There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

The New "Answering a Reader Question" Series...Video Reply Version!!!

Yep, you read right. While I will still be doing my regular "Answering a Reader Question" series, where I simply address a reader's question and provide answers in its own blog post, I've decided to do something fun and more interactive with it.

Since so many people lately have been posting questions about everything related to modeling, I'm now going to offer my readers the opportunity to have their answers provided by me in a video reply, which I'll accomplish using my web cam.

I'll be able to upload my video answer here on Modeling - 101 and also plan on uploading it to my YouTube Channel, where I'm hoping to get more views and build a following on that site as well. So here are the instructions for how to request both a traditional reply and a video reply (read carefully...remember, good models follow directions!):

To Request a Regular Reply (The Traditional "Answering a Reader Question"):
  1. Click on the "Comment" link at the bottom of any blog post.
  2. Write your question(s) in the comment box provided.
  3. I'll receive an email alert and will reply back (in the form of a comment) to the same blog post where your question was originally posted in order to let you know what # your post is in the Answering a Reader Question series.
  4. Check my blog for your specific post and you'll have your answer!
To Request a Video Reply:
  1. Click on the "Comment" link at the bottom of any blog post.
  2. Write your question(s) in the comment box provided.
  3. Before submitting your question/comment, MAKE SURE TO STATE THAT YOU WANT YOUR ANSWER TO BE A VIDEO REPLY!!!
  4. I'll receive an email alert and will reply back (in the form of a comment) to the same blog post where your question was originally posted in order to let you know what # your post is in the Answering a Reader Question series.
  5. Check my blog for your specific post and you'll have your answer!
If you don't state that you want your answer to be in a video reply, then I'll simply answer it as part of the traditional series. For the video reply questions, I'll start them at #1 and so on, instead of continuing the numbers with the original series. This will prevent any confusion. Depending on my schedule and when I'm able to set the web cam up, it may take a day or so for me to do the video replies, compared to the regular series, which I can do within a few minutes so bear with me as I add this new project into my life.

I hope you guys enjoy this new spin and I look forward to answering your questions so that you can hear the info straight from the source!!!

Why I Use the "Law of Attraction" and "Perspective Reality" in Modeling

I often get people asking me, "Dania, how in the world do you do it? Modeling has been so hard for me. How do you book so much work? How did you become successful?" All good, quality questions but my answer is simple. In addition to hard work, persistence and major networking, I practice the Law of Attraction and what I call Perspective Reality.

Some of you may be familiar with the the first concept, while some of you may not (the second concept is something I came up with randomly). Below is one of the best explanations of the Law of Attraction, which I got from the Holistic Healing section of the site, About.com:

The Law of Attraction is one of the better known universal laws. The theory behind the Law of Attraction is that we create our own realities. We attract things we want and we also attract things we don't want. We attract the people in our lives, the stuff in our homes, and the money in our bank accounts through our thoughts and feelings.

When our beliefs are limited, we attract limited wealth and compromise our well-being. When we believe anything is possible, the sky's the limit. In fact, you can break through that glass roof on the sky with your miraculous positive thoughts. When we focus on the "lack of" we are creating a less-than reality. But, if we focus on being abundant and happy we will enjoy a luxurious and glorious reality.

It sounds so cliche but the truth is that you receive what you put out into the universe. Is it easy constantly being positive and hoping it attracts the same results? Of course not. The reality is there will be days when you feel as if you're on top of the world and there will be days when the last thing you want to do is get out of bed and function. And that's okay...it's normal. It's being human.

I'm not kidding when I tell my readers and those I consult that modeling is freakin' hard. It's competitive. It's tough and it doesn't care about hurting your feelings. When I advise aspiring models to keep pushing and pounding the pavement and putting themselves out there, that doesn't mean do it for a month or two and then everything will miraculously happen. Nothing in life works that way, believe me.

I practice the Law of Attraction every time I submit myself to a modeling gig, every time I send someone a headshot and resume, every time I hand my business card to a potential client, every time I step foot into an interview and of course every time I step in front of a camera or crowd. Do I have my "off" days when for whatever reason I'm off my game? Definitely. More than you'd think. But it's about what you do with your energy during those down times that will bring you much more success when you motivate yourself to stick to your guns and move forward with your plans.

The Law of Attraction doesn't just come into play when it comes to my modeling career, either...I practice positive thinking in all aspects of my life. When you walk around with a smile and an air that shows people you're happy to have another day on this Earth, it really does reach out to others in ways you'd never expect. No one is attracted to a person that's frowning. Anytime I smile at someone in general while out and about and they don't return the smile or--even worse--they scowl at me or look at me like I'm crazy, my mind simply boggles. They're definitely not someone I'd want to associate with. So don't be that person!

Now for the second concept, which I like to call Perspective Reality. This is the practice of seeing your situation in a way, while considering certain factors, that will give you a perspective on your reality and why it is the way it is, as well as give more clarity as to how you can change it.

