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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Monday, June 30, 2008

Latest Photoshoot - Stock Photography

So I got my images back from my recent shoot with a really great stock photographer, Jana Le. She found my modeling profile on Model Mayhem's website and liked my look. She sent me an email and it was a done deal! This was actually my first time doing a stock photo shoot, so it was a fun challenge for me.

To recap for those who aren't aware of what stock photography is, this type of photography is very similar to commercial, except in a different form. There are many online stock photography websites, where photographers upload their images into galleries. Clients who don't have the time or budget to put together their own shoots and hire models can go to the stock photography websites and download the full-size images for a fee, which the photographer (and in some cases, the models) get a percentage of. These images appear everywhere from website ads to print for fliers, brochures, product packaging, billboards and many more.

Here is Jana's portfolio of work (I love how she shows the original image and the image as used for commercial purposes): http://www.modelmayhem.com/pics.php?id=341351

We got together at 7AM (yikes!) in front of the City Hall in San Jose and met up with another model, named Kalani. It was already pretty hot out and it didn't help that we were stuck in business attire. The shoot started off great. Basically all Kalani and I had to do was talk to each other casually, with the photographer giving direction here and there (turn more towards me, face away from the camera, hold the prop in your other hand, etc). Because it was a business themed shoot, we did a lot of handshaking and natural expressions were encouraged. Luckily, Kalani is a very energetic and hilarious guy so we had no problem laughing naturally throughout the shoot. It was all about candids with few formal poses.

As the day went on, the sun only got hotter and as a result, I got dehydrated and suffered a slight dizzy spell. Luckily, Jana was so sweet so she allowed me to take a seat while Kalani went off to get us some refreshments. Although I wasn't feeling too great I didn't want to waste any shooting time so I sucked it up and started posing as I was, while seated. Jana appreciated my ability to put on a genuine smile in spite of the nausea I was experiencing. Once we got our drinks, I was much better and ready to finish our shoot! Eventually the temperature got way too hot so we wrapped up shooting around 12noon. I had a blast and hope that one of my images gets chosen for a product or advertisement.

Here are some of the images from the shoot. Because they are on a stock photo site, I don't want anyone to rip off these images when the photographer fully deserves her percentage of the sales so these have the watermark logo of the website on them. Unfortunately, some of them cover up my face but you get the idea:

Answering a Reader Question #13

ki~ki Wrote:

So, Dania
I have a open call today, I got my head shots and 3/4 shots ready and a pair of heels. I also have been doing a lot of excersing with my boyfriend and eating healthier. We did a lot of running. So, before I go today is there any advice you can give me???????????????????
Thanks Again

Hi, Ki-Ki!

As far as advice for open casting calls, remember that the agencies want to see the true you…not a version that you feel they should see. Stay true to yourself. They love upbeat, bubbly personalities. Walk in with confidence and stand up straight. Have good posture when standing and when sitting—don’t slouch. Always wear a comfortable smile and above all else, do not overanalyze anything and if you’re going to be nervous, keep that to yourself. Never let ‘em see you sweat! Wear little to no makeup (none is better if you can get away with it) and avoid wearing patterns, logos, brand names, stripes and polka dots. My suggestions for what to wear include: a tank top, cami or baby tee in a solid color that complements your skin tone and form fitting, nice jeans (no fashionable holes or tears).

When they ask you questions, try to avoid babbling. Give them honest and brief answers that are straight to the point. Don’t be intimidated by any of the other girls there. Once you walk in, the staff will be watching you (whether you’re aware of it or not) so be on your Ps and Qs. I’ve seen girls walk into agencies and the first thing they do is stare at the other girls or size them up. This looks so bad. Body language is key so appear relaxed, confident and enthusiastic to be there.

I’m sure you’ll do great so good luck and please let me know how it goes!!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Answering a Reader Question #12

Troy Wrote:

Hi, i hope you can respond to my question. i'm an aspiaring male model, and although i'm sure it'll be different, i was wondering if you knew how to search for modeling gigs without an agent. i'm not saying i'm gonna be amazing all on my own, but i would like a few shoots under my belt before i go to an agency, just so they see i have some experience. i really want your opinion on this at least if you can't help me.

There are a few ways you can go about being a freelance model, although let me say first that most modeling agencies do not care if you have previous experience or not. When submitting photos, many state they want non-professional photos but there are others that willingly accept your own modeling headshot. It varies from agency to agency. So if you are concerned about impressing an agency, just know that you don't have to have done shoots before or have your own portfolio. You'd be just fine submitting non-pro pix (headshot, full body, etc) or as stated on each agency's website. Just a thought.

However, if you want to go ahead and freelance first, by all means go ahead. Do what you feel works best for you. In regards to freelance, I highly suggest using online modeling network communities. ModelMayhem.com is a great one that I've found extremely useful. It's free to sign up for an account, where you can post your photos, stats, and network with professional photographers in your area and from all over. Model Mayhem (often referred to as MM) is great because in addition to being able to search for photographers, models, stylists and hair/makeup artists, there is also a great castings section where you can search and submit for freelance modeling gigs, both paid and non-paid. Many aspiring models use MM to find photographers to do test shoots with in order to build and update portfolios. So this works in your favor greatly.

Until you get more familiar with the industry and have shot with a couple of people, only then would I suggest using Craigslist to look for modeling jobs. I stress not using Craigslist to find modeling agencies but the Talent section under Gigs on there has a handful of great modeling jobs you can apply to, with no need for an agent. I've found some of my best gigs and clients through Craigslist but it's not for new, naive or inexperienced models. Do your research first and know how the process works and then use Craigslist. But with MM and Craigslist combined, you can find your own fair share of work through freelance modeling.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Answering a Reader Question #11

Ki~Ki Wrote:

As I said before Dania, you do a great job with this blog. It's so helpful to me. But, I did have another question. Exactly how do I lose about 2 to 3 inches off of my waist and hips?????????? I really like my body the way it is now i.e. 34-27-36 but I guess if I want to explore modeling I will have too lose a few inches.

