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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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Monday, August 27, 2012

The Role of the "Contact Person" In Modeling

When reading my blog posts, you've probably come across the term "contact person" more than a couple of times. While I do clarify who this person is in the posts themselves, I figured it would be helpful to do an entire post on the topic itself so that there's no confusion for my readers that are applying this info to their own careers.

Whenever I talk about the contact person in regards to a modeling job, I'm referencing a specific individual that serves as a model's "go-to" for important info related to the shoot/gig and other related matters.

Situations where a model may be given a contact person typically involves situations where a model needs to check in when they arrive at a casting, go-see, fashion show or shoot. Knowing the name of the contact person is a fast way for the model to get sent to the right people. For example, arriving at a business where there is a lot of activity and people going on, a model can easily get lost in the mix. Even the employees at the location may not know why you're there. But if you give them the name of your contact person, it will instantly allow them to know what direction to point you in or instructions to pass on to you.

Other cases where a contact person comes in handy is in case of an emergency. Say you're on your way to a shoot or fashion show and your car breaks down, you're running late or you get lost. Having the phone number of that specific contact person is a fast way to make sure they know your situation.

Who serves as a contact person? It can actually be anyone. To better understand this role as it applies to modeling, below are just a few examples of common individuals that tend to fall under the contact person category:

Photographer

Let's say you've gotten hired to do a photoshoot. The photographer could be the main person that's in contact with you either via phone or email. He/she is the one giving you the details, such as time, location, what to bring, etc. Should you have any questions or concerns before, during or after the shoot, that photographer is your contact person who can get you answers.

Casting Director

The casting director is the person in charge of hiring the models for an assignment. So it only makes sense that this particular individual would be considered a contact person. If you have any questions about the job, they're the first choice to send an email to or call. If anyone would have the answers as they relate to what you should be doing, it would be the casting director, most times.

Assistant

Photographers, casting directors and other people in positions of authority often have assistants to help them keep track of all the projects on their plates. It isn't uncommon for the assistant to be given the title of contact person. Even if they don't automatically know the answers to a model's questions, they are in the best position to find out.

Miscellaneous Person

Some modeling jobs have entire crews in charge of making sure the final results are achieved and the process goes smoothly. This could include assistant directors, producers and other people that have their own respective titles. Any one of them could be tasked with acting as the contact person.

How to Use the Contact Person Wisely

Not all go-sees, castings and actual jobs models work have a contact person designated. So how will you know if such a person has been assigned to the project, go-see or casting you'll be a part of? Usually you'll find out when you're given details about the assignment either via email or phone call. Most times you'll probably receive an email and somewhere it'll specifically mention the name of the person that is serving as the "go-to" for the project. Additionally, that person's contact info will also be provided.

When contacting this person, make sure you act professionally. Don't call late at night or too early in the morning. Avoid bombarding them with tons of emails. Make sure your questions are clear and easy for them to understand so that they know exactly what you're asking.

The Importance of a Modeling Resume

(This post is for both agency represented models and freelance models but is mainly applicable to freelancers.)

In any model's career, the portfolio is going to play a major role. However, many professional models also have actual resumes they use to submit to gigs. Why would clients care about looking at a resume when they could easily just review a model's portfolio?

For one thing, a resume is oftentimes a much more direct way for a client to see exactly what type of work a model has done. Browsing through a physical portfolio book or looking at an online portfolio is convenient but sometimes clients want to know the name of the photographer, project, client or assignment the model has done work for. The pictures don't always list this info, especially if it isn't a recognizable tearsheet.

A resume is a more organized and structured way of obtaining this information. Agency represented models may or may not have a resume put together for them but freelance models can greatly benefit from having this additional document to present when submitting to jobs.

There are no hard and fast rules as to how a modeling resume should look and an online search will turn up templates/samples that can be used for reference. However, the main information that should appear at the top of the resume should include the following:
  • Model's Name
  • Full Stats & Measurements
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Official Modeling Website (if applicable...I would recommend NOT listing your Facebook profile link)
As for the body of the resume, this should be clearly labeled and organized so that it isn't hard for a person looking at it to understand what type of work you've done. Use categories to separate different types of modeling work. For example, a model's experiences could be broken down into these categories for the body of their resume:
  • Runway/Fashion Shows
  • Print
  • Spokesmodeling
  • Online/Digital Work
  • Promotional
Never did work in a certain category? Then don't include it. Only list categories for stuff you've done.

