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Showing posts from 2007

Update on Me (Part 2)

Well, I didn't make it to the finals for the Project Breakout Swimwear Competition. But congrats to all of the models who did make it! Of course I'm bummed, but like I always say, you win some, you lose some. Just seeing the support I received from everyone was the best reward I could have gotten aside from winning so at least I know that there are plenty of people rooting for me, win or lose. And that's what counts. Boy, I sound like an afterschool special, don't I? LOL. Ah, 2008 is just around the corner and I am very optimistic about what the coming year will hold for me. I still have a month or two before I find out which of my photos made it into the two Black hair magazines, Salon Magazine and Black Passions Magazine. So those will be tearsheets I can add to my portfolio. The Tad Gear photoshoot is still in the process of putting out their calendar, which I am in, as well as updating their website to include the shoots that I and the two other models did so

Quick Update on Me

Hey, everyone! Sorry for being MIA. My office job is micromanaging, which means no more free Internet time. Grrr....but I promise I do have some posts in the works. About 3-4 I believe. I want to say THANK YOU to all who voted for me in the Project Breakout Swimwear Competition. I did make it to the semifinals...yay! The next step involved making a video of myself modeling swimwear. The deadline to upload the video to the site is by the end of today and I made sure to get my video up and live last night. I don't know if it's viewable by the public or just the judges but you can check my modeling profile for the contest to find out. The final 12 contestants who get to go to South Beach to shoot the calendar will be chosen and announced on Monday, December 31st. Cross your fingers! Other than that, I'm just waiting on a few CDs of images from recent shoots. I hate waiting! haha. So don't worry, I haven't gone anywhere. I'm still here for all your model nee

Modeling and Weight

One of the first things I hear potential models ask is what the weight requirement for modeling is. Sometimes that is the main issue they worry about when it comes to pursuing modeling. Let me tell you right now that weight should NOT be one of those concerns. Obviously, the height requirement reigns supreme when measuring up to the modeling standards sought out by agencies. If you meet the height requirements--whether it's for fashion and runway or commercial/print--that is the first step towards starting on the path to modeling. How much you weigh shouldn't be your biggest fear. It is rare that anyone can look at someone and say, "Oh, my gosh, he/she looks like they are 5 pounds over our weight requirement!" It just isn't realistic. If you look at many modeling agency websites, they clearly list the age and height requirements--rarely, if at all do they list any weight restrictions. The general rule of thumb when it comes to weight is that for models who

Show Some Support for Amber!

It has been a dream to talk to the many young ladies who have emailed me in regards to my blog. I enjoy getting to know everyone and seeing where their modeling careers have taken them, as well as knowing that in some small way, I have helped empower them to follow their dreams. Amber is one of those such girls. She is well on her way to getting the exposure she needs to make it in the industry. She has recently made it to the final rounds of the Seventeen Reader Model Contest! Out of thousands of model hopefuls, Amber is one of 17 lucky gals competing to win a chance at a $10,000 modeling contract with FORD Models (my agency, woot!) as well as an editorial shoot/spread in Seventeen Magazine! How cool is that?! To view Amber's personal profile Go HERE to vote for Amber! Be sure to select her name from the drop down list of contestants. Amber is not just naturally beautiful, she's a smart girl with her head on straight. She believes in herself and carries herself with a positi

My Latest Shoot for Tad Gear

I had a shoot last night that was definitely out of the norm for me, but it was very fun. I was one of three models helping promote a company called Tad Gear. We weren't told much about the company itself except that they deal with military gear and supplies. The company wanted to begin promoting more and needed models to give them that special edge. The shoot took place in San Francisco around 7:30pm. The third model never showed so the photographer had to scramble for a replacement and luckily he was able to find someone last minute. After hair and makeup, we got into our military gear. I got to showcase a Vietnam War-era uniform. Each of us had real weapons (not loaded of course!). The American flag was hung in the background and we stood on soapboxes to give us the height. The shoot went really fast. We kept it pretty simple: standing side to side next to each other and looking off in the distance and saluting. After that set of shoots, we each got to do another look. Th

When You Get No Support for Modeling

It isn't always every parents' dream to hear their child say, "Mom, Dad, I want to be a model!" Not having that support system from your family can be tough but that doesn't mean that you can't continue to pursue a career in the modeling industry. Of course, that's easier said than done and for those of you who are underage and still live in your parents' house and under their rules, my heart goes out to you. In that particular situation, I always advise that if you are really set on being a model, do as much research as you can and have a game plan. Then tell your parents after you have all the information and know without a doubt that you can answer any and all questions they may have. Parents tend to get cautious about something if you can't give them a legit answer about it. Don't just jump in and announce your plans to walk the runways in Europe and other major countries without thinking it through first. Just by you knowing you

