluck your brows! Get them waxed by a professional who can determine the right lines and width of your brows and maintain them. Overplucking and drawing in brows with pencil looks fake and very tacky. Be more natural.

Makeup Tips for Asian Skin

The best thing you can do in addition to learning how to apply your own makeup is to know what colors and makeup styles are right for your skin tone.

With the advancement of cosmetic companies creating colors for every shade under the sun, there should be no excuse for you to not know what eye shadows, lipsticks, blush, etc., will complement your skin. We'll focus on makeup for Asian skin.

Asian Skin:

- When it comes to foundation, keep in mind that the majority of Asian skin has a yellow undertone. You never want to appear chalky or like a ghost by using foundation meant for different undertones. Choose a shade that is as close to your natural skin tone as possible--no darker and no lighter. If in doubt, ask a makeup expert to help you pick your shade.

- Eye makeup should be limited to browns and blacks. Espresso shades with shimmer, as well as plums, raisin and grays look stunning.

- To make your eyes appear larger or add more depth, consider applying eye makeup with gradation of color, starting with the darker shade at the lash line and finishing with the lightest color at the brow bone.

- For your lashes, wear black or dark gray mascara and curl your lashes to make your eyes stand out. If you can get away with it, lining the bottom rims of your eyes with white eye liner really sets off your look.

- When it comes to lipstick, tinted glosses can be your best friend. Ruby and coffee shades are perfect for evening and mauves, taupes and caramel colors for daytime. If you're wearing heavy eye makeup, go soft on the lip color and vice-versa so your face doesn't look completely overdone.

- You can add contour to your face with blush. Choose shades such as pale bronze, pink or soft apricot colors.

- Avoid makeup colors that are too frosted or silvery...sometimes this can cause your skin to look washed out.

Makeup Tips for African-American Skin Tones

The best thing you can do in addition to learning how to apply your own makeup is to know what colors and makeup styles are right for your skin tone.

With the advancement of cosmetic companies creating colors for every shade under the sun, there should be no excuse for you to not know what eye shadows, lipsticks, blush, etc., will complement your skin. First, we'll focus on makeup for African-American skin.

- Knowing the undertones of your skin will help you select the right colors. Ebony and other darker skin tones normally have cool, blue undertones and brown and caramel complexions tend to have warm gold undertones. If you don't know what undertones are, the simplest way to explain it is to put yourself out in the sun and note what colors show through the most in the sunlight.

- The best choice is to use lines that specialize in makeup for women of color. These lines will already have most of the right colors to match your complexion so you don't have to do the guesswork.

- Avoid the pancake look when it comes to foundation. If your face is pretty clear, skip foundation and use tinted moisturizer or tinted powder instead.

- For blush, plum, currant and mauves look great on medium to darker complexions. Medium to lighter tones should opt for caramel, honey and apricot colors. Warmer complexions tend to do well with bronzer instead of blush. Apply bronzer lightly to the forehead, temples and cheekbones.

- If you have an uneven skin tone, which a lot of African-American women do, consult with a makeup expert to find the right type of foundation. Also take into account your skin type. If you have oily skin, water based liquid foundations and cream blush will do the trick. Cream formulas work great for dry skin types.

- When it comes to lipstick, deep currants and plums work well for ebony and other darker skin tones. Coffees, terracottas and brownish reds work best for medium to brown skin. On the lighter side? Try caramel, peach and coral colors.

- Darker colored lipsticks enhace the size of your lips, while lighter shades minimize, so always keep that in mind when selecting lipstick colors and how they'll appear in pictures.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Building Up Your Wardrobe

Here's the fun part for all you shopaholics out there...as a model you've got to have clothes, which means SHOPPING! EEEEEEEEEEEE!

Many times you'll be required to provide your own outfits, unless the shoot is for a clothing brand or store that will already have your wardrobe laid out. Go through your closets and separate your everyday clothes from the clothes that you would want to model during a shoot.

While shopping, be on the lookout for unique, trendy or quirkey items of clothing or accessories that may come in handy for a future shoot. A model can never have too many clothes! Also make sure that you have enough shoes to last you through any shoot.

The essential shoes you should have in your collection, if you don't have them already include: a clean, white pair of sneakers, strappy black heels, strappy white heels, sandals, and at least one pair of platform type of heels (the kind with corkscrew material look great). Keep these items separate from the shoes you wear on a regular basis.

Try to only wear these shoes for modeling projects and not anywhere else if you can help it. It's important that your shoes continue to look brand-new--nothing looks worse in a photo than shoes that are visibly scuffed, scratched or dirty.

A nifty trick I've come across when it comes to bathing suit shopping is to buy clearance from stores or catalogues--I favor the Victoria's Secret catalogue I get in the mail. Unlike their other high-priced catalogues, this edition offers clearance prices, with bathing suits of all styles, colors and sizes going for as little as $6.00! Mind you, normally, these pieces, especially two piece sets, can start at $20+ a piece!

