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Showing posts from May, 2007

Choose Your Escort Carefully

When I say "escort" I'm talking about the person you bring with you on your photo shoots, so there shouldn't be any confusion about what "escort" means. Most times, a professional booking your agent gets you is one of the few times you most likely won't need an escort with you, since there tends to be about a half dozen or more people on the shoot. However, for portfolio-building shoots, TFP/TFCDs, and for models who are freelance or just starting and don't have agency representation, you have the option of bringing an escort with you. The purpose of an escort is to have someone there with you for safety reasons. This is true especially if you are under 18--in fact, in the United States, it is the law for an underage model to have a parent/guardian present at all times. I've stated before that any legit and reputable photographer will not only welcome having an escort present during the shoot, but will encourage you to bring someone.

Be Your Own Modeling Expert

My passion for the entertainment, modeling and broadcasting industry is so strong that I put all my effort into learning about the different fields I work in. In addition to modeling, I also freelance as a television news and entertainment reporter so I spend a lot of time shooting footage, interviewing people and talking on-camera. I love being hands-on with all of my broadcasting projects, from playing back footage, to editing and writing the scripts. That gives me the experience and credibility to tell anyone, "I know exactly how this works because I've done it!" From my past experiences doing this type of work, I learned a great deal about lighting, posing, framing, camera equipment, etc. And you know what? A lot of what I learned in college as well as from my freelance career carried over into my modeling career. In college, I learned about everything that goes on behind the camera and while some of it seemed so boring and meaningless, many of the aspects

Don't Be Afraid to Smile!

One trait that is very essential for a model to master is how to adapt to change. When it comes to your comfort zone, each model is different. Maybe you're used to looking "fierce," which means that cheesy smiles aren't common in your images. Or maybe you're so used to doing the cheesy smiles for commercial/print work and you're not used to exuding a sexy aura. No matter what area of expertise you have become used to, it is always better to learn how to do a variety of looks when it comes to your facial expressions. It's easy for aspiring models to learn how to do the sexy pout because it's all they see in the Victoria's Secret commercials and ads. Although in my opinion, they mostly look like fish faces--girls, leave those "Myspace" type of fish lips on Myspace and out of your modeling images! Blank, serious and often severe faces high-stepping it during fashion shows are very common in that part of the industry, so m

My First Meeting with FORD San Francisco

I have never been so excited as I was today when I stepped off the elevator and was greeted by the huge, silver letters of FORD Models, San Francisco. The walls were painted a deep red, with a black ceiling and trim. The office is still fairly new so they don't have a whole lot up yet but I was still tingling with nervous excitement.   I was there to meet with the people at FORD for the first time since they took me onto their roster after merging with my current agent, Generations Model & Talent, last Fall. First I was introduced to everyone and then we got right down to business. I was taken into a room and stripped down to my bra and underwear to be fitted. At the moment they were looking for fit models for GAP, Old Navy, Banana Republic, etc. so they took a lot of measurements. Afterwards, I gave her my age, height, weight and contact info. Then I met with the head of the Women's Lifestyle/Commercial division and his assistant so that we could talk about my car

Modeling Vouchers

As a model with agency representation, you'll be required to use modeling vouchers. This is a special document that basically makes sure you get paid. Unlike a model release form, vouchers break down the nitty gritty of the job you're doing, whether it's a photo shoot, fitting, show or other paying gig. Your agent will give you a handful of blank vouchers to keep safe. You must bring a modeling voucher to every booking you get. There are also voucher books that allow you to organize your vouchers so that you can keep track of the clients you've worked for and your payment history. On the voucher you will see the name, address and contact information of the agency on the voucher. There will also be room for you to put your name and signature, as well as an area where the client will fill out their company information, address and contact info. The two of you will provide your own signatures, which makes the voucher a binding contact. Normally there will be a ch

Photographers & Copyrights

The thing a model must understand about photographers is that their work--the images they produce--are their livelihood and must be protected at all times. Ever wonder why there's a random name or funky mark on top of a model's photo? That was done on purpose to keep people from copying the picture for personal use (how many times have we seen a photo we liked on the Internet and copied it to our own folder?). Everyone has done this at one time or another and while it appears harmless, there are some people out there who try to pass off someone else's work as their own, or attempt to sell it for a profit--all while the actual photographer doesn't have a clue. While some models don't like this extra info on their images, if a photographer requests that you put it on your photos, then you must respect their wishes. In the age of the Internet, it is easy to steal other people's work. Even though it is still possible to take the name off of a picture on th

The Model Release Form

No model does anything without a Model Release Form. This form is important because it ensures that both you and the photographer are aware of and exercise certain rights and responsibilities. Anytime you are scheduled for a photo shoot, expect to read and sign a model release form. It is vital to protect yourself and your image at all times. In a nutshell, a model release form states the terms/guidelines dealing with copyright, personal use and other legal issues that can arise. Once you sign a model release form, it is a binding contract that cannot be broken or else you or whoever is at the root of the issue, can be sued or taken to court. This is where the model release form will be used to prove or disprove whatever part of the contract was broken. Many times when a model signs a model release form, they are waiving (giving up) their right to the photos and transfer it to the photographer, client or company named in the release. This does not mean that you can't us

Shooting in High Key White

Shooting with an all-white background is an excellent way to experiment with colors and outfits. No matter what, you'll stand out. The key to shooting with an all-white background is to know how to use your space. There isn't anything in the background to play off of and unless you have a prop, you're pretty much on your own. When it comes to posing in front of a high key white background, it's best to exaggerate your poses. Start off with some simple practice poses and work your way up. This is the perfect environment for playing with poses that will cause your image to jump out at the viewer. Try to avoid plain, boring poses and use your arms to give shape to your pose. Creating great lines is key when shooting with a white background. What I mean by this is that the intensity of the high key white background will automatically create an outline of your body. The best poses are those that show long, slendar and graceful lines. Example of a pose that cr

Bikini Posing

When it comes to putting on a swimsuit , it can be easy to automatically think you should be a sex kitten during a photo shoot . Contrary to popular belief, posing in a swimsuit doesn't always mean you have to do overtly sexual poses. There are ways to pose in a swimsuit that doesn't exude sexuality. After all, not only volumptuous, long-legged models wear swimsuits. There are bathing suit styles made for teens as well as adults and when it comes to shooting swimwear, your poses should reflect the target audience. There are different types of poses you can do when sporting a bathing suit, namely a bikini. There are also different types of bikinis and other two-pieces as well so also keep that in mind. Obviously you would pose differently in a string bikini than you would a two-piece that has boy short bottoms and a simple top. Like any other type of shoot, the poses you do for swimwear should be natural, graceful and simple. Complicated poses tend to make you loo

My Diva Moment

Okay, I'll be the first one to tell you that I'm not perfect and that I make mistakes just as anyone else--despite how long I've been modeling. I try to practice what I preach and I thought it would be fun to share the one time I ever acted like a model diva. I'm definitely not proud of it but that just goes to show that throwing a tantrum is human nature and that it happens to the best of us. The key is to not let it become a part of your modeling career... I was set to shoot on location for my 2007 calendar. The crew consisted of myself, my photographer, my stylist and my photographer's mother's boyfriend, who brought the motorcycle we were set to use. I was a little stressed because we were working on a time limit. The shot we needed with the motorcycle was to be taken at dusk, which is basically the time when the sun is setting. All of the outfits and camera gear were packed in the cars and ready to go. To add to the pressure, not only were we