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

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Importance of Getting a "Confirmation" in Modeling

(This post will be mainly relevant for freelance models but is still good for all models--agency repped or not--to know and be aware of.)

Modeling is a business and while the shoots, shows, fittings and castings are all well and good, there is a huge business aspect to having this type of career as well.

Freelance models operate as their own agency representation and that means being the direct point of contact between all clients you interact with.

Unfortunately, sometimes you'll have to go a bit out of your way to make sure that things are on the up and up. We're all human and sometimes even the most legit and reputable client may be forgetful, have last minute stuff come up or other mishap that could interfere with a project you've agreed to work on together.

For this reason, I highly suggest that freelance models make it a priority to practice "confirming" all of their modeling assignments. This includes informal and formal meetings in addition to the actual gig. Like I said above, things happen and you simply can't completely rely on a client to remember to keep you in the loop about such things. Sometimes they may even have thought they checked in with you but didn't.

In my career I've had experiences where a shoot or other related assignment was set between myself and the client but when the day/time came, they either did a no show or did not contact me any further to discuss/confirm details. As a result I ended up wasting an entire day on something that never materialized, when I could have gotten another gig to replace it. It only took this happening twice for me to realize that I had to take it upon myself to get that almighty confirmation that things were still going to happen according to what was discussed previously.

Here are some examples of when and how to confirm things with clients so that you're not left hanging:
  • Once you've been officially booked for a shoot, fashion show or other related modeling assignment, send a follow up email to your contact person at least 2-3 days BEFORE you're scheduled to work. Keep it short and simply state that you want to confirm the details of the project. Make sure to list the date, time and location in your confirmation email. This is a must because it will help the client identify exactly what project you're talking about. It's also helpful in case any or all of those details have changed and they need to get you the updated information. Be sure to state that you need them to reply back to confirm the information you've sent so that you know they received it.
  •  The reason you should send your confirmation email 2-3 days in advance is because this gives the client enough time to get back to you and prevents you from waiting on pins and needles to find out if you'll even have a gig to show up for the next day. In demand clients juggling multiple projects may not get your message right away, especially if they happen to be traveling. 
  • If you've sent your confirmation email well in advance and still haven't heard from the client, follow up with a text or phone call to find out if they got your message (it's best to have this form of contact information available as well and not just an email address).
  •  Want to make sure your confirmation email gets taken seriously? In your message be sure to state in a professional way that if you do not receive a response from them confirming the details within at least 24-48 hours of the intended shoot date, then you will assume things have changed and will not plan on showing up. This may sound bad to say to a client but it is business situation and if they're legit, they'll understand what you're trying to say and not take it personally. It's important to also phrase this the right way. If it helps, mention something about having experienced no calls/no shows from clients before and that the confirmation reply from them is just a way to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Putting things into perspective for the client will help them to understand why you would consider not showing up if they don't respond back to you.

Answering a Reader Question #247

Laura Wrote:

Hello! I'm 18 years old and live in Calgary Alberta Canada. I've been scouted twice by a small agency in my hometown called numa models, and scouted 3 or 4 times by mode models. However I haven't really done anything to pursue a career in modeling even though I would love to. I know Heather Marks is signed with mode models, as well as Simon Nessman. Do you think this modeling agency could be considered a 'top' agency?

Thank you :)

Hi, Laura! The fact that Mode currently represents two top models like Heather and Simon is a good sign that they are a "top" agency. What helps define an agency's credibility and rep includes the caliber of the models they have on their roster, whether or not they represent any top and in demand models and the names of the clients they've worked with. If they also operate in a Mother Agency role for placing their models internationally, that is also a good sign that they know what they're doing. If you've been scouted by Mode, definitely take that first step and proceed with getting an interview with them to see if they would indeed like to offer you a contract.

Getting a modeling career off the ground will only happen if you take action. :-)

Good luck to you!!!

Answering a Reader Question #246

Evan Wrote:

Hi! I am 18 and i wanted to know if i had a chance to become a VS model! i have always loved watching the fashion shows and every time i have watched them i always want to be a VS model! i have also always like watching americas next top model! I have never modeled before though so i have no experience! i am also 5'6 and I am athletic and play sports so i am in good shape and skinny. But, i have always had somewhat big thighs does that matter!? and i dont really know my measurements either. i have brown hair, brown eyes, and im just an american girl, and i have tan skin! I have been told by many people that i am gorgeous and i could model if i wanted to but i never really believed them. but now i would like to model! do you think i have any chance of being able to be a VS model!?

Hello, Evan! Unfortunately, at 5'6" you are currently too short to be considered for VS modeling. The height requirement for that type of modeling is the same as traditional high fashion and runway, which is between 5'8"-6'0". So unless you end up growing to at least 5'8" VS won't be an option for you. :-(

However, if you're still interested in modeling, I would recommend pursuing commercial/print, which is what you're the ideal height for, according to the industry standards. It is important to know your measurements (bust, waist and hips in inches). The best way to do this is to go to a seamstress and have your measurements taken. Once you know those numbers, memorize them because that's the main information all agencies will ask for in addition to your height and age, among other things.

Answering a Reader Question #245

Anonymous Wrote:

Is it possible to be a VS model even if you have stretch marks? 

Hi, Anonymous! It's not easy to answer that question as a straight "yes" or "no" simply because there are different factors that could play into whether this could be possible or not. For example, if the stretch marks are only minimal and easy to cover with body makeup or if it is in an area that can be concealed with the clothing/lingerie, then chances are it should be okay. But if the stretch marks are extensive and contrast very obviously against your natural skin color then chances are it wouldn't make you as much of a candidate for VS modeling.

Since you have to be an agency represented model in New York to even be considered for VS, you'd first have to be accepted by the agency with your stretch marks. If you end up getting signed with your stretch marks as they currently are, that is a good sign that VS would be able to work around them, should the agency submit you for that type of work.

Meet the MUA: Sophia Musto - The Arist Behind Dania Denise's Look

I always believe in keeping good company around me. Over the years I've been fortunate enough to have some of my best friends also in the entertainment industry...from makeup artists and hairstylists to photographers, we've all stayed very close since our school days and frequently hire each other for various projects--not to mention plug their name and services for networking purposes. It's all about spreading the word!

Professional makeup artist, Sophia Musto, is one such BFF of mine who I've known since high school. I have a handful of MUAs (remember, that's short for "makeup artist") that I keep on hand for my shoots if needed and Sophia is my main go-to-gal for all my beauty needs. She spent years working for MAC and has recently left them to strike it out on her own.

I recently brought her on to a project that I was helping to direct but wasn't a model for, which was the T.I.L. Darling 2011 Model Search. I knew I wanted to provide our winner, Sarah, with the best of the best so I hired Sophia to take care of the makeup.

To make the model search more interesting, myself and the owner of T.I.L. Darling decided to capture everything on video, from the casting to finding our winner and me working with her to prepare her for the shoot showcasing the latest fashions from the company. As part of the video process, Sophia was also featured in her own video segment, which you can check out below. 
(The webisode series covering the entire model search will be on YouTube soon as all the video footage has been edited...oh, and ignore the fact that the videographer misspelled her name as Sophie lol...gotta let him know to fix that!):

Even though Sophia is one of my dearest friends, I would not promote her services if I didn't feel her work was up to par. Hands down, she's one of my favorite people to work with on-set...she's professional, dependable and will get you results you'll love! If you're in California and need a quality MUA, I highly recommend her. In addition to providing makeup services for modeling and acting projects, Sophia is also a skilled and trained wedding makeup artist.

