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, May 31, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #145

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi Dania! I just have a random question for open calls- what should I do with my nails? Should I paint them a colour, or is it better to just use a nude polish or leave them bare? Thanks! 

Hey, Anonymous! I would recommend leaving your nails bare or using a clear polish. The most important thing is to make sure they are well groomed--no hangnails, dirt/grime under your fingernails, etc. You don't want a funky nail polish color or fake acrylic nails to become a distraction. As long as your nails are clean and presentable, that's what matters. The same goes for your toes if you wear open-toed shoes. I personally always keep my toes freshly pedicured with white, French tips. :-)

So keep it simple and you'll be good to go!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Can Modeling Harm Your Career?

(This post is directed towards individuals that model but also hold down a full time job/career.)

Modeling usually isn't stable enough of a career to become a person's full time source of income in most cases. As a result, the majority of working models (regardless of the type of modeling they do) have full time jobs and simply use their modeling for supplemental income or to buy time until their modeling career really takes off. However, if you're dipping into both of these types of jobs, do you have to worry about your modeling images getting you into trouble with your boss? Could it even cause you to lose your job?

The most common examples/stories you've probably come across deal with female models getting fired from their jobs because of their decision to pose nude in publications like Playboy, Hustler, etc. I will say off the bat that if you are doing (or plan on doing) any type of glamour modeling that involves showing excessive skin, partial, implied and/or actual nudity, then it's definitely going to cause a conflict if you work in an office environment or related 9-5, daytime profession (teacher, law enforcement, legal field, healthcare, etc.).

These days it isn't difficult to find photos online and even if you are using a model alias and go through the pains of trying to control where such images appear, you do take the risk of a coworker, supervisor, customer or other person in the workplace coming across the pictures and blowing the whistle. Any female model that chooses to go the glamour route, be prepared to weigh your decision on how important your career is to you and whether pursuing modeling is worth losing your career over.

Because of how the business world works, very few employers will be okay with having one of their employees posing in such a way, especially if you are in a position of authority within the company. If you happen to work in sales, retail or the food industry, chances are this won't be as much of an issue since the nature of these types of jobs is usually less formal and not the same as those that come with working for a corporation, non-profit organization or related business entity.

So what about swimwear, fashion and commercial/print modeling? The good news is that the nature of these types of modeling are typically nowhere near as racy or "adult" in nature as glamour modeling. Swimwear can be pretty sexy, though, so be careful of how you're posing. As long as there is no implied nudity, actual nudity or raunchy poses, having tasteful swimwear images online and in publications more than likely won't harm your career.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, there are ways to model swimwear while still being family friendly. Appearing in fashion shows, editorial shoots, fashion spreads (that do not showcase any adult themed images, implied or partial nudity) and other related projects won't pose a threat either. Again, it all depends on the nature of the photo, what you're wearing, how you're posing, etc.

In most situations, should an employer or coworker come across your fashion, editorial, commercial/print modeling pictures, you probably won't have to worry about much, unless you happen to work for a very conservative organization or your boss is concerned about your modeling career overshadowing your duties on the job. Many corporate careers require loyalty from their employees and even outside interests such as modeling may not sit well with them.

It goes without saying that models in the commercial/print, lifestyle, stock and mature modeling fields are in the lowest risk category of getting into trouble with their jobs since the nature of these images are almost always family friendly and target the mainstream public.

Another thing to consider is that not everyone has a positive view of the modeling world. If you're interviewing for a job, are a recent hire or in a situation where you're trying to advance in your position, you may want to be careful about your modeling career and what images are publicized. Not everyone cares to learn the truth about modeling or be convinced that the stereotypes aren't always true, which can cause you to be unfairly judged without being given a chance to explain yourself.

So what should you do if you model or want to model but have a full time job as well? It mainly depends on what kind of job you have and the type of modeling you want to do. From past experience, I would advise both male and female models to be discreet about your modeling career. Do not broadcast what you do outside of work and don't make it a point to brag and pass your photos around the office--even with your closest coworkers. Leave your modeling career outside the door.

There really isn't a need to tell your boss, either. In fact, keeping to yourself about modeling will work in your best interest. As long as you aren't putting your job in jeopardy by calling in sick too many times (when you aren't) or taking long lunches to accommodate castings and shoots, chances are no one at your job will find out. And if they do, make sure to explain that it is something you do on your own time as a source of additional income.

