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

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Modeling Tips to Keep Your Makeup Artist Happy

Makeup is an art and as a model you want to put your best face forward when it comes to shoots for your portfolio, fashion shows and booked assignments.

If you've never worked with a professional makeup artist before or if you have but are still learning the ropes of the industry in general, it doesn't hurt to know some helpful tips to keep every makeup artist you work with happy and showcase you as the professional you are.

BOOKED GIGS

When you've been hired for a job, either through your agent or on your own via freelance modeling, and there is a makeup artist onset, it is a dream come true. That means less work on your end but there are still important things to keep in mind to ensure each experience with a makeup artist is a positive one.

Arrive With a Freshly Cleaned & Moisturized Face--That Means No Makeup!

I know this sounds like common sense but you'd be surprised by the stories I've heard from makeup artists who have worked with models that showed up without washing their face. That's the definition of gross.

So let's keep it simple: when you wake up the day of your shoot, wash your face and moisturize...that's it!

Don't apply concealer or your base/foundation. Fresh-faced is key because it gives the makeup artist a clean (no pun intended) canvas to work with.

There might be some instances where you may be required to arrive with your base/foundation on. This is normal and happens sometimes for a variety of reasons (saves time so the makeup artist doesn't have to figure out what shade to match, helps the makeup artist if she/he has several models to do, etc.).

Just because you're asked to arrive with your base/foundation doesn't mean the makeup artist doesn't know what he/she is doing or that the client that booked you isn't professional.

If you are instructed to come with your base/foundation on, don't do your eye makeup, put lip color or blush. Literally, just put your foundation on and set it with powder (if applicable) and that's it.

But if fresh-faced and no makeup is requested, then do that. Oh, and don't freak out if the makeup artist ends up removing your moisturizer and applying their own. That's normal, too. Arriving with a moisturized face is better than assuming they'll have their own and showing up with dry, flaky skin.

Bring Your Own Foundation Color (Optional)

It doesn't hurt to bring your own makeup items with you, including your foundation. Politely mention to the makeup artist that you have your foundation if they wish to use it. Make it an option--don't demand it, it's not that serious. If they use it, great, if not, no worries.

Follow Instructions & Stay Still

It's common for the makeup artist to instruct you while applying makeup (i.e. look up, look down, chin up, chin down). Don't question them, just do it. Simple. Oh, and common sense again, please hold still when your makeup is getting applied. Just sayin'.

Are you a frequent blinker? Do your eyes tear up easily? Tell the makeup artist beforehand so he/she knows what to expect. Chances are they've seen and dealt with it all before so they'll know how to proceed accordingly if you prep them with the basics.

Another important factor to mention is your skin type: dry, oily, combination, normal, acne prone? Don't know your skin type? That's something you definitely want to find out since you'll be exposing your complexion to a variety of elements when it comes to modeling.

First Time Wearing False Lashes? Spoiler Alert: It's Gonna Be Weird

The first time false lashes get applied, it's a new life experience, let me tell ya. Expect it to be weird and as if there is a weight sitting on your eyelids. Don't freak out--blink slowly a couple of times until you get used to the weight. After the first time, it does get easier.

FREELANCE GIGS

Are you working with a makeup artist for your own shoot that isn't through a booked gig? Then you'll more than likely be working directly with the makeup artist to create the final look(s) for your shoot.

The tips mentioned above should all still come into play but for this situation, it is also important to do the necessary steps prior to the gig itself.

Communication is vital so make sure you have sent the makeup artist reference images and/or mood boards with inspo photos so he/she knows exactly what you have in mind and can start coming up with ideas for you. While not mandatory, it doesn't hurt to include reference photos with models that have the same complexion/skin tone as you.

Doing multiple looks? Work with the makeup artist so that you shoot in the right order that makes the most sense when it comes to switching up the makeup. For example, will each change require the makeup artist to completely take off your makeup or is it as simple as wiping off a lip color and putting on a new one or building eye color on top of the existing look?

These are logistical things that should be worked out before the actual shoot to save time and avoid feeling rushed in the process.

As long as you work with your makeup artist ahead of time, the odds of any hiccups happening will decrease dramatically.

MALE MODELS

In most cases--not all--male models simply have to come to gigs with their faces washed and moisturized. Do you have your own foundation and other makeup items? You can certainly bring them but chances are, the makeup artist will have everything ready and will know exactly what to do.

Oh, and get used to tweezing. It's uncomfortable but that's the model life, baby!

