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, March 28, 2013

Quick Tip #60

Category: Agency Open Calls
For: New/Inexperienced Male & Female Models

Aspiring models with zero experience, when you get asked by a modeling agency, "What modeling experience do you have?" it is perfectly acceptable to tell the truth: that you currently don't have experience. Remember, previous modeling experience isn't mandatory to be considered for agency representation (unless they say so on the website).

So don't feel pressured to lie or make something up to try and make yourself look better to an agency. When answering this question, let them know you have no experience but then go on to mention that you're eager to learn the industry and what it takes to become a great model.

Saying you're inexperienced might sound negative but if you follow it up with that bit of positivity and show them your enthusiasm about getting into modeling, it will work in your favor.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Meet Maria: 40+ and Going Strong as a Professional Model!

I often get many comments and emails from people wondering about modeling and the whole "age" issue. I've done a couple of posts about the subject but can certainly understand that readers still feel pretty intimidated about the thought of even trying to get into the modeling world after a certain age.

While the industry as a whole hasn't been exactly welcoming to "older models," I firmly believe that anyone at any age can do modeling. It just depends on their goals and where they realistically fit in. I know Maria would agree with me--after all, she is one of the prime examples of a model that has enjoyed a lot of success in her career. Oh, did I mention that she's also over 40?!

Maria is a working, professional model from the Netherlands. Want to know how she managed to overcome the age obstacle and remain as an in demand model in Europe? 

Below is her story in her own words:

How to model after growing up...

I started modelling at 40+ ...

It was not exactly the dreamcase like sending a holiday picture to an Agency and walking the Paris Catwalks a month later...but a more realistic and long way before I got my first paid job...

I was in sport classes for a long time, wanting to be in shape again after becoming a mother of two lovely children...And than i heard women talking about an other woman (oh my, there is a lot of talking in the clothing-rooms...) who did a photo-shoot for herself because she was so proud of the results of her workouts...

I wanted that too and after a few months (and thousands work-outs), I booked myself a photo session with a photographer.  Well, the result was amazing and I was so proud that i did send  the pictures all around and even to casting and model agencies.... why not?  So many women in my age category were not around on these sites....  Some responded positively and most of them did not....  My pictures were glitter and glamour and that was not exactly how agencies want to see you....

I learned a lot on the internet.  I made some profiles on forums and got in contact with the photographers/modelling world.  In the next years I did a lot of free work for photographers and started to work on a good portfolio.  Good experiences, bad experiences...... and most of all: working hard and driving miles.

But the doors opened and I got more agencies to hire me and paid jobs as well....

So, to all the women above 40.  Do you want to model?  Get yourself onto forums.  Work with photographers and have a great time.  Use the pictures for your facebook, family albums, or try to get some workshops, casting-photoshoots or real jobs from agencies.  Have some little luck or maybe even bigger and enjoy it all.  It is not a shame to be over 40 and it is certainly not a shame to get yourself in the pictures....  Be realistic about your ambition though, but just do it when you want to....

As for being realistic....; no agency or client wants a 40 year old for a high fashion or lingerie shoot, unless you are really famous or a brand-face-model.....  (Or it is really a 40+ advertisement shoot). Try to learn about categories;  commercial work is something completely else as fashion.  Doing free work or work for artists is also a completely different world as lifestyle or fotoshoots for business brochures. 

Go to castings for commercials, join acting-classes and don't take it personal when being rejected for a job.  Be yourself when it becomes to the age.  A 40+ model is being booked because of 40+.  Do not try to look like your daughter. They wanted a lady or mother for the job and that is why they casted you....

Work hard, stay thin, drink water and most of all: have fun...................


Want to learn more about Maria?

Maria - Model Mayhem Interview/Article

Model Maria Website

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Cons of Promotional Modeling

As you know, I aim to provide my blog readers with insider information about all things related to modeling. However, I'm not an expert in all categories. I don't normally have guest writers/contributors on my blog but when it comes to subjects I don't feel I have enough experience to write about, I will reach out to the best. 

The following is a guest post written by Margaret Colebeck. It is the second in a 2-part blog post series about the pros and cons of promotional modeling.

Margaret is a Marketing Associate, Model Coordinator, and trade show modeling expert for Vantage Advertising. Also known as Models4tradeshows.com, Vantage Advertising is a nationwide event staffing company that hires trade show models and promotional models for events throughout the United States and Canada.

I've asked Margaret to write a handful of posts related solely to working within the promotional modeling field. Please note that I do not work for Margaret or Vantage Advertising. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about promo modeling, please visit the site link above and you'll get all the info you'll need.

