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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Friday, July 31, 2009

Answering a Reader Question #52

Anonymous Wrote: Did you make your own comp card? I don't have photoshop.

Yes, I did create my own comp card using Photoshop. As an artist I have the advantage of knowing software like Photoshop, which has allowed me to create my own comp cards and update them as needed. If you do not have Photoshop on your computer and/or don't know how to use the program, there are plenty of online comp card printing websites that allow you to send them your images and information, and for a fee they will create it for you as well as print them and mail them. Simply do an online search for: comp card printing, and a bunch of results will pop up. Compare prices and see which one works best for your budget.

I also offer my services for designing comp cards and have designed a few for other models. My rates are super affordable, depending on the design and number of images and when I am done creating your comp card, I would email you the high resolution image, which you can then get printed. I would suggest avoiding places like Kinkos and sticking to online comp card printing services, which are more experienced with this type of printing job. If you are interested in having me put together your comp card, feel free to email me at: daniadenise@gmail.com.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Latest Shoot: 49 Square Miles

I finally got the images back from the online catalog shoot I did about a month or two ago and so I decided to do a post about my experience on that shoot as well as share the photos.

49 Square Miles is a handbag and accessories company based out of San Francisco. They may be small in size but their products are popular, especially among the celebrities--even one of George W. Bush's daughters was photographed sporting one of their handbags. They have retail stores all over the country, which is pretty impressive.

I myself never really got all hyped up about purses or handbags but once I saw their collection, I must say I got pretty giggly with excitement. 49 Square Miles was in need of models to showcase their Fall collection of handbags, leather belts, and accessories and I was one of the lucky people to be chosen. The shoot took place at the home of the founder of the company, who was located only 15 minutes away from where I lived. Regardless of the closeness of the shoot, I still had to be there bright and early at 7am. Ugh. Haha.

I was one of four models total and there was a makeup/hair stylist and one photographer who had an assistant with him. The owner of 49 Square Miles was there as well--it's her house we're shooting in after all! She made sure we had plenty of fresh fruit and bottled water on hand (and we were also served yummy deli sandwiches for lunch) and the wardrobe stylist, who was also one of the employees working for 49 Square Miles, began putting our outfits together while we took turns in the makeup chair.

The weather was perfect and there were a number of locations to shoot. The first location was outdoors in the backyard. Each model took turns shooting solo images with the photographer, Toby Burditt, and then we were paired up or had up to three models in one shot. We were given the latest handbags, necklaces, and wallets to show off. The yellow dress I was put in was nicknamed the "Michelle Obama" so we had fun joking about that.

Then it was on to outfit change number two: a more casual pairing of dark jeans, black pumps, and a maroon top with one of the leather belts and handbags. I was paired with another model and the phone she's holding in the shot actually belongs to the photograher.

We were looking and reacting to the adorable pictures of his kids. Afterwards we switched things up. Tobby Burditt is one of those talented photographers who thinks outside of the box and he came up with this out of the ordinary shot where I sat on a bench while the other model stood on top of it but he only shot her from the waist down. After shooting those locations we moved inside for interior shots.

I changed into a multicolored, slinky dress, secured with another belt, and paired with the same black pumps and a different handbag. It was funny because for each setup, we created a "scenario" to help us get into the mood and elicit certain reactions. They were mostly goofy.

We labeled the first interior shot "The Devil Wears Prada" because the model I shot with looked a lot like the Meryl Streep character from that movie so she played the role of my nightmare boss and I was the lowly--yet fashionable--intern who was forced to sit on the floor and drown out her drunken rants by listening to my Ipod, while my higher than thou boss got to sit in a comfy chair (I eventually got to sit in a chair lol).

To make things more ridiculous they added a drink glass for her to hold and so I came up with the idea that I was at her house party and she was super drunk so I had to watch over her. We couldn't stop laughing after each photo they took.

By the time we got around to one of the last shots, we'd been shooting for over 8 hours so it was a super long day. My last scene also involved another model and because we were pretty tired by this time, we decided to label this scenario "lesbian lovers." I know, we're terrible!