DON'T TELL THEM HOW TO DO THEIR JOB

Unless it's obvious that the makeup artist working on your face has no clue what he/she is doing, you can trust that your face is in capable hands. The worst way to destroy the working relationship with your makeup artist is by being a know-it-all or micromanaging what he/she is doing and/or being critical about the final results.

If you're unhappy with the makeup for any reason, it is still important to be professional in giving feedback. Instead of complaining about how the eye liner looks and pouting like a child, ask the makeup artist if it's possible to tweak/fix it. Whatever feedback you have or if you request a change, be specific so the makeup artist will know what to do. This doesn't mean be condescending and treat them like they're dumb. The goal is to get on the same page so use your words wisely and they'll be more than happy to accommodate.

Now if you're being hired by a client, you need to keep things in perspective because, unlike a freelance opportunity where you hired the makeup artist, the playing field is different when you're on the client's time.

Are you unhappy with the makeup but the client is happy with it? Then guess what: you better suck it up and deliver the results they hired you for. The makeup artist was hired to do a job and so were you. It's not the end of the world. Vent about it after the gig, not on social media! #poorsport #careersuicide).

Keep respect at the forefront of all communications and treat makeup artists professionally (if they're the one acting unprofessional, that's an entirely different thing but for the purpose of this post, let's assume they're acting like they're supposed to).

Remember: makeup artists are a crucial part of the modeling career life cycle team and they work with you, not for you.

Monday, March 18, 2019

I'm a Model, Why Is My Agent Submitting Me to Acting Work?

Just when you thought you had agencies figured out, right? :-)

I've often received emails from confused models freshly signed to an agency, with questions as to why they are being sent to auditions for commercials and other acting projects.

Models are just supposed to model, right? Well, not really. At least, not these days.

There are a LOT of models out there. Actors for sure, too, but when it comes to modeling in particular, it goes without saying that there are way more female and male models than there are gigs. This creates an imbalance and for agencies to maximize their ability to make money and give their talent a fighting chance, that means requiring some cross over action.

In the industry today, it is now standard for talent agencies to send models on their roster to auditions for acting jobs. If you have an interest in acting and have expressed that to your agent, then this won't be a surprise but there are many instances where a model who just wants to model and has never even uttered the word "acting" to their agent, will find themselves going to an audition.

So what should you do if you are a model who simply wants to model and has no interest being in front of a camera saying lines?

Talk To Your Agent

Remember, your agent is working to reflect not only their best interest but also yours. Sending you to acting gigs/auditions isn't just a way for them to maximize you as a talent on their roster, it's an opportunity to expand your professional experience in the entertainment field. The more gigs you book, the more networking there is and potential for future projects of various kinds. Not to mention, it's also more money for the agency and yourself.

However, if you know in your heart that acting isn't a good fit and not something you want to pursue, it's okay to talk to your agent about it. Communication is the key factor in making the agent/model relationship work so don't feel as if you need to be silent and suffer through audition after audition.

At the very least, hear what your agent has to say and try to see things from their perspective. Compromise if at all possible (maybe only get sent to a handful of auditions for acting throughout the year instead). What you want to avoid is being difficult and demanding.

Give It a Shot

No one is saying you have to be forced into acting and turn to that field instead of modeling. As a model/actor myself, I know of the benefits that come with having experience on-camera in the acting-sense. Public speaking, knowing how to memorize and deliver lines and the other factors that come with this territory all play into being a stronger professional.

Although modeling and acting are two separate fields, there are things that overlap and having familiarity with both sides will put you ahead of the competition out there.

If your agent contacts you about attending an audition for the first time, don't outright say no. Go to the audition and do your best. It isn't about making you look silly or setting you up for failure. Agencies know what they're doing and they want you to get exposed to what it's like to audition for an acting job, whether you book it or not. They may even be testing you to see how good you are (or aren't) at doing something outside of your comfort zone.

Don't knock it till you've tried it and in this case, transitioning to actor mode for an audition or booked acting gig isn't going to kill you. How many cosmetics and clothing commercials have you seen with top models in them? If you get chosen as the face for a major campaign, you'll be required to do projects that involve acting of some kind so follow in the footsteps of your favorite models and embrace the challenge of trying something new.

Stay With the Times

Understand that everything changes and evolves over time. That includes the modeling industry and the entertainment industry as a whole. Agencies know this and in order for them to stay on top and in business, they're looking for men and women who are good at what they do but also know how to add to their arsenal of experience and skill sets.

