Thursday, April 26, 2012

Getting Started ...

The Basics

Take care of yourself! Features indicative of good health are a must.

Shiny and healthy hair is important.

Fitness is important. Consider working with a trainer who works specifically with models. Tell them of your modeling goals and how you aspire to look.

Decide what kind of model you hope to be. Technically, anybody can be a model. However, do remember that if you don't meet certain requirements, the work available to you will be incredibly limited, and you may have to compensate in other departments (reliability, technique, etc).

·       A Plus Size Model: If your body is full and curvaceous, you may be able to be a plus size model.

·       A Runway Model: Most women on the catwalk are at least 5'8”, very skinny, and small-breasted. Men are mostly between 5'11” and 6'2”.

·       A Print Model: Most editorial female models are at least 5'7”, but a beautiful face with great personality are really important for print models.

·       An Underwear Model: For women, this requires large breasts but small hips. For men this requires broad shoulders but slim waists.

·       Other Types of Modeling: If you don't fit any of the face or body descriptions, perhaps you can be a foot, hair or hand model

Consider your "look". There is more of a curvy California look, a svelte New York look, a waif-like European look, girl next door, swim suit or lingerie (usually requires the bust to fill out the suits and a very thin waist)... Know what you're equipped with, but also work to pull off other looks.
Educate yourself. There is a lot you can learn from reading books and articles on modeling. Reading quality guides, articles, and books will both help you to improve important skills (like posing) and to better understand how the industry works (how to find an agent, etc.). Realize that it's tough. The modeling world is jam-packed with pretty faces. Just because you are good looking does not mean that you can succeed as a model.

In the modeling business, it is not just about looking great. You have to fit the want or need of specific jobs just in order to get a chance. Modeling is only for serious people who carry unique looks and characteristics. Since there are so many people trying to become models in today's world, it will be very challenging to get a breakthrough and will only come through patience and perseverance.

Realize a model does not have to be like a supermodel, however with a lot of effort you may reach that supermodel status!

Portfolios and Modeling Agencies

Take some snapshots. This doesn't mean candid shots of you and your friends, but rather shots of you up close without a lot of makeup and on a plain background. You should shoot them in nice natural light without a lot of distraction in the photos. These are meant for agencies to get a look at you in a raw state. Consider a head shot, a body shot, and profile shots.

Consider getting some professional shots taken. Professional photography, even if it is expensive, will give you a better idea of what kind of look you give off. You may eventually need these photographs to snag an interview, so think of it as a worthwhile investment!

Get your favorite professional shots printed into 8 x 10’s. Save these in case you are asked to leave a photograph anywhere before you have professional ones done.

If you've got enough of these photos, consider putting everything into a portfolio, or "book." Bring this portfolio with you to castings or to agencies.

Take and know your measurements and stats. Basic measurements are height, weight, and shoe size.

Know your clothing measurements such as dress size, hip, waist, chest etc...

Know your own personal stats, such as hair color, eye color, skin tone etc...

Visit a modeling agency. Almost every major city has multiple modeling agencies, and almost every agency has "open-calls" where they look at new talent.

Bring your snapshots and/or portfolio. They will often ask you to walk or pose for them. They may take a headshot or take your measurements as well. If they reject you, don't get disheartened; often an agency is looking for a diverse set of models, so you may just not fit their model lineup right now.

When Working

Be professional, polite, and courteous. Always turn up on time to any appointment or shoot. If you're late or rude, word soon gets around and then nobody will want to work with you.

Be organized. Models often get called off places at the last minute and have very busy days. You need to be on top of things if you want to succeed. Buying a day-to-day planner can really help.

Confirm whether or not there will be a make-up artist (MUA) on site for any work you are doing. Sometimes you are expected to bring certain things with you (such as base foundation) and if they don't have a makeup artist booked you need to prepare accordingly. Be truthful about your measurements. Don't say you're skinnier than you are just to get a shoot. Once there, the stylist will have problems and you will get found out. Word will get around and you could find yourself without a career!

Treat modeling like a real job. Girls that don't take it seriously have small chances of succeeding in their modeling career. Realize that it is harder than it appears and there's a lot of work behind all that glitz and glamour at fashion shows. Modeling is a full time occupation that requires constant attention. One week away from it and your career can be over. Understand that modeling has only a small window of opportunity, and even if you take a short break, you may never be able to return.

Be creative on shoots. Photographers want to see you pose in various works, work for the camera, and interact with the world around yourself. Runway coordinators want you to put attitude in your walk (or very specific emotion).