Here is Sophia's business card, which has her contact information on it and below are some random modeling shots where Sophia was my MUA:
Sophia is also a trained esthetician.
Sophia did this look for me for a boudoir shoot.
I was so excited to have Sophia be my MUA for one of the bridal shows I was doing.

This was the first shoot I brought Sophia on as my MUA for (swimwear shoot).

Monday, November 28, 2011

Makeup Tools and Tips for Applying Foundation (For Combination Skin Types)

This post is for both freelance and agency represented models. Whether you're attending a go-see, shoot or fashion show, there may be instances where a professional MUA (that's industry shorthand for "makeup artist") won't be available. I highly recommend that ALL models learn how to do their own makeup--it will come in handy and save you a lot of hassle!

When it comes to beauty and makeup tips, I always stress that the information shared--either on this blog or elsewhere--is designated for certain skin types. No two people have exactly the same skin so always use caution when trying new products or beauty regimens/suggestions.

For those of you that don't already know, my skin type is combination (dry cheeks and oily T-zone, which describes the forehead, nose and chin area) with ezcema and slight discoloration/hyperpigmentation on my upper lip. Yeah, I've got a lot going on with my complexion lol.

In my time modeling, I've definitely had to learn how to be a makeup whiz on my own. What I've noticed--and I'm sure many of you have as well--is that my complexion changes throughout the year. Not only has this led me to switch up my products and/or skin care regimen as needed, I've also had to do the same with the way I apply my makeup, namely my foundation and concealer. I currently use liquid formulas for both and have had no problems. However, I've realized that the tool I use to apply the foundation and concealer with often makes a huge difference in how my overall complexion looks.

Below are my personal experiences with using certain tools to apply foundation and/or concealer with. Unfortunately, I can only speak about my skin type and using liquid foundation since I don't use any other kind of formula so I apologize in advance to those of you who won't find this information relevant to your situation):

The Tool: Rounded Foundation Brush - This is the tool that looks like a paintbrush and comes in different sizes/bristle widths. It's great for applying liquid foundation in a way that's easy, even for newbies. Using a rounded foundation brush is just like painting on a canvas, except the canvas is your face. :-)

My Results: I really like my rounded foundation brush but I've realized the brush isn't very good for putting my concealer on, especially in the area under my eyes and on problem pimples. It looked like the fine lines were enhanced and the areas where my breakouts were didn't seem to have the coverage I wanted.

The Tool: Sponge - The ones with corners/edges, which are known as "wedges," are ideal for getting foundation color into the nooks and crannies of the face like the sides of the nose and the upper lip. Plus, they're good at absorbing excess color in case you're a bit heavy handed with the amount of liquid foundation or concealer you've applied. I highly recommend buying reusable sponges, which can be washed and used more than once.

My Results: My makeup sponge has been the answer to my problem with applying concealer to my under eye area and small breakouts. The color appeared smoother and easier to blend.

The Tool: Your Fingertips - I personally don't like using my fingertips for applying foundation or concealer. The only times I've resorted to this was when I didn't have any other tools around. Although using your fingertips comes in handy when applying color to small areas on the face, I can't help but be concerned about the oils from my fingers coming into contact with my complexion. This can trigger a breakout, depending on how my skin is behaving that day.

My Results: I've never had bad results when using my fingertips to apply foundation or concealer in terms of how it appears--aside from completely having to wash my hands afterwards but like I said above, I know my skin and I'd rather not use my fingertips unless I have to.

Answering a Reader Question #244

Kbrie Wrote:

I am 16 years old 5'7 115 pounds and have a c/d cup . DoI have a body that would work? I have always loved being in front of the camera and I was wondering how I would go about pursuing this. Victoria secret modeling has always been my dream . Any tips? 

Hi, Kbrie! Unfortunately, I would need your exact measurements (bust, waist and hips) in order to know whether or not your body type would be ideal for VS modeling. Since you have to be at least 18 for this kind of modeling, you still have a few years ahead of you but you're one inch shy of the minimum height requirement, which is 5'8". Exceptions are only made if a model has a spectacular look but this doesn't happen all the time. You also have to live and be an agency represented, working model in New York City, which is known for being the toughest market in the country for models.

You are the ideal height for commercial/print. My best piece of advice would be to seek out modeling agencies within a 2 hour's drive from where you live that represent commercial/print and teen models. The agency websites will list all of the information you'll need to know in order to pursue a modeling career. If you need help finding local, legit agencies near you, I'll need to know the city and state you live in but not your exact mailing address. This info can be posted as a comment here or by emailing me at: daniadenise@gmail.com.

Answering a Reader Question #243

Anonymous Wrote:

Should married female models be careful when working with male photographers, models, or even clients, especially if they are single and might tempt them to cheat on their husbands? I know some married female models whose husbands caught them cheating with either male photographers, models, or clients, especially through websites like Model Mayhem, Craigslist, or any model/talent social networking site. In addition to that, these female models' husbands divorced them and got custody of their children. I know male models who are married are able to resist such temptation, especially when working with female photgraphers, models, or clients, even when are sketchy, including married ones. But for married female models, it's a lot harder to resist temptation to cheat on their husbands when they are working with male photographers, models, or clients because they easily too close and persistent when a female model is married, even if she keeps saying no to having extramarital affairs with them or keeps ignoring them. Is it possible to continue modeling as a married female model? 

It is possible to continue modeling as a married female model. I know and have worked with models who are not only married but have children and haven't dealt with such issues. Also think about the supermodels that are married with families who probably get hit on or tempted from all types of people. They still manage to retain their careers and carry themselves professionally. These things do happen in the industry but not to the point where it has become a widespread concern. It's on an individual case-by-case basis and is not the norm.

Models (male or female) that are married and finding themselves in these types of inappropriate situations should stick to their guns and reject such advancements/approaches. If it costs them the gig/job, then so be it. No model should ever allow someone to take them out of their comfort zone and/or violate them physically, emotionally, etc.

This is why I strongly suggest that models obtain agency representation. The caliber of clients agencies deal with are 99.9% of the time legit, reputable and will not stoop to such bad behavior. The odds of such circumstances occurring are higher for freelance models. However, as long as models do their homework on the people they plan on working with and make it clear that they will only tolerate professional behavior, the bad eggs will be weeded out. If a client, photographer, etc. is showcasing such bad behavior, distance yourself from that individual and ignore all correspondence. Move on and eventually so will they. Of course in extreme cases of physical/sexual harassment, the incident should be reported to police immediately.

Temptation of this kind is present in ANY job--not just modeling. For those that fall in to temptation, they should be mature enough to realize the consequences of the decisions they make and be ready to accept them.

Answering a Reader Question #242

Erica Wrote:

Hey! I'm Erica!
i wanted to know if i had a chance to be a VS model, im 15 and around 1.70 m, weigh 53kg and i have an exotic look.
What can i do? i don't live in the US but I'm going to visit in a bit. Maybe ill check out some agencies, how can i get their attention? and also what are some good tips?
Thank you :)) 

Hi, Erica! Unfortunately, you are shorter than the minimum height requirement for VS modeling and too young as well. VS models must be least 18 years of age so you'd have to wait a while even if you were the height they wanted. VS requires potential models to be the same height range that traditional high fashion and runway models are, which is 1.73 m (minimum) but your weight is ideal so you don't have to worry about that.

