Archive for February, 2009

February 27, 2009

Profile Writing 101

As someone who’s volunteered to approve profiles for one of the modeling sites, I’ve seen a lot of stuff when it comes to profiles.  So I’ve come up with a few basic tips on how to best write your profile, as a model.

  1. You’re joining a modeling site, not a dating site.  So talk about what you want to do when it comes to modeling, and leave the “I like to knit, scrapbook, and play with puppies” out of it altogether.
  2. Your profile doesn’t have to be long. In many cases, the shorter, the better.  And use paragraphs.  People tend not to read long blocks of text.
  3. Make sure important info is at the top.  Things like your availability and any restrictions (like the fact that you don’t have reliable transportation).
  4. Use real words, proper punctuation, spellcheck, and decent grammar.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, but make it legible and easy to understand.  Avoid text-talk and MySpace speak at all costs.
  5. Don’t load up your profile with photos (especially if they’re in your portfolio!), glittery icons, or other BS.  It makes it slow to load, a pain to sift through, and will likely result in your viewer going “NEXT!” and moving on to someone else.
  6. Avoid being ridiculously negative.  Focus more on what you’re willing to do, instead of what you don’t want to do.

Some examples:

Good:
I’m looking to get some sexy pictures of me in lingerie and swimwear. I’m also interested in high-fashion style shoots and casual, fun shoots. I do not want to work nude or do fetish work.

Bad:
ZOMGz, im really fun nd awesome 2 B arnd im artsy nd emotional!!!11 i lke 2 paint write poetry nd play guitar. i has 2 kittehs a snake nd n imagunry friend named Bill who escorts me to every photoshoot! LOLz! im edgy sexy dark but ZOMG not 2 girly ew thats FTL 4 reAlz. i lke p!nk lke T0tAllY!!! i wnt 2 tke PiCs!!!!11!1! Chk out my MySPaCe!!!! kthanksbai!!!!!11

Good:
I am a new model in the Cincinnati area. I am interested in working with quality photographers on a trade basis to expand my portfolio. I am interested in casual, lifestyle, fashion, swimwear, and lingerie work.

I will travel up to 90 miles from Cincinnati if my gas is covered. I have my own car, but prefer to bring a friend to all of my shoots.

If you are interested in working with me, tell me what kind of shoot you have in mind, where the shoot will be, send me a link to your photography website (other than OMP or MM), and give me a list of at least 4 models that you have worked with more than once along with contact information.

I am not interested in posing nude.  All requests for nude work will be ignored.

Bad:
I’m a aspiring model in OHIO WOOOOOOOO!!!  I’m interested in working with exceptional PROFESSAIONAL photographers ONLY.  I’m realy fun and motivated and easy to work with.  I always bring my boyfirnd with me to shoots, bt he’s really cool and a nice guy so you don’t have to worry about him at all I promise!! 🙂 ***** I AM NOT LOOKING FOR A DATE!! ***** I DO NOT DO NUDES DO NOT EVEN ASK!!! *****  I WILL NOT SHOOT WITHOUT AN ESCORT PRESENT!!! I won’t travel unless expenses are covered!! In order to work with me, you MUST give me 6 references, your studio name and address, 2 phone numbers, and I’ll need to know what kind of shoot you want, where it will be, who will be there, if you will provide a MAU, what you will feed me for lunch, and how long of a shoot it will be.  DO NOT CONTACT ME IF YOU ARE NOT SERIOUS!!  Oh by the way I don’t have my own car and my boyfriend drives me to all my shoots in his 25 year old Chevy pickup truck that sometimes breaks down, but I’m scared of public transportation and won’t take it,so this is the ONLY way I can get to shoots!  I’m available to shoot only Mondays and Tuesdays, every second week.

So, that should help.  Hopefully you can see what’s good about my “good” examples, and what’s bad about the “bad” ones 😉

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February 23, 2009

Starting Out & Patience

Having been modeling now for almost 3 years, I see a lot of new photographers, models and MUAs join a site like MM and get discouraged right away.  Some of them even want to leave after a few days, not even giving it a week.

