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, April 29, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #134

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi. I am going to a casting call for hair/fashion and I have braces. Do you think the braces will be a problem?

Please reply! Thanks! 

Hi, Anonymous! To be honest, I can't really answer that question accurately for you simply because each casting process is different. While some may not care one way or another if you have braces, others may be much pickier--although I don't know of any casting calls for a hair/fashion show where a girl was rejected just because she had braces, which is a good thing.

I will say, however, that if you have a great look, personality and interact well with the people in charge of the casting, that could definitely work in your favor to the point where having braces won't be such a big deal. The good news is that casting calls for events like hair and fashion shows aren't usually as strict as going to a casting for a modeling agency so chances are, they may be more flexible to working with models with braces.

So go in there with a great attitude, bubbly personality and I'm sure they'll be more than happy to have you in their show. Good luck to you!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Quick Tip #9

Category: Networking
For male and female models--mainly freelance.

When sending out online submissions to clients for modeling gigs, PLEASE pay attention to your grammar and avoid typos, misspelled words and typing like you text (If U have Evr sent a email that looks like dis 4 a modeling gig, UR crazy & shud not be hired!). Remember, you're presenting yourself as a professional and any written correspondence should reflect that.

A client that hired me for a modeling assignment in the past once told me that in addition to my experience, one of the major reasons I was chosen out of everyone else was because my initial email message to them was the most articulate and readable...and I find that such a sad occurrence that writing a proper email message is what impresses clients these days--it says a lot about the majority of people they interact with. You don't have to be an English major to know how to write a decent email. Read your email messages BEFORE sending them to clients at all times. Be equally wary of "professional" clients that send you emails with numerous typos, misspelled words and awkward sentences. This reflects poorly on their professionalism in my opinion, plus many times awkwardly worded emails are typically a sign of a potential scammer or phishing scam.

The Different Types of Modeling

Because there seems to be so much confusion as to what types of modeling there are out there, here is a basic rundown, including the requirements (thanks to Infiniti Models) :

High Fashion ( Runway ): This is for the tall and thin body type. This is a very strict division of modeling because all the top designers only make their new designs in certain sizes.

Fashion models mostly do runway shows, promote new clothing designs in magazines, newspapers and sometimes TV. As a high fashion model you must have a tall, lean frame and be attractive. Possessing unique, alien, exotic or prominent features is a plus, as is having strong bone structure.

Requirements: Age between 15-22 yrs old, Height: 5'8 - 6'0", Bust: 34, Waist: 24", Hips: 34" or less. Average weight 100 - 125 lbs.

Promotional Modeling (Or Swimsuit / Beauty Modeling): Promotional models do just that, they promote a variety of products at events such as trade shows, malls, conventions and more. The Coors Light twins or Budweiser Girls are a good example of promotional models.

Requirements: Promotional modeling is a fairly open field with very little restrictions. Models are 5'0" and up, 18-35 yrs old, have a great figure, very attractive and have an outgoing personality because they do a lot of speaking.

Commercial/Print: Print models represent a wide range of products and services such as shampoo, insurance company ads, cars and a lot of the things you see advertised or for sale.

Because they represent such a diverse range of products the models are also diverse in how they look. Print models can range from 4 years old to retirement age. Print is by far the largest percentage of modeling jobs in the industry.

Requirements: Unlike runway models, agency standard requirements for print models typically range from 5'5" to 5'7" in height. Bust: 34", Waist: 24", Hips: 34" but in this particular field agencies are not as strict about having models maintain these specific measurements. As long as they are proportional and healthy in appearance, that is what counts. They have a symmetrical face, great teeth and good skin.

Petite Fashion Modeling: Petite Fashion is a division of fashion modeling for those very few models who are absolutely good looking but do not meet the height and size requirements of regular runway models. This is a very tough area to get into, especially since petite is currently not in high demand like plus size.

Requirements: Petite models are about 5'0" to 5'5" (although those in the industry typically consider anyone 5'7" or under to be "petite"). Bust: 34", Waist: 24", Hips: 34", Dress: 0-4 Petite.

Plus Size Fashion: Yet another division of fashion modeling but for full figured women. With a growing percentage of women wearing larger size clothing, plus size fashion is on the rise, plus consumers are pushing for a more realistic representation of the clothes they buy. This is one of the fastest growing divisions of modeling.

Requirements: Most people are under the impression that all it takes to be a plus size model is a large dress size, wrong! Plus size models are about 5'8" - 6'0" in height and they wear dress sizes 10 and up. They are attractive, have a proportional figure and shapely legs. In terms of measurements, an ideal example would be something along the lines of...Bust: 42", Waist: 32", Hips: 42".

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #133

ABC Wrote:

Hi Dania,

I'm wondering if you have any tips for breaking in heels. I tend to get blisters a lot on the knuckles of my toes when wearing heels. Is there a way to prevent that? And why is carpet bad for practicing? My apartment is all carpeted unfortunately. I'm practicing walking because I have a student runway show this weekend. Thanks! 