You are allowed to send in your photos to modeling agencies in the USA by email, submitting your pictures through their website or by attending an open casting call. If an agency is interested in you, they'll invite you for an interview. However, if you're overseas in your home country, you'll have to pay the costs related to airfare, hotel, etc. The agencies will not cover these expenses.

Although VS is not a possibility for you at this time, that doesn't mean you can't still pursue modeling in your own country. There are many legit and reputable agencies in countries all over the world. At your height, you are ideal for commercial/print modeling and teen modeling because of your age, so it is important to look up the websites of agencies within 2 hours from where you live that have one or both types of modeling divisions. See what their specific requirements are and what types of photos and information they want.

Some tips:

- Only submit yourself for agencies whose requirements you meet. Period.

- Visit all the agency websites you come across and find out what types of pictures each one wants and THEN go about preparing your images. For example, you don't need professional pictures or a portfolio established if you're a new/inexperienced model. 9 times out of 10, many agency websites state clearly that they prefer non-professional, digital snapshots from new models. Follow each agency's instructions for submission carefully because they don't all want the same thing.

- Attending open calls (if the agency has them) is better than sending your images by mail or email because it puts you in front of the agency staff face-to-face. This gives them the chance to know your personality and not just by looking at a photo.

- In your non-professional, digital snapshots you should not wear makeup. Be all natural, including your hair, which should be pulled away from your face.

- Only include the materials each agency asks for...no more, no less. Not following the rules will get your submission thrown away or deleted from their email inbox.

- Since you are underage, you will need to have a parent/guardian present with you at all times, including going to an open call, modeling agency interview, photoshoots, etc. That is the law in the USA, not sure about other countries' policies.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #241

Ashley Wrote:

this blog is so helpful to me thank you so much!! i have one question though- i know you probably get alot of these so sorry about that but i'm 16 years old and 5'6, 105 pounds and my measurements are about 32-23-33. am i to short to model? i often get people asking me if i model but i don't want to go in to it if i am to short to get anywhere. i mean Kate Moss was 5'7 but then again she is crazy talented!!! Also i have one more quick question- do you have any suggestions about the best agencies out there that represent commercial or print models?? i sort of live in the middle of nowhere so there are really no agencies close to me... anyways thankyou!!!

Hey there, Ashley! You're very welcome...thank you for being a reader, I greatly appreciate you!!! No apologies needed for asking questions--it all serves the same purpose of educating others like my regular posts do so thanks for sharing your questions!

You are NOT too short to model--you're just too short to do fashion, runway and editorial modeling according to agency standards. Your weight and measurements are stellar so no worries there. That being said, you'll want to check out agencies that have commercial/print and even teen modeling divisions since you are 16. I would love to give you names of possible agencies to research but I need to know the city and state where you live (not your mailing address though). Even though you live in the "middle of nowhere" maybe I can get lucky and find at least one or two agencies near you. So go ahead and comment back on this post (or email me: daniadenise@gmail.com) and let me know your city/state of residence and I'll see what I can do. :-)

Ashley Also Wrote:

i would really love a post on fitness!!! (especially how to get that nice line down the middle of your stomach! as hard as i try it ends up an awkward one pack...)

Hi, again! I will make sure to add that fitness topic to my list of posts to write and promise I will cover that subject in the very near future. In case you haven't already, you can read a post I did about fitness modeling, which may be of some interest to you:

Spots & Fitness Modeling

To answer your immediate question about the line down the middle of your stomach, below is info that I found in my research that you may want to try out, which has to do with further developing the muscles in your stomach:

A good ab exercise is lying flat on your back, arms by your side and raising both feet together 2 inches off the ground. Raise them to about 6 inches off the ground and then back to 2. This will help build up the muscle.

To get that toned 'line', sit-ups are where you want to go. 10 normal sit-ups (keeping the knees bent and feet flat on the ground) followed by ten sit-up twists, i.e. instead of just sitting up, you sit up and twist your body. A good way to do it is to touch your left elbow off your right knee and then the right elbow off your left knee. Repeat this circuit a few times.

Body type has a lot to do with it as well...some girls/women easily develop that line, while others simply can't get it no matter how many exercises they do. Hope that helps and be on the lookout for a modeling-related fitness post soon!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wow, 2011 Has Been the Year of Modeling 101 Blog Posts!!!

Sorry for being such a spaz right now but I was just looking at my blog post numbers and, boy, have I been kicking butt this year! Back when Modeling 101 - A Model's Diary started in 2007, I did a total of 147 posts that first year. For 2011, it's not even the end of the year officially and I'm already up to 230+ total posts. Of course the bulk of those are due to the flood of posts in my "Answering a Reader Question Series." But I'm not complaining! Like I said before, while I like to have more regular posts than reader question ones, I do recognize that answering these questions does contribute to informing and educating other readers about the modeling industry, in addition to helping the person that posted the questions originally.

You will be happy to know that I have been keeping a list of the regular blog posts I plan on doing and so far there's about 16-17 topics I've jotted down...and I continue to add more to that list when ideas pop into my head. Rest assured, there's plenty more information, resources and advice that I am so eager to share with my readers! If I've got this much momentum to devote to my blog for 2011, imagine how many posts you'll all get to enjoy for 2012!

Answering a Reader Question #240

Caroline Wrote:

That is great, thank you so much! And I, like you, live in the Bay Area. I am close enough to San Francisco that I could definitely get there in under an hour, but if you know of any other agencies around San Francisco that'd be great too. Thank you for the help!!

Hi, Caroline...you're very welcome! Yay, another local blog reader that's close to me! :-) I totally need to do a Bay Area meet and greet soon! Okay, so now that I know that info, below are modeling agencies that have commercial/print/lifestyle divisions. Remember, visit the websites for each agency in order to see what their guidelines for submission are. Unlike other markets, not all San Francisco Bay Area agencies have open casting calls.

Boom Models & Talent

Look Model Agency

JE Model
(The box for the requirements for commercial/print models isn't working on the site so you'll have to call/email them to inquire how you can submit yourself for that division...because it isn't available on their site it's okay to contact them for this)

Scout Model and Talent Management

Stars Model Management
(You'll have to snail mail your submission along with a headshot and cover letter. Make sure to state in your cover letter that you want to be represented for commercial/print)

Halvorson Model Managment (San Jose, CA)

Reasons a Modeling Agency May Tell You "No, Thanks"

No one can read an agency's mind--not even me--and this can be frustrating to newbies submitting themselves but not getting the results they want. While each person's experience is unique, there are some common reasons why agencies may tell a model that they are not interested. I felt it would be somewhat helpful to list those reasons here. I'm sure there are some that aren't on this list but this is basically the gist of it, based on my knowledge and experience in the modeling industry:

  • You don't have the right look they want: This could mean a number of things but mainly deals with your physical appearance (facial features, body type, hair type/style, etc).
  • Your look isn't "in" right now: Clients hire models with the looks that fit the trends that are currently selling within the industry--remember, models are needed to "sell" things like clothing, products, accessories, etc. However, the "in" look always changes throughout the year so if your look isn't what's hot now, it could be 6 months or a year from now. For example, pale skin and green eyes may be all the rage early in the year but months later, dark skinned, exotic faces may be the next "in" look.
  • They already have someone with your look: This doesn't mean you have a twin but that the agency already has one or more people with the same measurements and stats as you. For example, I was told this by an agent because they had just signed a model who had the same complexion/skin tone as me, hair type and measurements BUT she was also a few inches taller so she could do both print work and fashion. It was a business decision because the agency knew the taller version of me could get booked for more work since she could go back and forth between print and fashion, while I would have only been qualified for print work.
  • Things are slow in the industry: Believe it or not, the modeling industry doesn't go strong all the time. When the economy is in the dumps, the agencies are affected as well. It doesn't make sense for an agency to bring on new models when they're already having trouble finding steady work for the models they currently represent.
  • It's off season: I've heard this from one or two models who were seeking representation. There are some months during the year where there is constant demand from clients for models and other months where there simply isn't a huge rush of bookings that need to be filled. Even the retail industry has its slow days and when this happens, like the reason above this one, agencies won't sign anybody until there is enough work to go around.
Will agencies tell you these reasons to your face or via email? Probably not in most cases. If an agency isn't interested in representing you, you'll simply never hear from them (there are too many applicants for any agency to respond to each and every one). However, there are instances where models are given a reason. The factors on the list above do not cover the situations where agencies tell models to come back at a later time (such as when a model has braces or is told to lose some weight).