Thanks, Ki-Ki, I appreciate the support! I am very proud to hear you say that with your current measurements, you are happy with your body! I hear too many people say the exact opposite…your response is a rare yet refreshing one to hear! That being said, I highly suggest seeing agencies as you are first. If you are happy with yourself right now then take a chance and see what they say. It won’t count against you if they say to lose a few inches and then come back…to be invited back is a good thing! So I see nothing wrong with seeing them now if you’re ready and taking things from there.

As far as losing the inches off your waist, this was what information I could find that you could try out (sorry it’s gonna be long but I wanted to make sure you had enough options to choose from that work for you):

Exercise/Diet (Eating habits, not an actual diet)

Below are 6 tips on how to lose inches off your waist fast:

1. Think small - opting for little changes in your diet can make a difference to your fat loss efforts. Look at eating turkey burgers instead of beef, diet soda instead of regular, whole grain pasta instead of white. With small changes, it becomes second nature, which will have an impact on your eating habits.

2. Eat smart - never eat straight from a box or container. If you are eating take out food, put the right portion on a plate. And put the package away, then sit down and enjoy your meal, taking your time over it. Eat slowly and savor every bite. Also, plan to have 6 healthy mini meals a day to control the cravings!

3. It is healthy for everyone to follow a high fiber diet, aiming for two to three cups of vegetables per day and two pieces of fruit (preferably with the skin on). Switching to a diet high in fiber doesn't mean you have to add more carbohydrates to your daily menu, it simply means you need to eat high fiber carbs (those with more than 3g of fiber per serve). Choose from broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, zucchini, tomato, mung beans, leeks, green beans, capsicum, onions and others.

4. Eat more fresh, wholesome foods and drink more water through out the day. And if you reduce the amount of processed foods and sugary drinks like Coca Cola and Diet Pepsi - you are well on your way to losing inches off your waist.

5. Make it a gradual effort. Changes to your lifestyle do not have to be immediate. If you can commit yourself to make positive changes daily, like drinking one less can of coke and eating one serving of fruit - it's all for the better for your health and waistline.

6. The Best Exercise Program for you ... is one you will stick to, and one that is challenging. Find a routine that works for you, and make it a habit.

Special Exercise

The best exercise you can do to lose inches off your waist is called the vacuum pose.

Suck in your belly button as much as possible. Now, be careful not to make the mistake of sucking in your upper belly area. You want to suck in the lower belly around your belly button.

Now suck that in as much as possible and hold that position for between 15-60 seconds. The longer the better. Rest then repeat this. Do this for a total of 5 minutes a day.

Clients who did this 5 minutes a day averaged 1.75 inches lost from their waists. Now, if you are more dedicated, do the vacuum pose for 15-20 minutes each day and you will lose nearly 3 inches from your waist.

Here's how you can do it for 20 minutes without feeling like you did it for 20 minutes:

Do them during TV commercials. The average 1 hour TV show has about 22 minutes of TV commercials. Now, simply do this exercise for 2 minutes during each commercial that comes on during that TV show. Wasted time all of a sudden becomes productive time.

Body Wraps

Body wraps are a great quick way to lose a few inches or even pounds. It's all water weight, which means we will regain these pounds or inches back very quickly. This is a quick fix but not a long term one. You'll keep it off a little longer only if you continue to do the wraps and if you keep yourself well hydrated so that you don't end up dehydrated. You will gain back what ever you lost by doing a wrap one time only.

Body wraps, CAN help you to lose inches and keep them off. There are essentially two different kinds of body wraps available to consumers. The first type of body wrap, just incited rapid water loss, which comes back quickly. The second type however, incites lymphatic drainage in your fat cells, and helps to improve your metabolism and release harmful toxins from your body. If you're looking into getting a body wrap, be sure to look for this second type for lasting inch loss. You can check your local day spas to see if they offer this service.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Answering a Reader Question #10

Anonymous Wrote:

hey! so i have a very random question, but it's been on my mind all morning.

this morning i was in the shower and i slipped on some soap, falling down and chipping my two front teeth. i also scraped up beneath my chin quite a bit. i got several stitches on my chin and they believe that it will heal fairly well. my teeth on the other hand will be fixed this monday. the dentist says that it won't be noticeable unless someone is staring very closely at them. i am worried that this will hurt my chances at becoming a model. would photographers be able to fix anything (even if it is very subtle?)

sorry this got so long... my teeth were my favorite part of my face, so i just wanted to see what you think. thanks a bunch for reading all this!! i love reading your blog...it is so helpful! =]

No apologies needed and thanks for being a reader of my blog! Oh, no, that sucks that that happened to you! Well, if the chip is slight and your dentist says it won't be noticeable, then I'm sure you'll be fine. The only reason it'll look bad is because you'll know it's there and I'm sure you'll think it looks worse than it really is. Just human nature but I'm sure to everyone else, it will be invisible. :)

As far as your chances in modeling, slight things like that can definitely be Photoshopped out so don't worry yourself over the matter. Wait until you get your teeth fixed and see how you feel. Try taking some regular pictures and see if there's a noticeable difference. But either way, this should not stop you in your pursuit of being a model. Slight imperfections get airbrushed or Photoshopped away everyday!

Answering a Reader Question #9

Ki-Ki Wrote:

All of the information that you post is very helpful. Currently I am looking into modeling and have searched a few websites. I looked at the models on those websites and their waist is usually between 23-25 and hips between a 33-35. My waist is a 27, hips are a 36 and buist a 34. I'm also 6'0. Should I try to lose an inch or two before I go to an open call?