Hey, ABC! Great questions! So to knock out your first question about breaking in high heels, I came across this great article that is filled with tips for handling this situation. Breaking in heels takes some effort but is so worth it so try out the tips/suggestions the article talks about:

High Heels: How to Wear Them Pain-Free

To answer your second question, there is a huge difference between walking in high heels on a carpeted surface and a flat one, like concrete/pavement. First, the feeling is different--walking on carpet will cause your body to move a certain way and walking on pavement will make your body move another way. Carpet provides more of a "cushion," which is much more comfortable to walk on and your body language in your walk will reflect that, which isn't a good thing. Flat surfaces are less forgiving so you want to train your body to handle walking on this type of surface so that you don't have a fear or slipping and/or falling. The majority of runway shows use flat, sleek surfaces instead of carpet. So you want to learn your runway walk in an environment that's as close to the real deal as possible. Even if the student fashion show you're participating in ends up using a carpeted type of surface, learning how to walk on a flat surface from the start will make you better prepared for future shows and encourage good habits when it comes to your walking technique, body language and poise.

If possible, try finding a sidewalk, garage floor or similar type of pavement outdoors that you can practice on since your apartment is totally carpeted. Trust me, you'll notice a difference and it will make your walk much stronger. Good luck on the upcoming show and be sure to strut your stuff! ;-)

Answering a Reader Question #132

Lydia Wrote:

Hi, I've wanted to be a Victoria's Secret model for a really long time but I'm 17 and only 5' 4" so I'm probably done growing. I'm guessing there aren't any jobs for like a petite Victoria's Secret model? I'm working on applying for Ford modeling, and I've done a little bit of modeling for a smaller local modeling agency. Do you know of any other good modeling jobs that I could work towards?
Thanks so much 

Hi, Lydia! There isn't much work for shorter models along the lines of VS, especially since petite modeling isn't very high in demand, unfortunately, unless you want to get into glamor modeling, which I'm not sure you have an interest in or not. However, you are close to the minimum height for commercial/print modeling, which is between 5'5"-5'7". Oftentimes commercial/print modeling agencies will consider a model that is 5'4" if she has a great personality and look that is marketable. So definitely take that into consideration if you're looking for an agency that can get you more work in that field.

As far as modeling jobs for models of your height, there is always parts modeling, beauty and hair modeling. If you get lucky, you might be able to find local designers that don't mind working with shorter models...they may give you the opportunity to do a shoot for their line. Of course that also depends on your location/market.

If you need more assistance finding suitable jobs or have more questions, shoot me an email: daniadenise@gmail.com. Best of luck to you!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Learn Those Heels & That Runway Walk, Newbie Models...No Exceptions!!!

Notice I put three exclamation points on my blog post title? That's because this topic, as simple as it may seem, is SO important if you are a new/inexperienced model that wants to do fashion shows! This particular blog post is for all models of all heights that want to be on a runway.

I'm not a snob so yes, I am addressing not just models that are participating in huge, top notch fashion shows, I'm also including the smaller, local ones--even the ones put on by fashion design students.

They all count as fashion shows and regardless of whether the outfits you'll be wearing are brand name or put together by an aspiring designer, the end result is still the same: you want to make sure you showcase the clothes and rock the runway!

New models, if you want to get hired repeatedly for fashion shows, you've got to learn how to walk in high heels. I cannot say this enough times! Although you are new/inexperienced, this is not an excuse to NOT know how to walk in heels and do a runway walk. Practice, practice, practice!

Before even submitting yourself or attending castings for shows, buy a great pair of quality high heels that are no shorter than 4 inches. That's right...4 inches minimum! Even if you're already over 5'8", you'll more than likely be required to be even taller by wearing super high heels so get used to it, sister! The sooner you get comfortable wearing shoes of this height, the more confident you'll be in castings and walking in the actual shows.

If you happen to be a shorter model, that's all the more reason to be on top of your game! Regardless of how many shows I've done, any new event I participate in, I'm always being given the stank eye by some of the taller models that usually wonder why I'm even in the line up. So you better believe when I slap my 4-5 inch killers on and do my walk, I literally strut as if my life depended on it.

You won't believe how many times I've gotten nods of approval from the same tall models that snubbed me at first glance once they saw that I knew what I was doing. Obviously there are some sour feelings when it comes to tall models seeing shorter models in the same fashion shows as them but one of their main concerns isn't just the height issue--it's also their fear that you won't know what you're doing and make everyone else look bad--at least that's the feedback I regularly receive from conversations I have with fashion models that are of the standard fashion height.

Don't give anyone the satisfaction of saying/thinking, "See? That's why we don't need short models doing runway." Once you get your heels, break them in right away so that you don't look like you're in pain every time you wear them. The heels should feel like sneakers after you're through with them--I can run track in my 4 inch nude colored high heels without breaking a sweat lol.

Spend a few minutes each day--or whenever you get the chance--walking back and forth in a straight line and on a flat surface (no carpet!!!). Also practice the poses you'll do when you get to the end of the runway. There are more than enough YouTube videos of fashion shows to use for reference. Please use these resources...they are your best friends!