Monday, April 23, 2012

Some Tips for Fashion and Glamour Posing

Whether you are searching for a career in Glamour Modeling or Fashion Modeling, it is very important for you to realize that there is more to becoming a model than just standing there looking beautiful.

One very important factor in becoming a good model is posing, and in order for you to learn the different poses needed for the type of modeling career you are seeking it will take practice, practice, practice.

Make Your Posing Look Natural

When preparing for your photo shoot, there are numerous steps you can take to ensure you are comfortable while posing and your photos will look more natural.

Get Posing Ideas

Before you head to your photo shoot, pick at least ten poses you really like from fashion or Glamour magazines, or poses you’ve learned from previous photo shoots. Take time to practice each pose in front of a mirror until you feel comfortable and have the confidence of knowing you look great doing these poses.

Hands and Facial Expression

Also, focus on what to do with your hands and pay attention to facial expressions. A pose is virtually dead and unimaginative without a “look”. You should be able to close your eyes, imagine a thought, open your eyes and sell that thought. Practice this technique and your photos will come alive.

Become an Idea Factory

Unless you are shooting for an advertising agency or some other type of special interest session many photographers recommend that you bring some of your own posing ideas to the shoot. In addition to your ideas, the photographer may have his or her own idea of how the session should go.

Rapport with Your Photographer

Always work with a photographer you feel you can trust. This will make communication between the two of you easier and give you the confidence to express your own ideas.

Always listen to what the photographer tells you. If you are really uncomfortable with the pose, let your photographer know how you feel, in a nice way. Remember, he is looking through the camera lens and might see something you don’t.

If the photographer says she wants something different in the pose, try looking away from the camera or giving a unique facial expression. This is where your practice in front of the mirror really pays.


When posing you should always keep good posture unless the photographer instructs you to do otherwise. Hold your stomach in to give your abdomen a more toned appearance. If you have gained a few pounds stick out your chin a little to avoid the appearance of a double chin in your photos.

Keep your fingers slightly apart and pointed away from the lens. Let your hands fall naturally into position whenever possible. Remember, you want to be yourself – on purpose.

Now that you have learned what to do, consider these things you should try to avoid while posing.

Things to Avoid when Posing for a Photographer

Misplaced Body Language

Body language and expressions come naturally but the language you are projecting might not be what your photographer wants in a particular pose. You need to consciously focus on ways to prevent these habits while posing.

Don’t hold your breath during a pose. Stay relaxed and your photos will look as if you just happened to be sitting this way when the photographer walked up.

In most pose situations you want your arms, legs, wrists, etc. slightly bent unless you are directed to do otherwise Most people don’t stand or sit with their arms and legs completely stiff. A good point to remember is, if it will bend, bend it.

Mona Lisa Smile ?

Another posing tip to remember is that you don’t always have to smile. You should have a good variety of smiling and serious looks. But, sometimes you will want to give a large, open-mouthed laugh. If you are supposed to be happy, look the part!

Your Eyes are the Windows to Your Soul

Don’t always look straight into the camera. When you cut your eyes to the left or right, you create an air of mystery. When you look up and away, you are annoyed. Tilt your chin slightly down and look straight ahead for a sexy look.

About Blinking

Beware of the Blink! If you have to blink, try to blink between exposures. This is not always easy, especially if you are working in a photography studio. Some models get into a habit of anticipating the strobes and start to close their eyes when the picture is about to be snapped.

Get into the habit of not paying attention to the flash and concentrate wholy on the pose, your body language, hand position, etc. and your images will come out as you expect.

Be Bold !

Never be afraid to try out some of your own poses in front of your photographer. Most photographers are glad to hear suggestions from you.

How do You See Yourself ?

When you look at your final images don’t be critical of yourself. Find positive ways to improve your posing. Discover your strengths and weaknesses and shoot for the stars.

I am certain that Tyra Banks still works on her appearance and her posing artistry even though she has achieved a degree of stardom. Shouldn’t you?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Finding Modeling Jobs Through the Internet

The internet can be a great place to find modeling work with small businesses and individual photographers. However, the vast majority of modeling work that can be found through the internet is of the glamour and artistic varieties (of which a large percentage is topless or nude), or is of the 'adult' or pornographic varieties that most models aren't interested in. Commercial modeling work is almost always booked through agencies, not through the internet.