A lot of people want the same thing you do when it comes to breaking into the industry and getting agency representation. Who do you think an agent is going to be more attracted to: a model who just wants to model and will not even consider tackling something acting related or a model who loves modeling but is also okay with getting submitting to an acting job every now and then?

The choice for the agency will be easy. Be flexible, be professional and show them that you're the right--and best--choice every time.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Modeling Tips to Keep Your Photographer Happy

(This post will be especially beneficial for freelance models.)

Models wouldn't get very far without professional photographers.

Regardless of what kind of modeling you're into, both female and male models alike greatly benefit not just from the images from the shoot but the networking that takes place as a result.

Oftentimes, models are able to develop a list of go-to-photographers they regularly work with. Those types of business relationships are golden in the industry because everyone involved benefits. Of course, first thing's first: you have to know how to work with photographers and be the type of model they would drop everything to shoot with in a heartbeat.

Below are some helpful tips that can be applied to most situations when it comes to working with photographers:

COMMUNICATE LIKE A PROFESSIONAL

When contacting photographers, don't talk to them like they're your bestie. That means messaging/emailing them using complete sentences with good grammar that are free of typos. No emojis or other goofy things you'd normally include in a message you'd send to a friend. Always keep that first impression in mind and how you would like to be perceived by the person you're contacting.

You want them to take you seriously and that can be hard to do if they receive a message that looks like it's been composed by a drunk person.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

Before reaching out, make sure you've not only checked out the photographer's portfolio, website and social media pages, but also read their bios/about page and anything else related to their background history and experience. They didn't include this info on their sites just for fun.

No two photographers are alike and you can tell a lot about someone based on what they write about themselves. It will also help you, as a model, find out if that individual would be someone you'd want to work with.

KNOW WHAT YOU WANT & HOW TO ARTICULATE IT

Don't expect the photographer to figure out everything for you. Are you in need of new headshots? Do you want to create a portfolio to aid you in booking gigs as a freelance model? Does your agent want you to update your images?

Tell them that.

You'll get the end results you're looking for a lot quicker if you get to the point, as well as a relevant and direct response in return. You'll also get bonus points if you have reference/inspo images and/or a mood board that clearly shows the look and feel you're going for.

TELL THEM A BIT ABOUT YOU

This doesn't mean submit a full biography. Keep all correspondence simple and straight to the point. If you don't have modeling experience, then say so. Briefly describe your level of experience, if any, and what your purpose is with wanting to work with them.

SET EXPECTATIONS & HOLD UP YOUR PART

Once you've opened up dialogue with a photographer, there is going to be a lot of conversations back and forth in the time leading up to your shoot together. There should ideally be at least one in-person meeting prior to working with each other, especially if you've never met offline before.

Whatever expectations, agreements, arrangements, etc. should be followed by both parties to guarantee a positive outcome. Figure out locations, if you'll be taking care of your hair and makeup or if additional pros will be onset/on location and confirm who is responsible for doing what.

As long as you do what you're supposed to, the photographer will have less to worry about, making their job easier--that's what you want and they'll love you for it.

ARRIVE EARLY, BE PREPARED & READY TO GO

Because common sense is a superpower, I have to do my due diligence and state the following because I continue to hear ridiculous stories about models showing up to shoots not prepared in the most basic of ways:

- Early is on time and on time is late. Arriving 10-15 minutes early should be the approach all models have towards business.

- Have good hygiene: take a shower, shave (stubble is a major no-no, ladies!). Bottom line: don't be gross. This includes cleaning under your fingernails.

- Have your wardrobe organized, including accessories and footwear.

- Have some idea of what types of poses you'll be doing. Practicing in the mirror and studying reference images before the shoot are all ways to prepare yourself and take most of the guesswork out of the situation once you arrive.

GIVE & TAKE

As stated before, not all photographers are the same. Their shooting styles, personality and work ethic are going to vary across the board. Work with each one accordingly and you'll quickly get a sense for how to get photos you'll both be happy with and a working relationship you'll want to continue in the future.

New models, don't expect all photographers to tell you what to do and how to pose. Some are more than willing and even enjoy guiding new models with posing, while others will expect you to figure it out along the way with a bit of help from them when necessary.

A lot of shoots when it comes to posing simply requires going with the flow, experimenting with poses and understanding that not all of the images are going to look perfect. The photographer knows this, too, so it's not like they're expecting you to knock it out of the park each time they snap a photo.