It's a judgment call that you'll need to make but like I've already stated, as long as you aren't putting out any images that you wouldn't be able to show your parents, kids or friends, chances are your career will be just fine.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #144

Anonymous Wrote:

Dear Dania, ( i hope i spelled it right)
You inspired me to dream big. I never thought that i could be ALL the things i loved. I love playing the instruments, art ( i take lessons in both) designing, singing dancing and writing. But i never thought abut modeling. I thought i had to be perfect. I am tall but i think my stomach pushes out to much. My mom says i am a stick and is beautiful but dont think im skinny. Can i have some advice on modeling?

Hi, Abbie! I'm so glad that I could help inspire you! And yes, you did spell my name right lol. =) Do you happen to know what your measurements are? For example, the ideal measurements for models is 34-24-34, which is your bust, waist and hips in inches. Have your mom or a friend use measuring tape to help you figure out those numbers if you don't already know them. If your stomach sticks out a bit, one of the secrets many models practice is to suck it in. Not only does this obviously flatten your midsection more, it is also a great form of abdominal exercise. I personally do this--so much so that I don't even realize when I'm doing it!

If you need to, shoot me an email with your measurements and I'll be able to give you more in depth advice for your situation: daniadenise@gmail.com.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Modeling Spoof From the Show "Everybody Loves Raymond"

Sometimes in modeling we take things too seriously. Being the huge goober I am, I'm always down for any spoofs that put a humorous take on what we as models do. The show "Everybody Loves Raymond" is one of my all-time favorites and this particular episode, titled "The Model," just goes to show why.

For those of you that haven't seen this episode before, Ray's brother, Robert, gets scammed by a fake modeling agency. He ends up paying over $2,000 for a professional photoshoot but when he shows up to the agency's office to get the pictures, he discovers that they've left town along with his money. Afraid to tell the rest of the family that he was conned (he's a police officer, hence the embarrassment he's feeling on top of being duped), he and Ray decide to do a "professional" photoshoot in the basement.

Ladies and gentlemen, while the show is fiction, what happened to Robert is very real and occurs all the time. However, they put a funny spin on it that I can truly appreciate and the following segment from the episode had me in tears because I was laughing so hard. I especially love how they incorporate the music, fan and the idea of "getting into character"...all topics I've discussed at length on this blog, yet they so easily turned it into something completely ridiculous LOL.

So watch and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tips for Starting a Modeling Career Without Going Bankrupt

I'm kind of on a roll tonight with the whole concept of not squandering money when jump starting a modeling career so this post is your go-to guideline for where any expenses may come in and affordable ways to handle it. The following information applies to both freelance and agency represented models, although I mainly mention dealing with agencies.

The Expense: Modeling Portfolio 

Why You Need It: When you get signed to an agency, they won't be able to get you any work until you have a portfolio of professional images they can showcase. There are a few different ways this situation can be handled. Either the agency will cover the cost of putting together the test shoot, which they'll later take out of your bookings through their agency commission or they'll allow you to find your own photographers. For more info on this, check out this post:

The Deal with Agencies & Test Shoots for Portfolio Building

How to Do It: If you get lucky enough to choose your own photographers to help put together your portfolio for your agent, you don't necessarily have to spend top dollar for this expense. Before shelling out any money, first look for professional photographers in your area that offer TF* shoots. TF* stands for "time for prints" or "time for CD". Basically, it translates to a free exchange of services between the model and photographer.

Use the Internet to find pro photographers in your city that offer this kind of shoot and contact them. Make sure to check out their portfolio of work before contacting them, however, so that you can guarantee you'll get the results you want. There are also online modeling communities like Model Mayhem and One Model Place (even Facebook) that make it easy to find local photographers that have experience with doing test shoots for modeling portfolios that are agency quality.

The Expense: Comp Cards

Why You Need It: Next to the portfolio, comp cards (also known as zed cards) are what agencies use to shop around their models to potential clients. This marketing piece contains different pictures of the model, as well as his/her stats, measurements and contact information for the agency.

How to Do It: Instead of spending extra moolah to pay the photographer to print your comp cards for you or for the agency to do it, opt to take care of this part of the process yourself. There are tons of great online printing companies available that produce quality comp cards for a fraction of the cost. Do not go to Kinko's or your local drugstore's photo department!

They do not have the capabilities or experience with printing these types of materials. Instead do a basic online search for comp card printing companies...you'll get more than enough results to browse through. Choose the one that has the samples you like and pricing you can afford. You can get anywhere from 50-100+ comp cards for well under $100. If the site has discounts and/or specials, this means even more savings.

