Behind the scenes at yesterday’s shoot.
Snapchat :: thinklikeamodei
Behind the scenes at yesterday’s shoot.
Snapchat :: thinklikeamodei
Having been raised by a protective family, I can say two things; 1) it was annoying, 2) it kept me safe. I am happy to say that I survived my childhood unscathed and have turned into a well-adjusted adult (at least I’d like to think so). Because of this, I am able to navigate through this tough industry without putting myself into situations that could put me at risk for being exploited, abducted, or physically and emotionally harmed.
But what if you are an adult who wants to get your daughter/son into this industry and have no experience of your own? Below is a list of things you should know and do to make sure your child has a healthy and happy career in modeling.
Do Your Research!
Don’t let your or your child’s excitement cloud your judgement. If your child is presented with an opportunity, find out every bit of information you can about the company or individual. Ask for contact information and website links. Use this information to do your own *Google search.
*Type the name of the person or company with the word, “scam” after it in Google search. If scams are associated, you will see them in the search results. Red flag!
Don’t ever, I mean EVER, go forward with a job that makes you feel uneasy.
Always Be There
Even if your child is a teenager who has been trained in staying safe, you should never, I mean NEVER, let him or her go to a casting or booking alone. Yes, this means that if you are both serious about a career in modeling, it will also become a full-time deal for you, too. There are so many young teens who get thrown into the industry and sent to travel abroad all by themselves. Unless you trust their manager/agent/guide with your life, I don’t recommend you just letting them take your child anywhere. There is just so much that goes on when kids are left with strangers. I shutter at the thought. Just don’t do it. If that means your child has to wait to begin a modeling career when s/he turns 18, so be it. You might have to deal with resentment for awhile but that’s much better than the precious fruits of your loins being put in a bad situation.
This is one of our models with her Mom’s hand in the shot as she tickled her to get her to smile. So cute!
The “taste makers,” aka agents & designers of the fashion world, will sometimes put your child in whatever clothes and settings you let them (although those with good consciences will be looking out for your child’s best interest and refrain from putting your kid in a questionable situations). This means your pure teenage daughter might end up strutting the runway in any sheer top, with nothing underneath (it’s happened), unless you put your foot down and let them know that is not ok with you. If it is ok with you, however, I’m not judging. Different families and cultures have different comfort levels with these types of things. Personally, however, I don’t think it is wise to have your child grow up faster than needed. Again, not judging at all but, rather, coming from a perspective of someone who has had a glimpse into the dark side of what goes on in the industry. Once your children have been exposed, there is no undoing the damage. In today’s world, once a photo or video is created it exists forever. You have to decide what you are comfortable with but, more importantly, what is best for your child’s emotional development and then let agencies, photographers, designers etc. know what you are and are not willing to have your child be a part of or wear. Be a defensive parent. Be professional and kind but don’t let anyone coerce you into having your child do something that might be beyond his or her emotional maturity.
As exciting as this time might be for your family, make sure that your child has some level or privacy outside of his/her job. I often see instagram accounts featuring young models run by their parents and can tell the difference between a responsible momager and an over-eager parent who wants as much exposure for her child as possible. Understand that when you put your child’s life out there for the world to see, ANYONE can access this information.
It goes without saying that you should be extremely cautious when posting photos. Make sure geo-tagging is off so people cannot find your location. This is a setting that is automatically turned on on certain social media apps like Instagram so please make sure to check all settings before using any app. In addition to this, be mindful of the types of photos you are posting. Remember that your kids often have little to no say over what you are doing and you don’t want them to grow up wishing the whole world didn’t know everything about their lives. I say the whole world because I’m putting out into the universe the success I want your child to have *wink*.
For teenagers, remember when you were their age and understand that they might want to post things that are inappropriate or not in their best interest. When it comes to personal photos, it might be best to leave those off of social media,entirely, and only post professional pictures and videos. If it is a fan base you are trying to cultivate, they don’t need to know all the inner-workings of your seven-year old’s life.