Now, sure, it’s pretty easy to get discouraged. Joining a site like MM, OMP, or any of the various other modeling comunities online doesn’t mean the work will suddenly start rolling in.  And if it does, it likely won’t be paid work.

The work won’t just start rolling in, because networking sites require a lot of work.  I’m on 4 or 5 modeling sites, and the ones I get work from?  The ones I spend more time on.

You have to get your name out there, and show people that you exist.

But how do you do it?  Well, it’s different for every site.  But mostly, you want to interact with others as much as possible.  If you can send friend requests, comment photos, add images to lists, tag profiles, list people as “want to work with”, mingle in the forums/chat boxes, post casting calls… DO IT!  Use the networking site to it’s full capacity!  The more you get your name out there, the higher the chances of someone seeing you, the higher the chances of someone liking your look/work and wanting to work with you.

So, while it might seem discouraging that no one’s contacting you in the first few days of you joining a modeling site… don’t let it be! 🙂  Just make sure you’re doing your part to get people to see you, and that you have patience!

On another related note, a lot of times new models and photographers have trouble finding people to work with.  Especially on a trade basis.  It all boils down to the fact that you’ve got to offer something worthwhile when it comes to exchanging services.  If you can offer usable images, more power to you.  If not, figure something else out.  Great concepts often go far, as does food, wardrobe pieces (such as shoes), business card or website design, and a whole variety of other things.  There are a lot of models who barter more than just shots when working trade.  I certainly have! 🙂  You just have to be willing to ask, and make sure you deliver your end of the deal!

February 22, 2009

ANTM’s “Short Season”

Thanks largely to Roger Talley and www.newmodels.com, I knew that, as a 5’3″ Caucasian woman, I had no chance of being famous, or even well-known as a model.  Of course, locally I’m pretty well-known, but that’s because I’ve worked my ass off to network and build a good reputation for myself.

Sure, I’d love to have my face all over billboards or in magazines, but really, who am I kidding?  I’ll likely never be in a local campaign, let alone a major one, and I most certainly won’t be walking the runway for any top designers in major shows, no matter how fun I think it is.  As I’ve noted before, it’s best to not assume you’re the exception.  I know that I’m most certainly not it.

Now, normally, this would all not be a big deal.  However, it has come out that the next season of America’s Next Top Model will be their “short season”.  That is, the show’s requirements are that models trying out to be on the show much be 5’7″ OR BELOW.  Don’t believe me?  Check out their website, and read the eligibility requirements PDF: Top Model Cycle 13 Casting

And while I have little interest in trying out for the show (although the prospect of being close enough to Nigel Barker to touch him is quite tempting), it’s kind of tempting.  However, the show will be taped from April-June this year, and I’m getting married in June… and have no desire to be on some reality show while attempting to plan my wedding and get things nailed down.

I do, however, have to wonder what they’re going to be offering these girls, and if they’re going to be taking girls who are way to short to have a career in modeling (such as myself).  The website asks that girls trying out for the show send in a VHS or DVD of themselves, and that that video must, “at least include you showing us your best runway walk.”

Runway walk?  Really? Are these shorties going to be walking runways like the past contestants did?  I can already hear the results of the go-sees… “the designers thought all of you were beautiful, but said you’re all just way too short, and wouldn’t book any of you”.

So, I guess the point of this post is, what could Tyra and CG possibly offer the winner of the “short season” of ANTM that would be realistic?  I can’t imagine the contestants who don’t make it (as they always seem to be the more successful ones) would be going on to work major campaigns around the world, or walking runways in Europe for top designers.  Unless, of course, they’re all exceptional.

Any thoughts on any of this?

(Side note, my fiance thinks I should try out, and seriously just said, “we could reschedule the wedding”.  He thinks the exposure would be worth it.  I think he’s nuts.  He also just informed me that he thinks Nigel Barker is attractive.  We will surely be talking more about this.)