Reality Check: Getting a Modeling Agent Doesn't Guarantee Success

I wanted to speak on this topic because I realize that many model hopefuls believe that once they get a contract, everything is smooth sailing from there and that they'll instantly begin booking work. This post is not meant to discourage anyone--it is meant to inform, educate and prepare newbies for what to expect when it comes to signing with a modeling agency. If you know the reality beforehand this will reduce the culture shock and make going through this experience much easier to handle.

It is vital to know that NO modeling agency can guarantee or promise the models it represents that they will book work or become a supermodel. In fact it is illegal for agencies in the USA (not sure about other countries) to tell models that they can get them work and that they'll be super successful by signing with them. It's just not possible to promise that to anybody.

When you sign with an agency, yes, you're way ahead of the game and your chances of pursuing a modeling career increase dramatically. This is because you have professionals supporting you that have the networking connections and reputations to market you aggressively and give you as much exposure as possible. But when it comes to being successful and making money in a modeling career through agency representation, it is strictly a case-by-case basis.

Agencies have a lot of power and know-how but they don't have all the answers, nor can they force clients to hire who they want. It is their job to find models castings and help them book gigs that will establish their careers and portfolios but it is the model him/herself that is responsible for "wowing" the client enough to be hired. Sometimes there are cases where a model has a great look and all the potential in the world but for whatever reason, he/she may not get hired for anything, even though they have an agent. It's just a reality that happens.

When this occurs, it shouldn't turn into the blame game. It's easy for models to blame everything on their agent for not doing this, that or the other. However, it is important for models to also evaluate themselves and see if there is anything they are doing (or not doing) that could also be the issue. Most times, the answers are not clear and no one can explain why some models with agencies do better than others. Things happen that are out of most people's control. Clients are super picky, play favorites or prejudge a model soon as he/she walks through the door. There is nothing anyone can do about that--even the agencies, aside from maybe choosing to not submit their models to that particular client anymore.

When you're offered a modeling contract, look at it is a business agreement (because it is) and as such, it's something that you have to understand takes two people to make work. The agency does the bulk of the work for you but you also have to deliver to the best of your ability. If you're not putting your best foot forward or are expecting the agency to have superpowers and make you famous, you'll be sorely disappointed. Be realistic about your agency's abilities and work with them to find out where your niche is and what kind of work you'd be perfect to submit for.

I think it's unfair when models want to get out of their contract or badmouth their agent when they aren't booked work instantly. Signing with an agency on a Monday doesn't mean you'll starting appearing in magazines, fashion shows and making thousands of dollars by Friday. It just doesn't work that way. It is vital that newly signed models give their agents enough time to develop their careers and market them as needed.

In fact, many modeling contracts have a clause that states that if the model is not happy with the quality of the agency's work within 4 months, they're allowed to terminate their contract and seek new representation elsewhere. I recommend giving a new agent between 4-6 months as a trial run. Instant results are not a reality in the modeling industry and keep in mind that the economy does play a huge part in the process.

When the economy is unstable, people are not confident about hiring for projects or the opportunities available become limited. This restrains agencies greatly because they have more models than assignments available. So before giving your new agent a thumbs down for performance, step outside of your bubble and take everything into perspective--including yourself--in order to see why things aren't panning out for your career the way you had hoped.

If it's been 4-6 months and you haven't booked a gig or have gotten work but haven't gotten paid in a timely manner or are having other issues with your agency, then it is safe to say that you should probably seek a new agency after terminating your contract according to their rules and regulations. But don't go into a modeling contracting thinking that an agency owes you something or that they're your slave. Agencies can make your career but you have to work with them and give them the chance to work their magic. To think and do otherwise simply isn't fair or realistic.

Answering a Reader Question #239

Caroline Wrote:

Hey Dania! I've been an avid follower of your blog for quite some time now and I have question for you: do you think there's potential in someone with 34D-26-36 measurements? I'm 5'9" and have been dreaming of modeling for years, but have always been held back by a) the fact that I'm not skinny enough for most agencies and b) how my family has discouraged it because they are hyper-intellectual. I often get the offhanded "hey do you model?" remarks, and after serious consideration I have decided to look further into it. If you have any piece of advice, or really anything at all to tell me, I cannot express how grateful I would be. And it would be awesome if you knew of any agency that takes girls my size. I understand that I'm not huge, but I'm definitely curvier than many fashion models out there. Thank you so much!!!

Hey, Caroline! That's great that you're interested in seriously pursuing modeling despite the factors you listed that usually held you back before. Your stats definitely don't qualify as plus size but, as you stated, you're not the traditional size for fashion either. You're in the middle. However, you're got the height so that is a good thing. Because I always stress working with what you have instead of what you don't, my best recommendation for you would be to seek out modeling agencies that represent commercial/print models. Although I've said before that this type of modeling is geared for models 5'5"-5'7", the reality is that many agencies and clients these days are bringing on taller models to do this type of work as well. While I'm not super thrilled about that LOL, it does give tall models who aren't a ridiculously small size the opportunity to see if they can break into the industry that way--and I'm all for that.

Commercial/print gigs won't get you on a runway or anything but it will give you the chance to appear in catalogs, magazines, websites, product packaging and a score of other related projects. What's also great about being a print model is that as long as you are proportional and have a healthy appearance, the agencies won't be super strict about your measurements. I would love to suggest modeling agencies for you but I would need to know the city and state you live in (it is rule of thumb to submit to agencies that are no farther than a 2 hour's drive from where you live). You can either give me that info by commenting on this post or by emailing me at: daniadenise@gmail.com.

Hope that helps!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #238

Kat Wrote:

Thank you so much Dania I really appreciate you answering my question especially because of the holiday. I'm curious though what do you think makes a pretty smile in a man or a woman. Is a pretty smile genetic or can someone be taught how to smile pretty I'm just wondering. 

Hey, Kat! You're very welcome! The Thanksgiving feast has been consumed and my family is now in lazy mode so I thought I'd indulge my inner workaholic and get online to see what was up. :-)

It's hard to accurately answer what makes a smile ?pretty" in a man or a woman. I think the "stereotypical" definition of a pretty smile is one where the teeth are pearly white, straight and free of things like gaps, snaggletooths, etc. However, in my opinion, I think a person's overall expression and warmth they project through their smile is what really makes for not just a pretty smile but a genuine smile, even if their teeth/smile has a flaw or two. I hope that makes sense? You can tell the difference (most times) when a person's smile is "fake" and when it isn't. I've seen many people's smiling pictures where their smile wasn't "perfect" but for some reason it looked amazing on them. I guess as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I've never thought about pretty smiles being genetic (it probably is) but I think it's definitely possible to be "taught." I've had to teach myself how to do the right kind of smiles that photograph well. I have to do this because not only do I have a naturally crooked smile (my upper lip), I also have big gums--two things I've always been super insecure about. However, being a model and appearing in the spotlight has taught me to use my smile to my advantage and work with what I have instead of hating it 24/7.