The Expense: Wardrobe

Why You Need It: No model does anything without the right outfit. Casting calls and go sees often mean dressing up for the part. Test shoots for portfolio building or updating images means new clothes to add variety. Sometimes shoots require you to purchase new outfits that you may not already have in your closet. This can also include accessories, such as jewelry, sunglasses, shoes, etc.

How to Do It: Unless money isn't a factor and/or you have no problem continuing to add to your wardrobe, you can practice the age old secret within the modeling industry: keeping the tags on and returning the clothes the next day! Yes, this happens all the time. If you don't have the funds to spend on a ton of new clothes and/or accessories, do yourself a favor and keep the tags and receipts so that you can return the merchandise afterwards.

Just make sure to keep the items like new so that the store is more likely to honor the return and refund your money. Also avoid making this a habit at the same store--trust me, they'll catch on. Another alternative is to avoid high end department stores and instead shop at places like Walmart and Target. They've got plenty of knock off styles at much more affordable prices.

Why Your Checkbook Can't Secure Success in Modeling

It still baffles me how people are so ready to whip out their checkbooks and credit/debit cards when it comes to getting started in the modeling industry. Hopefully this post will shed some light on why I, and many others that practice common sense, emphasize the importance of approaching modeling in the most cost-effective way possible.

Getting into the modeling field is different from any other type of occupation so you'll be dealing with an entirely different set of rules. Some people think that the more money they spend, the higher their chances are of becoming successful as a model. But it's simply not true. Here are the top reasons why:

1. Dealing with agencies is FREE! That's right, attending open casting calls, emailing or snail mailing your pictures and information and getting scouted are all free of charge to you. Not only do these methods of getting in front of an agency keep money in your wallet, it gives you a direct connection to the agency itself. No middleman needed--and speaking of middlemen...

2. The middlemen that charge you money can't guarantee you results. Modeling conventions, modeling schools and other organizations like them can offer all the tips, training and classes they want but in the end, nowhere in the paperwork does it say that you WILL get signed to an agency and lead a prosperous career, despite the success stories they rely on to sell their services. Even legit modeling agencies state that they cannot promise amazing success to models signed to their roster so why hand over hundreds to thousands of dollars to a "middleman" that is only interested in your wallet instead of telling you the truth as to whether or not you really have a shot in the industry? At least an agency will tell you the truth and won't hand you a bill afterwards.

3. Agencies are not to be bribed. Sure, you may see people getting bought off in the movies all the time for favors, positions of power and so on. But this is not how things work in the modeling world. It takes the right look, talent and marketability to create a successful model--there is no monetary amount that compares.

4. The amount of money spent does not equal a top model. It is totally possible to get a modeling career off the ground without spending a fortune. A person can spend tons of money on a professional portfolio with pro images and have a slew of modeling classes under his/her belt but in reality, that person has the same chance as a newbie who has never been in front of a camera before. You know what the major factor is that will determine which of the two will get signed? Talent. Plain and simple. Either you've got it or you don't. And money simply can't replace true talent and potential. Period. So before reaching into your wallet or taking out your checkbook, make sure you've pursued all of the most cost-effective routes and are only spending your hard earned dollars on parts of the industry that are absolutely necessary.

Answering a Reader Question #143

Cass Wrote:

so i am interested in trying to become a runway or fit model in ny. I know a person that works in the fashion industry in ny so she could help me get in.
but my question is
am i what they look for?
i am 15 (16 in 2 months :D)
i am 5'7 or 5'8 (not sure)
i weigh 103 lbs
i wear a size 00 or 0 in most clothes
any advice would be lovely cause i really am inspired and admire you! 

Hi, Cass! Thanks for the kind words...you're so awesome! =)

Your age and height are ideal (5'8" is the minimum height requirement but there are some fashion agencies that lower it to 5'7" if you are between the ages of 13-16). To do runway modeling, there are specific measurements that agencies will want you to meet. The ideal numbers are 34-24-34...that's bust, waist and hips in inches. You can be smaller but no larger than one inch in any of those three areas. So it is important to know your measurements because agencies will always ask for them. Your weight and size sound good, too, so I don't think you should have a problem meeting agency requirements, depending on how your measurements are.