February 20, 2009

Why Changing A Shoot Up At The Last Minute Is Bad

This is actually something that happened to me.  It happened ages ago, and I’m totally comfortable with the way I handled it, and the end result.  I post about it now, because something reminded me about it recently.  I also think it’s interesting, and worth noting if you’re a photographer or model.

The Situation
As a model, you schedule a shoot with a photographer (whose references check out) 6 weeks in advance.  In addition to setting a date and time, you discuss terms, ideas, who will be there, and you come to an agreement.  Part of your agreement is that you’ll be doing your own makeup and that there will be no other models present.  You are not going to be bringing an escort, as you don’t feel it is necessary.  Shoot is TF* (let’s say TFCD).

A week before the shoot, you message the photographer to confirm the date, time and prior agreements.  He confirms, reminds you of his contact information, studio address (which is his house) and directions.  Everything seems to be set.

But then, 3 days before the shoot, the photographer shoots you a message informing you that he has invited 2, possibly 3 other photographers to the shoot, and asks if it’s ok.  He doesn’t provide names or MM numbers, and when asked, he informs you that they aren’t on any modeling sites, and won’t give you any way to check their references.  When you ask about other models or a MUA, he tells you that he doesn’t know any other models and has never worked with a MUA before, but that if you like, you can find a MUA and/or other models.

So, suddenly your shoot has turned into you, doing your own hair, makeup and wardrobe, and 3, possibly 4 photographers, the majority of whom you have nothing on–no names, no references, nothing. You’re rather uncomfortable with this arrangement, understandably.

Your Options Are
– Scramble to find other models and/or a MUA, with 3 days to go before the shoot
– Ask to go back to your original agreement
– Shoot with the new agreement, no matter that you’re not comfortable with it
– Cancel the shoot altogether

What Do You Do?
Well, I posted this question (months after the fact) in the MM forums.  The vast majority of the models who replied would have canceled.  Some would have asked to be paid.  Others still suggested that perhaps the photographer saw his working with an experienced model on a TF* basis as a chance to make some extra cash, and invited those others to a low-priced workshop. A few local models asked me to PM them his name, so they can avoid him.  The consensus amongst the photographers that replied was that it was completely unprofessional of him, as well as disrespectful, to pull what he did.

So What Did I Do?
After finding out things had changed, with only 3 days’ notice, I told the photographer I thought it was silly to have one model, 4+ photographers, no MUA, and just a studio.  Since he didn’t know any other models or MUAs, I told him I’d try to find someone, but that I doubted I could.  And sure enough, I couldn’t.  I messaged and tagged everyone I know and many I didn’t, posted bulletins, and even called a few models and MUAs whose numbers I had.  No one was available on such short notice (which I wasn’t too surprised about).

The day before the shoot I gave the photographer two options: tell the other photographers it wasn’t going to work, and shoot as we had originally planned (which I again outlined for him), or cancel the whole thing and reschedule with more models and a MUA, so that there was variety for all the photographers.

He opted to cancel the whole thing. He called me and left a voicemail (I missed his call, for some reason I can’t remember at this point), saying so.

When I called him after receiving his message, he didn’t answer, and never returned my voicemail.  I messaged him back within the hour with dates I was free for rescheduling.  I never heard back from him, even after sending a follow-up message.  He’s since removed me from his friends list and will no longer attend events I plan.

My Other Thoughts, Over a Year Later
I really don’t have any.  As I said, I’m confident that I handled things the right way.  I see the photographer’s name pop up every so often, in castings or in event threads (though never in any of my event thread).  But I really pay him no mind.  I have no reason to.  The bridge may have been burnt, but frankly, I don’t consider it my loss.

If anyone local wishes to know who this was, I’m more than happy to pass on the info, as always.

February 18, 2009

Chicago Auto Show: First Look For Charity

A friend of mine contacted me the afternoon before the Chicago Auto Show First Look for Charity event.  Her family had 2 extra tickets, and she wanted to know if my fiance and I wanted to go.

Duh! 😀

For those who don’t know, it’s a black tie required event, for charity, of course.  It takes place the Thursday before the Chicago Auto Show opens.