There are several approaches to finding clients through the internet:
  • Models can find local photographer's web pages through web search engines, and then individually contact those photographers by e-mail or by telephone to ask for work.
  • Models can look for photographer's advertisements for models on modeling-related and photography-related message boards, and then individually contact those that look like a good match for the model's work interests.
  • Models can post messages on modeling-related or photography-related message boards announcing their availability for work. Potential clients can respond to the model's message through e-mail.

When contacting a potential client by e-mail, or when posting a message advertising for modeling work, it is a good idea to include all the information about yourself that a client would need to quickly determine if you are a good candidate for his/her project. The following information should be included:

  • Location: The city and state (or province) you are located in. Clients in faraway locations are less likely to be interested in working with you, and if you neglect to include your location they may not bother to contact you at all. For personal safety, don't give your complete street address to anyone over the internet until after you've checked them out. Just the city and state is fine for initial contacts.
  • Physical characteristics: Age, height, weight, measurements, dress/suit size, shoe size, eye color, and hair color. If you have any permanent marks like scars, tattoos, or unusual piercings, these should also be mentioned.
  • A sample photograph from your portfolio, or a link to your web site where the client can view your portfolio.
  • The type(s) of modeling work you are interested in doing. If you neglect to include this, clients may assume you are not available for the type of work they are interested in hiring for.
  • The type(s) of modeling work you are not interested in doing. If you aren't specific about this, it's possible you may receive offers to work in porn videos or other work you find unsavory.
  • The times and days of the week you are usually available for modeling work.
  • The rates you normally charge for modeling work, if you work frequently. If you don't model frequently, it's often better to say something like "rates are negotiable and depend on the nature of the assignment."

Once a potential client has expressed an interest in hiring you for a modeling assignment, you can begin discussing the details of the assignment with the client and negotiate what the payment terms will be.

Is It Safe To Work With People I Meet Through the Internet?

Most of the time, yes. However, there's always a possibility of running into a troublemaker posing as a photographer, so it is advisable to take some common        sense safety precautions when dealing with people through the internet. Here are some suggestions:

  • Don't give your full name, home address, or home telephone number to anyone until after you've checked them out.
  • Ask potential clients for references from other models they have worked with. Check the references.
  • As you meet other models in the course of your work, stay in touch with them so you can ask them about good and bad experiences they've had with some of the clients you might work with.
  • Make sure all arrangements for a photo shoot or other modeling assignment are decided in advance, or be prepared to deal with unexpected surprises.
  • When meeting an individual client in person for the first time, you could arrange to meet in a public place (for example, a coffee shop) or bring a friend with you.
  • If you are a minor (under 18 years of age), a parent should be involved in arranging all of your modeling work, and you should always bring the parent with you to any photo shoots or meetings with clients.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

To trade ... or NOT to trade?

How do you get quality photos without paying an arm and a leg?

Well, "trade" may be the way to do it.

You'll probably see the abbreviation 'TFP' or 'TFCD' ... it means 'trade for prints' or 'trade for CD or DVD'.

The basic concept is that a photographer is trading his/her time behind the camera for a model's time in front of the camera.

To confuse things slightly, the terms TFP and "test shoot" are sometimes used interchangeably, and sometimes test shooting can also have the implied meaning that the model is paying a photographer to start the model's portfolio or that the model is being tested for possible use in an upcoming modeling assignment for the photographer's clients.

If in doubt as to the purpose of a particular photo shoot, be sure and ask the photographer.

TFP arrangements are intended to benefit both models and photographers.

The fact is, we all need new photos from time to time, and there are situations where both models and photographers might want new photos without having the expense of hiring somebody to get them.

There are a variety of reasons that a model might consider TFP.

* A new model may not have the funds to hire professional photographers to start his/her portfolio.

* A working model may want to update her existing portfolio because her appearance has changed since her last photos were taken.

* A model may want the experience of modeling with different photographers who would not ordinarily be in a position to hire him/her.

* A model may simply want to practice modeling at little expense.

In any of these cases, a model might offer to do a photo shoot with a photographer in exchange for a few prints or a set of digital photographs provided by the photographer for the model's use.

There are a variety of reasons that a photographer might consider TFP.

* A new photographer may not have the funds to hire professional models to start his portfolio.

* A working photographer may want to experiment with new equipment or unfamiliar photographic techniques without the added expense of hiring a model.

* A photographer may want to produce material on speculation of possible future sales without the added financial strain of paying models out of his own pocket.

* A photographer may want to test the abilities of an unknown model before agreeing to hire the model for future work.

* A photographer may want the experience of working with different types of models than he would normally encounter in his day to day work.

