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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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Submitting to Modeling Agencies vs. Applying to Jobs

What I love about mentoring and coaching models is that I get to stay on top of what the most pressing concerns and challenges are for them, ultimately, allowing me to be mindful of what blog post topics I want to make sure to address here. This is one of those posts.

I want to point out that when I talk about agencies, I prefer to use the word "submit" and "submission(s)" instead of "applying."

My reason for this is because I don't want newbie models and those just getting into the industry to have the misconception that submitting to agencies is like applying for a job. Are they similar? Yes. Similar enough to be treated/talked about the same way? Not exactly.

The Submission/Application Method

Both agencies that sign models and companies that hire employees have their own respective submission/application methods. However, for models it is different compared to the average Joe/Jane looking for a 9-5 job.

Models don't go to the agency and ask to pick up an application that they can fill out and return at a later date. Nor do they call/email the agency to ask if they are hiring and what openings they have. It doesn't work that way.

Many agencies have submission forms on their websites for models to fill out and send in, along with photos and other requested materials, which is very much like a regular job application. The difference is that in order to obtain this kind of information, you have to visit the website, not call or email the agency directly.

The same could also be said for applying to regular jobs but it is crucial for models to know that phoning, randomly emailing or dropping by an agency office to inquire about representation is a big no-no. Regular 9-5 companies may also discourage this but in general, this practice of inquiring is more accepted in the overall job market--in modeling, it is not.


Unless you're applying to a job that is "entry-level," with no experience required, in the job market chances are you need to have a resume listing your previous experience and other information that shows why you're qualified to be hired.

In the modeling world, previous experience/training is not mandatory in order to be considered for representation by an agency unless they state on their website that they only represent professional level talent. Otherwise, newbies and inexperienced model hopefuls are more than welcome to submit their snapshots, measurements and info.

Again, the key is in the agency websites, which list the submission guidelines and whether or not they'll take on new models or only those with proven experience.

When applying to regular jobs, you're required to have some kind of resume that lists all the nooks and crannies of every job position you've ever held or at least those relevant to the type of position you're applying for. Models don't need resumes to submit to agencies. If you don't have any prior modeling experience, how can you be expected to submit a resume? Agencies work with new/inexperienced models all the time so they know not to expect these kinds of things from newbies.

Employee vs. Independent Contractor

This is the business side of the modeling industry I'm about to jump into here. When a person applies for a regular job and they get hired, they become an employee of that company. When a model gets signed by an agency, they become an independent contractor, not an employee. What does this mean?

The most significant point I want to touch on when it comes to this is the fact that "employees" receive a benefits package of some kind (health, dental, vision, vacation, 401(k), etc.)...models do not. As an "independent contractor," you are operating as your own business/employer, therefore the agency is not responsible for providing you with any kind of benefits. The contract you sign will state this and when you sign it, that means you are agreeing to and understand that you are responsible for providing yourself with those things and not the agency.

The Interview

A regular job interview means dress to impress. From business suits to business casual wear, job candidates already know their wardrobe needs to be top notch to make a great first impression. For models, interviews and open calls don't require nearly half as much pizzazz.

Heck, open calls at agencies encourage models to be as casual as possible. While female models typically wear skinnies, heels and a fitted tank-top or t-shirt, male models can keep things simple as well with jeans, sneakers and a regular t-shirt. So there's no need to invest in formal business threads for the purpose of going to a modeling agency open call.

Even if invited to a formal agency interview, the dress code doesn't change drastically--dressy casual for both female and male models is more than enough to get the job done. Additionally, no fancy briefcase or presentation is necessary. Digital snapshots with your name, stats and contact info written on the back is the bare minimum required. It doesn't get any easier than that.

New models shouldn't make the process of submitting to agencies any harder than they need to. The process itself, when you really think about it, is very simple: the websites tell you exactly what to do. Follow the instructions and see where things go from there.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Dania Denise Guest Blog for Ms Curvaceous UK

I've had the great opportunity to be a guest blogger for the wonderful organization, Ms Curvaceous UK.

This group of dedicated professionals is committed to putting plus size models on the map in all aspects, not just the immediate industry.

They host free workshops and various events that allow all aspiring plus size gals to follow their modeling dreams, while at the same time, educating the world about the importance of not labeling what should be defined as "beautiful" or "perfect" based on dress size alone.

I'll be contributing various guest blog posts to their website, MS CURVACEOUS UK, as well as sharing the highlights of their events and the models who are a part of them on my own blog. After learning about MCUK's mission, I was more than happy to be on board and help spread the word.

I hope you all take a moment to visit MCUK's site and learn about what they're trying to do. It would be super cool if the US had its own version and I believe it will only be a matter of time (sooner rather than later, of course!).

Below is the link to my first guest post on their blog and I'll be sure to share future posts here as well. Happy reading!


PS: Because I believe in transparency, I will say that one of the first things I asked MCUK when they asked me to be a part of their community was if there were any upfront fees. I also explained my stance on the topic and that I wanted to make sure that I continue to practice what I preach. Below is the answer I got from one of the top folks at the organization:

"With regards to your question about charges, we charge a £20 fee for people to attend the audition for admin but once they work with us they do not get charged for any of our services."

I am happy that MCUK was very honest about the charges and coupled with the fact that not only is the fee super affordable (it's in British pounds because, unfortunately, this organization is currently only operational in the United Kingdom), everything else is free of charge. No hidden fees, catches or obligations you get stuck having to commit to.

I've said before that when it comes to getting into modeling, there are certain fees that are not only reasonable but to be expected. It all depends on whether or not you're dealing with legitimate people and resources. So if you're wondering what my take is on this charge and whether it's worth it, I say go for it. The amount is minimal compared to what businesses like modeling schools charge and what you get in return is well worth the small investment.

Remember, you as a model are a business all your own and all businesses require some form of investment. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hi Res & Low Res Images: Why They Matter for Modeling Portfolios

This post will be of the most use to freelance models, as well as newbies learning about the importance of photography and modeling portfolios.

We all know that models can't go very far in their careers without a portfolio...and you can't have a portfolio without photos.

With the popularity of the Internet, a lot of things have changed in the modeling world to accommodate for new technology and its benefits. This includes portfolio images and the way they are used.

If you're an aspiring model, you may or may not already be familiar with terms like "hi res" and "low res" when it comes to photos. Of course, with everyone being so snap happy with Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, chances are these terms aren't completely alien but as it applies to modeling portfolios, it is important to know what "hi res" and "low res" means and how it should be used.

Let's get the easy stuff out of the way first: "Hi res" means "high resolution" and "low res" means "low resolution."

Without getting too technical, below is the easiest way to understand when to use hi res and low res photos when it comes to portfolios.

When to Use Hi Res Images

As the name suggests, high resolution photographs tend to be large in file size and when you view the image itself, there is a large amount of detail. Do you need to print out your modeling photos for your hard copy portfolio? Then you'll need the hi res version, no exceptions.

When printing from a home photo printer, make sure the DPI for each picture is 300. That is the basic setting to ensure that any hi res photo will print clearly. In addition to the DPI needing to be correct, the actual file size also matters. Check your image files and make sure it is at least 1 MB in size or larger. The larger, the better in terms of suitable print quality. Anything smaller--even with a 300 DPI setting--the image won't be as crisp.

When to Use Low Res Images

Low resolution images are the exact opposite of high resolution (obviously). Whereas hi res is all about 300 DPI, clear quality and large files, low res comes with a basic setting of 72 DPI, tends to be on the smaller side and not-so-crisp quality.

The Internet is the home for low res images so if you're a model who has low res versions of the pictures you want to use for a portfolio, then you're going to want to stick with uploading these to an online portfolio, on your website, social media profiles, etc.

