There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Choose Your Escort Carefully

When I say "escort" I'm talking about the person you bring with you on your photo shoots, so there shouldn't be any confusion about what "escort" means.

Most times, a professional booking your agent gets you is one of the few times you most likely won't need an escort with you, since there tends to be about a half dozen or more people on the shoot.

However, for portfolio-building shoots, TFP/TFCDs, and for models who are freelance or just starting and don't have agency representation, you have the option of bringing an escort with you.

The purpose of an escort is to have someone there with you for safety reasons. This is true especially if you are under 18--in fact, in the United States, it is the law for an underage model to have a parent/guardian present at all times. I've stated before that any legit and reputable photographer will not only welcome having an escort present during the shoot, but will encourage you to bring someone.

This ensures that no funny business happens during the shoot or that the model's comfort zone isn't compromised or taken advantage of. Of course there are photographers who would rather not deal with escorts altogether and may even refuse to work with models who insist on bringing one. This does not always mean a red flag, however--many photographers have horror stories of escorts who have ruined shoots and are justified in why they uphold a no escort policy.

But you should never feel forced to work with a photographer without an escort if you really want one present. Use your best judgment to decide whether to forgo the escort of if you'd rather work with another photographer.

In today's world, there are a lot of sick people out there and it is in your best interest to have someone you know there to make sure business is conducted and handled properly. Even models who are of age (18 and 21+) should bring an escort to their shoots. In worst case scenarios, you would have someone to serve as a witness.

 Sometimes we don't like to admit it, but bad things do happen and they happen to anyone...so don't think you're immune. Never put yourself in a sticky situation. The chances of something bad happening to you during a shoot are greatly decreased when there is an escort present. Of course, that isn't to say that having an escort means you're completely safe. But the odds are much better when an escort is there.

When it comes to choosing who to bring along to your shoots as an escort, pick wisely. Don't just bring anybody. In my opinion, any escort you bring should be 21 or older. If you are a model who is under 18, your escort should be a parent or other guardian.

Older siblings should be the next in line for consideration as an escort. If you can, try to avoid bringing your friends along. We all know how giggly and silly friends can be so that is just common sense, not to mention that you are no safer if the escort you bring is underage. The two of you are more likely to be taken advantage of so separate your friends from this part of your modeling career. You should never have more than one escort at a shoot, because it tends to be distracting for everyone involved.

When I go out on shoots, I always try to have my best friend, who is also my stylist, as my escort. He knows my modeling career inside and out and is always there to support me if anything happens that I don't agree with. When he isn't available, I have a good guy friend of mine who serves as my bodyguard...seriously, that's what he calls himself. LOL.

But he's a great guy who packs a lot of muscle and looks intimidating so I always feel safe when he's around. He knows what I do so he already knows what to expect. My boyfriend, who is one of my photographers, has actually told me that he prefers to not be my escort because he can get carried away with critiquing the shots and feels that I would be able to focus better without him there. Of course, if I can't get anyone else to go with me, then he'll gladly come along. Make sure you have a good communication system with the people who serve as your escorts.

Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to who you choose as your escort, is to know that the person you bring with you should be aware of what to expect and how the shoot works. A lot of people who have no experience with modeling think that shoots will be fast paced and exciting to watch. That couldn't be further from the truth.

Shoots can last hours and a lot of it is standing around for the model, so you can imagine how boring it may be for the person who isn't even in the shoot. Tell them to bring a book or something to keep them occupied. If they want to help during the shoot, let the photographer know. That greatly helps when it comes to setting up shots, moving equipment, etc. So if the escort you're thinking of bringing has no interest in doing any of that, then you should pick someone else.

Your escort should be someone who you don't mind modeling in front of. So don't bring someone who makes you shy or embarrassed to do your thing. This person should obviously know beforehand that you model and is familiar with the work you've done. This makes things flow a lot easier. If you're bringing a parent or guardian, make sure they don't try to get too involved in the shoot to the point where they're distracting the photographer or yourself.

