WELCOME TO MODELING 101!!!

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 29, 2012

Did You Know...#12

...if you're sending your agency submission via regular mail, it is recommended to include a brief, 1 page, typed cover letter with your materials. Even if the agency website doesn't ask for it, do it anyway. It's a formality and is a professional courtesy--not to mention it helps agencies know who you are, instead of trying to piece it together through random snapshots.

The cover letter shouldn't be longer than 1 page and should be super simple:

- Introduce yourself
- Tell them you're interested in seeking agency representation (you can mention what type of modeling you want to do, as well as if you have any experience. Even if you are inexperienced, it's okay to put that in your letter)
- List very briefly what your skills/strengths are and why you think you'd be a good fit for their agency
- Don't forget to include contact info

This cover letter should be formatted to look just like one you'd send when applying to a traditional job. Free samples can be found through any online search (or ask your parents to help you format it properly).

Don't forget to write the following info on the back of each snapshot you mail (use black ink and make sure your handwriting is legible):

- Full Name
- Age
- Stats/Measurements
- Email Address
- Phone Number

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dania Denise Fan Art

There's a very talented portrait artist named Clothilde d'Adamo...I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from him, explaining that he loved my photos and wanted to do a free portrait of me. So I gave him a photo and here is the final result:

Pretty cool, huh? Clothilde also does wedding and celebrity portraits, among other types of work. Check out his site to see more of his talents:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/101941747/custom-wedding-portrait-clip-art-designs

Thanks, Clothilde, you are awesome!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Attention, Nor-Cal/Bay Area Modeling 101 Readers: Dania Denise Meet & Greet Info

For a long time I've been wanting to do meet and greets with my Modeling 101 readers. At first I wanted to do a seminar/workshop type of arrangement but with the economy not being so stellar, that didn't really get off the ground.

While I do still plan on doing a seminar or workshop to teach models how to get agency representation, posing techniques and tips for putting together their portfolios, I figure why not start out simple by inviting my readers to get together for fun (and for free!)?

So, here is my offer to you: for my readers in the San Francisco Bay Area (Northern California), as well as those in the Sacramento area, I am giving you the chance to do a meet and greet with me. It will be very informal and in a casual, public setting, where we can all get to know each other, you can have your questions answered by me directly and I can help anyone who needs advice or guidance in their careers.

What I need from you is your feedback and participation. The more people plan on really committing to attending, the more seriously and effectively I can plan. So if you're interested and are in the Northern California area (or plan to be soon), please leave a blog post comment here, answering the following questions:

1) Which of these 3 locations would you be willing to travel to (I chose these locations because they are easy access to all freeways as well as public transportation like BART)?

- Concord/Walnut Creek
- Emeryville/Berkeley
- Pleasanton/Dublin

2) Where would you like to meet?

- Starbucks/cafe/restaurant
- Park/outdoor setting
- Library/community center

3) Would weekends or weekdays in August work better?

4) Please email me at: daniadenise@gmail.com with your name and best email address to contact you at (via email it will be faster for me to give you the actual date/time/location of the meet and greet, as well as make sure you're able to confirm your attendance directly with me instead of doing everything here on my blog). Please put the following in the subject line of your email: Dania Denise Modeling 101 Meet & Greet.

If I get enough replies, I'll do another post to ask those same people which dates we should plan for. If I can get at least 5-7 solid responses from people that won't flake once we choose a date, I'll be committed to making it happen.

The meet and greet is free and you can bring anyone you want, as long as they are respectful of what we're trying to do and aren't going to be a distraction. Underage models, I encourage that you bring at least one person that is 18+ with you (parents are more than welcome to attend that want to learn more about the modeling industry). Open to male and females (minimum age 13, no max age)...all experience levels, including newbies!

The purpose of this meet and greet is to allow you guys to get to know me, have your questions answered and talk about any and everything related to modeling! If all goes well, I'll be more than happy to arrange more meet and greets throughout the year in different areas where readers express genuine interest. Spread the word!!!

Shoe Catalog Shoot: The Tearsheets

Here are the fruits of my and the other models' labors! Because the catalog isn't out yet (it is still summer, after all), I cropped out the actual shoes being advertised.

It is important for models to understand that while it is fun and exciting to share their tearsheets with others, they need to make sure they aren't going to be ruining things for the company in the event that they don't want anyone to see the actual products until they're available for sale.

Sometimes that requires permission to share the images or just being smart about what you show and where you show it. This is especially true when posting tearsheets online. In my case, I've cropped out the shoes listed in the catalog. Should the client contact me to remove the images anyway until the fall season comes around, I'll respect their decision...but until then, here they are! :-)

Cover: Me, Jenna and Oasis. With a fun SF trolley passing by in the background.

This is the scene where we're supposed to be packing for our BFF road trip. The car belonged to one of the company employees.

The image on the left is in San Francisco's Union Square and the photo on the right was taken in front of a theater off Geary Street. That is the look that's going to be used for the ads and point of purchase materials in Dillard's and Nordstroms.

Yup, that's the famous Golden Gate Bridge in the background. This was the second-to-last shot of the day...it was freezing!

Walking around a small alley that houses boutique designer stores and a cafe just off of Union Square.