Fit modeling is a totally different category. Modeling agencies do represent fit models and if your stats meet what clothing companies are looking for, then the agency you're signed with will submit you for those assignments. Fit modeling is very strict about measurements, compared to modeling agencies. If you do get hired to do fit modeling for a client, you'll have to be able to maintain your size--if you lose or gain weight and it changes the clothing sizes you wear, you won't be able to work for that particular client until you get back to the size they need. So keep that in mind.

Other than that, it seems you're good to go so definitely tap into your friend's network and hopefully she'll be able to get you in front of legit agencies that can help you jump start your modeling career. Good luck to you!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Benefits of Creating a Modeling Persona

Okay, some of you are probably going to read this post and think, "Dania, what is wrong with you? That is just crazy talk!" LOL...but hear me out. There is always method to my madness. Many posts back, I talked about how models are very much like actors in the sense that they are required to get into character when playing a certain role in a photoshoot or even in a fashion show.

I've found that one of the best ways to really bring out the best in your modeling abilities is to adopt a model "persona," or alter ego, if you will. I actually got inspired to do this myself after reading an interview Beyonce did a while back. She talked about her alter ego "Sasha Fierce," which is a character she assumes each time she does a performance. That got me to thinking...I basically transform into someone else every time I step in front of a camera so why not do the same thing?

Whether you're a complete newbie, have some experience or are already established in your modeling career, it doesn't hurt to develop your own modeling persona. As silly as it may seem at first, embracing this alter ego can do wonders for your performance when doing a gig, hence creating strong images. When you really believe in your character, it will show in the photos.

Come up with a name for your model persona and create characteristics of his/her personality that only come to life when you call upon it during modeling. There is no right or wrong way to do this. The great thing about this concept is that you can customize it however you want. If you think it rocks, go for it!

My modeling persona is named Lola Fox (snicker and giggle if you want, I think it's HOT haha). I chose Lola as the first name because I absolutely love the song "Whatever Lola Wants" by Sarah Vaughan. The lyrics are totally what I want to embody when I do a shoot: "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets..." Lola is the woman all men want and all women want to be. She knows she's fierce and isn't afraid to show it. When I become Lola in front of the camera, it's all about me--I'm the top model and the resulting images from the shoot will be the proof to show why that is.

As far as the last name of Fox, I added that on thanks to one of the designers I worked with previously. I had networked with the designer at an event and was invited to a casting for his next editorial campaign. When I walked in, he greeted me with, "Hey, Fox." And it just kinda stuck. Fox as a nickname for a woman is totally about sex appeal so I added it. And that, ladies and gentleman, is how Lola Fox was born. :-)

I think the most important thing to realize about a model persona is to not buy into your own hype. Remember, this is an alter ego, which means it is a part of you but it shouldn't define you. Am I really a diva that thinks every man wants me and every woman wants to be me? Heck no! I leave Lola Fox behind when the shoot or fashion show is over.

In real life I am the biggest self-proclaimed nerd around and am very humble (in this industry, competing against some of the most beautiful women I have ever seen definitely keeps me in my place haha). Lola Fox comes out when I need her to and as much as I love her, I don't want her around 24/7--I mean, who walks around in sexy black dresses and other fashionable outfits, seducing people all the time and projecting this air of self-importance to anyone that's around? It's truly a role that's only meant to be played and not brought into real life.

Remember, photoshoots are about creating images taken during a staged moment in time. The final pictures represent a world we would want to be a part of--we're selling a product, idea, brand, designer or concept--not reality. This is the home of the modeling persona. Learn to keep it there.

Your model persona, if you choose to adopt one, should be a reflection of that person you always wished you could be but maybe never had the guts to follow through on. If you're shy and worried about what others will think of you while you're posing or doing a show, what better way to eliminate those unnecessary thoughts than by pretending to be someone else for a bit? Chances are, you'll be less likely to care what others think because you're giving them a different version of you.

I hope I'm making sense but once you put your modeling persona into practice, the results will be much more apparent. Step outside of yourself and see what alter ego you come up with...you may just surprise yourself. ;-)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #142

Abbey-Lynn Dermott Wrote:

Hi Dania! I didn't know how to message you or if I can on here but I was wondering if I could have your email-address? I have a personal question about modeling :p oh and you are SO inspiring and beautiful!!! <3

Hi, Abbey-Lynn! Awww, you're so sweet! =) You can email me with your questions at: daniadenise@gmail.com. If you go to my Blogger profile on here (it's on the right hand side with the title "About Me") and click on the "View my complete profile" link, you can also get my contact info from there.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quick Tip #13

Category: Makeup
For Female & Male Models

It's always important to keep your makeup on point whenever you do a shoot. If there is going to be a makeup artist available, save yourself and him/her time by bringing your own foundation to the shoot. This will speed up the process of applying base foundation instead of waiting for the makeup artist to mix their colors and try to get as close to your complexion as possible.

