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, August 7, 2007

Inexperienced Models

Being an aspiring model who is inexperienced can be difficult but this is where natural talent comes into play. Lately I've seen a couple of posts on Craigslist from young girls, posting about how they are inexperienced and hope to find quality photographers there to work with in order to build a portfolio. Some of them even go as far to state that they are looking for a photographer who is good at giving direction and teach them how to pose.

First off, inexperienced or not, don't expect most legit photographers to "teach" you your job. Yes, being inexperienced is one thing and it is understandable that you may not know how to pose the right way but that is why they are called "test shoots."

 Most photographers are not experienced in showing models how to pose and the ones who do usually hate doing it. At most they will give you some direction (chin down, head to the side more, etc.) but do not expect to show up to a test shoot, stand there and ask the photographer, "Okay, what do you want me to do?" That never works.

Also, there is some misunderstanding that having a pro portfolio put together on your own will give you a better chance at getting signed to an agency. You don't have to have a portfolio at all if you are trying to get signed. Many aspiring models don't realize that and stress themselves out trying to take a bunch of photos.

Most agents will only ask for snapshots of a headshot, body shot, and 3/4 shot...some will even tell you they don't want professional photos, so don't feel like you have to put together your own book to showcase. If anything, do one or two test shoots with good and reputable photographers so you can get used to being in front of a camera and find out if it's something you really want to do before you commit too much time and energy into it. Chances are that if you do get signed, your agent isn't going to use any of the previous photos you've taken and will set up a photo shoot for you in order to build your portfolio.

There is a way to be inexperienced without looking like you're inexperienced. Modeling is all about coming alive in front of a camera and trying new things. You don't have to copycat every modeling pose you've seen. If a photographer knows you're new, he/she will have some idea about how to make you comfortable enough to get good pictures. Even if the photographer ends up posing you completely, unless you bring your own flavor to the pose and have fun with it, the image will come out looking like it was posed.

This is where practicing in the mirror at home can be a big help. It doesn't matter if you feel stupid but it is important to feel comfortable looking at yourself in the mirror and playing with poses. Once you create a comfort zone, that will come across in your photos. Most photographers will not take kindly to having to "direct" an entire shoot...like I said, it isn't the photographer's job to show you how to do your job.

When networking with a photographer to do a test shoot if you've never taken professional pictures before, be sure to communicate with him/her (please have a parent or guardian over 21 present at any meetings and shoots if you are under 18) and explain why you want to be a model, the type of shots you're looking for and what clothing/outfits you plan to wear. The more prepared the both of you are, the better the chemistry will be when shooting.

For some people, posing and modeling comes naturally. If you're not one of those people, you may run into some problems if you want to pursue this industry. Having confidence and knowing how to play up to the camera is a must when it comes to modeling and you can't be fake about it (unless you're really good at it! haha). Don't let your inexperience make you feel insecure about your abilities but at the same time, don't expect others to teach you what you should already possess knowledge about. Be responsible for yourself and know what you want.


ki~ki said...

After reading your blog I found it very helpful. Currently, I am a 19 year old college student in the Philadelphia area. I want to do modeling as a way to earn extra money. I have even had plenty of comments from people I know and dont know about modeling. This also inspired me to look into it. I have no experience and not exactly sure how the modeling thing works. But, I can get serious about it and make it work. Thus, would it be a good move for me to get some really good pictures taken and just go to an creditable agency or is it another way to go about this?????????

ki~ki said...

After reading your blog, I found it very helpful. Currently, I am a 19 year old college student in the Philadelphia area. I looked into modeling as a way to earn extra money and have been told plenty of times that I have the talent for it. Thus, seeing that I am inexperienced, would it be a good move for me to take some really good pictures and go to a creditable agency or should I do other wise i.e. look into modeling school??????????????/

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Ki-Ki! You'll find your questions answered in my recent post titled, "Answering a Reader Question #6." For more help, please see my blogger profile to get my email. Thanks for reading!

Dania Denise said...

Oh and about the modeling school...don't waste your time or money investing in those. Use that as a last resort. Go to open castings at local agencies first and see if they are interested in you. It's much more affordable and practical way of approaching modeling.

Anonymous said...

after reading your blog i felt a little more at-ease with the discesion ive made to put my foot in the modeling/acting business. i am currently,14,still a freshman. but its my ultimate goal to somehow get involved in this business. ive only modeled for a hair show, so i have absolutley no experience, but im fairly photogenic, do you have ANY advice at all, for me? it would be greatly appreciated. Signed, lizz

Dania Denise said...

Hey, Lizz, thanks for the question! You'll find your answer in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #80." Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Hello there, I read this article and found it really helpful. I've been thinking about possibly getting into modeling, and have an upcoming (as the company called it) "on the spot test shoot interview" that I'll be making an appointment for. I was just wondering what to expect and what ways other than practicing in front of a mirror can help? Modeling is something I've been really getting interested in and am wanting to get off on the right foot. Thanks for your help!
Kelsey from California

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Kelsey! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #312." Thanks for reading!

Felicia Van Etten said...

Your paragraphs made me way put of ease i want to be a model i`m 16 and in Michigan i have no money or savings to speak of i have guardians and am basically on my own for it all i have no idea where to start without getting scammed and could use some guidance

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Felicia!

I would suggest that you first read my blog post that will point you in the right direction:


You'll have to copy and paste the link into your browser to view it.

Michigan is not a good market for modeling so I don't know if you'll have much luck with agencies there but you can start by searching online for "Modeling agencies in Michigan" and seeing what websites come up.

If you need additional help, feel free to email me directly: daniadenise@gmail.com.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this article! I just found your blog and have found it really helpful thus far. I have quite a few questions for you, if that's alright. First off, I am 14 and looking to be a commercial/ print model (I am 5'6.5" so I think I'm too short for runway modeling, but I may still grow). My measurements are 30-23.5-35. I am of mixed race (half Chinese, half Caucasian). Would that make me more "appealing" or "exotic" to agencies? Also, I have quite a few blackheads on my nose and some on my cheeks that I have been trying to get rid of but can't seem to find a way to. They are not very visible unless you look very closely, but would this somehow hold me back? Do you have any skincare tips for getting rid of them? Lastly, I'm kinda intimidated with the whole application process...should I apply to multiple agencies at once or should I apply one by one? Should I apply first to smaller agencies so that I have a higher chance of getting booked or should I apply to big agencies with less of a chance?
Thank you so much :)

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #943," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!