Under each category, bullets or some similar format should be used to list each specific gig worked (I would avoid using paragraphs or trying to explain in sentence format what you've done). It's hard to explain but to get a better understanding of what I'm describing, click the link below to view my own modeling resume:

Dania Denise Official Resume

It is important that each bulleted item has basic information to describe each work experience. For example, if you're filling out the Runway/Fashion Shows section, this info should be included: Name of the Show, Your Role and the Name of the Production Company or Venue Where the Show Took Place. So on the resume it would appear like this (fictional example):
  •  2012 Lee Designs Fashion Show - Runway Model - Lee Designs
Creating a resume in Microsoft Word is ideal for using tools like columns and tables, which can effectively and clearly organize your content. But don't go too fancy by adding graphics, colors, etc. Keep the design styles to a minimum. Your content should speak for itself instead of relying on other stuff that only serves as a distraction.

New to modeling and don't have any experience at all? Then it's safe to say you won't have a resume to submit and that's okay. If you explain in your submission that you're new, the client will understand. However, if you've done test shoots, those do count as experience and can be used as a starter resume.

New models in this situation will still want to have the same information at the top of their resume (see bulleted list above). For the body, they can simply use the category heading "Photoshoots," followed by a bulleted list of the name of the photographer and the name of the type of shoot.

For example, say you did a test shoot as a new model with a local photographer and you wore outfits that were casual. This info would appear on your resume as:
  • Causal Wear Shoot - [Insert Photographer Name Here]
You can also include the location (city/state) if you want to add a bit more content.

Just as a model needs to update a portfolio as new photos get added, it is also important to remember to add any new gigs to the resume. Unlike portfolios, where older pictures should be removed, older modeling experiences don't need to be removed from a resume--simply add the newer gigs on top and make sure the older bulleted items are on the bottom.

Do not add the dates you did each gig that appears on your resume. This info isn't necessary. At most, you can include the year but only if it applies to the work experience you're listing, such as a fashion show (i.e. Winter 2012 Season).

Adding your headshot is optional but helpful. I find that putting my headshot at the top is great for helping clients associate a name with a face. Don't make the photo huge, though.

You've Been Published! Now What?

Getting hired for a modeling job: awesome. Getting paid for your services: sweet. Getting published: epic!

A model's portfolio is the greatest asset because it's obvious proof of your capabilities in this profession. However, getting published and having that included in a portfolio skyrockets a model's cred exponentially.

It is important that any published work a model has appeared in gets added to his/her portfolio. Since technology has changed the way the industry operates these days, below are typical situations where a model may find themselves published, as well as tips for how to get copies.

Magazine Publication (Print, Not Digital)

Once you've been notified that your image is going to appear in an actual magazine (not its online version), it's simply a matter of waiting for that particular edition to appear on store shelves. Usually when a model is notified about being published, that's also when they'll find out the exact month/date/edition information as well.

How to get your tearsheets: If you're lucky, you may get a free copy in the mail from the company or the photographer but this isn't always the case. When you know the publication date and edition of the magazine, simply go to the store(s) that carry the magazine and buy as many copies as you want. Or you can opt for ordering the magazines online and having them mailed to you if you can't find any copies locally.

Digital Publication (Internet)

Thanks to the Internet, many modeling assignments are for gigs that appear on company websites, online lookbooks, photographer portfolios, website banners, etc. When getting published on the Internet, that means adding digital tearsheets to your modeling portfolio.

How to get your tearsheets: Already know what website the image is going to appear on? Simply go to it and do a "screen capture" of where your photo appears on the site. Paste the image into a blank document in a program like Photoshop and crop the excess space after you've resized the photo. Save it as 300 DPI Jpeg file and print onto photo paper that is semi-gloss or matte and you can then add it to your physical portfolio book. Or save the picture as a jpeg file and you can then upload it onto your own website, social networking profiles, etc. for online display.

Brochure (Print)

Companies regularly use brochures to advertise their services and products, as well as provide additional information to potential customers. Models often get booked for shoots where their images are included in the brochure. These range from local businesses to larger companies we recognize by name alone.

How to get your tearsheets: This varies on who the company is. Sending an email or calling your "contact person" for the project is usually the most direct way to find out how to obtain copies of the brochure. Sometimes the company itself will mail you copies or they may allow you to come into the office location to get the brochures yourself.

Fliers & Other Miscellaneous Advertising Material

Even if your image appears on a typical flier, guess what? It still means you're published and it should be included in your portfolio. Countless companies use modeling images for their fliers, ads, business cards and other related materials.

How to get your tearsheets: It is best to contact the company directly in these situations, unless you have the contact info for the photographer who can act as the middleman in getting this information for you.

Store Window Display & Billboard Advertisement

Having your image published in a large format, such as a photo poster hanging in the window of a retail store or on a large billboard that can be seen from the freeway is a huge accomplishment in any model's career.