For example, one thing that will help you guys put my career into perspective as it relates to your own is to keep in mind the fact that I started modeling (and acting) professionally 13 years ago. That is over a decade of time to acquire experience, build my name and rep and network with the people I now keep in touch with in the industry. All of this--even my blog--didn't happen overnight or within the past year or two. It took YEARS of commitment and dedication.

And now that I have the amount of knowledge I have about the modeling industry, I use it to my advantage to work even HARDER to make my career worth something. I'm online submitting myself to projects via SFCasting.com, Model Mayhem and Craig's List at LEAST 5 times a day. I'm constantly refreshing the pages of those websites every couple of hours so that I get on top of the newest castings every day. If you don't have the stamina or passion to dedicate those kinds of actions towards your career, then you won't get the results you want. Simple as that. Even with an agent I still bust my butt to put myself out there, go viral, make sure I'm Googleable and that people are finding me through various resources. I don't believe in doing anything if you don't plan on being the best at it.

Another thing to keep in mind, all of my major successes came to me later in my career...literally, within the last 3-4 years. If I had given up my first year or two in the industry, imagine what would have happened? I never would have created this blog, I never would have gotten a magazine cover, my name and blog posts would never pop up in search engines and I would never have had the opportunities to meet and help all of the aspiring and established models I have with their careers.

So before you throw in the towel, try more positive thinking and put things into perspective...and don't just be routine about it by going through the motions--really believe that you want to succeed...take that passion and determination and put it into action. Start looking for agencies, learn what photos they want, attend open casting calls, do test shoots if you want to make sure you know what to expect as a model, create business cards, comp cards, etc...whatever it takes. Sitting on your butt waiting for opportunity to knock on your door will get you nowhere. Here are some quotes that I live by, among many others:

"Every Setback is a Setup for a Comeback." ~Joel Osteen (thanks for telling me the author of this quote, Valente' F!)

"There is no elevator to success--you've gotta take the stairs." ~ Unknown

"Opportunities are NEVER lost...they simply go to someone else." ~ Unknown

"Throwing a pity party for yourself is the only shindig where you'll not only be the guest of honor...you'll be the only person in attendance." ~ Dania Denise

"When the word 'Impossible' is taken out of your vocabulary, anything is possible." ~ Dania Denise

Answering a Reader Question #173

Anonymous Wrote:

Hello Dania! I'm a 14 year old girl and just have a few questions just out of curiosity!
What are the chances of being a successful model....Honestly...?
What measurements do you have to have?
And does being full Chinese/Asian lessen chances since Asians have similar features?


Hi, Anonymous! Honestly, the chances of being a successful model in the sense of becoming a "supermodel" is very slim. The career span of a model is very short in most cases and there are much higher numbers of models than there are modeling jobs. So the competition is very tough. Becoming a regular "working" model who does it part-time is much easier to accomplish but typically doesn't mean making millions of dollars a year or becoming a household name. The average model in the USA makes around $30,000/year, which is pretty much the same for the average person working a 9-5 job. That's the reality, although there are exceptions to the rule and a small handful of models who manage to make a living off of this career choice. It's definitely a game of numbers so while it isn't impossible to be successful in this field, it is very difficult so it's important to know that upfront. It's a fact that I'll never sugarcoat.

For fashion/runway/editorial modeling, the ideal measurements are 34-24-34, which are the bust, waist and hips in inches. You can be smaller but no larger than one inch in any of these areas. Commercial/print model requirements are more flexible--as long as you are healthy in appearance and proportional, that is what matters for this particular field of modeling.

I wouldn't say being Asian would lessen your chances any because there are many agencies that seek a unique look from models of various Asian ethnicities. So definitely look into modeling if you have the confidence, outgoing personality and height/body type that agencies look for. You'll never know unless you try!

Answering a Reader Question #172

Anonymous Wrote:

Heyy :)
I live in Bali, Indonesia. You probably have no idea where that is, but i just want to ask you what it takes to be a model. There's quite a few model oppurtunities here but im not sure how the modelling industry really works. What do you have to do? But I really want to be a model, and i think i could have a great chance since im only 13 and im 171cm.
Your site is really helpful and im so glad i found itt. haha. :)
thankyouuuu. x 

Hi, Anonymous! I totally know where Bali is because it's on my list of vacation spots to visit in the future! :-) So the first thing to know about being a model is you have to meet the requirements, mainly height and measurements. The best way to find out this information is to look up the official websites of the modeling agencies in your area. The websites will have all of the information you'll need to know, which is why I recommend browsing through each one to see what photos and information they want from you. Not all agencies ask for the same thing.

Below are the names and websites of modeling agencies in Bali that I recommend you check out. They will list the height requirements and give instructions on how you can submit yourself for consideration. Be wary of any agencies that try to charge you a lot of money for modeling classes, workshops or for a professional portfolio before offering you a contract. I don't know the business practices and laws in your country but in the United States, the only way modeling agencies are legally allowed to make money is by taking a cut, also known as a "commission" from each of the assignments they book for their models.