By using your own color, you're guaranteed to match. In the event that he/she wants to use their own products, then let them, but 9 times out of 10 they'll use what you've got and be appreciative that you're offering to make their job easier.

Male models probably won't put this into as much action compared to female models but if you do happen to have base foundation or at least concealer for pimples and blemishes, definitely bring it along to your shoots.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quick Tip #12

Category: Casting Calls
For male & female models

This statement is all you need to remember: Don't sport the competition! Each time you attend a casting call for a brand, designer, company, etc. be mindful of what you wear to the casting. It is important to remember that you're trying to be a representative of that particular brand/client and the last thing you want to do is offend them by showing that you support their competition. Clothing-wise, always avoid recognizable logos and brand names for all casting calls in general--even if the casting you're attending isn't for a clothing designer.

Going to a casting call for a company that makes accessories, such as sunglasses, jewelry or watches? Then don't walk into the casting wearing any of these items that day. Sure, you can wear sunglasses while driving there but remove them when you get out of the car if you're about to meet with a designer sunglasses company.

You may be thinking to yourself, "Dania, for real? It is not that serious." But it is. Believe me, as a model you are scrutinized from head to toe and you definitely don't want to do anything that will put you out of the running against the competition. Think of it this way: if you owned a Ford dealership, you wouldn't be cruising around town in a Chevy, right? For one day, be a blank canvas and be brand-free so the client can focus on your potential as one of their models and not be distracted by the fact that you're promoting their rival.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #141

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi Dania! Gorgeous new banner pic by the way :). I was wondering- I'm attempting to get signed with a Chicago agency called Factor Women. It's a large agency, it and Ford are the two major ones in the Chicago area. If I got signed,and I went to LA for a few days for a competition, would my agent be able to book me work there during the times I'm not competing? Thanks,

Hey, there, Anonymous! Awww, thanks for the compliment on my new pic! I've heard good things about Factor Women. If you were to get signed to them, chances are they would book you for any possible castings in the LA area, if any are open that your look would fit the requirements for. As long as you let them know the days and time frames you'll be available while you're down there, they will take care of the rest.

I once met a model at a casting in San Francisco who was from Texas but traveling to the Bay Area. Her agent set up a round of castings for her to attend while she was there. So those kinds of arrangements definitely happen and could be a possibility for you. Good luck and I really hope you get onto Factor Women's roster!

Breaking Down the Time Structure of a Modeling Photoshoot

This blog post was inspired by an email I received from a model hopeful, asking how models are able to come up with enough poses to last during a 4-8 hour shoot. After answering the email I decided the topic would make for a great post...so here we go!

The main thing to keep in mind when it comes to posing and shoot time is that no model is in front of the camera the entire time. So even if you're scheduled for a shoot that lasts 4-8 hours, you're not going to be posing for 4-8 hours straight--that would just be insanity!

Additionally, each pose does not have to be dramatically different from the others. Below is a basic breakdown of the time structure that most photoshoots follow. Please keep in mind that not all shoots are the same so the information below is only to be used for reference...there are always exceptions to the rule but for now this will suffice for models of all skill levels:
  • Hair & Makeup: 1 - 2 hours
  • Wardrobe/Fitting/Changing: varies on how simple or difficult each outfit is to put on in between changes but you can expect this part of the process to take up between 10-15 minutes each time.
  • Waiting for the Photographer/Crew to Set Things Up: 20 minutes or longer for each change in location or outfit (remember my saying, "Hurry up and wait?" Well, it definitely comes into play when the photographer and/or the crew are setting up lights, doing test shoots, changing out equipment, etc.).
  • Actual Shoot Time: varies but anywhere from 10-15 minutes at a time.
If you consider that this process repeats itself throughout the duration of the shoot (shooting, changing, touching up hair, makeup and wardrobe and adjusting the lights and other equipment for the next set of images), it's easy to see how it can take up hours out of the day BUT without having you as the model in front of the camera the entire time.

As far as worrying about coming up with various poses to do when you are shooting, the key thing to remember is that you don't have to create an entirely different pose each time the photographer snaps a photo. Of course all of the poses aren't supposed to look the same but what I'm saying is that you can easily create multiple poses by changing little things while holding an existing pose.