The lower the resolution, the more "pixelated" the image will appear, which you don't want. Any photographer worth their salt will know to give you the right kind of low res versions that are not super blurry and can be usable online.

Have you ever clicked on a website and it took forever to load? 9 times out of 10 it is because the images on that page are hi res and the files are so large that it takes a minute for the Internet browser to properly display everything. This is why the use of low res is so vital to functionality on websites. Uploading hi res modeling pictures on a website, photo gallery or social media page could result in longer page loading times and not all potential clients or agencies viewing those sites will want to wait around until the page is fully displayed.

Trying to print a low resolution image for a hard copy portfolio isn't even worth the time--it'll be a waste of ink because the quality will be very poor. Since portfolios are meant to showcase you at your best, the last thing you want is to come across as anything less than polished and professional.

Tips for Models
  • Anytime you do a shoot as a model for portfolio purposes, such as updating your headshots or adding new material, it is important to make sure that the photographer knows to give you both hi res and low res versions of the images you end up producing together.
  • However, if you're savvy with photo editing software and know how to resize photographs, then you'll only need hi resolution pictures from the photographer, that way you can make your own low res versions to use online.
  • Do you only have low res images to work with? If, for whatever reason, you don't have hi res and need them for a hard copy portfolio, contact the photographer(s) and ask if it would be possible to get them. To make the process more effective, you should already know which photos you need in hi res, including the file name to make it easier for the photographer to look up those files.
  • A great way to avoid finding yourself in this situation is to communicate clearly during the first stages of correspondence with a photographer that you're hoping to get hi res pictures from the shoot and then take things from there. Such a request is commonplace and I don't see any reason why this should become an issue for anyone.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Don't Understand Your Modeling Contract? Tips You Should Follow BEFORE Signing

Ah, the almighty modeling contract. Obtaining agency representation is the ultimate goal for a majority of those that want to get into the industry professionally and having a contract secured is the first step towards reaching those goals. However, one of the biggest mistakes newbies can make is signing without understanding what they're agreeing to.

Some of the worst cases I've heard from those who have reached out to me for advice and assistance have to do with contracts. I feel so bad for those individuals because 9 times out of 10, I can't really help them at all because it's all after the fact.

Folks, signing on that dotted line is a serious business decision and obligation. This applies to underage models as well, namely, the parents. Once you've put that signature down, the options for trying to get out of the contract are dramatically decreased. Models get "stuck" in contracts all the time but I hope this post will prevent this from happening to others.

Below are some basic "dos" that should be followed before grabbing a pen and signing a modeling contract.

Take The Contract Home and Read It

All legitimate modeling agencies will allow and encourage prospective models to take a copy of the contract home to review on their own time. A deadline for when to return the contract signed (or to decline the offer) will be given and varies from agency to agency. Usually only a few days are allowed so don't expect them to let you take it home and get back to them in a week or a month from now.

Remember, there are many others dying to have that contract in their hands so dillydallying isn't good BUT that doesn't mean you should rush through the pages and start signing. Read the contract front to back and then read it several more times.

Make a Photocopy & Start Dissecting

Chances are you're not going to understand everything contained in a modeling contract and that's normal. I highly recommend making a photocopy of the contract in its entirety and using the copy (not the original) to make direct notes. Highlight terms, clauses and anything else you don't understand or need clarification on. Make notes in the margins with any questions that automatically pop into your head so you don't forget them later on.

Research, Research, Research!

Now that you've got your questions and other factors highlighted on your copy, start investigating! The Internet is a obvious resource for looking up terms/lingo and many topics discussed in the contract itself. Know someone that's in the industry? Pick their brain, too (I'm one of those people and I'm more than happy to lend a hand if I can).

The goal is to try and get as many answers on your own as you can. Don't forget to keep track of the info you've learned so that you know which parts of the contract still need answers and which parts you're clear on.

Ask the Agency for Further Clarification

At this stage in the game, do not let the agency intimidate you into pretending like you know everything about the contract if you really don't. Understand that agencies expect you to be new to most, if not all, of the stuff being thrown at you...they're expecting you to have questions and concerns. In these instances, it is absolutely okay to reach out and call or email your contact at the agency to ask for further explanation about anything mentioned in the contract.

The agency you sign with is a business partner that you'll be working closely with so take advantage of the fact that they are now accessible to you. Any reputable agency will welcome questions and be more than happy to provide insight and answers until you are 100% comfortable with signing.

Have an Attorney Review the Contract

Really want to cover all your bases? Then hire an attorney to review the contract for you. This doesn't mean you're taking the agency to court or taking any legal action. Having an attorney check things out is basically a way to have a fresh, unbiased pair of eyes look over everything to make sure that the contract is solid, fair and a good one to sign.

This step is optional and not mandatory. Do NOT tell the agency that you had an attorney look the contract over--that's not necessary for them to know and it wouldn't be seen very favorably, either. If you decide to have an attorney review your contract, make sure to choose a legal professional with experience/specialization in entertainment law. Why? Because this means they regularly deal with contracts that relate to models, actors, musicians, athletes, etc. and will already be familiar with what these types of contracts contain.

Would you hire a divorce lawyer to represent you in a case that has to do with tax law? Of course not, because the divorce lawyer wouldn't have a clue as to what the tax laws are all about. Not all attorneys are the same and not all of them have any specific knowledge about the entertainment industry. Can't find anyone that specializes in entertainment law? Then seek a legal professional that at least has experience with contracts that are similar to what you're dealing with. This will be evident once you start searching for local attorneys and get more familiar with the types of work they do.

All you need to tell them is that you have a modeling contract and would like them to go over it to make sure it is legitimate and contains content that is favorable to your situation as it relates to being represented for modeling. That's all you need from them.

This all sounds like a lot, I know, but trust me, it's better to go through all this now and have the confidence needed to sign the contract without any regrets, versus being too eager or intimidated and signing a document that you'll later be dying to get out of.

Don't make the mistake of asking questions AFTER you sign the contract because then it'll be too late. Even with an exit clause, models who want to get out of a contract they regret signing typically have to wait until a portion of their contract term has passed, which could be a few months or even a year--and that's an experience no model should have to go through.

Friday, November 7, 2014

How "Special Skills" Applies to Modeling

Whether you're a freelance model or agency represented, if you've had a bit of experience in modeling and have attended castings and go-sees, chances are you've filled out your share of paperwork.

In order for clients to make their final selections for bookings, it helps if they know a bit more about the models up for consideration.

Aside from filling out a sign-in sheet, many castings also have models fill out and submit a brief questionnaire that contains basic information such as statistics/measurements, contact info and level of experience. However, you may have also noticed a section that asks you to list any "Special Skills."

What Are Special Skills?

Sometimes included in the section of the questionnaire that asks about hobbies or special interests, special skills are any kind of talent or skill outside of modeling that you are really good at. Examples of common special skills worth noting include but are not limited to:

  • Dance (ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, etc.)
  • Musical instrument
  • Sports
  • Art (painting, drawing, sketching)
  • Foreign Language
Why Do Special Skills Matter in Modeling?

There are a number of reasons why clients and even agencies care about the special skills a model may have. 

First, it gives them more insight as to who you are as a person and what interests you have. It also makes for great talking points during an interview so be prepared to discuss any of the special skills you list on a questionnaire or application, especially if it's something out of the ordinary or unique.

Second, it makes you more marketable for modeling opportunities that may require its models to have real-world experience for whatever role they would be playing. For example, if a client has a sportswear catalog to shoot and they need someone to wear their latest golfing attire, they may specifically want people who have golfing skills in case they decide to do any action shots, such as swinging a golf club.

A model with no golfing experience is going to need to be posed properly and will have to learn onsite how to hold their stance, the golf club, etc. However, if a model who lists golf as a special skill gets hired for the gig, chances are he/she will already know how to do basic golf poses, which saves time and money. Additionally, golf pros looking at the catalog would be able to spot a model "faking it" very easily. Using people that know what they're doing makes for a better sell to the consumers the client is targeting.