When it comes to boyfriends and girlfriends, think very carefully about bringing your significant other as an escort. If your girlfriend or boyfriend has jealousy issues, is insecure or isn't completely supportive of your modeling career, you'd be better off with a different escort.

No matter who you decide to bring, sit them down and explain to them the nature of the shoot, how they can help, what they should bring, etc. Most importantly, tell them that you need them there for support. If your escort is open-minded, laid-back and fun, they'll have a great time watching you do your thing.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Be Your Own Modeling Expert

My passion for the entertainment, modeling and broadcasting industry is so strong that I put all my effort into learning about the different fields I work in. In addition to modeling, I also freelance as a television news and entertainment reporter so I spend a lot of time shooting footage, interviewing people and talking on-camera.

I love being hands-on with all of my broadcasting projects, from playing back footage, to editing and writing the scripts. That gives me the experience and credibility to tell anyone, "I know exactly how this works because I've done it!"
From my past experiences doing this type of work, I learned a great deal about lighting, posing, framing, camera equipment, etc. And you know what? A lot of what I learned in college as well as from my freelance career carried over into my modeling career.

In college, I learned about everything that goes on behind the camera and while some of it seemed so boring and meaningless, many of the aspects about broadcasting I learned were almost the same when it came to photography and modeling. Of course the two aren't the same but there are some principles and factors that can be similar.
Everything I learned about broadcasting made me a better journalist and reporter so I figured why not do the same for my modeling career? I immediately went to work learning about the basics of photography: lighting, the types of equipment needed for certain shoots, filters, lenses, colors, backgrounds, composition, and a score of other things.

Not only was learning about photography fun but it was really helpful to me as a model. Now I have a glimpse into what the person behind the camera has to deal with. When you know the way the shot is going to be based off of the equipment alone, you'll know what poses to do and how to position yourself.
For example, with studio shooting, you're always going to have to deal with lights. And there's more than just one type of light. Some are huge, while others are small and placed at different angles. When I did my high-key white shoot, I was very familiar with the types of lighting the photographer was using.

I looked over the set-up and knew right away that I would have to be very careful of what poses I would be doing because with lights, there are shadows. And certain poses will cast some of the most difficult shadows that can ruin an otherwise beautiful shot. The entire time I had to be aware of the angle of my face...if I had my hands or arms up in the air, I had to position them a certain way so that the light didn't create a shadow on my face. Most models who don't give the lighting a second thought can put out the greatest poses that end up ruined because of harsh shadows they created without even knowing it.
I'm not saying you should sign up for a photography class (although it would be a great experience) but take some time out to research the duties and responsibilities that comes with photography. Learn for yourself how these talented people are able to capture the most breath-taking images...and how they use Photoshop to make us look so dang perfect! Soak up this knowledge and take it with you.

Be your own expert and any photographer you work with will not only be impressed but grateful that you're able to see things from their point of view and make it easier for them. Of course, don't try to dictate to the photographer how they should do their job--leave that up to them, they are the photographers after all!
Many models have turned to photography as a hobby or as a part of their career. Even I've started sneaking practice shots of random objects, places and people using my boyfriend's Nikon D70 to take flicks when he doesn't need his camera.
So don't just stand there looking pretty and zoning off--look around you, observe your surroundings, learn the styles and techniques that are responsible for producing quality modeling pictures and I guarantee you the rest of your shoots will turn out the best pictures ever because instead of one expert on-set, there will be two!

Don't Be Afraid to Smile!

One trait that is very essential for a model to master is how to adapt to change. When it comes to your comfort zone, each model is different. Maybe you're used to looking "fierce," which means that cheesy smiles aren't common in your images.

Or maybe you're so used to doing the cheesy smiles for commercial/print work and you're not used to exuding a sexy aura. No matter what area of expertise you have become used to, it is always better to learn how to do a variety of looks when it comes to your facial expressions.

It's easy for aspiring models to learn how to do the sexy pout because it's all they see in the Victoria's Secret commercials and ads. Although in my opinion, they mostly look like fish faces--girls, leave those "Myspace" type of fish lips on Myspace and out of your modeling images!