Trust me, after shooting for hours, everyone eventually starts going downhill in the creativity department haha. Wackiness ensued as we shot but at least I got to lie down on the couch. The shoes I was wearing weren't mine and they were two sizes too small so I was grateful I didn't have to be on my feet!

It was a long but very productive shoot and as a bonus we each got a complimentary makeup bag from the upcoming Fall collection (honestly, I couldn't afford any of their products--definitely high end stuff!). The images are supposed to be on the website (http://www.49sqmi.com/) by the end of July or sometime in August. I'm definitely excited to see what images they chose to put up.

Tips for Working Better with Makeup Artists

Makeup is an art in my opinion and the talent it takes to transform a man or woman into a masterpiece for a photoshoot is an amazing experience. Makeup artists, like photographers, have their own set of duties and talents needed to pull off the job.

One of the best ways to have a great outcome is to know how to work effortlessly with a makeup artist. With these tips you’ll learn how to make their job a whole lot easier.

1. Wash and moisturize. If you are doing a modeling gig where a makeup artist will be present, you must first and foremost cleanse your face and moisturize it before heading to the shoot. Good makeup won’t set well on a dirty complexion.

2. Be still! It can be a bit unnerving to have someone that close to your face but if you can’t sit still then the makeup artist won’t be able to apply your makeup, at least not in a good way. In addition to being able to sit still, you’ll have to learn how to sit still for at least an hour. On most photoshoots makeup takes about an hour—maybe 30 minutes if the makeup artist is really good. But expect that part of the process to take a while.

3. Know where to focus your eyes. When it comes to putting on mascara and eye liner, it is important to know where to focus your eyes. Don’t stare at the makeup artist the entire time—it’s annoying and a tad bit unnerving for the makeup artist. Find a spot on a wall or an object in the room and look past the makeup artist and focus on that.

When eye liner is being applied to the lower lash line be sure to look up and not down. In case of a slip up the liner won’t poke you right in the iris. On a related note, when the makeup artist is putting on mascara, move your eyes accordingly. For example, if the mascara is being applied on the right side of your top lashes, move your iris over to the left and vice versa. Look up for mascara being applied to the lower lash line.

4. Be careful with your eye makeup. After the makeup artist has applied your eye shadow and finishes off with mascara don't open your eyes too much right away. Doing so will result in the tip of your lashes coming into contact with the top of your eyelids, leaving annoying dots of mascara on them, which will need to be removed. Open your eyes halfway and wait a minute or two for the mascara to set and then you can open your eyes normally.

When getting false lashes applied it can take some getting used to since many false lashes tend to be heavy. Open your eyes slowly and follow the same instructions I just mentioned. It is normal for your eyes to get watery after getting fake lashes put on. Just make sure it doesn't ruin your liner or cause streaking. Blink slowly a few times and you'll eventually get used to the weight and feel of fake lashes.

5. Listen to instructions. Most makeup artists will tell you what to do so be sure to listen to them. If you’re new to having makeup applied, don’t be scared to ask them if you’re doing things right. Some makeup artists assume you know what to do and may not give you much in the way of instruction. If you’re in this situation, let them know that you’re new to the process and don’t mind if they tell you what to do.

6. Make yourself accessible. Sitting in a makeup chair sometimes causes you to lean back too far or get too comfortable, putting you out of reach of the makeup artist. Remember, the makeup artist has to lean in and work on your face while standing (usually), which can be difficult if you aren’t positioned right.

Scoot up to the edge of the seat as far as you can without falling off and extend your neck and face forward so that it is easier for the makeup artist to work on. Also learn when to turn to face them directly instead of making them cross over to work on both sides of your face.

7. Relax! When your face is relaxed the skin is much easier to work with and allows the makeup to go on smoother. If you furrow your brow too much, blink a lot, or do other movements that cause wrinkles in your skin, the makeup won’t go on uniformly. Do your best not to twitch or fidget when getting the makeup applied. Avoid squinting as well.

