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, 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.

Quick Tip #62

Category: Posing
For: Female & Male Models

Are you having trouble producing a really intense, dramatic stare? Then try this awesome tip from fellow model/actor (and photographer!) Breanna Baker (who took the headshot image of me below):

Focus your eyes on the photographer's camera...you know how oftentimes the lense or some part around it will have wording (usually it's white and contains the name of the camera or product info)?

Concentrate on trying to read what the writing on the camera around the lense is. The key is to not squint but instead hold a steady and intense gaze into the camera as if you're in deep thought.

The result: a really great dramatic shot that doesn't take a lot of effort to produce. 
The key to perfecting this "tip" is by practicing in the mirror at home. Write something on a small piece of paper and tape it to the mirror at eye level and practice staring at the words and pretending to try and read it. The paper should be small enough so that you can see enough of your face, especially your eyes, while performing this exercise.