This concept applies to not just sports but clients and brands in other industries like dance and the arts, where it isn't as easy to teach a model how to "look" like a pro at whatever they're doing.

If You Think It Qualifies, Then List It

There is no hard and fast rule book that says which special skills count and which don't. If it seems special to you, then there's no harm in listing it. But don't go too far out on a limb just so you have something to put in that section on the questionnaire.

Of course if you have a ready list of special skills to offer, then you'll have no problem filling out that part during a casting but if you need a bit of assistance then take a moment to think about the things you enjoy doing, if there's anything you have a knack for and what level of experience you have doing it. 

Special Skills are Optional, Not Mandatory so Don't Force It (or Fake It)

Don't have any special skills to list? That's okay. It's not a must for every model to have. But it does help greatly, depending on what kind of casting you're submitting to. However, you should never "pad" your answer to include special skills you don't really have. 

Lying may get you further than the competition in the casting but you'll eventually be found out once asked to demonstrate the skill. So don't pretend to be something you're not--it'll only make you look bad and guarantee you won't get booked.

Additionally, don't suddenly sign up for a bunch of things to develop special skills you think clients or agencies may want to see. Just because a lot of models also have a background in dance (like ballet), that doesn't mean you need to start taking ballet lessons to be like them. If you're not naturally athletic, don't force yourself to join a local sports team and so on.

Your special skills should speak to something you not only do well but that is important to you...that's what should make it "special."

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kid Models Should Look Like...Kids!

I get a lot of emails from young aspiring models. And when I say "young," I mean "young." I think 9 or 10 has been my youngest so far.

What gets me is that oftentimes the questions about modeling they ask me have to do with all things not relevant to the age they are now.

What I mean by that is, I get emails and blog comments from young girls and boys (mostly girls), talking about how disappointed they are that they don't have curves or a body like a model in order to do Victoria's Secret modeling and if I can give them any tips or tricks to help them grow taller, etc., etc.

It's quite shocking from my point of view because they are solely focused on doing modeling that they are currently far too young for instead of looking at the kind of modeling that is readily available to them right now: kid modeling.

Kids, tweens and teens are a huge makeup of the modeling industry and there is no shortage of agencies and clients that are always in need of young models of all ages, height, sizes and ethnicities.

When I enlighten my young readers/mentees about the fact that they can get into modeling now, the next set of questions they ask usually have to do with prepping photos for agency submission. But they still get stuck in the "grown up model" frame of mind in regards to makeup, hair and wardrobe. So I decided to do a post to address the fact that while the modeling industry is known for having young models "grow up fast," that is mainly when it comes to fashion/runway modeling.

For the record: when it comes to kid modeling, the modeling world wants its kid models to look...like...KIDS!

I know, it may be hard to believe but it's true. The every day, average kid model isn't supposed to be dolled up to look like a miniature version of a grown up runway model. Parents, take note of that! It can be confusing to know how to prepare your child for submission to agencies since 99% of the info out there about getting into modeling specifically addresses models that are older so I definitely understand where it can be difficult to know what to do. So let me make this process a lot easier for you.

When submitting your child to agencies for possible representation, keep these things in mind:

Au Naturale

Again, kid models are supposed to look like kids. Girls shouldn't wear any makeup (like they would need to at such a young age--their skin is about as ideal as it can get and they don't have wrinkles, fine lines or dark circles to worry about, lol). Hairstyles should be the kind they wear on a normal basis. Same for the boys.

Age Appropriate Attire

Make sure to check the agency websites first to see if there are specific guidelines for what you child should wear in their snapshots. If nothing is mentioned in particular, casual clothes are best. Your child does NOT have to wear the "model uniform" of skinny jeans, heels and a form fitting tank-top or t-shirt.

Ideal outfits for girls include:

- nice casual dress (i.e. sundress, jumper, skirt with a top)
- shorts and a t-shirt or tank-top (the top can be snug but doesn't have to be super ultra tight fitting)
- jeans and a nice blouse or t-shirt
- no heels for little girls or tweens that are not fashion height. Flats, sandals or clean casual sneakers are fine.

Ideal outfits for boys include:

- t-shirt and jeans/shorts
- clean casual sneakers/shoes
- button up shirt and jeans/shorts

Both boys and girls should have wardrobe that is free of logos, busy patterns, stripes, polka dots, images/graphics...you get the picture. Solid colors are best and pastels are always a great color palette to consider.

No accessories either. That means nix the sunglasses (regular prescription glasses are perfectly fine). Avoid hats, distracting earrings/bracelets or other items/props. The snapshots should focus on your child--they should be modeling themselves, not anything else in the photo that will pull attention from them.

Remember: the info I've written above applies to aspiring child models that are anywhere from ages 6-12. 

If your son/daughter is older and meets the height requirements for fashion/runway modeling (5'8" - 6'0" for girls and 5'11" - 6'3" for boys), then this will not apply to them--they'll want to follow the standard guidelines that apply to that specific category of modeling.

If your son/daughter is older and does not meet the height requirement for fashion/runway modeling, then they will want to focus on commercial/print and teen modeling, which also requires them to appear all natural and more casual in appearance.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Answering a Reader Question Video Reply #5

Emily Wrote:

Hi its Emily agian! 

I know I asked this on another blog of yours , but I thought this should be a VIDEO RESPONSE ANSWER. It is what are the height requirments , mesarments, looks for the the different child models. I have only seen this answer 0-2 times. I think this would be great for younger followers of yours. 


Thanks for the question and video reply request, Emily! Below is your answer!

I also wanted to add that kid models should not wear makeup. Agencies and clients want you to look your age and if you're a kid that means no makeup for young girls so keep it simple and keep it all natural!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Dania Denise in the Top 4 for "The Face of Teneille" Makeup Line!!!

Hey, everyone!

For those of you that have kept up with the recent posts here on Modeling 101, you've likely seen the post describing the modeling competition I'm in to be the face of a brand new makeup line. Well, I've got good news: I made the Top 4!!!

From 150 applicants, down to 50 for the first round of interviews, down to 12 for the second round of interviews (in front of a panel), down to the final 4.

It's definitely an honor to be a part of this competition and I'm super duper excited about the STOMP THE RUNWAY FASHION SHOW that is going to take place in Sacramento exactly 7 days from now (Saturday, October 4th).

The Top 4 will literally be battling on the catwalk to get the audience to vote for us--it's the audience that will determine the winner, who will be announced at the end of the show.

Each of us has been assigned to a local designer who will be featured at the show. There will be about 8-10 models total for each designer, which will certainly make for a very large group of models. I'm not mad about that because in fashion shows, the more models there are, the more time you get to change backstage!

Here's the promo video announcing the Top 4 that is currently on YouTube:

Last night I attended a pre-launch media event to help hype up the fashion show and competition. It was the first time the Top 4 got to be together. I have to say, these ladies are amazing! There are lots of negative stereotypes when it comes to female models being catty, divas and anti-social but I gotta say, none of that applies to this group!

We all instantly took to one another and we spent a large majority of the night laughing, cracking jokes and having great convo about topics outside of modeling (you don't know how refreshing that is!). We all love each other like sisters and to be honest, while I really want to win, if any of the other 3 ended up taking the title, I would truly be happy because all of us are deserving. It's not one of those situations where the person who wins is really a jerk who is fake and probably won't do a good job of being the face of the brand. Each of us is professional, passionate about modeling, understands the true definition of beauty and what it means to be a powerful, confident, influential woman and role model in today's society.

We got to demonstrate our runway walk in front of the audience at the pre-launch event and then spent the remainder of the night mingling with the guests, which included bloggers and local media. I got interviewed by one magazine (gotta track down who it is) and had a great time chatting with the community of supporters who came out to celebrate with us.