I recently purchased five bathing suits from the catalogue for a little over $100. Now I have more than enough styles to last me the rest of the year! When shopping for swimsuits to use on your shoots, don't be picky! You don't have to worry about getting the cutest bathing suit. Pick a variety of styles and colors so that your photos won't all look the same.

If you're pressed financially, buy one or two articles of clothing a month, or per paycheck if you're working. This will slowly build up your wardrobe without breaking your wallet. It's perfectly fine to mix and match your old stuff with the new!

Makeup and Beauty Extras

Accessorizing and putting on makeup can make or break any look during a shoot. I just want to remind you that sometimes you don't need a whole lot.

Fake eyelashes are really fun to have and make you feel glamourous but don't go overboard with them. You might not even need them for the shoot you're doing. Whatever the case, make sure to pick the right ones for the occasion.

For those of you with naturally short lashes, fake ones can really help lengthen and create the illusion of long lashes. Stay away from the eyelashes that are just too huge, too curly or look very unnatural. Of course, if that is the look you're going for, then by all means, get whichever ones you want!

To avoid any mishaps, especially if you've never worn fake eyelashes before, have someone else apply them for you and be patient. If you move too much or don't let the glue set, they'll appear crooked and you'll have to start all over again.

Wearing fake lashes can be pretty tricky at first because they'll be super heavy and you'll feel like your eyelids are about to collapse! Practice blinking and looking in different directions for a few minutes and you'll get used to them quickly.

Unlike height or weight, you can't change your natural eye color--oh, wait, yes you can! Many people wear colored contacts to spice up their eye color or to even coordinate with the color of their outfit. If you have agency representation, it goes without saying that you should stick to your natural eye color, even if you think it's the most boring color in the world.

Unless the particular shoot or look your latest gig calls for involves colored contacts, leave yours at home. If you're doing a TFP or TFCD that has nothing to do with your agent, then decide if you really need your colored contacts.

Wearing jewelry such as bracelets, earrings and necklaces make photos stand out but unless that's the look you want, don't allow your accessories to overshadow you. It should accent the photo, not take over. The same goes with sunglasses.

Learn to use sunglasses in pictures so that it appear natural and not practiced. Some sunglasses are just too distracting to be used so be sure to keep different types so that you can switch up, tone down or amp up the style if you need to.

Glamour Modeling

Glamour modeling in a nutshell, is modeling that is very sexual in nature or theme. While fashion modeling is about showcasing the clothes and commercial/print modeling is about showcasing a product, company or idea, glamour modeling is all about showcasing the model herself.

There is usually partial or full nudity. Playboy is one of the most famous publications that specialize in glamour photography but men's magazines are also noted for showcasing glamour models (Maxim, Smooth, KING, FHM).

Here are a few of the most noted glamour models:

Marilyn Monroe
Dita Von Teese
Biance Beauchamp
Charmaine Sinclair
Carmen Electra (although she doesn't do it much anymore)
Vida Guerro
Melyssa Ford

The definition and nature of glamour modeling has changed over the years, mainly because of morality issues within the public. Hugh Hefner is noted as being very influential in bringing glamour models into the public eye, most notably with the appearance of a nude Marilyn Monroe on the cover of Playboy.

Since then, glamour modeling in print has been somewhat toned down, and even men's magazines such as Maxim, FHM and KING are considered home to many glamour models.

There are always photographers who are looking for models to work with in this part of the industry and the pay can be extremely good. Of course, because there is a chance of nudity, this is something you must be prepared for. If you're shy, timid or not comfortable enough about your body, I suggest not going down this route.

Classy, Not Trashy

I definitely believe that you can be sexy and be seen as a sex symbol without having to bear all. As you can see in the photo accompanying this post, while the collage is pretty risque, it's tastefully done. It shows just enough skin to be a tease, yet covers enough to keep it from appearing pornographic.

That is the type of sexy I specialize in. Why ruin the mystery by showing all the goods up front? While I commend models that pose in publications such as Playboy, I myself am not interested in nude or adult modeling.

The "Classy, Not Trashy" attitude is one that I have maintained for many years now. I really started to embrace this modeling philosophy after being rejected for certain print jobs because I wasn't slutty enough--note that I didn't say "sexy"--I meant slutty.

There is a huge difference between the two. At first I thought it was just all in my head, but after watching two or three girls with their butt cheeks hanging out of their short shorts, or pratically seeing their crotch because of a too-short skirt, get accepted for callbacks, that's when I knew that this was the way some parts of the modeling industry operated.

I just refused to take part in it. For me, I love showing off my curves and teasing the viewer. But I always want to do it in a way that won't make anyone looking at my photo go, "Ewww.."

Of course, this topic is addressed towards the older models who are 18+. Sometimes you may have to take a little bit of a risk when it comes to posing risque, but your comfort zone should never been violated. Use your sexuality carefully and approach each project or gig with an open mind but be firm in what you will or will not show.

If you don't get booked because you don't want to show too much, then stick to it--there's nothing wrong with that or with you. If anything, it will garner you a good reputation for maintaining your class and respectability as a model. I know it has for me. Don't let anyone tell you different!