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Friday, February 3, 2012

Cell Phone Etiqutte in Modeling

Years ago no one was concerned about being on their cell, texting, Tweeting, uploading photos--heck, no one would have known what any of those things were back in the day! Alas, cell phones and all their nifty features and apps are here to stay...and it doesn't look like they're going anywhere, anytime soon.

While these handy devices have made life a lot more fun, it has also created very bad habits for people in the workplace--modeling matters included. It isn't unusual to see models on their cell phones, texting people, updating their "statuses" on social networking sites, etc. However, this type of behavior does tend to interfere with business.

It is extremely important that all models of all experience levels know and understand what the proper "cell phone etiquette" is during modeling assignments. Below are some scenarios where it is and is not okay to be distracted with your cell phone:

When It is OKAY to Use Your Cell

1) While waiting for hair and makeup. If you're at a shoot or fashion show where there are several models, it's okay to be on your phone--just make sure you're paying attention to what's going on around you. Don't be so engrossed in what you're doing on your cell that you don't hear someone calling your name or miss your chance to get into the hair and makeup chair.

2) During lunch breaks. This one is pretty obvious so no need for additional detail.

3) After the shoot. Your work is done so now you can play with your phone all you want.

When It is NOT OKAY to Use Your Cell

1) While getting your hair and makeup done. It is very rude to keep checking your phone while someone is doing your hair and makeup. Chances are you'll be looking down and it's awfully hard to put makeup on someone's face when it isn't in the proper direction/angle. Same for hair. Don't make the hair/makeup artist's job difficult.

2) During rehearsal. This applies to fashion shows. Your full attention is required during rehearsals so that you'll know what you're supposed to do once you get on the runway. Being too focused on your cell phone activity is a surefire way to miss info that will leave you clueless when it's showtime.

3) During a shoot or fashion show. Duh.

4) While in the presence of the client. This is for shoots where the actual client is there observing what's going on. It's okay to check your phone once in a while but don't have it glued to your hands the entire time you're not in front of the camera. Clients like models that are engaged in what they're doing and who care about being there. If you're glued to your cell phone screen every time the client looks over at you, he/she will be wondering if you have better things to do. Don't let being off camera give you the green light to make other things a priority. Work is your priority. Period.

Don't let other models' actions influence you, either. Just because other models are doing stuff on their phones the whole time, doesn't mean you need to or that it's acceptable. Let them take the risk of getting in trouble. Even if the clients break these rules, they're the client--they can do whatever they want. This is definitely not a case of "monkey see, monkey do," especially when that "monkey" is writing your paycheck. ;-)

Trust me, I know how painful it can be to not have your cell on you every minute of the day. Because I work from home, my cell is my lifeline to all my clients, who often text or email me about business, both related to modeling and non-related. BUT it's not worth getting in trouble over or giving someone a negative impression of me.

The best way to keep your phone from tempting you: put it away in your purse, bag, wherever it'll be safe but out of your view. Even putting it in your pocket will be too much temptation to whip it out. Anytime you set foot in studio, on location or at the fashion show venue, leave all cell phone related activity at the door, set it aside and forget about it. Focus on the task at hand and performing to the best of your ability. When you're done you can indulge in your cell phone obsession to your heart's content.

And one last thing, put your cell on vibrate so that everyone doesn't have to hear your ring tone or alerts. I can't tell you how many irritating sound effects I've heard other people's phones make throughout the day or the songs used for their ring tones (many of which were super raunchy or crude...it's funny when it's among your friends but SO not cute when in an environment where it's about business).

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