While I can say that you will need to lose a few inches to meet the required measurements, your best bet is to hear that from the agencies themselves. I always encourage going to open calls as you are and getting as much feedback from the agencies as possible. It is their advice that is going to dictate where you go from here so even if you know that you should lose a few inches, it helps to get that confirmation from them.

Making that initial contact with an agency is important because you may make a lasting impression on them and most agencies are more than willing to let you come back at another date after you've heeded their advice. This creates a preexisting relationship with them that could work in your favor later on.

However, if you feel better about going to the open call after losing a few inches that is totally fine, too. It all depends on what makes you the most comfortable. It's about feeling good in your skin so if you don't feel 100% going in now, then take some time to work on losing the inches needed but please do so in a healthy way...no starvation or crash diets! You only need to try to get down to a 25 in the waist and a 35 in the hips so that isn't bad. Your bust measurement is fine. Hope that helps!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tips for Using False Lashes During Shoots

The first time I ever wore false eyelashes was on the set of my 2004 JET Magazine “Beauty of the Week” shoot. I thought I’d never be able to open my eyes—the lashes were so heavy! It was quite a shock to me but soon as I looked in the mirror, I loved the way they looked.

Adding false lashes to your photoshoot can add just the right touch of glamour. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re planning on including a pair in your next shoot. My first piece of advice is to choose your lashes wisely.

In case you weren’t aware, there are many types of false eyelashes, all with their own shape, size, and style. Not one pair of fake lashes may work well with all of your looks so it helps to get your own mini collection going. I have about 5 pairs of false lashes.

MAC is great for selling top quality lashes at reasonable prices. It helps to get the assistance of someone working there to help you choose the right style. If you get your makeup done at the MAC store and add false lashes, they’ll apply them for you and you can take them home (you’ve gotta pay for them, of course!).

The type of false lashes you wear will be determined by the theme of your shoot. Make sure you’re wearing the appropriate lashes. For shoots that are commercial/print and lifestyle, stick to more natural looking false lashes. You may want to stick with your natural ones but for a little enhancement, you should seek a style that looks natural but slightly longer and curled. These will blend perfectly with your natural lashes so no one will know the difference.

Fashion shots may want to go for a more out-of-the- box style. Of course this depends on the client and the photographer’s preference. I’m sure you’ve seen the more colorful and wacky false lashes in magazines. These types of lashes should be handled very carefully.

For swimwear that doesn’t involve getting wet, as well as glamour shots that focus more on your face, you can opt for false lashes that are wide, thick and lush. They look exaggerated but photograph extremely well.

The more experience you get with false lashes, the better you’ll be when it comes to deciding which ones will work best for your shoots. Learn how to maintain and take care of your false lashes so you’ll be able to use them over and over. Keep them in separate cases and avoid getting them wet.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Don’t Be Afraid to Return Those Clothes!

Doing shoot after shoot can involve tons of wardrobe, which can be any girl’s dream but if you don’t have the funds to accommodate a growing closet filled with clothes there is always the option of returning it when you’re done with your shoot. I’m being serious!

I learned about this secret from a wardrobe stylist I worked with. I went shopping with her at H&M in San Francisco (this was for my portfolio shoot for Ford) and while I loved the clothes, not all of them were exactly outfits I would wear on a daily basis and a couple of them were a tad on the pricier side.

She pulled me aside gently after I finished trying on a bunch of clothes and said, “Don’t even worry about the price…tomorrow just return them! We’ll make sure to hide the price tags during the shoot!” I was tickled pink when I heard this. And it is a common practice for everyone in the industry from models to stylists.

Hey, not all of us are continuously rolling in dough! My stylist told me that there had even been times when she had to stay out of certain stores for a few weeks just because she frequently returned clothes after shoots and didn’t want them to get wise or remember her face.

Of course if you want to keep the clothes you buy, that’s totally fine. I returned all of my clothes simply because I didn’t have a need for them outside of my shoots and you can only wear one clothing item only so many times in photos. I planned on keeping one top that we purchased from a different store but it was $80 and after the shoot the threads were starting to come out. I don’t know about you but if I pay that much money for clothes, they better stay in one piece!

So for all you models out there who need clothes but are afraid of coming out of pocket, you can choose this option but do it with care. You don’t want to get caught up and ruin this practice for everyone else, including yourself. When you buy the clothes, make sure to keep all the price tags attached.

During the shoot these can be tucked, pinned or faced away from the camera. Make sure you don’t get the clothes dirty—keeping your makeup off the material also counts. Be mindful…any damage to the garments will decrease your chances of being able to successfully return them.

Note the store’s return/refund/exchange policy and choose your payment method wisely (cash, check, credit card, ATM). Each store differs and there is also a timeline for when you can return items for a full refund. Don’t make the habit of returning bundles of clothes all at once often at the same store. Spread yourself out and buy a little from several stores. Returning over $100 worth of clothing items tends to draw some attention.

Modeling Opportunity for Florida Models

There is a great site called GreatGlam.com that sells really sexy and fashionable clothing and accessories online. You can see their ads on popular sites like Myspace. If you live in Florida, GreatGlam.com is looking for models, both pro and aspiring to model their fashions, which appear on their website.

They are looking to hire models for $40/hour, which each shoot lasting between 2-3 hours. The hours are flexible and you have the chance to pick up more work when other models aren’t available. It’s a great chance to build a portfolio and get exposure, plus experience of course!

Your face isn’t always shown in the photos since they want to emphasize the clothes but for promo purposes and online ads, your face will be visible. This is great for models that live in or near Brandon, Florida, which is just outside of Tampa. Note that for models who live further, they don’t compensate for gas or travel but welcome those who don’t live in Brandon.

