Monday, January 30, 2012
Friday, October 26, 2007
There was a time when being discovered as a model meant lining up at audition after audition waiting for your big break. Now, with the web playing host to modeling agencies, model talent searches and online modeling communities, and professional photographers it has become much easier for models to promote themselves and book more modeling work. Here are few things every model should know about getting online and getting discovered!
Promoting yourself online
When it comes to taking the reins of your modeling career and promoting yourself to the world, there’s really no greater tool than the web. Model-slash-everything types such as Tila Tequila have used MySpace, FaceBook and other social networking sites to create a buzz about themselves in the online world. And aspiring models can do the same just as effectively. Post your information on top social networking sites. Get your head shots in there and include your resume and all the information you can about what makes you special (and what makes you unique). Take it even further. Start a blog about your modeling experiences. Build a CompCard and Profile on coachmodels.com. It’s all a part of a new kind of self-promotion. Why wait to be discovered when you can do it yourself? Sit down and spend an hour or two a day working it in front of your computer and before you know it, you’ll be a known commodity all over cyberspace (and more importantly, in the real world as well)!
Casting calls from the comfort of your own home
A wide variety of online modeling agencies now allow models to post their headshots and resumes online. Casting agents then simply visit the site, search for the type of model they need for the job and voila, a star is born! Aspiring models looking to increase auditions should plant their head shots firmly on several of these sites. For best results, spend some time on the major modeling sites such as onemodelplace.com or exploretalent.com. Pay special attention to the parts of the country best represented on each of the sites – and choose the ones that seem to service your area the best.
Getting perfect headshots
Before the advent of digital photography, headshots were the domain of only a select group of professionals with the proper lighting, shooting and developing equipment. And although working with a professional is still the preferred method of obtaining picture-perfect headshots, more and more aspiring models are turning to home digital photography for their most important calling card.
If you know someone who is a digital camera expert, have them take your headshots using a high-pixel camera. Then, remember to take more shots than you think you will need, so that you have plenty of choices when it comes down to selecting the perfect headshot. The beauty of using digital photos for your headshots is that you can take as many pictures as you want at no real additional cost.
If you choose to work with a professional photographer for your headshots, many modeling sites give you a chance to find top photographers in your area. The best thing about these listings is that they provide an opportunity to see the actual portfolios of professional photographers – and get a good feel if they are going to be a match for you.
Finally, with the tremendous number of opportunities for models online, come new opportunities for scam artists and potential predators as well. Much like in the off-line world, there’s safety in numbers. Check out comment boards and other sources to verify the credentials of any site (or individual) that offers services to help aspiring models.
OK, to quote Derek Zoolander, you’re totally great-looking. So now what? Being a model means a lot more than just standing around looking beautiful. To be happy and successful in your chosen career, you need to find the specific type of modeling that’s right for you.
If you are going to make it as a model, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the following types of modeling work:
Without a doubt, high fashion runway modeling is one the most glamorous (and rigorous) types of modeling. Runway models generally possess a very particular body type (long legs, fierce walk) and have developed their own signature style of “working the catwalk”. While you’re likely to see crossover with other types of modeling, the runway model is a truly unique animal. Runway models begin their careers at local fashion shows – with the best of the best moving on to international events such as Fashion Week in New York - where models can earn thousands of dollars per runway event.
Quick tip for success: Watch footage of the greats! Take some time every day to watch footage of top models walking the runway. Study how they carry themselves. Use their established styles to help craft a walk that is unique and your own.
Commercial Print Modeling
If you have ever seen a 600+ page issue of Vogue, you have a good idea of why there is a constant demand for fashion print models. Simply put, there’s almost no limit to the number of apparel companies spending large amounts of money on their print advertising campaigns. Successful print models not only master a variety of looks, but also have a wide range of emotions and body positions that can call up on a moment’s notice as the job dictates. Print models are able to evoke strong emotions in two dimensions because of these skills.
Quick tip for success: A great portfolio goes a long way in the commercial print realm. Models who have a selection of beautiful and unique photographs at the ready are most likely to wow the client and get the job. Be sure and fill your book with photos that go beyond the standard head shot. Show your creativity!