It's All About Communication

I can't stress enough how important it is as a model to have great communication skills. Keeping the communication barrier open and consistent is the way to ensure a good shoot every single time. However, this is easier said than done because one thing the modeling industry is known for is miscommunication. It is very easy for a potential photoshoot to go awry simply because one or both parties are not on the same page, communication-wise. Both photographers and models are guilty of this so it would be in your best interest to develop good communication skills and stick to them. Sometimes this may require you to be a little harsh or cold but modeling is a business and as is one of my favorite mottos, "I am a businesswoman before I am a model." No one likes to have their time wasted. Freelance models will find a lot of great information from this post. When freelancing your time is money. Whether the shoot is paid or a TFP/TFCD, you still spend money of some

Having More Than One Agent

Did you know that a model can have more than once agency? It's true but there is a way to go about it without getting yourself in trouble. When you have more than one agency representing you as a model, the chances for getting booked, paid work increases. The only way a model can get more than one modeling agency is if they are only dealing with non-exclusive contracts. To refresh your memory, a non-exclusive contract means that the model is allowed to sign with another agency, as well as get their own freelance work. The catch is to read the fine print. Even though an agency with a non-exclusive contract allows you multiple representation, it also lists where you can or cannot obtain representation. For example, if you have an agent out of San Francisco with a non-exclusive contract, you are free to sign with another agency in Los Angeles, New York, or Miami (or all three in addition to San Francisco!), who also operate with non-exclusive contracts. However, you may no

Modeling Isn't Always Fair

I think just about every model has a love/hate relationship with the modeling industry. Probably the most frustrating thing about this business is that there are so many dos and don'ts that you're supposed to follow and yet there are still those exceptions to the rule that make things very unfair sometimes. For example, yesterday I had a casting in San Francisco at 11:00am for a hair show. I showed up early and waited patiently with the other 30 models who showed up. The people holding the casting were presenting a new line of hair care products and were looking for models to showcase the new brand. Luckily, they weren't planning on cutting or coloring. The lady in charge thanked us for showing up early and on time and explained that they would be pulling girls up in small groups to evaulate their hair and that the rest of us could relax and wait until we were called. The first group was about 7-9 girls with really long hair down their back. One of the stylists

Models are Actors, Too

Modeling is very similar to acting at times. As a model it is common for you to step outside of yourself and take on a different persona to match whatever theme is involved with your gig. Models need to have the ability to tap into their emotions and project the right attitude and presence to sell the product, idea, concept, clothes, etc. For example, a model may have to pose with another model of the opposite sex and have to convey the image of two long lost lovers--even though he/she may have just met their modeling partner a few minutes ago on-set. But once the two step out in front of that camera, the goal is to convince anyone who sees the photo that these models are madly in love. Or you may be asked to do a group shot with other models that you may never met in your life but you'll all have to act as if you've been friends forever. The possibilities for these scenarios is endless and if you can manage to fine tune your acting abilities to suit each concept, the

The Basic Must Haves for Any Photoshoot

There may be a period of time in your modeling career when you are just swamped with shoots, whether they're TFP/TFCd or paid bookings. Take it from me, the last thing you want to worry about is forgetting something or not being completely prepared when you step on-set. When things get hectic with my shooting schedules, I've found that keeping certain things together and organized helps eliminate any snafus. For example, I have a greally great Victoria's Secret bag that has large straps and can hold a lot of stuff. That is my main bag that I use to carry my clothes, shoes and makeup. Every model should have such a bag that is easy to carry around. Even if you have smaller bags that you carry, they can easily be put into your big bag so that you don't have to worry about misplacing or forgetting your smaller items. Below is a list of things that I feel every model should have in her special bag for any and all shoots: Shoes  Even if you're not shoo

Lots of Shoots This Weekend!