It may sound silly but I look at some of my candid/non-modeling pictures where I'm smiling and not consciously trying to control how it looks and those images where my upper lip is slightly crooked are actually some of my favorite shots of myself because my expression is genuine...I'm "in the moment" and the camera captured that without me trying to "fix" what I felt was wrong.

Feeling comfortable in my own skin is truly one of the biggest and most valuable lessons I've learned in my career and it is something that I know you will also come to learn and value as you continue to pursue modeling.

Answering a Reader Question #237

Tu Linh Wrote:

Hi Dania, my name is Tu Linh. I have a lot of things to ask you.
I'm Asian and do you think i can be a supermodel? I don't want to make fake noses though :-(.
I'm 9 and about to turn 10.
I don't think that modeling classes are in my country but what does exactly a modeling class does? Like Alessandra, she took modeling classes and...you can read it on Wikipedia.

...say that she took modeling class, and did she sign or what to start modeling for Dilston Stein? And how did she really end up at Victoria's Secret? Like you said which is the best agency? And after being signed ,they just take us to do photo shoot or what? Please answer, PLEASE!!!If at the age of 12-13 can I be signed , then when i get older can i change to Victoria's? They said that Candice was spotted when she was 15, but she just walk and took photos and then changed to Victoria's? How did she change to Victoria's Secret?And how did she became an angel then? Did she said to the agency to change or what? PLEASE ANSWER. And give me your email please I'd love to ask more about it. 

Hi, Tu Linh! I removed the middle part you pasted about Alessandra's modeling career, which you got from Wikipedia because it would have made this post very long and probably confusing for people to read. Plus, it also helps me focus on answering your questions. :-) Since you have a lot of questions in this post, I'll break them up by restating the question below, followed by the answer:

I'm Asian and do you think i can be a supermodel? I don't want to make fake noses though :-(.
I'm 9 and about to turn 10.

I personally could not tell you if you could be a supermodel because for one thing you are only 9--you have so much time to grow and develop physically. Not even a modeling agency could tell whether you'd be supermodel material at so young an age. I will say that if you can manage to grow to at least 5'8" by the time you hit your teen years, you'll have a shot at being eligible for fashion and runway modeling, which is the first step towards hoping to become a supermodel. Not many Asian women are known for being super tall but if height runs in your family, then you'll have a shot. That being said, if you don't grow to be 5'8" then sadly, supermodel status won't be possible for you, according to the modeling industry's standards as they currently are. And, no, you do not have to get a fake nose if that is not what you want. :-)

I don't think that modeling classes are in my country but what does exactly a modeling class does?

Modeling classes are all about teaching you how to pose, work in front of a camera, do the runway walk, beauty and skin care tips and modeling etiquette...things like that.

 ...say that she took modeling class, and did she sign or what to start modeling for Dilston Stein?

Dilson Stein is a model recruiter and when he discovered Alessandra, he more than likely used his influence to market her to agencies to get her signed, as well as use her in his own modeling projects. The details on that working relationship are not really clear so I couldn't tell you for sure exactly how things worked between them during that time.

And how did she really end up at Victoria's Secret?

Alessandra got into VS after being hired as a regular fashion model and walked in one of their shows back in 2000. She was already signed to a few different modeling agencies during this time. Her look and previous modeling career achievements undoubtedly caught the eye of the right people at VS, which is why she ultimately ended up becoming one of the faces of the company.

Like you said which is the best agency?

The best agencies for those hoping to become VS models are Elite and Ford out of the New York market. The next choices are any of the top fashion modeling agencies in the New York area. VS only recruits models that are working in New York so unless you're located there and/or work out of that market regularly, the chances of being considered by VS are extremely low.

And after being signed ,they just take us to do photo shoot or what?

After a model gets signed to an agency, they help set up her test shoot, which will give them the photos needed to put together a modeling portfolio, comp/zed card and headshot. These are the materials agencies use to market their models and get them exposure. They then send the model on casting calls and go-sees, which are a model's way of auditioning in order to book paying work.

 If at the age of 12-13 can I be signed , then when i get older can i change to Victoria's?

You don't "change" to Victoria's Secret. They are a company, not an agency. They hire models out of agencies for their projects. If you get signed at age 12-13, having a career started that young will work in your favor. However, for VS, you'd need to have Elite, Ford or another top fashion agency represent you in New York in order to be considered for VS. Since you said you are living in another country, you'd have to come to the USA (New York specifically).

They said that Candice was spotted when she was 15, but she just walk and took photos and then changed to Victoria's? How did she change to Victoria's Secret?And how did she became an angel then? Did she said to the agency to change or what?

As I stated above, Victoria's Secret "chooses/hires" models from agencies...they are not an agency themselves. Candice is a model who managed to get the attention of the people that recruit for Victoria's Secret. They then chose her as one of their models. She did not "change" to VS, they hired her to model for their shoots, catalogs and shows. Candice became an Angel by working her way up as a model in VS's projects. All VS models start off as regular company models and the ones that do really well are then "promoted" to Angel status. It's something that takes time and hard work to do to receive this type of recognition/title.

And give me your email please I'd love to ask more about it. 

Sure! You can email me at: daniadenise@gmail.com

Tu Linh Also Wrote:

And do i have to call the agency and come there to sign or, i really don't understand this. Or do i have to go on their website to post the picture of me and do you know the number?

The best way to submit to agencies is to visit their websites and follow the instructions. Some want you to post/upload your photos through their website, while others want you to email the pictures or put them in the regular mail. Others have open casting calls where you can go in person without an appointment. Each agency has their own rules so you have to follow what each one tells you. You can submit to as many as you want. Calling them is not a good idea because they are very busy so don't worry about their phone numbers. Look up the websites instead and go from there.

Answering a Reader Question #236

Kat Wrote:

hey Dania i was wondering would you be willing to look at my amateur online portfolio and could you give me advise on what to improve for my pictures and my overall look that would be greatly appreciated.

Hey, Kat! For your privacy I removed the links you included with your comment here, although they were published when I accepted your comment on the post you put it on (I can't edit anyone's comments on there).

In terms of ways you can improve your pictures, I would recommend choosing outfits that flatter your skin tone and figure. Since you have a darker complexion you want to stay away from colors like reds, yellows and oranges. Pastel colors in blues, greens and shades like heather gray will be more flattering to your complexion. You also want to make sure that you use powder to take care of "hot spots" on your face, which is industry lingo for shine. A shiny complexion never photographs well. So always keep that powder handy...not only does it take care of shine, it also creates a more uniform/even skin tone.

You look great with a smile! Commercial/print models are all about expressions so use that to your advantage. The photos with you smiling naturally are your best shots. It's also good to practice your full body posing more. Aside from your snapshots where you aren't posing (which is good because you aren't supposed to for those types of pictures), your other images are posed in ways that don't really showcase your figure in the best way. Definitely make sure to practice posing in the mirror so that you can see for yourself which poses work for your body type and which ones don't. Not all models can pull off the same poses, especially if they aren't built the same way physically. To take your portfolio up a notch, you may want to look into doing a test shoot with a professional photographer who can give you the right quality and setup that will produce the best images.

