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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:
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.
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)?
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