WELCOME TO MODELING 101!!!

There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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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.