In case you can't tell, I'm pretty passionate about this subject and when it comes to shorter models, yes, I will be very hard on driving this point home. I did a fitting/rehearsal today for an upcoming show and one of the models (I don't know if she was new or not), stated that she wobbles in heels that are higher than 2 inches. Ummm....what? I'm sure you get my point. If you're uncomfortable walking in high heels during the rehearsal/fitting, you're going to look uncomfortable when you're on the stage during the show.

The bottom line: if you want to be a force to be reckoned with on the runway, tall or short, new models should make it a priority to master walking in high heels. Even if you're a new model, if you practice your walk diligently and develop your own style, when you appear on that runway during the show, the audience will think you've been doing it for years...and THAT'S when you know you've got it.

Undies, Bras & Heels...Oh, My!

(This post is mainly for female models that are doing fashion shows. Fellas, to be honest I'm not a male model and I really don't pay attention to wardrobe when it comes to the guys because 9 times out of 10 the shows I do are only using female models. So I apologize if I leave you out of this post for the simple fact that I don't want to put out any info that may not be accurate. However, I will say that male models planning on being in a fashion show should direct any and all questions/concerns to the "contact person" associated with the event.)

Despite my shorter stature, I've been very fortunate over the past few months to work with local designers that have no problem letting me showcase their stuff on runways. As I've completed each show, there are certain things that I do notice that I figure would make for a good blog post. This particular entry is all about the things that female models should make sure to have for every fashion show.

Now I will say that not all shows are exactly the same. That being said, if your contact person for the fashion show gives you specific information about what to bring on the day of the show PLEASE FOLLOW THEIR DIRECTIONS and disregard what I'll be talking about here. If you are in an upcoming show and aren't sure what clothing/undergarments you should bring with you, then your first priority should be to find out who you need to contact in order to find out that information.

I think what many new models may fail to realize is that when it comes to the fitting/rehearsal for the show, this is the closest you'll come to the real deal before showtime. Whether the fitting/rehearsal is scheduled before the fashion show or if it is held on the day of the actual show, bringing the following items just in case will help make your job and the designer(s) much easier.

Ladies, whenever you attend a fitting/rehearsal for a fashion show, it is a good idea to bring the following in a small, easy to carry bag:

1. Black bra
2. Nude bra
3. White bra (optional)
4. Nude strapless bra
5. Nude black bra
6. Black thong underwear
7. Nude thong underwear
8. White thong underwear (optional)
9. Nude high heels (4 inches minimum)
10. Black high heels (4 inches minimum)

From my experiences, I've rarely ever had to wear a white bra, white underwear or white high heels since the color tends to be distracting as well as stands out against most clothing materials, which is why I listed them as optional and didn't even put white high heels on the list. If the show you're going to do will have shoes for you, then obviously you won't have to worry about bringing your own...BUT it's good to do so anyway because you never know what to expect.

I always have a pair of my nude high heels in the trunk of my car and I've been in situations where the shoes provided didn't fit or ended up not working with the outfits chosen. Luckily, by having my heels available, it remedied the problem--plus, nude is a neutral color so it doesn't take away from the outfit.

During fittings it isn't uncommon for the designers to change or switch outfits on models so it helps to bring a variety of different undergarments in different colors, which will allow the designers to see exactly how the outfit will look prior to the show.

The goal is to get each of your outfits as close to the final result as possible. Why? First, it gives you the chance to know exactly what undergarments and heels to bring the day of the show. This cuts down on any guessing games and last minute decisions that need to be finalized on the day of the show. Second, it gives the designer(s) less of a headache. Small or large, any fashion show involves tons of time and planning.

Being over prepared instead of under/unprepared is a sign of professionalism and also makes your job much easier when it comes to quick changes. Having everything approved ahead of time means you'll know what to wear and when to wear it, which helps to make the show run much smoother--at least for you!

So remember, unless told otherwise, having the undergarments and heels mentioned above handy during fittings and rehearsals can make all the difference in any fashion show you're a part of. Always pay attention to the details--even if others don't!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Male Models, Choose Your Lady Wisely!

Couple shoots are among my favorite types of gigs to do because there is so much you can do with another model in the picture. Recently a male model messaged me on Facebook to ask for a critique of his latest photoshoot with female models. Luckily, he was very receptive to my constructive criticism and that experience inspired me to do this post. Fellas, the following tips should definitely be put into practice any time you're casting for a female model to do a shoot with (this doesn't count for situations where you're hired by a client that is already providing a model for you to shoot with so it's mainly for freelancing and portfolio updating purposes).

Don't Limit Yourself:

In couple shoots the male and female models don't always have to be of the same ethnicity. While you should have images in your portfolio that showcase you with a model that is (or appears to be) of the same or similar ethnic background, it is also a good idea to pose with female models of an entirely different race. I've been noticing a lot of mixed model couples in ads lately, which is awesome, so don't be afraid to step outside of the box every once in a while.