To take advantage of this opportunity, you’ll have to meet ALL of the following requirements:

- At least 18 years of age

- Hair at least shoulder length (yours or extensions--doesn't matter as long as in the photo your hair will look longer at least shoulder length)

- Good skin tone (no wrinkling, no sunspots, no signs of aging, no multiple prominent tattoos that would be very visible in the photos, no body freckles, large visible scars and no body acne)

- A great well-proportioned figure

- You must be able to model clothing that you can't wear a bra underneath without looking saggy and still have a full cleavage without a bra as many of the styles do not allow for a bra to be worn underneath

- You also must have a flat smooth toned stomach (no rolls, muffin tops, back fat, love handles, stretch marks, etc) as many of the styles are belly revealing.
- Between the sizes of 0 and 5. If you are bigger than a size 5 you won't be able to fit into the size small that is modeled

- Not at all shy- some of our styles are very revealing

If you are eligible and meet all the requirements, send the following information to dantin21@yahoo.com(Please make the subject of the email: Model job application):

Include as many recent full length and headshot photos of yourself as possible (they do not need to be professional at all we just want an idea of your shape). Photos of yourself in clothes similar to what we sell are preferable. The pictures do NOT need to be professional. We actually prefer candid photos that have not been photoshopped or edited.

You can send more than one email if needed to include more photos—the more photos the better—there is no limit on the number of photos you can send.

Include in the body of your email:

1. Your name and age
2. A contact phone number
3. The city that you live in
4. Your availability to shoot (please be very specific)
5. If you have any tattoos or scars that might be visible in our shots please
describe them and their location
6. Your bust, waist, and hip measurements (please approximate if you are not sure)
7. The size clothing and bra size that you wear
8. Your current height and weight
9. Your current hair color and length

If you are selected we'll ask you to come in for a test shoot that will take roughly one hour and you will be paid 40 dollars for the time. If selected as our regular model you'd come in 2 to 3 hours per week.

Go to this link to get the rest of the details and to check out the site itself: www.greatglam.com/modeljob.cfm.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the GreatGlam.com site one day!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Answering a Reader Question #8

Anonymous Wrote:

How does one start commercial/print modeling?

The same way you start any type of modeling, my dear: you find local agencies within your area that represent commercial/print models. You should stick to agencies that are no further than a 2 hour drive from where you live. On agency websites they will state what types of models they represent. Make sure they list "commercial/print" as one of them. While the height is more geared towards "shorter" models, there is still a requirement. Ideally the height range for a commercial/print model is between 5'5"-5'7". You can get lucky like me if you're 5'4" as long as you find an agency that likes your look. They'll easily fudge your height to 5'5".

If you have no experience, that's fine. Don't spend money on professional photos, modeling schools or classes. At this stage you don't need them. What you need is to find an agency that will help you jump start your modeling career. Go to open casting calls, get snapshots of a headshot, 3/4 body shot and full body shot, as well as any other photos the agency wants to see. They will state all this in detail on their website so follow their guidelines and you'll be set to go.

Let’s Talk About This “Fat” Issue

It hurts my heart to hear young girls, aspiring models or not, talk about how they feel “fat” compared to the fashion models they see on the runway and in magazines. And I’ve come to realize something—there’s this brainwashing process that’s been unfolding for decades.

I know, that may not be news but the actual realization that did occur to me is the fact that the modeling industry’s version of the word “fat” is completely different from the general public’s version—and even the medical community’s version—of “fat.”

Think about it: everyday modeling agencies tell models that are super thin and underweight that they are “fat.” They’ve created this industry standard definition of what it means to be “fat.” And unfortunately, that particular term is now being used outside of the modeling industry, with young girls and young ladies now labeling themselves as the industry’s version of being “fat.”

Listen to me: unless you are morbidly obese or are grossly heavier than what is proportional to your own unique build, YOU ARE NOT FAT by the general public’s definition. Would I care if someone in the modeling industry called me “fat?” Hell no! If I took the industry’s definition of “fat” and applied it to myself at 5’4” and 115 pounds, then we’d all be obese! See how stupid that sounds? Well, it’s even stupider to believe it.

So young ladies and young women, listen up: stop falling for this horrible brainwashing. If you’re going to compare yourself to models in magazines and call yourself “fat” then you’re just being silly because you are not “fat” by conventional terms, nor are you obese; you are not this huge, gross thing to look down upon. You have to realize that the modeling industry has dominated the term “fat” but that doesn’t mean you have to buy into it.

Whether you want to model or not, you have to know for yourself that the term “fat” being thrown around the modeling world is a distorted form of its actual meaning. Stop calling yourself “fat” when you really aren’t. Stop comparing yourself to this ideal of a woman who really doesn’t exist—at least not in the sense that she is healthy, happy and truly being herself and not what the industry has dolled her up to be.

The reality? None of us are “fat” and if the industry calls you such, that is one thing you can laugh your head off about—I know I would.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mind Your Hands!

Unless you’re doing a parts gig or modeling jewelry, the condition of your hands is often forgotten. For any photoshoot, you can expect your hands to make an appearance or two so it helps to actually make sure your hands and fingernails are camera-ready as well as your face, hair, and the rest of your body.

Nothing looks worse than a great shot with gross looking fingernails and/or hands. You should make sure your hands are properly moisturized. Use a good quality hand cream or lotion. Carry a small tube in your purse so you’re always ready.

If you get your nails done regularly, make sure they are appropriate for your shoot. Be mindful whether your acrylic covered fingernails are going to complement or clash with the theme of your upcoming shoot. Unless specified, keep your fingernails clear and free of color and fancy designs. If you want to wear nail polish, choose a color that works with the outfits you’ll be wearing.

