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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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Snapshot Tips for Print Models Seeking Agency Representation

So I feel I've done a grave injustice to my aspiring print models out there. This is a post that should've been done a long time ago but wasn't really brought to my attention until recently...aren't you glad I don't proclaim to be a perfect, know-it-all? LOL

Okay, snapshots: I constantly go on about the importance of having quality, non professional, digital snapshots to submit to modeling agencies because they are the most effective way of getting one's foot in the door as far as agency representation goes. No mystery there.

What I failed to clarify, however, is that the snapshots I typically refer to (and provide photo examples of) are ideal for aspiring models that plan on pursuing fashion, runway and editorial modeling. Aspiring commercial/print and lifestyle models should also submit non professional, digital snapshots to agencies that represent their category BUT there are some distinct differences.

Below are what aspiring print models should keep in mind when putting together their snapshots for agency submission (unless told otherwise by the instructions on the agency websites!):
  • Smile! Print models are all about smiling so your snapshots should reflect this. No need for the serious, "mean-mug" face. Male print models, this includes you, too! For profile shots, however, do not smile and keep your mouth closed and relaxed.
  • You can wear clothes! Print models wear considerably more clothing in the majority of their gigs compared to their fashion counterparts. Female print models should wear dark skinnies or fitted shorts and a solid colored, fitted tank top or t-shirt. No shoes or socks! Male print models should wear shorts that aren't super baggy or casual jeans and a solid colored t-shirt, collared shirt or tank top. It doesn't have to be skin tight but it should be fitted in a way that makes it easy to see what your body shape looks like. Also no shoes or socks for male print models.
  • Hair (for women and men with longer hair) can be worn down, not in a ponytail away from the face. It should be in a style that appears natural and one you wear on a regular basis. Do not have any hair in your face! If you happen to have crazy long hair, don't wear it in front/over your shoulders because it will cover up too much of your upper body. Wear it down but tuck it behind your ear and have it behind the shoulders.
What should remain the same? Check out the following:
  • Print models should still have their snapshots taken indoors with good lighting, against a white or other light colored background.
  • Don't pose excessively. Having your arms resting comfortably at your sides is ideal. At most, you can put one hand on the hip.
  • The poses/stances remain the same: closeup headshot, profile headshot, full body frontal, full body profile, etc.
  • No makeup...with the exception of clear, pressed powder to tackle any shiny spots on the complexion.
Have you already submitted your snapshots to a print agency following the fashion/runway focused photo examples I've recommended? That doesn't necessarily mean you're screwed or will get rejected. Agencies with print divisions are okay with receiving snapshots like these because--bottom line--these are still photos that showcase a female or male model in his/her most natural state. But the updated recommendations I've listed above are geared more towards showing agencies what your potential would be for print work.

Here are a few reference images I could find to illustrate what I talked about above. Hopefully it will give aspiring print models a better idea of what to do for their snapshots:
I LOVE this headshot! This is the ideal reference photo for a headshot for female and even male aspiring print models. Note how her hair is down but not in a distracting way that blocks her face and how natural her smile is. She's also not wearing makeup.
This whole series of snapshots is great for aspiring female print models to follow. My only critique is in regards to the last, full body photo. Don't wear shoes in the picture and don't put your hands in the pockets. Keep them comfortably at your sides...you can bend a bit at the elbow like the model in the photo to give off a more casual stance. It does look like she's wearing a bit of makeup though, which I would avoid.
This is another ideal snapshot for a male print model's headshot. But unlike this photo, do not wear any clothing that has logos on it. Even though the purple bird on the right side of his shirt is small, it's still a logo and agencies don't want to see them. Notice how natural his smile is and the way the photo is framed. BTW: the original photo is really small so I made it bigger. The quality you're looking at now is not appropriate to submit to print agencies...it's too blurry. Any snapshots taken must be clear and crisp in quality.
It was very hard for me to find an ideal reference photo for aspiring print male models that showed their body. This is as close as I could get. However, please do NOT wear clothes with logos or distracting patterns/graphics. Also, do not have your hands/fingers/thumbs in the pockets of the jeans. Keep your arms comfortably at your sides. I do love his casual stance and the nice smile, though, so that is okay to replicate. In some instances, this would count as a "half body shot." The full body snapshot would be exactly the same, except it would show the rest of the lower half of the body...don't cut off the feet and remember, no shoes or socks!
In case you're asking yourself what's the big deal or the reason for pointing out these distinct distances, read on...