I hope that helps!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #235

Alexis Wrote:

Hey, I was just wondering, once you realize that you want to be a model, what's the first thing you do? How should I start?

Hi, Alexis! Once you've been bitten by the modeling bug, the first thing you need to do is find out what type of modeling you are eligible for. This is mainly determined by your height and measurements. After knowing the category of modeling you fit into, the next step is to find a legit modeling agency that will help market you and book you modeling assignments. It's best to search online for the websites of modeling agencies within no farther than a 2 hour's drive from where you live.

Check out the following links, which will help point you in the right direction:

Where Do You Start?

The Different Types of Modeling

Answering a Reader Question #234

Jennifer Wrote:

Hi Dania! My name is Jennifer and I'm 12. I have a quick questions, why do boys find it odd that a girl has a 6 pack? I have a baby one and its progressing everyday because of how much exercise i get. Any tips?

Hi, Jennifer! In general, men are known for having 6 packs instead of women. For the boys your age, it definitely is not a common thing they are used to seeing, which is why they think it may be "odd." But just because you have a small one doesn't make you odd at all and you shouldn't become self conscious about it, either. If it is because of the exercise you're doing, that is fine--it's just a sign that you're in great physical shape and are perfectly normal! :-)

Addressing a Reader Comment #6

Taylor Wrote:

I have braces and went to a agency and they told me to come back when I get them off. But I really want to start my modeling career like now! 

Hi, Taylor! I wanted to address your comment on my blog post about modeling with braces because I can definitely hear the eagerness in your words. I know it sucks to have to wait around for your braces to come off but I will say to keep the following in mind:

- The agency asked you to come back...that means they are interested in you and that is a huge plus. They simply could have said "no" and that would be the end of that.

- Even though they told you to come back after your braces are off, at least you know you'll have something to look forward to.

- You have the option of submitting to other agencies to see if they have the same feedback or if there's one that would be willing to sign you with your braces (not common but it does happen).

If you're just so eager to model that you can't concentrate, the next best thing you can do would be to set up test shoots with professional photographers in your area so that you can do a photoshoot just for fun to get your feet wet. You'll need a parent/guardian with you at all times if you're under 18 years of age in the United States so keep that in mind.

Having agency representation is where you'll really get into the nitty gritty of modeling but if the agencies you talk to tell you to wait until your braces are off, your best bet is to listen to their professional opinion. Use this "downtime" while you have your braces to do continue doing research about the modeling industry. The more you know, the better prepared you'll be by the time you're braces are off and you're ready to head back to that agency.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #233

Katherine Wrote:

Hi Dania I have a question about snap shots to send to agencies. I was told by an agency to send pics in but to not smile in my pics my first question is why would they ask that. Why would they want a pic with out a smile and my second question is how do i take good pics with out smiling but i don't want to look mean or hard so can you clear this up for me how do i relax my face and still look nice and can you mention tips on how to take a good Polaroid please. 

Hey, Katherine! Each agency has its own reasons for asking for different types of photos. When it comes to snapshots in general, they want to see how photogenic you are in various expressions. Many people automatically smile in photos but many models do poses and expressions that don't involve smiling but instead have a more serious, closed-mouth look. So they want to get an idea of how well you photograph in as natural of a state as possible and how you look doing such an expression.

Feeling comfortable with seeing pictures of yourself not smiling is going to take some getting used to. However, instead of focusing on nitpicking how you will look in the photo, the important thing to keep in mind is that what you may think looks "mean" or "hard" may look perfectly fine to the agencies--remember they have a trained eye and look for certain things in models' snapshots that the average Joe or Jane wouldn't even think about, including yourself.

The best way to produce a good snapshot of yourself not smiling is to practice in the mirror. Try any or all of the following:

- Stand in front of the mirror and smile naturally. In your head count to 3 then close your mouth so that you aren't smiling.

- Stand in front of the mirror and don't smile, keeping your lips closed. Very softly blow through your mouth so that your lips part very, very slightly. This will give you a bit of a natural pout but not in a sad way...it also qualifies as a non-smile as long as your lips aren't parted too much.

- Study photos online of models who aren't smiling in their pictures and use them as reference when posing in the mirror.

You don't want to beat yourself up or over analyze this, however. Psyching yourself out will only make you frustrated, which will show up in the pictures. Unfortunately, Polaroids are meant to make people look unflattering--this is why agencies use them to judge a model's potential...any guy or gal who can pull off looking decent in a Polaroid is truly photogenic. My advice for tackling this is to also practice taking these kinds of pictures at home. Having good, even lighting will also allow you to photograph better. Dim, dark lighting creates shadows, which can emphasize parts of your face in a bad way. It is best to have a friend take your Polaroids for you so that you can focus on your posing and expression.

If it makes you feel better, many professional models' snapshots where they aren't smiling aren't very flattering. Trust me, even the pros don't look amazing in everything but again, that's not exactly the purpose of those kinds of photos--as I stated above, it is for agencies to see your bone structure, complexion and overall facial appearance in its most natural state possible.

Below are snapshots of a model where she's not smiling:

Hope that helps!

Answering a Reader Question #232

FionaAlanna Wrote:

Hey Dania! I was just wondering if you had any tips for doing free-lance modeling? Like, how would you go about finding jobs or getting your name out there? Thanks for your time! 

Hey, FionaAlanna! I do have tips for modelings interested in freelancing. Here are links to a couple of blog posts I've done about this topic...they should give you more insight into the freelancing:

Freelance Modeling

What Is Freelance Modeling?

The Main Components Freelance Models Need to Market Themselves Successfully

Tips for Being a Successful Freelance Model

Answering a Reader Question #231

Kayla Wrote:

hi diana! my names Kayla, and okay so, i have ALWAYS wanted to be a model ever since i was little..My dream job would be a VS model but i know i am too short for that. i am 16 years old, and im 5'0". how would i get to become a model at all? its not like you see alot of models that are 5 foot.. you know?

Hi, Kayla! At your age and height, you'll have little luck with modeling agencies, unfortunately...unless you happen to find one that has a teen modeling division with a flexible height requirement. So that could be your first option to look into. Other than that, freelance modeling is your next best bet because you act as your own agent and find your own work. It is much more challenging and harder to do, not to mention you'll need at least one parent/guardian present at all times and being the point of contact for anyone you plan on working with since you are underage. Right now those are your two alternatives.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #230

Anonymous Wrote:

Hey Dania! I yesterday got in the WOMEN model agency, and I'll be doing commercials/prints. They said that we'll be doing some professional photos and that I need to bring some clothes to wear. So my question is, what to bring? Thank you in advance :) 

Hi, Anonymous, thanks for the question and a huge congrats on getting signed to WOMEN! While I am greatly flattered that you would ask me about this, my first suggestion would be to ask this question directly to your agent. They won't mind since they are your go-to-people for all things related to your modeling career and will gladly help you out. You'll be better off with following what wardrobe they recommend--after all, they'll be the ones choosing the final images to use in order to market you to clients.

