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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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Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Difference Between Constructive Criticism & Criticism in Modeling

It goes without saying that modeling is a harsh business. Models are in a profession where being judged and evaluated is just another day at the office.

Those who've been in the industry for a long time certainly have the thick skin needed to get through but it's only natural that newbies may have a tougher time getting used to such an uncommon learning curve.

I think what is important for newer models starting out to keep in mind is to put everything in perspective. As I've mentioned in previous blog posts, any feedback--positive or negative--isn't a direct reflection of who the model is as a person. It's just business.

Piggybacking off that concept, it is vital for new female and male models alike to understand the difference between criticism and constructive criticism.

CRITICISM: Pointing out certain faults, flaws, mistakes or shortcomings in a disapproving manner.

Example: "Your runway walk is sloppy and your posture is terrible."

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM: Pointing out certain faults, flaws, mistakes or shortcomings but in a more positive manner by providing well-reasoned opinions and feedback to back up those criticisms.

Example: "Your runway walk could use more work. Definitely practice more to get familiar with the way your body moves and focus on better posture. Walk with your chest out and shoulders back, not hunched over."

Clearly what all models want to receive is constructive criticism. It's not a matter of trying to sugarcoat feedback but what I appreciate about the use of constructive criticism is the fact that it serves as a teaching moment.

By providing the "why" behind the feedback, this ultimately serves models much better compared to simply telling them what's wrong or what they did wrong and offering nothing else.

Unfortunately, not everyone in the modeling industry (from clients and photographers to modeling agencies) will use constructive criticism so be prepared for that. There are those in the industry who feel that if you want to make it in modeling, you just have to "deal with it" and learn how to take negative feedback.

However, there are many others who don't look at things in that manner and who do recognize the importance of how useful constructive criticism is.

Where this type of criticism comes into play a lot is when working with photographers. Doing photoshoots is the primary way models gain hands-on experience when it comes to posing, camera presence, facial expressions, etc. The more shoots you do, the more you can gain that valuable constructive criticism from photographers who can offer their insight as to what could be improved (if anything) and tips for performing at your best.

Meeting with modeling agencies during open calls or in a formal sit-down interview is another situation where the opportunity for constructive criticism could come up--namely when it comes to asking aspiring fashion models to do a runway walk. While doing this kind of walk in front of agency staff can be nerve wracking, it is very important to absorb the feedback you're given afterwards.

If they point out certain things you did wrong or say that you need to work on something, don't take that to mean it's totally negative criticism. Agencies tend to get right to the point, which could at first be seen as regular criticism but in most cases, they will offer advice or tips for how to correct the issues they've pointed out. This is where the "constructive" part comes in.

Of course there will be times when you'll just run into straight up criticism. It is difficult to handle at first and could throw you off your game but instead of reacting or getting defensive, take a moment to think about what's been said and simply ask what you can do to improve. People who don't understand the difference between criticism and constructive criticism usually never even think to provide a reason as to why they said what they did or have the common sense to make suggestions so by politely and professionally requesting feedback or instruction, it could turn a potentially negative situation into a better one.

Will there be people in the industry who could care less about offering constructive criticism and will just say what they want to say to a model and put him/her down? Yes, but thankfully, those types of folks aren't abundant in modeling. There are many more who do practice constructive criticism and use it to make the industry a much more properly functioning business.

The bottom line: don't be too sensitive when it comes to getting feedback about your modeling skills. Take it in stride, absorb, reflect, ask questions and apply what you've been told. With constructive criticism, this is much easier to do but even with negative criticism, do what you can to turn it into a learning lesson that you will ultimately benefit from rather than allowing harsh words to set you back.

Remember, the keyword in constructive criticism is the word "constructive." This of this word and its purpose like the word "construction": it's about building you up, not knocking you down.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

How Models Get Paid

A lot of people do modeling just for the fun of it and/or for the perks (free clothes/products, store credit, etc.) but another upside to this career choice is getting paid.

But not everyone understands or knows the process of how models get paid for their time...well, that's what this post is all about!

There are several different methods of payment for modeling. The method used all depends on the situation. For example, freelance models won't necessarily get their money the same way an agency represented model would. Here's more info on common methods of payment most models can expect to deal with:

Agency Represented Models

Modeling agencies are in charge of a number of things related to a model's career and development. That includes getting paid. Not only do agencies have the power to negotiate pay rates, they also deal with the payroll process (for you younger newbies that aren't familiar with this term, it's basically the business way of handling how a person or company gets paid for work they've done).

In most instances, after a model has performed the work they were hired to do, the client is then responsible for jump starting the payroll process. This can happen one of two ways:

1) The model provides the client with a blank voucher to fill out on the day they appear for work. Payment vouchers are given to models by their agents (it is always a good idea for models to have several blank vouchers handy so they don't have to constantly bug their agency for new ones). After the client has filled out all of the info on the voucher, they'll take their copy to keep for their records and the model will receive the remaining copies, which they must turn in to their agent.

2) The model won't need to provide a blank voucher for the client to fill out because the agency will directly bill them. In this case, the model doesn't have to do anything except show up for work.

So what happens after the voucher has been turned in to the agency or after the client has been billed directly? Now it's the waiting game. It is important for aspiring models (male and female of all ages) to understand that getting paid for agency booked gigs doesn't happen right away. In fact, it can take quite a while.

Virtually all modeling contracts have some type of clause that explains that payment for work done could take anywhere from 30-90 days. By signing the contract, models are basically stating that they understand it can take a long time to get paid. So if a model has a freak out moment because they want their money, they can't really make a big stink because they signed a contract acknowledging that they were aware that this could happen. Now if it's a bigger dispute where it's been well over 90 days, that's a different thing but this post is dealing with payment as it relates to the normal process when everything goes as it should.

After the client has been invoiced, they'll start the payroll process and a check will then be written and sent to the agency. The agent then takes their commission and will mail a check for the remaining amount to the model.

Same-day payment for agency booked gigs are rare. If you find yourself in a situation where you get a check after you're done working, do not go straight to the bank to deposit or cash it. Contact your agent first and ask what you should do.

Freelance Models

Since freelance models act as their own agent, the good news is that they get to keep 100% of any money they earn--no commissions!

Because of this, the methods for payment are much more flexible. The biggest perk is same-day pay. Unlike gigs booked through an agent, clients who work with freelance models are often more than happy to hand over cash or a check after the model's job has been completed.

If same-day pay isn't an option, then the model will need to provide an invoice to the client so that they can get the payroll process going and cut a check that will be mailed directly to the model. Sometimes the client may have a blank invoice template that they want the model to use, while others don't care what type of invoice document they receive.

You can find blank invoices online or you can choose to create your own. For more info about using invoices for freelance modeling purposes, visit the following link to my blog post that talks about this topic in greater detail:

Modeling Invoices

Receiving payment as a freelance model typically doesn't take as long as the 30-90 day time frame that comes with agency booked work. It's normal to get payment within a few days or a few weeks. Usually it doesn't take longer than one month in most instances. Because of the digital age we live in, clients may even offer models the option of getting paid through a site like PayPal or via electronic deposit.

Do you have an agent but also freelance on the side? Then you'll want the client to deal with you directly for everything, including payment. Clients who work with freelance models who also have agents tend to know the deal and won't contact the agency for any reason, since they know the model is operating on their own for that particular assignment.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Modeling 101 Officially Has 500 Subscribers!!!

Imagine my surprise when I noticed that I had reached 500 subscribers today! It seems like just yesterday I was celebrating 400 subscribers. Man, do I love you guys!!!

Of course I also love my readers who aren't subscribers and I'm sure there are plenty of you...regardless of whether you subscribe or not, your participation in reading my posts, leaving comments and asking questions has all served to continually motivate me to make this blog all it can be.