Plus, it's a great way to diversify your portfolio. I was talking to a male model friend of mine who actually made the comment, "I just like shooting with Black female models...that's all I want to shoot with." I was really surprised to see that as his viewpoint because when you're marketing yourself in the industry, it's not about your personal preference, it's about what sells and maintaining a narrow-minded view like that, in my opinion, isn't a good thing. But, hey, that's just my take on it. Expand your horizons, folks!

Take Height Into Account:

Yes, I'm pointing out height but trust me, there's always method to my madness. There is nothing wrong with a tall male model working with a shorter female model. If she can slap some heels on and there isn't a significant gap in height when they are shooting together, then that's awesome. Guys, when selecting a female model, take her height into account. Find someone that won't limit the number of poses you can do.

For example, if you're a 6'2" male model and you want to shoot with a female model that's 5'2", even the highest heels won't make you match up when standing next to each other. The alternative would be poses where you're sitting, kneeling, have her in your lap or something similar. While this remedies the problem, it also severely limits your range in poses.

At the same time, avoid choosing a model that's too tall. If she's already 5'11" without heels, you're going to be looking up at her once she puts on her 4-inch stilettos. If it's a beach shoot where she won't be wearing shoes, then that's okay. But I'm sure you get the point I'm trying to make here. Don't discriminate based on height but make sure that the height of the female model you're considering will make for a good composition that will photograph well.

She Should Complement You:

No, I don't mean "compliment" I mean "complement." The definition of this word is as follows: "Add to (something) in a way that enhances or improves it; make perfect." Okay, there's no such thing as perfect but the way I'm using this word is to describe the fact that the female model you shoot with should work well with you, appearance-wise. What does this mean? It means picking a female with a body type that is proportional to yours.

Don't pick someone that is physically bigger than you are. I once critiqued a photo where the male model was posing next to a female model who was literally "bigger" than him...he looked tiny compared to her--she was taller, thicker and wider than he was. It just made for a very comical picture. Of course, this also goes both ways--don't choose a model that's so small compared to you that it doesn't even look real.

Avoid Being Raunchy:

There are ways to pose with a female model that ooze sex appeal and sensuality without being pornographic. Respect the model you're posing with...this should reflect in your photos. For example, don't grab her butt or breast--yes, I've critiqued photos where the male model had a handful of the female model's backside firmly in his grasp and it just made the whole shot so raunchy to me. It is possible to be tasteful when posing together so keep that in mind. Below are examples of sensual couple shoots:

She's Not a Prop, She's a Person:

This is perhaps one of the more difficult aspects when it comes to couple shoots, especially for newbie male models. Couple shoots are all about chemistry and creating great energy in your poses. You're supposed to work with your female model. The pictures you produce should not look like she's just an item or prop on your arm. It's very easy to tell when this happens and unless it's part of the concept, it doesn't make for a good image at all.

If the female model is kind of blocking your face of body, don't lean off to the side in order to get more of yourself in front of the camera. Instead, make it work: look at her instead, allow your body to be covered for the shot (if the pose works out that way and photographs well), or reposition your bodies so that you aren't blocked. It's a lot easier to demonstrate instead of explain but I hope you're somewhat understanding what I'm saying.

There's so much more I can talk about on this particular subject but just keeping the tips above in mind will definitely put you on the right path. Of course it takes time and a lot of shooting in order to really master the art of the couple shoot so don't get frustrated if you don't nail it right away. If you choose your female modeling partner wisely and you both work well together, you'll definitely get some usable shots for both your portfolios.

Answering a Reader Question #131

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi Dania,
My name's Caroline and modeling has been a dream of mine for several years now. I am 13 years old, 5'9", and weigh around 132 pounds. My measurements are 34-25-36....which is why I'd like to get into commercial or print modeling rather than fashion. I know my measurements are pushing it, but it you had any tips for me they would be GREATLY appreciated. I live in the San Francisco area, so if you know of any agencies or anything around there please fill me in. Thank you bunches! I really admire your work. :) 

Hi, Caroline! First, thank you for the kind words...you are so sweet! Second, you are in my area, woot! I've been running around San Francisco doing gigs and castings for the past two weeks lol. Sorry, I always get excited when I know my readers are local to me. Okay, back to business. ;-)

Commercial/print is definitely much more forgiving in terms of measurements and you are still proportional based on the numbers you provided--that and your height should be more than enough to gain an agency's interest if you also have a marketable look to go with it. Since the SF Bay Area is the main market that I work in, I'm very familiar with the agencies so below are the ones you should check out. Browse each agency's website and it will give you all the information you need to know. If not, you know you can always contact me here!