The Seven Management

Freestyle Management

Iconic Management

Make sure to note whether the photos each of these agencies ask for should be professional or if they'll also accept non professional, digital snapshots. This will prevent you from investing time and money into a professional photographer if you don't need to.

If you have more questions or concerns, feel free to ask away! Best of luck to you!!!

Answering a Reader Question #171

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi Dania!
When you attend a model search or open call where they simply say, "tell me about your self", what should you say? Thanks!

Hi, Anonymous! It is best to keep your answer simple. You can talk about topics, such as:
  • Where you're from (hometown)
  • The name of your school and what grade you're in
  • Your favorite hobbies or any special skills you have
  • What your plans are for the future (college, dream job/career)
If you want to talk about why you want to be a model, keep this info brief and not the whole topic of discussion. Agencies hear a lot of the same types of stories so you want to be different. It's okay to talk about who your modeling inspirations are or what got you interested in modeling but move on and talk more about who "you" are as a person. That is what agencies are interested in.

As long as you answer with a genuine smile, great eye contract and enthusiasm, you'll do just fine!

Answering a Reader Question #170

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi, I'm Yanet. So there's no chance to model for VS is you are not signed with these two agencies? is this requirement ever going to change? 

Hi, Yanet! The only other way you can be considered as a VS model if you are not signed with Elite or Ford in New York is to be signed to another top modeling agency in the NY market and currently be an in demand, top model. This was the case for Doutzen Kroes and Chanel Iman. So there is that option but in general, models have a better chance by already being signed to the two agencies that regularly contract out their models to VS.

Hope that helps!

Photos: VioGemini Fashion Show

Hey, Modeling 101 readers! Just wanted to share some fun flix from the VioGemini Fashion Show I did in San Francisco a few weeks ago. This was the same show that I posted about recently with video footage of me walking in the much talked about "Star Dress." Enjoy!

Oh, and if you want to check out the rest of the designs that Violetta made, I definitely recommend visiting her official website www.viogemini.com. You won't be disappointed!
Hair stylist, Sandra Moreno, hooking my hair up.
The "before" shot, lol. Just got done with setting my hair in curls.

Ah, my favorite part--makeup!!!

Hands down my favorite outfit...the Star Dress!!!

Surprisingly, my parents actually thought it was cool that I rocked this dress when I showed them the pix and video. Whew!

One of the new dresses from designer Violetta Vieux's debut bridal line.

Striking a pose.

Heading to the stage at the end of the show (A lot of the models were new so I made sure to tell them that it's fashion show tradition to come out clapping for the designer...it's all in the details!).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #169

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi Dania!
Is it true that you have a greater chance of being signed if you go to the agencies? I heard that if you mail in/submit online you just get deleted. What do they judge you on at the agencies?

Hi, Anonymous! Yes, your chances are increased greatly when you go in person to see an agency during an open casting call. Mailing/submitting photos online gives you a shot (those kinds of submissions don't get automatically deleted but it takes longer for agencies to review and if they aren't interested, you simply won't hear from them) but there's nothing like having an agency see a potential model with their own eyes and have the opportunity to talk to him/her and gauge his/her personality in the flesh.

Not all agencies look for the same thing but if you go in person they will typically judge your overall physical appearance, personality and your runway walk (if you are trying to be a fashion model). Your measurements and digital snapshots are also other factors taken into consideration when you attend open casting calls.

Answering a Reader Question #168

Shanelle Wrote:

Wow sounds like you had a busy day!:) Sorry to bother you with more questions (seeing you get so many) but I have a situation. I am from Saskatchewan Canada (I live in the provinces capital) and want to be a model. I am meeting with a smaller local agency on thursday. Because I live in such an isolated area there are no high fashion jobs (such as high coture shows) can I apply to agencies in New York? I am fairly tall (5'9.5" and I'm 15) so I don't think those high fashion shows are out of reach. I would also possibly like to do VS one day too? I don't think all the models are from elite/ford are they? Chanel Iman is from IMG. (Btw I look similar to her). So how can I, while living in a small city, become a high fashion model? (Btw I am entering a model search in sept. The prize is a contract with NEXT models canada.) Is that good for VS and other prestigous jobs? Sorry for all the q's! :) -Shanelle 

Hi, Shanelle! Never apologize for asking too many questions...that's what I'm here for! :-)

It is good to submit to the local agency in your area because even though you won't be doing high fashion runway, it still establishes you as an agency represented model and the jobs you will book (magazines, catalogs, etc.) will help you build your portfolio and give you a chance to gain more direct modeling experience if you want to increase your odds of finding a top agent. However, there is no problem with applying to agencies in the New York market, either. But it is important to know that should you get signed to a modeling agency in the USA, you'll have to deal with work permits and visas, since you're not an American citizen. Also, because you are underage, you'll have to have one parent/guardian present with you at all times when you travel/work in the US market. There's a lot of paperwork involved when it comes to working in another country, even if it's just for modeling.