Over time I've had people make suggestions about how to improve it, such as placing ads to generate revenue, adding a donation button, offering services and materials via my blog for a fee, etc, etc, etc. I've never taken anyone up on those suggestions because, frankly, I love my blog as it is (don't get me wrong--I truly appreciate the business savvy advice received from my colleagues over the years and don't want them to think my rebuffs are anything personal because they're not. I just have a habit of moving to the beat of my own drum, lol).

I don't make any money off of my blog, nor has it ever really been a priority to. Could that change in the future? I don't know--I can't predict the future but since I created my blog, my goal was to build it into a solid and legitimate resource for free information about the modeling industry.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Call me crazy but trying to make money off of my blog isn't important to me. I'm doing just fine with the earnings from my businesses and entertainment career. I don't have sponsors because I don't want to be obligated to anybody because they provided me with funds. I want it to be truly organic (if that's the right word) and to the point and I hope you'll agree with me that so far I've been successful with doing that.

I've always committed myself to telling people the most cost effective ways to get into modeling and maintain a career and to only invest their money when it is absolutely necessary. I believe in practicing what I preach. The only charging I do when it comes to being a modeling coach/consultant is for in-person sessions, which makes sense because I'm taking time out of my schedule to travel and meet with someone. But I just can't justify charging someone for email advice or to answer a reader question or whatever else could have a fee tacked onto it.

Sometimes I do think about charging like $1 per request to find agencies for people since that does involve taking time to track down agency websites, browse through them to see if they're legit, etc. But I haven't carried that out and if I haven't done so by now I probably never will, lol.

The bottom line: Modeling 101 - A Model's Diary is here to stay as is as long as I am living and breathing and while I may expand my consulting and coaching services into other ventures that require monetary compensation (i.e. selling my upcoming book, traveling for guest speaking opportunities, etc.), this blog will continue to remain a free resource to all those who rely on it. If anything can remain truly 100% pure in the industry, Modeling 101 will be it. :-)

Thank you from my bottom of my heart for subscribing, for reading and--most importantly--for caring about what I have to say and share. I'm forever humbled.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

How Do I Get My Child Into Modeling?

(Please note, this post is not in reference to baby modeling. I do plan on doing a specific post just for baby modeling in the near future. For starter info, though, you can check out this link to a blog post I did about Baby Modeling in general: Baby Modeling Tips).

A lot of parents have cute kids. Like, really cute kids. It's natural for them to get told by everybody under the sun that their child should be a model. Sounds simple enough, right?

Yet so many parents don't even know where to begin, which I'm not surprised about. I mean, it's hard enough for adult models to find their way in the industry, no less parents who are responsible for making well informed choices for their children.

There are plenty of child models actively working in the modeling industry. If you think your kid has a shot, hopefully this post will help guide you in the right direction and avoid a negative experience:

Go for Agency Representation

I generally advise people to seek agency representation first when starting out but this is especially true for parents of aspiring child models that I can't stress enough. The industry rules and regulations that apply to child models is so plentiful, such as labor laws, permits, etc. It can be very overwhelming for newbie parents to figure out what all this means on their own and how it would apply to their child.

Signing with an agency means not only receiving protection in the legal sense from an agency but having a professional who knows what all the paperwork means and can present things to parents in a streamlined, easy to understand way. The agency's job is to not only get your child model exposure and work with clients but to also keep the process as simple as possible so that you don't have to deal with any headaches or major learning curves.

Seek Agencies That Represent Child Models

Believe it or not, not all modeling agencies have child modeling divisions. Many don't want to deal with kids and their parents, while others only exclusively deal with younger models. During the agency search, it is important to only submit your child to agencies that represent kids. The age ranges matter greatly.

This is another reason why it is important to rely on the information provided on agency websites. If the website says the agency is exclusively for babies and toddlers and your child isn't either, then don't waste your time (or the agency's) by sending in your kid's pictures. In most cases, it's pretty easy to tell which agencies have which divisions.

The bottom line: visit agency websites and if there is any mention of "child/kid models" or if you look at the model galleries on the site and there is a division for boys/girls, chances are this means they represent child models.

Age Range for Child Models

The specific age range that an agency would consider someone to be a "child model" does vary from state to state but from my research the general range for child models would be considered anywhere from 4-10 years of age.

No Professional Photos Necessary!

As with older models, agencies looking for new child models don't want to see fancy, retouched photos (think Toddlers & Tiaras...GAH!). Child models are hired by clients because they look like the average, every day kid--it's not rocket science, folks, nor is it the same playing field that fashion and runway models have to deal with. Kid models are supposed to be kids. Period.

When preparing photos to send to agencies, make sure they are digital snapshots that show your son or daughter in their most natural state. No fancy hairstyles, makeup or their Sunday's best outfit. Keep the wardrobe casual and simple. Being well groomed in the photos is fine but don't go overboard.

For more tips about snapshots as they relate to child models, visit this link to read more:

Snapshot Tips for Child Models.

No Experience Necessary!

No modeling schools, conventions, training, personal coaches, etc. are required for your child to be submitted or considered by an agency. The best way your child can make a good impression is by having a great personality, being outgoing and able to listen to directions.

Putting their best foot forward during the interview phase will be more than enough for an agency to want to bring them on board. There's no need to try and mold your child into the perfect model beforehand. Agencies are trained to recognize potential, even in people who are brand new to the industry.

How to Submit

Once you've located the child modeling agencies you want to submit to, the next step is to find out what submission types each agency offers. If they have open calls for child models, attend them instead of sending in photos because this is an opportunity for your child to meet with the agency in person and hopefully get an answer as to whether or not they're interested.

Other agencies prefer that parents submit snapshots via snail mail or email. For the agencies that only offer either or both of these submission methods, rely on the website for details about what information to include along with the photos, such as measurements/sizing info and/or a cover letter.

A lot of agencies allow for electronic submissions, where you fill in your child's information and upload photos via their form, which sends everything directly to the agency. This is a convenient and timely way to submit, especially since it tells you exactly what info and photos they want.

It is advised to submit to several agencies around the same time frame. No need to submit to one at a time and waiting for responses before moving on to the next one.

Now What?

If you've snail mailed, emailed or submitted your child's info via an electronic form, you now get to play the waiting game. Agencies only contact people they are interested in so if it's been about 6-8 weeks with no reply, take that as a pass for now. However, you are welcome to resubmit after 6 months to 1 year so there's always the chance to try again in the future.

If you brought your child to an open call, the agency will likely tell you when to expect a response from them if they don't tell you right then (usually a few days to 1 week). Of course if they tell you at the open call or interview that they aren't interested, then you've got your answer and should move on.

Should you get a reply from an agency with further interest, be excited but don't celebrate just yet because it isn't a guarantee that your child will be signed. Wait until you're in the actual interview to find out if it's a sure thing. Once the contract has been offered and signed, then you can party and enjoy the bragging rights.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Models, Please Follow Directions for Castings

(This post will be mainly beneficial to male and female freelance models. This post is in regards to castings for modeling jobs, not open calls for modeling agencies).

I'm a pretty easy going person but nothing grinds my gears (Family Guy reference for those of you who didn't know) more than people who don't follow directions. This is especially true for castings where models are submitting themselves for jobs.

Long-time readers likely already know I'm a HUGE stickler for professionalism, including following instructions. What do I always say: a good model follows directions! This goes for applying to modeling jobs, not just agencies. When submitting directly, you as the model are representing yourself to the client.

If you've ever been on the receiving end of a casting call, you already know how hectic it can be. Even the smallest, low budget project could easily get as many as 25-50 or more replies from models hoping to get hired. Going through all those submissions is daunting. So what clients like to do to make life easier is provide instructions for what they want from models, which is listed in the job description of the casting.

Anyone who uses sites like Model Mayhem, One Model Place and other online casting resources, know what I'm talking about. In most cases, there is detailed information about what to send the client. Other times, not so much. Obviously, if you're reading a casting call that has a lot of info in it, it is there for a reason.

