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, October 27, 2008

J Winery Photoshoot

So I finally made contact with the photographer regarding the J Winery photoshoot I did back in September. This was an awesome shoot that involved a lot of other models and took place in Healdsburg, California, which is pretty far out and filled with small towns and various wineries. J Winery is updating their brochures, fliers, website, and other promotional and marketing materials and hired us as lifestyle/commercial print models. I spent the entire day drinking wine and sampling the new meals on their menu. I can't say I've had a more pampered shoot! We literally spent the day drinking wine and eating. Who could ask for more? I'm not a drinker really so I took baby sips and eventually faked it (haha) but a few of my fellow models got pretty warm and fuzzy but no one acted out and the shoot went pretty smoothly. It was 90+ degrees out as well, but luckily they didn't have us outside for long.

I left super early to make the drive, which was a little over 2 hours from where I lived but totally worth it. I made a lot of friends with the other models, whom I still keep in touch with. The crazy thing is that one of the male models was a guy I knew from my hometown, who I hadn't seen in over 5 years! Talk about a small world! So we spent a lot of time catching up and everyone exchanged business cards and phone numbers afterwards. It was one of the best shoots I've done, hands down. The images haven't been edited yet but the photographer gave me the link to the gallery to see the pictures. He's going to let me pick my favorite ones, which he will retouch and give to me in high resolution so I can print it out for my portfolio. Sweet!

The people at J Winery were so wonderful to us and they gave us a goodie bag after the shoot filled with a bottle of their latest wine and special VIP passes for complimentary wine tasting and access to VIP treatment like menu sampling. Ah, the perks of being a model!

Here are some of my favorite shots from that day (I added a watermark to these images since they haven't been published yet):

(Yes, we did really get to eat the food...yum! If you think it's easy to eat food while looking photogenic, it's a lot harder than it looks!)

(It didn't make sense to try to drink the wine because with each pose they gave me a new full glass so that it stayed bubbly.)

(Me and my new friend in the industry, Aaron. To get the best candid shots, we told funny stories while taking direction from the photographer about which way to turn, how to hold the glass, etc.)

(Shooting outdoors. I don't think there was a time when we weren't laughing!)

(Another good thing for all models to practice: walking and posing at the same time.)

(Salu! Me and Aaron were always partnered together for some reason so it made sense that we became fast friends.)

(Indoor shoot. The woman next to me is actually one of the employees at J Winery. A couple of them gladly joined us to create a crowded atmosphere.)

(Group shot inside J Winery. The handsome guy in the gray shirt I'm smiling at is my buddy from my hometown. His younger brother and sister are my good friends from high school.We couldn't believe we ran into each other after all this time!)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Miss California USA Orientation

Hey, all! So I'm posting this from my hotel room in Palm Springs, where I just finished up my orientation. I had so much fun...all in one day!

There are about 120 girls total, for both Miss and Teen (roughly 50 something Teens and 80 something Miss contestants). The orientation took place at the actual venue where the pageant is going to be at from November 21-23 of this year...the Riviera Resort & Spa. The venue is absolutely amazing! Gorgeous pool, huge facilities and all of the girls were literally all very sweet. It was very easy to make friends and one of the Miss contestants actually offered to let me stay at her house when I travel to the red carpet event in Los Angeles next Saturday--and she just met me today! No divas at all...well, so far. LOL.

We started the day at 8:30am and signed in, checked our paperwork and took our place in the Grand Ballroom, which is the same room our competition will be at. After the introductory stuff, we were given a sheet of paper with our name and title on it (I'm Miss North Bay Area) and then got in line to have our headshots taken for the program book. When that was done, we had some down time and then went back to the Grand Ballroom to receive more instructions. We were split up into groups and each had its own station and then rotated each hour. We got one hour for lunch so I hung out with the other contestants poolside.

After lunch, my group went in for choreography. We learned a short dance number for the opening of the pageant, which went well, and we also learned the proper walk for the swimsuit and evening gown competition. Choreography went on for an hour and then everyone met back to go over the actual schedule of events for the pageant itself. That lasted for some time. Then we met the reigning Miss California USA (Racquel Beezley) and Miss California Teen USA (Taylor Atkins). Shanna Moakler also made an appearance and hung out with us (she was a former titleholder and is now assisting the director of the pageant). I also got to meet and speak with a casting director from the E! Entertainment Channel. That was pretty sweet.

