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.
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.