Not all of the models that work for VS are from Elite/Ford in New York but those are currently two of the agencies that VS recruits mainly from. Basically, those are the first places they'll go to and then expand their search to other agencies from there. Some of the VS models that started with Elite/Ford when they were contracted with VS have since gone on to other agencies, which is allowed. So even if some of the VS models are currently with an agency that is not Elite/Ford, they more than likely had Elite/Ford as one of their agents in the beginning or somewhere during the course of their career.

Exceptions to the rule for models that worked for VS but weren't signed with Elite/Ford when they were chosen were made because they were already "supermodels" in their own right, who were already in the spotlight and in demand. This includes Doutzen Kroes and Chanel Iman. For new/inexperienced models, signing directly to Elite/Ford is the most direct way to be considered for VS work.

If you were to win the modeling search and get a contract with NEXT in Canada, that would definitely be a good notch to add to your career/resume, which will definitely impress any client, including VS. But like I stated above, if you aren't already signed to Elite/Ford in New York, you'll have to be a popular model already in demand to catch the eye of a VS recruiter.

Good luck to you!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Latest Shoot: T.I.L. Darling - The Online Boutique Catalog

As downhill as Craig's List has gone over the years, my experience searching through their Gigs/Talent section still allows me to find some gems, which definitely applies to another recent shoot I did. I submitted my photos and info online to a CL post that was looking for online catalog models for a clothing company.

I had all but forgotten about it until I got an email from the company's owner a few weeks ago, asking if I was still interested and what my availability was. After talking in more detail about the shoot, I was hired and we set a date, time and location.

The online catalog for the T.I.L. Darling company typically used mannequins to showcase their latest styles for sale but finally decided to make the switch to using live models in order to bring a new look to the site as well as hopefully boost sales in certain markets.

It was the owner's first time dealing with models and although he originally wanted to shoot with 3-4 girls, he pretty much ended up just using me for now. In fact, he told me that he chose me among the others because I had extensive experience and because he'd also checked out my blog, which obviously showed I knew what I was doing.

He explained that the other models had great looks but they were so young and he didn't want to take the chance of dealing with possible diva, inexperienced, immature personalities. It was his choice and although I'm sure the other models would have worked out just as fine, I wasn't complaining!

The shoot took place in this home studio with a plain white backdrop. Because the images were for the online catalog/website, the poses were very basic in nature. For each outfit I did the following poses:

- Plain, frontal shot with no posing
- Frontal shot with posing
- Profile shot with no posing
- Profile shot with posing
- Back shot with no posing
- Back shot with posing

For some of the outfits I got to wear accessories, which were also from the T.I.L. Darling line. I was really excited about that part because he literally pointed me to a table full of earrings, bracelets and necklaces and said I could totally choose what to pair with what outfit. So I got to be a mini stylist for the day! Whenever accessories were worn, we had to do a few extra close up shots of the jewelry, which were also for the online catalog/website.

We shot for about 4 hours and, for the most part, it went by pretty quickly, although I could definitely feel my energy draining towards the end. But we played upbeat music and chatted in between shots. I'm hoping that the images boost the website's sales and I know I'm definitely going to be purchasing a lot of the outfits that I got to wear.

Before you say, "Wait, I thought the models got to keep the clothes?!" let me say that while I didn't get any freebies (the clothes I wore were actually going to be for sale on the site), I was given a 50% discount for my next purchase...I'll totally take that deal!!!

Below are some of the screenshots of my favorite outfits/photos from the shoot, which are currently live on the T.I.L. Darling - The Online Boutique's Website:

Latest Shoot: Omnicell Product Shoot

One of the perks of working with good photographers is that they'll always keep you in mind for future projects! That was the case with the latest product shoot I was hired for. Earlier this year I did a medical product shoot for a company called Vocera, which was shot by photographer Dan Clark of the Weinberg-Clark team. I had a great time working on that project and Dan was such a pleasure to work with.

A few weeks ago I got an email from Dan asking if I'd be available for a similar shoot for a different company. He apologized for the last-minute notification (I got the email on a Friday and the shoot was scheduled for Tuesday morning)--luckily, I was totally free that day and told him I'd love to work with him again.

The client had yet to pick the official models and the details for the shoot hadn't been confirmed, which Dan told me up front but he recommended me when his client, Omnicell, asked for models. I was very happy when I received a follow up email, saying that I had been officially chosen and would be shooting from 11:30pm-3:30pm that Tuesday.

As per my habit, I arrived early and signed into the front desk. The shoot was actually taking place at the Omnicell office so I had to be escorted by one of the staff members that was helping with the shoot. Omnicell is a company that specializes in producing healthcare/medical related products and equipment for hospitals. They turned their gym into a studio so there was plenty of room for the white backdrop, products/equipment that needed to be shot and the crew.

