Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Modeling FAQ

In response to several emails that I have received regards to modeling & how to get started, I decided that I would take some time and write a short novel on my straightforward opinions on certain subjects. Feel free to continue to message me if you have more questions!

Peace, Love & Cupcakes!

1 - BE PROFESSIONAL... Please! Its so simple yet so sad how many people I've seen fail at this. Act professional and you will be treated as a professional. Nothing can lead you to more jobs than a good reference from most or all of the photographers, designers, stylists, make up artists, etc. that you have worked with... and nothing will ruin your reputation faster if you fail. Don't be a flake, don't make stupid excuses, and always be 15 minutes early. That's right boys and girls: Early. Random Acts of God and jacked up traffic just HAPPEN so try to be prepared!

2 - Network. With the internet at your fingertips, you can reach thousands of photographers. Networking will help you build a strong portfolio and meet some fantastic artists. Don't take it for granted. Unfortunately a photographer may not be "professional" even though they call themselves that. Use good judgment. Always take an escort with you to shoots. And lastly, beware of the "M.W.C.'s" (man-with-camera). They just want an excuse to take pictures of a pretty girl, and it gets creepy. *

3 - Be a Chameleon. The more looks you can pull off, the more you can be used! If you only have one 'look', you can't go very far. It is SO very important to remain versatile. Especially when beginning. You want to be the blank canvas upon which the photographer or stylist can create their vision.

4 - Be Self Sufficient. Yeah, at some shoots the photographer or company might be very nice and hire a wardrobe stylist, makeup artist, and hair stylist. However this is unlikely on the start of your portfolio. There's nothing more impressive, besides your actual modeling, than to be able to style it all yourself. Experiment and go crazy in front of your mirror on a Saturday afternoon... or if your shy just go to the MAC counter. Either way, you'll learn something. Yes - I know a lot of things have been done hair, makeup, and style-wise. There are a lot of themes and genres of modeling that have been beaten TO DEATH!! Your job is to take bits and pieces of your own inspiration and putting it together in a unique way. It's how the creative world works, in everything from music to art to science. We advance using stepping blocks from the past and building on them.

5 - Posing and Expressions, its not the photographer's job, its yours. (I hit brick walls on this one occasionally) How can you leap past all the other models and into photographer's hearts? The key to posing is making it all look natural, no matter how unnatural the pose is. They always say "If it hurts, then it looks great!". It is hard, but learn to memorize how your body looks WITHOUT looking into a mirror. Memorize it. It's not vain - it's educational. Also, over-posing is no bueno and looks painfully awkward. Learn the boundaries.

6 - Agencies vs. Freelance. I have done both, and personally I love freelance a lot more. If you have enough work coming to you and you have the time to handle all of your own bookings, then I recommend the freelance route. Flexible scheduling and you are your own boss, what could be better? At the same time however, managing yourself will take up a lot more time than having an agency do it for you. Prepare for endless emailing.
If you prefer having somebody else manage you and your schedule, and you can find the right management for you, then the agency route may be the way to go. There are a lot of scams out there, be sure to meet with your agency in person if you can, read over your contract or agreements thoroughly. Unless you're purchasing something like cards, you shouldn't be paying them. Most agencies seem to work on a percentage deal, where they keep a certain percentage of every job they find you. Some agencies require exclusivity. Think carefully on whether you're prepared for the kind of commitment to a single agency, and if they can provide you with sufficient amount of work. If you are in a small town like me - non exclusive is probably the way to go.

7 - And Finally...Regarding Nudes: No I can't give you the right answer to "Should I or shouldn't I?" If you love nudes, and you are comfortable with your body no matter what shape it is, then go for it if you are 100% comfortable and are also entirely sure you will have no regrets. Remember, once a nude of you is up on the internet, consider it permanent. It's going to be up there, downloaded, saved, shared. There's no way to go around it. Prepare for the fact that there's a good chance your family or friends will find them, and they may not all support you. If you aren't prepared for this then you might need to consider passing on the nudes. I've known models who's families fully supported them, and others who completely disowned them. My take is simply that family is important, and so are your dreams. It's up to you which one you decide to choose should you need to.
-Will it ruin my career? I don't know, are you trying to become the next mainstream figure loved by kids of all ages? Yea, I would say that would ruin your chances. Do you work under a conservative office or as some kind of public figure for your community? Probably not a good choice either.
BUT, even if you have all these road blocks in your way and you still want to do nudes, more power to you.

*(Feel free to inquire for recommendations of ACTUAL professionals in the Louisville area if you aren't sure. I know several. It's a small town, but its got some REALLY manipulative scumbags!! ;-)

Now have fun out there and play nice with the other kids!

~ Catherine

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