Clients do this to make sure that whoever is sending in their photos and information, is doing so in a way that works for them. Some clients want links to modeling portfolios, not attached pictures and vice-versa. The concept of sending clients want they ask for seems so simple, right? Wrong! Models left and right keep disregarding these instructions and for whatever reason, seem to think that the client will be okay with this.

I'm here to tell you that it's NOT okay to disregard instructions when applying to castings. Period. Model Mayhem is one site in particular where I constantly see models doing everything to submit themselves to castings except what the client requests.

For example: a casting call specifically says to send an email to a specific person and to not simply leave a comment in the comments section of the casting call. Yet what do I see? Models leaving comments. Sometimes it contains their full contact info, including phone numbers, while other's simply say "Interested." Really? Is leaving a one-word reply supposed to encourage a client to contact you? Unless you're a recognized supermodel or power model, you aren't on the level to be telling clients to come to you when you were the one to respond to their casting.

I don't know why models do this. It boggles my mind. Freelance models, I don't care what level of success you've managed to achieve, if you're submitting to castings, please follow instructions. Newbies, same goes for you.

I've done my own casting calls during the years, as well as helped others with theirs, and I can't tell you how unprofessional and bad it makes a model look to not follow instructions. It might seem so simple that it wouldn't be a big deal but again, this is all about making a good first impression. Submitting to castings online is important because you aren't in person to impress the client--your submission has to speak for you.

What am I to think of a model--who is virtually a stranger to me--who sends a submission that doesn't have the right information or photos or--even worse--wants me to contact them? If a model can't even get his/her submission right, that doesn't inspire much confidence as to how they'd be on set.

Please listen to me when I say that you must read each casting very carefully, especially if it has very specific submission instructions. Read it more than once if you need to. I've come across tedious casting descriptions where I had to double and triple check my email to make sure it had everything that was asked before sending it off.

If a client says to send non professional photos, don't send professional photos. If they ask for a full body professional photo, don't send a profile or headshot taken with your camera phone. If they ask for a link to a portfolio, don't attach photos to your email. If they ask for photos to be attached but to not send huge files, don't send huge files. If they say to contact them directly at the email address provided in the casting call description, don't leave a comment on the casting call page or message them directly through a social networking site.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

Not only is failing to follow directions a sign of being unprofessional, it also makes you look lazy. Yes, there are tons of castings to submit to sometimes and it can get overwhelming but simply copying and pasting generic replies that aren't tailored to each submission is just awful. Actually, it's a waste of your time, not just the clients'.

Here's another way to look at the situation: each time you submit yourself and do successfully follow any listed submission directions, you automatically place yourself ahead of the competition. If a client gets 25 replies from models and only 10 follow instructions and you're part of that 10, you've already eliminated a majority of the competition.

In many instances, clients automatically reject submissions that don't contain the info they ask for. Don't allow yourself to lose out on a potentially great modeling assignment because you were too lazy, too much of a diva, uninterested or unable to do something simple as following directions.

Unfortunately, people will continue to make this major mistake and all I can hope for is that they learn their lesson sooner than later. Until then, this is what I have to say to those models who don't follow instructions: Thanks for helping me get hired for the job instead of you. ;-)

The Latest on Dania Denise - October 2013

This is probably the first year in Modeling 101 - A Model's Diary's history that I haven't contributed as many blog posts as I normally do.

On the one hand, that's a good thing--after all, what kind of a model would I be if the majority of my time was spent blogging? LOL.

On the other hand, my absence for too long does make me feel like I'm neglecting my readers and fans of the information I know they oftentimes rely on to help with the choices they make for their own modeling careers.

Rest assured, this blog will continue to provide you all with the ins and outs of the industry. I have a running list of topics I constantly add to anytime a subject related to modeling pops into my head that I feel my readers would enjoy reading about (the list is currently at 72 topics and counting!).

Just wanted to do a post to let you all know what I've been up to and why my time hasn't always been my own lately:

Castings, Shoots and Shows

I'm far from retired and have been staying busy with attending castings, shoots and fashion shows. Sometimes I get so tired after a long day of working that I just don't have the energy or attention span to do blog posts, lol.

My agent has sent me on a pretty good round of castings and auditions (remember, I act, too!) that I've been keeping my fingers crossed for. One is a print ad for American Home Shield, which is scheduled to shoot the first week of November. The client reached out to check my availability, which shows they're interested in me but haven't officially booked me. So I'm on a cliffhanger with that. Hopefully I'll find out for sure if I got it or not by the end of October, if not sooner.

I did a shoot for a clothing company, Tank Essential, last weekend. The company will use the images for email marketing campaigns, on the website and eventually for a print catalog so that means digital and traditional tearsheets. Score!

As always, I continue to perform on the bridal modeling circuit with Stepping Out Productions/Bay Area Wedding Fairs. We've got 2 shows left for the season and so far, so good. I've become one of the people who also helps with casting new models for the upcoming seasons so I'm looking forward to the next casting call event and seeing who gets to join our family!

Just yesterday I did a shoot for possible publication in a book focusing on pin-up models of color. Pin-up is one category of modeling I don't get to do much so I was excited to team up with a photographer I've worked with before, Marilee Caruso, for this project. She's been asked to submit images for consideration in the book and she reached out to me because she wanted to add some updated work to send, plus she's always eager to work with more models of color for pin-up themes.

The shoot went well and I've gotta say, pin-up is hard! It has a rich history and I did as much research as I could on poses, expressions, on-camera presence, etc. Luckily, Marilee specializes in shooting this genre so she was monumental in helping me get into character and bringing out my inner pin-up. I also did a rockabilly look, which has become very popular lately.

It will probably be a while before we find out when the book will be scheduled for publication and/or if our images made the cut but I think we stand a pretty good chance!
_________________

On a personal note, my dad is recovering from a mild stroke he suffered a week ago. Thankfully, we recognized the signs right away and were able to get him medical attention before it got any worse. He's expected to make a full recovery and with time and speech therapy, should be back to his old self.

Needless to say, seeing him through the recovery phase has shifted my time and priorities. I'm so thankful I get to work from home and tailor my projects and schedule to accommodate this latest curve ball that life has thrown. I am blessed to have amazing friends, family and neighbors who are making this time so much easier to deal with.

On top of that, I'm maid of honor for my best friend and with the wedding coming up on November 11th, my time has also been taken away by my duties and responsibilities to the bride-to-be. But the big day is almost here!

Sooooo, that's what I've been up to--oh, not to mention also running my home-based art business and juggling writing projects for clients--LOL. A little bit of everything but I'm handling it all the best I can.

I'll be adding more posts, including one right after this, so that I can get back on track with informing my beloved readers about everything related to the modeling industry. My goal is to crank at out least 1 blog post a week. Oh, and I'm super excited to see that I'm only 2 people away from having a whopping 500 subscribers...whooo-hoooo!!!

Thanks for your patience and hanging in there with me, I love you all and I'll leave you with this teaser: I'm in the early stages of writing a book. Guess what it's about? Yup, modeling! Want the details? You'll have to stick around...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Say "Cheese!" Why Male Models Shouldn't Be Afraid to Smile

Male models are known for being gorgeous, hunky and rugged, with their "come hither" bedroom eyes and sly smile, any woman (and guys, too!) could easily fall for them.

But when it comes to modeling, the fellas aren't always required to smile slyly or not at all. In fact, male models who aren't afraid to show off a megawatt smile could actually be doing a lot for their own careers.

All too often male models think that being serious and sexy is the way to go. And in a sense, they are right. This is especially true for those in high fashion, editorial and runway work. However, these aren't the only categories of modeling for men to get into.

In the world of commercial/print, there are both female and male models who stay actively in demand and appear in all types of publications (i.e. billboards, magazine advertisements, catalogs, product packaging, fliers, etc., etc.). Many fashion height male models transition over into print work from time to time and those hoping to master this category of modeling will find it very much to their benefit if they aren't afraid to smile.

