Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2009

***UPDATED INFO JUNE 2011*** Want to Be a JET Magazine Beauty of the Week?

***I have to say a huge THANK YOU to one of my readers, Kliah, for showing me where to find the most recent submission info for JET Beauty of the Week...below you'll find the updated submission requirements.*** JET Magazine is one of the most well known and well read publications targeted towards the African-American community. One of the magazine’s most popular features—if not “the” most popular—is the “Beauty of the Week.” The opportunity to be published and have millions of readers looking at your photo can be quite an accomplishment and is great exposure. If this is something you want to give a shot, keep reading. Here is the link to the new way to submit yourself for JET's Beauty of the Week, which has been taken right from JET Magazine’s website so it’s all you’ll need to know in order to have your shot at becoming Beauty of the Week (BOTW). I've also included a link to the pdf that contains the details of what photos and other information candidates will need to

My JET "Beauty of the Week" Experience

Because Modeling 101 – “A Model’s Diary” didn’t exist back in 2004, I wasn’t able to blog about my experience shooting and being chosen as JET Magazine’s “Beauty of the Week” so I figured, why not reminisce about that experience here? I actually got into the JET gig while doing an unrelated project. I had just taken on a TV hosting project that was going to take me down to Los Angeles, where I was scheduled to co-host a pilot episode of a new show that was hoping to be picked up by a station. The person in charge of the project was a part-time photographer who had a lot of great connections within the industry. One of those connections happened to be photographer LaMonte McLemore, a widely acclaimed photographer who has shot for Playboy, Ebony, Jet, People, and Harper's Bazaar, among others. The plan was to kill two birds with one stone by combining the red carpet hosting event with a test shoot for JET Magazine. Three other models were along for the road trip and the plan w

Tips for Taking Digital Pictures of Yourself

(This post is ideal for freelance models. While modeling agencies do request non-professional, digital pictures, the type of photo taking I am talking about in this post is for taking pictures of yourself when you don’t have anyone around to take it for you. When taking digital pictures for agencies DO NOT TAKE THEM YOURSELF! ‘Nuff said.) This post is targeted towards freelance models that submit themselves for modeling gigs. It is important to be prepared for anything, especially when sending certain photos to potential clients. Don’t be surprised if you come across a client that requests recent, non-professional images that are not retouched. If you’ve been modeling for a while, the chances of you having such pictures may be slim. This calls for a mini photoshoot using your trusty digital camera. However, there are a few pointers I want to make here so that you get the best results. Even though many clients will cast models based on their professional pictures and portfolio, ma

Answering a Reader Question #41

Washington Wrote: Is the fee ligit? $1,500. The company sponsoring is called: K2 Productions, Inc. Hello, Washington, and thanks for the question. K2 Productions, Inc. is the company responsible for putting together the Miss California USA Pageant. I had the opportunity to work closely with the main players involved in K2 Productions during my time as a 2009 Miss California USA contestant. They've been heading this operation for some time now. The $1,500 fee is legit and quite common in the pageant industry. Smaller, local pageants are usually a few hundred dollars but upscale productions such as Miss California, Miss USA, and Miss Universe require hefty entry fees that are thousands of dollars. Many title holders have their fees paid as a part of their winner's package, while other contestants have the option of paying the fees themselves or finding sponsors to help. Using sponsors is highly encouraged and pageant contestants are given the chance to sell ad space in the pagea

My Latest Shoot: Mocha Bride Magazine

So I’ve had a very productive week! Monday was my first bridal magazine shoot. For a while now I’ve longed to do bridal modeling but was never able to usually for two reasons: 1) lack of bridal modeling gigs available 2) gigs that were available were looking for girls 5’9” and taller. Luckily, I came across a posting on Craigslist of all places, asking for models of color for an upcoming bridal magazine. So I attended the casting, met the magazine staff and photographer for the shoot, had them look at my portfolio and booked the shoot! The bridal shoot was for the first issue of Mocha Bride Magazine, which is set to launch in June of this year. My morning started super early—I had to BE AT the first shoot location at 7:45am! Thankfully there was an entire crew on hand, including two makeup artists and a hair stylist so I had no trouble at all getting up, washing and moisturizing my face, throwing on my clothes, and grabbing my things. The night before I packed some snacks and dri

Answering a Reader Question #40

Jovan Doe Wrote: Okay nice idea for post but what about the "What did you get this money for" question from the 1099-misc. taxes. I left my major agency last year mid season, did most of my runway shows & presentations and quite a bit of print ads through a smaller agency in NYC. I received my 1099-misc for the first time and deceided to do them myself. The answers they give could be any 3; Occasional worker, contract labor or consulting, or even wages. Which one is the best to pick bar all chances to get killed by taxes. Hey, Jovan, and thanks for the question. I am not a professional tax advisor so I can only offer my opinion for what I would if I was in your situation. I would opt for the "Occasional Worker" answer. If the word "consulting" wasn't attached to the "contract labor" answer, then I would pick that, but so far it seems the "Occasional Worker" option is your best bet. I would also suggest visiting a tax website lik