Commercial Catalog Modeling
Catalog marketing affords the greatest opportunities for models of different heights and sizes. Since every store or clothing line appeals to a different demographic, the standards set by the rest of the modeling world are a bit more relaxed here. You still need to look and feel great, but there is a little less emphasis on the concept of perfection.
Quick tip for success: When creating a portfolio, base your chosen shots on powerful, effective catalog photography. Grab a stack of the best catalogs available. Then cut out the shots that you would like to create. Your portfolio should represent a “best of” compilation of shots in a variety of clothing styles and poses.
Female swimsuit models are less likely to be the small-sized types that generally have success on the runway. In the swimsuit modeling world there is a greater emphasis on a woman’s curves – with physical fitness being of the utmost importance. Men’s swimsuit models are also asked to be in prime physical condition. Toned muscles and tight stomachs are the order of the day for men hoping to get the best available work as a swimsuit model. Many swimsuit models employ a personal trainer to stay in top condition throughout the year.
Quick tip for success: Show your dedication to the swimsuit modeling category. If you REALLY want to book swimsuit work, then create a portfolio with only swimwear-related photographs. This will show the potential client that you are not simply “dabbling” in this end of the business – but truly want to “own” the category.
Breaking into the modeling business starts by gaining entrance into the heart of the industry – your friendly neighborhood modeling agency. But what’s the best way to get your foot in the door? Every aspiring model has a different method for success, but here’s a quick look at the top ways you can get noticed by modeling agencies large and small, local and worldwide.
The Dry Call
The adage “there’s safety in numbers” may apply to many walks of life, but modeling is not one of them. When you send your heads shots into an agency unsolicited, you are joining the thousands of other aspiring models who have chosen the same point of entry. The potential problem with the dry call is that no matter how great you look, your head shot is likely to get lost in the shuffle. And that shuffle is likely being overseen by the overworked, cynical intern – not the dream-maker who sits in the corner office of the agency. While there ARE dry call success stories, don’t expect a call 3-5 business days after your head shots hit the mail.
Pros: Cost-effective, allows you blanket many agencies at once, you’re limited only by your postage budget.
Cons: The volume of dry calls a modeling agency receives in a given day makes it hard to stand out from the crowd.
The Walk In
Nothing says, “I’m ready to work” like showing up at a modeling agency is glorious 3-D. Walk In appointments give you a chance to show your portfolio to booking agents, be interviewed and just generally strut your stuff. Walk-ins must be scheduled in advance over the phone. When you arrive at the agency, always be dressed professionally and maintain a positive mental attitude. This is your chance to shine beyond your photos – take full advantage of it.
Pros: A one-on-one opportunity to make an impression on modeling professionals. Unlike the open call, you probably won’t have to wait in line with hundreds of other respondents.
Cons: Much like the dry call, you can never be sure that the results of the walk in won’t end up in the world’s largest backroom filing cabinet. Still, the fact that the agency has had a chance to see you in person and experience your personality gives you a leg up!
The Open Call
Firmly planting yourself into the good graces of a modeling agency means being there when they want you (and not just when you decided it was a good time to drop them a line). And that is where the open call comes into play. An open call refers to that special time when an agency places an ad looking for talent. The process is simple: you show up – they love you – you become famous! OK, maybe it’s not that simple, but the open call generally produces the most success because you as a model are filling a need at the agency. When you do a dry call or a walk in, you may be great, but there’s no way to gauge the hiring climate at the agency. With an open call, you’re there because they want you there!
Pros: The open call is a signal that the agency in question is looking for new talent. There’s no better time to get your foot in the door.
Cons: You’re not going to be the only one who reads the modeling agency’s ad. Be prepared to spend a large portion of the day waiting to be seen by the right people.
Modeling and talent agencies have the power to transform a total unknown into a world-famous star. Millions of people flock to their doors, answer their ads and send them photos every year – all at the hope of getting signed, getting work and getting famous. And that is why the climate in the world of aspiring models is so ideal for top rate scam artists.
Modeling and talent scam artists will take your money, crush your dreams and not lose a minute of sleep over it. They are always a few steps ahead of the law, and have refined their trade to sharp point.