* A photographer may simply want to practice photography with little expense.

In any of these cases, a photographer may offer to do a photo shoot with a model in exchange for a few prints or a set of digital images given to the model.

So, not surprisingly, novice models and novice photographers tend to be the most willing to do TFP work on the most generous terms, so it's wise for both model and photographer to consider whether the other person's skill and experience is sufficient to get them the quality of photos they expect from the session.

Unless your motivation for a photo shoot is simply to get some experience, you are not doing yourself any favors by making poor quality photos that neither model or photographer can use.

Try to trade with people who have samples of past work to show you, particularly if you like the look or style of their work.

Perhaps, the most important thing that model and photographer contribute to the photo shoot is their skill and experience.

Before a TFP shoot, the photographer will most likely expect the model to sign a release form.

The terms of the release used for TFP may or may not be more restrictive than the general releases used on regular work, depending on what the model and photographer have agreed to for their TFP session.

Releases limiting the photographs to "promotional use only" are frequently used when beginners work together. However, in cases where a more experienced photographer is working with a less experienced model, it is fairly common to use a general release so the photographer can recoup some of the income lost (from shooting the model for free)by selling some of the photographs from the model's TFP session as stock photography or art prints.

TFP sessions can be a great way for anyone in the industry to practice their craft and get great new photographs, but since there is so much variation in the way that different individuals handle TFP arrangements, it's important to make sure both sides are on the same wavelength about their expectations when setting up a TFP session.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Portfolios, Comp Cards, and Websites ...

A traditional portfolio is a big black album that contains photos of the model in a variety of settings and poses. There are several different sizes available. A good source for these in Seattle is Glasure's Photos.

While it is recommended that models have a portfolio -- the fact is that most commercial print work in the northwest is booked solely on the basis of the model's comp card and possibly a brief in-person interview with the client.

So, a portfolio, or the lack of one, rarely comes up in booking this type of work.

Now, that's not to say that you shouldn't have a portfolio, but you can probably get by without one if your comp card is doing the job. It will also depend on the types of clients your agency works with; so be sure and ask your agent if you should have one.

When interviewing for freelance modeling jobs, you'll find that having a portfolio is more important.

This is partly because you will be dealing with clients that have less experience hiring models. They typoically want to see more material before making a hiring decision.

Someone Told Me I Need to Have Nude Photos In My Portfolio. Is This True?

Unless you are actively seeking nude modeling work, you do NOT need to have nude photos in your book. In fact, having nudes prominently displayed in your portfolio might cause some commercial clients to turn you down for work if they find the images distasteful. Models that do both commercial work and nude work usually build two separate books, one for each type of client.

The Northwest is still more conservative than most other areas. You do NOT need to do nude modeling to be successful.

Do You Need a Comp Card?

For the majority of commercial modeling work, you need to have a comp card.

A comp card is a compilation of several key photos that will display your versatility.

Some of the major poses you need on a comp card are usually:

1. A Headshot
2. A shot in a business suit or dress
3. A shot in swimwear or athletic wear
4. A casual fashion shot

The comp card will also list your vital statistics and clothing and shoe sizes.

You need a comp card so your agent can send it out to a client who might be interested in hiring you.

For freelance modeling jobs with small business owners or individual photographers, a comp card may not be necessary. But you will want to have something that you can leave with the client while they're considering which model to hire.

If you don't have a comp card, it's a good idea to give the client a resume and a small photograph with your contact information written on the back.

Actors/Talent generally don't use comp cards. The actor's agent usually sends the actor's resume and 8"x10" headshot when submitting to clients for possible acting work.

Do You Need a Web Site?

In most cases, a web site may be a waste of time for you.

However, if you are looking for non-commercial or freelance work or are soliciting photographers for photo shoots through the internet, then having some type of portfolio on the web is important.

Each of the sites that offers free model listings has its own quirks and limitations, so it is a good idea to get listed with more than one service.

Some of these sites offer better levels of service to models that pay a monthly or yearly membership fee, so be sure to read the fine print when getting signed up at a web site.

For a better and more personalized presentation than the free web sites offer, you can run your own web site or hire a professional webmaster to run a web site for you. Or you can set up a blog for little or no cost.

Friday, April 13, 2012

How tall do I have to be?

Do I Have To Be a Certain Height or Size To Work as a Model?

For fashion/catalog work, agencies and their clients usually have very specific and very strict requirements for height and size. While these requirements may vary from agency to agency, client to client, and region to region -- the following are typical for the better agencies in the Northwest.