I brought some wardrobe options as requested but it was decided that I would wear the company's medical scrubs since I'd be playing the role of a nurse. Then I went into hair and makeup but since it was a commercial shoot, I didn't have to deal with super glam and instead got a very natural look. Then it was time to shoot! I was given instructions on where to stand in front of the equipment, where to direct my eyes and given certain products to handle.

At one point I had to point at a screen that wasn't even there because it would be added in digitally in post-production...it was pretty funny since I was literally pointing at thin air, lol. After each shot was taken, the image appeared on the computer screen, which Dan and the rest of the crew, including the Omnicell staff, reviewed. From there they gave me feedback on tweaking the poses as needed until they got the shot they wanted.
This is what each image looked like after the shot was taken.
The studio set up in the Omnicell Gym.
The time flew by and everyone was so relaxed and friendly. Definitely different from a fashion shoot! There was also a table filled with fresh fruit, drinks, snacks and sandwiches--gotta love craft services! I was asked to stay a little later and got paid more than I was told in the beginning, which was definitely awesome.

The woman in charge of the shoot was actually the one who personally selected me from the models Dan had recommended--I made sure to thank her as well as everyone else on set when I was done and also passed out my business cards. The images won't be released right away but Omnicell said they would mail me the printed material once they were done so I'll have brochures as well as digital tearsheets to add to my portfolio...score!!!

Quick Tip #16

Category: Makeup
For: Female Models (Occasionally for Male Models, Where Applicable)

Most of you probably already know this but I'm going to throw it out there anyway for the benefit of those who do not: when it comes to applying your own makeup, PLEASE make sure to extend the color of your foundation past your jawline and onto your neck. Blend well and it will avoid the dreaded "two tone" effect. But that's not all--also brush some foundation color onto your ears as well. You don't need a lot...just a quick once-over will prevent any mismatching when it comes to your overall skin tone in photographs.

Quick Tip #15

Category: Castings
For: Male & Female Models

Sometimes the timing just works out where models will have more than one casting in a day. While this is ideal for getting a lot done in a short amount of time, it is important to make sure that you do your hair, makeup and wardrobe accordingly for each. For example, your first casting of the morning may require you to be "camera ready," which means wearing makeup as if it were for the actual shoot...but your next casting of the day may call for natural makeup. While male models won't have to deal with this dilemma as much as their female counterparts, do make sure to bring the right change of clothes if your castings require different looks.

If possible, schedule your back-to-back castings with enough time to make a quick change if you need to. Don't forget to bring your makeup bag to do touch ups or change your look. You always want to make sure you look the way the casting director/client/photographer instructs you to. It may cause a bit of stress and you might have to work some magic but regardless of the outcome, put your best foot forward!

Answering a Reader Question #167

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi Dania!
I'm a fifteen year old girl who is currently 5'9. I was wondering what are the chances of getting signed/actually walking during fashion week?
Is it possible to get more than one show as a rookie? 

Hi, Anonymous! Your height already gets you into the door so that is a major plus. The chances of getting signed by an agency can't be explained in black and white. That all depends on a bunch of factors, such as your age, measurements, weight and whether your overall look is "in demand" and easy for an agency to market. Because each agency has its own requirements as to what it sees as "in", this makes it difficult for me to tell you exactly what your chances (or anyone's for that matter) would be. The modeling industry is a fickle and fluctuating one in terms of what they look for most times.

If an agency believes in you, they'll work their hardest to book you for modeling assignments, including putting you into a Fashion Week if you are in a market/location that has this type of event. Clients typically love "new faces" that have just been signed to an agency so that could also improve your chances.

It is totally possible for a rookie to book more than one show, especially if he/she performed well in a previous show and has developed a good track record of showing up on time, being professional and easy to work with. If a particular designer falls in love with you and your look, it will definitely lead to doing more shows for them and word-of-mouth referrals to other designers, even if you're new to the industry.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #166

Anonymous Wrote:

I am 20 years old, and have always been called good looking and handsome to the mostly every woman I've met from 16 and up and have been told on many occasions I should atleast try to model my face, although I stand at a mere 5'9" I wouldn't know where to start. 

Hi, Anonymous! In your case, you should look into modeling agencies that represent commercial/print models. It is best to do an online search for modeling agencies that are within a 2 hour's drive of where you live. From there you'll be able to check out each agency's official website and see what their requirements are, especially if they have a commercial/print division.

If you need help finding such agencies, shoot me an email: daniadenise@gmail.com and I can help you try to find legit agencies to submit to. Good luck!

Answering a Reader Question #165

Nachele Wrote:

Hi, Dania.
My Name Is Nachele and I'm 16 Years Old. I Live In Philadelpiha And I've Been Wanting To Be A Model Since Forever But I Keep Holding Back Because I'm Afaid That My First Mistake Will Be Falling Into A Modeling Agency That Will Rip Me Off. Is There Any Way That I Can Tell Which Modeling Agencies Are Scams? By The Way I Know It'll Be Hard To Get Into An Agency At All Because I'm Almost

Hi, Nachele! The first thing to note is that at your height, you'll want to look into modeling agencies that have a commercial/print division. The ideal height range for this type of modeling is 5'5"-5'7" so it will be easier for you to get signed for that category, compared to fashion/runway, unless you have a really strong/exceptional look. In that case, then you can take a shot at submitting to fashion agencies.