8. Make friends. Getting to know your makeup artist is part of the fun. Don’t feel like you have to stand still and quiet as a statue. Many makeup artists love to gab and will ask you about yourself so feel free to do the same. Of course talk when the moment is right—you shouldn’t be talking while they are putting on your lipstick.

9. Not all makeup artists do hair. There are a good number of makeup artists that also double as hair stylists but not all of them do. Be on the safe side and don't assume that the makeup artist you're working with will be able to give you an amazing hairstyle.

Some makeup artists have told me they don't have a clue about how to do hair. Unless the client states that a hair stylist will be present at the shoot, play it safe and do your own hair. Bring any brushes or styling tools you may need to freshen up your look.

10. Don’t mess with your face. Getting your makeup done for a shoot isn’t about what you want or what looks good and what doesn’t. It is up to the client, the art director, photographer—whoever is in charge. Modeling is about transforming into someone other than yourself so expect to see something out of the ordinary.

Don’t pout and be upset that you don’t like your makeup—it is a huge insult to the makeup artist. They are simply doing their job so let them do it. Don’t tell the makeup artist how to do his/her job. Appreciate the fact that they are taking the time out to make you look good.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Answering a Reader Question #51

Alma Wrote:

I am going to amtc the 25 and have braces but I always get complements on my hair and people say my braces are cute do u think that they want me I went to a preivious event like that and they wanted me but I had no braces please tell me if I have a chance otherwise I don't want to make a fool of my self.

Hi, Alma, and thank you for your question. I don't work for AMTC, nor am I completely able to tell you what they are looking for. But as far as wearing braces, that could work against you. Many of the agencies you may meet may not be interested in you until your braces come off. There may agencies that don't mind your braces but the amount of work for models with braces is not very plentiful, which makes it not as desirable for an agency to take on models with braces. If you don't have that much longer to go until you get them off, then it would be in your best interest to probably wait, especially since you said they were interested in you before when you didn't have braces. When it comes down to it, it is ultimately up to you to decide whether you still want to attend or not. But if you feel uncomfortable in any way or don't feel at your best, then you may not want to attend. Only go if you feel completely secure with yourself, including your braces.

***Updated Answer***

At age 12, then your braces probably will be fine. Because you are younger, your braces won't be as much of a hindrance as they would be if you were older.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tips for Hiring a Photographer & What to Expect

As a model there will be times when you have to hire a photographer for a shoot. When this occurs it is usually because a model needs to update his/her portfolio or may need to have a certain type of photo/image in order to submit to castings.

Whatever the reason is, I have decided to do a post to list some helpful tips to make your photographer search simpler and easier to handle. You definitely want to have a good experience so instead of searching blindly for someone, you'll want to make note of the following tips.

Know What You Want. Before even attempting to find a photographer you should know exactly what you want and that goes beyond just saying you need someone to take pictures for your portfolio. The more detail you can pass on to potential photographers, the better the odds are of you finding the right one for the job. Make sure you can answer the following questions:

* Who are you? (Potential photographers should know whether you are a freelance model, a new model in need of photos to send to agencies, or an agency represented model. Make sure to state whether you are underage age or not.)

* What is the shoot for? (Updating your portfolio? Creating a portfolio? Pictures to submit to an agency or specific client? Just for fun?)

* What kind of shoot is it? (Headshots? Commercial/print? Boudoir? High fashion? Lingerie? Swimwear? Glamour?)

* What ideas do you have for the shoot? (Because you are the one in need of a photographer, you should have some idea of what images you want. If you're new and aren't sure, then state this in your casting and possibly find online images you can use as references for the type of pictures you would like.)

* What do you need from the photographer and what are you expecting afterwards? (Do they need to have a studio with lighting equipment? Are you shooting outdoors with natural lighting? Are you in need of a CD with all the images? Prints? Only certain, retouched images?)