Boom Models & Talent
*click on the "contact us" link for submission info

Look Model Agency
*click on "open call" link for submission info

Ford San Francisco (they have a print division)
*click on "models"
*click on "become a model" link on the bottom, left hand side of the page to fill out online form

Stars Model Management
*click on the "become a model" link for submission info

In terms of tips, at this point don't worry about paying a professional photographer or trying to put together a modeling portfolio. All of these agencies will request non professional, digital snapshots and they also provide sample images to use for reference. As long as you stick with what each agency asks for specifically, you'll be fine. Also, since you are underage you'll have to have at least one parent/guardian with you at all times when dealing with the agencies so make your parents aware of which agencies you're submitting your info and pictures to so that there aren't any unexpected surprises on their end. If you have little to no experience, that's fine, too, since a modeling agency will train/mold you once they sign you.

I hope you find luck with any of these agencies and feel free to let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck to you!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #130

Anonymous Wrote:

do you have to pay income tax in every state in which you shoot? even if the client was from out-of-state and you are from out of state too? thanks 

Hi, Anonymous! This is a great question and I am going to answer it to the best of my ability. Please bear in mind, I am not a tax expert and any specific questions should be directed to a certified and reputable tax consultant as it applies to your situation.

When it comes to dealing with income taxes for modeling, you are an independent contractor. That means you have to report the amount of income you make from each modeling gig you book. As far as I know, it is not specific to what state you shoot in--what the IRS cares about is how much you made, not where you were when you made it. As far as the client that hires and pays you as the model, the majority of clients will not issue a 1099 form (A 1099 is a tax form for independent contractors that shows how much they made from a certain business) if the amount of money they paid out is less than $600. I'm not sure if that is just for California or if it counts for all states but that is what I have been told by the clients I have worked with.

However, to cover your bases, it is important that you report/keep track of the amount of money you make from modeling, regardless of what state you're working in. When it comes time to do your taxes, make sure to explain your situation to whoever is in charge of preparing your tax return. Keep a log of your income/earnings for the year and your tax consultant will know how to handle the rest.

I hope that helps and if anyone has direct experience with this particular situation, please feel free to comment on this post with any additional information. Please try to keep it as factual/objective as possible and not a subjective/opinionated response. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #129

Mdeanne Wrote:

hi ive always wanted to be a model it was the first thing thaypoped up in my head for a job. ive been asked by alot of eople if i was a model and if not i should start, even by my teachers... im 5"7 and 15 this year. i really want yo start modelling now so i can get higher into elite or ford or VS ahhh my dream since maths or english is deffinatly not my thing and i know for sure moddeling is! what should i do? 

Hi, Mdeanne, thanks for the question! At your current height you are ideal for commercial/print. Fashion agencies have a minimum height requirement of 5'8" but since you are younger, some of them lower that requirement to 5'6" or 5'7" but it depends on your location and what market you're in.

I would suggest reading the following blog post about how to get started in modeling, which will give you some pointers on what you need to do:

Where Do You Start?

If you need additional assistance, feel free to shoot me an email: daniadenise@gmail.com

Good luck!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

What is Freelance Modeling?

Funny thing, I've mentioned the concept of freelance modeling all throughout my blog but realized that I never really did a post addressing just what this type of modeling is. So here goes:

Like I tell the many model hopefuls that contact me for help with starting their careers, freelance modeling basically requires a person to act as his/her own modeling agent. Instead of having an agent represent you, you represent yourself. While the goal is the same--to book paying work and increase exposure--the approach is different.

Submitting to agencies means attending casting calls or email/snail mailing digital snapshots. If a person is new to modeling, they don't necessarily need professional images or a portfolio in order to get signed because the agency will help them put these materials together after offering a contract. However, it is the exact opposite for freelance models.

If you want to pursue freelancing, then you will first and foremost have to get professional pictures and put together your own portfolio. This involves networking with photographers and setting up test shoots to create the images for your headshot, comp card and portfolio. Be sure to only shoot images that not only match the type of modeling work you are interested in doing but that you meet the physical requirements for as well.

For example, if you're 5'5" or 5'6" your portfolio shouldn't have a bunch of high fashion images because serious clients more than likely won't cast you due to your height. Instead you should have commercial/print and lifestyle images. I'm sure you get the idea. Does this mean that shorter models can't have fashion images in their portfolios at all...or that fashion height models can't include commercial pictures in their portfolios? Of course not.

You can have a few images that reflect other styles of modeling that you want to do but if your goal is to book paying work, then you'll have to market yourself towards the categories of modeling that clients will actually be able to hire you for. There are exceptions to the rule sometimes, where clients will be more flexible with the height factor since they know they are not dealing with agency represented models and in those cases, of course you should submit pictures you've done that show you can pull off that particular look.

Your main goal is to get a good, professional headshot and full body shot, in addition to other images that show your strengths in modeling.

After the photos have been taken, you'll want to make sure that you have a hi resolution copy of your headshot and full body shot, which you may be asked to print out and bring to castings for modeling assignments. If you want to have a comp card made, there are tons of online printing companies that specialize in comp cards.

Simply upload the pictures you want and they'll create the layout for you and then mail you the comp cards, which you can then use for networking. Serious freelance models will also want to use an online printing company to have hard copies of their strongest images to put together their physical modeling portfolio--don't forget to purchase a plain, black portfolio case to hold your photos as well.