Blank, serious and often severe faces high-stepping it during fashion shows are very common in that part of the industry, so many aspiring models who want to find fame in fashion spend hours mastering that "fierce" look. But you know what? As fierce and sexy as Kate Moss made "the serious face," when she does commercials, she has to completely switch it up and smile until her cheeks hurt.

And it totally works for her. Even if she hated smiling in front of a camera, that is what she is paid to do so she has to deliver on the right expression and attitude every time. That comes with the territory. Do not think that the modeling industry will bend over backwards to accommodate your tastes and what you want to do.

No model should get too comfortable with just one facial expression. Versatility works in any model's favor in the long run. If you enjoy looking sexy, that's great but if you happen to get booked for a tv commercial, or are representing a product that isn't looking for a sex kitten, you'll greatly benefit from knowing how to go from seductive to spunky at the drop of a hat.

And when I say smile, that doesn't mean give the camera the fakest, goofiest smile! The camera will capture it. For commercial models, it's pretty easy to make the transition from cheesy to sexy...it sometimes isn't so easy the other way around.

Models who are so used to portraying the serious, fashion/editorial facial expressions sometimes have difficulty showing off a genuine, fun smile in a photo. If you're the type of model who doesn't smile very often, it would be in your best interest to start practicing.

I've said before that the most successful models are the ones who cross over into other modeling fields, including television work and spokesmodeling. Being able to go from fashion to commercial/print gigs will require a shift in poses, attitude and expression. That doesn't mean you'll get stuck as a commercial/print model and be banned from the catwalk...but what fashion model would turn down a commercial/print gig for a company like GAP for example?

Money is money and there are many fashion models who gladly jump at the chance to be a happy and smiling model instead of the typical "I'm so serious posing on a beach next to this half-naked guy...I'm so sexy and hot" look. LOL.

Having trouble giving a sincere and genuine smile during a shoot? Practice, practice, practice! Get in front of a mirror and start playing around with different smiles. Try sexy smirks, playful grins, a full-on smile or a half-hearted one. Get one or two that you are comfortable with and can do on the spot. While out on the shoot, if you're having trouble...laugh. Seriously!

As you're standing in front of the camera, think of something completely ridiculous and off the wall and just start laughing...even a fake laugh will get you warmed up. Trust me, you'll feel like a dork doing it but if the photographer is really good, he/she will capture that perfect moment where your real smile and personality show through the photo. For a little flavor, throw your head back and laugh, then look off to the side and laugh and then look straight at the camera and laugh.

Don't take this literally...I don't mean throw your head back, laugh, stop, turn your head to the side, laugh, stop, face the camera, laugh. Your movements shouldn't be robotic. Trying throwing your head back, looking off to the side and looking at the camera in one smooth and graceful motion, all the while laughing to yourself or out loud.

What works for me is to start laughing almost to myself, kind of like a giggle. Other times I'll throw my head back and start laughing (but not a loud, over the top laugh that would be distracting) and then I would turn and make eye contact with the camera and pretend the camera is my best friend or boyfriend and they've just caught me doing something embarrassing. That smile always works best for me.

While it's a main goal of most models to master the technique of the sexy facial expression, there's nothing wrong with knowing how to smile as well. Being sexy is all well and good, but it's always more alluring to see a model who knows how to show off a killer smile. Anyone can fake sexy...you can't fake a genuine smile.

Monday, May 21, 2007

My First Meeting with FORD San Francisco

I have never been so excited as I was today when I stepped off the elevator and was greeted by the huge, silver letters of FORD Models, San Francisco. The walls were painted a deep red, with a black ceiling and trim. The office is still fairly new so they don't have a whole lot up yet but I was still tingling with nervous excitement.
I was there to meet with the people at FORD for the first time since they took me onto their roster after merging with my current agent, Generations Model & Talent, last Fall.