However, I still want to answer your question so that you have both ends of the spectrum or in the event that your agent doesn't have any specific suggestions for you (I doubt that, though). Since you're doing commercial/print, you'll want to consider any/all of these outfits, which are typical for portfolio shoots for this type of modeling:

- Casual Outfit: Nice blouse, jeans and simple heels.
- Casual Dress: Preferably not in a super busy/distracting pattern/design. Sun dresses, sweater dresses and similar styles are ideal. You want something that shows your figure in a flattering way but not something that is super skin tight.
- Sports Related Outfit: This can be yoga pants and a tank-top with tennis shoes, workout shorts and a sports bra or other stylish athletic wear.
- Business Casual Outfit: Slacks and a button up blouse, pencil skirt with a nice blouse or other similar wardrobe. Solid colored bottoms and a solid color or simple design/pattern top are best. Close toed shoes or peep-toe style heels. Avoid strappy, stiletto type heels for business wear.
- Business Professional Outfit: Full on business pants suit or skirt suit with blazer with solid colored shirt. Simple accessories. Closed toed shoes/boots.

I wish you the best of luck in your career and am rooting for you! :-)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Did You Know...? #6

...in almost every photoshoot I've done, I've stuck my tongue out at the photographer while he/she was taking my picture? It's true! The same goes for acting/video shoots (I'll make a goofy face while the crew is busy checking the shot, adjusting the framing, etc.). I'm a total goofball on set and love to make others laugh. Life's too short to be so serious all the time!

Latest Casting: Nike Vision

A little over one week after signing to a new modeling agency, I went to my first casting for Nike Vision Eyewear. If booked, I would be paid $1,000 + 20% (agency commission) for working a full day (10 hours) or $600 + 20% for working a half day (5 hours).

According to my agency's instructions, I was told to dress sporty or hip/street casual. The wardrobe description was a bit vague so my agent sent a few images of Nike Vision's previous ads so I could get a better idea of what to wear. I decided to go with hip/street casual: dark blue skinnies, Converse sneakers that were white, black and pink and a solid colored, maroon tanktop. I was a bit torn between wearing the tanktop and a t-shirt that was the same pink color as my shoes but ultimately I went for the tanktop because the pink t-shirt had a graphic on the front that I thought would be too distracting.

I wore my hair down and curled. Makeup-wise, I kept it natural: concealer, blush, powder, mascara and lip color (MAC tinted lipglass in "Liqueur"). Keep in mind the product being promoted was eyewear so I didn't want to do any fancy eye makeup that would be too overboard. My call-time was 2:10pm and I arrived at the casting studio in San Francisco around 1:45pm. When I got to the front desk I took a sign in sheet and filled it out (name, agency contact info, cell number, availability, etc.). I brought a hard copy of my headshot and resume, which the girl at the front desk stapled together with my sign in sheet. She kept the paperwork and told me I could wait in the room down the hall.

After about 15 minutes I was called in, along with one other female model and one male model. We were given our stapled paperwork, which was numbered (I was #35), and were told to wait in a hallway in front of the actual room where the casting was taking place (the door was closed of course). We were taken in one at a time. There was the photographer and two casting people. I was directed to a white backdrop, which had blue Xs on the floor to show where I was supposed to stand. The two casting people were seated on a couch facing me and were going through my sign in sheet, resume, etc.

The photographer was the only person to interact with me and he gave me instructions for how to pose. He gave me 5 different pairs of Nike Vision eyeglasses to wear. He took smiling headshots, one non-smiling headshot, 3/4 headshots, one frontal full body shot and one back shot. For the back shot, I was told to face away from the camera and on the photographer's cue, I was to turn around and look over my left shoulder candidly as if someone had just called out my name and I was turning to look at them. He didn't want anything that was too "posed." After checking the images in his camera, he said I was good to go. I shook his hand and thanked him for his time and I also thanked the two casting people on the couch, although they were not in a position to shake my hand so I simply waved and went about my merry way.

I feel good about the pictures I took and--to me--that's what's important (I wasn't allowed to see the pictures--never expect to be able to check your picture(s) at castings...it won't happen and definitely don't ask!). I don't know if I'll book the job but it would be super amazing to get that assignment. If not, hey, it's just another day at the office, lol. I've got my fingers crossed but am confident that if Nike Vision doesn't book me for their product shoot, there will be others!

Dania Denise: New Agency FAQ

As you've probably already read on my recent post, "The Latest on Dania Denise - November 2011: New Agency Representation!!!" I've got a new agent and am very excited to see where things go with new representation. I'm sure you've got some questions about this experience to ask me about so I decided to list a few that I felt would more than likely come up (of course if you've got a question that isn't covered here, feel free to ask away!):

Q: How much did you pay to sign with your new agent?
A: Not a dime!

Q: Why didn't you have to pay any money?
A: Scout is a legit agency that does not charge any upfront fees. Because I already have experience and photos, they didn't require me to do test shoots with photographers to build my portfolio.

Q: How did you leave your other agency?
A: I got an email from my agent at the time, saying my contract was up for renewal. They attached the paperwork and asked me to return it to them, signed. I replied back via email and stated that at this time I did not wish to continue receiving representation through them and wanted to terminate my contract. That was all I needed to do. Of course I made sure that I had an offer from another agency in place before I sent that email.

Q: How did your agency react?
A: They replied back via email to say that they were sorry to see me go and that they would miss me but to keep in touch.

Q: Did you have to put together comp/zed cards or new headshots?
A: No. My current headshots were approved by my new agency and in the market I work in, clients don't typically ask for comp/zed cards (headshots are enough) so for now I don't have to deal with that.

Q: What kind of contract do you have?
A: It's an exclusive contract. In general, I don't like exclusive contracts but in my situation it's okay because 1) They only represent me locally for print work, 2) I'm allowed to freelance assignments on my own, as long as I keep them in the loop about it, 3) I'm not a high fashion model so it's highly unlikely that I'll need to seek representation with multiple agencies in other markets/locations/states and travel a lot. Commercial/print models tend to stay local anyway. Additionally, I didn't get offers from other agencies so for now I'm fine with having just one.

Q: How much commission does your agency take?
A: My agent charges a 20% commission. However, they do not deduct their cut from my earnings--they are paid for that separately so I take home the exact amount I'm promised.

Q: Have you gotten any work so far?
A: I only signed a little over a week ago so not yet. I had my first casting, however, which was for Nike.

Q: How did you find your new agent?
A: A model I worked with who was signed with them told me about her experience and how much she liked them so far. So I decided to visit their website to see what they were all about.

Q: How did you submit?
A: I only planned on submitting for representation as an actor so I followed the directions for actor submissions on the website, which was to snail mail a headshot and resume.

Q: What did you wear to the interview?
A: Dark skinnies, black heels and a solid colored, black t-shirt that was form fitting.

Q: How did you do your hair and makeup?
A: I wore my hair down and curled like I normally do on a daily basis. For makeup, I simply wore lip balm, a touch of concealer under my eye area, super light mascara and powder to avoid shine. Nothing else.

Q: Did you have to do a runway walk in your interview?
A: No. I wasn't being considered for fashion or runway so I didn't have to walk.

Q: Did they take your measurements or weigh you?
A: No. Again, I was being considered for print work so that stuff didn't apply. Plus, the bookers could tell that the measurements I provided them with were accurate by looking at me in person.

Q: What questions did they ask you at the interview?
A: They asked how long I'd been modeling, if I had an agent, what my availability was/work situation and if I was willing to travel to LA for modeling and/or acting work.

Q: Did you sign the contract right when they offered it to you?
A: No. They encouraged me to take the paperwork home to review it carefully and decide if I wanted to continue with the process. There was never any pressure to sign the contract right then and there.

The Latest on Dania Denise - November 2011: New Agency Representation!!!