As far as being worried about signing with a scammer agency, below is a blog post I did about this topic:

What a Real Agency Does

Below are agencies in your area that you can check out (the first two are in Philly and the other two are in Pittsburgh, which is further but I included them anyway in case you were interested):


Expressions Modeling and Talent Agency, Inc.

Reinhard Model & Talent Agency



Docherty Model & Talent Agency


The Talent Group

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dania Denise: VioGemini Fashion Show

Last night I participated in an amazing fashion show in San Francisco. I wore two outfits by designer Violetta Vieux (hit up her official website for photos of her amazing designs: www.viogemini.com)--it was her first fashion show in the USA and I was so happy to be one of the 8 models chosen for the event!

My call time for hair and makeup was 5pm and the doors opened at 7:30pm, with the show starting at 10pm. The venue the show was at actually was the same place I did a previous show at a few months ago for another designer, Amanda Howard.

So it was nice that I was already familiar with the set up and how the event was going to be run. All the models, makeup artists and hair stylists got along and the whole night was a buzz of activity, especially once the public was let in at 7:30pm and got to watch the models get primped out on the main floor.

The first outfit I got to wear is called the "Star Dress" and with good reason--it's completely crocheted by hand with sequins and the "star" feature is only big enough to cover one of my breasts...the rest is completely exposed! Definitely a risque dress but I was so honored when Violetta asked me to be the one to wear it. Luckily, it fit perfectly and after making double-sided tape my best friend, I was more eager to wear it on the floor! The second outfit was from Violetta's debut bridal collection. I love short wedding dresses!

Below is footage that one of my friends took with his camera phone of me walking in the Star Dress...check it out!!!

The pictures from the event will be available within a few days. Soon as I get a hold of them, I'll be sure to post them here!

Answering a Reader Question #164

Jasmine Wrote:

hi i am a 13 year old girl that is 5`8 and i wana be a model any thing i can do to make my dreams come true 

Hi, Jasmine! You've got the height and since you're so young, that puts you ahead of the game for sure. Your priority should be finding a modeling agency to represent you. It is best to do an online search for modeling agencies according to the city/state you live in and see what official agency websites come up. Browse around through them and see what each one's requirements are, what kind of photos they want, if they have open calls, etc. It is better to look at agencies that are within a 2 hour's drive from where you live, unless you're willing to relocate.

If you need help finding legit agencies, feel free to send me an email directly: daniadenise@gmail.com and I'll be able to help you that way.

Good luck to you!

Answering a Reader Question #163

Anonymous Wrote:

I have a question. I'm a size 2 with 34-24-35 measurements (5'8 and growing still). But I was wondering if the fact that my stomach and thighs aren't exactly the most toned things would hinder me at all. Do you have any recommendations for exercises to tone those areas? 

Hi, Anonymous! Not having a super toned stomach and thighs won't eliminate you from modeling, especially since your height and measurements are good. But if you want to make sure to cover all of your bases, you'll probably want to look into doing some simple exercises to firm up. Below is a link from the site Prevention.com, which has a bunch of great toning exercises for targeting those two areas:

The Belly and Thighs Workout

Good luck!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Latest on Dania Denise Summer 2011

Hello, my beloved blog readers! Recently you've probably been wondering if Modeling 101 - A Model's Diary has completely turned into a Q&A session, LOL. But the reality is that lately I've been absolutely swamped with reader questions, as well as personal emails from model hopefuls.

While I will definitely get around to answering the latest entries in my "Answering a Reader Question" series, I do have many more blog posts related to various modeling topics for you to absorb. However, my schedule as of late has been super hectic, which is why I've really only had the time to do Q&A posts.

Let's see, I've been doing product shoots for company brochures, did a shoot for an online catalog for a fabulous boutique and in a few hours I've got a fashion show. Ah, speaking of fashion shows, the Fall bridal show season is also around the corner and this weekend I'll be helping the modeling coordinator with casting new faces. Man, when it rains, it pours!

Also did some quirky, out of the box interview snippets for one of my clients, which he'll be posting on his company's Twitter, blog and Facebook accounts so I'll be sure to share that with you guys soon as he posts it (I talk about not only what I love about modeling but how I believe in ghosts, pretending to be a zombie, making an "ugly" face and a bunch of other ridiculousness that I promise will make more sense when you see the actual footage...or not, haha).

Oh, and I've been getting more comfortable with using my web cam and will soon be introducing a new spin to the "Answering a Reader Question" series, which will involve still answering your questions but as a VIDEO REPLY, which will not only be posted here on my blog but on through my YouTube Channel as well (if you subscribe to YouTube channels, add mine to your list...just search for Dania Denise and it should pop up)! More details to come--I'm really excited about it and I hope that you will be, too!