Even if you don’t get manicures, there are ways to take care of your nails without going to the salon. Make sure your cuticles are in good shape and aren’t suffering from unsightly hangnails. Sporting your natural fingernails? Then keep them properly filed, shaped and clean.

This is my fingernail maintenance routine that I do a few hours before my shoot or the morning/night before:

- Cut, file and shape nails.
- Clean out any gunk under my fingernails (I may also do this just before the shoot to be on the safe side).
- Soak in warm water and dry to remove dust from filing.
- Moisturize with lotion/hand cream.
- Apply clear coat polish, dry, and I’m set!

This small step definitely worked in my favor when I did my jewelry shoot. The makeup artist was amazed that I actually did my nails (apparently she’s dealt with many models that had pretty gross fingernails) and they photographed perfectly, especially for the shots where my hand was next to my face in tight shots.

Can you imagine what it would have looked like had I not worried about my fingernails? Ick. Even just applying clear coat nail polish to your fingernails before your shoot will work if you’re pressed for time.

What about your toes? I prefer to have my toes done at a salon where I get French tips. It’s clean, fresh and goes with any outfit no matter what color. The guidelines are the same for feet/toes as they are for the hands/fingernails. Choose a color that works for any outfit or go au naturale and make sure to moisturize. Ashy feet have no place in pictures!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Answering a Reader Question #7

Anonymous wrote:

This is really helpful! I was wondering though if you are on the other side of the spectrum (really tall) if that is a thing that can hinder you from modeling? I'm only 14 and I've already hit the 5'10.5"
and I still have a couple more years to grow. Is there a way to be too tall?

At this point, you don't have anything to worry about. 5'10" is the ideal height for fashion and runway models. There are models who are 6'0" and while this is typically considered too tall, many agencies gladly downplay the height and will say you are 5'11" instead of 6'0".

So don't worry, at this point your height won't hinder you and if you do happen to grow to be 6'0" your agent will fudge your height.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I Love Eyebrow Threading!

My eyebrows are probably one of the things I fuss the most about. I have unruly eyebrows that are actually very curly so it’s not just a matter of getting them shaped and clean…it’s also about taming the hairs with trimming.

I started waxing some years ago and while it provided some relief, I still had to deal with my curly hairs and a lot of missed strays—even after the woman doing the waxing did some extra tweezing.

About a year or two ago I wrote an article about the art of eyebrow threading, which is an ancient practice that’s been done by Middle Eastern women for centuries. This practice was becoming very popular here in the U.S. but at the time I hadn’t thought about trying it.

After managing to find a beautician who waxed my eyebrows perfectly, I thought I was in the clear. Well, she moved away and again I was left without many options until one of her old coworkers referred me to a salon down the street that did eyebrow threading. I figured I knew about it so why not?

Ever since my first threading I have never gone back to waxing! I swear by threading. For you ladies who want clean brows that are easy to maintain afterwards and look better in your photos, I definitely recommend giving it a try. I used to feel bad for the makeup artists who did what they could to make my unruly brows appear perfect, but it usually took some extra time.

Now all I have to do is make an appointment at the salon and in less than 10 minutes I’m done! I don’t know how the prices vary depending on where you live but I’m fortunate enough to only have to pay $8. You heard me, $8! Check out this video that I found on YouTube that explains the process so you can see for yourself how it works:

If you are accustomed to waxing, then threading won’t be so bad. A tad uncomfortable, yes, but not too painful, depending on your tolerance. They use a pure cotton thread, which lines up the hairs and with a flick of the wrist they are able to pull out a whole row of hairs all at once. This makes for perfect shaping and removal of every single stray hair.

The first time I did it I was nervous but the lady started doing it while talking to me and I didn’t even realize it was happening until she was done…haha. If you’re a newcomer to hair removal, threading may be more painful to you so I’d recommend waxing first and see how you take to it.

Quick tip for first-time threaders: wear a shirt you don’t mind getting dirty, don’t wear any makeup and don’t do your hair fancy. The amount of hairs that get removed all at once can be pretty plentiful and it will get all over your face and clothes. They use a brush to take most of it off but you’ll probably want to wash your face or take a shower afterwards to get rid of them.

So ladies, if you want beautiful brows in time for your next photoshoot without the hassle, give threading a try.

Monday, June 9, 2008

You Can't Beat Genetics

It tickles me how many hoops some girls go through in the effort to boost themselves a couple inches so they can be the right height to be a fashion/runway model.

While some claim to be able to increase their height through stretching, pilates, yoga, etc., what it all boils down to is genetics. Please take your hands away from your eyes--as much as you hate to read this, I have to give you the truth.

If you want to know if you'll be tall enough to do fashion or runway, there are two main options for you. One, visit a doctor who can help you determine based on your lifestyle, eating habits and family history, how tall you could potentially grow. Of course the doctor isn't always right, as I know of a few people who grew more or less than their doctor estimated.

Two, look at your family. They are the greatest indicators of all. Do your mom and dad tower over everyone? Are you brothers and sisters short? Are your grandparents on both sides tall, short or average? All of these things factor into how tall you could potentially be.

The whole genetics issue is a tough one to fight. The factors that play into your height start when you're still in your mother's stomach. Her diet, lifestyle and genetics all come into play before you're born. So in a sense, your height's destiny is already determined. Unless you're one of those crazy exceptions to the rule (like super short parents giving birth to a super tall son or daughter).

Instead of spending hours and days of your life trying to find that miracle product, pill, exercise or diet that will cause you to miraculously grow, you should turn all that energy and attention towards trying to pursue a category of modeling that actually welcomes your height, not hinders it. Height potential decreases the older you get so if you're already 16 or older, chances are you aren't going to experience a growth spurt large enough to allow you to walk the runway.