Keep A Routine
We all know how important it is for children to get their rest, proper nutrition, love, and guidance. Even if your family has decided that your kid or teenager can handle an unconventional childhood by entering the modeling world, these things are still very important. Especially in an industry in which looks are key and schedules are hectic, it is imperative that your child gets ample rest and eats the healthiest of foods. Make sure bedtimes are adhered to as much as possible, fruits and veggies are eaten in abundance, and there is time left in your schedules for learning as well as fun. This modeling world can be frenzied so it is important that you remain the rock that your children expect you to be and to help make the experience positive yet structured.
Keep a constant dialogue with your child. If at any time your child’s interest in modeling starts to wane, find out if this is really something that should continue being pursued. Ultimately, your child’s happiness is of the utmost importance. Children will often stick with things because it is the desire of their parents and they want to be “good”. Make sure you know the difference between your child’s wants and needs and your own. Pay close attention and make sure that your kid isn’t just doing this because she realizes it was your dream growing up and she doesn’t want to disappoint you.
As a young child I took ballet and went to class every weekend (that I recall) for a few years. One particular morning I remember telling my mom I didn’t want to go because I wanted to watch cartoons. I didn’t go to ballet again until I was an adult. The moral of the story, here, is that my Mom knew when not to push and you should, too. Let your kids find their own way and if it ends up being modeling then be their to support as best you can. If it ends up being something else then get ready to learn everything about that world and have fun with it.
Now go forth and be the best model parent ever!
Photo Credit: Lola O Photography
One of my absolute favorite models I’ve worked with on this blog is Elena. Her professionalism and positivity, along with her flawless beauty, make her such a gem. Check out what she had to say, in the video below, and find more of her sprinkled throughout this blog!
Height : 5’9″ Waist : 26 Hips: 36 Inseam : 32
Hair : Brown Eyes : Blue Shoe : 8.5
Photo Credit: Lola O Photography
Have you ever seen a model holding or wearing something in a magazine, billboard, or commercial and thought, “I have to have that!” but couldn’t figure out why? It’s likely because the model was a great sales person and as a great model, you’ll need to be one, too!
When modeling for an accessories company, make the accessory the main focus. Make sure the handbag, watch, necklace etc. is clearly visible and in the forefront. New models often make the mistake of being so concerned with their poses that they forget about what is most important. Always make sure that you are holding the item in a way that makes sense, unless otherwise directed. If there is a logo on the item, make sure it isn’t being covered by your clothing, hair, or hands. If you’re modeling both clothing and accessories at the same time, make sure that everything is being showcased with equal importance. If you’re wearing a jacket over a shirt and both are being photographed, make sure to keep an eye on the jacket to make sure it isn’t covering too much of the garment, for example. Don’t make the photographer do extra work by having to remind you throughout the shoot.
Be the Brand
You’ll want to keep in mind the brand you are representing and get a solid idea of the type of crowd to which it caters. If a luxury handbag company books you for a print ad, you’re going to want to give off an aire of sophistication because that is what their audience will expect. If you’re an athletic model who gets to ride skateboards for the day’s shoot, a more laid back demeanor will be more appropriate. Your personal style doesn’t matter, here. Whatever the culture of the brand that is hiring you is the culture you must embody. Brands will often hire models who more obviously fit the culture they represent but for busy working models, a versatile range is important. Unless you are happy with just working within one genre of modeling (beauty, for example), make a habit of studying different lifestyles so that you can draw from experience when on set with a product you wouldn’t normally use yourself.
Along with embodying the culture of the brand, you’ll also want to either actually gain a level of excitement for the product or at least be able to fake it really well. It is easy to tell when someone is not truly interested in something. A great model will make it look like that product is something she or he uses every single day. Even if you’ve never used that type of product before, your job is to make it seem like it’s the most important item anyone could ever own.
