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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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Answering a Reader Question #100

Anonymous Wrote: 

Hi Dania I have a killer body not plus size but curvy and I have the really pretty exotic look but the thing is im only 5'4 and im sure ill grow to 5'5 or 5'6 so do i not have a chance to become a Victoria Secret model since im really short. 

Hi, Anonymous! Unfortunately, at this time Victoria's Secret requires all of its models to be at least 5'8" in height. So unless you can get that tall or maybe an exceptional 5'7", you won't be qualified to become a Victoria's Secret model. But when you hit 5'5" you should give commercial/print a shot. While not on the same level as VS this field has plenty of work to offer if you have the right look and is still a great way to get into the modeling industry.

Good luck to you!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Taking What I Say Too Literally


In case you haven't noticed, I have my own style of writing that is often humorous, sarcastic and fun while being informative. However, I have come to realize that providing information about the modeling industry in a blog/written format may not necessarily convey exactly what I mean at times (similar to how some people misinterpret text messages).

Some things I may mention in a casual and lighthearted manner may actually be interpreted too literally by some readers. Because of this, I want to point out that in some cases, do not take what I say too seriously.

Of course the actual information I am giving you about modeling should be taken seriously--I'm mostly concerned about my more offhand comments. For example, in one of my posts about male models working with female models, I write something along the lines of "falling in love with a beautiful stranger."

Noooooooo, I am not advising models to literally fall in love with someone they have just met or become otherwise romantically involved and possibly put their safety at risk. While I'm sure most of you got what I meant and took it to be humorous and lighthearted, there are those that have been telling me the risks that come with making such statements. They are not statements made to be carried out literally at all.

In my most recent post about knowing what goes into a fashion show I make another statement about flirting with the casting folks while doing your runway walk. Again, nooooooo I am not suggesting that you do your walk and then strut over and start flirting with the cute guy in charge of videotaping the casting or winking excessively and making kissy faces at the person in charge of the casting.

Some concepts are difficult to describe in the written format so I do my best to explain what I mean while keeping it lighthearted in nature. Modeling is an industry where you have to show off your attitude and sex appeal but these should be accomplished within the context of the casting you are attending...not to be taken too seriously.

When I was 15 and attending castings for agency representation, I was told by the professionals at the various agencies that I had to learn how to "sell myself." And I was 15! But even at that young age, I knew exactly what they meant. It didn't mean I was going out and physically prostituting myself and sleeping my way to the top. It simply meant that I had to equip myself with the knowledge, personality and skills to wow an agency into wanting to sign me and book me work. Simple as that.

So for those of you that are a bit too serious or maybe a little sensitive, please know that my tone in writing is meant to be easy to read, informative and anything but stuffy. And if I throw in a statement that you start to protest, before sending me a message about it--step back, remember the context of the information being provided and take a chill pill. It's all in good fun while being educational. Life's too short as it is to be stuffy--modeling is about action and freedom so let it all hang out. Nooooooooo....not literally! Put your shirt back on! LOL.

You Better Work!!! Understanding What Makes a Fashion Show (Part I): The Casting

Being in a fashion show is perhaps one of the biggest goals that new and aspiring models hope to achieve. The thought of getting to wear a designer's fashions, getting your hair and makeup professionally done and strutting your way down a catwalk in front of an audience is a vision that many model hopefuls replay over and over in their heads.

Of course to better prepare yourself for participating in such an event it is important to not only know what role you play as a model, but understand the other aspects that go into making a fashion show possible.

Before you can be on a catwalk, however, you first have to be cast in the fashion show itself. Whether you have an agent or are freelance, you'll have to attend the casting for the fashion show in question. Because it could have a large turnout of potential candidates it is a good idea to arrive to the casting location early in order to get in front of the line.

No two fashion shows are alike so make sure that you find out what you'll need to bring to the casting, if anything. Some castings for fashion shows require models to bring a headshot, resume and/or book (modeling portfolio). Others may only want a headshot with your contact info. Also find out what the dress code will be. If no such information is available or if the production company putting on the show and casting say that the dress code is open, do your best to find an outfit that shows off your natural shape and is easy to move around in.