You'd be surprised by how many male models I've worked with or met, who were so used to sporting serious facial expressions that it almost seemed foreign to them to smile for the camera. Smiling is one of a model's greatest assets, male or female.

Regardless of what type of model you are (or the type of modeling you're hoping to get into), fellas, I gotta say that learning how to be comfortable with smiling and showing various expressions in photos will only add to your marketability.

Here are some ways that smiling can greatly help a male model's career:
  • It Shows Versatility. When clients are looking through a male model's portfolio, nothing jumps out at them better (or more effectively) than seeing a mixture of smiling and non-smiling photos. Browsing through pictures where the model has the same hard and serious look will get boring after a while and could end up making the photos start to look the same. But adding in a couple of pictures where the male model is showing different ways of smiling (i.e. close mouth smile, full on smile with teeth, candid laughing type of smile) gives off the impression that the model is comfortable doing all types of work/themes/concepts.
  • It Shows Confidence. It's one thing to be cool and calm but the most confident male models are those who are perfectly comfortable with smiling, being playful and appearing anything but "suave" in front of the camera.
  • It Usually Means They're Easy to Work With. I've noticed that male models who are quick to smile for the camera are also typically great to work with. Male models who aren't used to smiling sometimes come across as aloof or totally rigid when booked for a gig that requires them to portray a variety of different expressions, including smiling and laughing. Sometimes that means they need a bit of warming up to get comfortable with smiling genuinely but a lot of times the smiles they end up giving look very forced and fake. This could make a shoot that should have been simple and straightforward a bit more of a challenge and may not necessarily reflect very well on the model.
  •  Clients Love Personality. It is important to impress clients (obviously). Nothing accomplishes this better for male models than knowing how to cheese in front of the camera. Remember, clients not only look at models' pictures when casting for projects, they also end up meeting them in person for an interview to find out if their personality is as good as their physical appearance. Like I mentioned above, male models who have no problem showing off a megawatt smile tend to have the outgoing personality to go with it. This comes across amazingly well in interviews or other meetings where they have to interact with the client. Bringing a smile to such a meeting is one of the best ways to show clients that, if hired, you'd be ideal to work with instead of a pain in the butt. Showcase a smile in photos and in person and your chances of getting booked increases dramatically.
Male models who would rather stick to their high fashion, runway and editorial roots, that's perfectly fine. But if you're a male fashion model who wants to also get into print work or if you're an aspiring male model who isn't tall enough for fashion or runway and instead wants to break into the commercial/print niche, I'm tellin' ya, the smile should be your secret weapon that actually shouldn't be kept a secret at all!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Guide to Modeling 101 Labels/Category Section

In case you haven't noticed yet, I've created a "Labels" section on my blog, which is a nifty feature that allows me to put my posts into special categories according to topic.

It's located on the right-hand side of this blog. Simply scroll down past the Popular Post section, About Me section and the Blog Archive section and you'll see it right there: "Labels."

I don't know how many of you guys have been using it to locate posts on different subjects but I figured to help encourage more people to do so, I've included a list of the labels and a brief description of what blog posts you'll find under each category:

Addressing a Reader Comment

Sometimes people post their thoughts and opinions in the comments section of my blog posts, not just questions. This category contains my responses to those posts.

Answering a Reader Question #1-362

Anyone familiar with Modeling 101 already knows about my "Answering a Reader Question Series." It originally started on this blog but soon there got to be so many that I was afraid it would overwhelm the other posts. As a solution I created a new blog just for reader questions.

However, I wasn't able to move the existing reader question posts over so instead I decided to put them all in one place for easier reference. Future reader questions are now answered on my other blog:

Modeling 101 - Answering Reader Questions with Dania Denise

Baby, Child & Teen Models

All posts in this section are related to younger models.

Body Art

Tattoos, piercings and other forms of body art as they relate to pursuing a modeling career are in this section.

Casting Calls

From agency castings calls (also referred to as "open calls") to other types of castings in the modeling industry can be found here.

Castings

Models attend castings as a regular part of their job. Find out what to expect in most casting situations.

Comp/Zed Cards

Blog posts in this section deal with comp/zed cards, one of the most widely used marketing materials for models.

Dania Denise

Posts in this section deal with news, events and other "happenings" as they relate to my own modeling career.

Did You Know?

Short posts, filled with fun facts and other interesting modeling information.

Freelance Modeling

Posts for anyone interested in becoming a freelance model and working without the assistance of a modeling agency.

Industry Speak

Posts written to help people better understand the modeling industry and the agencies that play a big role within it.

Interviews

From agency interviews to interviewing with potential clients, readers will find tips and other information to help them be at their best and make a great first impression.

Male Models

It's not always about female models! This section is just for modeling topics that are relevant to male models of all experience levels.

Model Matters

This section covers a wide range of topics that affect models of all experience levels, such as self confidence issues and other concerns that typically come with pursuing a career in modeling.

Modeling Agencies

Don't know the first thing about submitting to or working with modeling agencies? You'll find everything you need to know in this section.

Modeling Contracts

You can't be an agency represented model without a contract! The posts in this section help to demystify the often intimidating subject of modeling contracts.

Modeling Portfolio

All blog posts related to putting together, maintaining and updating a modeling portfolio can be found here.

Modeling Resume

Dealing with a modeling resume but aren't sure where to start? The posts in this section can help.

Modeling Scams

One of the biggest problems with getting into modeling are the many scams out there. Find out which ones to be on the lookout for.

Modeling Tips

Who doesn't love tips? These posts offer easy to understand advice and tips for a variety of modeling related topics.

Money Matters

Need to figure out when to keep your money in your wallet? These posts will help.

Networking

It's all about who you know. Learn what networking is all about and why it's so important for models.

New & Inexperienced Models

The posts in this section deal specifically with noobs.

Parents of Models

Parents who have kids and teens that want to get into modeling will find a ton of useful information to help them understand the process and what to expect.

Photoshoots

One of the biggest parts of a model's career are shoots. All posts in this section deal with a variety of subjects that are all about photoshoots.

Posing

A model is only as good as his/her presence in front of the camera. Tips, tricks and advice for being better at posing.

Promotional Modeling

Promotional modeling is a different niche compared to the other categories of modeling. People interested in getting into promo modeling will benefit from the posts in this section.

Quick Tip

Similar to the "Did You Know" posts, Quick Tips are just that: short and sweet but filled with vital info on a wide range of modeling subjects.

Skin Care & Grooming

Posts in this section are all about maintaining your inner and outer beauty.

Snapshots

Snapshots are the way to get one's foot in the door of the modeling industry, especially when seeking an agent. The posts in this section will show readers why that is.

Tattoos

Similar to the Body Art section but the posts in this category are just for matters dealing with tattoos.

Tearsheets

Obtaining tearsheets is the ultimate goal for any model. The posts in this section are all about tearsheets and information related to getting published.

Types of Modeling


These posts deal with breaking down the different types of modeling so aspiring models will know where they fit within the industry.

Victoria's Secret

Becoming a model for VS has quickly grown to be one of the most talked about subjects on this blog so I decided it deserves its own category.

Video Reply

Readers have the option of getting their questions answered in a video reply format. All you have to do is ask!

Video Tips

Sometimes I like to break up all the writing with a little video for readers who are more into the visual aspect of things.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

ModelingScams.Org - A Site You Should ALL Read

(Thanks to Christie T. for sharing this link and wanting to ensure I pass it on to all my readers...Christie, you rock!)

Modeling scams have been around as long as the industry itself--and it won't go away anytime soon.

I've said a lot of the same things on this blog over and over and over about things like knowing what red flags to be on the lookout for, that new models don't need professional photos or a portfolio to get an agent, that you should never pay upfront fees, etc, etc.