Look At the Big Picture
Don’t forget that even though you are there to model an accessory, you are still expected to make the entire picture look great. Unless the photographer tells you s/he is only going to be shooting from the collar bone up, model with your entire body. In fact, even if only a specific section of your body is being photographed, it helps to model from h to t (head to toe) anyway in order make your posing look natural and authentic. If you’re holding a purse, for instance, don’t think that means your feet can be in any old position. One of the most frustrating things for a photographer is to try and choose the best photos, after a shoot, only to realize that the model was doing something weird with her fill-in-the-blank body part the whole time.
Don’t ever model for a company you don’t respect. If you’re asked to go to a casting for a Abercrombie and Fitch to model their latest jackets but you don’t agree with them not carrying plus sizes because they only want “cool kids” wearing their clothes, tell your agency thanks but no thanks. If you’re a freelance model booking your own jobs and in need of money, see a casting for a company that makes watches out of leather but you’re a proud vegetarian, don’t apply. If you’re a social media model getting offers from various accessory companies but only a few resonate with you, only accept those few. Modeling is a job and like any job, you should never feel the need to compromise your morals to make a buck or for the sake of ending up on a billboard.
You might not consider yourself a salesperson but if you’re a good model, you are one by default. Whether you are modeling hats, jackets, watches, or, well, anything else, your job is to convey to the consumer that they need what you are wearing. Hopefully the tips above will help you do this at your next booking!
Photo Credit: Lola O Photography
Not to be a downer but modeling isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be, IRL. Ok so yes, it can be fun and exciting and rewarding… But let’s be honest, there are also many unpleasant truths to the business. If you are thinking of getting your modeling career started because it looks glamorous, consider these realities, first.
Sometimes a modeling job can be quick and painless. Other times? Well, pick a number of hours in the day and there have been plenty of models who have had to endure staying fresh faced for that exact amount of time or longer. A client will often have a set budget and book a model for a specific amount of time. It is also very common, however, for models to find themselves looking at the clock thinking, weren’t we suppose to wrap, already?
As with any artist, photographers, designers, and make up artists all have visions and sometimes they underestimate the amount of time needed to execute their masterpieces. And then there are times when things get in the way such as weather, technical difficulties, accidents, you name it! Depending on the agreement you made upon receiving your booking confirmation, you might be expected to stay longer than the previously established end time. If that isn’t the case you should be free to mention you were given a specific end time and have to leave, if that is the case (or contact your manager or booking agent to handle that for you). This can feel awkward if everyone else is willing to stay but you feel you need to put your foot down. On the other hand, you might want to stick it out and make some extra money, if that is a possibility. But if you decide to put in extra work don’t expect for people to necessarily treat you with any more respect than before simply because they are grateful for your time and effort. You will still be expected to do a stellar job, even though you might be tired, hungry, and exhausted.
You will meet other models who are catty. You may run across make up artists and hair stylists who have horrible social skills and make you feel uncomfortable. You might end up working for a client who is just the worst person you ever met in your life. Granted, you never have to put up with being mistreated but short of that you could end up working for people who won’t want to waste time being polite, like Kelly Cutrone. Although hopefully if you get to work for her you will realize how lucky you are – she kind of knows what she’s doing.
If you are a sensitive person, you’re going to have to get over that quickly. It isn’t about you, it’s about the clothes, the photos, the shows, the events… Your job is to be professional and work it. People aren’t going to hold your hand and constantly tell you you look amazing. Sometimes you will be told things you don’t want to hear and sometimes those things won’t be constructive at all. Sometimes people will be just plain mean. Sometimes you will be treated like an inatimate object or a work horse. And you might even be told you are fat and need to lose weight. Don’t expect for things to be sugar-coated. There are plenty of divas in the industry and if you are going to make this your profession get ready to meet a lot of them.