High heels are a must for the women and the men should be well groomed. You may see some females wearing complicated, eyesore fashions but if you really want to be professional about it, wearing a form fitting dress (without a distracting pattern) or skinny jeans and a form fitting shirt or tank top with your heels will be more than enough to suffice. Men should stick to jeans, comfortable shoes (that are clean and not scuffed up) and a fitted shirt, unless told to dress otherwise. Either way, use your best judgment.

If there are a lot of people attending the casting you can expect to be there for a while. Be prepared to wait if necessary and bring something to help pass the time but won't be a distraction from what's going on. Since there is usually a sign in sheet or other form that needs to be filled out, it helps to have something to write with instead of wasting time tracking down a pen from someone.

Be attentive. Pay attention to whoever is in charge of the casting and follow their directions (remember, I'm always fond of saying that good models are those that can follow instructions!). Because it is a casting for a fashion show you will be required to walk. You may be in a room by yourself with the production company/personnel in charge of hiring the models or you might have to walk in front of the competition. Either way, do your best, show a lot of energy and strut as if your life depends on it!

Show a bit of attitude, smile when necessary and flirt a little with the casting team (no, not literally...you're trying to get hired for the show, not get their phone number). When I say "flirt" I mean do things like smile seductively, wink, throw them a look that says "I'm great and your show will be even better if I'm in it." Do what you feel makes you stand out from everyone else. It's hard to explain but if you've got "it", it will come out in your walk.

When the casting is over, be sure to thank the casting people if you have the opportunity. Aside from doing your runway walk, you may be asked a few brief questions by the casting folks. This could include how long you've been modeling, previous shows you've done (if any) and your availability for the rehearsals, fittings and the date of the show itself.

Hearing back about whether you made the cut or not could take a few days or longer, depending on when the fashion show is supposed to take place. The production company will more than likely email you with their decision or they may call you. If you do not hear back from them at all then unfortunately, that is a sign that you are not what they are looking for.

In some cases, production companies that put on fashion shows will keep models' information and profiles in their database and may contact those they feel would work well with other shows in the future. So even if you don't make the cut for one show you could end up being considered for another.

Why "Hurry Up & Wait" is a Staple in the Modeling Industry

I kid you not when I say that modeling is not always glamorous--whether it is high fashion or a commercial/print shoot. For those that have never been on the set of a photoshoot before, there may be some things that surprise you, namely how long and boring the down time in between shooting can be.

If you think that a modeling shoot means arriving, getting hair and makeup done, getting dressed, posing for the camera and then going home...that's only the bare bones. Most don't account for the time it takes for the crew to get the location setup, the time needed to change looks and other factors. For many shoots the actual time spent in front of the camera is less than the time you spend standing around waiting for everything to be ready.

For those that have zero patience and/or expect things to happen right away so that you can be somewhere else, this aspect of being a model will greatly disappoint you. Even for shoots that are typically shorter in nature, you can still expect to have some down time where you aren't able to do anything. Even if you arrive early and are ready with your hair, makeup and outfit, if the photographer isn't ready or if the location or set isn't just right, guess what? You'll have to wait.

Signs of experienced models on set include those that are tucked away in corners reading a book, surfing the Web on their phones or even doing homework. While such activities are typically not recommended for attending go-sees and castings, photoshoots are a different story. It is always a good idea to bring something that will occupy your time while waiting for the action to start.

I often have friends express interest in tagging along to one of my shoots and I have to explain to them that my reason for not allowing it isn't personal...I'm truly saving them from dying of boredom! Sure, in the beginning it is cool and enticing to witness but after a while, especially in between shooting, the experience is anything but fun. I once had my cousin fall asleep in the corner of the studio during the entire shoot!

It is important to realize that photoshoots are not just for the purpose of having fun in front of the camera. It is a business process for all those involved. It takes time to get a studio setup just right. It takes time to make sure all of the equipment is functioning properly and accounted for. It takes time to test the lights and make sure that it is producing just the right look that the client wants.

It takes time to get a model ready for hair, makeup and wardrobe--especially if the next look is completely different. For shoots on-location it takes even more time and waiting around to get the ideal conditions, lighting, weather and element needed for the shoot to go off without a hitch.