Photoshoots are a give and take process. When you work together to create that dynamic, you'll know--namely, when you see the photos that come of it.

BE APPRECIATIVE & GIVE CREDIT PROPERLY

After the shoot is done, send the photographer an email/message to thank them for their time and that you're looking forward to seeing the final images. It's the little things that count, no matter what industry you work in. And don't wait a week to say thank you. Do it the same day or the following day.

When you receive your pictures and start posting them online, practice common courtesy and give credit to the photographer in the caption. Tag them, include their social media handle, link to the website, etc. The way we give credit these days has changed because of social media so make sure you're giving credit where credit is due and in the correct ways.

Just as you want your images to give you exposure, open up networking channels and modeling opportunities, the photographer also wants the chance to have their work catch the eye of others.

It's a two-way street and if you take the time and consideration to do your part and make the tips listed above part of your business routine, photographers will be more than happy to do the same (if they are legitimate and professional, of course).

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Pressed Powder: the Must Have Makeup Item for Male Models

***I'm not writing this post to say that pressed powder isn't important for female models--because it totally is--but I wanted to make sure my fellas had a bit more of a customized post on the subject to help them navigate their way through the modeling industry.***

We all know that when it comes being a man in the modeling world, the territory is going to look a whole lot different than any other industry.

One of my most popular blog posts is titled, "Real Men Wear Makeup!" and in the same vein of this theme, I decided to do a post about one of the most important items male models should have in their possession at all times: pressed powder.

If you're the kind of guy who is completely clueless about makeup in general, the good news is that pressed powder is one of the easier items to understand the role of when it comes to modeling.

One of the worst ways to take a photograph is to have a shiny complexion. Whether it's sweat or you have naturally oily skin, shine in front of the camera always results in unusable images. The way to combat that shine is by using pressed powder.

Isn't All Powder the Same?

There are a variety of powders on the market but as long as you focus on the pressed powders, that will narrow down your choices properly. How do you know if an item is pressed powder?

Well, for one thing, the label will clearly say so. Additionally, it's easy to identify because it is literally pressed into a compact (check out the photo associated with this post). You've likely looked at a pressed powder compact countless times without even realizing it (or caring, haha).

Loose powder is something you don't want, at least not for the purposes I'm stating in this post,especially for newbies. Does loose powder also combat shine? Absolutely. BUT for male models that need something easy to use on the go, whether it's for a casting, shoot or otherwise, pressed powder is going to be your go-to-product.

Why Is Pressed Powder So Special?

One, it's super convenient and easy to transport. The compact is small so you can toss it in your back pocket, a bag/backpack or keep it in your car.

Two, it's easy to use. Unlike loose powder, which is known for being extremely messy, pressed powder application only involves dabbing a powder puff (aka the white poofy thing that comes with the compact) into the pressed powder and then patting your face with it--never rub! And you don't need much, either, so a little will go a long way over time.

Where's the Best Place to Get Pressed Powder?

Not all pressed powder is created equal. There are two common places to find this item: your local drugstore or at a makeup counter at any department store.

If you're wondering which route is the best or if one is better than the other, my personal opinion is that it all boils down to price point and your budget. Anything you purchase at a department store makeup counter will be pricier. Obviously, drugstore items will be cheaper but that doesn't mean it won't necessarily be good quality.

Major makeup brands are sold everywhere so it's not like you can't find a recognizable name at a drugstore. The debate over whether to buy from a drugstore or a department store is always going to be split down the middle but ultimately the decision is up to personal preference and maybe some trial and error now and then.

Don't have a female friend, girlfriend/partner, etc who can guide you through the drugstore to select the best pressed powder for you? Then going to the makeup counter at a department store to find out what color/shade would work best is a good place to start.

You don't have to buy anything at the makeup counter if you're not ready. There's also nothing wrong with getting an idea of what product is best and then going to the drugstore to get it at a more affordable price (don't think I haven't done that once or twice!).

One More Thing to Keep In Mind

Not only do you want to make sure you stick to looking at pressed powder, you'll also want to make sure it is translucent. In layman's terms, you want powder that doesn't have any actual color to it.

Remember when I said that there's different types of powder out there? Well, there is such a thing as powder foundation. "Foundation" is the makeup item that has color to it and when applied to your complexion all over, it creates a smoother, uniform appearance.