First I was introduced to everyone and then we got right down to business. I was taken into a room and stripped down to my bra and underwear to be fitted. At the moment they were looking for fit models for GAP, Old Navy, Banana Republic, etc. so they took a lot of measurements. Afterwards, I gave her my age, height, weight and contact info. Then I met with the head of the Women's Lifestyle/Commercial division and his assistant so that we could talk about my career with them.
At first they spent some time focusing on the fact that I was mostly doing acting work as opposed to modeling but I let them know that while I enjoy doing acting and television related gigs, I lived to be in front of the camera, was very photogenic and had been on numerous shoots so I was very familiar with the atmosphere. Then they told me they wanted to market and promote me to their clients but before they could do all that, I had to have new images in my portfolio (this is why I stress the importance of always updating your images, ladies and gentlemen!).

They referred me to one of their favorite photographers, who is located about 25 minutes south of San Francisco, right alongside the Pacific Ocean. During this part of the meeting we got down to the nitty gritty in terms of what the agency wanted from me. When I get together with the photographer, makeup artist, hair stylist and wardrobe stylist, the looks I have to nail are J. Crew in theme with a little bit of GAP thrown in. It's going to be a lot of white tops/sweater/tanks, and jeans (but not too street according to FORD), as well as an edgy version of business casual (like a cute blazer, skirt and heels but nothing too sexy or revealing). This is where things can kind of get confusing. There's so much "do this, but not quite this...try that but not so much of that." It's a lot to decipher but ultimately, I have a good idea of the theme and look they want me to portray.

One of the keys he told me to keep in mind is to avoid photographing young. What he meant by this is that I have to be mindful of the outfits I wear and the poses I do because there are times when I can look like a teeny-bopper in a photo. However, when you meet me in person, it is fairly obvious that I am in my early 20s...which my agent said was the perfect range for me so I have to stick to that and portray that age range in my photographs. This is where it comes in handy to know the various styles and themes that come along with the age range you are representing as a model. In addition to all this info, I was happy to hear that there may be a slight possibility that I could be booked for some fashion work, mainly print ads for Macy's Women's Petite and other big name department stores...but nothing that would make me appear too mature (that's the industry's nice way of saying "old"...lol).

The main challenge for me at this point is to find a happy balance between the outfits I'm going to wear on my shoot and delivering the images that the agency wants to use. Luckily, I was told that after my shoot, I would be invited back to their office to go over the images and help select the ones that would make the final cut into my FORD portfolio.

So now I have my mission and this probationary period is critical for me to deliver on because if the agency doesn't feel that I can get them simple shots for a portfolio, then they would have no reason to trust me to book gigs and that is where the real work as a model comes into play. You never want your agent to second-guess you or think that you may not be able to deliver on the tasks they send you on. So I'm going to put my all into this next shoot because it will be the determining factor between having a career with FORD or saying goodbye to my contract.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Modeling Vouchers

As a model with agency representation, you'll be required to use modeling vouchers. This is a special document that basically makes sure you get paid.

Unlike a model release form, vouchers break down the nitty gritty of the job you're doing, whether it's a photo shoot, fitting, show or other paying gig. Your agent will give you a handful of blank vouchers to keep safe. You must bring a modeling voucher to every booking you get.

There are also voucher books that allow you to organize your vouchers so that you can keep track of the clients you've worked for and your payment history.

On the voucher you will see the name, address and contact information of the agency on the voucher. There will also be room for you to put your name and signature, as well as an area where the client will fill out their company information, address and contact info. The two of you will provide your own signatures, which makes the voucher a binding contact.

Normally there will be a chart on the voucher that must be filled out by the client, such as the time you arrived, the time you finished, the type of gig you are working for, the total number of hours worked and the agreed upon pay rate.

If the voucher is incomplete or missing any information, you and the agency will not be paid so make sure that you are familiar with all the information that must be filled out and double-check it before you leave. If the client has left something out, make sure they correct it because you won't have another chance to get in contact with the client again.

Modeling vouchers usually contain carbon copies underneath that are different colors. Usually the top one is for the client to keep, the second for the agency and the third for you to add to your records. If you run out of vouchers, contact your agent and let them know you need more.

They'll either have you come by the office to pick up more or they may even fax you a blank voucher so you can make your own copies. Use a different voucher for each gig, so if you have three gigs lined up in one day, then bring three vouchers.