So what is a model that is eager to get to work supposed to do in this situation? Find something to occupy yourself with while keeping an eye on what's going on. If there are other models on set, that's a plus because then at least you'll have someone to talk to to pass the time. I love being able to make new friends with the models I'm working with or if I'm solo, I'll get a good book or word search to keep me busy. Even during the times when I should be or am a little bored, I'm still excited because, hey, I'm still getting paid for it!

The biggest "don't" in this situation is to complain. "Hurry up and wait" is a saying that is commonly used in both the acting and modeling field and the sooner you come to accept what that means, the easier your job will be (even if you're bored in the process lol).

Talent Agencies: Do You Need to Kill Two Birds with One Stone?

While searching for agency representation you may have come across talent agencies and modeling agencies. If you're not familiar with the difference between the two, knowing this information could help you plan your career in the industry accordingly.

The main difference between these two types of agencies is that while modeling agencies only represent models, talent agencies also include actors, voice over artists and even musical entertainers in their representation. Modeling agencies strictly specialize in their primary field so they have no reason to try and sign people who only want to act in film, commercial, TV shows and other related projects.

Do you happen to be an aspiring model who also wants to be an actor (or vice-versa)? Then guess what: you'll want to apply to talent agencies. This is for a couple of reasons. The first is that a talent agency allows you to kill two birds with one stone by having one form of representation for both types of work. Having a main agent for acting and modeling means you only have to deal with one contract and it makes the process of attending go-sees, fittings, auditions and shoots much easier. This also prevents any time conflicts.

Reputable talent agencies know how to cross market their talent so that all the bases will be covered. However, it is important to know that getting started in acting is much different than getting started in modeling. If you have no experience in either field, a talent agency will help you develop your career and provide you with the right training that will allow them to begin submitting you for work.

While modeling doesn't require professional photos or an established portfolio for new models, if you also want to act, training in some shape or form is a must, especially if you want to impress a talent agency enough to sign you. Types of training for acting includes taking local acting classes through a program, participating in acting workshops, plays and similar projects in school, etc. If you need assistance with developing your acting career, there are many local resources available to you.

One of the best ways to be highly marketable is to be able to model and act. But if you simply want to do photoshoots, fashion shows, editorials and other modeling-related work, then you'll want to stick to submitting to modeling agencies. Does this mean that someone who wants to just do modeling can't submit to a talent agency? No. There is nothing wrong with still submitting to a talent agency that also represents models in addition to other types of talent. Just make sure to communicate to the agency in question that you are mainly interested in doing modeling.

Once you are signed, they will only submit you for that type of work. In some cases, though, talent agencies have recognized acting potential in their signed models and may have them take acting classes to see if there is the chance that they would transition well into acting work. This varies from case to case and person to person.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dania Denise on the Site FamousWhy.com

Because it is always important to know where you are appearing on the Internet, I often do online searches for myself. No, it's not to stroke my ego (at least not completely anyway haha)--there is method to my madness. In this tech-obsessed age, we all know that people steal photos, alter them, post them in not-so-nice places, etc. It is because of these nefarious practices that I do my best to know which sites I'm appearing on, who is using my blog content, articles and other related information.

Imagine my surprise today to find that someone listed me on the website www.FamousWhy.com. As the name implies, this site is dedicated to identifying various famous people in all industries/categories. My bio information is currently waiting for approval by the editors of the site and they got my birthplace wrong so hopefully everything will be accurate soon. Want to know the reason why the site believes I'm "famous why"...sexiness. Lol. Ah, the Internet, how I love thee.

Well, since somebody seems to think I'm famous (at least on the Internet), I would love to invite you guys to check out my profile and vote to increase my "Fame Rank." The more top votes I get, well, the more it would make sense for me to be on the site. You don't have to sign up for a membership or anything involved. Simply click on the highest rating for the Fame Rank, which is located on the right side of the page.

For those of you that are more adventurous, you can even become my fan on the site (this section is located under the Fame Rank). In order to become a fan you have to select your location using the map the site provides and fill out the required information. I think it would be neat to see where all my fans are located so if you're interested, check it out!

