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Showing posts from May, 2012

Latest Fashion Show: Saffron Rare Threads Spring Soiree

As always, I value the clients that continuously hire me for their projects. Saffron Rare Threads is one of them. For those of you that have been with my blog for a while may remember me posting about the fashion shows I've done for them before. I was very happy when the owner of the chic boutique in San Francisco's Embarcadero Center, Priya, contacted me and asked if I would rock her clothes again in their latest show, which actually takes place in the boutique itself. I rarely need much pressure from Priya to do her shows so of course I was more than thrilled to come back. What I love about Priya as a client is that she makes exceptions to the height rule. The models she chooses to walk in her shows are of different heights...I'm typically the shortest and the others are around traditional runway height. But it doesn't matter and it doesn't look odd because what's important is that Priya and her crew focus on the fashion and choosing outfits that fit each

Latest Shoot: Lifestyle in San Francisco

It's that time of year for me to update my portfolio so that I not only get the looks/themes I'm lacking but to also include images with my most current look (for a long time I had my hair short and it is now longer so many of the photos I normally would submit to castings are no longer useable). I've scheduled 3 test shoots to get the images I need. I knocked out the first one last weekend and teamed up with Peter Kyong of Kyong Photography for the job. I've worked with Peter a handful of times and continue to enjoy shooting with him. He's got a great eye and is able to capture images in a very natural way, which is just what I was looking for. This particular shoot was for lifestyle themed images. We met up in Union Square in San Francisco and literally just walked around and shot on location. We even got permission to shoot inside a designer shoe store but we didn't take any pictures with the store's products because of branding/legality issues. It

Latest Tearsheets: Shoe Catalog

I'm super excited because I'm waiting to get my copy of the shoe catalog I shot a few months ago in the mail. I haven't done any posts about the Alegria shoot yet because I want to wait until I have the photos and stuff to share in the posts but I've been in contact with the photography, Jay Canter, and he got his copy before mine. He was such a doll and uploaded two of the images from the catalog onto Facebook and tagged me in it. The lighting isn't great but as you can see, it's me! I'm on the cover and the other photo is from inside of the catalog: The cover: me (on the left) and my two model gal pals, Jenna and Oasis. Inside page. Me, Jenna and Oasis in Union Square, SF. The other pic of me is probably the one they're gonna use as the display ads in Nordstrom and Dillard's. I'll find out soon! What's even more exciting is that the line is supposed to debut in Nordstrom stores this Fall and the image of me wearing the oran

DPI in Modeling: What the Heck Is It?

With so many people taking/uploading/editing their own photos, most are up to date on the lingo that comes with digital photography. Terms like DPI are often thrown around and while I would like to assume that everyone knows what that is, I know that's not true, which is the point of this post. :-) Even if you're not a model that retouches or prints his/her own photos, it's still important to know what DPI is...after all, a good model knows his/her craft and that includes more than just the modeling aspect of things. So here is a basic post that'll give you a crash course into what DPI is and how it is relevant for modeling. Below is a great definition for DPI, according to the site : DPI ( dots per inch ) is a measurement of printer resolution, though it is commonly applied, somewhat inappropriately, to monitors, scanners and even digital cameras. The higher the DPI, the more refined the text or image will appear. Based on this definition, it&

Quick Tip #50

Category: N/A For: Male & Female Models My name is Dania, not Diana, Dana, etc. LOL. I know most people either misread my name or when typing it, they're so used to typing those other names so I know it's an easy mistake to make. I don't get mad about it or anything--I'm so used to it--but just thought I'd put it out there for my readers that my name is D-A-N-I-A. :-)

Quick Tip #49

Category: Portfolios For: Male & Female Models When choosing images from your shoots, stick to the best 1-2 shots per look. Translation: if you have 3 outfits, that means you have 3 "looks." By the time you're done going through all the photos, you should have at least 1-2 of your favorite images for each outfit/look you've that would total 3-6 images. When it comes to portfolios, you should not have a bunch of photos with you wearing the same "look." It may be hard to decide but you want diversity in your portfolio and that can't be achieved if you have 5-6 pictures with the same outfit on. Having trouble narrowing it down? If you just can't pick 1-2 final images from a shoot and instead you have 3-4, then consider putting together a collage or having a 2-in-1 photo instead. Below is an example of 2 photos that were combined into 1, which would count as 1 shot for your portfolio: Below is an example of 3 photos that wer