Somehow, I managed to wrangle a tux for my other half, and we went 😀  Quite exciting, as we’re both car buffs, and the Auto Show has been a tradition for us over the past few years (ok, 9 years now–we’ve only missed one show).

It was, as expected, a really fun time.  In addition to there being free drinks and free (really awesome) food, there were no crowds.  And, as always, the time with my friend and her other half was quite good.  Despite an unfortunate (but minor) champagne mishap 😉 LOL!

So, here’s a couple pics 🙂

bumblebee
Me, with the Camaro and Bumblebee 🙂  Transformers FTW!

gtr
The other half and I in front of the GTR.  Rawr!

For those interested in more info on the First Look for Charity, go here 🙂

February 14, 2009

Things that make you go “Hmmm” – 2.0

Keeping Things Creative

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please see Part 1 🙂

Here’s my second idea, to help keep things creative:

Directing a board meeting dressed like a gorilla.

So, now that I’ve shared my idea, feel free to take the idea, elaborate on it, and shoot it in your own style. And should you opt to do so, please share! I’d love to see how people take the beginning of an idea, and make it their own.

I know how I’d art-direct that particular shoot, and I know how I’d want the end result to look. I, unfortunately, don’t have everything I’d need to shoot it, but some of it might actually be something I can arrange to get. If anyone is interested, shoot me a note 😉

February 10, 2009

The Mutt: Results

We got our DNA test results back. Before I get to the results, let me explain the levels of matching.  There’s 5 levels.  A level 1 means there’s over 75% of the specific breed’s DNA in the dog.  Level 2 means there’s between 34 and 74% of the DNA in the dog.  Level 3, 20 to 36%.  Level 4, 10 to 19%.  And level 5, less than 10% of the dog’s DNA.  They can’t give you any more info other than that, and list breeds in alphabetical order.

Now, a little info about the little one. Aside from the picture (below), she’s about 30lbs and built pretty solidly. She certainly doesn’t look 30lbs.  She has a mohawk, and crazy toe fur.  She’s about 16″ high at the shoulder, and she’s just a darn pretty little thing:

Trixie

Anyway, she’s got 3 Level 3 matches, and 2 Level 4’s.  No Level 1’s or Level 2’s.  She’s definitely not an American Eskimo-Shiba Inu mix, like I’d thought.  Shockingly.

Her Level 3 matches:


Airedale Terrier


Chow Chow


Weimaraner

Wait wait.  Don’t laugh yet!

Her Level 4 matches:


Border Collie


Italian Greyhound

Ok, now you can laugh!

So that’s what our little petri-dish mutt is. According to DNA at least.  She definitely has some of the traits of those breeds.  I definitely see terrier (the Airdale, I guess) in some of her mannerisms, and she’s got the Border Collie smarts.  She’s independent, but eager to please, and friendly, but we think she’d be protective if need be.  So I think, somehow, it’s a correct assessment.  There might be something else in her, that the test wasn’t able to pick up on (a breed they don’t have ID’d yet), but that’s what we’ve got.  And we love her to bits no matter what she is!

I’m working on coming up with a clever-sounding, stupidly ridiculous name of some sort.  Like “Goldendoodle” or “Yorkiepoo” or one of those retarded-sounding “designer dog” names. Airechowaraner Borderhound, perhaps?

(Newsflash for those who don’t know… those silly sounding “breeds” that pet stores advertise as the latest and greatest?  They’re not breeds, there’s no breeding standards for those dogs, no guarentees as to what you’ll get, and they’re just as mutty as my little dog.  Certainly not worth the $2,000+ some pet stores charge, when you can go to your local shelter and pick one up for a fraction of the price.)

It’ll certainly be interesting when I bring her certificate into the vet with her annual checkup this summer 🙂

Breed photos above courtesy of www.dogbreedinfo.com.

February 10, 2009

“How was your weekend?”

When people ask, “how was your weekend?” and all you can do is giggle… you know you’ve had a good weekend.