A lot of people asked me questions about how I got involved in the competition, how I liked the makeup (which I got to wear for the first time for that event...I LOVE the makeup btw!) and many more offered such kind words of support and encouragement. Many will be attending the fashion show next Saturday so it'll be great to see those familiar faces.

Below are some fun flicks from the event. There was a professional photographer there to capture the festivities but these were the most recent photos I could get from what people were posting on Facebook.
The Final 4 (Camille, Deatra, Shai'La & Myself) with Eddie Clark (middle), one of the founders of the Teneille Makeup Line by Creative Brush One
This is my designer I'll be walking for in the STOMP THE RUNWAY FASHION SHOW, Tyneice...she is the definition of fabulous!
A day in the life...
Striking a pose with fellow Top 4 contestant, Camille.
The Top 4 cheesin'...Camille, Myself, Deatra & Shai'La
Posing in front of the audience for photo opps.
If any of you are local to Sacramento or the San Francisco Bay Area and are interested in attending, there is still time to buy your tickets! Below is the link:


Let me know if you plan on attending...I would love to meet any of my local readers/supporters!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Modeling 101 Skype Group Chat #3 Cancelled

Hey, all!

Just wanted to let you all know that the Modeling 101 Skype Group Chat #3, which was originally scheduled for this Saturday, September 24 at 5PM PST has been cancelled due to low turnout/response rates, as well as the fact that the majority of the people who participated in the poll on my blog (thank you!) were not able to attend on the date and time chosen.

While I appreciate the few that did reply to say they could attend, the overall experience will be much more effective with a significantly larger group.

I don't want anyone to be left out so I'll be keeping you all posted as to what upcoming windows of time would possibly work and hopefully the turnout and response rate at that time will be good enough for me to know whether or not I can confirm a new date and time frame for the future.

Until then, get ready to enjoy some new content that I know I've been taking much too long in getting to you! :-)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Modeling 101 Skype Group Chat #3: Saturday, September 27 @ 5pm PST

Hello, readers!

I'm trying to plan the next Modeling 101 Skype Group Chat and am looking at Saturday, 9/27 at 5pm PST (California Time).

The topic is going to be about freelance modeling this time: what it is, how to get into it the right way and tips to increase your odds for success.

I really need feedback to find out who would be interested and able to attend so I plan on doing another poll on my blog, as well as asking you guys to comment on this post to let me know if that date and time would work for you. I'll go with the majority feedback.

If you aren't already a member of my Skype group, which is the only way you can join in on the calls, you'll need to either add me on Skype: dania.denise (my profile picture is a closeup, black and white headshot...in case more than one profile with that name pops up). Or you can email me your Skype ID (so I can add you to the group)...you can send this info to my direct email: daniadenise@gmail.com.

I keep all info private so your Skype ID will not be published on my blog or elsewhere. I hope to receive enough feedback from everyone so I can make this third Skype group chat beneficial for those that are truly interested in participating.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Latest on Dania Denise: September 2014

I know, I know, this post was written on August 31 but it's basically already September so why not get a jump on the new month? :-)

2014 has been an interesting year so far. As you've probably noticed, it's the first year since this blog was started that I've had the least total number of posts. That's not for lack of caring, however.

I wear many hats and that includes running two art businesses (solely owned and operated by myself). Those businesses have been hopping since late last year so I dedicated a lot of my time and energy into fulfilling those commitments.

I was still going on castings, auditions and booking work but not as much--mostly because I wasn't as actively marketing myself to opportunities as I normally did. However, summer was also a very slow season for me for any number of reasons but just recently (literally like 2 weeks ago), modeling and acting began picking up speed and I've been doing shoots and other projects left and right. Back to the balance between my two worlds. Not to mention that whatever downtime I had was spent with a lot of mentoring/consulting and advising newbie models so I was still in the modeling loop in that sense.

So that's the main reason why I've been less active on my blog but nonetheless I never forgot about my readers and did manage to get one YouTube video posted to my channel recently. I'm thinking if I can get 1 video on YouTube per month at a minimum, at least that's better than nothing.

I've been shooting local commercials and pursuing movie roles as well but now have a great opportunity in front of me with the modeling side of my career that I'm super excited about.

I'm in the running to be the face of a brand new cosmetics line and will be walking in the STOMP THE RUNWAY FASHION SHOW, where the Final 4 (and ultimately the winner) will be announced live. The show is taking place in Sacramento, California on Saturday, October 4th.

Not only did I want to share this news with my readers here on my blog, I also wanted to provide an open invitation to any of you that is local to Northern California to attend, show support and meet me in person!

Buy your tickets early for the best prices and feel free to invite anyone and everyone who may be interested.

Here's the link: http://stomptherunwaysac.wix.com/strsac

It's up to the AUDIENCE TO VOTE WHO THEY WANT TO WIN the competition. That means I need as many supporters as possible at the event to root me on.

If you want to find out if I made it to the Final 4, you'll have to attend! Hope to see you there!!!

It goes without saying that walking away with this kind of title would be a huge notch on my resume and open up a number of networking possibilities to further my modeling career and brand. Out of 150+ applicants, 50 got invited to the first round of interviews (which I made the cut for). Out of those 50, the Top 12 were chosen and invited for a second round of interviews with a panel of judges (I made the cut for this one, too!). Here's a photo of the Top 12, as promoted by the cosmetics line on Facebook:

The last and final phase of this competition is choosing the Final 4 out of the Top 12. Those Final 4 will be announced during the fashion show and, as mentioned above, the audience will then get to to choose the winner. I'm really hoping it's me. I've already been promoting the event on Facebook and Twitter and other social media channels.

If any of you are local and believe you can make it, definitely purchase your tickets now while they're still affordable. It's going to be a fun and festive night filled with fashion, makeup, awesome sponsors, music and great people!

I'll definitely make sure to update you all on the deets of the show and the outcome in October!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Quick Tip: 63

Category: Makeup
For: Male & Female Models

I'm including the male models in this post, too, since as we all know, male models wear makeup, too! :-)

If you've ever dealt with glitter in makeup (lip color/gloss, bronzer, eye shadow, etc.), you'll know that it can be a pain to get rid of. The best makeup removers on the market don't always get every little spec of sparkle.

I'm sure both you models and non-models alike out there have had at least one encounter with mystery glitter speckles suddenly catching your attention in the mirror or pointed out to you by someone.

To get rid of glitter in a more effective way then scrubbing your face raw, follow this nifty trick I learned from a great makeup artist out of San Francisco (I don't remember his name...gah!):

Take a small strip of Scotch tape (the clear kind or the kind that's a bit hazy/not as see-through), lay it on top of the area where the glitter is on your skin, gently press down and remove the strip. It's not rocket science to see why this works. The Scotch tape is enough of an adhesive that it will catch those pesky glitter flakes but not mess up your skin in the process.

You can do this several times until you've gotten it all out. You may need a new strip of tape if the glitter isn't being picked up after a while (this happens when the skin's natural oils get onto the tape, making the adhesive less sticky).

Btw: this trick is best used for those getaway glitter specks that you can't get rid of after you've already cleansed/washed your face/body. Do not go for the Scotch tape to remove glitter before you've cleansed!

Be sure to use Scotch tape, not duct tape, packaging tape or any other kind of tape. Keep it simple, folks!

Monday, July 28, 2014

How Do I Get My Baby Into Modeling?

How many times have you been told that your baby is so cute that he/she should be a model?

Well, if you think you're ready to dive into that adventure, then this post will point you in the right direction!

Btw: I've already written an intro blog post into this type of modeling, which you may want to check out by clicking on this link: Baby Modeling Tips.

