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Showing posts from July, 2008

Answering a Reader Question #20

Ki-Ki Wrote: Hey, Dania I recently did a photo shoot. Which, by the way, went very well. I cant wait to get the pictures. But, I was asked to sign a photo release. I will see my photographer today to pick to sign it. Is there any warning or good signs I should look for before signing a it??? Your post has also helped me come a long way. Thanks and Congratulations on your recent success, your an inspiration. Hey, Ki-Ki! Congrats on a successful shoot. You are definitely on the right path and thank you for the kind words…very much appreciated. =) As far as the model release forms, these are among the most common documents in the modeling industry. Since there is no money involved, the chances of you having issues with this particular model release form is slim to none. It should contain the most basic information stating that you are waiving (giving up) your rights to the images and are not allowed to sell them for profit. It will also say that the photographer is free to use the images

Answering a Reader Question #19

Kristen Wrote: so i've always wanted to become a model ever since i was little but im only 15 and still 5"2..modeling has been my dream forever and so have being a victoria secret model.i know i have to get signed but Elite or stuff like that but what if i dont?? are there other options?? Hi, Kristen! Thanks for reading my blog! Unfortunately, your height is going to work against you. Since you are already 15, unless you hit a major growth spurt, those goals won't be within your reach. However, you should look into modeling agencies that represent petite models. There aren't many out there but it is worth looking into. If you can reach 5'5" you can do commercial/print modeling and sign with an agency that works with those type of models. You also have the option of doing freelance modeling, where you act as your own modeling agent and find your own work. It can be challenging but it would allow you to submit for fashion and other types of work that your height

Dania Denise to Compete in the 2009 Miss California USA Pageant!

I’m sure among all the things you know about me, you didn’t know I was into pageantry. Well, I’m not one of those pageantry types who have been doing it my whole life. Back in high school I did two local pageants as a promise to my best friend in the whole world (and pageant coach), Paris Chase Watson. I didn’t place in either, but at the time I wasn’t trying to win the crown—I wanted the experience. I wanted to see what the huge deal was about pageants and why my best friend was so obsessed with them. He hasn’t missed a major pageant show in his entire life! Being in the thick of it all definitely gave me a better appreciation for the women who have been doing this their whole lives. It is no cakewalk and poke fun at it if you wish, but how many of you could don an evening gown and a bathing suit and grace the stage in front of hundreds if not thousands of people in the audience (and an additional million or so that watch from their homes)? Not many. While I left the pageants alone af

Multivitamins and Facial Masks: My Best Friends

…well, in addition to Photoshop and food. Haha. Man, it has been a tough week. Last week I had a hectic schedule between castings and I picked up a video acting project (I do TV/Film/Commercial acting as well as modeling) so I had to juggle the shooting schedule with my office job. Last week I worked the following: - Monday : No shoot, just the office job from 9am-6pm - Tuesday : Shoot all day from 9am-11pm - Wednesday : Work at the office job from 8am-5:30pm (went to a casting in San Francisco during my lunch break), then off to my shoot from 6pm-12:30am - Thursday : Day off from the office job and the shoot got pushed back to Monday…free day spent doing stuff though so no sleeping in. Boo! - Friday : Work at the office job from 9am-6pm, then off to my shoot from 6pm-1:15am - Monday : Work at the office job from 9am-6pm, then off to my shoot from 6pm-12:30am You can bet I was exhausted! I’m still trying to catch up on my sleep this week. The challenge about being an a

Model Makeovers: Reality or Myth?

Most people enjoy ANTM for many reasons. The makeovers are definitely one of them. In the attempt to make the girls more “modelish,” Tyra spends time and money into giving each contestant a complete makeover. The focus is mostly on the hair. This occurrence has caused me to receive questions from aspiring models as to whether they will have to undergo a similar transformation when they get signed. America’s Next Top Model does a lot of great stuff for TV but it doesn’t go much further than that. The extent of the makeovers seen on that show—and others like it—are over the top for a reason—it’s TV and it needs to greatly exaggerate things in order to prove a point. However, in real life, such makeovers aren’t that involved. So do model makeovers exist in the “real” world? Sure. Do they happen to all new models and to that extreme? Not really. Agencies fall in love with girls (and guys) the way they are and almost always sign them without doing a thing to their appearance (we’re n