Quick Tip #48

Category: Modeling Portfolios For: Male & Female Models When it comes to traditional hard copy modeling portfolios, your photos should be printed on paper that is all the same size. 8"x10" is the most widely used. Your portfolio shouldn't have images that are a combination of different sizes like 5"x7", 4"x6", 8"x10" and so on. That would be a portfolio I'd call a "hot mess!"

Quick Tip #47

Category: Modeling Portfolios For: Male & Female Models PLEASE don't print your modeling portfolios at places like FedEx/Kinko's or the Kodak printing kiosk you find at the drugstore. Stick to professional printing companies--there a ton of quality ones that are online operations--they'll have the right pricing, formatting and finishes that are industry standard. Plus, if you have questions, their staff will actually know what you're talking about. Save the other printing options for family photos and special occasions like birthdays, holidays and graduations.

Quick Tip #46

Category: Modeling Portfolios For: Male & Female Models These days it is best for models to have two kinds of portfolios: online and hard copy. Only operating with one version could put you in a position where you're unprepared. Scenario 1: if you only have a hard copy portfolio but a client emails you and asks for a link to an online portfolio they can view, you'll have to scramble to get digital versions of your pictures and/or scan the hard copy ones you have, reformat them for the Internet and then upload them to the right site(s). Scenario 2: if you only have a digital/online portfolio and are about to attending a casting in a day or two but are asked to bring a hard copy portfolio, you'll have to print your pictures out last minute and buy a portfolio case. If you don't have a photo printer you'll have to rely on a place like Kinko's or a drugstore printing kiosk, which may or may not produce the right quality to get you the job. From the be

Portfolio Lessons Pt. II: Preparing Your Photos for a Hard Copy Modeling Portfolio

(This post will be beneficial for both freelance and agency represented models.) Part I of this two-part blog post dealt with the ways to prepare images for an online modeling portfolio. Because technology and the Internet has become so commonplace in our lives, including the modeling industry, I wanted to get that post out of the way first. Even though the Internet now fits together with the industry like peas and carrots, that doesn't mean the traditional hard copy modeling portfolio is no longer relevant or necessary--quite the contrary! Fashion, petite, plus size, parts, print, matter the type ALL models must have a hard copy portfolio to bring with them to exceptions! ***Notice I didn't say "agencies" for that last part? That's because new/aspiring models don't need to have a portfolio put together when seeking representation. This only applies to models that have already been working with professional images to showca

Portfolio Lessons Pt. I: Preparing Your Photos for an Online Modeling Portfolio

(This post will be especially beneficial to freelance models.) In the past, hard copy photos was all a model needed. In this day and age of the Internet, however, it's all about those digitals! While traditional hard copy modeling portfolios are a collection of a model's best pictures all contained in a special display case/book, online modeling portfolios are basically a collection of images that are displayed on the Internet, such as a model's official website, social networking site or other photo sharing site where you can create albums with links to your work. When a photographer, agency or client asks to see your online portfolio, you'll typically give them links to where they can view your stuff. In other instances, this could involve simply emailing them a few of your best images as individual file attachments. So there are a few ways that having an online portfolio works. Before you can create an online portfolio, you have to do shoots so first thing&#

Quick Tip #45

Category: Runway Shows For: Male & Female Model s During fashion/runway shows, the eyes are the key! From the moment you step onto the catwalk, focus your eyes straight forward--no looking up, down or turning your head to look at the audience. The same goes for when you get to the catwalk to strike your pose...there are exceptions when you turn your body to show off the clothing at different angles but make sure your head and eyes aren't too far into a profile. Keeping your eyes level and straight ahead as you walk and not turning your head too much when you pose at the end of the catwalk not only looks better overall, it increases the odds of getting good photos that you can use in your portfolio. Turning your head too much or looking around while you're walking photographs terribly, typically resulting in what I like to call "demon eyes," where you can only see the whites of the eye because the iris isn't visible from the angle the photographer was sh