Info on Modeling Markets

As with the other two posts I did, I got this information from Independent Modeling . Some of you may be wondering where the hot spots are for modeling and below is general information on this topic: Fashion Capitals New York in the United States, Milan in Italy, and Paris in France Secondary Markets Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami Local Markets Tampa, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Boston, San Francisco, and other large cities Model Job Rates For Service Markets Both Tampa and Seattle are considered to be local markets with a close proximity to secondary markets, which leads to a healthy mix of work. Tampa is a short drive from Miami, which is a secondary model market, and Seattle is up the Pacific coast from Los Angeles, another secondary market. So what happens if you don't live in any of these areas? That doesn't mean you can't make it as a model but the chances of hitting it big will be drastically reduced. Living in or near a good modeling market will give you

Types of Specialty Modeling & Pay Rates

I found this information from the following site: Independent Modeling , however, please note that the site hasn't been updated in a while so aside from the information I'm providing here, the accuracy of the other information may be subject to question. These rates are recommended but not set in stone. These are pay rates that freelance models can use as a guide. Of course depending on your experience and the market you're in, you may not be able to commend higher rates. It will vary from situation to situation so be aware of that and learn to be flexible. Types of Specialty Modeling: Parts (hands, feet, teeth, etc) Very specialized modeling, the demand is not too high, so the jobs demand high rates as parts models must take extreme precautions to protect their assets. For example, a hand model would avoid doing dishes and any harsh work with their hands, and some wear gloves to make sure that their hands are in prime condition. $300.00 to $500.00 per hour. Day

Description of Types of Print Modeling & Pay Rates

I found this information from the following site: Independent Modeling , however, please note that the site hasn't been updated in a while so aside from the information I'm providing here, the accuracy of the other information may be subject to question. These rates are recommended but not set in stone. These are pay rates that freelance models can use as a guide. Of course depending on your experience and the market you're in, you may not be able to commend higher rates. It will vary from situation to situation so be aware of that and learn to be flexible. Types of Print Modeling: Editorial Print Editorial print work is a more subdued style of work, and it normally tells a story in images to market a product or service by showing the model acting out a role in the setting. Editorial work is loosely defined, highly creative with great art direction, and the layout is less noticeable. In magazine editorial print, the exposure of the model is high, and the trade of

Answering a Reader Question #39

Ines Wrote: I'm canadian and I have a canadian passport but I study in houston,tx. Do you think that I can apply?? help me please... you're sooo beautiful Hello, Ines, and thank you for the are very sweet! I checked the Eligibility Requirements for America's Next Top Model casting and here is what it says: You must be a United States citizen and live in the United States. Producers reserve the right to make exceptions on a case-by-case basis. According to their rules, you would not be eligible because you are not an actual United States citizen, even though you go to school here. However, they do say that they make exceptions to the rule and you studying in the United States for school may allow them to take you as an exception to the rule. My best advice is to attend the casting if there is one close to you or submit your application, photos, and video through the mail and explain your situation. If you have a great look and they like you, they may allow y

Modeling & Taxes (Recording Income & Write Offs)

(This post is mainly targeted towards freelance models with no agency representation. However, much of the information in this post can be applied by those with agency representation. If you are a parent of a model under 18, take note of the information dealing with write offs—you could greatly benefit). ***This is an update paragraph for this blog post. While I originally stick by my statement that proving to the IRS (if you get audited) that certain expenses should be deemed a tax write-off  in regards to modeling can be very difficult, I did want to mention that it is possible to have these write-offs honored (i.e. makeup, hair products, spa/body treatments) if you have solid receipts and proof of the strength of your modeling career. Tearsheets, resumes, portfolios, etc. are all solid pieces of "proof" that modeling is a major part of your life, so much so, that it results in incurring expenses. Provide this info and you shouldn't have a problem with Uncle Sam.***

Modeling & Taxes (for models 18 and older)

(This post is not intended to replace or be used as professional tax advice. I am in no way a tax professional, nor do I claim to be an expert. The point of this post is to provide basic information to those that are concerned about how taxes and modeling go hand-in-hand.  If you have any questions or concerns about your particular tax situation in relation to modeling, please contact your CPA or other trusted tax professional.  If there is anything in this post that is inaccurate or wrong, please let me know and I will correct it asap. Additionally, the subject of modeling and taxes discussed in my posts deal with the United States only so if you live outside of the U.S. this topic may not be of any relevance to you.) While you may be happy to be 18 and considered an “adult” one drawback is that now you are responsible for your taxes and reporting your modeling income each year when tax season comes around. There are two situations you’ll fall under if you are a model: modeling