Aaaannnnd, take it away, Margaret!

Continuing on from our previous post, "The Pros of Promotional Modeling," we’ve outlined the cons of becoming a promotional model below. However, it is important to look at both sides in order to make the right decision for yourself as to whether or not promo modeling is worth looking into in more detail.

Getting Hired: It’s not always easy for promotional models to get hired (especially if you’re male), because dozens of promotional models apply to events where only one model is needed. This especially makes it difficult for up and coming promotional models to get hired because, not only are they being compared to dozens of other models that applied, but they don’t have as much experience. **Promotional Modeling Tip: To help gain experience, try volunteering for an event or accepting gigs at a lower rate.

Getting Paid: Depending on the agency, it can take up to 90 days for you to get paid. Therefore, before you commit to an event, make sure you are fully aware of the agency’s payment policy and know when to expect the check.

Long Hours: Trade shows and promotional events are known to last all day and sometimes into the evening. Before becoming a promotional model, understand that working 10-12 hour days is common, and that you are expected to stay on your feet (sometimes in stilettos) the entire time.

Commuting to the Job: Promotional events do not always take place in the heart of a large city. Sometimes, there are promotional events and festivals that take place an hour or two away from your location. Be sure to review the details of each event and determine which events you are willing to commute to and which you are not.

Stereotyping: No matter how smart and professional trade show models and promotional models are, there will also be an article or blog post outlining how degrading this promotional modeling is for men and women. While this stereotype should not affect your individual gigs, it’s important to understand the negative connotation that the majority of the media associates with this field.

And there you have it, the pros (in a previous post) and cons of becoming a promotional model. This is by no means a complete list, but instead outlines the major aspects that you should consider before deciding whether or not promotional modeling is the field for you.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Pros of Promotional Modeling

As you know, I aim to provide my blog readers with insider information about all things related to modeling. However, I'm not an expert in all categories. I don't normally have guest writers/contributors on my blog but when it comes to subjects I don't feel I have enough experience to write about, I will reach out to the best. 

The following is a guest post written by Margaret Colebeck. Margaret is a Marketing Associate, Model Coordinator, and trade show modeling expert for Vantage Advertising. Also known as Models4tradeshows.com, Vantage Advertising is a nationwide event staffing company that hires trade show models and promotional models for events throughout the United States and Canada.

I've asked Margaret to write a handful of posts related solely to working within the promotional modeling field. Please note that I do not work for Margaret or Vantage Advertising. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about promo modeling, please visit the site link above and you'll get all the info you'll need.

Aaaannnnd, take it away, Margaret!

So, you’ve stumbled upon the promotional modeling industry, have briefly done research on promotional models, and have considered getting involved. But, that’s where you’re stuck. You’re not sure if promotional modeling is right for you.  Like traditional modeling, promotional modeling isn’t for everyone. But, for those models that are just starting out, becoming a promotional model is a great way to make money, gain experience, and get noticed in the modeling world.

To help determine if promotional modeling is an ideal fit for you, we’ve outlined the pros of becoming a promotional model (the cons will be in a follow-up post).

Great Pay: No matter how you slice it, promotional modeling is an easy way to make money. Standard rates for promotional modeling range from $15-$30/hour. For specialty events, the rate can sometimes be as high as $45-$50/hour, or more!

Flexibility on Appearance: Unlike traditional modeling, promotional modeling is less strict on appearance. From 5’0” to 6’0”, thin models to average size models, tattooed or not, promotional models tend to get hired based on their professionalism, personality, and experience level over appearance.

Make Your Own Schedule: Similar to the pros of being a freelance model, promotional modeling allows you the flexibility of making your own schedule. You decide when and how often you want to work. This is ideal for students that are going to school full or part-time.

Traveling: Promotional events, trade shows, conventions, and conferences occur all year around across the globe. Becoming a promotional model allows you the opportunity to travel to locations you’ve never been.  **Disclaimer – Please note that not all agencies and/or clients will pay for travel.

Access into Unique Events: When you work as a promotional model for hire, you have the opportunity to experience a convention, festival, event, or trade show for free, even if it’s not open to the public.

Set Your Own Rates: Promotional models have the ability to negotiate their rates with agencies and clients based on their responsibilities and attire. This allows promotional models to create their own standards and decide what type of events they are willing to work.

Networking:  By working as a promotional model, you have the opportunity to network with other models in the industry. Many of these models will have years of experience in not only the promotional modeling world, but in modeling in general. By networking with these models, you’ll have the opportunity to receive modeling tips and advice from someone who has been in the industry for years. Talk about a gold mine of information!

