Tuesday, March 29, 2011
A girl recently sent me a message through my website asking, "I've been a freelance model for the past four years and just moved to NYC a month ago. I'm already taking acting classes (10 weeks of them) and have visited two agencies with my hard cover portfolio. They both told me I need new pictures-that I look prettier in real life than my photos. I have a lot of friends that are fashion photographers that want to help me build my port, but the advice they give while critiquing my port isn't appropriate for the kind of work I can realistically get since I'm only 5'5. Could you please tell me what your advice is when it comes to pictures? Do you only have a modeling agency or a talent agency, or also a casting director, etc."
My reply below might also help your own pursuits as a model.
I've worked with and got work with agencies (while working non-exclusive with them and worked with up to 5 at a time) and I've worked with talent agencies and casting directors as well over the years. There is a booklet in Barnes and Noble and bookstores in the magazine section called The Call Sheet, it is about $12, and it has a list of casting directors and talent agencies. You should grab one of these as well.
I've heard it all myself, "your pics are too sexy" "your pics don't flatter your assets." "you need better pics." And photos are what seperate a model that works with real agencies and brands and jobs from a model that just takes photos, the best way to also start improving your photos for the area of modeling you want to pursue, is to ask questions, ask for examples of the type of shot they are talking about. The "commercial" part in commercial print modeling implies personality, relatable to a mass market of consumers. Here are some examples:
The words model and modeling tend to make a girl change herself, as in her attitude and actually because "herself" is what she needs to focus on for print modeling. Her real smile, laugh, natural expressions, natural makeup, natural outfits and natural, comfortable, realistic pose, is best. If the shot can involve a discreet product such as a handbag, a cell phone, coffee cup, working out at a gym, the more your shot looks like you are "doing something", and the more it involves your personality and the more it involves looking realistic and like an implied ad or editorial in a magazine, the better.
If you want to model within print modeling "smiling shots" are very important. You could be smiling and walking, dancing, acting like you are hanging out at a cool cafe and enjoying your coffee, candy, even dusting, or putting on some makeup, etc. Think of real life situations. Just keep it a shot that relates to a mass market consumer, not just one demographic.
Always keep in mind that working as a model isn't just about you, it is about the product you are modeling for and it is best to remember this when creating photos, sure you want to look great but a client for a cell phone company, a skincare brand, a shoe brand, wants to see that you "know how to model products naturally," and that you have a natural energy about you that their customers can relate to. Study what print modeling is and it will also help you. Any ad with a smile or real-life expression and pose is a print model and a print ad usually.
A model is needed because her look represents what a brand's marketing campaign needs or fits what an ad concept or editorial concept is. A model's purpose is to model for something, so keep that in mind too.
I suggest working with a photographer who understands what print modeling is, and yes you will most likely have to invest some $ and time into getting the shots you need. It's a part of the process.
Another thing, think about the type of modeling jobs you want to get. If you want to be in ads for print modeling then you have to study some print ads, so look at magazines of all types, study commercials and pay attention to the expression, what they are wearing and their makeup and how natural they look.
If I wanted to leg model, yes despite being so petite, I had to create and show on my com pcard shots of my legs that looked like ads for lifestyle products or something you'd see in a Glamour, Allure, Marie Claire or Cosmo. Take it upon yourself to create a comp card that fits your goals and be realistically ambitious about it. Show you can, to get the opportunity.
Remember, print modeling is about relating to an everyday consumer in the ad or commercial so an everyday look in the photos you have for print modeling is best. Of course if you wanted to model for fitness, swimwear, undergarments, that's fine, but keep in mind in print modeing is less about impressing a man and more about selling the item you are wearing to a female consumer. Here is more on print modeling:
I hope this helps girl, and keep rocking on, here are some agencies in NYC to send your comp card to when you have print modeing photos ready for action! :)
It's a tough pursuit, a tough competitive hustle, but usually those who don't give up, get what they want, I've included links to some other tips are below. There is a lot of marketing that goes into being a self-made model,
These links will also help :)
Learn, know, grow, get and strive for more. ~isobella jade