My other home-based businesses have also been keeping me ripping and running so please be patient with me, I've got plenty more kernels of knowledge to share with you guys about the industry so stay tuned and I hope everyone is making the most of the summer--I know I am!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #162

Samajo Wrote:

Hey Dania,
I found your blog a few days ago and it's amazing thanks for all the great tips :)
I've always had an interest in modeling and many people have told me before that I could easily do it... so the other day i was "scouted" by a small agency here in Munich Germany and asked to come to a casting where they would be taking pictures of me for a sedcard and there would be a professional styling before hand. However the whole thing costs 40€ (57$) and I am only a high school student... is this really reliable and do i have any chances with such a small agency? Or should I try larger ones by myself by just sending photos of myself to them? They did say that they would take me straight up into their portfolio after the shoot. I'd really appreciate your opinion. Thanks so much. x
Btw I am a 16 year old girl and 175cm tall (5'9'') 

Hi, Samajo! Thanks for the question! While I'm not sure how different modeling agencies in Germany operate compared to those in the USA, I will say that you should always cast a wide net when applying to agencies (both big and small...don't limit yourself to just the large ones or just the small ones) and not jump into joining the first one that offers you a deal--especially if they are trying to charge you before giving you a contract.

Right now don't make a decision with that particular agency and instead submit to the other ones in your area in the meantime...remember, both large and small to increase your odds. From there see who responds and figure out from there which one would be the best at getting your career started. If the agency that scouted you recently tries to pressure you into paying them or other sales tactics, this is a red flag and should be a sign that they are not a good company to be with.

It is best to look up the official website for each of the agencies you're interested in because it will contain information about what kinds of pictures to send (professional or non-pro, digital snapshots), as well as if they have open casting calls where you can go in and be seen by the agency's staff. That will help you decide how to handle submitting your pictures so that you don't invest time and money on pro images if you don't need to.

I hope that helps and good luck to you!

Answering a Reader Question #161

Anna Wrote:

Hi!! I've always secretly wanted to be a Vicky's model (what girl doesn't?!) I'm going to be 18 in 4 months. I have a 22 waist (unless i've just eaten of course), 36 hips, and 36C bra size. I'm 5'7" 1/2. I've been told my face is pretty; I've got the long lashes, big eyes, high cheekbones, everything that's supposed to be in a model (so I've heard). However, I've never done any modeling before. :/ Should I just let go of the dream and move on? Or do I have some chance at this? 

Hello, Anna! You'll be happy to know that you do not have to be a professional, established model to be with Victoria's Secret. It sounds like you've got a great look and if an agency agrees, they'll more than likely overlook the small difference in height.

Once you get signed with an agency (hopefully it'll be Elite or Ford in New York, since these are the first two agencies that VS recruits from before others), you'll be booked for work and that's where you'll get your experience from so it's not like they'll throw you to the wolves and expect you to be a master at modeling lol. In fact, work on submitting yourself to Elite or Ford in New York now, as well as the other top agencies in that market, so that you can get a jump start on your career and begin building your portfolio!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #160

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi. I'm a 15 year old Asian girl and I've wanted to start modeling for ages! I just think that this is the perfect job for me. But my parents think that becoming a model is no way to earn a living and survive in the real world, and that I should forget about modeling and focus on school and my education.
What I want to know is how can I get started with modeling and is it true that some girls just get discovered randomly like on the street (like Barbara palvin) on the beach (like abbey lee kershaw) and even in the super market (like behati prinsloo)?
Also, what are the real chances of becoming a successful model and how much do they earn? $$
Last thing, can I become a successful model even though I have stretch marks on my butt, pimples on my face and from my Chinese background? 

Hi, Anonymous! To answer your first question, at your age the best way to get started is to find a good and reputable modeling agency within a 2 hour's drive of where you live to get signed with. An agent will work to market you and find you paid modeling assignments. To find this information you can do an online search for modeling agencies according to the name of the city where you live. Look up the agency's websites for instructions on how to submit your photos and info.

The examples you named of the models that have been discovered randomly is the answer to your second question. There are some models that get scouted while out and about in their towns.

The chances of becoming a successful model is extremely slim and it is not an easy career to start and/or maintain. Only 1% of working models reach supermodel status so that should give you some idea of how competitive the industry is. The average model earns between $30,000 - $45,000 per year, which isn't that much, considering that's about the average salary of a person working a regular 9-5 job. In most situations, models often hold down part time or even full time jobs or are in school while also pursuing their modeling careers.