The reason aspiring fashion and runway models are asked to submit snapshots of themselves in swimwear is because it's all about seeing their body type and shape. Models in these categories walk in runway shows and do shoots in designer clothing--all of which are directly related to the model's figure.

However, in the print world, these types of models won't be in high fashion runway shows or editorial shoots for fashion magazines. They'll be dressed in everyday, casual, business and/or formal wear. So it isn't necessary to see them in swimwear but rather in fitted clothing that clearly shows their body shape. There are cases where print models can cross over into these categories but right now we're just talking about snapshots to get your foot in the door with print agencies...once models are signed, then they can talk to their agents about doing other types of modeling work aside from print.

The reason for difference in hairstyle is also similar. Fashion and runway models are all about strong bone structure--prominent cheekbones, broad forehead, strong jawline, etc. The best way for agencies to evaluate a fashion model's bone structure is by having the hair pulled away, making their face appear more pronounced in the snapshots.

For print models, it isn't about bone structure. It's more about having an attractive, symmetrical face with a great smile, so it's not necessary for print models to wear a ponytail because print agencies want to see their natural, everyday appearance, which (in most cases) means wearing the hair down so that it frames their face.

So based on what I've described above, please prepare your snapshots accordingly, my future print models (this goes for male print models, too!). Submitting the traditional snapshots I've talked about before won't hurt your chances but it's always a good idea to err on the side of caution and have a set of snapshots that are more casual and tailored for your niche.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Quick Tip #59

Category: Shoes
For: Female Models

Worried that you'll slip while wearing your high heels? Take a piece of sand paper and scruff up the bottom of your shoes. It will create friction on the bottom of the heels when it makes contact with any surface so instead of feeling like you'll slip, it'll have a better grip. This means more confidence in your walk and less of a chance that you'll wind up kissing the catwalk instead of strutting on it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Quick Tip #58

Category: Agency Submissions
For: Male & Female Models

When reading through the instructions listed on a modeling agency's website for how to submit yourself, if they mention the word "snapshot(s)" that means you should send them non professional, digital photos...not professional images!

Unless the website specifically says it is okay to send professional pictures (or if they let you submit both pro and non pro) only send digital snapshots. Failing to do so could mean automatic rejection. Why? Because you didn't follow directions!

So save your professional images for the interview/casting call and use the snapshots to get your foot in the door. Remember, you don't need professional images or a portfolio (in most markets) for agencies to consider new models for representation.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Latest Digital Tearsheet: Jira Couture Cosmetics Advertisement New York

It's always exciting to finally see images I've shot being used for advertising instead of just as regular images in my portfolio. The owner of Jira Couture Cosmetics posted this recent online ad on my Facebook timeline and I was so happy about it that I wanted to share it with my readers!
I just found out that they'll be using this ad in the New York market as soon as the final layouts have been approved...needless to say I am completely THRILLED that my photo will soon be circulating in New York! I don't know if it will be just online or in print but soon as I find out and once it's official, I'll be sure to let you know!

Monday, January 21, 2013

ATTN: Nor-Cal Models! Spring Bridal Season Casting Call Opportunity!

Those of you that are pretty familiar with my blog probably know that I participate in bridal fairs year-round within the Northern California area. As I've advanced in my role as a model and right-hand gal to the model coordinator for the bridal fashion shows, I've also had the great opportunity to be a part of the casting call process each season.

While I don't sit on the judging panel, I am the first person the models meet at the casting call after signing in. I conduct the mini orientation where I explain what the panel is looking for in its bridal models, as well as demonstrate an example of the runway walk the judges expect to see.

The Spring bridal season for the Bay Area Wedding Fairs is starting soon and it's time to find new faces! Below are the details of the casting call...I definitely encourage any of you that is interested to attend:

Who Can Attend?

We are currently seeking male and female models of all ages, as well as child models (ages 5+). We are in great need of MALE MODELS! Any experience level is okay so even if you're a newbie, feel free to come! Flexible height and size requirement but it helps to be proportional (bridal gowns are not altered or hemmed for height). Parents of child models, please make sure your child is not shy...they must be comfortable being on stage and working with other people.