As a woman you will likely be expected to stay thin, exude sexiness, and always be happy and upbeat (as is life, though. Am I right, ladies?! Can I get a witness?!). As a man you will typically be presented with the burden of having to maintain a masculine and muscular yet lean physique. Oh yeah, that’s if the booking managers are even looking for men for their show, shoot, or event. Yes, it’s a female dominated industry and that doesn’t seem to be changing too drastically.
Depending on the type of modeling you are interested in doing, be prepared to have to deal with expectations of what people think you should be, based on your gender and look. If you are female you might very well be asked (or urged) to pose nude. Sex sells, they’ll say. Photographers may try and convince you that you won’t have a successful career if you don’t bare it all. Whether or not you subscribe to that notion is completely up to you and there are plenty of models who make it without completely exposing themselves. But don’t think you aren’t going to have to deal with the pressure one way or the other because you will if you plan on making this your career.
One of my recent posts, Being A Model of Color, greatly touches on this awful side of the industry and it is very real. If you re not Caucasian and plan to model in the United States, Europe, or in the high fashion world in general be ready to get turned away simply because of your skin tone. Prepare yourself for wondering why you end up often being the only, or one of the few, dark-skinned people at a casting (depending on where you live). Also be aware that you might come across companies mentioning they only need a certain number of fill-in-your-race-here models. It is, sadly, the way of the industry. If you decide to become a professional model, don’t become jaded by this just try your best to be your best and give them a reason to forget about their ridiculous prejudices.
The modeling industry is a business and people will do crazy things for money. These things include putting other people in harms way to make a dollar. The type of situations models are often placed in, especially young models, can be very detrimental to their emotional and physical well-being. If you are the type of person who doesn’t like to make a fuss and goes along with whatever you’re told, this is not a good industry for you. If you don’t know who you are and are easily persuaded, my advice would be to wait a few years until you’ve had some life experience before you delve into the modeling world. If you think that a photographer who says, “You’ll have to pose nude but we’ll cover up your parts in Photoshop and won’t post any photos of you naked,” is telling you the truth, please do yourself a favor and go into another profession, for now, or finish school. People will treat you however you let them. If something sounds fishy or too good to be true, run!
There is a horrible side of the modeling industry that people don’t like to talk about but is something that happens every day all over the world (even in America!); human trafficking. Women get lured into sketchy situations with the promise of payment for modeling, for example, and then get abducted and sold off as sex slaves. Trust your instincts. If you run across a “modeling job” that requires you to ride in a car with people you don’t know be wary. Don’t go into hotel rooms by yourself with a photographer. Don’t go to casting calls that are being held at someone’s house. Don’t assume that because there is a woman on the other end of the phone call that a modeling gig is legitimate. There are plenty of bad people, both male and female, who won’t even bat an eyelash while setting you up to be harmed.
I once drove to a “casting” for a photographer who was looking for models and upon arriving I realized it was in a residential neighborhood. While parked outside of the complex I immediately called and said I did not know the casting was at a house, that I did not feel comfortable with that, and that I would not be going inside. During my drive home I received a voicemail from the lady with whom I spoke insisting that everything was fine and I should come inside anyway… That was after she called me a couple of times and I didn’t answer.
Did any of you get goosebumps reading that? I know I was certainly creeped out, to say the least.
You might wonder why I still do it if there are so many negatives. Every job on earth has negatives. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to navigate your way through it and finding out what works for you. Hopefully the tips in this post will better prepare you for moving forward, should you choose to accept this mission. On the other hand, if you aren’t so sure about it after all, no problem! There are so many different and awesome things to do in this world, just take your pick!
Photo Credit: Lola O Photography
Getting booked for a shoot is only half the victory. Once you show up you are still expected to deliver quality work. A good model doesn’t just rely on genetics to get a good photo. All of the top models in the world have at least one thing in common; they work hard. Here are some things to remember that will help you be at the top of your game and nail your next photoshoot!