Because it never hurts to reinforce the information I've been providing to readers for years, below is a link to the ModelingScams.Org website. The specific link will take you to the part of the site that talks about Modeling Photography Scams, which are the biggest ripoff that continues to go strong to this day.

You'll see many direct quotes from reputable people within the industry, including established models (Cindy Crawford has a quote on one of the other pages on the site) and even the owners of reputable modeling agencies.

If I can't convince people that jumping up and paying for professional pictures is a huge no-no when you're new and starting out, then maybe the information from the ModelingScams.Org website will:

Modeling Photography Scams - ModelingScams.Org Website

But don't just stop with reading this part of the site. On the left-hand side there are a ton of links to additional articles, information and industry quotes on a variety of modeling industry related subjects that all serve to empower and inform the average consumer, including newbie models and--most important--the parents.

So read, learn and embrace the knowledge this site has to offer. I read over a lot of the articles already and nearly everything mentioned (aside from the legal topics) is stuff I've either covered on this blog, mentioned briefly or at least made sure to establish my personal and professional opinions on.

This is one site I recommend you all bookmark if a career in modeling is a part of your future goals!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Supermodel, The Power Model and the It Model


I'm a huge believer of calling things like they are so I can't help but be super aggravated at how carelessly people toss the word "supermodel" around these days.

It's like a model gets discovered, appears in a few campaigns and runways and suddenly she's dubbed a "supermodel." Pfffft. Not even close!

The fashion and modeling world has a rich history behind it and only those who have studied it--or are somewhat familiar with it--will likely agree with my POV on this subject or at least understand where I'm coming from on this subject.

It's not about "hating" on certain models, it's simply about setting the record straight and if there's anything we should strive for within the modeling industry, is accuracy of some kind, lol.

In a 2007 magazine interview, Claudia Schiffer was quoted as saying, "The supermodel is dead." And you know what? I believe her. But I'm not saying that to be dramatic. It's the truth. The models many idolize today aren't supermodels--at least not when it comes to the true definition of what a supermodel is.

To help get my point across, below is my definition/understanding of what each of the following terms (Supermodel, Power Model, It Model) mean and where they belong in the industry by today's standards:

The Supermodel

It's been said many times and I'll also jump onto the bandwagon that there are 5 "original supermodels": Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Claudia Schiffer. Yes, there were other heavy hitting models of the 80s and 90s, such as Helena Christensen, Tyra Banks and Elle Macpherson, but it is the "Original 5" that remain the iconic symbols of what embodied a supermodel and that era of the industry.

(Unfortunately, I couldn't find a good photo with the Original 5 to go with this post. The image I ended up choosing is missing Claudia Schiffer.)

What helped to skyrocket these models into supermodel stardom was the fact that their faces and names were recognized by people inside and outside of the fashion industry. This seemingly small fact is actually quite huge as it applies to the concept of a supermodel. What allowed these women to become known by everyone from fashionistas to the average family? Magazine covers.

Back in the 80s and 90s, models were the go-to-people for gracing all of the major magazine covers, both fashion and non-fashion alike. This was how the average person who wasn't a fashion guru knew who the most famous faces in modeling were. It wasn't uncommon for someone like Cindy Crawford to appear on the cover of a magazine like Good Housekeeping and then pop up on the latest Vogue cover next.

These supermodels knew no boundaries and weren't restricted when it came to publications. They appeared in all of them. Because of the publicity that magazine covers offered, it raised the level of familiarity the average consumer had. Keep in mind, there was no social media back then so this was the main way people knew who was who.

What brought the era of the original supermodel to an end? Celebrities. Singers and actresses became the popular face to have, not just on the cover of all the magazines but the advertisements for clothes, accessories, fragrances, cosmetics, etc. Models were meant for covers and when celebrities took over that scene, it turned the tides for models and made their roles more limited, especially when it came to reaching the average, non-fashion obsessed consumer.

Look at any newsstand these days--9 times out of 10 it's going to be a celebrity (who was not originally a model) on the cover. The models who do find themselves on the covers are now mainly limited to fashion magazines (not always but most times). Remember: the original supermodels were on all of the magazine covers and not just those related to fashion.

When the celebrities took over the covers and the spokesmodeling/brand contracts, it resulted in setting up future models for a spotlight regulated to the catwalks, editorial pages inside the magazines and the occasional ad campaign.

Some would argue that many models in recent years are highly recognizable and that they could name them all. But 9 times out of 10, those people making such claims are avid fans and followers of the fashion industry so it would make sense that they would know who those models are instantly. What about the next door neighbor? Your teacher? Your parents?

I must remind you that the supermodels of the original era in the 80s and 90s could be recognized by housewives, businesspeople and even the baby boomers. In all honesty, you can't really say the same for the many models that have been labeled "supermodels" in recent years. I must admit that even I can't name a lot of the mislabeled "supermodels" these days...in fact, a lot of them look so similar I get them confused!

None of the "Original 5" could be confused or mistaken for one another. I miss that about the models of today.

The Power Model

The Power Model category is where I believe the majority of the models who have remained strong in the industry belong--not in the category of supermodel. This isn't a lesser title to covet and it doesn't mean someone labeled a "Power Model" isn't as successful as the supermodels of old.

It's quite the opposite as you can see by the name itself. A Power Model is one who isn't just paid a lot of money for the work they do, they've managed one of the greatest feats of all: staying power. It's one thing to be a successful model but to be one that continues to stay employed for 5+ years is an accomplishment that deserves to be recognized.

There are plenty of Power Models who belong in this category: Heidi Klum, many of the VS models, Gemma Ward, Kate Moss, Gisele, Iman, Tyson Beckford, etc., etc.

Some of these Power Models have remained relevant in the industry through their name and reputation alone but also because many have stepped into the role of an entrepreneur by coming out with their own product lines, moving on to become television/media personalities, running their own corporations, etc.

Not all Power Models are instantly as recognizable by people outside of the fashion world but most are certainly familiar with who they are, depending on the Power Model and what he/she has done. For example, Tyra Banks has been around forever but these days the latest generation of consumers and the average Joe/Jane don't associate her with her original career as a model but because of America's Next Top Model.

Stepping outside of the modeling category for many Power Models is what has allowed them to be reintroduced to the next generation of fans in a new way.

The It Model

Sadly, all too many "It Models" are the ones who get called supermodels and that really grinds my gears. I'd say 80% (dare I say 90%?) of the models today who obtain some amount of measurable success in their careers should be automatically put under the "It Model" category.

Similar to what I said about the Power Models, It Models aren't any less successful or inferior than the other two categories I talked about above. But it is important to label these models properly and understand that the reasons that led to the category they belong in do differ.

Not all It Models go on to become Power Models. It's hard to reach the top of the modeling game--it's even harder to stay there. It's easy to spot an It Model: seemingly overnight they start appearing everywhere...advertisements, in the biggest runway shows and the social media monster can't stop talking about them.

These are the new kids on the block who were discovered and put out into the spotlight at the right time. They're fresh, they're hot and everybody wants a piece of them. This is totally normal for models who are basking in their time to shine. However, more often than not, the It Model finds their flame extinguished after a few years. They eventually get replaced by the new It Models who are younger, fresher and more in demand.

Have you ever wondered, "What ever happened to so-and-so? I hardly see them in anything anymore." Chances are, that's because--for whatever reason and that isn't necessarily anyone's fault--they didn't have the staying power to move on into the Power Model category.

Keep in mind that modeling isn't a career that's known for its longevity. It isn't a joke when people offhandedly comment that most models, namely runway and fashion models, are "retired" by the time they're 25. As many young and aspiring male and female models as there are out there ripe for the taking, the industry can be picky, kick out whoever they want and welcome whoever they want in because It Models are always replaceable. It's sad but true.

