Category Archives: Bookings and Castings



Understand that while modeling for Gucci or Prada would be ideal, it is unwise to start at this point. Most high-fashion does not pay because of it’s prestigious place in the industry. Most models trade this work out because looks good in their portfolio. To designers, this is no secret. Gucci and Prada pay well, but the competition is hot. A good way to look at it is the 80/20 rule. Twenty percent of paid bookings are high-fashion and eighty percent  are commercial. Eighty percent of commercial bookings will be paid work and twenty percent of high-fashion bookings will be paid work. Commercial bookings pay a lower dollar amount than high-fashion but the bookings are more frequent. Is it more important for you to work to get paid or is it more important to add more photos to your portfolio (trade-for-print)?

If you’ve developed your portfolio book already, there’s no need for you to continue doing trade unless it’s for a well-known brand and you can get a tear from it. Abercrombie, for example, doesn’t pay their models because they know they have enough people that would be willing to do trade-for-print. Another benefit of TFP is if you have a full portfolio already, but it’s missing a particular look for a market you’re trying to break into. These two examples are great ways for you to receive the images you need and submit yourself to a target client.

Now, you won’t want to consider all paid bookings. What if a company is willing to pay you a fee but their product is intimate apparel? Are you prepared to model in your skivvies? If so, you’ll want to make sure they’re willing to pay a higher rate- your rate for that type of work.

Establish a minimum day and hourly rate that is worth your time. You’ll also want to increase this amount as your time gets more valuable- say, when you start getting a lot of paid bookings. Say you’re day rate is $200 for an 8 hour “day rate”. This would make your hourly rate $25. Most models-and agents- require a minimum number of paid hours in order to accept a booking. You may want require a client to book you for a minimum of 2-4 hours for it to be worth your time. Consider you’ll have to travel, make arrangements in your schedule, and cover expenses, for example. Know where you draw the line before negotiating so you don’t end up regretting it when you accept your next booking.


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.

News Segment

The following is some airtime I secured for a local hair salon who had just won an award. I was able to step in as a model for the segment and gain some exposure.

Watch Video Segment for KUTV Channel 2 | Morning News Segment – Hottest Hairstyles For Fall

Night Before Preparation:

It doesn’t surprise me that many models are younger. You have to have all that energy to get up as early at 4am, eat whatever you want, and still feel motivated to pose and be ready for the camera or audience. It is 10:45pm and I am still working on a few things before heading to bed. I’m stressed because I’m exhausted and know that 4am will come very soon. Do I really have to do the things I think I have to do, or will I do fine without all that planning ahead (do I have enough wardrobe options, should I pack snacks, should I prepack my makeup bag, wash my hair)?

Day of:

So this morning I wake up and don’t really have time to think but I’m dead tired and make a bee line to the coffee pot, skip breakfast wondering what to expect for the morning- will there be any food at the location, if there is and I eat then it’s a waist for them, if there’s not and I don’t eat than I’m screwed. After running out of time, I think maybe I can stop at a gas station and grab a pastry on the way. News Flash (no pun intended): gas stations are not open that early in the morning. Thank god for my coffee to tie me over in the meantime.

The Creative Director / liaison between me (the one who secured the spot for airtime) and the salon had his baby this morning so it made introductions a bit non-existent and a bit awkward when the dots were finally connected. This also explains the lack of communication on what to pull together to the event. I didn’ know for sure if I was going to just be there for support and direction or as a model, and if I was modeling what I would wear, if I needed to do my own makeup, where and when I would meet up and with whom. This is all very important stuff which I just had to prepare myself for just in case it went either way. For example, last night I stopped at H&M and bought a bunch of trendy clothing for the wardrobe and then packed it all as backups for myself and any other models that may need it.

[PHOTO: Here you can see the stylists next to their models. Models on the left, stylists on the right- except for the one with the guy on the left- he would be the stylist.]

Having never really done a TV news segment before from what I can remember, I didn’t know what to expect- except not to expect anything to be set in stone. When we arrived 10 minutes behind schedule it was confusing to know where to enter and the door was locked, so by the time we actually find someone to let us in it was about 7:00- our ready for airtime cue (actual airtime was 7:23am). I’m all anxious, thinking we’re really running behind, only to find that we will sit for another 20 minutes waiting for our actual airtime- which was cut from 2-3 minutes to 1 1/2.

Things I learned:

  • The model should always look into, or at the corner of the lens of the camera when it’s focused on her/him. It just seemed awkward when I didn’t do this.
  • My eyes looked really wide open for some reason.
  • Opening your lips isn’t recommended for video.
  • All the models should be on the same page. I felt I looked farther away from the other models, and I had my hands behind me while theirs were in front.
  • My boobs looked really big with the outfit I chose. I probably should have worn something darker, and less contrasting on top to have more balance and direct less attention to them, and more attention to the hair.
  • Looking at the target when the camera moves away from you is a great way to direct the audience to them. It’s probably important to listen to what’s being said so you know what to expect.
  • Check yourself before you wreck yourself. I believe my lipstick was smeared a bit. Don’t know how that happened, although I suppose it could have been a shadow. Also, my eyes seemed to have shadows underneath.
  • It’s hard to get people to follow direction.
  • Improving usually works out, doesn’t hurt, and gets things done.
  • We all learn from mistakes and are better next time.
  • Some people don’t care about new segments and would rather not get up so early in the morning. It’s important that the one who asked for it is the one who receives it so they can fully appreciate and take advantage of it. Otherwise, don’t sweat it and make sure you have a good time.


No mention of the salon’s NAHA award (the whole reason we got the airtime)

No mention of the new salon opening up in Chalk Garden in the next couple weeks

No mention of the Creative Director, or his brand-new baby