Once the formalities were taken care of and we were fitted for our T-shirts and tank tops for the upcoming events, we all changed into our swimsuits for our group swimsuit photo and poster. I wore a bright green bikini, which worked out perfectly because a lot of the other contestants had on blues, yellows, blacks and reds so I'll probably stick to the swimsuit I wore today for the competition. It was 99 degrees outside and we had to sit in place facing the hot sun without any shade while the photographer tested the lighting. All of our faces were literally melting off (we were in full hair and makeup), and it must have been obvious that I was glistening because Keith (the pageant director) ran up to me with a towel to pat my face. I jokingly announced, "I'm sorry, I have combination skin and my T-Zone hates me!" That got everyone laughing hysterically so I made a pretty amusing first impression. :p

Because of the large number of girls total, we had to break down the photoshoot into three groups. I was in the first group and once we got our first shoot out of the way, we made our way to the pool, where we sat down and put our legs into the water. Then the second group came and knelt behind us, while the third and tallest group of girls stood behind everyone. Then we took more photos and then that was it! We started the day at 8:30am and finished around 5pm-ish.

Definitely a long day but unbelievably cool and I'm looking forward to seeing my new friends soon. We've got a red carpet event coming up in the Fashion District of Los Angeles this coming Saturday, where we'll be interviewing with the media/press while touring the store of the official pageant jeweler, Inta Gems. Then we'll head on to a clothing store in Beverly Hills, where the routine will be repeated.

I'll be sure to make another post to let you all know how that turns out and I'll add some photos soon as I get them together. So much to do, so little time! Just one month left, but I already know it's going to fly by!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Latest on Dania Denise: Work, Work & More Work!

Hello all my beloved blog readers! I know I haven't been adding posts as frequently as I used to but I've been so busy--don't worry, I have not forgotten about you all and my duty to providing you with tips, information, and resources about the modeling industry.

Since I started working from home full-time (art business, modeling, acting, writing, teaching), my schedule began filling up with clients, projects, and yes, modeling work. I actually got back into acting as well and spent two days last week shooting for an educational company that wanted actors to portray college students and executive professionals for a CD-ROM that will be going in the back of textbooks. That shoot was a lot of fun.

I'm still following up on past shoots I've done over the months...you know how difficult it can be to get copies and tearsheets, but I'm fighting for 'em! Soon as I get a hold of them, I'll definitely be sure to post them here.

It's starting to get to crunch time with the Miss California USA Pageant. This weekend I head to Palm Springs for orientation, where we'll be getting our photos taken for the pageant program book and we'll also be doing a swimwear shoot, as well as learning the choreography and staging. This year the pageant is going to be taking place at the Riviera Resort and Spa...it looks amazing from the photos and I can't wait to be there in person.

I've got to get my interview suit dry cleaned and I've ordered a couple of evening gowns that I'm waiting for in the mail. Once I've tried everything on, I'll be able to narrow down my choices.

I also have a red carpet/media event to promote the pageant down in the Los Angeles Fashion District the following weekend after I get back from the orientation so I'll be doing more traveling as well.

So there's a lot going on but I'm loving every minute! Stay tuned, more model info to follow!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Quick Tips for Fittings and Go-Sees

For those of you that are hoping to be fashion models, there are certain things that are helpful to know before actually being in the situation itself. When it comes to go-sees and fittings, knowing little tips and tricks can make a difference between getting the gig and missing out.

When you go in for fittings for various designers, you are trying on multiple garments, and each piece is precious to the creator. The last thing you want to do is ruin the material in any way.

As you get to know them, you’ll find that most designers have their own quirky or picky requests when it comes to models wearing their clothes. But if you’re prepared ahead of time, you can save yourself a lot of trouble.


Fittings are fairly informal so don't feel the need to pile on the makeup and create a fancy hairdo. Natural makeup and hair is best, especially since it'll likely just be you and the designer (and possibly an assistant or two).

Digital snapshots may be taken of you in each outfit so only put on enough makeup to be snapshot ready.


You're going to be changing in and out of various outfits so arrive to the fitting wearing comfortable clothing. Leggings and a fitted tee or tanktop are ideal.

And don't forget to bring your high heels! That last part is extremely important for the designer to get an idea of the length of the garments you may be wearing in a shoot or a fashion show. Should any alterations need to be made, having heels on will make the designer's job easier to make those kinds of judgment calls.


When going to any fitting or go-see, avoid wearing fragrance of any kind. That means no perfume, cologne (for the fellas), body spray, fragrant body lotion—nothing. That also includes leaving out the deodorant.

Yeah, that may sound pretty gross but honestly, fragrances can leave its scent long after you’ve changed out of the clothes and deodorant can easily leave white marks and streaks on the material. Don’t believe the hype about invisible solid deodorants—when it comes to fittings, leave it alone.

Just those two factors can mess up your chances of working with the designer. You may not be the only person to wear the garments and designers want their clothes to smell exactly the way it was before you got into it.

Of course if you don’t wear deodorant, chances are you’ll get sweat onto the material. What’s a model to do? One secret many fashion models use is to bring a box of tissue with them to the fitting and stick the tissue under their armpits as they try on the clothes. This trick also helps if you have the tendency to sweat a lot.

So remember: when you start going to important fittings and go-sees, keep yourself free of all fragrances and scents but still be sure you smell fresh. You don’t want to be smelly during the fitting either.