WELCOME TO MODELING 101!!!

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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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Answering a Reader Question #88

Anonymous Wrote:


Hi dania I'm 17 years old and 5'7 I've always wanted to be a model but my dream is to work for VS. Do you think I'm too old to start? I feel as If I should have started in my 13-15s since a lot of the models have started at a young age.
 
Hi, Anonymous! You're not too old to start modeling. Right now you'd have to be at least 5'8" by the time you are 18-years-old in order to be considered for Victoria's Secret though. If you end up staying at 5'7" you can still look into getting an agent that represents commercial/print models (5'7" is one inch shy of the preferred height requirement for fashion/runway modeling). You can actually start submitting yourself to agencies now since you are still fairly young. At this point don't worry about your age, 17 is doable. It would be different if you were 21 or older. In fact, if you get signed right now you would have the chance to build a good portfolio and resume of work to show until you turn 18 and can pursue VS. You always have the option of moving on to a larger agency in a better market if you choose.
 
Hope that helps and good luck!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Answering a Reader Question #87

Christina Wrote:


Thanks for all the answers! They're very helpful.
I'm 14 and interested in print/commercial modeling. I'm 5'7", but not super skinny. I'm an athlete (a swimmer) and I was wondering what options I have. The agency I'm interested in has clients like Nike and Columbia and is interested in signing fitness oriented models. I weigh 140, but I look about 130. I also have braces, but only on the top, and I look at least 16. Thanks! 


Hello, Christina! I can tell you right now that you're on the right track and shouldn't have much to worry about. For one thing, your height is ideal for print work, you're still young so you have plenty of time to grow with an agency and develop your career and since you're fitness oriented, you'll fit right into that niche. Getting that almighty modeling contract should be your first priority. Since you are underage having the protection of an agency behind you will get your career off to a great start. As far as your weight and build goes, you don't have anything to worry about because if you are specializing in fitness modeling, they want your body type as it is. How many fitness models have you seen that are built like fashion/runway models? Hardly any lol. And there's a reason for that. The fact that you actually are an athlete also gives you an advantage over models that are in great shape but may not necessarily have sports as part of their lifestyle (I've seen many castings for fitness models where the client wanted the models to have a background in a sport, whether it was track, hiking, jogging, swimming, tennis, etc. so that it was easier for them to get real life poses and expressions). Fitness models do not have to meet the same requirements as fashion or runway models so do not lose sleep over whether you will have to make some crazy change in order to fit into the industry's standards. Fitness modeling is typically open in size and height, which is great.

As far as your braces go, I don't think it will be as big of a deal simply because fitness modeling doesn't always require models to smile like traditional commercial/print. But again, when it comes to braces and modeling, it is often on a case by case basis.

Definitely look into the agency you mentioned and if they hold an open casting call, be sure to attend it since it increases your odds compared to sending in photos via snail mail or email. See what feedback the agency has for you and if they sign you, well, then you're good to go!

If you have more questions or need additional assistance with getting started in your modeling career, do not hesitate to shoot me an email.

Best of luck to you!

What About Petite Modeling?

You always hear about runway and fashion modeling. Commercial/print models are just now starting to really get the recognition they deserve in the industry and it seems that plus size models are all the rage but what about petite models?

My best explanation for why there is an absence of petite models in the industry is that there is no demand. The modeling industry is first and foremost a business and their job is to make money. Therefore, they go where the demand is.

Do I think it's fair? Of course not...if petite modeling got its fair shot I--and a whole lot of other models--would be getting way more work! So how can petite modeling get into the limelight? That is open for debate but I believe that creating opportunities is one way.

It isn't easy to try and influence or change a system that has been in motion and set in its ways for decades so be aware that tackling this beast is going to be an uphill battle and the results won't be apparent overnight.

Use the Internet to find sites, organizations and companies that support not only petite models but petite women in general. Only when the general populace speaks out will there be a chance for shorter models. Commercial/print is great and does give some models a fighting shot at a modeling career but you have to remember that petite modeling is supposed to be the same as runway modeling and there are many young women out there that want to do runway shows, not just do print work in front of a camera.

I came across this really great and informative site called Bella Petite and if you really want to have a say in influencing the modeling industry's perception of petite models, I would suggest checking out their site and being a part of their cause. If anything, at least you can find resources and topics of interest that you can relate to.

Suffice it to say that I don't really read high fashion magazines because as a model, I can't really relate to any of the models that grace the pages. I'll never put down tall models (that's not acceptable in my opinion) but sites like Bella Petite definitely make some strong and valid points when it comes to height discrimination in the industry.

While those that support the archaic ways of the modeling industry (runway in particular) will continue to rely on the same explanations and reasons why taller is better, I think it is important to still participate in the cause to bring more petite runway models to the spotlight and give them the recognition they deserve.

Petite models don't want to overthrow traditional runway models--they simply want to be included and I don't see anything wrong with that in the slightest.