It's best to submit your voucher immediately after your job is done. Because snail mail takes too long, it's best to drop it off at the agency's office or fax it to them. If you need to, call your agent to make sure that they received it, as most agencies are too busy with everyday tasks and may not realize that they don't have your voucher until days or weeks later. The reason it is so important to turn your voucher in ASAP is because the longer it takes for your agent to receive and process the voucher, the longer it will take for you to get paid...and you don't want that!

Photographers & Copyrights

The thing a model must understand about photographers is that their work--the images they produce--are their livelihood and must be protected at all times.

Ever wonder why there's a random name or funky mark on top of a model's photo? That was done on purpose to keep people from copying the picture for personal use (how many times have we seen a photo we liked on the Internet and copied it to our own folder?).

Everyone has done this at one time or another and while it appears harmless, there are some people out there who try to pass off someone else's work as their own, or attempt to sell it for a profit--all while the actual photographer doesn't have a clue.

While some models don't like this extra info on their images, if a photographer requests that you put it on your photos, then you must respect their wishes. In the age of the Internet, it is easy to steal other people's work. Even though it is still possible to take the name off of a picture on the Internet, as long as you aren't the one doing it, that's what matters.

Many photographers are touchy about this subject and unless you are a photographer or other type of artist, it's hard to understand how hurt or angry a photographer gets when they see their image online without being given credit. Think about it: if it weren't for the photographer, would you have that amazing photo in your portfolio? That would be a "no." So give credit where credit is due.

Whether or not it is stated clearly in the model release form, always play it safe and ask the photographer if they require their name and/or copyright on the images that you want to use. Some don't care what you do with the photos or if you put their name on it or not, while others have their own rules.

During TFPs, oftentimes the photographer will ask that you put their name and/or copyright on any images that you intend to use for the Internet. This will discourage people from illegally copying the photo for personal use, since many people don't want to have a picture with someone's name or logo on it.

If you're using hard copy versions of the photos in your book, the photographer may or may not care but when it comes to putting their work up online, that is enough reason for them and you to take extra precaution to protect the work you've done together.

With TFCDs, you get all the images in high-resolution, either retouched or raw. A lot of photographers who give a model this option, normally are less strict about putting their name on the image, as long as it is stated in the model release form that you are not to use the photos to make a profit or for some other purpose that the photographer hasn't given you permission for.

When it comes to marking their territory, photographers will either put their name or the name of their photography business with the copyright symbol, or will just have their name alone. A simple logo may also be used. Either way, if you know that a photographer prefers to have their name on their work, then do them a favor and give them credit. It will save you a whole lot of trouble. The last thing you want is for a photographer to be angry at you so make sure you're both on the same level when it comes to this.

The Model Release Form

No model does anything without a Model Release Form. This form is important because it ensures that both you and the photographer are aware of and exercise certain rights and responsibilities. Anytime you are scheduled for a photo shoot, expect to read and sign a model release form. It is vital to protect yourself and your image at all times.

In a nutshell, a model release form states the terms/guidelines dealing with copyright, personal use and other legal issues that can arise. Once you sign a model release form, it is a binding contract that cannot be broken or else you or whoever is at the root of the issue, can be sued or taken to court. This is where the model release form will be used to prove or disprove whatever part of the contract was broken.

Many times when a model signs a model release form, they are waiving (giving up) their right to the photos and transfer it to the photographer, client or company named in the release. This does not mean that you can't use your pictures, however, because you can--just under certain conditions.

Photographers make their living off of their images so they need the model release form to guarantee the model they are working with will not go off and sell their pictures without permission, use them for purposes outside of the modeling industry or pass it off as someone else's work.

At the same time, these same terms are also applied to the photographer, client or company named in the model release form. As a working model, your privacy is also put into consideration. If you don't give your permission for a certain image(s) to be used, then by law they cannot use it.

If all that sounded really confusing, basically the model release form is a binding contract that makes sure the model and photographer are only using the images produced from the shoot for professional, modeling industry-related purposes such as portfolio updates, agency use or submission for gigs.