Because we are in the digital age, freelance models will also want to have digital copies of their pictures to email when submitting for gigs. The majority of freelance models use the Internet to find work for themselves. There are a variety of different websites that can be used for this purpose, such as Model Mayhem, One Model Place, SF Casting, LA Casting, NY Casting and even Craig's List. Unfortunately, the quality of CL modeling posts has dropped drastically in recent years but if you're experienced with surfing through the postings and exercising extreme caution when submitting your info, there are some legit gigs to be found on there.

Freelance modeling is a more challenging approach to getting into the industry but with time, practice, networking and vigorous dedication, it is possible to find great opportunities on your own without the assistance of a modeling agency.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Latest Shoot & Tearsheets: Bay Fashion Magazine

I'm so excited! I finally found out that the April 2011 issue of Bay Fashion Magazine is the one that my pictures appear in, which are from a shoot I did back in February. The shoot was set up to showcase designer Caley Johnson of Miss G Designs. She specializes in making couture fashion headpieces. Her stuff is absolutely amazing! We networked through Facebook and after sending her a friend request with a message about how I admired her work, she hired me for this shoot, with guaranteed tearsheets as compensation.

The shoot took place in her home in San Francisco. A small room was set up as a studio with a plain backdrop. The photographer, Sid Erthal, is my new BFF lol. He is so much fun to work with and an absolute doll...we work together really well and couldn't stop laughing.

I hope to collab with him on future shoots for sure. It was a long day because there were a lot of headpieces to photograph, although not all of them made it into the magazine. Some of the pieces were fairly easy to wear and model, while others did have some weight to it--one of the headpieces I modeled was a huge, coral-like design that weighed a lot, not to mention I had to be very careful about how I positioned my head. But overall, we got a lot of work done, especially since the images were only from the chest up. I remained seated the entire time and simply moved my arms and/or torso for the poses.

Two of my images made it into Bay Fashion Magazine but I also received a link to the gallery of all my pictures from the shoot. Bay Fashion is a digital magazine but is also available in print so I am getting two print copies: one will be the official magazine I can show to my friends and family and the second one will be the one I rip my tearsheets out of so I can place them in my portfolio. As far as which images I'll choose from the gallery to get in hi res, I may pick 2 or 3 from the other headpieces I wore that weren't published just so I can have them handy for submitting for future gigs.

Here is the digital version of the tearsheets (my pictures appear on page 16 and 18 in the actual publication):

Here are some of the other headpieces I shot in. These have the photographer's watermark on them...there were so many in the gallery I liked that I told Sid it would be a few days before I could really decide the ones I want in hi resolution LOL:


Did You Know...? #4

...out of all the models actively working in the industry around the world, only about 1% make it to "supermodel" status? Crazy!

Answering a Reader Question #128

Anonymous Wrote:

do u do the appointment online or in person for MAC?

Hi, Anonymous! To answer your question, which is related to my blog post, "Tips for Getting Your Makeup Professionally Done," it's good to make your appointment in person or you can call the store and speak to someone there that can book the date and time you want to come in. Each location has its own policies for making appointments, which is why it's better to choose either of the two methods I just mentioned. Hope that helps!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Payment Hierarchy for Modeling

I'm sure I've mentioned this topic in a post but haven't actually done an entire post devoted to the hierarchy models should strive to follow when it comes to payment for gigs so here you go!

As I always like to say, real models are those that get paid--not just take pretty pictures. This statement does not apply to or mean to discredit models (male or female) that do it as a hobby or for fun. However, there is a distinct difference between "working" models that are paid for their services and those that like to label themselves as "models" when all they really do is take pictures for free. But I digress...

The point of this post is to explain what order models should put their modeling assignments in when it comes to priority--for those that seek to make some kind of "career" that involves pursuing the industry seriously, whether it is part time or full time. Below is a list (in order of highest priority to lowest) of payment arrangements that are ideal for serious models:

#1: Money & Tearsheets: Receiving this combination totally calls for an OMG moment. To not only get PAID to model but to also get tearsheets from the actual publication that you have appeared in is the "jackpot" in modeling. Anytime you can get a combo meal of these two--take it! Even if the pay is lower, it's still money so don't turn it down...and hey, if the pay happens to be fabulous, well, all the more reason to be excited!

#2: Tearsheets: That's right...tearsheets are a priority over money. In case you're a new reader, you should check out my post, titled: "Why Tearsheets are Just as Good as Money." And just to clarify, before taking on a modeling opportunity for tearsheets, make sure they are "guaranteed" tearsheets. This means that the pictures you're taking really will be published. "Possible" tearsheets and castings stating that they are submitting the images to various publications does not guarantee that they will get published. When a client says it's guaranteed, that is a deal you want to be a part of. Additionally, having a portfolio rich in tearsheets will increase your chances of booking future gigs that pay very well so it's worth it in the long run to take advantage of tearsheet shoots.

#3: Money: Models with experience and a portfolio to back up their work are definitely worth being paid for their services. Enough said.