It is important to note that "baby models" and "child models" are entirely different based on age ranges. Interested in getting your child into modeling? Then click on this link: How Do I Get My Child Into Modeling?

Let's keep things simple by breaking down where you should start and what steps are involved in this process:

Look for Local Agencies That Represent Babies

Believe it or not, not all agencies deal with babies or even kid models. Hit the Internet to find out what agencies are within a 2 hour's drive from where you live. Once you've got your search results, start browsing through the websites.

Most agency sites make it very clear what divisions/categories of models they represent so it shouldn't be hard to locate this information. Now that you've got your results narrowed down to the ones you can submit to, dig deeper into each of those agencies to find out how to submit yourself.

Read Submission Guidelines/Instructions Carefully

Any reputable and legit agency that represents babies will not require a professional portfolio or headshots of your baby. They just won't. It doesn't make sense to anyway since your baby is going to grow by leaps in bounds in a matter of no time.

Current, non professional snapshots of your baby will be more than enough to suffice. However, pay attention to any specifics listed on the agency websites about what kinds of pictures to send (i.e. closeup of baby's face smiling, full body shot of baby on his/her stomach and/or back, etc.).

The guidelines may vary on the age of your baby so prepare your submission accordingly. Parents of baby model hopefuls should know all of their baby's essential stats/measurements. While these will likely be listed on the agency website, common measurements they'll ask for include (but are not limited to):

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Chest
  • Waist
  • Low Hip
  • Inseam
  • Shoe size

Many agencies have directions on how to take these types of measurements accurately, which is super helpful so take advantage of that resource if you aren't sure.

Send In Your Submission & See What Happens

I'm not aware of any agencies that have open calls for baby models because...well...would YOU want to be in an agency were there are tons of parents with fussy, loud and maybe cranky babies all at the same time in one big group? Probably not. I say this because, far as I know, the main submission methods for baby modeling agencies is via email, electronic form on the website and regular snail mail.

Some agencies offer all methods of submission, while others may only accept snail mail or email submissions. Read those instructions carefully to find out which agencies will accept which methods so that you'll know what to do.

After you've sent off your baby's pictures and other materials/info, there isn't much you can do but play the waiting game. It could take a few weeks to hear back and agencies typically only respond to the people they are interested in so if you just never hear back, don't take it personally. Check the agency websites to see if they mention how long it usually takes to receive a response.

Do not call or email the agency to follow up and see if they've received your submission. Most websites state this explicitly. Even if they don't, it's bad form to follow up when it comes to submissions so just keep your fingers crossed and find something to occupy your time and thoughts with so you aren't driving yourself crazy.

The Agency Replied Back! Now What?

Receiving a response back from a baby modeling agency is exciting but you don't have bragging rights just yet. Should you and your baby get invited to an interview, this is the time to find out how to prepare. In most instances, you'll be given information and instructions related to how to prepare and what to expect.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact the person at the agency who responded to you. They will be your point of contact, unless they've put you in touch with someone else at the agency who will be interacting with you. If they give you a packet or email with info, read all of it from top to bottom and then read it again BEFORE contacting them with questions.

Agencies are pretty good at their jobs and chances are they've given you all the basic answers and info you'll need in the materials they've provided you with. It should cover the important stuff like the address, date and time of your interview/meeting, as well as miscellaneous topics such as what your baby should wear, additional materials they may request and/or a brief description of what will take place during the interview.

In the end, if you end up getting a contract offer from the agency, here are some tips to handle what to do next:

  • Take the contract home so you can review it on your own time. Most agencies will tell you to take the contract home without you even having to ask. It is never okay for an agency to pressure you to sign a contract right then and there. Legit agencies know it is best to have you take the paperwork home but will give you a time frame for when they'll expect an answer as to whether or not you'll sign.
  • Upfront fees are a no-no. By definition, an "upfront fee" is an expense or charge that is required before you are offered a contract. This could be for things like workshops, photoshoots, portfolios, etc. In the U.S., the only time any fees can be talked about is after you've signed the contract and are being represented by the agency...not before. Period.

  • Reflect back on the interview. The agency you sign your baby with is going to be a business you'll be working with closely. So it only makes sense to join an agency you feel comfortable with. Take some time at home to reflect on the overall experience with the interview. Did you feel welcomed by the staff and treated with respect and courtesy? Was the office professional in appearance? Was the person that interviewed you knowledgeable about the industry and presented a good introduction to their agency and what it would be like to work with them? First impressions and gut instincts are important when it comes to things like this. If there are any red flags or a nagging feeling of doubt, chances are it's for a reason and you should listen.
  • Don't sign if you've got questions or don't understand something! This is the biggest mistakes many parents of models and even models themselves make. Don't be so eager to get things going that you sign a contract without fully understanding what you're agreeing to. It is perfectly fine to ask the agency questions and to clarify ANYTHING in the contract you aren't sure about. This is the time to be inquisitive...there isn't much that can be done after your signature has gone onto the contract.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Runway Walk: Make It Your Own--Don't Be a Clone!

Nothing makes aspiring models want to be in the industry more than the idea of strutting down a catwalk.

I've had my fair share of messages and inquiries from people asking for tips, resources, tutorials, advice, etc. related to how to do this type of walk.

In answering all these inquiries, I realized that it is important for me to point out that when it comes to practicing and developing a solid runway walk, it isn't about imitating exactly what is seen on television and YouTube videos.

Male models and female models alike, take note of the title of this blog post. When learning how to do your runway walk, it isn't about copying other people. I often tell newbie models to refer to videos of fashion shows in order to study the models and the different styles of walks there are. These resources are more for inspiration--not to be copied exactly.

Truth be told, there are many runway models in those videos whose walks aren't that good. If you've watched enough of them, you can easily tell which ones have a great strut (male and female) and which ones are eh, so-so but were good enough to make the cut.

Because no two models walk exactly the same way, it doesn't make sense to try and copy any of them. Below are some quick reminders as to what should be kept in mind when it comes to developing your own strut:

Use Videos for Inspiration Only

It's fine to watch fashion show videos and experiment with your walk based on what you see. This is a great way to figure out which styles of walking you feel comfortable doing and which ones you'd rather not attempt (or know you need to work on to master).

The goal when watching these videos isn't just about learning the actual walk but observing how each model in the fashion shows commands the room with their presence. Check out their facial expressions, posture, how they pose at the end and top of the catwalk, how they work with the clothes and incorporate certain aspects of the wardrobe into their walk (i.e. dresses with pockets, jackets, capes, scarves, etc.).

When you think you're ready, start off by trying to copy what you've watched but start branching off and adding your own spin to things. That's how you form a signature walk all your own.

Don't Take That Last Sentence Too Literally

Modeling isn't an exact science. It's about going with the flow, being in the moment and adapting. Developing your own style of walking doesn't mean coming up with a way to walk in a fashion show that's never been seen before. No need for that level of creativity (so if you're thinking that blowing a kiss and kicking up your heel each time you get to the end of the runway is a great idea, don't do it!).

For the love of all things modeling: keep it simple. You'd be surprised how much more of an impact subtlety will get you when it comes to this topic.

The more you practice your walk, the more you'll start doing little things that make you feel at your best whenever you're strutting. This could be anything from adding a touch more sway to your hips (for women) to shooting a sexy smirk when you pose at the end of the runway (for men or women).

Those don't sound like the most original ideas, right? That's because there's not meant to be completely original. However, great models are able to take those subtle movements and incorporate their own brand of body language into their walks that makes them memorable. And you can do it, too.

The Bottom Line: Practice

The quickest path towards developing your own style of walking is to practice. A lot. Not till your feet break out into blisters but you should be working on your walk at least a few times a week. For how long? That's up to you. Squeeze it into your schedule as best you can--it's not a hard exercise to accommodate. Even 10-15 minutes a day would be ideal.