The Deal with Agencies & Test Shoots for Portfolio Building

When you sign with an agency you’re well on your way towards a bright and promising modeling career. The first step is to do your first photoshoot for the purpose of building not only your portfolio but your comp card as well. In this day and age of the Internet, many modeling agencies post their models’ portfolios online as well as the print version of the portfolio, which is commonly referred to as a model’s “book.” Of course all this costs money but whose supposed to cover those costs? Should anyone have to pay at all? What about test shoots? This is a topic that needs to be clarified because I know too many people who have misconceptions and their own idea of what the right answer is. I’ve seen veins bulge out of people’s foreheads while arguing adamantly about what they believe is supposed to be true about this subject (or typing in all caps online screaming their beliefs). Hopefully I can set the record straight. Once you sign with an agency it is up to the agency and only

How Old is Too Old to Model?

It’s no secret that the media has made a big deal out of youth. Think about it: how many people have you heard say, “Gosh, I can’t wait to get wrinkles!” Worldwide, selling the idea of youth has made many companies billions of dollars. Without the models, however, they wouldn’t get very far. So that’s the obvious stuff but what about the question of age and being older in the modeling industry? Well, for starters, if you plan on being in the fashion and runway field, the younger you are the better. The longevity for this type of modeling is extremely short for the majority of models involved. Agencies sign girls as young as 13 years old and tend to hesitate if a model is over 18. This topic, like the height issue, is a reality of the industry that you don’t have to agree with but you will have to accept or at least get used to. It’s just a plain fact that agencies and their clients can get more work out of youthful models than those who already show the signs of aging. Sadly, this

Meeting with Photographers & Clients for the First Time

(This post will best serve freelance models without agency representation) When you’re a freelance model, you’ll have to go out, network and submit yourself for castings. This means you’ll be meeting people in the industry who are also strangers to you. Without the protection of an agent you do open yourself up for some shady characters. However, there is a way to conduct your business without putting your personal safety at risk. If you are trying to build your portfolio and are contacting photographers, I highly suggest the following tips: 1. Look at their portfolio before even contacting them. You want to work with photographers whose work reflects the type you’re trying to do. If their photos are impressive and they have a list of past models they’ve worked with, that’s great. Go ahead and contact him/her. 2. Set up an in-person meeting before shooting together. This saves a lot of time and energy. There is such a thing as a model and photographer not having good chemi

Tips for Finding Modeling Jobs on Craigslist

(This post will best serve freelance models without agency representation or models with agents that also look for their own work) Does Craigslist offer good opportunities for models? Sure! Should caution be used when searching and submitting to gigs on Craigslist? Of course! I know that I often talk about Craigslist in a negative way at times but it is a pretty good tool to use to find work. However, I only feel comfortable suggesting models use Craigslist if they are 18+. The anonymity of the site makes it very difficult to know exactly whom you are dealing with. That’s not to say that those who are adults can’t get into trouble as well, because they can, but in general most scammers and suspicious characters target young, underage models. Whether you are underage (with a parent helping in your career) or a freelance model that is of age, here are a few helpful tips for finding work on Craigslist in a way that won’t waste your time and will hopefully keep you safe when dealing

Answering a Reader Question #18

Ki-Ki Wrote: Hey Dania, IT'S ME AGAIN!!!HOW WAS YOUR WEEK??? A lot has happended for me this week also. The last couple of post that you put up have been very informative. Coincidently, this week I met up with a STOCK photographer, who's fairly new and cannot afford to pay me but he will definately COMPENSATE me. This photographer put up a post a couple of days ago, saying that he is looking for models to do everyday shots. I sent him an email saying that I was interested and we set up a day to meet. I checked out his work before I met him though. When he met he told me that he just started doing stock photography and currently cannot afford to pay me but he will take free pictures for me and if I do a couple shots for him. Is this a good deal?? Just to add more details...(I was at work so I had to rush) When I met with the photographer he explained to me what stock photography was (thanks to your post I already knew)and that it was something new for him to do. He said he was i

When It's Okay to Work for Little to No Money

(This post will best serve freelance models that don't currently have agency representation.) Getting paid for modeling is great. In fact, seeking paid assignments is something every model should strive for. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Add the following word to your arsenal of modeling lingo: compensation. This word includes more than just actual money for a project. Compensation involves receiving something in return for your services. When you work for free, that means you walk away from the gig without getting anything. This should NEVER happen! Even inexperienced/new models should seek some form of compensation. Because everyone has to start somewhere, know up front that you won't be able to command the high-paying gigs right away. You're going to have to do some test shoots and projects that pay within the lower range until you can build up a good portfolio and resume of past clients to showcase your credibility, which will allow you to demand a