The weekend started with the premise that Laura Ann (photographer), Caity B (photographer), Elly (model) and myself would head to the Chicago ‘Burbs M&G for about 30 minutes, and would then head up to the first ever Milwaukee M&G.  We booked a hotel room, had everything planned out, well in advance, and headed on our way.  We were a little behind schedule, but I had really good directions, and everything was going fine.

Until we exited the highway, heading west.  That was our first mistake.  Our second mistake was our faith in the Wisconsin road system.  Apparently they don’t believe in street signs west of the highway out there in WI.  We passed street after street that just wasn’t marked!  Guh.  No doubt, the Cheeseheads on the road were wondering what the hell the car-full of FIPs was doing.

Anyway, 45 minutes of extremely funny U-turns later, and we found our hotel.  Turns out, we’d headed the wrong direction after exiting the highway, and our hotel was less than 2 blocks from the exit.  D’oh! Oh well, we found the hotel, so we were good.  In giggling fits, but good.

Our next challenge? Parking, oddly enough.  The parking lot at the hotel was packed!  So we circled.  And circled.  And ah-ha!  A spot opening up!  So I went to pull in… and it just wasn’t going to happen.  Seriously, the spot was more like 1/4 spot.  After much giggling and wondering how the car that had just exited the spot got in (let alone how the driver got in the car in the first place), we found a spot at the back of the lot, and proceeded to make our way to the front desk to check in.

Turns out, despite my reservation being for 4 adults, they put us in a room with a single king bed.  As you can imagine, more giggling ensued, even by the woman at the counter.  We asked to be put in a room with 2 queens, and were moved (after more giggling).

And then, our first tear-inducing episode of laughter.

The woman at the front desk informed us of how to get to our room, which was in building one (I have no idea what building we were actually in at that point).  She started with the directions: down the long hallway, to the left at the first intersection, down another hallway, a right at another intersection, down another hallway, and then we’d be the third hallway on the left.  That in itself was rather funny (more giggling).  But then the front desk clerk says, “and if you get lost along the way, there are courtesy phones along the way”.  We were all holding it together…

And then Caity snorted!

We barely made “thank you” out, between the belly laughs and the tears streaming from our eyes, and headed on our way.  By the time we got to our room, we had tears streaming down our faces and our sides hurt.  We did come across the courtesy phones along the way, which made us laugh even harder, but we didn’t get lost.

Our room was awesome.  The bathroom was pink!  But it was time to go to the M&G.

We got back to the car and Elly picked up the directions.  And burst into laughter.  The first direction?  “Make a right out of the parking lot, and make a U-turn…”.  Yea.  It was quite funny.  Especially since we didn’t have to even make a U-turn!

And then of course, we got lost again. Somehow, we managed to get lost.  No idea how.  And just as I was about to make, yet another, U-turn Laura informs us that we’re at the street we need to be on.  Normally, this wouldn’t be all that funny.  But Laura has a stutter.  Yet somehow, she was able to perfectly pronounce “Kinnickinnic”.  My graceful self asked her how in the world she could prounouce that, yet she can’t say her own name.  Luckily, Laura’s good-natured, and found my ribbing just as funny as the rest of us, because we were all laughing pretty damn hard.  I’m pretty sure she’s the only one who can still pronounce the f-in’ street name.

We made it to the M&G.  I believe we were 2 hours past it’s technical end time of 9P.  But we made it.  Luckily people were still there, or I’d be posting a cell phone picture of 3 of us standing in front of the place.  Most of the folks left were people I already knew (and a few Chicagoans), but it was good to see them 🙂  We shut the place down, and then headed back to the hotel.  Where we went to sleep right away, because we were stupidly tired.

Actually, no.  We were stupidly tired, but we decided instead to get food.  And instead of venturing somewhere else and getting lost, again, we opted to eat at Denny’s, which was right next to the hotel.  Somehow the 4 of us managed to order 4 variations of 2 dishes (which we found very silly), and giggled our way through food, and made it back to the hotel in one piece (and no U-turns).

We had planned to shoot a bit at the hotel, but frankly, we were just too tired.  So, after working out the sleeping arrangements, Elly made her bed on the floor (she wanted to, honest!), Caity got in her bed, and Laura and I snuggled in together.  Ok, we didn’t snuggle.  But we got in bed.  Lights went out, and we were on our way to peaceful dreams.