But that doesn't mean you can't appear in a magazine or catalog. Catch my drift? Stop focusing on what you aren't and focus on what you are and find the right fit in your modeling career Besides, don't you know stress can stunt your growth? Just kidding. Or am I? See, how exhausting it is to try and analyze all this? Stop worrying and start modeling already!

Answering a Reader Question #6

Ki-Ki Wrote:

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?????????

Hi, Ki-Ki! To answer your question, you do not need professional photos at this point to snag an agency. However, if you want to do test shoots to see if this is something you really want to get involved in, feel free to do so. Just make sure you network with legit and pro photographers.

That being said, if you do want to find a good agent in your area to get you work, all you'll need are basic snapshots. These should be clear, good quality and can be taken with a regular digital camera. I've added some photos for reference...don't feel like you need to copy exactly what's in the photo. Mostly use it for reference in the way the person is posed and how the shot is taken. The minimum shots agencies look for are:

1) headshot: from the shoulders up or a tighter shot. Make sure you're looking straight at the camera. No makeup and wear your hair naturally as long as it is out of your face. Do one headshot with no smile and one with a nice and genuine smile.


2) 3/4 body shot: this is usually shot from the thigh-up. It helps to wear an age appropriate swimsuit that is a solid color and complements your skin tone. No logos or brand names on the clothing in any of these photos. The 3/4 pose isn't a profile but your torso should be turned slightly away from the camera. It helps to put your hand on your hip.

Example (the girl on the right is doing the ideal 3/4 pose):

3) full body shot: include your feet. Wear a swimsuit for this as well. No shoes or socks. Stand up straight but comfortable (no stiffness) with your arms resting comfortably at your sides. You can choose to smile or not smile.


Most agencies will state on their websites exactly what type of photos they are looking for so that helps, too.

The bottom line: get these basic shots done and then start looking for local, legit modeling agencies. Steer clear of anyone who claims you need to pay for any up front fees BEFORE offering you a contract and also avoid modeling schools and organizations trying to get you to pay for classes. You're better off dealing with the actual agency themselves. If you need help finding agencies, send me an email and I can get you a list of ones you can check out.

Answering a Reader Question #5

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi! I meet the size requirements for the Ford posting but I live in Connecticut and hour from NYC. Do you happen to know of any jobs in my area?? any help you can offer would be so much appreciated. Debbie

Hello, Debbie!

That's awesome that you meet the size requirement Ford was looking for...just too bad you aren't in the SF area! However, being that you fit one of the sizes, I would say you should look into Ford in NYC. If you don't mind the distance, you should contact them and inquire as to how you can become a fit model. Many large modeling agencies keep a roster of fit models and any work they would have, you'd be submitted for if you meet the size requirements. So that could be a start. Here is their information:

142 Greene St.
4th Floor
New York, NY 10012
Phone: 212.219.6500

Or you could check out this agency in Connecticut and see if they have a need for fit models:

BLUSH Models Management, LLC.
2 Pomperaug Office Park
Suite 102
Southbury, CT 06488
Phone: 203.264.7782

A third option would be to check the local craigslist in your area and submit yourself to any legit posting seeking fit models locally. The demand many not always be plentiful but they're there.

Lingerie/Swimwear & Underage Models (Parents Please Read)

This post is mostly to educate parents of underage models operating without an agent. When it comes to modeling swimwear and lingerie, please know that these models must be 18 or older. No underage model should ever be sought out to do such work—and clients know this.

I’ve seen postings on online model casting sites where for some reason, the client or photographer is requesting girls age 16-19 for such assignments (18 & 19 are fine but any age under that is a huge no-no).

It disturbs me that ANYONE would think that such a request is actually appropriate or allowed on the site. Whenever I see such posts, I make sure to make a complaint or flag the post down. Just doing my part to steer models from those with ulterior motives.

That being said, parents, if you are helping your child in her modeling career and come across castings for swimwear, make sure to exercise caution or steer clear of it altogether. When it comes to swimwear, unless the client is legit and the swimwear is age appropriate (think department store juniors stuff, Wal-Mart or Limited Too), you should not submit your daughter to such gigs.

Lingerie is absolutely out of the question. If you don’t know this by now, well, now you know! Just about every girl with dreams of modeling wants to be a Victoria’s Secret model. While that’s all well and good, note that all of those models are definitely adults.

No modeling agency will submit your child for such work if they are not of age so for agency represented underage models, this won’t be much of a concern. But for freelance underage models out there, don’t rush into this type of work if you don’t meet the legal age requirements. It is illegal and if you come across someone breaking this rule, you don’t want to be involved.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Latest Photoshoot - Jewelry

So I got the images back from my jewelry shoot. I had such an amazing time! To date, this is probably one of the most fun and memorable shoots I've ever done! These are the images I'll be showing to Ford to be considered for use in my updated portfolio and to hopefully turn my career more towards beauty and jewelry. I really feel I have a lot of strengths that would serve to get me booked for this type of work.

I know for a fact that Ford actually prefers a more natural look to their models for commercial so I don't intend on showing them every single photo from the shoot and I'm sure they'll probably think the ones with the Indian style jewelry will be too overboard but I'm sure that the ones with the orange top and the diamond ones will be more to their tastes.

I've also turned some of the images into downloadable wallpapers, which you can get on my Myspace page and will soon be on www.wallpaperbase.com under "female celebrities."

Here's some of my favorite ones from the shoot (Thanks to photographer David Quinn & makeup artist/hair stylist and wardrobe stylist, Rachelle Dalton--looking forward to many more shoots together!):

Friday, June 6, 2008

For Those of You with Questions...

I've noticed that I get a lot of readers who use the comment feature at the bottom of each blog post to ask questions. I used to answer them as a comment under the post where the reader comment originally appeared, but I've found that it can be an extremely long comment, especially if I have to go into detail explaining the topic.