Here is the link to my direct profile on the site:

Dania Denise on FamousWhy.com

Friday, November 19, 2010

Answering a Reader Question #99

AveryJ Wrote: 

Thanks so much for your help! What agencies have you been working with?

Hi, AveryJ! You are very welcome, I am always happy to help!

My first agent was a small one called Talent Plus. After about a year I sought new representation with a larger agency called Generations Model & Talent in San Francisco. I stayed with them for over 5 years. From there I went to the Ford Models print division (also in San Francisco). After 3-4 years with them, I decided to seek a new agent (Ford was great but it wasn't really a good fit for me and the split was mutual). I am now with a boutique agency called Models, Inc. They are also in the San Francisco area.

Because I live in Northern California, San Francisco is the main market that I work out of. However, I also do freelance modeling on the side and find my own modeling and acting opportunities on top of what my agency books me for. Because of that I am also able to work in the Los Angeles market, however, I do not have an agent in Southern California at the moment.

Answering a Reader Question #98

Anonymous Wrote: 

How do I get signed if I'm 14, and have braces? Do you think it will be a problem?

Hi, Anonymous! Your first step is to find modeling agencies in your city. It is best to submit to agencies that are within a two hour's drive from where you live. Once you know the names of the agencies, which can be done by doing an online search, you can visit the agency's official website, which will list their guidelines for how you can submit yourself as a potential model. Follow the directions as they are stated on the site. If, for some reason, this kind of information is not on the site, then you can try calling and asking what the requirements are.

As far as whether your braces will be a problem, there is no black or white answer to that. It strictly varies from person to person and situation to situation. It can be difficult to find modeling assignments for models with braces because there is such a limited market for it, but there have been models that have managed to get signed and find work with their braces. On the other hand, there are some agencies that will only sign a model after the braces have been taken off.

The only way you'll know for sure whether an agency will sign you with your braces is to send in your pictures or attend an open casting call so start doing your research, locate those agencies and find out what they want so that you can submit yourself.

Good luck!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Answering a Reader Question #97

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi,the only part of being a model that i dont like is to expose my body in swimsuits and lingerie.But thats something that i would love to do, bridal.May you give me an advice how to find this specifically job in california?Thanks 


Hi, Anonymous! That's great that you want to get into bridal modeling. There are a few different ways to go about pursuing this. Luckily, California is a great state for this type of work. There are tons of vendors that specialize in the wedding industry in the Golden State, which means the need for bridal models. The two most common types of work you'll find in this field include doing bridal fashion shows and print work in bridal magazines and other similar publications.

One way to get into doing bridal fashion shows is to look up the different production companies that put on their shows/wedding fairs in your area. For example, if you live in Northern California one of the biggest wedding fairs is known as Brocade Weddings. They set up shows all over the Bay Area and surrounding areas. You can visit the company's website and check out their contact page in order to ask them who they go through to find bridal models. Once you know the name of the model coordinator, it is important to get in touch with that person (that may require more online research if the bridal show company doesn't already have that info to give you). Let the model coordinator know that you are interested in doing this type of work and see if you can schedule an interview. Then see where things go from there.

As for doing print work in bridal magazines and publications, the best way to get this kind of work is with agency representation. Good agencies have contacts with casting directors that work with bridal magazines and will have the first notification of openings for shoots and other types of bridal modeling assignments, which the agent will then submit you for. However, it is possible to find bridal work as a freelance model. It isn't as easy but if you are diligent and know where to look, you can make it happen. For instance, the way I got onto the cover and in the pages of the first issue of Mocha Bride Magazine was through a model call they posted on Craigslist. Pretty crazy, huh? Luckily, they were legit and the opportunity produced great tearsheets for my portfolio. Another possible avenue you can explore is to visit local bridal shops and see what bridal magazines they have on display or you can look up bridal publications in the magazines section of a local bookstore or grocery store. Find out what the website is for these publications or write down the name/email address of the editor or whoever they list in charge of the art direction/photos. Then go about contacting that person with your interest in doing bridal modeling. Hopefully they will be able to point you to the right person to get in touch with or if they only use agency represented models, ask which agencies they tend to do their castings through.