Just thought I'd update you all on what's going on with me and the modeling biz this weekend: Saturday, October 20: Photo shoot @ 10am w/Rich of , an online hip-hop magazine. We'll be shooting swimwear and dresses at Laney College in Oakland as well as the Oakland waterfront. Should be fun, AND I'll be getting all of my images, score! Soon as the images are up on the official website, I'll be sure to post about it so you guys can check it out! Sunday, October 21: I'm teaming up again with Anya Grzeskowiak Photography , and makeup artist & stylist, Michelle Yueh, for a photo shoot @ 12 noon in Oakland. This will be the first step towards the redesign of my Dania Denise website. The images I get from this shoot will be used as downloadable wallpapers for your computer...pretty sweet, huh? :-) The redesigns to my website will include Flash intro and features, an online store--where the wallpapers will be sold--and all new, updated ph

Face Reality

It really bothers me when I see young ladies fall over themselves when looking at a picture of a model in a magazine sometimes because the most common thing they end up saying is something along the lines of, "I wish I had (hair/skin/makeup/body/eyebrows) like her! How can I look like that?" *SIGH* Ladies, when it comes to modeling, nothing is as it seems. That's the whole point. If you think any of the models look the way they do in real life compared to their professional photos, you live in a different reality. That's not to say they emerge from their photo shoots with acne, beer bellies and split ends...but they are not flawless and weren't born that way, either...hard to believe, I know. Models are paid to take care of themselves. When you get millions of dollars per gig, of course you can afford to have all the good things in life. You don't have to worry about staying up late working on a project or working overtime at your job. Looking g

Taking a Break From Freelancing

As a working model with agency representation, I've always freelanced on the side. But that was when I had a non-exclusive contract. Since signing with FORD Models in San Francisco last Fall, I've been dealing with an exclusive contract. I wanted to make sure I wasn't breaking any rules so I went through the pages of my contract and couldn't find anything that mentioned being allowed to find and book my own work.  I'm sure it was in there somewhere but with over 6 pages of legal jargon, I'm sure I missed it. So I emailed my booking agent at FORD asking her for clarification. She was happy I asked because apparently many models aren't aware of the seriousness of the subject. She informed me that under an exclusive contract, all bookings must go through the agency. What does that mean for me? No more freelancing. Surprisingly, I'm okay with that. I want to do right by my agency. While I've been able to get more work myself than through t

Modeling with Braces

Is modeling with braces impossible? No. But is it possible? Rarely. Before you start rattling off the models you've seen in publications wearing braces, let me just inform you that they are far and few in between. Of course there will always be exceptions to the rule--the modeling industry is famous for that, but generally speaking, modeling with braces may not always be an option. If you currently have braces and wish to pursue modeling, you may encounter some difficulties. Models wearing braces are not in high demand. Yes, there are those print ads for dentists and other specialists who do braces but there isn't enough of that type of work to keep the small number of models with braces busy. You'd end up seeing the same faces over and over again for those ads. If you're hoping for agency representation, don't be surprised if an agency decides to pass on you. Marketing a model with braces is just too hard and time consuming. However, you may find

"Outing" a Photographer or Model

Okay, it's time for me to stop talking on and on about my shoots and get down to educating people about modeling! LOL. What do I mean by "outing," you ask? Simply put, "outing" is a term used in the modeling industry for publicly stating something bad about someone. This situation is the most common among photographers and models. It is a reality that not all photogs and models will get along during a shoot. Both are guilty of being flakes, showing up late to shoots, being unprofessional and even downright rude or disrespectful. But regardless of this, the modeling industry is one that stresses the importance of not "outing" ANYONE, no matter how badly that person has been treated by the other. For example, Model A shoots with Photographer B. Photographer B is a jerk, is rude, and tries to cop a feel on Model A throughout the shoot. But that's as far as it goes. After the shoot, Model A is so upset with Photographer B that when Mod

Model Release Forms (Part 2)

I've been doing more research on model release forms and came across a lot of information that wasn't included in my original post about this topic. To modify what I originally wrote, not ALL photo shoots will have release forms for you to sign. If you get booked a gig by your agent, the client may or may not provide a model release form. Usually that paperwork is handled with the agency beforehand so a release may not be necessary. Sometimes your agent will request that you not sign anything once you get on-set--this guarantees that the client will not add any last minute changes that may cause conflict. Always follow what your agent tells you. For you freelance models, there may be times when you shoot with a photog who doesn't require a model release form. If you are fine with that, there should be no problems, as long as the two of you arrange it so that you do get your images, payment (if any), etc. If a photog does not have a release for you to sign that is

Dania Denise in a Fashion Show? (Update #2)

Okay, so you know how in the post below I was talking about participating in a small, local fashion show for a college? Yeah, well it turns out that the show isn't going to be so's being held at the Santa Clara Convention Center in CA and is expecting a turnout of 600 people! There are going to be 43 models--including yours truly...YAY!--with four outfit changes. Even though we won't be getting paid, we get 50% off 5 tickets so my friends and family can get in for only $5.00. And there is already going to be a photographer taking pictures at the event and I will be getting a CD of the high resolution images for my portfolio use. Score! My boyfriend says he still plans on taking pictures of me anyway so hey, I get two great shoots in one! Sweet! The fitting tonight went really well. I arrived at the school and met with the show coordinator and she gave me four outfits to try: a long, slinky and form-fitting crushed velvet black and burgundy dress that

Dania Denise in a Fashion Show?