So instead of continuing to do that, I've been doing actual posts, showing the reader's comment/question and then answering it in the post. I find that this is easier and allows the reader to get their information in a more thorough and direct way.

However, I know that maybe some of you aren't aware of that and may be checking the post where you commented, looking for my answer.

I'll do my best to drop a quick comment to let you know that your questions have been answered in its own post so make sure to check the more recent posts on here so that you can find the answers you need to your own individual questions.

Hopefully this system will work better and feel free to ask as many questions as you want on here. If you don't want people to see what you've written or need more information, feel free to shoot me an email. Go to my Blogger profile and you'll get access to my personal email, where I often answer questions about the industry and also do model consultations.

So keep the questions coming and be sure to check back...I usually answer reader questions fairly quickly.

What's the Big Deal About Being a Signed Model?

There may be some of you who might not recognize the significance or the importance of having agency representation. Getting signed to an agency is, for many models, the ultimate goal. Modeling agencies play a vital role in the success of the modeling industry as a whole. While having an agent isn’t mandatory it is something that can greatly help you in your career.

So what makes a modeling agent so important? For one thing, it is because of the efforts of modeling agencies that we have so many successful supermodels and top models. The biggest designers, the largest clients and others in need of models automatically go to modeling agencies to find the men and women they need for their shows and campaigns.

Do you know how hard it would be for a client to find a model on their own without the aid of agents? Modeling agencies pride themselves on offering the best models so the client knows they are getting quality work as well as their money’s worth.

Not only do modeling agencies find their models work, they nurture, build and foster their models’ reputations to get them the most exposure. Your agent won’t book you for a job unless it’s paying top dollar and will be great for your portfolio and their company. Agencies handle all calls, requests for models, arrange the schedules, deal with paperwork and are responsible for getting the model paid.

Not all models have good experiences with their agencies but this is normal. There is such a thing as “the right fit” when it comes to a model and his/her agent. It isn’t uncommon for a relationship to go sour or for a model to be with a top modeling agent but not be happy. It’s about finding the right agent, not just any agent to represent you.

Do you have to have agency representation? Definitely not. There are many freelance models that find their own work and are successful, however, the freelance world comes with many challenges. Freelance isn’t for everyone.

If you aren’t familiar enough with the industry or are underage and can’t make decisions on your own legally, it would be in your best interest to find an agent, unless you’re willing to do the research, get out there and network and know how clients and photographers operate. Having a modeling agent takes care of the hassles that freelance models deal with on a daily basis.

Agencies are also there to protect their models. From legality issues to working with legit clients, your agent is there to ensure that you aren’t wasting your time. Any client you work for that is booked through your agent will almost always be professional, courteous and safe to be around (mind you, these are strangers.

Dealing with someone you’ve never met on your own can become a scary situation, whereas clients that agencies deal with have good reps and aren’t there to take advantage of you). Freelance models often deal with clients who want models who work for free, for little money, or who don’t want to pay the agency fees or the high rates signed models demand—not to mention there are some sleazebags out there who prey on young, unsuspecting models. This can be very frustrating. With an agent, you don’t have to worry about any of that because they will check out each person who wants to work with you.

Agency representation won’t really hinder a modeling career. Of course if you aren’t getting work and are locked into an exclusive contract, that could be a problem. But if you’re in an exclusive contract with an agency that gets you loads of work then there will be no issues. Non-exclusive contract models can also get more flexibility since they can sign with more than one agent in more than one area. Many models also find their own work on the side while having an agent.

Of course you will have to be aware of your contract and what guidelines you must follow. You can work with anyone you want and enter modeling competitions if you wish but be sure to read the fine print. If the contest is offering a modeling contract, this may conflict with your current contract with your agent, so it’s situations like those where you’ll need to make sure you aren’t breaking any rules that could get you in trouble with your agent.

Being a signed model is the dream of many but it isn’t mandatory. However, if you want to get the most out of your career and network with legit people, then having an agent standing behind you will be a great help.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Answering a Reader Question #4

Anonymous said:

I know that your blog was posted in 2007, but I am hoping that your still may check it from time to time. I found the information to be extremely helpful, but i have a few questions.....I have great feet and a great torso and wanted to send my pictures into partsmodels.com as you suggested, but am unsure as to whether or not i should have the photos done professionally or not and if so most of the studios i have been looking at specialize in portraits or weddings and stuff like that. Are there specific photographers that shoot body parts?? Please help!!!

Lucky for you I did some digging and found out that yes, you do need to have your images professionally done if you want to submit to Parts Model in NYC (they definitely will not take snapshots or regular digital pix for submission). As far as what type of photographer you’ll want to work with, you should look into those that specialize in either portraits or glamour photography.

Portraits involve the face but these photographers almost always have the ideal studio, lighting equipment and backdrops needed, plus they specialize in tight shots, which is what you’ll need for your body parts submission so they’d be a good resource to turn to. Glamour involves showcasing the model herself instead of a product or clothing so while you’d only need body parts shot, a glamour photographer may be able to get you the right lighting, setting and poses together.

So look into both and be very upfront and clear about what you need the images for and how they need to be done. Find a photographer that will work within your budget. You can try to do a TFP or TFCD but you may not be happy with the results, plus many photographers always make paying work a priority, which means you’d be able to get your images right away. If you need help finding a good photographer, shoot me an email and I can help you find someone local to your area. Check the contact info on my Blogger profile for my email address.

This is what the Parts Model website specifically says for aspiring parts models that want to be represented by them:

What should I do to be considered?
You should mail two or three professional photographs of the "parts" you model. We accept photographs by mail only.

What types of photographs should I send?
The photographs can be color or black and white. The photographs can be any size; 4x6, 5x7, but no larger than 8x10. They should be clear photographs of the body parts you model.