Answering a Reader Question #86

Mattiebelle Wrote:


Hi Dania
You look so young and pretty! Thanks for this site, I found it very encouraging as well as informative. I am a 56 yrs old and ready to get started! I recently did a photo shoot for a professional photographer as TFP (time for prints). She took some good headshots and will do full body ones on our next shoot. This has been a lifelong dream of mine. I live in the DC area, where and how do I get started? Thank you for your response. Mattiebelle 


Hi, Mattiebelle! Thank you so much for the compliments and I'm so excited that you want to finally pursue your dream of lifestyle & mature modeling, good for you! My best advice for you getting started is to decide if you want to get signed to a modeling agency or do freelance. I always believe that having an agency behind you is the best way to go because they will be responsible for finding you work, marketing you and helping you develop your career. Simply find legit and reputable agencies in your area and refer to their official website to get instructions on how to submit yourself for consideration.

The DC area isn't a huge modeling market so just know that there are not a huge number of modeling agencies to choose from but there is one that I am aware of in DC that you should check out:

T.H.E. Artist Agency
http://www.theartistagency.com

If you'd prefer to freelance that means you will be responsible for marketing yourself and finding your own work, which can be difficult, especially if you are new to the industry. Most freelance models use the Internet to post their photos and stats online where potential clients can consider them for gigs. Sites like Model Mayhem, One Model Place and other online modeling communities are ideal places to set up your own modeling profile. These sites also have casting sections where you can search for work in your area.

I hope that helps and feel free to email me if you require more assistance with getting your career started. Best of luck to you!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Few Words About the Runway Walk

Aspiring runway models are perhaps the most intimidated when it comes to the runway walk. This post is to assure you that this part of the industry is not one that you should be losing sleep over. It goes without saying that you can't be a runway model if you don't know how to walk.

However, at the same time, we all have to start somewhere. No agency expects a new/inexperienced model to come into their offices with a walk the likes of Gisele Bundchen. So if you are on an agency hunt it is okay if you are not a master at this type of walking.

When you attend an open casting call for modeling agencies that represent runway models, they will ask you to walk for them. While this can be pretty scary for first timers, the agency isn't there to embarrass you or make fun of you (it's not a reality show!). Nor do they expect your walk to be dead on perfect, either. All agencies want to see is how your body moves naturally. They'll give you feedback and tell you what to improve on, if anything. That's it.

Should you get lucky enough to become signed, your new agency will work with you on your walk and mold you. So don't think that you have to have all the answers. Working with an agency is a partnership and it isn't realistic that a model with no runway experience would knock their walk out of the park on the first try.

If you are still uneasy about doing the runway walk, there is nothing wrong with practicing prior to interviewing with an agency or attending an open casting. There are tons of sites that give tips or instructions on how to do the runway walk but in my opinion, one of the best ways to learn this skill is by watching actual fashion shows.

Youtube among many other sites has tons of footage of various fashion shows that you can search for. As you watch these shows, observe how the models walk, their body language, facial expression, etc. You may notice that some models walk similarly while others may stand out by doing something slightly different. Then of course there is practicing at home. Always wear high heels when doing your walk, no exceptions. Be sure you're walking on a smooth surface, not carpet. Wood, concrete, etc. are ideal surfaces.

It is also important to note that not all fashion shows are the same so don't pressure yourself to try and master some routine. Once you get into the industry and start doing shows you'll be working with a choreographer or similar production director who will show you and the other models the layout of the catwalk, the number of stops/poses to do and any other special arrangements.

The bottom line: pursuing a runway career can be exciting and nerve wreaking but when it comes to the runway walk, don't pressure yourself to be a pro. Start at the beginning, get trained by your agency and work your way up.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Answering a Reader Question #85

Anonymous Wrote:

Thanks for the great info! Are there any good agencies in the L.A. area that specialize in these types of models? I would love to get started in this! 


Hello, Anonymous! Glad you enjoyed the information I gave in my post titled "Lifestyle & Mature Modeling." Los Angeles definitely is a great market for both types of modeling. Below are some agencies you can look into and start on your path towards pursuing modeling professionally:

BMG Models
www.bmgmodels.com

CESD Talent Agency
http://cesdtalent.com

NTA Talent Agency
www.ntatalent.com

Wilhelmina Models (S Women Division)
www.wilhelmina.com

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Answering a Reader Question #84

Anonymous Wrote:


i'm 13 nearly 14 and i want to start modeling but i've got braces , i really want to start as soon as possible but i would like to know what my chance's are .

please reply!!


Hey, Anonymous, thanks for the question. There is no black or white answer but I would say your chances are 50/50. It could really go either way. The possible outcomes could be:

- The agency likes your look, even with your braces, and signs you as is.
- The agency likes your look but would prefer to wait until you get your braces removed before offering you a contract. They may ask you to come back to their offices after your braces are off.
- You may not have the look that the agency wants at the moment.

The whole modeling with braces situation varies from case to case. As I mentioned in the post you commented on, "Modeling with Braces", there are different factors that come into play. If you have a few years before your braces come off but have a strong, marketable look, an agency could sign you since it would be some time before you'd have to redo your portfolio to reflect your new look without braces. However, if you only have a short amount of time before getting them off, the agency can save itself time and money by waiting for you to get your braces off first. Even if the agency asks you to come back at a later time, that is still a good sign because it shows they are interested enough in you.

Good luck to you!