Date: Sunday, January 27, 2013

When: 12pm-4pm (no appointments, show up whenever during this time frame)

Location: Holiday Inn 6680 Regional Street, Dublin, CA 94568

What to Bring: Headshot with name, stats and contact info on the back. If you don't have a professional headshot it's okay! Please bring a current snapshot (closeup with a nice smile). Make sure to include the same information on the back. Resume is optional. No need to bring a portfolio (there won't be time to review it).

What to Wear: Dressy Casual/Causal...ladies, please wear heels! Skinny jeans, heels and a fitted shirt would be fine. Makeup is okay but don't go overboard with it. Men can wear nice jeans, clean shoes and shirt of their choice.

What to Expect: You'll sign in, fill out an information sheet and will go through a mini orientation in small groups, where you'll get a chance to do a practice walk before going into the room to meet with the panel to audition. Everything will be covered during the mini orientation so that you'll be prepared once you meet the panel. Remember, I'm doing the mini orientation so you'll be in good hands!

No need to email me your info and photos...just show up on the day and time listed above and you'll have a chance to meet me and audition for a great company. If you're lucky, you'll be modeling alongside me in the bridal shows this Spring...good luck!!!

Just FYI: Posting Comments

I definitely welcome comments on my blog posts, whether it is with questions that need answers, a nice word or even a reader's own thoughts and insights on a topic I've written about.

However, I have noticed that some people are posting their comments over and over. Rest assured, your comments are getting to me--I screen/monitor any comments made on my blog posts in order to weed out a lot of the spam that comes through.

So if you've written something on any of my blog posts and don't see it published right away, it's because it's waiting for approval from me to publish it. I try to do this soon as I get the email alert. So there's no need to keep resubmitting what you've written...I promise you I have received it! :-)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dania Denise Webinar Update #1

First off, I want to say "Thank You" to those that have answered my 3 polls in regards to what you'd like to see from my webinar. There are a few days left to vote so if you haven't done so already, please answer all 3 polls!

Based on the results so far, the topic/focus of the webinar is neck-and-neck between these two topics:
  • Breaking Into the Industry: What You Really Need to Snag a Modeling Agent
  • The 411 on What Agencies Really Look for in Models
Because these two are pretty similar, I feel confident saying the webinar will be mainly centered around the first topic but with elements of the second topic also weaved in. Based on how well the first webinar event goes I will definitely work on hosting more of them throughout this year and I will be using the feedback from the polls to determine which topics will be covered and in what order.

Not counting the two topics listed above, there are 4 additional topics that I can easily plan a webinar around. The order of popularity people voted on will be the order that I will be doing those subjects on at later dates...in case you were wondering. So don't worry, over time all the things you want to know about the topics you voted for will be addressed!

While nothing has been set in stone yet, right now it's highly likely that I'll be using the site GoToMeeting to host the webinar. I've used their services in the past and I really like the products they offer. For webinars they basically offer an all-in-one product where I can invite people to register for the event and send reminders. Also, if you attend you can ask questions via any mic set up to your computer or call in via telephone. While hosting the webinar, I'll be able to show the audience whatever is on my screen, too (which fulfills the requests from some poll takers that expressed interest in seeing some kind of presentation).

If you're interested in what to expect from my webinar (should I officially go with GoToMeeting), here is a link that explains in detail how the event works through their site:


I spoke with the sales staff at GoToMeeting and asked about the possibility of adding video so that my audience could see me. They currently don't offer this but WILL be adding it to their webinar services in a little under a month from now. GoToMeeting said they will contact me directly once the video component has been added. So it's safe to say that until I get that call, the webinar will be in the pre-planning phase.

That's it for now but I will keep you posted as the process of getting this webinar live gets underway!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dania Denise Webinar: Need Your Feedback, Readers!

Howdy, all! I won't make this post too long but just wanted to notify everybody that I'm working on planning a webinar. I've been lucky to meet a handful of my readers in person and I dream of eventually traveling to set up meet and greets with more people but needless to say, that costs money and even if that wasn't a factor, trying to coordinate any group of people to meet up on a certain day and time is difficult.