It is also important that you have bridal images to show in your portfolio. You will be taken more seriously if clients see that you have some kind of experience doing this type of modeling.

Here are a couple of links that may help you out. Again, it's going to take research, contacting people and major networking if you are planning on doing this freelance:

Brocade Weddings/Bay Area Wedding Fairs

Northern California Wedding Vendors

Southern California Wedding Vendors

Bridal Magazines & Publications in Southern California

Bridal Shows & Events in Southern California

When it comes to searching through wedding vendors, I would suggest looking up wedding photography businesses (these are great for setting up test shots for getting bridal images in your portfolio) and bridal shops that sell the dresses (networking with bridal shops is a great way to get your foot in the door and get info on whether they participate in any bridal shows in the area).

Good luck to you!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Answering a Reader Question #96

Lady J Wrote:

Hi,

My question is, can models that are my height 5'4 actually have successful high fashion modeling careers and what does it take to get to that level? 


Hey, Lady J, thanks for the question, which I am sure is one that many have on their minds. At this current time in the industry, having a model at 5'4" in the high fashion modeling world is about as close to impossible as you can get. Petite modeling and commercial/print have always been alternatives for shorter models but the high fashion realm continues to be one that has managed to cling to the stringent height requirements for decades.

While some will mention exceptions to the rule, Kate Moss is not 5'4" and even though Devon Aoki is probably the shortest model to successfully strut down a high fashion catwalk, her modeling career was brief and she quickly pursued an acting career instead--not to mention that Kate Moss was her mentor. In essence, unless you are super connected on the Kate Moss level, the chances of being 5'4" and leading a purely high fashion career is slim to none. From agencies to designers and others involved in the industry, there is a lot of opposition in place for shorter models hoping to be taken seriously in this particular field.

Before you tell me that I'm negative and no better than the people trying to keep shorter models off the runway, let me explain. The answer I've provided above is the truth for the industry right now as it stands. However, I am optimistic that in the coming years shorter models will have their turn in the spotlight. I believe in everyone having a shot but that doesn't mean I'm going to sugarcoat what the industry is really all about. It does discriminate in many ways in order to maintain the facade they've come to know and associate with. It takes a long time to change a system and way of thinking. But in addition to sharing cold hard truths, I also believe in challenging the system and tossing out the old ways and welcoming new ideas.

Could things for shorter models change? Of course. The Bella Petite movement in particular is one organization that is making strides to gain public attention for shorter models and break the height barrier when it comes to all types of modeling. Only by drawing national attention and gaining a momentum of supporters, will shorter models have a shot at appearing on the runways and gaining the respect of all in the industry, instead of receiving widespread criticism. I highly suggest visiting the Bella Petite website, if you haven't done so already, to find out how the organization is helping to form a voice for women 5'5" and shorter.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Answering a Reader Question #95

Amanda Wrote:

Hi Dania, thanks for answering my question before. I was wondering, how do I find a trustworthy modeling agency? Every time I looked on the internet for one in Miami, the only that doesn't seem to be a scam at first is Avenue Productions, which has received hundreds of complaints that the models they book not only pay an upfront fee, but they are never booked for any jobs. I checked the agency's website, and all that I really found was about 200+ pictures of models they booked (who probably paid the $300 upfront fee). Not to mention when I searched the company name, the suggested list said "Avenue Productions Scam". I really don't know where else to look, since I've used Google, Craigslist, and I even resorted to checking a phone book. I know Miami isn't as large as New York or LA, so I wouldn't expect to find as many agencies as models find there. But the only time I'm going to New York is in December for only 2 weeks. I tried searching for large agencies that have chains all over the U.S., but I mean it when I say I have NONE. Any advice? 

 Hello, Amanda! You are very welcome and thanks for reaching out and asking for info about finding legitimate agencies. It can be tough to weed out which agencies are real and which ones are scams but it seems that you have done a pretty thorough job. In general it is best to stick with modeling agencies whose names are internationally known such as Wilhelmina, Ford, Elite, etc. There are always local, boutique agencies which may not be as widely known but still manage to make a name for themselves and book legit work for their models. The ones that have websites are usually the best ones to start with. More agencies these days are stating right on their websites that they do not charge upfront fees as well as other info to warn aspiring models about what to avoid.