I can't believe it's already the holiday season! 2011 has indeed flown by like the other years before it but for some reason, this year has gone by at lightening speed! As usual, I like to keep my readers updated on the latest "happenings" in my career.

The biggest piece of news I have is that I've got a new modeling agent!!! After 3+ years with my previous agency, I decided I wanted a fresh start. It was definitely nothing personal--I simply felt the itch to have a more aggressive agent behind me who would work with me one-on-one to really find the gigs that fit my look and stats to a tee. Like everyone else, I visited the websites for local modeling agencies in my area and submitted myself to the ones whose requirements I met. I snail mailed 3 submissions and did the rest through email and by filling out electronic forms directly on the agency websites.

After not hearing back from anyone about two months later, I happened to work with a model named Sarah who was signed to an agency in the area that I hadn't heard of yet. She'd just signed with them and had really good things to say. So I decided to check out their website. Scout Management (also known as Scout Model & Talent Agency) are fairly new to the San Francisco Bay Area and as I browsed through their website info, I was happy to see that they represented both models and actors but was saddened to see that they only represented print models 5'7" and taller. Poop. I ended up deciding to submit to them for acting representation and figured I would just continue freelancing my modeling services after parting ways with my agent (my contract was up for renewal but I hadn't sent in the paperwork since I wanted to see if I could find new representation instead of being locked into another few years with the same agency).

I applied to Scout Management by following their instructions (mail an acting headshot and resume) but I also decided to include a cover letter to introduce myself. I kept it to one page and basically expressed my interest in getting representation as an actor...BUT what I also did was mention that I had years of modeling experience but knew they only represented models 5'7" and taller. However, I mentioned that if they were interested in possibly representing me for print work, I'd definitely be on board.

Can you believe the main booker at Scout emailed me less than 2 days later? She said she wanted to meet me in person for possible representation as a print model. Although I was excited, I was also a bit confused. She made no mention of me submitting myself as an actor and they only repped tall models, even for commercial/print. Regardless, I saw it as a good sign so I replied back right away and we confirmed a date and time for me to come into the office.

The following week I was at the office for Scout Management, where I met with Lauren, one of the main bookers. I brought along another hard copy of my headshot and resume, as well as my portfolio. Lauren was really sweet and we sat down in the lobby as she looked through my book (industry slang for portfolio). We talked briefly about the print work market in the area and I told her how surprised I was that she was interested in me for commercial/print despite the fact that I was 5'5". She told me that my look was good and I clearly had plenty of experience, including tearsheets so she felt that it would be worth representing me, especially since she said they have clients who don't have specific height requirements for some of their print assignments.

After a few moments she stood up and invited me into the back office to go over paperwork. It was a delayed reaction but I realized that Scout wanted to offer me a contract right on the spot! Needless to say, I was very excited. I sat down with Lauren and was introduced to one of the other bookers. They asked about my current agent and I explained that my contract was up for renewal but that I hadn't turned any signed paperwork in yet. All I had to do was email my current agent and let her know I wouldn't be continuing with her representation so I was good to go! Lauren gave me a folder containing the contract and additional simple paperwork for me to take home and review. She did not pressure me to sign anything right there. In regards to my acting career, they actually have their representation for that at their Los Angeles office so it was decided that for now I'd be under contract with them for print work but I registered myself on a few of the Los Angeles casting websites, listing Scout as my agent. Should I be considered for any acting work in the LA area, I'd be allowed to submit and my agent's LA office would handle the negotiations, paperwork, etc. It sounded like a sweet deal to me!

I officially signed to Scout Management a little over a week ago and went to my first casting today, which was for Nike Vision Eyewear. I did really good at the casting but we'll see if my performance was good enough to get the gig! Lauren has been wonderful so far and is super aggressive at finding castings for me that not only fit my look but that are high paying as well. Unlike my previous agent, Scout has only been submitting me for work offering pay rates $1000 or higher. Now that's what I'm talking about!

While no agency can guarantee work for a model, I am nonetheless very happy to be on Scout's roster. I'm eager to see what work I am able to book through them and continuing to build my working relationship with them. Perhaps the greatest thing I've come away from this situation with is the fact that my previous experience, resume and portfolio were good enough to get me represented with an agency that doesn't normally sign models of my height. Believe me, it wasn't a cakewalk getting to this point, nor did I ever believe that I'd find an agent willing to make such a height exception (it may be "only" 2 inches but in the modeling industry that's a huge difference). It takes a lot of hard work, determination and rejection before getting accepted so keep that in mind, fellow and future models. I've been doing this for 13+ years and just now feel that I'm really reaching some of the goals I've always wanted for my career. It may take some of you less time or even more time than 13 years but trust me, if this is something you truly want, the time it requires won't even cause you to blink twice.

Answering a Reader Question #229

Katelyn89 Wrote:

hi! I'm 22 years old, 5'11, about 140 pounds, I'm very fit as I'm a dog walker and eat well. My measurements are 35/27/36.5 I'm fit and pretty www.katelyndawn.com/epk.html (you can see pictures) do i have a shot at modeling? I dont have a 24 inch waist and never will as my bones dont physically go that small lol. I have always wanted to model but my parents never let me and now that I can call my own shots I really want to get into it. What would you suggest I do? 

Hi, Katelyn89! Based on you pictures, you definitely have a marketable look for modeling and should give it a shot! Based on your stats/info, your measurements and weight don't make you eligible for high fashion/runway/editorial modeling according to agency standards but commercial/print is definitely open to you. Many clients use fashion height models for commercial/print work in addition to the traditional 5'5" to 5'7" models. However, I would still suggest submitting to fashion agencies as well as commercial/print ones because if they believe you have an exceptional look, they may be willing to still represent you for work that doesn't have such strict requirements size-wise.

I would recommend looking at the official websites of agencies in your city that are within a 2 hour's drive from where you live. The websites will contain the detailed info you'll need to know, such as if and when they have open casting calls, what photos to send in, specific requirements, etc. Or you could look into freelance modeling, which means acting as your own agent and finding your own modeling gigs, networking with clients, etc. It's involves more work but the type of assignments available are typically more flexible since people that hire freelance models don't always stick to the stringent measurements that clients who seek models through agencies do.

I hope that helps and I wish you the best of luck! If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to post another comment on this post or email me directly at: daniadenise@gmail.com.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #228

BreannaBaker.com Wrote:

What is Justice modeling??? 

Hi, BreannaBaker.com! Justice is a clothing and accessories line that is specially designed for the tween/teen market for girls. It's a really popular brand. The company is also known as Justice for Girls and Justice Clothing for Girls, among other names.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #227

Madison Wrote:

But what agencies should we go to i need ideas! 

(This question is in reference to my blog post, titled "Wanna Be a Justice Model?")

Hi, Madison! Below are agencies in Ohio. Some agencies publish the list of names of companies they work with, while others don't:

Ohio Modeling Agencies That State They DO Work With Justice:

Pro - Model and Talent Agency

Active Image Management

Midwest Model Management

Heyman Talent

MTM - Model Talent Management

New View Management Group

Wings Model Management

Docherty Model & Talent Agency

The Talent Group

Stone Model and Talent Agency

Even though the agencies on the second half of this list don't state directly whether they work with Justice, they are still worth checking out because they probably do. Like I stated above, not all agencies make such information public. Of course you'll want to check out the two that do have Justice as a client and if you don't have any luck getting signed to either of them, then move on to the rest.

Good luck!!!