Monthly Archives: September 2012

Stock Images: Fashion vs the Rest of the World

When viewing your images as stock images, or images that can be used as advertisements, you really have to look at them differently. Most modeling photographs are taken with the intention of them eventually getting you bookings with designers, but stock photos can’t be used that way because, first, fashion goes out of style, and second, the clothing has to be from the designer you target- so you can only target that designer, when stock images are meant to target a large audience.

Most of the images in my book have been taken this way so I’m racking my brain trying to figure out how I can use them. I have to think, “What kind of lifestyle do these images portray?” Unless you’re targeting a brand, your fashion images can’t be used for anything more than…well, actually they can be used for something else. If you’ve already filled in the blank than I’ve done my job and you’ve kick-started you entrepreneurial brain. If you haven’t, don’t feel bad- it took me a minute to finally figure out that you can use them to tell a story a different way. I’m thinking of editorials and advertorials.

(Gotta love Wiki!) The term “editorial” has been adapted by the field of fashion publishing to usually refer to photo-editorials – features with often full-page photographs on a specific theme, designer, model or other single topic, with or (as a photo-essay) without accompanying text. In this case, we’re going to go the direction of a photo essay because it allows us to be more broad by using a topic rather than a designer or model. If you’ve ever had to learn about something in school and then write about it, you may be having terrible flashbacks. Not to worry- this will be of a topic of your choosing and hopefully therefore fun for you.

WIKI: A photo-essay is a set or series of photographs that are intended to tell a story or evoke a series of emotions in the viewer.

Here are the many ways we can use our fashionable images to tell a story:

  • An article in a publication, sometimes a full page or a two-page spread. Newspapers and news magazines often have multi-page photo essays about significant events, both good and bad, such as a sports championship or a national disaster.
  • A book or other complete publication.
  • A web page or portion of a web site.
  • A single montage or collage of photographic images, with text or other additions, intended to be viewed both as a whole and as individual photographs. Such a work may also fall in the category of mixed media.
  • An art show which is staged at a particular time and location. Some such shows also fall in the category of installation art.
  • slide show or similar presentation, possibly with spoken text, which could be delivered on slides, on DVD, or on a web site.
  • In fashion publishing especially, a photo-editorial – an editorial-style article dominated by or entirely consisting of a series of thematic photographs
I’m going to try using the some images that were taken at Coney Island in New York to tell the story of the infamous Coney Island. If I can write the story, I may be able to get it published in a travel magazine or newspaper. Want to find out who to submit something like this to? Go to to find the names and contact info of most publications and their editors. Also, check out for examples of various editorials, which you can use to learn how to make your by using Photoshop.

Test Shots Can Be Used Like Stock Images

A stock image is an image- photograph, illistration, or otherwise- that can be used for generically for various commercial reasons. Someone who uses a stock image could be a business that needs some brochures with a picture of a woman using a cell phone. The images are sold with various usage rights, including unlimited, exclusive, by how often, or by what type of media, for example. I have even bought stock images for art work in my house. Companies like compile a number of images to provide the widest variety available to the consumer.

Wiki Defined:

Stock photography is the supply of photographs licensed for specific uses. It is used to fulfill the needs of creative assignments instead of hiring a photographer. Today, stock images can be presented in searchable online databases. They can be purchased and delivered online. Often, they are produced in studios using a wide variety of models posing as professionals, stereotypes, expressing stereotypical emotions and gesticulations or involving pets.

A model can use test shots as if they were stock images. By first targeting the type of client you would like to display in your book, you would then book a photoshoot and do a series of test shots that can be potentially sold to that client. Usually when test shooting, a  model has a few different changes or looks, so you can potentially have 3 or 4 clients you could target. When choosing a client, keep in mind 2 back-up clients to use just in case that client says they don’t want to use the images. Or, maybe you want them to pay you to use them and one client says they will but another won’t- obviously you go with the one who will pay you for your images.

Responding to Potential Bookings

When responding to any potential booking, you’ll want to be as professional as possible. The first contact is often the most crucial, but it’s important to communicate well, thoroughly, and be consistent and timely throughout the communication process. I know one client that does a series of interview steps and pays very close attention to how quickly the candidates respond to his messages.

It’s important to include in the initial contact your strengths and highlights that are and/or may be relevant to the job (Can you provide wardrobe or do your own makeup? What is your availability, rates, terms, etc.?), the best form of contact, when the best time to reach you is, and what they can do in the event you can’t be reached.

Keep it simple but cover enough information that you eliminate having too many emails or messages sent back and fourth. The overall best form of communicating is by phone and then with a followup email recapping your conversation so everyone is clear on the details, and you have something to refer back to.