The more you practice, the more at ease you'll feel about adding things and/or experimenting with the way you walk. To get the best results, have a full length mirror to practice with. Set it up to be as upright against the wall as possible (if you're not able to mount it to the wall) and work on walking towards it and away from it. Observe yourself from head to toe and tweak things as needed.

Over time you'll find yourself walking in a whole new way and, hopefully, in a way that makes people remember you, whether you're working it in a local fashion show or the big leagues at Fashion Week.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Latest Dania Denise Tearsheet: Book Cover for SC Ellington's "Unsettled"

Hello, my beloved readers!

I know I haven't been as active in posting on here compared to other years/months but that's because I've been so busy I've been struggling to find the time. However, I haven't forgotten about you and I do have pages of modeling related topics that will be flowing from my fingertips very soon!

In the meantime, wanted to drop a quick post to share the latest publication I'm in. It's a series by author SC Ellington. She decided to redo the cover of her first book, "Unsettled" and chose an image from a shoot I did a little while back.

Here's what the front and back look like:
It's available as an ebook and in paperback. Amazon has it for the Kindle. It is a romance novel, however. While I haven't read it yet, the author does state that the content isn't for those under 18 so yeah, this is for grown eyes only! Mind you, I'm just the model on the cover, it's not like there are other photos in the book where I'm acting out any scenes LOL.

For those of you that may be interested in reading "Unsettled," (the second book is due out later this year) CLICK HERE. There is an option to download a free excerpt.

As always, thank you for reading, subscribing, commenting and sharing my blog. I truly love all of you and I am going to make a better effort to bring you more posts on a more regular basis!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Modeling 101 Skype Group Chat #2 - Saturday, May 24th @ 1pm PST

It's almost time for the second Modeling 101 Skype Group Chat, folks! The first call went really well and based on that experience, I am confident the second call will be even better! Below are details about what to expect and how to join:

***PLEASE NOTE: In order to attend the group chats you must be a contact of mine on Skype. If you aren't on Skype, you can't be a part of the call. My Skype ID is: dania.denise. After you send me a request to connect (or if you give me your Skype ID, I'll send you a request) I will add you to the group.***

WHEN: Saturday, May 24th

TIME: 1pm PST (That's California time...those out of state and out of the country please note the time difference as it applies to you)

WHERE: Skype. Only people who are contacts with me on Skype will be able to attend. If we're not connected yet, please message me your Skype ID so I can send you a request. Once confirmed, I will add you to the Modeling 101 group.


Simply make sure you're logged onto Skype on May 24th at 1pm and have your speakers on. I will call the group at 1pm. All you have to do is answer the call and you'll be good to go. The call is audio only, Skype's video group calls are 10 people max and the group is currently 10+. :-)


Points that will be discussed:

- Why It's Important
- Is It Right for You?
- What Agencies Look For
- Where to Start in Your Search

This call is ideal for:

- newbies with zero modeling experience
- people with some modeling experience
- those interested in agency representation

Male and female, all ages welcome! Freelance models and those with agencies already are more than welcome to join the call but I will be focusing on info you may already know about. My next Skype group chat will focus on freelance modeling, btw.

There will be a Q&A session afterwards. The call is currently scheduled for 1 hour but depending on how many questions there are, I'm more than happy to extend the call as needed.

Can't wait to connect with you all!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How Much Do Models Get Paid? Part 3 - The Reality

This is the final part of a 3-post series I decided to write in order to tackle the commonly asked question, "How Much Do Models Get Paid?"

If you haven't done so already, I highly recommend reading Part 1 ("How Much Do Models Get Paid Part 1 - Overview") and Part 2 ("How Much Do Models Get Paid Part 2 - Determining Factors") first so that Part 3 will make more sense and put the content into better perspective).

Part 1 talked briefly about why such a question isn't so easy to answer and Part 2 covered in more detail all the factors involved in pay rates in modeling. Part 3 will wrap up this series by talking about the reality of the situation when it comes to whether or not one can make a living off of this particular profession.

I am a firm believer in reality checks because for anyone to be successful in the modeling industry, it is vital to put everything in perspective and not let unrealistic expectations interfere with generating real results. I do understand that a majority of the people who read this blog and who reach out to me for assistance are very young so it makes sense that their understanding of modeling is going to be, let's say, more far-fetched or the stars in their eyes might blur the lines between fantasy and reality.

But that motivates me even more to continue delivering these reality checks in the most positive and effective way possible. Now, when it comes to money, there is income to be made in modeling. However, I'm coming from the reality of the everyday, average working model. I could care less about addressing how many millions of dollars supermodels make because--let's be real here--the majority of us (myself included) will never earn even a fraction of that sort of income through modeling.

What I do know is that as a grown-up with grown-up bills and a lifestyle to maintain (I'm not a jet setter or big baller status, lol), I cannot earn a substantial, steady living off modeling alone. Yes, I have been in the industry for a long time. Yes, I've been published. Yes, I've got a great reputation that allows me great opportunities in my career BUT when it comes down to the numbers, the money I generate from modeling simply doesn't make the cut. Nor will I ever expect it to, unless I land a major campaign/spokesmodel contract or something.

If your interest in modeling mainly revolves around the idea of using the income to earn a living then I will be the first to say that you'll be sorely disappointed. The majority of models hold down full-time or part-time jobs in addition to modeling so that should be the first clue that money and modeling don't go hand-in-hand the way many people envision.

I've gotten emails from readers with questions as to whether it would be possible for them to just model full-time and not have to get a regular job. My answer is always to get a job until they can see how seriously their modeling career takes off. This applies to all categories, from commercial/print to fashion and runway. Each category has its earning pros/cons but the constant factor is that after all is said and done, there isn't much stability when it comes to making money in modeling.

The more work a model books, the money money he/she can make but that is much easier said than done, no matter what market you're working in. Depending on your lifestyle, age, bills, living situation, etc., each person's requirements for financial stability and independence will vary widely.

Teens and those yet to enter college have it the easiest simply because they have less financial obligations and commitments. Models/model hopefuls in college (or who have graduated and are now in the "real world" or who went straight from high school to the "real world") likely already have a taste of what it's like to be on a tight budget and while modeling jobs do give some breathing room financially, it's usually not enough...especially these days.

The bottom line (and my forever response to people wondering about the association between modeling and making money):

1. Get a F@&*ing Job! Like, a real job. Something that requires a skill set of some sort, ideally (see #4 below). Part-time or full-time. You need at least one reliable source of income to make pursuing modeling possible (if you're serious about it and not just doing it for fun or as a hobby).

2. Give It Time. Agency repped or freelance, it will take some time to establish a modeling career. Snag a few paid bookings and get your feet wet. It may take 6 months or a year or more to really get a feel for what your earning potential could be. Do not expect to be rolling in dough once you just start out. Even if you hit a good earning spree initially, don't expect it to last (another reality check here).

3. Start Saving. This applies to both adults as well as underage models but especially for the latter. Underage models with little to no bills to pay, start putting away the earnings from modeling into a special savings account. Use a bit as "play money" but don't be a big spender each time you get a decent payday from modeling (this includes tall teen models doing well in the fashion/runway world). I can't tell you how quickly time flies and before you know it, you'll be legal and have financial responsibilities. You'll want to be able to take care of yourself if and when modeling no longer continues to be a realistic career to maintain.

4. Have a Backup Plan. I hate to say it but not everyone who starts out in modeling stays in the business. Many won't get very far, while others may achieve moderate success but, for one reason or another, might hit a bad dry spell or find that modeling is no longer for them. Modeling as a profession isn't one that comes with a pension and retirement benefits so whether you're trying to do modeling short-term or long-term, do right by yourself and have a Plan B (throw in a Plan C or D if you need it) so that if modeling ends up no longer being a part of your life's equation, you'll be able to land on your feet after all is said and done.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Modeling 101 Skype Group Chat This Sunday 3/23

Making a quick announcement that I'm planning on scheduling the first Modeling 101 Skype group chat for this Sunday, March 23.

