Signing To Big Agencies - Keyair W.
GO BIG OR GO...NOT SO BIG.
So, I could be wrong. But I feel as though there are so many models who place insurmountable pressure on themselves to sign with big agencies right away. Actually, on many ocassions there are models who have been at it for years or feel like they're getting too old that want so badly to shoot for the stars that they miss the opportunity to soar the skies and bask in the clouds.
Yes, signing with DNA, IMG, Ford, or Wilhelmina (to name a few) are potentially huge opportunities and undoubtedly something worth adding to your resume. However, if you look at many new models still in development with these top agencies, you can almost guarantee they're also signed to Storm Models, The Society NY, One Management, and some even lesser knows agencies you may or may not have heard of. Granted, the aforementioned agencies are still fairly widely sought after and may be subsidiaries of Elite or other A-list companies, but they still go overlooked by so many models who could find life changing opportunities with them so I use them as an example to say this; there are some PIVOTAL mother agent opportunities and model management groups you can sign exclusively or non-exclusively with. Let them help you become a better model. Let them book you jobs you just cannot get as a freelance model. Let them develop you and put you in front of the people who have some pull with DNA and NEXT. Let there be a process. Don't assume you have to sign big or you have to do it on your own.
There are agents who's sole purpose is to find you and build your portfolio up to a top agency standard. You must do your research though. You cannot say you take this seriously if you haven't researched your agencies. There are too many opportunities and too many agents looing for models by the minute. Every model won't be discovered crossing the street or walking out of a Macy's so, in the meantime, find a legitimate agency who works for you and will take you as you are. Find a smaller agent who is willing to invest in you. Don't be afraid to sign to an agent that the next model might not have heard of. Do your own research, read the fine print, and create your own destiny. I'm not saying don't go big, just also consider not-so-big agencies early on too. They can be just as helpful if not more helpful than the bigger more popular agencies for your career.
Again though, I could be wrong.
- Keyair W.
Paying For Photoshoots - Keyair W.
PAYING FOR PHOTOSHOOTS PAYS OFF
"I don't pay for shoots!". "I've never had to pay for a photoshoot before. I have my own photographers.". Oh, okay then Tyra. You got it.
Having worked with so many aspiring models and booking for many new faces, these are a few of the statements I've heard quite often. Too often. Even worse, many models who have this mentality aren't even signed and haven't even been modeling that long. This mindset alone, in my opinion, is the single largest detriment to a young model's career before it even becomes their career. Granted, being signed and being new are not huge determining factors in regards to how good of a model you are or how far you can go. However, unless you're Cara Delevingne or Barbara Palvin, I wouldn't rule out paying for shoots completely.
Just because there are photographers that will shoot you for free, that doesn't mean there aren't photographers worth paying for. You must also consider your portfolio. If you go Next, IMG, or DNA with a portfolio full of images shot by the same 2 photographers; you're basically shooting yourself in the foot. You want your book to be as diverse as possible with photographers of different styles of shooting. Again, this is not impossible to accomplish but, it is highly unlikely and it's really a risk most would advise against.
If you're serious about your career, find the absolute best photographers in your area. NOT THE MOST POPULAR. Many models have the most popular photographers confused with the best photographers which is a totally different discussion in itself. If you're willing to travel, find the best photographers in other cities or states. Find out what their rates are and save up your money. Plan out when to shoot with which photographers and really make sure you put all the pieces together to make it matter.
Photographer: Chris Sampson
There are plenty of exceptions and there are many popular models who may very well not have to pay for shoots. It's understandable to try to get free shoots where you can get them. But, if a photographer is good enough and capable of elevating your portfolio, their rates are a small price to pay considering what could potentially be awaiting you in the future. So, all I'm saying is; paying for shoots may not be the most desired route to that top model spot but it's a risk worth taking. Especially if you want it as badly as you say you do. Being a model is not just about being pretty (and sometimes it's not about being pretty at all) and it's not just about posing and smiling with your eyes. You have to be smart and think about what's best for your future...before your time runs out.
- Keyair W.
The inportance of Building Your Book - Keyair W.
FREELANCER'S GUIDE - BUILD YOUR BOOK
There are an unlimited number of chances and opportunities to get signed to an agency. Placement agencies, finding a mother agent, being scouted off of the street, building relationships with booking agents, and so much more. Most though, require great luck, being at the right place at the right time, and the cosmos really working in your favor. As much as you would like to just be scouted at the mall by an agent or send digitals to NEXT or FORD and be signed just off of the fact that you fit the required measurements; unless you're Rosie Huntington-Whiteley or Lindsey Wixson with two of the most unique faces in modeling right now, I don't recommend relying solely on luck or the cosmos.