How to get your tearsheets: Obviously, you're not going to get an exact copy in that huge size, lol (even if you could, it's definitely not going to fit in your portfolio book!). Models that find themselves in this situation should first off include that assignment on their actual resume so that it is documented. Second, have fun with this opportunity and take a simple snapshot of the billboard you appear on or take a photo of yourself in front of the window display next to your picture.

These pictures shouldn't be in your professional portfolio but should be uploaded online via social networking profiles, official modeling website, etc. so that people can see proof of your work. It's okay to not have this type of tearsheet in your actual portfolio...like I mentioned above, adding it to your written/printed resume is enough--not to mention that if a client wants proof, all they have to do is go to the store and/or drive by the billboard.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dania Denise Nor-Cal Meet & Greet Update

Hey, readers!

So I have good news: the Dania Denise Meet & Greet opportunity I posted about before has gained momentum and has about 6 people so far that are interested in attending...yay! That means the window is still open for anyone that is just now finding out about the meet and greet and wants to be a part of it.

Don't know what the heck I'm talking about? Please click the link below to get the 411:

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

As I said in that original post, I would do a follow up post to update everybody about where I'm at with the event. Right now it's looking like we'll be holding the meet and greet on a Saturday in September. The location is likely going to be a Starbucks--the one in particular I have in mind is located at the Hacienda Crossings, which is in Dublin.

I like this Starbucks location because it is easy to find, is located right near the I-580/I-680 interchange, as well as being across the freeway from the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station. So it's easily accessible. Plus, they have a nice large sitting area outside in case our group gets too big to stay indoors.

The door is still open for anybody else that wants to join...please read my original post at the link above to get the complete details about what the meet and greet is for, what to expect, etc. Then email me directly at: daniadenise@gmail.com to let me know what your best email address is to reach you at.

Please note that you must be okay with me adding your email address to the group that I am using to communicate with everyone privately about the event (no one's email address or other info will be shared on my blog or made public anywhere). Being able to send an email blast to the meet and greet attendees is a much more effective way to get everyone on the same page and cut down on the back and forth emails.

I'm very excited for the upcoming meet and greet and can't wait to talk shop about modeling with my readers in person!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Quick Tip #51

Category: Modeling Agencies
For: Male & Female Models

When sending modeling submissions via email to agencies, ALWAYS include your full measurements in the body of the email. No exceptions!

Female models should include:

- Height
-Weight
- Bust
- Waist
- Hips
- Shoe
- Dress
- Shirt
- Pants

Male models should include:

- Height
- Weight
- Chest
- Suit
- Waist
- Hip
- Shoe

It's Okay to Ask Your Modeling Agent Questions

(This post is for models that have been contacted by an agency for an interview or who have been recently signed...not for models that have yet to hear back from an agency.)

As you probably know by now, answering questions from models and aspiring hopefuls has become a part of my regular routine for quite a few years now. :-)

One thing I've noticed is that sometimes the questions I get are from people who have already been in communication with an agency. It'll be simple stuff like, "I'm scheduled to do my test shoot in a few weeks...what should I wear?" or "I have an interview with an agency soon...what should I bring with me?"

If you have submitted yourself to a modeling agency and they reply back, that means you now have a direct line of communication open. In most cases, you'll be dealing with a specific person at the agency. The good thing about that is you now have someone you can get in touch with directly if you have any questions.

However, the questions or concerns you have should be restricted to whatever you've been talking to that person at the agency about. So to clarify, if you've been contacted by an agency, saying they're interested in meeting you for an interview and they set up a date/time with you, it's okay to ask them what you should wear, bring, etc.

Or if you have recently been signed and you're about to do your test shoot, it's okay to contact your main person/booker at the agency to find out what looks they want, number of outfits, etc.

Emailing me to ask those kinds of questions won't help you too much because I don't work for any agencies and honestly have no idea what they would want from you in that type of situation.

Worried that asking an agent those kinds of questions will make you look like you're clueless? Don't fret--agencies don't expect you to have all the answers or the ability to read their minds, especially if they know that you're a newbie. That's how you learn...by asking questions. There's already been a line of communication established and now that you've got the name and contact info of the person at the agency, use it to your advantage. Usually, the agency will provide you with basic info about what to wear/bring to interviews or what you'll need to prepare for a test shoot. But if you don't receive any of that stuff from them, it's perfectly acceptable to contact them to find out.

There's a big difference between contacting an agency to get your questions answered and bombarding them with questions about everything modeling-related, however.

The bottom line: if you've heard back from an agency or have just signed to one, it's okay to contact them to get clarification on certain things as they relate to your representation/career.

What's not okay is pestering them about stuff that really doesn't matter or things that don't relate to your agency representation/career.

The person you can bombard with any and all questions related to the modeling industry in general: me. Got it? Good! :-)