It is important to always put your health first. Eating a proper diet consisting of an abundance of fruits and vegetables is a key factor in looking and feeling great. And in doing this all the time, there will be no need for any crash diets days before your scheduled booking. Maintaining a low fat, low sodium, high fiber, high carb diet is a great way to keep yourself fit and full of energy (don’t forget to exercise a few days a week). I would advise against trying any new foods the night before a shoot as you don’t want any surprise allergy attacks or an upset stomach ruining your day.
Drink and Be Merry
Well, drink water, that is. Water is necessary for our bodies to function properly and will flush out toxins. Toxins are responsible for a plethora of side effects including allergies that can make you look puffy by causing internal inflamation, poor digestion, headaches and more (all things that could get in the way of producing a great picture). Also, while I recommend eating healthy food in abundance, sometimes we think we are hungry when we are actually thirsty. But contrary to popular belief, not everyone needs 8 glasses of water a day and some people need more. It really depends on how much water you’re getting in your food (i.e. if you eat a lot of water-rich foods) as well as your body mass. A grown adult needs more water than a small child, for example.
Keep it Cardio
While consistently exercising is great for staying in shape and overall health, you don’t want to do anything brand new or strenuous the day before a shoot. Showing up to a shoot too sore to move will hurt your performance and anything that affects your ability to be fierce could also potentially hinder your confidence. You’re going to want to be able to move about freely and that will be hard to do if your muscles are in an extreme state of repair from tears because you decided to hulk out at the gym. If you don’t want to break routine and skip a day of working out, try some cardio. Unless your are a fitness model, in which case lifting could help accentuate your muscles, sticking to low intensity exercises the day before a photoshoot is a good way to go.
Be a Sleeping Beauty
This is probably a no-brainer but you should get plenty of rest the night before a shoot. Bloodshot puffy eyes and dark undereye circles don’t look good on anyone. What’s more, you’re going to need to keep up your energy to not only get through your shoot but to be able to give good face and hold various poses. You know your body best but a minimum of 10 hours of sleep works for me. Don’t let yawning get in the way of the perfect shot!
Keep In Touch
If you are running late for whatever reason always keep in communication with your booking manager so that everyone is on the same page. Sometimes things happen; we get lost, there is an accident on the freeway… but not calling could make the client worried or just plain irritated.
Get An Early Start
Showing up late to a shoot could get you fired and even leave you with a bad reputation. Clients are paying photographers, make up artists, hair stylists, and crew members to be present and do their jobs on set. If everyone is waiting on you to show all the client will hear is her money being flushed down the toilet and the clock ticking away. This can bring the shoot to a rocky start by putting everyone in a bad mood. In fact, you may even be replaced before getting to the shoot location.
There are other great reasons to show up early to a shoot. Giving yourself plenty of time to get to your destination gives you an opportunity to do last minute touch ups on your make up and hair, if you are asked to provide that yourself. It also gives you a chance to collect yourself. There is already a lot of pressure on you, as the model, to give the client exactly what he is looking for as the face of his brand. Why add more stress to your life by showing up late and making yourself frazzled because you are in a rush to get in front of the camera?
Keep Your Complaints to Yourself
While we models sometimes get put in clothing, hair, and makeup that we absolutely would never wear and may not even like, it isn’t usually about us. If you are booked by a client and aren’t just shooting for your own portfolio, you are expected to be a silent cheerleader. In other words, even if you abhor your hairstyle, smile and be humble about it anyway. Pretend that you love whatever makeup was just put on your face. Get in whatever mindset you need to that will help you continue on with the shoot and still exude positive energy. Not every look is going to be flattering on you but you are getting paid to do a job so do it!
Of course, you should never go forward with doing something that goes against your morals. I, for example, would never allow a stylist to put me in animal flesh because I am a vegan, nor would I ever pose with a cigarette. Make your limits known ahead of time by telling your agency what you are and are not willing to do and by finding out what it is you’ll be promoting in the photos.