For Women's Clothing:

• Height between 5'8" and 6'0"
• Measurements at or very close to 34" bust, 24" waist, 34" hips
• Dress size 4-6
• Age 15-24

For Plus-Size Women's Clothing:

• Height between 5'8" and 6'0"
• Dress size 12-16
• Waist at least ten inches smaller than bust & hips
• Age 19-30

For Junior's (Teen Girl's) Clothing:

• Height between 5'6" and 6'0"
• Measurements 32-34" bust, 22-24" waist, 32-34" hips
• Dress size 3-5
• Age 13-19
• Shoe size 8 or larger

For Men's Clothing:

• Height between 6'0" and 6'2" for adult men
• Height between 5'10" and 6'2" for teen men
• Suit size 40R
• Shoe size 10 or larger

For swimsuit and lingerie catalog work, a slightly curvier appearance is usually desired, and height is less important, so the agency's requirements for height and size may be relaxed by an inch or two for models with outstanding figures.

For glamour, figure/art, and most other types of freelance modeling, a wider variation in height and size is tolerated.

These types of modeling put more emphasis on the model's figure and less on the model's height and size, so these models are often up to 3-4 inches shorter and several sizes larger than catalog models.

In the case of figure models, the kinds of looks that artists seek in their models can vary considerably from artist to artist. Some artists even specifically seek out models that look as different as possible from the fashion model stereotypes.

For commercial work other than catalogs, the agencies still tend to prefer models that fit the guidelines for catalog work, since those models can be marketed to the largest number of clients.

However, there are some commercial modeling assignments that have entirely different requirements. For example, models over age 55 of all sizes and heights are used in print advertising for health products, medical services, retirement communities, and a variety of other products that are marketed to senior citizens.

Unfortunately, there are fewer opportunities in the Northwest for these non-traditional models, so a commercial model's ability to find any work may depend on working with an exceptional agency that handles a wide variety of print assignments beyond just department store catalogs.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Some Misc. Notes on Modeling ...

In the modeling world, the term "booking" refers to an agreement between model and client for the model to do some specific modeling work in exchange for some specific compensation from the client, at a specific date and time, and at a specific location.

The agreement can be formalized in writing, but in most cases it is done over the phone or through e-mail.

The term booking can also be applied to the process of making these arrangements, like if a client is said to be booking a model, the client is in the process of reaching an agreement with the model.

For agency models, a person at the agency called a booker usually makes all the arrangements with clients so the model doesn't have to worry about negotiations and other details of the booking process.

Once the agency and the client have reached an agreement about the work the model will do, the agency adds the booking to the model's appointment book and the model will be expected to follow through on doing the work for the client.

Can I Expect To Work Weekends Or Weekdays?

For fashion/commercial modeling, the vast majority of the work is during regular business hours on weekdays. You might encounter an occasional weekend booking, but you should generally plan on being available at any time during the week when your agent calls with a job opportunity.

For freelance modeling, you will probably be working with individuals and artists that have widely varying schedules. In many cases these clients may have regular jobs on weekdays and limit their photography and/or artwork to weekends.

For promotional modeling, your work hours will depend on the types and locations of the promotions you do. Convention and trade show assignments usually happen during business hours on weekdays. In-store promotions often happen during evenings and weekends when consumers are shopping instead of working. Assignments at night clubs, sporting events, and tourism-related events are usually on evening and weekends.

Are Modeling Schools a Waste of Money?

The simplre answer is: Yes. Modeling schools are usually a waste of money. In many cases, modeling schools are designed to get unsuspecting young people to pay for unnecessary training without regard to whether these people actually have a chance at succeeding in the industry.

Some modeling schools are outright scams, charging exorbitant fees and delivering little in return. Beware of high pressure sales tactics and quick promises of big-time modeling work in the future.

Classes in dance and movement and classes in small business accounting can be worthwhile for some models, but community colleges or private instruction are probably better suited to teaching those skills than most modeling schools.

Also note that when signing new faces, modeling agencies usually don't care whether applicants have had training or not.

Can I Get Discovered at Modeling Expos and Seminars?

Not likely.

The same cautions that apply to modeling schools also apply to these events. Most of the 'modeling expo' or 'modeling seminar' events held at hotels and convention centers are just elaborate sales pitches for modeling schools or overpriced portfolio mills. Some are outright scams, taking lots of money from aspiring models and delivering little in return. Beware of high pressure sales tactics and big promises.