Here are some of the most common scams currently found in the modeling industry. If you feel you’ve been a victim of any of these scams or double-dealings, contact law enforcement immediately!
1. Legitimate modeling agencies never use small newspaper classified ads to find talent. If you’re learning about a “top
2. You should never have to pay a dime of your own money to be represented. Real modeling and talent agencies do not charge their models for representation. An agency will (obviously!) take their cut when you get booked, but will never ask for your hard earned cash up front. If they do, run far away (then contact the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org)
3. Beware the photographer hard-sell! Many unscrupulous agencies will push you towards their “recommended” photographer. Oh they’ll make him sound great – as if not working with him means you aren’t even serious about success. But don’t be fooled! Chances are, the photographer is kicking back money to the so-called agency – which is illegal! Pick your own photographer and forget about the agency that’s pushing the hard sell on you.
4. There’s no such thing as a guarantee (no matter how great you look). Many less-than-up front agencies with give aspiring models an iron-clad guarantee that they will get work and make money. NO AGENCY can promise such a thing. Whether or not you get booked for a job depends upon a variety of factors that no entity can control. Look into an agency’s past successes and then make a judgment about whether or not you want to move forward.
5. Don’t go nude. One of the most potentially dangerous situations an aspiring model can encounter, is a photographer that pressures individuals to pose naked during their first shoot. This kind of behavior should set off warning bells very quickly. Many times, these so-called professionals will claim that they want to create a bond between themselves and their subject. And going nude will do the trick. Baloney! Never, ever do anything of this nature if you don’t feel comfortable or have received personal references or recommendations about the photographer.
And of course, the most important rule of all….
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Use your common sense!!!
The Modeling Life (Donna Rubenstein)
The former editor of Seventeen offers real world advice that every aspiring model should absorb. From the day-to-day life of a model to getting started on a small budget, Ms. Rubenstein provides an insider’s look for those still on the outside. And if you doubt her pedigree, you might want to reconsider. Ms. Rubenstein has helped launch the careers of Tyra Banks, Kate Moss and Niki Taylor.
Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women (Michael Gross)
A historical look at the world of modeling – with every modeling scandal reported in vivid detail by the people who lived through them. OK, maybe not the best thing to bring in before your first shoot, but despite the catty nature of the book, there’s still plenty to entertain and horrify. Think of this book of scandals as a guide to what NOT to do with your career once you hit it big.
A Model’s Primer (Wilson and Edwards)
This is another great book for anyone looking to make it in the modeling industry, or rise to the next level in their modeling career. Written jointly by a top fashion photographer and former modeling agent, this book is like a step-by-step guide for getting your foot in the door at an agency. It also includes very helpful tips on how to avoid modeling scams that can derail your career before it even gets started.
The Wilhelmina Guide to Modeling (Natasha Esch)
Sometime it’s best to go right to the source for expert opinion. And who better to tell you how to break into the modeling game then Supermodel extraordinaire Natasha Esch. With an intelligent and surprisingly sensitive touch, Ms. Esch breaks it all down for the aspiring model with inspirational stories from the “inside”. A great mixture of memoir and useful advice.
How to Become a Successful Commercial Model: The Complete Modeling Handbook (Aaron Marcus)
This renowned commercial photographer provides a wealth of valuable information about how to make it in the competitive world of commercial modeling. The best thing about this book is that Mr. Marcus’ has taken the time to create a reference for ALL types of models. So if you’re not six-foot-two and rail thin, the author will still help guide you towards a successful career in print modeling. There something for almost everyone in this helpful book.
Vogue, W and Allure magazines
To stay on top of the modeling game, you’ve got to know what’s HOT. And these magazines are your pipeline to the newest looks and trends that agencies are booking. If you don’t already have them, then stock up! And if you’ve been buying them at the newsstand, then save yourself some serious money and subscribe. Added bonus: you’ll look great reading them poolside!
Monday, June 18, 2007
Every year we organize an event for our Models. This is a great way to meet you in person and explore new talents (Yes, we are real!). The upcoming event in Los Angeles includes photo shoot, make-up, styling, model networking, runway show...and much more fun stuff!
Make sure to reserve your spot before July.
L.A. Event Questions? Send us an email to LA@coachmodels.com