Here, let me make things easier for you...below is a list of modeling agencies in the Miami/Miami Beach area that you can check out:

Elite - Miami
119 Washington Avenue Suite 501
Miami Beach Florida 33139
tel: (305) 674-9500 
email: MIAMIinfo@elitemodel.com
www.elitemodel.com

Next Model Management
1688 Meridian Ave Suite 800
Miami Beach, FL 33139
tel: (305) 531-5100
www.nextmodels.com

CGM - Caroline Gleason Management
690 Lincoln Road, Suite 301
Miami Beach, FL 33139
tel: (305) 695-2731
email: info@carolinegleason.com
www.carolinegleason.com

DecoModels, Inc.
4525 collins avenue, bungalow 142
miami beach, fl 33140
tel: (305) 673-900
www.decomodels.com

Ford Models
1665 Washington Avenue
3rd Floor
Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA
Tel: (305) 534-7200
www.fordmodels.com

Front Management
1560 Lenox Avenue Suite 306
Miami Beach, FL 33139
te. (305) 673-2225
www.frontmanagement.com

MC2 Model Management
1674 alton road suite 500
miami beach, FL 33139
tel: (305) 672-8300
www.mc2mm.com

Mega Models Miami
420 Lincoln Rd
Miami Beach FL
tel: (305) 672-6342
Email: info@megamodelsmiami.com
www.megamodelsmiami.com

Michele Pommier Management
3252 NE 1st Avenue Suite 120
Miami, FL 33127
tel: (305) 394-8683
www.michelepommier.com

Wilhelmina Miami
1100 West Avenue Suite 326
Miami Beach, FL 33139
tel: (305) 672-9344
www.wilhelminamiami.com

Aside from the well known agencies it is a good idea to still use caution when submitting. From what you've written it sounds like you already know the red flags to be on the lookout for so once you begin attending casting calls and getting interviews, listen carefully to see if the agencies mention stuff like paying for classes, portfolios or other "starter expenses" prior to offering you a contract. I'm sure once you are there in the offices you'll be able to trust your gut in knowing whether you feel comfortable with the agency or not. And if you still aren't sure you can always contact me for further assistance!

Good luck and happy hunting!

Answering a Reader Question #94

Anonymous Wrote:


My name is Quenette Battle. I am an inspring model. I want it so bad it almost makes me wanna cry. I'm working hard to get there but I feel like I need help from someone like you. I can send you pics through email or you can give me a call. Truely, Q. 

 Hi, Quenette! Hopefully you'll read this post--I didn't publish your original comment, which would have appeared in the comments section of the blog post you comment on, because it contained your phone number and I did not want to make that public for all to see. In the event that you see this post in response to your comment, I want to let you know that you can send your pictures and any other modeling info (measurements) directly to my email address: daniadenise@gmail.com. Email is the best way to reach me with any questions, comments or suggestions.

Hope to hear from you and good luck!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tips for Male Models: Contacting/Networking with Female Models

(This post is great for all male models, regardless of what kind of modeling you want to do. )

The topic of this particular blog post is in regards to contacting female models for the purpose of networking, meeting up and planning shoots together. Needless to say, the Internet has opened up a lot of opportunities for exposure and getting work done in the industry.

However, it is also a resource that is regularly abused by those with bad intentions. While the majority of professional, experienced female models know how to interact with male models they've never worked with before, if you are the one doing the contacting and are new to the whole modeling industry, there are a few helpful tips you can follow and keep in mind to take the intimidation factor out of the process and put any female model at ease.

Pick the Right Form of Contact: There are tons of ways to get in touch with a female model in order to express your interest in shooting with her. If you have held a casting to find a model to work with, then they will be contacting you so you'll have no worries there. But if you are looking for models on your own, the place you find them online will determine how you contact them.

For example, if you come across a female model's profile on a site like Model Mayhem or One Model Place, then you can either message them through the site or if she lists other contact info (email address or phone number) then you have those options open to you as well. It is usually better to send a message or leave a comment on their profile letting them know you are interested in working with them. Social networking sites like Facebook give you the option of sending a message, friend request or leaving a comment on their Wall.