The "Check Avail" Reply in Modeling--What It Means

(This post was inspired by an anonymous reader's question. Anonymous wrote: Hi there. Can i ask what is the difference between casting and checking of availability?) The modeling industry is full of its own lingo. However, clients and agencies often throw out these terms without giving any thought as to whether or not the model they're addressing even knows what it means. Sometimes it's easy to just "assume" that models--regardless of experience level--know such things. Out of the model jargon out there, one term you may or may not have run into yet is what's commonly referred to as the "Check Avail." This is short for "checking of availability. Traditionally used in the acting world, it's slowly made its way into regular conversation in the modeling industry. By definition, it's a basic request for information as to what your schedule looks like for a specific time frame. It is important to understand what check avail means be

Favoritism in Modeling...Don't Take It Personal

It's hard to separate personal feelings from business in modeling sometimes. Regardless of experience level, being neglected or looked over in favor of another model never feels good. But it is important to understand that this will happen in your career and to accept it as another part of the territory that comes with being involved in the modeling industry. Cliques are prevalent in modeling. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad. Even in the biggest markets, people run in small social circles. It isn't uncommon for certain photographers, models and even clients to form cliques and only use each other in their projects. This can make it difficult for a model to break the ice and get invited into the group but if they happen to make the cut, it can be a wonderful social circle to be a part of. However, there is a downside to favoritism--it feels good if you are the favorite but it sucks if you're one of the odd ones out. I've experienced this a number of

How I use Model Mayhem to Find Modeling Work

I get a lot of inquiries from models about how I've been able to use sites like Model Mayhem to find work. So I figured, why not lay out my exact routine? The steps below are exactly what my "routine" is when it comes to searching for modeling gigs on Model Mayhem through their "Casting/Travel" section: Do an Advanced Search I always do the Advanced Search option. This allows me to select what specific types of projects I'm looking for. The site then filters out the gigs that don't apply and only displays the ones that are relevant. Here is how I personally customize my search: I go to the section titled "Search Existing" and make sure the following options are selected for each sub-category: 1. Casting Calls (under Choose a Category) 2. Female Models (under Choose Artist Type(s)) 3. United States --> California (under Choose a Location) ...because I like to expand my results, I don't fill in the city or radius section, th

Tips for Doing Photoshoots for Portfolio Building

(This post will be mainly beneficial to freelance models. Models signed to agencies have a bit of an advantage over freelance models because your agent will have a hand in giving you direction as to what types of images you should have to create your portfolio. Newbies aiming for agency representation, you're in good hands so there isn't much I really need to advise you on for this because your agent will be your go-to-person for initiating this process.) All models need a portfolio to get their foot in the door. This means getting in touch with professional photographers and setting up test shoots. However, for those that are new to the game, there are some important things to keep in mind before diving right in and contacting photographers. The tips below will serve as a guide for how to approach this situation in a way that will get you the most effective results: Know What You Want/Need Contacting a photographer and saying, "I need photos to make a port

Models, Care About the Quality of the Work You Book

(This post will be mainly beneficial to freelance models). Getting into the modeling game, especially via the freelance route, isn't easy. But then again, it isn't supposed to be. There's a lot on a freelance model's plate and--male or female--there's always a learning curve. In most cases, each person has his/her own reasons for wanting to get into modeling. Regardless of what those reasons may be, I believe it's important to strive for excellence in all the work you do. Quality and integrity of the work you book are so crucial to a model's career, in my opinion. Because freelance models act as their own agent, all the decisions are up to them. There isn't an agency professional to weed out which clients are worth your time and effort and which ones aren't. Approaching the same situation as a freelance model isn't as simple and does take time and experience to master. If you're simply trying to get paid, that's fine but don't