So next time you start to call someone a "supermodel" think about whether or not that individual really deserves the title and if they'll even still be around in a year or two. It kinda makes you think once you start putting things into that perspective.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The 411 on Modeling Agency Interviews

I could've sworn I've done a post about modeling agency interviews but I searched and searched throughout my blog and couldn't find it so I figured why not cover all my bases and do one just in case? You can never have too much info about modeling agencies, right? :-)

If you read my post, "The Difference Between Casting Calls & Agency Interviews," then you already know what makes the interview a whole 'nother ballgame.

Interviews are more important than casting calls because this is a special one-on-one between a model and the agency that is arranged by appointment. Before I go into further detail, it is important to point out that any questions about what to wear and bring should be directed to whoever contacted you from the agency to set up the interview.

Sometimes models will receive an email with basic instructions on how to prepare and what to expect, while others may simply state the day, time and address of the interview in the email.

If you are given instructions on what to bring and wear, then follow that. If not, it is okay to email or call your contact person at the agency to find out.

Now that we've clarified that, I'll move on to what could be expected in most cases (not all agencies operate the same way and I can't speak for what you may experience exactly...this info is very general so keep that in mind):

Dress Wisely

Unlike casting calls this is a somewhat more formal type of meeting but by "formal," I don't mean you should arrive in a business suit. Business casual or dressy casual is more than acceptable for male and female models.

Examples of ideal outfits include a nice dress and heels, skinny jeans and a dressy top with heels or a skirt with a nice blouse and heels for female models. Always wear heels unless you're a child model or a teen model who isn't tall enough for fashion and runway.

Male models can wear jeans, nice shoes and a button up shirt, slacks and a button up shirt and dress shoes or jeans, nice shoes and a collared shirt.

The "model uniform" that I mostly talk about for snapshots and things should be limited for attending open calls, not agency interviews unless the agency says that type of attire is okay.

Bring Photos

New/inexperienced models do NOT--I repeat, DO NOT--need professional photos, comp/zed cards, headshots or a portfolio, nor will they be expected to bring professional grade materials into the interview.

It is best to bring your digital snapshots with your name, full stats and contact information written on the back of each one. If you've already submitted snapshots before, bring copies of those same ones. The agency may want to see them again or may no longer have the ones you originally gave. So be prepared to leave your snapshots with the agency after the interview if asked (if they don't ask to keep them, that's okay and not necessarily a bad sign).

Print your snapshots on decent photo paper (available at any office supply store). The photos shouldn't be larger than 5"x7" but no smaller than 4"x6", unless the agency tells you otherwise.

Get There Early

To make a good first impression and to avoid any stress, plan to arrive to your agency interview at least 30 minutes early. This gives you wiggle room for things like finding parking, checking yourself in the mirror and other small tasks. You'll have to sign in at the front desk and will be directed to a lobby or waiting room. It's much better to arrive early and wait instead of running late or getting there just in the nick of time and being frazzled.

Don't Bring an Entourage

Getting invited to interview with a modeling agency is a big deal but don't bring the whole family. Aspiring models who are under the age of 18 must have one parent/guardian with them (the parent/guardian will be able to sit in during the interview).

Parents/guardians, let the agency lead the interview. Hold off on your own questions or concerns until they give you the chance to speak and if they direct questions to your child, let him/her speak--don't answer for them. Speaking for them when it isn't necessary is known as "helicoptering" and it's super annoying and not a good impression to make on an agency.

Parents, make sure you've got a babysitter if you have younger kids to worry about. It isn't a good idea to bring them to the interview since they'll end up becoming a distraction.

Models that are of age should arrive alone to the interview. Any friends or significant others should stay in the lobby/waiting room or outside of the office. Do NOT ask to bring them into the interview with you.

Expect Conversation

Aside from stuff like doing a runway walk (for fashion and runway models) and taking polaroids (for the agency's records and to match your name with a face), the interview will mainly consist of a sit-down conversation between you and the agency. There may be one person or several--it all depends on the agency.

Modeling agencies have a lot of factors to consider when it comes to potentially offering a model representation. It isn't just about the physical look/appearance but personality as well. Since you'll be working closely with the agency, it is important that they like and feel comfortable around you.

It will be a Q&A session but they won't be acting like drill sergeants or a detective questioning you during an interrogation. It will be like a casual conversation so relax, be outgoing, engaged and maintain good eye contact. But always make sure you have good posture. No slouching and no fidgeting.

No Trick Questions

I can't tell you exactly what types of questions agencies would ask during an interview but there are some common ones that might come up, such as:

- What are your hobbies/interests?
- Are you in school? What are you studying?
- Are you working?
- What are your goals for the future?
- Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
- What got you interested in modeling?
- What are your strengths/weaknesses?
- Are you willing to travel?
- What modeling experience do you have, if any? (If you have none, then say that--it won't count against you but be honest)
- What is your schedule of availability like?
- How do you handle rejection? 
- Who is your favorite designer? (For aspiring fashion and runway models)

What You Shouldn't Say

When answering questions, keep it brief. Don't ramble but don't just give one-word answers, either. One very important thing that all aspiring models should keep in mind when interviewing with an agency is to not come off as arrogant and/or demanding.

There is a difference between telling an agency about yourself and telling them what you will or will not do. For example, going into an agency interview and stating that you want all your travel expenses covered, won't work holidays or weekends and only want to deal with big name designers will not win any points. Nor will telling them that you plan on being the next supermodel who will take over Gisele's place. Not only is this off-putting (to anybody, no less an agency), it is very naive and a big sign that you don't understand the industry at all.

The whole purpose of the interview is so the modeling agency can get to know you. They aren't going to quiz you about off the wall subjects--it isn't a trivia game. It is a one-on-one conversation about you that will help them determine whether or not you'd be a good fit for their agency. It's as simple as that.

Go in confident, with a great smile and energy and the rest will take care of itself.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dania Denise Webinar Update #6: The Date is Set!

Thanks to all who voted on the latest poll I posted to find out which date would work best for setting up my webinar event!

The voting has closed and based on the results, the Dania Denise webinar will be set for Saturday, August 31st at 5:00pm PST.

I've decided to use GoToMeeting's regular platform instead of their GoToWebinar product, which apparently is more geared towards hosting a huge audience (like 100+ people).

But the traditional GoToMeeting platform will still allow you to see me via webcam, ask questions in real time, as well as follow along with what's happening on my screen. The only downside is that the regular GoToMeeting platform doesn't have a registration process like the GoToWebinar does.

Apparently with this platform I have to "invite" people to join the meeting. I'll work out the final details soon to find out exactly what that process involves and if it requires any action on your end as attendees.

So be on the lookout for further updates, including a post with specific instructions for how to attend the webinar. Stay tuned!!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dania Denise's Favorite Finds: Que Bella Face Masks

Getting booked for a lot of modeling work is fantastic but it can also do a number on the skin, namely the face. Maintaining a healthy complexion is one of the biggest priorities for female and male models. After all, it's the money maker!

From time to time, I'll come across certain products that I really like...so much so, that I want to share it with my blog readers. So here is another post about one of my "Favorite Finds."

I love the beauty section of Target, there's so many different types of skin care and beauty items of all brands and types. One day while randomly browsing through this part of the store, I came across the Que Bella line of face masks. Aside from the colorful and visually appealing packaging, I saw that this brand contains all natural ingredients, which are always a plus when it comes to skin care.

Although I have a pretty solid skin care routine, all of the makeup that gets caked onto my face from doing lots of modeling eventually makes me feel like I need that "something extra" to really get it clean. Face masks are a great way to "reboot" the complexion and are ideal for both female and male models.

The Que Bella face masks come in a variety of types and for different purposes. In my case, I was looking for a face mask that would draw out the impurities and traces of makeup that I knew was sometimes left behind, even after a thorough cleansing. So I chose the Que Bella Detoxifying Dead Sea Mud Mask.