This is not what you want when it comes to pressed powder. The purpose of pressed powder is to absorb and eliminate shine. You don't want a powder with color in it because when you put it on your complexion, it's going to make it spotty and uneven.

Translucent pressed powder does look like it has some color to it in the compact and it's true that there are shades to consider (i.e. light, medium, dark) but that's just to get it closer to your natural complexion. When you actually apply pressed powder that is translucent, it won't change your skin tone overall. It will only make your skin appear matte and not shiny, which is what you want.

Think you've got it, guys? I hope so because trust me, it's not as complicated as it may seem. Once you get into a drugstore or makeup counter and start getting familiar with what's out there, you'll eventually start to see which products would be a good fit for you.

Add translucent pressed powder into your modeling life and you'll definitely see the difference, both when you look in the mirror as well as when looking at your modeling photos.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Why You Should be a Model with Video Experience


If you've been submitting to projects on your own--depending on what resources you're using--chances are you may have come across gigs that mention wanting models with "video experience."

Sometimes they'll also refer to acting experience but in general, this means the client is looking for individuals with the "model look and build" but who is also comfortable in front of a video camera.

So what does this kind of job mean and what exactly does video experience have to do with modeling? I'm glad you asked. :-)

It isn't uncommon--and completely normal, in fact--for some models to have absolutely zero interest in acting in any capacity. And that's totally okay. It isn't mandatory for models to have acting experience. Does it help? It sure does and with the way the industry is going, many agencies are purposely sending their models to acting auditions, whether they like it or not. But that's a whole different story.

For the purpose of this blog post, I'm going to stick to the topic of submitting to modeling jobs that require some form of video or acting experience. For the sake of argument, let's stick to the gigs that don't have speaking lines for the models to say. Actually, there are many "non-speaking" gigs out there so again, this type of work isn't uncommon, should you happen to come across it while looking for modeling assignments.

Typically, models walk the runway and/or they take photos. So where does the video aspect come into play? It depends on the project but one of the cooler ways clients are getting creative with promoting their product, company, brand or idea is to use a combination of still images and video footage of the models.

What this ends up looking like for the female and male models that book this type of work includes but is not limited to:

Playing to the Camera. By this, I'm describing a model who is in front of a camera (the kind that shoots video footage, not still images) and going through a variety of expressions, doing a turn, flirting with the camera, playing with their clothing/wardrobe, etc. 

Walking Around on Camera. This is where the model is walking casually towards the camera, away from the camera, in profile, etc. The model can be walking down the sidewalk, in a park, indoors, you name it. 

Hanging Out With Other Models. It's always super fun to shoot a pair of models or a small group all interacting, laughing, enjoying candid moments where they're not looking at the camera or they may all be looking at the camera and playing to it together.

The best examples of this kind of modeling video experience would be any cosmetics/makeup commercial, fashion commercial, etc. If you're thinking to yourself, that's an acting job, you'd be correct. Kind of. Remember, not all models are actors but this situation is the best way to describe a job you may apply for that requires models to have video experience but not necessarily be "acting" on camera, saying lines and things like that.

What's the big deal? 

You'd be surprised by how many models have no problem striking a pose and smizing when it comes to photoshoots or unleashing their inner diva on the runway but put them in front of a camera that is shooting video and they become deer in headlights. Some models are completely comfortable moving around, taking direction and expressing themselves on video, while others simply don't know what to do with themselves.

That's why. :-)

See where I'm going with this? When it comes to clients asking for models with video experience, they want to know that the people submitting to the job will not only be perfectly at home in front of a camera that is capturing them on video, but that they won't have any issues with following directions if told to flirt with the camera, toss their hair and smile, do a fun spin, interact with other models and/or play off their surroundings (indoors or outdoors).

If doing this doesn't come naturally to you, that's okay. Everyone has to start somewhere. Grab a mirror and practice so you understand how you look and move while doing various expressions and movements. 

Watch commercials and see how the models/actors move and express themselves and use it for reference when practicing at home. Grab a friend and a phone and start recording yourself to get a feel for what that's like. Review what you've shot and tweak things until you feel like it's second nature.

Is video experience mandatory for modeling? No. Do you have to take on acting in order to succeed as a model if you have no interest in acting? No. However, if you want to spread your wings a bit and have a shot at booking the types of gigs I described above, taking these extra steps to add to your skill set can only boost your abilities and marketability as a model, as well as give you an opportunity to add more experience to your resume so it could definitely be something worth looking into if you're up for the task.