Monthly Archives: November 2012

SELL YOURSELF

Establishing yourself is really just sales- something we all do everyday whether we realize it or not. You sell yourself to your peers, your job, agents, directors. The real reason we sell ourselves to agents is to maximize the opportunity of face time with directors- where we then try to sell ourselves again. This also allows us more time to focus more exclusively on what we do best- model. The problem many models face is that the agents don’t end up getting us as many go-see’s as we’d like, and when they do send us out we have to compete with all the other models they’re sending on the same job.

When agents look for models, they need to maximize their efforts. Therefore, they must make sure that who they decide the market (sell) is versatile and can appeal to most audiences, or at least a large one. When you walk in their door, it’s up to you to prove (sell) this to them- that you fit that mold. Then they arrange some photos of you that  how you can pull off a variety of characters and submit you for any job that comes their way with a description of someone with your general features (blonde hair, blue eyes, 5′ 9″).

Suppose PC Laptops is the client and the only thing separating you from the competition is the lack of a photo of you in a business suit. Chances are you won’t get the booking because the client has to go out of their way to imagine you fitting the role. It’s like an actor who plays the same role year after year and can never get booked for anything else because no one can imagine them in any other role. And then one day you see them in a movie playing a villein instead of a comedian and you like it. Then you begin seeing that person in many more different roles. This is because people no longer have to use their imagination. This is your main job as an independent model- to make it easy for them to imagine you as the perfect fit. This is also something an agent doesn’t go out of their way to do for you because they will make their money whether the client picks you or one  of their other models.

When agents look for models, they need to maximize their efforts. Therefore, they must make sure that who they decide the market (sell) is versatile and can appeal to most audiences, or at least a large one. When you walk in their door, it’s up to you to prove (sell) this to them- that you fit that mold. Then they arrange some photos of you that how you can pull off a variety of characters and submit you for any job that comes their way with a description of someone with your general features (blonde hair, blue eyes, 5′ 9″).

Suppose PC Laptops is the client and the only thing separating you from the competition is the lack of a photo of you in a business suit. Chances are you won’t get the booking because the client has to go out of their way to imagine you fitting the role. It’s like an actor who plays the same role year after year and can never get booked for anything else because no one can imagine them in any other role. And then one day you see them in a movie playing a villein instead of a comedian and you like it. Then you begin seeing that person in many more different roles. This is because people no longer have to use their imagination. This is your main job as an independent model- to make it easy for them to imagine you as the perfect fit. This is also something an agent doesn’t go out of their way to do for you because they will make their money whether the client picks you or one of their other models.

Next week we’ll take this further and talk about choosing your target audience wisely…


50 ITEMS TO INCLUDE IN A MODEL BAG

As you move further into your modeling career, you will be able to anticipate the items you’ll need for a booking. Just like a photoshoot on the beach may require swimwear, some bookings need items specific only to their type of job. No matter the job, there are items you should almost always bring. Gathered in an expectantly large bag, we call this a model bag.

Business Materials

In this day and age, one can accomplish several things with a single small device. You can access your contact list (often effortlessly imported from a Facebook or Google account), manage your schedule, compile lists and set reminders, take notes and store documents- even make purchases- all completely virtually.  Prepare things you’ll need to represent yourself professionally and manage your career. You never know when you’ll meet a new potential client and need someway to document their digits for future contact. You may even need to hand them a comp card and show them your portfolio. What if you’re on a photoshoot that goes longer than expected? This type of scenario calls for water, snacks, and cash. If the snacks aren’t enough, you have a way to purchase something more substantial. Cash can also be handy for parking but don’t be caught without a credit card either- these days a parking meter may only take plastic or paper, and not the usual coin. Consider additionally the list below which is a list of items you’ll need most of the time:

Undergarments, Clothing, & Accessories:

  • Robe to wear while getting makeup and hair done and for changing
  • Scarf (when changing, place over your head to prevent makeup from getting onto the clothes, smearing makeup & having to re-do your hair)
  • Black and nude bras and underwear
  • Black, white, and nude slips
  • Black and nude pantyhose
  • Various belts
  • Black and brown shoes/heels
  • Costume jewelry (bracelets, earrings, rings)

Mending, Pinning, & Tucking:

  • Masking tape (used on the bottoms of your shoes)
  • Safety pins & clips
  • Double sided tape
  • Mini sewing kit

Make Up and Skin Care:

  • Cleanser & makeup remover
  • Face and body moisturizers icon
  • Sunscreen icon icon
  • Cotton Swabs icon& Q-tips
  • Chapstick
  • Mirror
  • Foundation to match your skin tone
  • Mascara icon(bringing your own prevents spreading eye infections)

Personal Hygiene

  • Clear deodorant icon
  • Nail polish remover
  • Nail kiticon
  • Tweezers
  • Razor
  • Comb & brush
  • Hairpins & hairties
  • Curlingicon or Flat Ironicon (also great for ironing out wrinkles)
  • Toothbrush, mouthwash, & floss
  • Pain Reliever
  • iconBandages

Examples of great photos from DTA

Check them out at:  http://digitaltalentagency.tumblr.com


Look More Photogenic In 3 Easy Steps

The word photogenic has an intangible connotation, however, with a few simple tricks we can all pull off a great photo every time.

  1. Neck Pulls- As the camera converts us from 3-D to 2-D, we lose depth perception, appearing wide and more flat. Neck pulls can put back the dimension “lost in translation”. How it’s done: The basic idea is to separate your chin from your neck- the opposite of how you would make a double chin. Stretch your neck up high and stick your chin out- keeping it parallel, not down. It may feel awkward, but it looks amazing in photos.
  2. Show emotion- The eyes add emotion and are what tell the story. We use the muscles around our eyes to convey a message of how we’re feeling. Our awareness of how and when we use these muscles can activate emotions on command. How it’s done: Become aware of your emotions. When you experience different emotions throughout the day, make a mental note of which muscles around your eyes you use and how you’re using them. Practice using these muscles in front of a mirror to create various emotions. You will find that it’s similar to when you squint in the sun, or when the wind blows in your face, using mostly your lower eyelid.
  3. Smile like you mean it- We’ve all seen it before- that fake, cheesy smile we didn’t realize we made- most likely in a family portrait, cemented in history and displayed to the world on the living room wall. If this is your scenario, you probably reluctantly anticipated being photographed for at least a few days,  stressed about looking perfect the day of, and fussed while trying to get to the location on time. Awkwardly you pose for the camera and are instructed to say “cheese” just before the shot, while thinking stretching your mouth from side to side is what’s necessary to pull of an award-winning smile. Whatever your scenario, fear no more. Here’s how it’s done: The easiest way to do this is to laugh just before the shot is taken. Learn to smile and laugh on cue. The next time you genuinely laugh, pay attention to how it feels physically, and make note of what it is you’re laughing about. You can do this with several different moments. Practice replaying yourself laughing in front of the mirror and note what it feels like to use your muscles around your mouth. When you go to take your next photograph, activate those muscles. Pull from your memory your experiences and play them over and over in your head.