Hmmm...little ole 5'4" me tearing up the runway? Thought you'd never hear that, huh? Okay, so it's for a college fashion show which isn't exactly New York Fashion Week or anything to brag about, but hey, it's still a fashion show and one that I'm actually volunteering for...yep, no pay. Hard to believe, I know! But I do make exceptions to the rule. While I don't care for fashion shows and the runway scene normally, this sounds like a fun event that will help Brooks College in CA showcase their students' work. Plus, any fashion show that has an open height requirement is one that I will usually want to do, since it's always nice to work with folks who aren't so snobby about how "tall" and "runway" are always together like PB&J and are open to working with shorter models. haha. Last night I was actually practicing my runway walk in my 4 inch heels from Victoria's Secret (they're way sexy, thank you v

A Few New Things On Here...

Okay, so I finally took the time to figure out some features and other things I could add to my blog to make things easier for my readers out there. As you'll see, on the right-hand side of the page is a Google search box. You can search for anything either on Google or on my blog. So if you are looking for a post I've written about "casting calls" or "agencies" (for example) just type it into the search box and it'll show all my past posts that contain those keywords. It's a really great way for you to find more posts that you may not have read yet. So hopefully that helps. The other features and links are just there to help me make some extra change on the side using Google AdSense if any of you are familiar with it. I don't know if anyone would actually click on any of the links but I tried to pick stuff that related to this site...not sure how accurate Google is going to keep it though...I guess we'll see. :) I put up a shopping c

Being a Full-Time Model vs. a Model With Other Interests

This post was inspired by a forum convo I had with another model. While venting about how I hated having to turn down a well-paying gig because of my new full-time job, she replied, "Well if you get so many well-paying gigs, then why don't you just do that full-time?" That got me to thinking about how many young girls, models or not, have this misconception that once you're a model, that's it and there's nothing else. In a perfect world, all models could model full-time and not have to get a regular 9-5. But this is far from a perfect world, as we all know. For those of you who would have asked me the same question, ask yourselves this: do you really believe that modeling is the end-all and be-all of life? Do you believe that modeling is a 100% foolproof way of not ever needing a real job? Just a little reality check: not all modeling gigs pay well. If you're lucky enough to get a handful of gigs a month, then yes, you stand to make really goo

Photoshop & Retouching Pictures

I personally love Photoshop . Not just because it helps with retouching pictures, but because I actually know how to use it. But there is a bad side to Photoshop, which is what this post is all about. It is one thing to use Photoshop in order to create a cool effect (like the photo associated with this post) or to magically get rid of a zit or other small detail...but it is another thing to use Photoshop to make yourself appear flawless is every photo you take! This may seem harmless but could prove disastrous in a worst-case scenario. Photoshop and photography have gone hand-in-hand for some time now. At first using this software program was limited to just the photographers who needed to retouch images to meet the client's standards. However, more and more models are learning this software and are able to use it for their personal reasons when retouching their own photos. Personally speaking, the most I do when it comes to my own photos and Photoshop include croppin

Photographer Personalities

Being able to work well with a photographer is vital when it comes to being a good model . Having the right people skills will help you in letting loose in front of the camera and bringing a lot of personality to a shoot, whether you're one-on-one with the photographer or working with a whole crew. However, each photographer has his/her own personality that may or may not be so easy to work with. Based off of my past modeling experiences, I thought it would be helpful to list examples of the types of personalitites of the various photographers I've worked with over the years (I won't be naming names of course!). This may help you in the future if you should ever work with a photographer who has a similar personality. This is not to say that ALL photographers act like this...this is merely based off of my professional modeling experiences . The Buddy This type of photographer is very friendly (but not in a creepy way). He/she is able to make you feel comfortab

Agencies vs. Managers

Many times there can be confusion as to who does what in a model's life and who is a part of it. It's already common knowledge that for most models, having an agent is a must. Aside from it helping with exposure, agency representation helps weed out the bad elements so 99% of the time (I say 99% instead of 100% because these days you can't really be 100% sure about anything) you are only dealing with legit photographers, art directors, crews, etc. and are getting the best pay. But what about managers? I know there are model hopefuls out there as well as established models who may be wondering if they need a manager and what exactly a manager does. I can safely tell you that most models do not need a manager. If you already have an agent, they pretty much act as your manager. If you are freelancing and/or don't have agency representation, then a manager may help you but it is not going to make or break you to not have one. Managers are more or less associat