The best way to start yourself on your own path to success as a model is hard work. Modeling is not meant to be easy. You need to build a quality portfolio. You need to invest in yourself whether it be monetarily or whether it be investing time networking and testing with photographers enough to begin establishing your look and your name. Agencies would much rather take a chance on a model who has put the work in to build her book on her own than a new model who has no experience. Show the agencies that you're willing to go the extra mile. Show them that you'll be willing to work hard for them. Show them your diversity before they have to take a chance TRYING to find it. Put it out there for them to see and say "Im here. Come and get me if you want me." Don't let them have to decide whether or not you can do something. Show them that you've already done it and will only get better from there.
We know that as a new model, sometimes the resources are limited and the best photographers can be a bit pricey. That, unfortunately, is a risk you're going to have to take. Be smart and don't be afraid to ask for help. If you want it bad enough, you'll do whatever it takes to see it through. Save up your money, keep sending emails, and always be developing your book. Use the development pages on some of the top agencies' sites. IMG specifically has really good examples.
So, you can keep your fingers crossed and hope for good luck. By all means don't let me stop you. What I do know is that success is where preparation meets opportunity. Set yourself up to be in the best position possible when you finally get your chance. You can never be too prepared. Your book can never be too good. Always strive to be great even before the world realizes it.
Now This Is A Beauty Shot!
Noteworthy beauty shots that we've spotted this week!
Model: Kiaya Janel
MUA: Beverly Offor
This is an absolutely astonishing shot of an astonishing model! Freckles are definitely making a heavy impact in fashion and modeling as of late and this shot is all the explanation we need. The editing here is done flawlessly; keeping the rich detail in Kiaya's skin and highlighting the brilliance of beverly's makeup.
This is a great shot from Hugh Morris and we hope to see more from him in the future.
Photographers submit your best beauty shots to:
Things To Consider When Choosing A Photographer - Keyair W.
DECIDING WHAT PHOTOGRAPHER TO WORK WITH:
So you're an aspiring model and you want to know how to break into the industry. One of the major things that many models don't take into account is who you shoot with. I mean, most models know they should work with photographers who actually know what they're doing and understand the concept of quality over quantity, but even deeper than that, it's important that you understand quantity over quality is also important in a much more strategic way. Here, let me explain.
Yes, you don't want to be doing 10 shoots a week if you can only get one or two decent edits from them. That, to be quite frank, is a waste of time and energy. If you're getting paid though, then whether you do the shoot or not may be up to debate. We've all got to eat. But, what I'm saying is that you need to understand who you are as a model. You need to understand what you have to offer and what your strengths are both physically, and who you actually are as a model, talent-wise.
More simply put, if you do not have the physique of a swimsuit model, it is probably not in your best interest to shoot with a photographer who mostly does swimwear shoots. If you want to be a fashion model, it won't be in your best interest to shoot with a photographer who only shoots lifestyle work. If you are long and toned, work with photographers who has worked with many similarly shaped models. I'm not saying not to branch out and try new things here and there. Please, by all means try a little bit of everything. Show that you CAN BE versatile. Just don't waste the bulk of your time (and probably money) working with photographers or doing concepts not suited for you.
So in a nutshell, make everything count. A model's lifespan is not as long as traditional career choices usually unless you were scouted at an early age. So yes, quality over quantity should certainly take precedence over anything but, quality over quantity should always be in the back of your mind when making your decisions too.
- Keyair W.
Short Models VS. Tall Models - Keyair W.
A FEW WORDS FOR THE "PETITE" MODEL
I can't help but wonder how many potentially iconic models the world has, and will continue to miss out on because girls feel as though they are too short to be a model. English model, Kate Moss is a prime example of a traditionally "short" model even though she stands at 5'7" still over the average height for a woman. It's a shame that being under 5'9" basically dooms you for having much success in fashion. Granted, I understand that taller models fit clothes better and they, at first glance, look more confident and larger than life. Okay, understandable. I get that. On the other hand, how crazy would it be if designers catered to the larger percentage of the world of women who don't tower over everyone else? I'm fairly sure if you designed a dress for a 5'6" woman, it would look equally as dynamic as a dress designed for a 5'11 model. But, that's neither here nor there.
Models, there are so many different kinds of modeling. Don't think you can't be a model because you're not tall. Petite models can range from 4'9" to 5'7" and there is a market for just about everything. Though it's unlikely you'll be ripping any high profile runways, there are still opportunities for "petite" models to grow and make headway into popular ads and campaigns. You just need to find that special thing about yourself as a model and really cater to that. There are ample opportunities for swimwear and lingerie models to make a significant career. If you have striking facial features and/or amazing eyes, keep your focus on that. Find some photographers who can do some awesome beauty shots for you. Parts modeling is even open, though it may not be the most desired upon most models, if you have some nice hands you'd be surprised how much success can stem from just that alone.
Basically all I'm saying is, don't be discouraged. You just have to be persistent and be fierce. You need to be smart and strategic. You need to find a way to create a demand for what you have to offer. Most importantly, you should always be networking. You never know who someone else knows. All in all, you've just got to find a way; plain and simple. It will be tough. But, anything worth having is worth fighting for. As cliche as it may be, it's accurate. Be the reason the industry changes. Play a hand in the evolution of fashion and what it can mean to aspiring models all over the world. You have to assume that if you don't take it upon yourself, it will never happen. If you have ever thought you could be where another successful model is if you were just taller; pursue your dream, open your own doors, and make the impossible...possible.