For example, let's say you're standing up with your legs posed a certain way and your arms are crossed in front of you. Here are some subtle changes you can make without having to do a totally different pose but still create mini poses at the same time:
  1. Look straight at the camera and smile
  2. Look straight at the camera and don't smile
  3. Keep your face looking straight at the camera but your eyes are looking somewhere else while smiling
  4. Keep your face looking straight at the camera but your eyes are looking in a different place and this time you're not smiling
  5. Turn your face to a 3/4 angle
  6. Tilt your head slightly to the left
  7. Tilt your head slightly to the right
...are you sensing a pattern here? LOL. That list right there is already 7 poses that can be knocked out during your shoot. Again, you should give a variety of dynamic poses but for each major pose you do, break down each one into mini poses that will provide more images for the client to choose from. Additionally, the photographer will more than likely suggest certain poses as well, or tell you to hold a pose while he/she snaps away. 

With time and practice, any model will eventually become comfortable with how shoots work and won't have any problem coming up with suitable poses to get the money shot.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #140

Pinkfreak Wrote:

i really want ot be an abercombie kids model i am 13 and people always tell me i should be a model for their clothing what should i do? 

Hi, Pinkfreak! The blog post you asked this question on actually says exactly what you need to do to become an A&F Kids model. Please read the section of the post, titled "Want to become a model for Abercrombie Kids?"

Do You Want to Become an Abercrombie & Fitch Model? 

Answering a Reader Question #139

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi Dania!

I'm an aspiring male model, and I had some questions I'm hoping you could answer. If I'm going to submit any pictures to any agencies, should I photoshop out any scars I have, or should I leave them so that agencies know what I look like in a more natural look? 

Hello, Anonymous! Very good question. To be honest, I would say don't Photoshop out the scars simply because while the edited version may get an agency interested enough to invite you for an interview, it can also backfire, especially when the agency sees the scars. It is important to look as natural as possible in your pictures and that you don't look drastically different when you meet with the agency.

However, I don't know what kinds of scars you have, where they are located, how bad it is, etc. If they are minimal scars that don't really get noticed that easily (except by you, of course lol), then it would be okay to airbrush them out. But if they are large and very noticeable, then you'll have to take your chances with submitting the images "as is."

I will say, though, that if you are worried about being rejected because of how agencies may react to the scars showing in your pictures, I would advise attending an open casting call instead of sending in your images via email or snail mail. I say this because open casting calls give you the opportunity to not only show the agencies your snapshots/photos, but your personality as well. It's easy to look at a picture by itself and accept or reject a potential model but when you meet that individual in person, their personality and other characteristics could sway an agency to overlook minor flaws, such as scars. So hopefully going to open calls is an option for you.

Good luck to you and I hope this helps!

Answering a Reader Question #138

Anonymous Wrote:

How about modeling for websites which sell clothing? Kind of like an online catalogue I guess??? How much do you charge? 

Hey, there, Anonymous! Thanks for the question! If you have an agent, then it will be up to them to negotiate the actual rate that you would be paid for online catalog work. However, if you're freelance, then it depends. Most times, companies casting for these types of jobs will state the range they're willing to pay--from the ones I come across, usually it's a flat rate of anywhere between $150-$250 or something like $25/hour. Remember, not all online clothing stores that put out online catalogs are heavy hitter brand names so they typically don't have the same budgets to work with like some of the larger, more well known companies.

If you're freelancing and they ask for your rate, then of course there's some flexibility. It all depends on your look, experience and portfolio of images, too. The final rate is definitely different for each model but for this type of work, I would say anywhere between $25 - $75 per hour is appropriate. But remember, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to setting your rates so use these numbers for reference and adjust it accordingly to your situation and modeling skills.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #137

SageGypsy Wrote:

I've been told that if the photographer pays the model, than the photographer has complete control over the pictures. What exactly does that mean as far as my career as a model? 

Hi, SageGypsy, great question! What models must know upfront is that by law any photo taken by a photographer automatically becomes their creative and intellectual property. This means the photographer is automatically given the rights to the images they create--models never own images unless they buy the rights from the photographer.

However, that almost never happens because for one thing, the images are the bread and butter of a photographer's business/livelihood (for those that do it as a paying career) and second, if a photographer does sell the rights, it's going to cost the model a small fortune because they know there is a possibility that they'll be losing future income by giving the rights to those pictures away to the model.