Stepping Stone: With a little bit of networking and a lot of hard work, promotional modeling can become your stepping stone into other areas of modeling. Many experienced promotional models have the opportunity to do photo-shoots or video shoots that help to jump start their modeling careers.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Latest Dania Denise Tearsheet: Billboard

I'm glad I have friends all across the country! My buddy, Paul, who lives in Indiana, happened to be driving and came across a billboard with a face he thought looked familiar. So he took a picture with his phone and emailed it to me to find out if it was, in fact, me. It was!

Here's the picture he took:
This image is from a stock photography shoot I did years ago with a local photographer (I've certainly never attended Kaplan College and as you know, my name is not Willette, haha). How funny that it's now turned up on a billboard in Indiana after all this time!

Appearing on a billboard has been on my to-do-list of modeling goals and now I can officially check it off as an accomplishment. My new goal? To make sure it isn't the last billboard I appear on!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dania Denise Webinar Update #3: New Polls!

If you haven't noticed already, there are new polls related to my upcoming webinar. As always, your input is what will help me be successful with this project so please make sure to vote on these new questions so I can start figuring out a good date and time frame to host the event. Every vote counts!

Now that I know what topic will be addressed, I can start putting together an outline of what I'll be talking about, as well as creating a Powerpoint presentation to be able to show during the webinar.

I may also look into doing a live screen type of feature, where the webinar attendees will be able to see what is happening on my screen in real time. I'm thinking this would be nifty to have if I want to show people how to navigate an agency website or something.

I got some pretty good news, too: remember in my last webinar update how I was told the webcam feature for the GoToMeeting Webinar product wouldn't be launching for another couple of months? Well, I got a call from their customer service this morning, informing me that they have just added the webcam feature to their webinar service. Woot!

The next step is to start testing it and seeing if it will work for what I have in mind for my webinar. There is a 45-day free trial...I plan on setting up my event during that time (why pay for the service if I don't have to? LOL). Even though 45 days is a significant amount of time, I still need to take some time to plan out the webinar, get familiar with the registration process and make sure that potential attendees will be available to participate and--most important--know how to join the actual webinar.

I'm still trying to decide if I want to share the outline of the webinar here on my blog once it's done or if I should just make it a surprise and wait until the day of the webinar. Feel free to share your thoughts on the matter by leaving a comment on this blog post.

Okie dokie, that's it for now. Thanks in advance to the readers that will answer these latest polls and bring me that much closer to getting this webinar off the ground!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Snapshot Tips for Child Models

(This post does not pertain to baby modeling. For info on that type of modeling, please visit my post: Baby Modeling Tips)

I realize that the majority of my posts are targeted towards teens and adult models. But that doesn't mean I've forgotten about the kid models out there!

When it comes to helping parents of aspiring child models, I could easily tell them to refer to my previous posts about taking snapshots and submitting to agencies but I figured it might be challenging/confusing for parents to try and apply that info to their kids when the posts specifically talk about adults and have snapshot examples of older models.

So to make sure I don't leave anybody out, I decided to do this particular post to guide newbie parents through the process of submitting their kids to agencies.

There are a few factors that remain the same for submitting photos of your child to agencies that older models also follow, however:
  • Most (not all) agencies prefer/request non-professional, digital snapshots and not professional photos.
  • The child should appear completely natural (no makeup or fancy hairstyles)
  • No distracting clothing styles, busy patterns, logos, brand names or graphics. Stick to solid colors.
  • Snapshots should be taken indoors with good lighting against a plain white/light colored wall or if taken outdoors, the background should be clutter-free, with no distractions.
Here are some photo examples parents can use for inspiration when putting together their child's snapshots:

 (Note: Some of these have probably been taken by a professional BUT you don't NEED a pro. The reason I am using these particular examples is because it was difficult to find the right kind of non professional, digital snapshots I wanted, since most parents don't post those types of pictures on the Internet. But rest assured, if you know how to operate a digital camera, you can easily take these types of pictures of your own kids and get quality results agencies look for.)
A close-mouthed smile is okay, as long as it doesn't look fake or like the child is uncomfortable. Posing isn't necessary. The way this child model has her hands resting at her sides is perfectly fine.
See how great his smile is? Agencies want child models that aren't afraid to smile! Even if your child has a missing tooth (or two), it's fine...they are kids, after all.
The outfit and colors are great for this child model. Your child can pose a little bit, like she is here, but don't go overboard with it. They should still appear natural in the photo.
This is a very cute headshot that shows the child's personality. Notice how it is taken from the shoulders up. This is the definition of a "headshot."
This headshot is less formal in appearance than the one above but is still an excellent example of a headshot for a child model. His smile is genuine and he looks very comfortable in front of the camera.
The photo samples I've chosen are of younger child models but the same snapshot tips below and the images above also apply to kids that are a bit older, such as those in the "tween category."