Until I insisted that I heard beeping. I still swear I did.  It was like someone in another room was wearing an old Timex watch, and the alarm was going off.  But I heard beeping.  No one else heard it though, but my insistence got everyone listening really hard.

And then… BEEP BEEP! Laura got a text.  Loud as can be!  We just about died.  It was hilarious.  I’m laughing about it right now.  The timing was just impeccable. And once we quieted down, I insisted that I still heard the beeping (because, dammit, I did).  Laura got a second text, resulting in more loud beeps, and more hysterical laughter from all 4 of us.

I’m sure our neighbors were real pleased with us, haha.

We fell asleep giggling, but there was no more beeping.

In the morning, we headed out without incident. We didn’t get lost (it was way easier to find our way around in daytime anyway), and the way home was something I was fairly familiar with, so we were good.  We stopped at A&W for, uh, breakfast (which was more like lunch by the time we ate).  There was giggling, and just fun, despite us still being pretty tired.

The night before, we’d decided to stop at the Mars Cheese Castle on the way home.  And, as luck would have it, it was super easy to get to, and open! So we went.  There was giggling, because we were all excited for the Cheese Castle (I mean, come on, how can you not be excited for a place called the Cheese Castle?!).

But then, I found this:
beer-sausage
(Photo credit: Caity B x2 😉 )

In case you can’t tell, that’s a salami.  Shaped like a beer bottle. Labeled like a beer bottle!  MGD, to be exact, but there were other options.

For real.  That’s a whole lotta awesome.

The Mars Cheese Castle?  Yea, it’s my new favorite place 😀

We made it out of the Cheese Castle in one piece, after more giggles (cow-shaped cheese was also present), and trying some fun things (salmon-cheese, anyone?), and buying some stuff.  And, um, I stole a sticker 🙂

The drive home was pretty uneventful after that.  There was more laughing (though I honestly can’t remember what about… likely beeping and beer-sausage).  I dropped Caity off at the train station, Elly off at home, and Laura and I headed back to my place so she could pick up her car.  Once we got into IL we were on my turf, so there was no more U-turning (oh, no, leaving the train station I had to drive in a circle, and got lauged at by some random guy).

So that was our weekend.  One night in Milwaukee, filled with hilarity, and an endless supply of silly inside jokes.  Good times.  For sure!

February 9, 2009

Amused

Apparently, I’m all talk and no action.

Perhaps commenter Jack is referring to my lack of updating regarding my weekend in Milwaukee. Or maybe he’s disappointed that I haven’t let everyone know what breed(s) my little muttdog is (we did get our results back).

Either way, I’ll finish both of those blogs today. 😉

February 6, 2009

Looking for Photos?

NY/Chicago photographer Michael Donovan and I have worked out special rates for friends, family, and colleagues of mine 🙂 Michael is a photographer who works with some of the top modeling and advertising agencies here in Chicago and in NYC. Some of his clients include Quaker Oats, Beauty on Call, Culture:22, Hydrology, Elite Models, BMG, Chloe Wang, Artists by Timothy Priano, Reed Smith, and many more. His work has been featured in galleries at W Hotel City Centre with Unscene and Wall Kandy in Chicago. He has contributed to TCW, Chicago Tribune, Red Eye, Metromix, and Fashion Mannuscript among others.

The rates we’ve negotiated are awesome for the quality of work Michael produces, and with Valentine’s Day approaching quickly, now is the perfect time for you ladies to book a boudoir session! Or perhaps you want some family portraits that don’t look like they were taken at Sears? 😉 Drop Michael a line. His work is top notch, and you’ll have a great time… he used to be a stand-up comedian at Second City Chicago!

Here’s the rate information: http://www.michaeldonovanphotography.com/Special/Rachel.html

You can view a sampling of Michael’s work at http://www.michaeldonovanphotography.com

Don’t forget, you must mention me (Rachel Jay) when you book… otherwise, you won’t get the discount!

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