Time is TBD but will likely be after 5pm PST (please take note for those of you in different time zones).

There's a really important step you need to follow if you want to be a part of this group chat: you have to add me on Skype: dania.denise

No add, no group chat. I doubt many of you want to post your Skype usernames in the comments section of this blog post so that I can add you myself but if you're cool with making that info public, feel free and I'll send a request to connect. Or you can email me your Skype username directly to keep it private: daniadenise@gmail.com.

It's funny because there was a bunch of you that replied "Very Interested" to the poll I posted a month ago, asking if these types of group chats would be something worth putting together, yet not that many of you have added me on Skype to participate.

But regardless of the total turnout, I will make sure to host the group chat for those that do want to take advantage of the opportunity to talk about modeling related topics and receive advice, assistance and answers to questions.

Only members of the group will know exactly when the group chat will happen in terms of the time so that's another reason to join in on the fun this Sunday. I won't be posting the time on my blog so send me a request on Skype or comment on this post/email me your Skype username and you'll be in on the latest!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Why Strong Ankles Matter for Female Models

I gotta tell ya, I've trained a lot of female models when it comes to walking in high heels for runway and fashion shows and almost every time I've almost had a heart attack for fear that one of the girls was going to roll or break her ankle.

In the past I've vented about how I really hate the latest trends of high heels that place a lot of weight on the front of the shoe using the "platform style," which automatically makes the wearer feel like she's teeter-tottering.

Even I've had to do extra practice in these types of heels. To be quite honest, I'm looking forward to the day when high heels do away with excessive platforms and models can once again go back to wearing heels that promote more stability when walking. But then again, when has being fashion forward ever meant being comfortable?

But I digress...

Okay, back to what I was saying about training models to walk in high heels...newbies are the ones I worry about the most because they obviously aren't used to walking in these kinds of shoes and many times they're walking in heels they haven't broken in yet. Or if they have broken them in, they still require a lot of practice in getting their balance and using the proper posture when it comes to the runway walk.

It just dawned on me recently that one of the reasons why I think many new models have such a hard time walking in heels--for runway/fashion show purposes not every day walking--is because they have what I believe to be "weak ankles." Yes, it is a real thing.

When watching newbies practice in their heels, I almost always see their feet/ankles seem to give out suddenly and they almost go down for the count. Thankfully, I've yet to have a girl fall but it just seems like it'll only be a matter of time. It might not sound that serious but falling in high heels could easily lead to rolling the ankle, twisting, spraining or--in extreme cases--breaking it. I don't have to tell you that none of us want that to happen.

The main way to get comfortable walking in high heels so that it doesn't look like every step you're taking is as if you're walking with needles being jabbed into your feet, is to practice...and practice a lot. However, if you've been experiencing instances where you feel like you're about to fall or your ankles seem to give way, then I would greatly suggest taking the steps necessary to strengthen those weak ankles.

This is as simple as incorporating specific exercises that target the area. No, that doesn't mean you're going to have to go to the gym and buff up your legs. Strengthening the ankles is all about enhancing endurance of the muscles and tendons, not just in the ankles but the feet and calves as well.

Below is a link to a really useful article that gives examples of easy ways to strengthen the ankles:

PopSugar: 7 Ways to Strengthen Your Ankles to Avoid Twists and Sprains

The article doesn't talk about how these exercises relate to wearing high heels but the exercises mentioned will help strengthen and provide additional support to the ankles when practicing in heels for runway and fashion show purposes.

If you want a real challenge, purchase ankle weights. They shouldn't be crazy heavy, in fact, pick the lightest ones to start with if you've never used this kind of item before. I especially like the kind that look like scrunchies that come in various designs.

Using the ankle weights is simple: you strap them around your ankles and spend a few minutes each day wearing them around. Many people wear them while exercising but if you just want them for the purposes I'm talking about in this post, then stick to just walking around with the weights on at home.

Do not wear your high heels with your ankle weights! I haven't found any specific research that says doing so is bad but it just doesn't seem like a smart thing to do so for common sense purposes, I do not advise wearing high heels and ankle weights at the same time.

Wear the ankle weights around the house while in your socks, barefoot or you can put tennis shoes on and walk around a bit outside, whichever you like best. Start slow, 10-15 minutes each day. Do not go overboard--this is supposed to be a simple exercise. The idea is slow and steady because this is how you'll build endurance and strength in the ankles.

It won't take long to notice a big difference once you slap your high heels back on again. The heels will feel lighter and you should be able to feel more fluid and graceful as you walk--hence, the whole purpose of the ankle weights.

The more comfortable you feel when walking in high heels, the more solid you'll feel as far as balance goes and with stronger ankles, the less likely you'll be to take a spill that could put you out of commission (and out of your favorite stilettos) for a while.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Shooting for a Magazine Publication? What Models Should Know

Being published in a magazine couldn't be more exciting for a model. Female and male models alike know that when you get published, you've easily upped your status as a professional.

Aside from the bragging rights, publication means tearsheets, which provide the ultimate boost for a modeling portfolio.

This particular post is designed to help "school" newbies and those currently learning the ropes of the industry about what to expect when it comes to shooting for potential magazine publication and to avoid making mistakes that could cause issues later on.

Before I proceed with my gems of wisdom, lol, let me first say that I am a girl scout when it comes to modeling. I've never been the one to rock the boat, act like a diva or behave in an otherwise "dramatic" manner. I follow the rules and make sure that I'm going by the book. There are models out there that don't or won't follow what I'll be writing about in this post and that's their call--I can't control or outright tell someone else what to do. 

The purpose of this post is to inform you about a subject I am very familiar with, in the hopes that you use this newly gained knowledge to make better decisions when it comes to your own modeling careers. Now that I've said my piece, let's get to it...

Magazines Have Strict Guidelines

Whether it's a new magazine or a well established publication, all magazines want to stay fresh and ahead of the competition. Because of this, many now list very detailed guidelines for models and photographers interested in submitting their images for possible publication.

Many--not all--magazines will only accept images that have "never been published." However, the definition of what this means is much more involved than meets the eye. What many of you may not know is that this includes posting pictures on social media--even selfies or behind the scenes flicks. These types of photos are super common now that everybody's all Internet crazy but magazines are cracking down on their guidelines when it comes to this...and for good reason.

Selfies & BTS Photos

A behind the scenes shot may not seem like a big deal but once posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or elsewhere online, you've basically already let the cat out of the bag and many magazines could consider it as being "published," even if it's not the actual image(s) they've selected.

Think about it: everyone with access to your social media profiles are able to view your makeup, hair, outfit, maybe even the location (depending on what's depicted in the photo) so technically, it's no longer "new"--at least according to the magazine.

Does that mean you can't take any of your own fun flicks while on a shoot for a magazine publication? Of course not. You can take those pictures BUT do not post them anywhere until the magazine has been published and you've been given the green light.

Not sure what the guidelines are or what you should or should not do? Then ask before you post! Contact the photographer or ask him/her while on-set that day. Never assume anything when it comes to magazines and getting published. Assumptions get more people in trouble than anything. If the photographer isn't sure, they'll find out for you, more than likely by contacting the magazine.

Either way, don't get so excited to post your own photos until you know 100% without a doubt that it is okay to do so. The same goes for cases where the photographer gives you copies of the images from the actual shoot. It's super exciting to see the professional images that could appear in a magazine but until publication has been confirmed, sit on those pictures in the meantime. Don't post them or add them to your online portfolios.

And besides, tearsheets are going to do much more for your portfolio than the regular images from the shoot so even if you get copies of the photos from the photographer, wait for the real deal--those tearsheets!

