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Sunday, January 8, 2012
Answering a Reader Question #286
Is there anything wrong with model social networking sites like ModelMayhem, for example? According to some of the entries of this website, Petite Modeling Tips, you won't find legit jobs or photographers on those kinds of sites. Is that true? Is it best to just do a search on photographers in your area and contact them for photo shoots, especially when they have a name, address, phone number, and e-mail address all together versus those modeling social networking sites?
Hi, Lisa! Social networking sites like Model Mayhem are ideal for getting connected with professional photographers, makeup artists, wardrobe stylists and other models for the purpose of putting together or updating a portfolio. The more you utilize it and communicate with other professionals on there, the more you'll get out of it. Those that set up a profile and don't really make an effort to do anything (or don't know how to effectively use these sites) won't see the results they had hoped for. Model Mayhem is one of a handful of modeling social networking sites. Not all of them are good, which is important to know but Model Mayhem (commonly referred to as "MM") is one of the better ones, in my opinion.
The casting section is great because it allows you to do an advanced search by city/state and even filter the type of work you're looking for (paid, non-paid and trade modeling gigs). I've personally had a positive experience with MM and have networked/shot with amazing published photographers that are both local as well as in other larger markets. There is also a Browse section where you can look for photographers and other industry professionals according to your location. Their profiles (if they fill them out in detail), show their location, link to their websites and other contact info so this will provide you with all the ways to communicate with them, just as much as if you were to do a basic online search. Additionally, MM also has messaging capabilities so you can contact the photographers directly and their portfolios are also part of their member profile. It is social networking after all, just like Facebook, so there isn't any anonymity like sites such as Craigslist. Oh, and btw, Model Mayhem has photographers on there that have shot the Victoria's Secret models and fashion shows (both on stage and behind the scenes), been published in magazines like W, Elle, Vogue and have worked internationally with top models and agencies--and have the tearsheets to prove it. If that's not legit, then I don't know what is lol.
As far as petite modeling opportunities, there are photographers on there that shoot shorter models all the time. However, there is a large community of members on MM that specialize in glamour modeling but if you're not interested in that, there are still plenty of legit photographers that do portfolio shoots with shorter models that are more along the lines of fashion, commercial/print and beauty work.
I believe it is worth looking into and setting up a profile is free, plus you can upload up to 30 photos. As with anything, it is important to use caution when networking with people for the first time...many MM photographers have a list of their references on their profiles, names and MM profile #s of the models they've worked with, etc. so you can find out how it is to work with certain photographers ahead of time. MM will give you some great results if you put yourself out there, use their casting section and their browse feature to find local photographers close to you. But remember, it is what you make of it. The more you use it, the more results you should get and vice-versa.
Each person has their own experience and opinion but for me Model Mayhem has been a wonderful and effective tool that has helped me find great photographers to add to my portfolio images and casting opportunities that allowed me to work out in the Los Angeles market...something I would not have been able to do, had I not used MM's casting section to find paying gigs in that market. Have people on there had negative experiences? Of course. Have there been members on MM that felt like they haven't gotten anything out of it? Yup. But that doesn't mean you should just forget about it altogether. Never count out sites like MM, which have been around for quite some time...it is a social networking site that caters to the modeling community and that in and of itself is very helpful.