So I figured, why not do it the easy way by hosting seminars in an online format? That way I could reach anybody regardless of location and still have a somewhat direct connection with each person.

That being said, I've posted 3 polls on my blog (located above where the actual posts are). I am asking all of you to please answer all 3 polls so that I can get some guidance as to how the webinar should be set up. I can't read everyone's minds so I will need all of your help to keep things on track and ensure that the resulting webinar will be exactly what you're looking for.

Additionally, I'm encouraging you all to sound off by leaving comments on this post with any feedback, suggestions or input to guide me. There are a number of topics I could make the focus of the webinar and if the first one is successful, then I will surely roll out more to cover the topics that weren't addressed.

Because the modeling industry overall is SO broad, I can't possibly fit everything into one webinar. Below are some suggestions I have as to what to cover for the first one. Please comment to let me know which one would be of interest to you (this is also available as 1 of the 3 polls I have posted on my blog).

Possible topics for the 1st Dania Denise Webinar:
  • Breaking into the Industry: What You Really Need to Snag a Modeling Agency
  • The 411 on What Agencies Really Look for in Models
  • Busting Modeling Myths
  • Freelance vs. Agency Representation: What's Right for You?
  • The Step-By-Step Guide to Freelance Modeling
  • Where Do You Fit In? Exploring the Different Types of Modeling
You don't have to be a subscriber to my blog to answer the polls or share your insight...all readers are welcome!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Quick Tip #57

Category: Snapshots
For: Male & Female Models

When sending modeling agencies non professional digital snapshots via email, make sure to properly name the jpg files of the images you plan on attaching. But always check the agency website first to find out if there are specific instructions on how they want you to name your image files.

Don't see any such info mentioned? Then here are some recommended file names that can be used for reference...to make it easier for people to understand and model their file names after, we'll use my name.

Let's say I'm about to submit 4 snapshots of myself to an agency: a headshot, full body shot, full body profile shot and a closeup profile shot...below is what I would name the files:

- DaniaDenise_Headshot
- DaniaDenise_FullBody
- DaniaDenise_FullBodyProfile
- DaniaDenise_CloseupProfile

This example isn't absolute and there are variations but in general you want to make sure 2 things appear in the file name: your name and the type of photo it is. Titling image files this way in an email to an agency makes it very easy for anyone reading it to know who the images are of and what type.

When transferring pictures from the camera to your computer, it'll probably have some long, funky name with numbers and letters in it. Do a "Save As" and rename the files properly once you know which ones you want to use and have cropped and/or resized them properly.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year, Modeling 101 Readers!!!

Yeah, yeah, I know...I'm late with the New Year's wishes, lol, but I took some days off to be completely lazy. Not to mention the modeling and acting gigs dried up for the holiday season. As much as I'm a workaholic, many more clients preferred to take vacations and leave projects for another day, haha. Understandable but I was bouncing off the walls out of boredom.

What saved the day was booking a promo commercial for a new app about a week ago. The commercial will be posted on the company's website but they're also considering buying airtime for it to appear on television in Chicago (where the company is based). I had a great time and really missed being in front of the camera. However, I did do other shoots over the past few months that I didn't get a chance to post about.

So I figured why not share them here?

Although I've already shared these photos as my blog header, below are the images from a cosmetics shoot I did for the Jira Couture Cosmetics company:
Here are some flicks from a clothing line shoot I did for a Japanese designer. The name of the company is SynZenBe:
I needed to update my swimsuit images so these are the latest from a shoot I did that are now in my portfolio:
A few posts back I shared a behind the scenes fun flick from a bridal shoot I was in. Below are the images the photographer, Marilee Caruso, will be using for her marketing materials:
These are some images from a jewelry shoot I did to help promote the designer's company, Paris Styles:
So that was the latter part of 2012 for me before things got slow. However, now that Christmas and New Year's Eve are out of the way, it seems people are geared up to get ready for business again. I've already submitted to a handful of castings and am steadily hearing back from clients so I have no doubt that my 2013 will soon be full of new projects I can share with you all!

Hope everybody had a wonderful holiday season and I look forward to adding even more blog posts to Modeling 101 and having you all along for the ride! Welcome, also, to my newest readers/subscribers...I truly enjoy seeing the number of subscribers continue to grow each week!

Here's to 2013...Cheers!!!