Answering a Reader Question #17

ki~ki Wrote: Hey Dania, It's me again. My last open call went more as expected. I went to Reinhard Modeling agency in Philadelphia. When it was my turn, my interview didnt take very long. I asked her a few questions like if they are looking for anything in specific and so on. She answered my questions and said that if they need me they will contact me. She also said if I lose a few inches she would enocourage me to come back. I'm a little upset because I dont know where I stand i.e if I have the look, right measurements, camera friendly and so on. Right now I know I wanna do some runway and commercial print. For runway I know I'm kinda to big my measurements are a little bigger than I thought they were (34-27-39). Thus, is my measurements okay for commerical print or am I too big to fit those clothes too(Kinda funny I'M SKINNY how can I be too big). In addition, if modeling agencies say they deal with inexperienced models, does this mean they will train them too and if

Answering a Reader Question #16

DAiShA Wrote: hayyyy omg i sware this is pretty good advice. im 13 also and i want to be a victoria secret model. i have that figure [sadly for my age]. i would love to do lingerie modeling on day. i want to do all types of modeling really. but my body type is very curvy. not like a skinny flatcheasted model. sooo what should i do? Your height in addition to your figure (measurements) will determine what type of modeling you can do. It takes a lot to be a VS model so if you can manage to fulfill all the requirements I listed in my blog post about it, then you’ll be way ahead of the game. However, if you end up not being tall enough (5’8” and taller) by the time you turn 18 (when you’re legally allowed to do lingerie and related work), you’ll have to stick to commercial/print. When you sign with an agent, let them know you mostly want to do lingerie work and they will do their best to submit you to those clients. Being curvy isn’t a bad thing but you have to also be sure that your measu

Answering a Reader Question #15

Ki~ki Wrote: Congratulations on your stock photography success!!!!!!!!!!! Well, I went to my modeling interview and it went great. I had an interview with MainLine Models, in Media, PA and she said that she loved my look. However since I told her that I never had training in this field. She said that she wasnt going to sign me yet and she told me about training that is held there. She said she wanted me to come back this thursday to start. The training is for 6 weeks at $380. At first I wondered if she was really that interested in my look or if she is trying to get money out of me. Does this sound correct to you, Dania???????????? I also have a open call today at 10am. THanks Dania for all your help!!!!!!!!! Wow, that is very awesome that you had a successful interview! Kudos! However, you are right to be cautious about the whole arrangement she wants you to do with the training classes. Some agencies are also affiliated with their own model training classes and schools, which you do

Photographers & Copyrights (Part 2)

So I know I've probably talked about this before or mentioned it in a post but I just want to reiterate that any photos taken in a photoshoot automatically belong to the photographer. When it comes to copyright, the photographer owns it unless he/she sells it to a company or an individual, such as a model. I sometimes hear aspiring models or new models say things along the lines of, "I plan on getting the rights to my photos," or "why can't I get the rights to my images?" As stated before, they are not your images to claim the rights to. Yes, you are in the photos but as far as the intellectual or creative property of the images themselves, that belongs to the photographer. There are rare instances when a model can request to buy the rights from a photographer (which the photographer is solely within his/her right to agree or disagree to). The majority of photographers will charge a large sum to sell the rights for the simple fact that if the model take

Answering a Reader Question #14

Anonymous Wrote: How does one convince the Model Mayhem photographers to give you all the proofs from a shoot? Don't they frown on models retouching their shots themselves? Di It's a matter of finding the right photographers. You'll be wasting time and resources by trying to convince a photog to give you copies of the images if it's not part of their policy. I've come across many that willingly offer a CD of all the images, while I've also run into a few that were appalled by the fact that I wanted the raw photos. If you can't find a photographer through MM who can give you all the proofs from the shoot, then I suggest posting a casting for a photographer under their casting section of the site. Instead of searching for them, let them come to you. Simply state that you are looking for a photographer to do a test shoot with who is willing to offer you all the high-res images on CD. No need to go into detail by mentioning that you want them raw so you can reto