The stereotypical, serious pout type of snapshots should only be taken by female models that are 14 years of age and older, who are also tall enough to meet the height requirement for fashion/runway (in most cases, that means being 5'8" or taller...some agencies lower the height requirement for models ages 14-16 to 5'6" or 5'7"). If your daughter is shorter than that and not expected to grow for another few years, then please do the snapshots according to what I've listed in this post.

Now for the differences and tips for how parents should prepare their child's snapshots for agency submission:

Find Out What the Agency Wants BEFORE Picking Up the Camera!

Many agency websites are very good about providing info as to what types of photos they want and what kind. For example, it can be as simple as "please send 2 photos, one closeup and one full body." Others may offer more detailed requirements.

Simple or involved, follow exactly what the agency website says. If submitting to more than one agency, prepare each submission according to what each specifically asks for. Failing to do this means not following directions, which could get your child's submission automatically rejected.

Don't see any kind of submission info? For agency sites that only provide an email address, sending them a closeup shot (headshot) and full body shot should be more than enough to suffice.

Tell Them to Say "CHEESE!"

Remember, child models are supposed to act their age. Children smile, laugh and are all bubbly and cute and stuff. Their snapshots should reflect that. Your child's snapshots should show them smiling (they don't have to be laughing necessarily but they should look happy in the pictures). They're not teen or adult models so there's no need for the serious stare-down expression.

It helps to choose a time of day when you know your child has good energy and isn't tired, cranky or otherwise unfit to produce good photos. Unless you never take pictures of your kids, which I highly doubt, chances are you know what needs to happen in order to get them to take a nice picture.

Make sure your child is facing the camera directly. Avoid snapshots where their face is at a 3/4 angle or in profile. Their head shouldn't be tilted or leaning to one side, either. It photographs weird. All hair should be away from their face and not blocking it in any way.

Don't Worry About Being a Pro Photographer

The great thing about being able to submit snapshots is that any parent can do this themselves. You don't need to hire a professional photographer for this. You don't even need a fancy, schmancy camera, either. A typical digital camera will be fine. As long as you know how to point, focus and shoot clear pictures, you'll be golden.

And don't over analyze the situation. Sure, these snapshots are going to be sent to agencies but they don't expect parents to shoot images that look like they've been taken by Annie Leibovitz. Again, if you've ever taken good pictures of your kids before, I'm positive you'll be more than capable of doing a good job with the snapshots.

Make sure to take more than one photo of each pose so that you have options to choose from. This is much easier than trying to get the perfect shot each time.

Pay Attention to the Details

Once you've gotten your snapshots taken, follow the submission instructions given by each agency website. If you're sending the images by email, note any mention of sizing restrictions. Never send humongous image files to an agency. The safest format to send are JPEGs. If you don't know how already, learn how to resize your photos so that they aren't super big but not teenie-tiny, either.

Want to snail mail the snapshots instead? Again, refer to the website to see if they have a preference on size. In most cases, 5"x7" is the largest you should print any snapshots (4"x6" is the smallest). No need for 8"x10"s. Always send color images, not black and white or sepia. On the back of each photo, the following information should be written:
  • Child's first and last name
  • Age
  • Stats (height, weight, shirt size, shoe size, pants size, dress size for girls, as well as eye color, hair color)
  • Contact info (phone number and email)
  • Your first and last name
These don't need to be put into a special portfolio or binder. Mailing them in a padded envelope is fine. Don't send a CD of the photos unless told to by the agency. If you're asked to bring the snapshots to an interview or casting call, you can simply carry them as is. Again, no need for a portfolio or binder to put them in.

Don't over think this part of the process. As long as your child is in good spirits and you've set aside plenty of time to get the pictures taken, things should turn out just fine. You'll know whether or not the resulting pictures will be good enough to send to agencies once you've reviewed them. Trust your gut. Still not sure? Feel free to email me (daniadenise@gmail.com) and I can tell you whether or not you're on the right track!

***I never share photos or personal information on my blog from readers that email me. Any conversation that takes place via email stays strictly between us.***