#4: Test Shoots/TF*: Free shoots are considered low priority since they usually play the role of building new images for a model's portfolio, as well as create pictures that can be used to submit to modeling assignments. But just because they are at the bottom of the list doesn't mean they don't still matter because they do. However, if you really want to boost the credibility of your modeling career, seeking the high priority payment arrangements listed above will help you reach your goals much faster.

Latest Test Shoot: Crooks & Castles

I'm becoming pretty familiar with Hollywood (haha), since I had the chance to go back to the area a few days later for a test shoot for the clothing line, Crooks & Castles, which is located next to H&M off of W. Sunset Blvd--yes, it was a few blocks down from Le Posh Salon, where the Oribe Hair Care casting was...talk about a small world!

Crooks & Castles is an urban men's clothing line (they also have a women's collection but it's mainly focused on menswear) that is pretty big with a lot of celebrities and artists in the hip hop industry. In fact, people like Jay Z have been trying to buy the label from the owners because the style of "hip hop couture" is gaining more momentum. Of course the owners know a good thing when they see it so they've continued to turn down any offers to be bought out.

Anyways, I submitted myself to one of their casting calls. They're working on a new lookbook and other related print material to showcase the latest designs. Although the shoot is not paid it is for tearsheets and will be published internationally in the markets where the line is sold. Needless to say, I'm always down for a tearsheet opportunity of that caliber!

I got to the shopping center about an hour and a half early, parked in the garage and killed some time at a restaurant called Ketchup, which was across the way. A few minutes before my call time I headed over to the Crooks & Castles store and introduced myself to the people in charge of the casting. I was asked to bring a bikini and to wear form fitting clothing.

My outfit was pretty much similar to what I wore to the Oribe casting, except this time I wore a black top--trust me, there's no need to always wear a completely different outfit to each casting you go to...my dark skinny jeans and taupe heels are pretty much my casting uniform (unless instructed to dress otherwise) and I simply switch up the top as needed.

I filled out a basic form with my contact info and was told to go to the bathroom to change into my bathing suit. For swimwear I always opt for a plain, black string bikini, which I got from Victoria's Secret. The cut is flattering for my body type and photographs well with my skin tone. After changing and lotioning up (can't be ashy in photos!), I met with the casting director and one of the designers for the clothing line.

This particular shoot was actually a test shoot to see how I photographed in the clothes and to obviously meet the client(s) in person. The casting director took five photos of me in my swimsuit: full body frontal, full body profiles (both sides), full body back shot and a full body frontal where I could pose however I wanted--for the other pictures they simply wanted my arms at my sides with no posing.

The next part of the test shoot involved having me wear one of the shirts from the clothing line, which was a blue, white and black plaid, short-sleeved button-up shirt. The casting director told me I could do what I wanted in terms of posing but the goal was to be sexy while still showing off the shirt. He took three shots of me with the shirt. And that was it for the test shoot.

One of the designers explained that they would be using a handful of models for different shoots, which would span across multiple days. Each style of clothing they want to photograph for the line calls for a different set up and location, so the next phase on their end is to select which models would be better suited for each shoot set up.

Overall, it was a painless test shoot, although after the fact I can now think of much better poses I could have done with the shirt (dang it LOL) but that always happens so no use crying over spilled milk. Besides, they've seen my portfolio and I obviously know what to do when it's time for the actual shoot so I'm hoping to hear from them soon to find out if I've officially booked the gig so that I can plan out the shoot dates on my calendar. Lots to look forward to!

Lastest Casting Call: Oribe Hair Care Show

This past Monday I had the opportunity to head to Hollywood for a casting for a huge hair care and fashion show event taking place in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel in May. The show is featuring Oribe Hair Care, which is a pretty awesome product line. They've styled some amazing editorial and fashion spreads in magazines like Vogue, Vibe and V Spain, among many others.

Here is a link to one of their online portfolios of the celebs and various magazines they have worked with (talk about impressive!):

Oribe Hair Care Portfolio

Based in New York, Oribe was casting for hair models to do the event and decided to have the casting call in Los Angeles at a place called Le Posh Salon, located off of W. Sunset Blvd.

Out of the models that applied, I received a personal invite to the casting. Being "invited" to a casting is always a good sign, since it means it won't be a huge cattle call and shows that they've already weeded out most of the people that have applied. When it comes to hair shows, I typically don't apply to them because most want to hack off tons of hair and use crazy colors. However, for this particular event, they're actually going to be using colorful wigs--similar to "Hair Battle Spectacular" but not as outrageous. Once I knew they weren't going to touch my hair, I was totally in.

As is my habit, I arrived a little more than an hour early so I could relax and take my time. The email invite instructed us to bring a comp card and swimsuit to change into. I wore dark skinny jeans, taupe heels and a maroon, fitted tank top. For makeup I simply wore mascara, powder and clear gloss and had my hair down and curled. Eventually, I headed over to Le Posh Salon and was greeted by one of the women in charge of signing the models in. After signing in, she took a quick snapshot of me and I handed her my comp card. Then I waited to be called.