Shoe Catalog Shoot: The Day of the Shoot

Finally! It was time to shoot the catalog! Needless to say, I couldn't sleep all night and had no problem waking up early to make sure I was in San Francisco for my call-time, which was 8am. I drove to the hotel where the crew and client had set up (most of them came in from the LA area the day before) and had valet park my car (the client was paying for all meals, parking and other related expenses).

I met with Jay, the photographer, and he took me up to the rooms where I met the casting director in charge of the shoot, as well as the other 1-2 people there representing the shoe company.

There were two rooms: one filled with all the shoes we'd be shooting, wardrobe (which they provided although we were asked to bring some basic supplemental items) and storyboards that detailed the times, locations and looks that needed to be shot that day. There was also a table with food for us to snack on in between shots.


After checking in and signing a model release form, I went to the second room down the hall where hair and makeup was. The two gals doing hair and makeup were so cool and we all were instantly chatting and joking away. After a few minutes, the other two models, Jenna and Oasis, arrived and we all did our meet and greets then settled back into the routine of getting ready.

Once the three of us were camera-ready, we got into our first outfits of the day and headed downstairs to walk over to Union Square in San Francisco. We were instructed to mainly do candid poses and just interact with one another naturally. From time to time, Jay would call out for us to look at the camera. The "story" being told for the catalog was that we were 3 BFFs on a road trip to spend a day in San Francisco. We did on-location shots of us walking around the city, window shopping, sitting at a cafe drinking coffee, etc.

We also did a shot where we acted like we were packing our luggage into a car for our road trip. For that shot, we carpooled and drove to a really fancy neighborhood in San Francisco and posed in front of a house that was supposed to be one of our houses, according to the storyline.

There were group shots with all three of us but we each also got our own solo moments as well. My solo shots took place early in the morning, while the other two models were still in hair and makeup (I got there early so I had the advantage of being camera ready first). We shot across the street from the hotel and kept it simple: I walked towards the camera and also did some posed shots against a decorated wall.

The images from that particular set are going to be used for advertising "point of purchase" materials in Dillard's and Nordstroms in the fall. So I'm super excited because once those printed materials are ready for use in-stores, the shoe company is going to mail me the actual posters/ads. Score! Of course, once the ads are in the stores, I'm going to have a complete geek moment and go there so I can take a picture of myself next to them, LOL.

It was a long day (with a delicious lunch break at a Japanese restaurant) but we finally wrapped around 7pm. We were shooting with natural light so once the sun started to set that was it. But we all worked well together, had an amazing time and got a lot done. The clients were happy with what they saw and I made a load of new friends, who I still keep in touch with.

Shoe Catalog Shoot: How I Booked It

The cover of the shoe catalog.
A few posts back I talked about a great modeling opportunity where I was in an international shoe catalog for a company. I hadn't done any posts about the actual casting, shoot, etc. because at the time I didn't have the actual catalog to share...but now I do!

I decided to do a 3-part blog post series about this particular gig instead of just writing one long post about it (you know I tend to get long-winded in my writing, lol). So this first post will be about how I got the catalog shoot. It's actually pretty crazy because I got this job without even submitting for it!

As per my usual routine, I was submitting to stuff on Model Mayhem (one of the resources I use for finding modeling work) and received a message via MM from a local photographer, named Jay. In his message he explained that he was casting for a huge shoe catalog and was in need of a few more models. He asked me to check out the details of his casting call and to let him know if I was interested.

I definitely was and told him so (after checking his profile, portfolio, resume and other resources to make sure he was legit, of course!). He said he would forward my MM profile and info right away to the client. I asked him if I would need to attend an in-person casting or interview and he said I didn't need to because he knew based on my resume, portfolio and tearsheets that I had experience and knew how to deliver. It was definitely very flattering.

Jay got back to me the next day to let me know that I got booked. I was super excited, especially since it was a direct booking, which means the client hired me without ever meeting me in person. Direct bookings happen in the modeling industry--not all the time but occasionally and to receive a direct booking is a huge compliment to the model.

Anywho, in talking more with Jay, he told me that he was pushing for the client to hire me because based on how timely I was with my email communication, he could tell I was professional and serious about this opportunity. Apparently, I wasn't the client's first choice but it turned out that one of the models originally hired for the catalog never responded to Jay's emails in a timely manner and was even rude in her attitude/interaction with him. Basically, the client let Jay (who was the photographer chosen to shoot the catalog) decide what to do about that...well, his reply was to kick that model to the curb and replace her with me. As he told me, "If I'm going to work with a model, I want her to at least be nice...why would I shoot someone that's rude to me?" Heck, it made sense to me!

Even though I wasn't the client's first choice, by the end of the shoot they knew I was the right choice.

After a few days of ironing out details, all that was left was to wait for the day of the shoot!

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Latest with Dania Denise

Hello, readers! This is a quick post to let you know that I've been super busy with projects these past few weeks. It's been one of those times where stuff just keeps coming up and I've been living out of my car and couch surfing at friends' houses in order to be everywhere all at once...shoots, fashion shows, castings, auditions and acting gigs--you name it, I'm doing it! LOL.

Rest assured, I've received the latest reader questions via blog post comments and I haven't forgotten about any of you...bear with me while I get around to answering emails and sorting through which reader questions I need to answer/update my other modeling blog with. And of course I have many more modeling related posts to add to this blog as well!

I literally just got a "day off" starting tomorrow and the first thing I plan on doing is sleeping in, haha. Then I'll get online and start knocking out the things on my "to do list." So don't worry, I'm still here!