Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dear Aspiring Models [Part II]

As I attempt to get away from arranging my new room I came up with the idea to write a new post. Recently I have been contacted by a few more girls who expressed that they would like to start modeling. They each had different question but I was presented with the same ones so I figured it was time for a Part II to Dear Aspiring Models:

1. "Can you help me start modeling?"
This is the #1 question that I am asked. Unfortunately the answer is no. It's not because I don't want to help you or see you succeed by any means. Modeling is very time consuming and takes lots of work to get noticed. Although I would love to help I can't really help you start something that I'm still learning. One thing that I can offer is advice.
 Let me explain: When I first decided that I wanted to really pursue modeling I had NO idea what to do. After four years of college the one thing I knew best was "If you want to know something... do your research." I immediately took to the internet and submerged myself in the industry. I signed up for modelmayhem and contacted a local photographer who would shoot me at no cost. When I met people in the industry (models, photographers, makeup artist, etc.) I asked LOTS of questions.  I encourage you to network and use the connections you have. If you know a photographer who is starting off or your friend does try shooting with them to get an idea of where you are and work your way up.
I don't believe that another model can necessarily help you start modeling BUT I would ask them to let you know if they hear of any castings or opportunities.

2. Stay in your lane.
This is not to come off rude but it is reality. Everyone cannot do everything, especially when it comes to modeling. Let me explain... if you are 5'2 and you want to be a high fashion runway model that may be something you want to reconsider. I'm not saying you will not do runway but high fashion models are usually 5'9 and up so if you go to a casting and they say "High Fashion" that usually comes with a height (and weight) requirement. Do your research and find out where you fit in and then practice your craft.

3. Never Quit.
In this industry you will hear the word "No." more than you could ever imagine. I will never forget the first time I visited an agency and a man said "I'm sorry you're not what we're looking for", handed me back my portfolio and turned his back to me and walked away. I wasn't prepared for that at all BUT that was a pivotal moment for me. At that time I had a decision to make.. Am I going to run for the hills or am I going to keep going and find that one person who does love me? Later on that day I went to a few more agencies and two expressed interest in me! With that being said... there will be so many people who will tell you no with no explanation. You may feel empty or even clueless as to why they said that but that doesn't mean there isn't someone out there looking for you!

4. Beware of the Free Gift Bag.
Sorry but there isn't literally a free gift bag lol but you will have to be mindful of the word "free". Sometimes free or tfp (time/trade for print) can cost you in the end. When I first started modeling I was walking in every show and shooting with anyone I could get my hands on. I needed exposure and I needed to meet people in the industry. I don't want ya'll to think I just took ANYthing lol but I was everywhere possible. Soon after it started taking a toll on my finances because I was taking off of work to attend non-paid shows that would last ALL day and I didn't gain anything from being there. Free sounds good but not at the expense of your livelihood. I encourage you all to pick and choose what is more important... if you're spending $30 to get to a shoot you're not being paid for and don't receive quality images but you missed out on a day's worth of pay.. something doesn't equal out.

5. Quality.
I wish someone would have explained the importance of quality earlier on in my career. When it came to photoshoots I could pick out a quality image because of my time with Fresh Image Talent Scouts BUT I didn't understand it in other aspects of the business. There will be many designers who just need a body to put clothes on and a guy with a camera to shoot the look. I found myself falling victim to this scenario a few times and the result was pictures I couldn't use for my portfolio and awkward photos of me on Facebook :/ The people you work with should be bringing something to the table just like you are. On the contrary, you are responsible for keeping up your end of the bargain. You can't show up to a shoot or show with a half done weave, a gut because you've been eating McDonalds or poses that won't work because you haven't been practicing. As I said in Pt. I.. Your image is EVERYTHING and if you're not giving quality how can you expect it?

6. For some individuals, rudeness is mandatory.
There will be sooooooo many instances where you will encounter rude people. You will be confronted by not so nice people here and there because this is a cut-throat industry. There will be individual who will look you dead in your face and say "Your head is shaped funny" or "Your left arm is slightly longer than your right.. can you fix that?" As bad as you want to say "You Motherf*!king B@!ch"... you can't lol. Of course you will meet some amazing people who are genuine and have your best interest at heart but for the most past keep your armor on because it's a battle.

7.Model Bag.
I find it funny that many models don't know what goes in a model bag. Here are the basics.
A comb/brush.
A pair of black and/or nude underwear.
A black and/or nude bra.
Foundation (your color)
A pair of black heels (these are pretty much standard)
A pair of skinny dark blue jeans (for a casting)
A black or white tank/t-shirt (casting)
Lotion or baby oil/gel
Toothbrush (just in case the breath gets a little funky lol)
I personally take my full makeup bag to shows and shoots just in case I need to do my own makeup or if I need to touch it up when the makeup artist can't get to me. Also something small to eat like a granola bar will never hurt.. days can be a bit lengthy so you don't want to pass out from not eating.

That's all I've got for this round! Until next time :)

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