Answering a Reader Question #38

Anonymous Wrote: I really love this blog you have! You have helped so many people! I have a question though. I'll give a little unnecessary back history lol (you can skip it if you want to to the last paragraph). I'm 15, I was a little kid model/actress, but my mom wanted me to focus on school. She's now letting me decide for myself if I want to pursue it again. I've decided that because of my height (5'10ish) that I should model (which I love to do) and transition into acting (which I also love to do) when I get older. While I work on my inches (I'm about 3 inches off on my hips and waist), we're also wondering what to do with my hair. I've had it relaxed before, but stopped when I was eight and have gotten it straightened for awhile now. I'm African-American, so I was wondering do you suggest getting my hair relaxed or straightening it? Sorry for how long this is. Thank you for the kind words and never apologize for the length of a question. As you

Answering a Reader Question #37

Celeste Wrote: Dania, I'm so excited for you!! I'm auditioning as well in Dallas on the 21st. Your guide was so helpful! Also, I posted more photos on model mayhem, so please check them out and tell me what you think! Also, I have a question. As far as building your portfolio, how many poses of an outfit should be in your portfolio? What are some good tools to view to practice runway walks? I wish you so much luck on the possibility of Tyra picking you!!! Hey, Celeste! Thanks for the support and encouragement--I definitely wish you the same in your casting experience...rock it, girl!!! To answer your questions, in terms of how many poses of an outfit should be in your portfolio, this can vary but ideally one great pose for each outfit is best. Or you can do two of the best poses for each look--three would be pushing it and I would avoid it. You only have a certain number of pages to fill out in a portfolio and it should showcase diversity, not too much of the same. One layout i

Dania Denise Now Available for One-On-One Coaching & Consultations!

I don't want to take up too much room with this particular post because I've already written a fairly detailed post about this on another site so if you are a model or aspiring model that is located in or around the Bay Area/Northern California, check out my Myspace blog post: "Dania Denise Now Available for One-On-One Coaching & Consultations!" I'm continuing to offer online consultations via email and IM free of charge but for those models that are local to me, I'm more than willing to provide hands-on assistance if needed.

My ANTM Casting Experience Pt. III

After waiting in line about an hour to an hour and a half, I finally reached the entrance to the Westin Hotel, which is where the casting was taking place. The man at the door asked to see identification that showed our date of birth (you have to be 18-27 in order to be eligible). They took us in groups of seven and directed us to the elevators, where we got onto the third floor and were instructed to sit in a large waiting room. As we walked into the room we were handed a sticker with a number on it (I was #173) and another application (this one was one page, compared to the 15 page official application I filled out a few days before) and were directed to our seats. Check out my video coverage (sorry if it's kinda dark--the lighting in the room wasn't that great): This is video of how quickly the room filled up after about 45 minutes: This is where we proceeded to wait until 10am. During that time I changed into my heels, had a quick snack and filled out the one pa

My ANTM Casting Experice Pt. II

When I found out about the ANTM casting, I visited the CW Network website ( and first read the Eligibility Requirements to make sure that I was indeed eligible to apply. I then printed out the Application and filled it out. Because I planned on attending the open casting call in San Francisco, I did not do a videotape submission. However, if you plan on submitting your application via snail mail then you will need to include a 3-minute videotape (DVD or VHS) of yourself, along with other materials so please read the Eligibility Requirements and the Application to make sure you are following the right steps. I work up at 6am, got ready, got stuck in traffic due to the horrible storm that hit the city and arrived at my destination around 8am. What I brought with me: - Application, completely filled out - Photo ID (driver's license) - Small bag that had my application carefully tucked away from the rain, a book to read, snacks, and my heels (due to the rain I

My ANTM Casting Experience Pt. I

Yes, you read right. I attended a casting for ANTM. Why, you ask? Well, here are a couple of reasons: - While they are premiering cycle 12 this week on television, they are currently already casting for cycle 13 (yes, folks, in the TV world even “reality” is prerecorded). The twist with the cycle 13 casting is that ANTM is only looking for girls that are at or under 5’7”. That means cycle 13 is all about petite models! - Because this has never happened before, I knew it was something that I at least wanted to experience. How often does Tyra take an interest in anyone that is under 5’7”? - I figured I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. In the eligibility requirements it states that it’s okay if you have modeling experience but they prefer to not have contestants that have appeared in a national or international campaign within the past 5 years. I mostly model locally and the only mainstream thing I’ve done was being the “Beauty of the Week” in JET Magazine but that w