An example of a really basic model release form:

Model release forms should be signed the day of the shoot, either before or after. It doesn't make much sense for a photographer to have to track you down days or weeks later to sign a piece of paper. When presented with the form, make sure to sit down and read everything.

There is more than one type of model release form and not all of them will cover the same issues or grant the same rights. Don't hesitate to ask questions or have the photographer or whoever is in charge clarify anything you don't understand. This is a business and you are a participant so you deserve to know exactly what you are signing.

Sometimes the model release form will be really basic and require your name, address and contact info. Others may be more than one page and contain more complex legal issues. This is all normal and depending on the assignment or purpose for the shoot, the appropriate model release form will be used.

Don't be intimidated by the model release form. Once you get more experience, you'll know what to expect and like everything else that comes with the territory, this part of the industry will be second nature.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Shooting in High Key White

Shooting with an all-white background is an excellent way to experiment with colors and outfits. No matter what, you'll stand out. The key to shooting with an all-white background is to know how to use your space. There isn't anything in the background to play off of and unless you have a prop, you're pretty much on your own.

When it comes to posing in front of a high key white background, it's best to exaggerate your poses. Start off with some simple practice poses and work your way up. This is the perfect environment for playing with poses that will cause your image to jump out at the viewer.

Try to avoid plain, boring poses and use your arms to give shape to your pose. Creating great lines is key when shooting with a white background. What I mean by this is that the intensity of the high key white background will automatically create an outline of your body. The best poses are those that show long, slendar and graceful lines.

Example of a pose that creates great lines:

Also pay attention to color. This is where you can make the most of vivid, bright and contrasting hues. Think about patterns and choose styles and outfits that really flatter your shape because against the high key white background, every little detail will show up. Sometimes depending on the type of outfit you wear, you can end up creating a really awesome image.

Take a look at how the stripes in my dress really bring a lot of flavor and movement to the photo, even though i'm sitting down in a stationary position:

Shooting in high key white is a great way to practice posing and owning the camera when you don't have anything else to fall back on. Also remember that when working with this type of background, you will be surrounded by various lights so also be mindful of the shadows that can be created.

Try not to pose in a way where your arm or hand will cast any unsightly shadows on your face. While Photoshop is a big help, it can't make miracles and even one faulty shadow can ruin the effect.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Bikini Posing

When it comes to putting on a swimsuit, it can be easy to automatically think you should be a sex kitten during a photo shoot. Contrary to popular belief, posing in a swimsuit doesn't always mean you have to do overtly sexual poses.

There are ways to pose in a swimsuit that doesn't exude sexuality. After all, not only volumptuous, long-legged models wear swimsuits. There are bathing suit styles made for teens as well as adults and when it comes to shooting swimwear, your poses should reflect the target audience.

There are different types of poses you can do when sporting a bathing suit, namely a bikini. There are also different types of bikinis and other two-pieces as well so also keep that in mind. Obviously you would pose differently in a string bikini than you would a two-piece that has boy short bottoms and a simple top.

Like any other type of shoot, the poses you do for swimwear should be natural, graceful and simple. Complicated poses tend to make you look awkward or take away from the overall composition of the photo. Even simple poses can look stunning if shot the right way.

If you're doing swimwear shots for your portfolio/agent, keep it PG, regardless of what age you are. Not all clients want a sexed-up model in a swimsuit. Often they just want a photo that shows off your body without you being naked.

It's much easier to book a gig with a swimwear shot that can appeal to all age ranges than a shot that eyes under 18 shouldn't witness. For portfolio updates, make sure that the poses you do are safe and appropriate enough for your agent to submit to any client without offending them.

Examples of safe, fun swimwear poses:

Freelance models can use a variety of poses in their portfolios since they are the ones in control of their images and who they submit them to. If you're looking to do glamour or modeling for men's magazines, then posing sexier is definitely going to come into play. Even though these poses are supposed to be sexual in nature, that doesn't mean that you need to look like a slut.