The Consequences

Failing to comply with these guidelines could get your submission disqualified. What does that mean? The magazine can no longer consider it for publication because the rules were broken. Or if the images have already been chosen and scheduled to appear and the magazine finds out you've leaked photos, the decision could be made to withdraw your images and have them replaced with something else before the magazine officially comes out. Regardless of which one happens, both really suck so don't take the risk.

It doesn't take much for word to circulate about a model who got her publication pulled or had a submission disqualified for not following the rules. Whether the ripple effect is slim to none or creates a buzz, it's not a good reflection on the model from a professional standpoint.

Exceptions to the Rule

Before you start rattling off situations where you've known models to not follow what I've written and who still got published with no consequences, please know that I'm well aware that exceptions to the rule happen. But as I started earlier in this post, I always make it a habit to play it safe and that is the approach I will always teach/advise to those who seek my expertise about modeling. You don't always have to go with the "Monkey see, monkey do" mentality when it comes to models who break the rules.

The Bottom Line

Not all magazines are crazy strict about their guidelines but I can tell you that the biggest ones--namely the publications many aspiring and working models dream of appearing in--are Nazis when it comes to their submission guidelines.

Whether you are working with a photographer to create images to send to magazines for possible publication or whether you've been hired by the magazine directly to appear in it, please make it a habit of learning, understanding and following any rules, guidelines or instructions given when it comes to what you can and cannot post online prior to publication.

If your submission ends up not being chosen, then find out if the photographer will be sending the pictures to other publications. You don't want to ruin any future chances at getting published elsewhere so check in with the photographer once you find out what's going on and then take things from there.

Again, if you don't know or aren't sure what you should do, ask somebody, anybody. These kinds of inquiries are perfectly acceptable and won't make people look at you like you're a dummy. Little mistakes can lead to big issues in modeling so play it safe when it comes to submitting to magazines for publication and I promise you, the path towards becoming an established, published model with a great reputation will progress without a hitch.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

How Much Do Models Get Paid? Part 2 - Determining Factors

If you've read Part 1 in this 3-series post (How Much Do Models Get Paid? Part 1 - Overview), then you're already caught up on where my train of thought is going when it comes to explaining how the average working female and male model earns income.

The first part of the series served as a summary or overview of the subject but part 2 will focus on breaking down the factors that typically influence the kind of pay a model could command per booked assignment.

As I mentioned in my other post, there is no guidebook, rule book or other established chart that says exactly what clients should be paying models. Why? Simply because not every modeling gig is exactly the same. It all varies from project to project, client to client, budget to budget and situation to situation.

However, there are some common factors that help clients determine what kind of pay rate to offer a model. I'm speaking in generalities here so keep that in mind. There are always exceptions to the rule but I prefer to address the modeling industry as a whole to make things easier.

The Client

The bigger the client, the bigger the bank account is and the better positioned they are to offer a handsome paycheck for the models they hire. Take a second and think about big names you recognize instantly. These could be department stores, designers, cosmetic companies or even technology giants. Chances are you're able to come up with at least several off the top of your head, right?

Getting hired by any of them means you're gonna be pretty happy with the compensation you walk away with at the end of the day.

On the flip side, newer start-ups don't always have the same financial playing field but still utilize models for various projects. It makes sense that their compensation scale would be quite different compared to the caliber of companies I mentioned above.

It is important to take into consideration who the client is and how that relates to monetary compensation. Does this mean all small, newer companies pay models pennies? Of course not but don't expect every client that hires you to have a massive amount to spend on a model, especially if they're not readily established yet.

Nature of the Project

There are a variety of modeling jobs out there. You've got fashion shows, editorial shoots, product shoots, catalog shoots, beauty shoots, stock photography shoots, ad campaign shoots, magazine shoots, advertising shoots...the list goes on and on.

Each type of modeling job has its own set of needs based on what the client wants. There is no assigned pay rate/range for each type but the compensation does depend on the nature of the shoot and what the resulting images will be used for.

It goes without saying that being the main face of an ad campaign (i.e. a cosmetics company) is going to pay fairly well. How well, you ask? It depends. I know, I know, you're going to get sick of me saying that phrase (if you haven't already). The nature of the ad campaign, where the photos will appear and for how long will factor into the pay rate. In many instances, it could be a flat rate. If it's a well known brand, there's going to be a comma in the pay rate...think $1,000 and higher.

If it's a smaller cosmetics company, perhaps a new start-up that's just getting things underway or a medium sized company that's doing well, the pay could be a lot lower...maybe $150-$500 or they might only offer store credit/free merchandise.

Catalog shoots typically pay a half day or full day rate that could be anywhere from $300-$500, while editorial magazine shoots are notoriously known for only paying between $150-$300 per day/shoot (not hourly). The average fashion model who gets featured in a spread in a magazine could get a sweet paycheck OR more often that not, they may end up only getting tearsheets as a result.

Fashion shows are not known for being big money makers for the average working model. It's more common to get offered free clothes, a goodie bag or store credit.

Agency Booked Versus Freelance

There are pros and cons to being agency represented as well as freelance modeling. The issue of pay rates is no exception to both situations. I will say that, speaking in generalities once again, models with agency representation tend to snag the higher pay rates for each job because that's what the agency is supposed to do. If they feel a pay rate is too low, they'll use their powers of persuasion to get the client to up the pay.

Freelance models negotiate with clients directly--there is no middleman. Some clients outright ask a model to provide their rate for services, while others have the budget already set in stone and can't budge if a model requests more money for an assignment.

Many clients who seek freelance models oftentimes do so because they know it will be more affordable in the long run. They don't have to pay extra to accommodate the agency's commission or deal with heavy negotiations. Some--not all--clients unfortunately also use this to their advantage to try and shortchange models or try to convince the more naive ones that the low pay is worth the "exposure" they'll get from being a part of the opportunity. That's a whole different story I won't even go into.

Getting back on track, the pay rates do vary considerably when it comes to clients who book models through agencies and clients who book directly with freelance models. Are there freelance gigs that pay well? Definitely. But that depends on what you would consider to be "good pay." Some may think getting $300 for a day of modeling is awesome, while others only consider assignments $500+ worthy of celebrating. It's super subjective.

Don't think that freelance models don't make any money because they do. However, it's all about consistency. The more you booked paid gigs, the more money you'll bring in. The same can also be said for agency repped models.

The bottom line: usually (not absolutely) the higher compensation on average within the industry comes from projects booked through agencies.

Experience & Strength of Portfolio

There's no getting around this. The more experienced models with established portfolios and tearsheets have the advantage of being booked for the better paying work because they can "show and prove" to clients that they can deliver (this applies to both agency repped and freelance models). When a company is shelling out big bucks, they expect nothing but the best from the people they hire and that's only fair.

You don't spend a small fortune on a Tesla and expect it to stall out after the first few rides, right? You expect that bad boy to perform--and perform nothing less than stellar.

Experienced models that have been published are always appealing to clients, as is having a portfolio that contains images relevant or similar to the look/theme they want for their own projects. It makes clients feel more assured to hire a model who has experience with the type of project they're hiring for because the chances are in their favor that there will be little to no issues in working with that particular model and less of a learning curve to worry about.

This doesn't mean newbies can't earn anything from modeling because they can but we've all gotta start somewhere. Earning potential for newer models with little to no experience and/or who don't have a strong portfolio to showcase aren't always considered for the better paying gigs or may only be offered very little in terms of monetary compensation.

Some clients will make exceptions if they truly like a new model's look and especially if they're impressed by them during the casting/interview phase. But those new to the industry should expect to put in work, time and experience to build themselves (and their reputations) as models, instead of jumping in fresh and expecting companies to hand them paychecks.

Newbie models: pay your dues and in time you'll be the one getting paid.