Are there any specific poses you need to see in the photographs?
There are no set poses. If you are sending photos of your legs, you should include at least one full length and one photo from the waist down. For hands, photos can be of one hand or both together, two or three prints. For your feet, either barefoot or in open sandals.

What information should I include with my photographs?
You should include your name, address, and all your telephone contact numbers. If you model hands you also need your glove size (not small, medium, large — this is the number of the glove size you wear) ring size. If you model legs and feet, your shoe size. For females also include your age, height, bust, waist, hips, hair color, eye color, and age. For males, your height, weight, suit size, waist, inseam, shirt size, hair color, eye color and age.

Where do I send my photographs?
Our mailing address is Parts Models, PO Box 7529 FDR Station, New York NY 10150.

Answering a Reader Question #3

Anonymous Wrote:

If your agency is not finding you enough tests, should you find your own on craigslist or modelmayhem?

I’m not sure what you mean by “test” but in general if your agent is not finding you enough work, you are free to find your own. If you are talking about test shoots, that’s somewhat of a different topic. Test shoots usually are arranged by your agent in order to put your portfolio together, although most will cost you unless your agent covers those costs. Since test shoots are free shoots, you are free to find your own on Craigslist, Model Mayhem or wherever else you can find legit photographers to network and shoot with. Most modeling agencies won’t set up a bunch of free test shoots for you since this doesn’t really benefit them much, unless it’s for updating your portfolio. But keep in mind that if you are doing test shoots on your own, make sure the images are ones that your agent will approve of, unless you plan to use them for your own modeling purposes.

If you’re talking about your agent not finding you enough modeling jobs, then you can find work on your own if you feel the need to. I use Craigslist and Model Mayhem and have found them to be very helpful in finding work. If you have a non-exclusive contract with an agent, you can look for as much on your own as you want.

Exclusive contract agencies will tell you that they prefer you to not do any freelance work on your own both for safety and for business reasons. Of course it is totally possible to do this without them knowing. This is where you will need to exercise your own personal judgment on whether you want to freelance on the side if it’s against your agent’s wishes. But in general, there is nothing wrong with finding your own work if your agent is not doing it, however, you may want to take some time to talk to your agent about your concerns and see if they can try to tweak how they’re marketing you so that you will begin getting booked for more modeling jobs or find another agency that will.

Hope that helps and keep the questions coming if you’ve got them!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Modeling & the Thong

So this shouldn't be a long post, however given my natural long-winded writing style, I can't make any promises!

Ah, the thong. Parents, don't be scared by this simple item of clothing (especially you Dads out there!). I'm not encouraging young girls to run out and grab a pair to be a sex symbol like Sisqo's famous, "Thong Song." I'm merely broaching the subject as it relates to the modeling industry.

The thong plays an essential role in modeling jobs, especially in fashion and runway shows. While the thong has quickly become associated with sex, trust me, in this respect, it's all legit and for good reason. There is no place for unsightly panty lines in photos or on the runway.

Not all models wear pants or bottoms that can conceal such lines. When you're wearing silk, rayon, thin cotton or other sleek materials, panty lines are a surefire way to ruin the entire look. That being said, a thong--preferably a nude colored one--is a must have item for models, no matter what age. If you are an underage fashion/runway model, you'll want to get used to wearing thongs...they'll be required on the runway and in shoots.

For many wearing a thong is as easy of a decision as deciding what you want to wear in the morning but there are those who can't stand them. For parents of underage models, this is just another part of the "uniform" that must be involved for practical purposes. Your daughter will not become a Maxim model because she has to wear a thong.

I may seem over-dramatic with this post but you'd be surprised how some people's attitudes towards thongs are pretty negative. As with anything you get involved with, there are some things you'll just have to deal with. Thongs are one of them. Every model should have a nude, black and white colored thong. And they don't have to be the lacy, racy kind from Victoria's Secret. A simple, plain, cotton thong will do.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Answering a Reader Question #2

Anonymous Wrote:

hey dania! great job on the blog!

i actually had a quick question for you. my friend just got a contract with jrp (john robert powers acting and modeling school). i was just wondering if this is legit. do you know anything about it?

Actually, JRP is NOT a modeling agency they are a school. Period. So many people (not saying you lol) believe that JRP is a modeling agency and that their "contract" is the same as a modeling contract. It isn't. They charge aspiring models and actors hundreds to thousands of dollars to take classes that will teach them about the industry from professionals. They get to put together their portfolios and meet with modeling agencies in the hopes of getting signed. I personally went with a friend to their open casting call and he auditioned and did a terrible job but the casting guy loved him and said that he could really make it big if he took their classes for a few months...and only for a total of about $1,200. Geez. These folks are more interested in selling people their dreams for a price and will accept people who in reality do not have what it takes.

JRP is often misunderstood and called a scam but it is legal for them to charge those ridiculous fees because they are a "school" and not an "agency" and it is illegal for modeling agencies to charge such fees. However, JRP and others like it can never guarantee that you will get signed. You pay them the money and go through the process at your own risk. If you don't get signed by anyone in the end you don't have anything except your photos and experience and they have all your money.

They are legit business-wise but I would never recommend anyone to enroll in a modeling school or take classes when they can easily visit actual modeling agencies themselves for free and find out from the actual people there if they can make it in the industry or not. Some people have gone on to get signed from JRP and lead great careers but it's not an outstanding enough number to really convince me that it's worth spending the money. Just my point of view but if money isn't an issue then your friend can do it if she wants but she should take a shot at going to castings herself first. Exhaust all possibilities first and THEN turn to an operation like JRP. Contrary to popular belief, modeling agencies WANT GIRLS WITH LITTLE TO NO EXPERIENCE and will openly state that they frown upon those who have gone through classes and schools. Just something to keep in mind.