Honestly, there is a way to look sexy without looking trashy. Photographers who specialize in this type of photography won't hesitate to tell a model that she is posing too sexy and to take it down a notch. A simple smirk or playful tug on your bikini is just enough to create an image that will appeal to a male audience without appearing raunchy.

Example of a sexier pose for glamour/men's magazine:

No matter what kind of posing you do, it has to look natural and graceful. The greatest pose is one where it doesn't even look like you're posing at all. Having grace doesn't just apply to taller models. Models of average height can also play up their best assets with the right pose. Knowing how to use your arms and how to angle your body can make all the difference.

Even the standard hand on the hip can look stylish and natural in a photo. When it comes to swimwear, make sure to avoid poses that cause your arms to block the swimsuit you're wearing. Everything as a whole should work together to create one dramatic, eye-catching pose.

Examples of simple, graceful poses that create nice lines:

Based off of these two photos, it's hard to tell what my true height is. In the first photo all I did was angle my hips slightly and it created these amazing curves that not only look sexy but slim my torso as well. For the second photo, I knew that by bending one of my knees slightly and angling them just right, I could create the illusion of longer legs. Having these types of photos definitely work to the advantage of models who are on the shorter side.

The best advice I can give when doing a shoot in a bikini is to not have any preconceived notions about the poses you're going to do. First find out what the shoot is for and then tailor your poses to fit that theme in a way that is appropriate for the nature of the shoot and the people who will be viewing the images.

My Diva Moment

Okay, I'll be the first one to tell you that I'm not perfect and that I make mistakes just as anyone else--despite how long I've been modeling. I try to practice what I preach and I thought it would be fun to share the one time I ever acted like a model diva.

I'm definitely not proud of it but that just goes to show that throwing a tantrum is human nature and that it happens to the best of us. The key is to not let it become a part of your modeling career...

I was set to shoot on location for my 2007 calendar. The crew consisted of myself, my photographer, my stylist and my photographer's mother's boyfriend, who brought the motorcycle we were set to use.

I was a little stressed because we were working on a time limit. The shot we needed with the motorcycle was to be taken at dusk, which is basically the time when the sun is setting. All of the outfits and camera gear were packed in the cars and ready to go.

To add to the pressure, not only were we trying to catch up with the last rays of sunlight, we also had to get the right shot with enough time to head to another location for a different look. The second shot was to be taken at an athletics club, and the manager told me I had a very tight window of time to use the facility's basketball court. If I got there too late and there were people using the court, I was out of luck...and we would only have less than two hours to get the shot before the club closed.

My stylist and I were about to head out of the door when I realized that I couldn't find my white heels that went with the white swimsuit I was using for the motorcycle shot. Not trying to panic, I checked everywhere in my house: my bedroom closet, the downstairs bedroom closet, the shoe closet...nothing. I got very pissed very quickly because...

1) I only wore those heels during shoots so they wouldn't have been anywhere else except the places I looked

2) There were no other white heels that went with my outfit

3) The longer I searched, the more time I was wasting.

My stylist (who is also my best guy friend) suggested that I try wearing different shoes. I insisted that only white heels would match a white swimsuit and that I didn't want to look stupid wearing mismatched colors that anyone who bought my calendar would be able to point out.

My stylist grabbed a pair of gold heels and asked me what I thought about using those instead. Without even realizing how horrible my tone was, I snapped, "IT DOESN'T MATCH!" And went back to searching for my shoes. Luckily, because he is my best friend, he didn't take my words personally and continued to help me search.

Something told me to go into the garage to look and after throwing around some stuff, I found my white heels stuffed neatly into a shoebox. Apparently, my mom decided to relocate them without telling me.

It was so funny because just seconds before, I was seeing red and once I found my shoes, everything was sunny and bright. I immediately apologized to my stylist and the rest of the people who were waiting.

Thankfully, we ended up getting the shot with the motorcycle:

And we also managed to get the basketball shot with plenty of time to spare:

It only took that one "diva" moment for me to realize that that was not the type of model I wanted to be and it isn't something that any good model should include in their personality.