Have you come across a female model in person while out and about, at a casting or on a shoot? Then introduce yourself and ask for her business card or give her yours and let her know you would like to shoot with her in the near future.

Be Professional in Your Response: Contacting a female model should always involve being respectful. First impressions are important and contacting someone through the Internet is already impersonal as it is so be sure you introduce yourself the right way. Female models are already wary of shady people with ulterior motives and you don't want to say anything that makes you come across as a creep.

Whether it is a Facebook Wall comment, a message/tag on Model Mayhem or regular email, keep things straight to the point and explain why you are contacting the female model. Keep the message brief and let her know the best way to contact you.

Things that Should be Avoided in Your Correspondence:

- Statements that sound more like come ons: It is okay to compliment a female model on her looks and/or photos but be a gentleman. There is no need for "Damn, you're hot!", "You have a great a$$!" or other comments that are lewd, sexual in nature, etc.

- Inquiring about her dating/marital status: Unless you are discussing who her escort will be to a shoot, don't ask if she is dating anyone or other more intrusive questions about her love life. You are supposed to be contacting her for a job opportunity, not to find a date for the weekend.

- Asking for personal information that isn't relevant to your purpose of making contact : By this I mean things like asking where she lives (residential address). Remember, she doesn't know you so why should she give you such information? When you meet up to discuss your shoot together it should be in a public setting (coffee shop, restaurant, shopping center, etc)--do not entertain the idea of meeting at her place or having her come to your place. It just isn't in good taste, professionally speaking. If you want to find out the best way to get in touch with her to talk about working together, simply ask what the best method is instead of asking for her phone number (some female models may be uneasy about this while others may not care--it's better to be safe than sorry).


You May Have to Deal with Escorts: Safety is always a concern, especially for female models, so be prepared for the possibility of having an escort/guest accompany the female model to your meetings and/or shoots. It is a good idea to ask upfront during your initial communication if she will bring an escort. Some female models bring a best girl or guy friend, a relative or even their significant other (the latter is usually not encouraged but it is up to the female model who she wants to bring).

If she is professional, the escort will not be a distraction or someone you'll have to actively interact with while talking business. In most cases the escort will hang in the background and allow the two of your to talk about your shoot while making sure the female model is safe and you aren't a threat or disrespectful to her. The escort may or may not come to the shoot--that will depend on the photographer's preferences. Hopefully, everyone will be on the same page and things will progress smoothly.


Include the Female Model in the Planning: When discussing/communicating with the female model chosen for your shoot, ask for her input. This is very helpful if you are new and need some ideas that would work well for your portfolio needs. Find out her comfort level of interacting with male models, what kind of poses she is okay with doing and what is off-limits. Ironing out these details prior to shooting together will help keep the two of you on the same page.

Overall, use common sense. These female models are businesspeople and you should address them as such, especially if you don't already know them. As long as you introduce yourself and your intentions upfront and without any funny stuff, everything else should fall into place.

Addressing a Reader Comment #4

Anonymous Wrote:

As for contacting female models through social networking sites, it's best that you proceed with caution because they might suspect you of being a sexual predator. And for meeting them, these female models that you're planning to work with, will usually bring a male friend, co-worker (if they are on lunch break from another job), relative, or family member for their own protection (but not a boyfriend or husband, due to jealousy issues) so don't feel intimidated because of that, especially by male friends or co-workers.

Overall this is a good article for male models but I also think you need to write another article explaining how to work successfully with male models for female models, especially for freelance female models. 


Hello, Anonymous, and thanks for the comments about my post, titled "Tips for Working Successfully with Female Models (for Male Models) Part I". I appreciate your concern about the whole safety issue when it comes to female models. While the modeling industry has used the Internet to its advantage to further business, so have a lot of shady people with ulterior motives. I have done posts regarding safety and female models throughout the life of my blog but I will do a post specifically for female freelance models that deals with working with male models. Because a majority of my posts already target female models I wanted to do this recent series to give male models more attention since they tend to get lost in the mix.

In general, both male and female models need to exercise common sense when it comes to networking and contacting people that you do not know.