* Are you paying the photographer or are you looking for a test shoot or TFP/TFCD? You can worry about rates and how much to pay a photographer once you've started contacting them but when it comes to price point, make sure to find out if they offer various packages that clearly outline what you would be getting in return for the quoted rate.

* Date/Time/Location of the Shoot

When you have all this information sorted out, you'll be able to properly start looking for a photographer. You can worry about outfits, hair, and makeup after you've chosen a photographer. If you are underage, your parents need to help you with this part of the process for obvious reasons.

There are a few ways to go about finding a photographer. If you don't want to deal with the Internet just yet, look around you and see if there are any friends, family members or people local to you that are into photography.

Stay away from places like Glamour Shots or The Picture People in the mall. Such companies are not appropriate for modeling shoots. Photography students are a possibility but you should stick to professional photographers with proven portfolios and an extensive amount of experience.

If you decide to search online for a local photographer, I would recommend avoiding anonymous sites like Craig's List. Period. Instead, do a search for photographers in your city and state. See what photographer websites come up and visit them to see if you like their work and if they have experience in the type of images you need (if you're looking for a fashion photographer, then don't consider photographer websites that specialize in lingerie or commercial/print).

Get the contact information from the website and contact the photographer with your request for a shoot. Many photographers use social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram to showcase their photography business, which is also acceptable and a convenient way to find out what options you have to choose from.

Another way to find a photographer online is to post a casting on sites like Model Mayhem. I mention this site often in my blog because I've had really good experiences and so far find it much more user-friendly than other sites. Plus it's free, which is always nice. Sites like Model Mayhem have a casting section where you can not only look for modeling work, you can also post your own casting.

This option will require you to write out your casting and state what you are looking for, as well as the nature of your shoot. If you're seeking out this option, answering the questions I listed earlier will be helpful in assisting you with writing the casting. Be professional and avoid typos, grammatical errors, etc. Please do not type with all caps or use slang or a crazy typing style LyKE tHiZ. It's annoying and a quick way to be disregarded by professional photographers. Fill out at much info as you can in the form fields and try to keep your casting call short.

Instead of posting your phone number, use an email instead. Aside from the email address, photographers interested in your casting will automatically be able to reply to your casting directly so there will be ways they can reach you. For safety reasons, it's best to arrange a meeting before hiring them officially for your shoot. Always make sure you have viewed their portfolio and ask for model references if needed. These all help to make sure that you not only find the right photographer but that you'll have a good working relationship with him/her.

One thing you'll want to know and understand--this is mostly if you're new to the modeling industry--is that photography is a whole different beast than modeling. There are different requirements that photographers have to deal with than you as a model. Be respectful of their profession. They don't work for you, they work with you.

Also, realize that it takes many photos to get just a handful of good ones. That's the truth. It amuses me to see people hiring photographers and state that they only want about 4-5 good pictures so they expect the shoot to take 30 minutes to one hour. That could be possible, if you wanted crappy pictures. When it comes to modeling shoots, there is no such thing.

From test shoots to professional shoots for clients, it takes hundreds of images in order to find maybe 5-10 that are usable--seriously! So be realistic about the time commitment. Depending on how many outfits you have, locations, etc, you may need a photographer for 2 hours minimum. Photography is not about taking one picture per pose. In order to get the best results you have to take multiple pictures of the same pose. You'd be surprised by how the little changes in seemingly similar photos can make a difference.

When hiring a photographer you want to have not only a great experience but great photos. By taking the time to plan and search for the right photographer, you'll have excellent images for your portfolio every time.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dania Denise's First Magazine Cover

So after working on certain projects and shoots for months, I'm finally getting some results. I found out a few weeks ago that I did indeed get the cover of the first issue of Mocha Bride Magazine (yay)! I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail but I'm definitely going to need to find out where the magazines are being sold since family and friends are going to want their own copies. =)

Here is what it looks like:

I just got the chance to scan my magazine images so here is a college of the tearsheets straight from the magazine. Enjoy!