Help Wanted Submissions

There are plenty of ways to find work as a model. You can do what is called “cold calling” where you make phone calls or knock on the doors of your potential prospects. You can create mock ads, and possibly sell them. You can also find bookings in help wanted sections of newspapers and job boards. Today I am looking to replace my day job and as I look I find jobs for fit models and it sparks a memory of when I used to model back in the day and saw something similar on JC Penny’s website. So in a flash my search switched from a day job to model bookings. I also messaged photographers I saw on Facebook notifying them of my interest in working with them on any of their future projects. In total, I sent out 9 submissions and only one bounced back. Not bad for 2-3 hours of work. Not all of them pay, but I will at the very least, be able to add to my resume and portfolio.

Consider you will always want to get something out of it, though. You don’t want a bunch of non-paid work you can’t use in your book because the photographer didn’t get any good images unless you’re new and are just learning how to move in front of the camera, or walk down a runway in front of a crowd. Do your homework and make sure the people you will work with will produce quality images, or at least make it worth your time with a paycheck at the end of it all. Also, it’s not worth the paycheck if you have to spend most of it preparing for the job. Estimate your travel time and any other expenses you may have including clothing and makeup. If they aren’t hiring a makeup artist and you have to do your own -or hire it out, those are extra costs and risks you have to take.

If you accept a booking, make sure you benefit from at least one of the following:
Training (new face)
Experience (resume builder)
Networking (personal connections)
Payment (minus expenses)

Here is an example of what I used for my submissions:

Modeling Resume Example CharityAprilL

To Whom It May Concern:

My experience in working with modeling, combined with my background in the advertising industry, has given me a deep understanding of the qualities needed for a project model. I would very much like to convey to you how well my qualifications align with your needs for a model in your future projects.

Let me re-emphasize my strong interest in working with your team. With my enthusiasm for maintaining a fit and healthy, and my strong interpersonal skills, I am certain that I will be a powerful contributor to your projects. Thank you for investing your time to review the composite card and talents highlighted in this letter and attached resume. I may be reached directly on my mobile anytime at 555.555.5555. I look forward to hearing back from you soon.



Campaign Exposure

I sent out an advertorial to Leticia Katz, a writer for Salt Lake Magazine’s “Beauty Buff” blog. Salt Lake Magazine is one of Utah’s largest magazine publications. Leticia contacted me back with interest and followed up with some questions to complete a post about the bikini body project. This is great exposure for me, as you can guess. Next task will be to gather a list of beauty and fitness columnists and send the advertorial to them, too. If you help market the campaigns you model for, this is what happens:

Advertorial (Urban Dictionary)
An article or editorial that has been written for the purpose of promoting a product or service. The word itself is a combination of “advertisement” and “editorial.” Often the piece will avoid a tone with overt bias.

Finding a Test Model


Managing yourself as a model is nothing more than sales. Unfortunately, this is not very attractive to most people. Most people are scared of sales, but sales is something we all do every day. We sell our boss on the idea of us, our colleagues, members of the opposite sex, friends. We sell them everyday on our ideas, thoughts, views, and morals. The way we do it makes it seem as though that’s not what we’re doing at all. It’s so effortless and comes so naturally that we don’t even notice. Getting aspiring models, or anyone for that matter, to get past this point has been the challenge so far.

One day I was driving and saw a beautiful girl walking down the street. She looked as though she was in her late 20’s and had probably been asked if she had modeled before. Forensically, I analyzed the situation: She was with another person who looked to be going through a bit of a rough patch and she was maybe doing some panhandling with him or something. This could potentially be a dead end but it was worth a try, so I turned around and pulled over to talk to her. She was confused, but my predictions were spot on: She had modeled off an on for years, was 28 years old, and she and her friend needed a ride. When I first decided to start scouting for test subjects I made a note to make sure the subjects would pass a series of tests.

  1. reliable (have their own car)
  2. dependable (show up on time, can follow instructions)
  3. self-motivated (not afraid of sales)
  4. dedicated & driven (modeling is #1 priority)
  5. flexible (able to work with short notice)
  6. coachable (willing to try and learn)
  7. not a teenager, heroin-chic, or above 5’6” or 5’7” (female)

After adding one more (not desperate for cash), she failed at least 3 and I wasn’t about to go any further. With the amount of flaky people in the industry, it’s not good to set bets on someone who doesn’t have a car. My experience tells me it would be a waist of my time and energy.

The amount of time that is needed is hard for older models. It’s basically a second job for them. For something that just sounds like it might work out and will take a lot of time, I have to find someone who will take something like a hobby as serious as an Olympic athlete takes their health. So, for now, I will use myself as a test subject and continue on in my search for the next IMM model.