So regardless of whether a photographer is paying the model for the shoot or not, the rights are going to go to them, which is why model release forms were created. In most cases, this doesn't cause any harm to a model's career. Models get copies of their images to use for promotional purposes and in their portfolios so there is still a beneficial exchange of services between both parties. As long as you're dealing with a legitimate and reputable photographer that won't alter your images, put your head on someone else's body, etc., this type of arrangement won't pose as a hazard to your career in the long run. Photographers use the images gained from a shoot for the same purposes that a model does: to update their portfolio, showcase/promote their work online (social networking sites, official websites, etc.), to submit to clients for jobs and so on. It's just a part of the process in the industry and it's all business.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dania Denise in a New Music Video: Macsen Apollo – Like This

Hey, everybody! I'm really excited about this latest acting project I did back in February/March that was finally released today. It's a music video for a local artist, Macsen Apollo, for his newest single, "Like This." We shot on location throughout San Francisco on various days, as well as some green screen work for special effects in Emeryville.

It was a lot of work and freezing cold weather (the footage of me in the white and black dress was shot at Ocean Beach in SF at 7am...it was 40 degrees outside and I had to pretend like it was summer!) but so worth it to see the fabulous end results! Check it out:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #136

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi Dania,
My name is Jennifer. I am kind of paranoid when it comes to fashion shows. I was in some and I am uncomfortable (this is also the part I am paranoid with) with the boys walking passed the girls dressing room. It just makes me want to close the door even though we can't. I feel so exposed. is there any way I can stop thinking of being so exposed? I would appreciate your help. 

Hi, Jennifer! This is definitely a sensitive subject and I hope some of my suggestions are able to ease your paranoia somewhat, although each person deals with this situation differently. Below are some points that I think you should take into consideration that may help put things into perspective so that you aren't as aware about being exposed:
  • Fashion shows are go, go go: Any fashion show involves a lot of running around, quick changes and models trying to make sure they get into their place in the lineup on time. Even though you are changing, chances are the male models that are passing by aren't concerned with trying to play peek-a-boo--they want to make sure they're in their places for the show. And if they happen to be gay, well, you don't have anything that would interest them anyway haha.
  • It isn't anything they haven't seen before: I know, it sounds a tad insensitive but it's the truth. Unless the models are completely new or complete pervs (or both, haha), chances are they've seen their fair share of nude models of both genders and for them, it's just another day at the office. Semi to experienced fashion models aren't even phased by a naked body.
  • Any possible exposure is short lived: Similar to the first point, the time actually spent naked or partially naked is so quick that most times, it isn't long enough for anyone to see anything significant or give them the opportunity to stare.
  • Be confident with your body: We're all human and have our insecurities but if you are comfortable in your own skin, this goes a long way when it comes to potentially being seen by someone of the opposite sex. This doesn't mean prancing around in your undies. I find that the more confident a model is with her body, the less shy or paranoid she's likely to be when it comes to being around male models in situations that deal with changing.
One suggestion I would also make is to become friends with the male models in the show. The more comfortable you are around them, the more of a connection you'll establish. To clarify this point better, I always introduce myself to the male models and talk shop during rehearsals, in between shows and during any other downtime. We usually end up becoming friends pretty fast and from there, they develop a higher level of respect towards me. I know that when it comes to shows with male models I've worked with before, they know to turn their heads if I have to change in the same area as them and they also make sure any male models that don't know me behave. It kinda turns into a big brother type of thing. Of course I don't expect you to make friends or even get along with all of the male models you'll do shows with but if you become familiar with them, it can help you feel less paranoid because they won't feel like complete strangers.

It also helps to learn how to dress in a way that won't cause you to be as exposed. This may be more difficult to do since fashion shows require models to change quickly but experiment with ways to remove your top and/or bra while putting on a new garment at the same time, instead of completely being topless briefly when changing in and out. If you can find a corner or area of the changing room where you can be out of eyesight from the male models, that's also an option. Or you can change behind the girls that don't mind being exposed--they can act as a shield for you lol. I've seen girls do this before. So you have options to choose from until you feel comfortable enough to change without thinking so much about who could possibly be looking in.