You’ve Got to Move
Unless otherwise instructed, you should always give the photographer a lot of different poses and looks to work with during your shoot. Don’t be afraid to move within your frame, making full use of every part of your body (or as Tyra would say, model from H to T – head to toe). The face has 33 muscles alone. Use yours to give various expressions to convey whatever message the photographer and/or client wants. A good trick is to strike a pose, wait for the click of the camera, and then make a small adjustment to what you are doing. Some of the most magical pictures are captured while the model is moving. Focusing too hard on one look could leave the photographer with only a few pictures to choose from, in the end. One of the best problems for a photographer is ending up with so many great photos that it’s hard to decide which one is the absolute best. Make yourself known for causing good problems.
Find Your Light
Always be aware of where the light is be it from a flash, the sun, or a sun reflector. Turning away from the light, unless directed to do so to create a certain mood, is an amateur move. A few ways to deal with blinding and hot light are to give your eyes a rest by closing them until you and the photographer are ready, to look around the light and not directly into it, to look down with just your eyes occasionally (but with intention so that those shots can still be considered), and to look up with just your eyes (and not your whole head) to the right or the left. That last tip is a great way to make your eyes look wide open without killing them with bright sun rays or bulb flashes.
Let your personality show not only on set but before, in between, and after your shoot. It isn’t uncommon for a client to book one model over the next because he has an awesome personality. Yes, the photos are very important and you must be able to do your job well. But if it comes down to you an another model who has your same level of expertise, the person who is known to have the better attitude will likely have a better chance of being booked.
Photographers, designers, booking managers… they are all people. If you are easy to work with you will make their job… well… easier. And if they like you as a person and know they can count on your positive energy to fill the room, they know they will have fun doing their job when working with you. Always be professional, respectful, and polite, of course, but never worry about being too positive or smiling too much when talking to people on set.
Check out Daniela Braga in this Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show casting call. How contagious is her energy?!
You should use your discretion, however, and don’t overdo it with the personality. After all, this isn’t Broadway, honey *wink*.
Photo Credit: Lola O Photography
Welcome to Think Like A Model Teen! This is a great place for teens, and parents of teens who are interested in the modeling business, to learn some tips and tricks of the trade. While there are things that apply to models of all ages, this section of the blog will be catered to you! Of course, you can still read all of the other posts but if you are only interested in the posts directed towards aspiring models ages 13-17, simply click on the “Teen” tab in the menu above.
So what does modeling mean to you? If you’re a teen, what are the reasons you think you would be good at this profession? What drives you to pursue the fashion industry for a current or future career? These are important questions. Many people see the glamour and fame and focus on that, not realizing that there is a lot that goes into being a top model. The truth is, most people who model professionally never become famous. And while there is a lot of fun to be had, it is a business. In order to make any money you have to put in work.
To be a professional model you’ll not only need the right looks but also dedication and passion so strong it keeps you going when you feel like quitting. Of course, you’ll also need your parents’ support. Your legal guardian will need to be willing to sign off on everything you do whenever an opportunity comes along. And on top of all of that, there’s still your education to be considered.
If your goal is to take some pretty pictures to gain recognition among your peers, you can certainly consider modeling as a hobby. If you want to be the next Tami Williams, Kai Newman, Cara Delevingne, or Kendall Jenner, however, now’s the time to get serious.
They say that a model retires at 25 and while there are definitely many exceptions, you might not even last that long if you don’t give it your all or take care of yourself. The business requires a level of professionalism that a lot of young people just haven’t learned, yet. There will be a lot of exciting challenges thrown your way, should you choose to go for it.
If you’re one of those people who doesn’t give up no matter what then I encourage you to keep learning here at Think Like A Model. If you just love the modeling and fashion world, this blog will also be a fun read for you. If you’re a parent who is seriously contemplating getting your teen(s) into the business then I urge you to bookmark this site. Whatever your reason for reading this now, there is something on this blog that will help you in your pursuit of modeling.
So I welcome you and am so glad you stopped by. Until next time!