When it was my turn, I was sent to the other side of the salon, where I met Oribe himself, the "it" hair stylist of the line. Man, he was so wonderfully nice, down to earth and hilarious! He had me sit down in one of the salon chairs and pinned my hair up so that I could try one of the wigs. He chose a bright orange, shoulder length wig with fringe cut bangs.

After securing the wig, Oribe asked me to walk for him. He explained that he didn't want the stereotypical "zombie/fierce" walk...instead he was looking for "sensual" and "flirty" as well as smiles and personality. He loved my walk and then we talked about dates and availability. Once that was taken care of, I thanked him for his time and made sure to shake the hands of the other people involved in the casting and I was done! I didn't even have to wear my bikini so that made things a lot more comfortable for me, since I didn't have to deal with changing and stuff.

They are still working out the production aspect of the show but said they would be in touch with the models they want to hire within a week or two. I felt like Oribe really liked me and I felt totally comfortable at the casting so I'm going to keep my fingers crossed and will definitely keep you all in the loop!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Addressing a Reader Comment #5

Anonymous Wrote:

Kewl! But anyway, didn't you know casting calls are more legitimate if they are sponsored by well-known companies and brands like Cover Girl, Maybelline, or AXE, for example?

Actually, that is not accurate. There are many small to medium-sized companies that are not widely known that are credible and more than legitimate to model for. Just because a casting call is not for a company that everyone has heard of or isn't sponsored by a powerhouse brand, doesn't mean that it is still not an important gig to add to a model's resume and/or portfolio of experience. As long as the company conducts itself professionally, has the ability to provide exposure for the models and especially if it is paid, those are all factors that lend credibility. Saying that a designer line like Ms. Bellezza doing a casting isn't as legitimate as one for Cover Girl is like saying that being signed to a boutique agency isn't as legit as signing to a larger agency. Plus, the pieces for Ms. Bellezza have been featured on "Dancing With the Stars," which I think definitely speaks to the credibility of that particular company.

Answering a Reader Question #127

Anonymous Wrote:

Should we only send two pictures or should we send a description as well?

Hi, Anonymous! Only send what the instructions say so if it states to send two pictures, do not send one or three. As far as a description, if they do not ask for one, then don't worry about it. As long as you provide your basic information, you'll be fine. If you are chosen, they will ask you for additional info, which they will use in the description. Good luck!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Latest Shoot: MsBellezza Jewelry Line

I have Facebook to thank for booking this particular shoot for jewelry designer, Catherine Potgieter, of MsBellezza Luxe Jewelry. The designer's assistant posted a casting call for models in a special FB group that I'm in, which was created by a local photographer for the purpose of providing a forum where professionals in the Northern California modeling industry can network and post casting calls for various projects. That's how I came across this modeling opportunity.

MsBellezza was casting for new faces to model their latest pieces from their Hollywood Collection, which was awesome because they were the same pieces worn by various celebrities on the most recent season of "Dancing With the Stars."

The shoot took place around 8AM at the photographer's studio. There were two other models, other than myself, and while there was one male model booked originally, he woke up late. When the designer called to check on his status and found out he was running late, she simply told him not to show up (this is why it is SO crucial to be on time, people!).

I consulted with the wardrobe stylist and did a quick fitting to see which outfits I would wear and with what jewelry sets. Afterwards, I got my makeup and hair done. Each of the models took turns posing in front of a white backdrop with the photographer, whose wife was also serving as his assistant.

What was really cool was the photographer was French and spoke the language as he shot, especially when he got excited about a pose...it was hard to focus on posing because he was making me laugh so hard--especially when he found out that I had taken French in high school. Between his fluent French and my attempt at recalling what I could remember, which came out in broken phrases, I'm surprised we got any work done!

Each outfit and jewelry set had its own look and feel so I started off with old school Hollywood glamour then got all rock-n-roll afterwards. The shoot overall lasted about five hours total and the entire crew was so much fun to work with. The MsBellezza line will be using the images on their official website, lookbook, catalog and any other advertising pieces they need. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to get tearsheets from any printed materials I come across. Below are the final images chosen by the designer...I'm going to try and get hi res copies to print for my book:

Did You Know...? #3

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen plays classical music during her photoshoots? It's true! Music is a great element for any shoot. If you don't already, make a mix CD of songs that help you get in the mood for posing.

Did You Know...? #2

...to make the Victoria's Secret models' backsides look bigger in photos (for those not naturally blessed with "junk in the trunk"), the underwear they model is one size smaller? Doing this makes the fabric cut into the skin in such a way that it "appears" as if they have more of a butt. In many cases, the bras worn are also one size smaller to emphasize their cleavage, even if they already have a large bust.

Did You Know...? #1

...shooting on a cloudy/overcast day is much better than shooting on a sunny day? The reason for this is because direct sunlight creates harsh shadows and glare, whereas an overcast day keeps the lighting uniform and is much more flattering on a model, male or female.