I hope that helps. Another thing to keep in mind is that the more shows you do, the more accustomed you'll be to the whole changing thing. For some models this level of comfort comes much easier, while others need more time to adjust. But just know that it's all business and all work. If, in the end, you still feel as paranoid as you did in the beginning, don't force yourself to do these types of gigs where you know you'll feel uncomfortable and instead of focus on booking other types of modeling work.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Quick Tip #11

Category: Photoshoots & Posing
For: Female models

When doing beauty shoots, which are shot from the chest up, use your entire body to pose, not just your upper body. For example, if you're seated during the shoot, pose your legs, torso and the rest of your lower body--don't just focus on what you're doing with your arms, hands and face/head. It will make a huge difference in how your upper body poses. It also adds dynamic and helps you get into character easier. Try just posing with your upper body by itself and then try using your whole body--even sitting down, you'll be able to tell the difference.

If you happen to be standing while the closeup shots are being taken, the same concept still applies and should also include high heels. Your entire stance, posture and attitude changes when you put on heels, as opposed to wearing flats, boots or other regular shoes. Just because your entire body isn't being photographed, doesn't mean everything off-camera should slack. Be on point from head to toe, even for closeup beauty shots and you'll increase your chances of creating numerous usable images dramatically.

Quick Tip #10

Category: Runway & Fashion Shows
For: Male and Female models

When going on-stage during a fashion show, do not rush your time on the catwalk. There are two important things to remember about this portion of a fashion show:

1) Being on-stage is your time to not only shine but showcase the designer's outfits. If you're barely on the stage for two seconds, the designer won't be happy. Don't spend too much time in the limelight but learn how to pace yourself in a way that allows you to be on the catwalk long enough to display the clothes, get your photo taken at the end of the runway and enjoy the experience.

2) From the time you step on-stage until the time you step off, you are buying time for your fellow models backstage to change into their next outfits. Rushing on and off will inconvenience everyone and could cause the models to go out of order if the next person up isn't ready. Deviating from the lineup that has been established and practiced is a surefire way to confuse everyone and increases the chances of something going wrong. If you know how to spend the right amount of time on-stage, you'll be giving all the models behind the scenes the opportunity to get in and out of their outfits and appear on-stage at the right time.

Answering a Reader Question #135

Anonymous Wrote:

hi my name is sophia and im half japanese and half australian i think i have a great skinny body but im poor and cant afford to get into modeling what do i do.honestly even if people say to me i have the slimmest chance i dont listen i want to follow my heart but i know the right thing to do is just forget about the career i have dreamed about for years one bad bit about me is that my eyes abit un syrimetrical and u might imagine me as this asian but i dont look anythinng like one ! i have big green eyes long brown hair im not like any ordinary girls im a girl with personality and sometimes i wish that someone would read this and care what im saying and give me a job 

Hi, Sophia. I wish I had your email address so I could address your situation one-on-one but perhaps this blog post will inspire others in your situation and give some hope to yourself and those that feel like they should throw in the towel. Believe it or not, there is a way to get into modeling without shelling out hundreds to thousands of dollars. But in order for me to better help you, I need to know more information, such as your age, height and measurements (bust, waist, hips in inches).

Getting an agent is the best way to get your foot in the door of the modeling industry. Submitting your photos through agency websites, email and regular mail as well as going to open casting calls are all free of charge. If an agency is interested in you, they'll offer you a contract and work with you to develop your portfolio by setting up test shoots with various photographers. You're not obligated to pay for the photographers, either, as long as you can find those that are willing to do free test shoots and produce pictures that the agency will approve of. So you see, there are cost-effective ways to get into modeling. Of course you also have to be in the right location/market. If you happen to live in a small town that doesn't see a lot of action, then yes, it will be difficult. However, if you can manage to find a legit and reputable modeling agency within at least a 2 hour's drive from where you live, then that's the first step in the process.

Also, you don't have to pay a professional photographer or put together a portfolio before submitting yourself to agencies, either. 9 times out of 10, agencies request non professional, digital snapshots to see your true potential so there's another way to go about pursuing modeling without having to reach into your wallet.

Sophia, the thing you--and everyone else in your shoes--have to understand is that in order to really go after your dream, YOU have to go for it...YOU have to chase it...YOU have to take the steps necessary to put yourself out there. Unless you happen to get scouted by someone legit, it's going to be up to you to make agencies pay attention. It's not easy but it isn't impossible, either, especially if you have a great, marketable look and meet the other requirements that agencies are looking for. If you need further assistance/guidance, send me an email: daniadenise@gmail.com. Don't throw in the towel before you've even tried so hang in there and hopefully you'll get in touch so I can help you see if modeling really is for you.