There are plenty of models who do not have perfect skin and have issues such as pimples and stretch marks. However, as long as your complexion is fairly clear you should be fine. There's nothing wrong with having occasional pimples from time to time but if it's an ongoing problem, then you'll want to take care of your skin first before submitting yourself to agencies. Because you're still young, you more than likely won't be showing a lot of skin to worry about your stretch marks on your butt. The main thing that will determine what type of modeling you can do is your height, which you didn't post in your question/comment. If you're 5'8" or taller, then you can do fashion/runway modeling. If you're 5'5"-5'7" then you'll be able to do commercial/print.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #159

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi Ms. Dania,
I am a 5'8", 15 year old girl living in Baltimore Maryland. I know this question might be a little weird, but.. I'm also homeschooled and my mom would have no problem travelling with me anywhere. If you were me where would you try to start off with a modeling career? Thanks! 

Hey, there! Nothing weird about your question at all! The first step is to find an agent to represent you. The agency will do the hard work of marketing you, booking you for castings, go-sees and help you get the highest paying work. However, it's all about location. I'm pretty sure you know that Maryland isn't the best market for trying to start a modeling career. If you're not able to find an agency that is at least within a 2 hour's drive from where you live, the following places are worth looking into as far as agencies go (if an agency in any of these markets really likes your look they'll help you with relocation and may offer a living arrangement, such as a model dorm/housing):

- New York
- Chicago
- Miami

Simply do an online search for modeling agencies in these areas and you'll get the official websites in your search results, which will give you all the information you'll need to know, such as what kind of pictures to send, when their open casting calls are (if they have them) and what each of their requirements are. If you need help finding legitimate agencies in any of these areas, shoot me an email: daniadenise@gmail.com and I'll help you find the right ones that would be suitable for you.

Best of luck!!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #158

Anonymous Wrote:

hi dania i have a random question would you please explain how to take my bust, waist and hip measurements. I'm especially confused on how to take waist measurements do I measure at my belly button or above it because if i measure at my belly button then i'm 29.5inches and if i measure above my belly button them i'm 26.5 inches so could you please clarify how to properly take these measurements. 

Howdy, Anonymous! You're in luck...I actually have a blog post that explains how to take the very measurements you're asking about. Click on the link below and you'll find everything you'll need to know (as far as the bellybutton issue, for the waist measurement you'll want to place the tape around the slimmest/narrowest part of your waist so go with that and see whether it falls either at or above your bellybutton):

How to Measure Yourself

Answering a Reader Question #157

Autumn Wrote:

Hi, Dania! I was not sure where to post my question, so I thought doing so on the most recent article would be appropriate! :)

I am fifteen years old, skinny, blue eyes, dirty blonde hair, short etc.
I have been told by many people that I should pursue modeling, but I'm sure many people hear that...how do you know if you have what it takes? Could you post a few pictures of you when you were closer to my age? I would like to see what some starting poses look like. How can you test yourself in home taken pictures to see if you have what it takes? Thank you so much for reading my comment! 

Hey, there, Autumn! All of my readers simply post their questions in the comments section of any of my blog posts, so you were right in your assumption! :-)

Awww...you're the age I was when I first started! Ah, memories! I can hear the excitement as well as the anxiety in your questions lol. Let's see if I can help you out:

- The main thing that matters is whether YOU believe you have what it takes. Are you confident in your abilities? Do you have a passion/desire to excel in this industry? Does the thought of being a model excite you to no end or do you automatically hesitate and freak out? Great models not only have a great look, they're able to adjust to new situations, step outside of their comfort zone, work with people from all walks of life and have no problem being the center of attention during a shoot or show. If you feel you have the personality, charisma, ability to adapt to new things and follow directions well from people you may be meeting for the first time, then you're well on your way.
- Because I started modeling over 10 years ago, my pictures from back then definitely don't resemble what most new models' photos look like. I'm not a fashion model, either so I never possessed exotic, alien or unique features lol. I actually came across images from some of my first photoshoots back then but they haven't been scanned yet. But below is my very first acting/modeling headshot (you know it's old because it's black and white...while there are some places that still use B&W, 99% of agencies have long since made color photos the norm):
- Below are two posing guides that you can use for reference. The first one I put together from a larger document from the site: How to Shoot? I didn't care for a lot of the poses that were in the original document so I selected the best ones that were also fairly age appropriate.
Copyright Dan McCormick www.photographytips.com

 - To get more familiar with posing and your body in general, I always recommend practicing in the mirror. This also goes for facial expressions. It may feel silly at first but use the posing guides above to see how you look doing them yourself. With time and practice, you'll feel more at ease and learn which angles, poses, etc. will make you look best.

- When it comes to testing your posing by taking photos at home, definitely have a friend or family member help you by taking the pictures for you. Camera phone/mirror pictures aren't gonna cut it or help you develop your posing skills. Memorize a handful of the poses from the guide and have your friend take the photos while you do each one that you remember. Then go back and view them.  Make a note of what you liked about the poses you did and what you didn't like but feel you could improve on. Remember, you can change up the poses how you see fit--you don't have to copy the guide exactly...it should be used as inspiration in the beginning until you're confident enough to experiment with new ones or come up with your own.

I hope that helps and feel free to post any other questions you may have on any of my blog posts in the form of a comment--I'll definitely get it!