The Difference Between "Posing" and "Posey" in Modeling

Newbies and those still gaining experience may or may not have heard the term "posey" used before but it's a very important one to know. "Posing" is exactly as we know this term to be: you're posing your body in a certain way. However, "posey" means something else entirely. In a nutshell, it means you're posing too much. Yes--believe it or not--there is such a thing as posing too much. Unless a specific shoot calls for this, models need to be mindful that they're not going over the top. Not every shoot you do in your career is going to be of a high fashion nature so it helps to diversify your poses and learn when to take it up a notch and when to scale it back. When used in the context of photoshoots and modeling, "posey" has a negative connotation to it but instead of receiving it as an insult, it should be taken as constructive criticism. So if you're on a shoot and the photographer and/or client says, "You'

Creating a Relationship with the Camera

(This post can be used by all types of models but will be mainly beneficial to those specializing in commercial/print and lifestyle, where the poses and themes are much more natural.) "Make love to the camera!" is a commonly referenced statement whenever it comes to photoshoots and modeling. While a bit exaggerated, the meaning behind the statement rings true. While no one expects you to literally "make love" to the camera, it is important that models know how to develop a relationship with this seemingly "artificial" piece of equipment. Real photoshoots are more than just pointing and shooting a model. Amazing images are those that capture special moments that can't be achieved without the talents of the model and the photographer's timing. Many new models have a tendency to get nervous or apprehensive about appearing in front of a camera. The key is to develop a level of comfort and establish a "relationship" of sorts that allows

Quick Tip #44

Category: Email Communication For: Male & Female Models Just a quick note to my readers: when sending me an email directly, please remember to mention my name somewhere in the body of your email. I'm pretty good about checking my Spam folder for emails that should have gone to my inbox but I have noticed that the messages from aspiring models going to my Spam folder are ending up there because my name isn't in the email, which causes Gmail to mark it as junk mail. I'll continue to check my Spam folder to make sure I'm not losing anyone's messages but in the future, take the extra step to include my name in the salutation and/or body of the email so that Gmail will send it directly to my inbox where it belongs. Thanks!

It's Okay to Get Manis and Pedis, Male Models

Male models often get a tough rap because they have to do things to maintain their look that's sometimes considered "feminine" or even "gay." But if you've read my post, "Real Male Models Wear Makeup!" then you already understand what comes with the territory. Being well groomed from head to toe is a big aspect of a male model's career. Whether you're sporting the manly, rugged look or a more baby-faced one, there are steps you may need to take in order to maintain your appearance. Sure, Photoshop does a lot to make models look picture perfect but when it comes to attending castings and go-sees, you have to sell your look upfront and "as is" in order to book the gig. This means paying attention to the small stuff like your fingernails and toenails. Depending on your lifestyle, you may or may not have a need to do anything to groom your fingernails and toenails. However, as a male model of any experience level, you'll wa

Using Formality When Communicating With Modeling Agencies

It's difficult for newbie models, especially young ones, to put the whole modeling industry into the right perspective when first starting out. The idea of strutting down catwalks, appearing in photoshoots and seeing published images of themselves in magazines is overwhelming, which often causes new models to overlook a lot of the "little things" that are much more important during this process. I receive tons of emails and Facebook messages from so many aspiring models and there's one central theme I keep noticing: the lack of formality in their correspondence. Let me make one thing clear before any of you readers think that you're doing something wrong: when contacting me , it isn't supposed to be super formal--after all, I'm here to help and work with you so there's no real need to be super stuffy and proper with me. If you prefer to be formal, by all means, do what works for you...I just want to make clear that based on this post, I'm not r

The Latest on Dania Denise

Brocade Bridal Fashion Show, San Francisco. Hey, readers! Just wanted to drop you all a quick post to let you know that I'm still around! It's been a few weeks since I've added a new post on here but I just finished moving (not far, I'm still in Northern California) and getting resettled. Organizing everything has taken a lot of my time and energy. On top of moving, I still had to maintain my work schedule so you can imagine how thinly I've been stretching myself these past few weeks. I'm pretty tired these days, lol. The Spring bridal season for Brocade Weddings came to a close last Sunday and the Fall season doesn't start up until September so I've got a nice break there from the shows. However, I did just book another fashion show with the San Francisco boutique retailer, Saffron Rare Threads, which will take place later on this month. So that'll be fun! As always, when one category of work slows down, the others pick up. Because of the mo