- Keyair W.
THINGS ALL MAKEUP ARTISTS SHOULD KNOW - SPARKLE GROSE
ATTENTION ALL MAKEUP ARTISTS!!!
Photo: Studio 5800
Photo: Studio 5800
Photo: Brandon D. Powell
Photo: Brandon D. Powell
Most people will tell you that makeup has rules you have to follow. I am here to tell you that that's only partially true. Makeup really just has general guidelines to follow for make applying it fool proof. Once you have mastered the basics and have a complete understanding of your tools and how to use them, that's when the fun stuff begins. But first, let's go through some basics: How to determine which products to use, what concept to go with, understanding color theory and its importance, face and eye shapes and last but not least, understanding different skin types.
1. Determining which products to use
Every makeup artist has their favorite go-to brands or products they like to use. I am not here to sell you on a brand. I am here to educate you on how to best choose a product that will help you achieve the desired look. In order to appropriately choose a product, you kind of have to work backwards. You have to envision the final look in your head (or vision board). What kind of skin finish does the desired look have? ( dewy, matte, satin?) Is the look dramatic? Is it natural? Does the desired look have a bold lip or a defined lined eye? Really analyze the image. If the desired look has a dewy finish, you may want to use an iridescent primer or a foundation that gives a dewy look. If the look has a matte finish, use a mattifying primer or a foundation with a matte finish. If the look calls for a bold lip, you may want to prime the lip prior and/or use a lip liner (highly recommended). And if the eyeliner is defined or has what we call a 'tight rope' line, you are probably going to want to use an eyeliner that will best give you a defined line. ( I.E. Gel liner, ink liners and some pencils if they are really fine tipped)
2. Determining a concept
Generally the concept is chosen for you by the client. You just have to listen and ask questions to get the best understanding of what it is they want. Most people don't know what they want or how to explain what they want, which is why it's very important to ask open-ended questions to figure out what they want. Don't be afraid to offer suggestions if you don't think something will look right on the model. You are the expert.
If you are deciding on a concept for your own photoshoot, the idea is all yours. You can get ideas from literally anywhere. Magazines, other artists, art exhibits, certain eras (my favorite are the 1920's), but you are only limited by your imagination.
3. Color Theory
Color theory can be a little difficult to grasp the concept of at first, but once you grasp the concept, you can become an amazing artist. Understanding color theory will help you to be able to neutralize darkness or redness or any discoloration, it can help you cover tattoos, and It can also help you to choose colors that will make other colors standout. Once you know color theory you will be amazed at the things and looks you can achieve. What's even better is that color theory is the same everywhere; hair, painting, anything, it's all the same!
4. Understanding facial and eye shapes
The 'ideal' facial shape is oval and the 'ideal' eye shape is almond. Or at least that is what the textbooks tells you. I personally think all face shapes are beautiful and offer a certain uniqueness in images. But, if there are certain features you want to hide or accentuate, that's where contouring and highlighting comes into play. Contouring is the use of a darker color to hide or define a feature. Highlighting is the use of a lighter color to accentuate a feature. Contouring and highlighting can be done with a liquid, cream, or powder foundation. Cream and powder foundations are more common because they are easier to blend. Typically, a contour color with a grey/ash base gives a more natural contour because it mimics a natural shadow. Contouring and highlighting also apply to eyeshadow application as well. If you have a hooded lid, you're going to want to place the darker color on the hooded part to make it appear receded. If a person has deep set eyes, you are going to want to place the lighter color on the lid to bring it forward.
5. Last but not least: Understanding skin types
This is one thing a lot of makeup artists don't pay much attention to, but it makes a huge difference in the final look of the makeup as well as the application. There are 4 main skin types: oily, dry, combination, and normal. Oily skin generally produces more sebum (oil) and much more quickly. If not handled properly, the makeup won't last as long or look as flawless. With oily skin, you want to use products that control the oil and you want to stick with oil-free foundations or foundations that give a matte finish. With dry skin, the skin is usually pretty tight and may have flaky patches. You want to use products that are going to hydrate the skin. Most people with dry skin want foundations that give a satin or dewy finish. If a person has combination skin, it typically means they are oily in the T-Zone and dry on the cheeks. With this skin type I would recommend hydrating the dry areas and using oil-free foundations. And then there's the last skin type, normal. Wouldn't it be just wonderful if we all had clear, perfect skin!? This skin type can get away with wearing anything. It just depends on what the client wants. And at the end of the day, we are here to please the client.
- Sparkle Gross, Makeup Artist/Skin Care Specialist
Location: DMV (D.C./Maryland/Virginia)
Inquiries & Booking:
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