It worked wonders! All I had to do was wet my face and apply the mud mask using my fingertips. The "mud" is clay-like and goes on smooth. After letting it sit on my complexion for 15 minutes, I simply wash it off with warm water, pat my face dry and moisturize as usual. Each time I use this product my face is smooth and soft like a baby's bottom...not only that, my skin feels completely clean.

I only use the mud mask when needed, however. I wouldn't use it on a daily basis. I'd say it's okay to use this type of product once a week or once every other week--whenever your skin feels like it needs it.

I haven't tried the other face masks in the line yet but I only plan on trying the ones my skin needs. So far the Dead Sea Mud Mask does the trick. I typically get 2 uses out of 1 pack by only applying half of the mud mask in the pack to my face. To prevent the remaining mud mask from drying out, I make sure to seal/fold the packet so that the air doesn't get in.

If any of you, models or not, feel like your complexion needs some revitalization, I highly recommend checking out the Que Bella face masks. I found mine at Target but I'm sure they carry them at other places, as well as online.

***As with trying any new product, test a little bit on a small section of skin to see if a negative reaction occurs. If nothing happens, then it'll be fine to use the product on your face.***

Monday, July 22, 2013

Share Your Story: "How Modeling 101 Helped Me"

Me and my modeling student/protege, Jennifer.
Hello, my beloved readers!

This blog has grown by leaps and bounds over the years and I've been so fortunate to be contacted by so many aspiring and working models from around the globe. From helping people find agencies to submit to, giving pep talks and advice to debunking myths and keeping people from falling for scams, I'm humbled each and every day by the fact that you all trust me with your personal stories, experiences and dreams.

While I'm known "online" other than that, I'm a virtual stranger to almost all of you...so for my readers (and those who have stumbled upon my blog randomly) to reach out to me for assistance with breaking into modeling has been one of the greatest experiences in my career.

That being said, I wanted to give you guys an opportunity to share in what ways my Modeling 101 - "A Model's Diary" blog has helped you reach your modeling goals. Were you able to get signed to an agency? Did you finally realize what category of modeling you fit into? Did you manage to start a successful freelance modeling career? Even if it's as simple as how much more you now know about the modeling industry, please share your story with us!

I've created a new page on my blog called "How Modeling 101 Helped Me." You'll find it at the top of my blog underneath the photo header, among the other pages like my Resume, FAQs, etc.

I decided to create this page because I want others to know they're not alone in trying to figure out where they fit in with the modeling world. I also wanted to dedicate a space on my blog to show new readers and those who find my blog randomly in what ways people have been able to use my blog as a stepping stone in their efforts to begin a modeling career.

How can you share your story? There are 3 ways:

1) Email me directly at: daniadenise@gmail.com with your story and I'll add it to the page

2) Comment on this blog post and I'll copy/paste your story to the page

3) Comment on the actual "How Modeling 101 Helped Me" page and I'll add it to the body of the post itself (so that your story doesn't just appear as a comment)

Your story can be as short or as long as you want. Feel free to use your first name, "Anonymous" or whatever you want to be identified as. Please also note whether you are a Male or Female and your age. Other than that, there are no rules or specific guidelines...all I care about is hearing your story!

I hope you'll participate and show others that sometimes all that's needed is some research, a little help and a push in the right direction. Thank you in advance to those who decide to share their stories! :-)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Official Jira Couture New York Ad (Updated)

Remember a few posts back when I shared a photo of a cosmetics ad I did for a company called Jira Couture? Well, I kinda faked you out, lol.

I thought that was the version that would be used by the company for their New York marketing materials but come to find out via Facebook that they changed it and now have a new and improved version that has received the green light for use (not sure where or how it will appear but highly likely on the website and maybe advertisement banners?).

Anywho, here it is!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Let's Pick a Date for My Webinar, Modeling 101 Readers!!!

So you know that webinar I've been updating you about forever? Well, we're one step closer to making it a reality! Right above my blog posts you'll see a new poll, asking people to choose which Saturday in August they'd be available to attend my online event.

I want to give as much time as possible to vote, not to mention I would need enough time to send out the invitations for people to register, which is why I did not include the first Saturday in August on the list (August 17th I won't be available either).

Please take a quick moment to answer my poll and the date with the most votes is the one I will formally announce as the day my webinar event will take place. If there are any further instructions I need to give to you I'll update my blog with that info as well but for now all you need to do is vote! Thanks in advance!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Tips for Being Confident as a Male Model

There are so many females in the world competing to be models that it seems they would be the ones with all the insecurity and self confidence issues, right? Wrong. Having trouble with self confidence is something that affects both men and women.

When it comes to pursuing a career as a male model, there are certainly more things to be concerned about than the average fella. However, only by learning how to be truly self confident can any future male model find a measure of success in such a superficial and hectic industry.

You Don't Have to Be Beefcake/Chippendale Status

It can be easy to assume that male models are all rippling muscles and six-pack abs. Quite the contrary. Yes, there are buff, beefcake male model types out there but that is not a mainstay requirement to make it in the industry.

Fashion agencies like their men tall and lean or toned, not necessarily super muscular. In fact, having bulging muscles everywhere is actually a hindrance for high fashion and runway. It all has to do with sizing and fitting the sample garments designers use. With swimwear, obviously being bigger physically is more acceptable but for more traditional garments (i.e. suits, jeans, shirts, etc.) the more desirable body type is one that's more toned than chiseled.

Putting this into perspective is one way for aspiring male models to feel less like they have to completely transform themselves into a hulking mass of muscles. As long as you're fit and healthy in appearance, there is a type of male modeling that will suit who you are, not who you need to change yourself to be.

Stop Worrying About the Guy Next to You

Sizing up the competition can backfire if you're not naturally self confident. There are tons of gorgeous men out there who all would make for great male models but as the saying goes, it is more than just looks. If you're so busy analyzing other male models at an agency open call or during a casting, that is time you're taking away from building yourself up to perform well in front of the agency or client.

This doesn't mean you should be anti-social or unapproachable, however. With time and practice it is possible to size up the competition to see who you're up against while mentally playing up your strengths and reasons for why you're the right person for the job or agency. There is only one you so stop worrying about everyone else and stay focused on what's in front of you.

Don't Be Afraid of the Mirror

There are a lot of jokes about the idea of a man spending a lot of time in the mirror but when it comes to self confidence, being able to love the reflection that's staring back at you has nothing to do with being an ego-manic or a male diva.

When it comes to physical insecurities, the best way to face them is head on in the mirror. It takes time to learn how to look at yourself and appreciate the things you both love and hate about your body but being comfortable doing this is a realistic goal that has to be reached if you have any hope of making it as a male model.

Of course there are going to be guys who can't resist stopping in front of a mirror in order to groom and admire themselves. You want to be the guy that looks in the mirror and smiles because he knows he is capable and confident in himself.

You Are Only As Good You Believe You Are

It's easy to psyche yourself out. Most new models do it without even realizing it. Male models with difficulty in the self confidence department tend to be the most over analytical. Being good at modeling comes naturally to most models. For some, it takes time and getting their feet wet in order to learn the ropes. Whatever your situation is, don't bash yourself unnecessary or fall prey to being your own worst critic.

Over analyzing or critiquing yourself too harshly might seem like a productive approach to bettering yourself but when you don't have a solid foundation of self confidence, it usually just ends up turning into a situation where you're picking yourself apart. Why do that to yourself? There are enough critics in the modeling industry as there is.

Shut Out the White Noise

Male models get criticized from head to toe just like female models. It is necessary for aspiring male models to not only go in with a high level of self confidence (not to be confused with arrogance of ego) but a thick skin as well. You will get feedback from clients, agencies, photographers, etc. that won't sound nice or very flattering but it is important that you put it into the perspective that it's business and not meant as a personal attack.

