Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Rise and Fall of an Internet Model - Petite Wanna be Model Drama

It is really easy these days to call yourself a model,-just download a photo on one of the modeling social sites that appear after you Google the word model. Although if you are really trying to be in a magazine, get a modeling agent, and book legit and honest modeling work (the type you can tell your mother about) then a modeling social site isn’t always the best spot for you unless: You are smart enough to weed out the crappy wanna -be photographers then you might find a couple that are actually talented. I have met 3 that actually aren’t that bad, but I felt like I found the only diamonds in the rough.

A sign that someone is talented and serious is not that they have a great equipment, instead look at their online portfolio for a magazine tear sheet they have shot or even better for a cover from a magazine you have heard of.

Most of the time on a social site you will end up boosting your confidence and stroking your ego in the wrong way, in a fantasy like way that really is NOT modeling, but more that makes you a tease to a man.

Also unfortunately after shooting with a wanna-be photographer you will not get photos that an agency wants to see, an agency wants to see a fresh face, personality, and honestly, wearing a sweater can get you further than being in a thong. Ask yourself: “ is this picture going to benefit me and my goals? Or is this photo just for this lonely guy who wants to shoot me today in his basement while his wife isn’t home?”

As an internet model you will become an addict for hits and clicks, and you will be consumed with counting your hits and clicks each day. Random wanna- be photographer’s telling you how hot you are because that last shot of you in a white tank top almost showed your nipple. When ever you are around people who know nothing of the modeling business you will appear to be a model to them, but when your in front of a real model or modeling agent you won’t be impressive by only having a page on a social site like or Instead you will just be another “one of those,” meaning one of those wanna-be models with an obsession with being seen and desired.

I suggest skipping and It is really just a showcase for amateurs.

I talk about in my book called Almost 5'4" due in 2010 through The Friday Project, an imprint of HarperCollins,- and all the trouble it gave me, the embarrassment when my mother discovered me naked on the web, and over time I got smarter about the way I used social sites, more picky about who I worked with.

Years ago I had to pick my self up from my mistakes, I chased real modeling, with the real modeling agencies, and I have found success, but ONLY, and I stress ONLY by hard work and by being smarter about my choices and how I market myself. There is no easy road, quick road or over night road for the shorter girl who wants to be a model. It takes pure determination and pure work. Which is why you don’t see many shorter models because it is very tough. Even print modeling agencies have height requirements, but if you try, give yourself a chance, and you are smart about how you present and market yourself, there is opportunity, I found it.

These modeling websites are very alluring and interesting and they do let anyone call themselves a model by simply downloading your photo, but in all honesty it is an illusion of what it really means to be a model. Most photographers' or so-called photographers on the site are full of crap and egotistical while just wanting to shoot girls naked, and while you take off your shirt in their living room they will squeeze out of the camera the beast cleavage shot they can.

If you really want to model, get in the magazine, get the modeling agency you will actually have a better chance while wearing a sweater and a smile. Honestly look at some ads and editorials in Glamour and Marie Claire or some shoe ads or jewelry ads. Proving you don’t have to be naked to be a model. Look at hair magazines, travel magazines, and beauty magazines.

Those are models. Modeling involving modeling a product. Telling a story through the photo. Doing more than showing their cushion for no reason. It is like saying “I have an ass!-just incase you forgot.”

You might wonder why everyone and your sister is into this “lets call ourselves a model on the internet thing.”

Well, many of the girls on these social sites are less than 5’6” and they have been told ‘No” by modeling agents and think the internet is their only chance to “be a model.” Without knowing that actually they do have chances in the commercial print world.

Why doesn’t the internet model think about the longevity in their modeling pursuits by just keeping their jeans on sometimes?

In the commercial print world a girl who is 5’1” can model, this is a world where cleavage and the curves of your ass aren’t important. It is more about your smile, energy, personality and all the things that these social sites seem to forget to tell you.

Sure it feels good to be called hot and pretty and all that ego boosting language, but if you want to be a model, it takes more than just having a nice ass to be the face of an ad campaign or even the ass of one. You need to know how to market yourself as a model and get an agent.

Another big thing is the lack of quality photographer’s on the site. If photos are what are going to sell you as a model, then you better have good ones; ones that look like ads and editorials. You want to work with photographers who don't just shoot to shoot girls, but shoot because they love photography, and the craft, and they know the craft.

The first week you sign onto a modeling social site, you will get compliments and hits and clicks by almost every photographer in the community, and then the next thing you know you are naked on the Internet. If you want to be a muse, and just feel hot, then these amateur photographers will comfort that, if you want to really model, then you need to stay away from those websites and look elsewhere.

The idea of modeling for a brand, with a product in hand is now clouded with the internet modeling world and titled with the headline of ‘ the more ass you show the more of a model you are.’

The only benefit I see from those sites is that you can look at what other models are doing and don’t do it. I find the girls on those websites want to be models, feel like a model, and turn to the site when they can't get an agency and then get stuck in a rut and rely on their nakedness to make them feel like a model.

Now I think I have a very hot body but I am using my ass in a new way, and I want to model for lingerie catalogs, underwear ads and even Hanes.
To get ahead as a model you need photos. And to get these photos you can look elsewhere than the web. Why not contact a real photographer, someone who does photography full time, someone who doesn’t just hold the camera and click a button with no clue of what a shutter speed is.

This doesn't mean you have to spend a ton of money but you might have to do some research. I would stick to the old fashion way, pick up the phone book and look up photography schools. And contact the department or try to meet some students who are interested in shooting models. All types of modeling or approach a professional photographer and ask him/her if you could work something out with the budget you have.

These days “glamour modeling” might have the same appeal as Marilyn Monroe and Betty Paige but in all honesty those girls would never want to be what “glamour modeling is today.”

Tell a real photographer: aka: someone who understands the craft of photography not just some guy with a camera, “Hey I only have $50 bucks but I want a good headshot that will sell me the right way to magazines and commercial brands.” That one shot of your face will get you more work than the perverts on these social sites.

When I plan shoots I have a goal in mind, I have worked with students when I was starting and also got great photos. If you work with people who are passionate you will get results.

Now, I have a great body, and I do body part modeling, I have worked with great brands, but I don't waste my time with some amateur telling me I am hot. I know I am hot; I am not only modeling to be called hot. I am modeling to sell a product or a story and get the tear sheet in the magazine and be the face of the ad campaign.

1 comment:

sandyelizabeth said...

Hi Isobella. You gave me so much inspiration today. I was sitting here bored out of my mind wishing that petite girls could have more appreciation. I'm 5'1'' and want to experiment with modeling to know if it is really something I want to do, versus pursuing a career in singing as I originally planned. I decided to google information on petite modeling and found your blog. First thought was "she is so adorable!"
Second thought was "wow, I can do this. I can do what she does."
I have a few questions for you.
How costly is it to live in New York for your lifestyle?
Do you have another job to support yourself?
How did you end up in New York?