Lacking self confidence can make criticism--even if it's constructive criticism--seem like a blow that serves as proof that you should just throw in the towel. If that's how you currently receive feedback that isn't quite positive, it's a big sign that you've got to work on building your self confidence and thick skin.

A confident male model takes such comments in stride and knows that everyone has their own opinion. At the end of the day, it's what they believe about themselves that sets the record straight and allows them to continue modeling uninterrupted.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Confident Model is...

(This applies to both female and male models)

Easy to Spot

You can always tell which people walk around with confidence versus those that don't. It's the way they carry themselves, the body language used and the way they interact with others.

Confident models walk with heads held high, maintain eye contact with others and stand tall instead of slouching. There is an air about them that can't quite be explained or expressed except to say that they walk with confidence--whether it's into a casting call, modeling assignment or just running errands on an ordinary day.

Not Deterred by Rejection

Confident models aren't immune to rejection. What makes them truly confident is still possessing the same amount of confidence in themselves even after they've been rejected for an opportunity. Instead of breaking down and feeling sorry for themselves, they know it is only a temporary setback and are further motivated to do better next time. Because they understand that there are plenty of "next times."

Not an Ego Beast

There is such a thing as being too confident. Being arrogant and egotistical is not only unbecoming, it isn't what makes for a true model. Humility is one of the most prized traits for any model to have, regardless of the amount of success they enjoy. Humble and confident models recognize their good fortune but don't use it to put others down, criticize the competition or engage in shameless and unnecessary self promotion (aka "bragging").

Approachable

A model who isn't threatened by the presence of another model is a prime example of exhibiting confidence in the industry. Confident models have no problem getting to know the other models during casting calls or shoots, are comfortable making small talk and--in many instances--even making friends. Catty divas and those who would rather cut eyes at colleagues rather than return a warm and genuine smile are anything but confident and are often the ones with the lowest self esteem.

A Positive Thinker

When you focus on putting out positive energy, positive things will come to you. Confident models know this and embrace it. They go into each go-see or casting call with the belief that they're the best candidate for the job. If they snag the opportunity, they're proud of themselves. If they don't, they still pat themselves on the back because they know they performed to the best of their ability.

Instead of griping about what they did wrong, making excuses or spending too much time on the "what ifs," they look forward to the next opportunity and believe that the missed assignment must mean they were meant for another gig that's bigger and better. Mind over matter is what confident models live by.

A Role Model

Anyone who is confident--model or not--tends to produce a great influence and affect on others. When you see somebody who is confident, it automatically makes you want to be, too. When people ask someone, "How do you stay so confident? What's your secret?" it opens up the door for the person being asked to positively influence others with their reply.

Confident models tend to be great leaders as well as role models because they serve as a living example of how life can be when you believe in yourself. And there's nowhere else this point carries more weight than in the modeling industry.

Tips for Being Confident as a Female Model

For little girls today, it is normal to grow up being surrounded by a media that is bombarded by images of beautiful, amazing, stunning and exotic faces and bodies. When such imagery is thrown in your face 24/7, it's easy to see why so many young girls strive to one day be among the chosen few to become successful in the modeling industry.

On the flip side, it's also easy to see how feelings of insecurity, low self esteem and lack of confidence end up becoming a regular part of these young ladies' lives.

As much as the truth about airbrushed images and not-so-glamorous side of the modeling industry has been brought to light over the years, it hasn't stopped aspiring female models from feeling like they have to transform themselves completely in order to have a shot.

I get countless emails from young girls not just asking for advice about becoming a model but asking for my opinion and--in many instances--validation that they are pretty. It breaks my heart. I can tell within a few sentences whether an aspiring female model has confidence in herself or not (or too much!).

I will say right now that modeling isn't easy, nor is it for everybody with these goals. However, if you're going to jump into this crazy industry, being equipped with confidence is going to get you through a lot of tough times. Whether you want to freelance, get represented by an agency, are pursuing a fashion career or want to make it in the print world, I can only hope that this post will help change negative mindsets for the better and understand how important confidence is to women of all ages, shapes, sizes and ethnicities.

Love What You See in the Mirror

I often talk about using the mirror as a tool to help with posing, facial expressions and getting comfortable with your body. However, mirrors also serve another purpose: to help improve a person's confidence. I get it, we all have flaws...I've heard every type of self complaint there is:

I'm too fat, I'm too skinny, I have pimples, I have bad skin, My nose is too big, I have flabby arms, My feet are huge...and on and on and on.

The mirror does show what we don't like but that should serve as motivation to do what is possible to turn that situation around for the better. All that negative energy you use to criticize yourself each time you look in the mirror? Take it and do something positive. Solutions to everyday beauty, skin and body issues are only a search engine away. If we all took the same pains to build ourselves up as we take to tear ourselves down, we'd all be better off.

Recognize your flaws, work on what you can and then work on embracing the flaws you can't do anything about. The day you can look in the mirror and not say one critical thing about yourself is the day you've truly embraced the person looking back at you.

Realize There is Only One You

Unless you have an identical twin, chances are there is no one that looks, acts or sounds like you. And that is something amazing, believe it or not. While there is a standard type of physical look that certain modeling categories call for, such as runway and fashion, there is much more to being successful than appearance alone.

Confidence is about believing in yourself and what you have to offer an agent or a client. They see tons of models each and every day. After a while they all start to become one big blur. But the model with confidence always stands out.

You know what's great about yourself and it is up to you to sell that to agencies and clients. Not realizing your true worth and how you stand out from the crowd is the fastest way to become one in a sea of many generic model wannabes.

It Isn't Personal, It's Business

Losing out on a modeling job or being turned down by an agency sucks. I'm not even going to sugarcoat that. But you know what? Modeling is a business. Although it is a business that analyzes, judges and criticizes, the foundation for those things isn't to tear people down and make them feel terrible about themselves.

The decisions made by clients and modeling agencies are solely for the purpose of business. There is a lot of money that goes into the modeling industry and that's what it's about: who can make us the most money? Who will designers and clients fight over to work with? Who has what it takes to guarantee a long career and plenty of paychecks for all involved?

When you're being judged, it is not on the basis of who you are as a person but who you can be and what you can do for an agency or client. Sounds superficial doesn't it? But that's the good thing...it IS superficial and a big sign that it's nothing against you personally.

Aspiring female models always hear about the importance of building a thick skin and that advice will forever ring true no matter how much the industry changes (or doesn't change). Rejection is a regular part of the job and you have to learn how to adapt to this part of the business. Being turned down doesn't mean you weren't good enough, it simply means you weren't the right fit.

That's not to say you shouldn't feel bad when you do get rejected--it's a normal human emotion to feel sad, upset, angry or even cry. Express yourself however you feel comfortable but only give yourself 10 minutes to throw a pity party. Once those 10 minutes have passed, pick yourself up and stand even taller than you did before.

Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

Mind over matter plays a huge role in the modeling world! There will always be someone you consider taller, thinner, curvier, prettier, blah, blah, blah. You're not them so why are you so focused on who the competition is and what they're doing? Focus on you and what you have to offer.

One of the biggest mistakes aspiring female models make is to look at the competition and automatically believe they are not good enough by pointing out all the reasons they don't make the cut. For every negative thing you think about yourself, think of TWO good things.

Make a list of your strengths if necessary. In fact, I encourage those dealing with issues of self confidence to put together a list of the things you like about yourself or that you find to be a strength. This could be personality related or something dealing with your physical appearance...whatever works.

Now take that list and memorize it. Make copies and put it in front of every mirror you own so that it stares you in the face each and every day as a reminder of why you're deserving of the utmost confidence in yourself.

Regardless of how your modeling career turns out...whether you become super successful, find that it's not something meant for you or if you don't have any real luck with it at all, maintaining a healthy level of confidence throughout is essential and a trait that will take you far in life.

You don't have to be a model to be beautiful, successful or admired by others. Confidence alone can help achieve all those things. And don't let anybody else tell you otherwise.