The popularity of my Modeling 101 - A Model's Diary blog has allowed me to help so many aspiring and establishing models realize their goals.

While my brain is totally open for picking when it comes to asking questions about the modeling industry, the number of questions grew so much that I had to create an entirely separate blog just for answering my reader questions!

So feel free to ask any questions or concerns you may have and here is where you'll find your answers, straight from me, Dania Denise!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Answering a Reader Question #961

Unknown Wrote:

I have a skin condition known as vitiligo along with acne on my face back and chest. Could I still be a model?

Hey, Unknown!

There are several celebrities that have vitiligo. Winnie Harlow is one of the most famous since she is a top model who doesn't use makeup to cover her skin condition. Brooke Burke has melasma, which is similar, in that she has loss of pigmentation on her face, which she does use cover up to conceal.

So there are ways to pursue a career in modeling with a condition like vitiligo. As far as the acne goes, if you're able to get your skin to a point where it is healthy enough and with few blemishes, there is a chance that you could pursue modeling to some degree.

Winnie Harlow has definitely shown the modeling industry that being "different" can be something to embrace and break the pattern but you have to also possess all the other "it" factors that will get an agency's interest in representing you (i.e. physical stats, market location, personality, etc.).

The only way you'll know is if you submit yourself but I would recommend only doing so when your skin is at its best (doesn't have to be perfect because there's no such thing but it should be healthy) and your confidence is high.

When you go in with your head held high, agencies will take notice for all the right reasons. Best of luck to you!

Answering a Reader Question #960

Steve Wrote:

Dear Dania,

Because I am unrepresented and new to the commercial/print modeling, I guess I should pursue my local market, Phoenix. Would you say the smaller agencies of medium-size cities are of a ‘type’ designed to fit part-time models more? I say “part-time” as I’m being realistic about how much paid work a new model in my field can actually secure. Do you think most agents would not object to a model being represented by non-competing agencies in Denver, Phoenix and Los Angeles?

How common are the mother agencies, do they consist of both large agencies and affiliates in other states? I am the William H. Macy lookalike in the Showtime TV series, Shameless. Showtime will not talk to me directly, but said they would talk to my agent. But when I talked to agents in Arizona earlier this year about making the connection for me, it felt like they did not have the connections or interest that a mother agency might have. Even the largest lookalike agency in the world, Mirror Images of LA, could not find enough interest for a Macy lookalike. So it’s hard to know how to make that connection work… Though if given the incredible opportunity to appear on the show, I would travel to the filming locations in LA or Chicago in a heartbeat.

In one of your previous blog posts on modeling agencies, you may have recommended to applying to several agencies at the same time, so that if you are offered representation by more than one agency, you will have a choice. I’m guessing that for the average model , the odds of being called back for an interview are about 10% and being signed around 2%. But let me know if I’m wrong with the numbers. So I would think that any offer of representation by a legitimate agency would be a good career move? I’ve been able to create a fairly extensive portfolio with professional photographers, does this mean an agency is more likely to sign me? Are these considered to be test shoots? 

When you say “What kind of work do they book”, there are some agencies that state their specialty in their website, but it’s not clear if most agencies, especially the smaller ones, are more generalized and scrambling for any work they can find for models?

I may have gotten a bit side-tracked by applying for numerous figure modeling jobs. But if I understood you correctly, will these types of jobs on my resume are not the main area of expertise that talent agents are seeking? 

It takes time and money to create a portfolio of 8 ½ x 11” prints, though I bought a book this size per your recommendation. Since most agency submissions are on-line, at this stage, am I ok with just bringing in some 4 x 6 prints (and writing my contact info on the back) and business cards,to interviews for agents to keep?

Steve Norwood

Hi Steve!

Since your comment/questions are lengthy, I'm going to pull out the specific questions and do a Q&A format below to keep my response brief and easy to follow:

Q: Would you say the smaller agencies of medium-size cities are of a ‘type’ designed to fit part-time models more?

A: Definitely. Phoenix is an example of a market that isn't considered very large but does have an established market of clients for that particular area so agencies are likely used to representing models that aim to work part-time.

Q: Do you think most agents would not object to a model being represented by non-competing agencies in Denver, Phoenix and Los Angeles?

A: They wouldn't object at all. It is common practice. As long as the contracts with each agency are non-exclusive, a model is within his/her right to seek additional representation in other non-competing markets. That's the whole purpose of non-exclusive contract arrangements.

Q: How common are the mother agencies, do they consist of both large agencies and affiliates in other states?

A: Mother agencies have been around for quite some time. They are not everywhere but there are usually several in medium markets and definitely in larger markets like LA, NYC and Miami. However, mother agencies are typically for the purpose of grooming, developing and placing fashion models in larger markets, not actors so I don't know that seeking representation of a mother agency would serve your specific acting/career goals described above.

To learn more about mother agencies in detail and how they operate, visit the link below:

http://amodelsdiary.blogspot.com/2011/12/understanding-role-of-mother-agencies.html

Q:  So I would think that any offer of representation by a legitimate agency would be a good career move?

A: Indeed. Even starting with a small agency is a way to get your foot in the door within the entertainment industry. Booking work and continuing to build a portfolio while being represented by an agency all counts towards your professional experience. As long as the agency is reputable and legitimate, an affiliation with them will always work in a model/actor's best interest moving forward with their career goals.

Q: I’ve been able to create a fairly extensive portfolio with professional photographers, does this mean an agency is more likely to sign me? Are these considered to be test shoots?

A: Having a portfolio to show potential agencies can only help and not hurt so it's good to have. However, it doesn't necessarily improve one's odds of getting signed. There are several factors that make up an agency's decision to sign someone and having examples of previous shoots is just one of them. It all boils down to the interview and meeting with the agency staff in person.

The shoots in your portfolio would be considered test shoots but do count as modeling experience. If you have any published images/tearsheets to include, then the agency would take note of that as well and know it is not a test shoot image.

Q: When you say “What kind of work do they book”, there are some agencies that state their specialty in their website, but it’s not clear if most agencies, especially the smaller ones, are more generalized and scrambling for any work they can find for models?

A: No agency is going to lay out exactly every detail of the type of work they book for their models. It's a business decision and a smart one at that. Because of the instability of the industry as a whole when it comes to booking gigs and the fact that agencies cannot promise success or work for its talent, it's wise that they keep things generalized/broad when it comes to how they market their services and relationship with clients.

A model/actor won't know how much work an agency will get for them until after they've been signed.

Q: I may have gotten a bit side-tracked by applying for numerous figure modeling jobs. But if I understood you correctly, will these types of jobs on my resume are not the main area of expertise that talent agents are seeking? 

A: Talent and modeling agencies typically do not specialize in figure modeling so while having this kind of experience is good for your resume and special skills section, it isn't the kind of work you should be seeking an agent to book for you.

Q: It takes time and money to create a portfolio of 8 ½ x 11” prints, though I bought a book this size per your recommendation. Since most agency submissions are on-line, at this stage, am I ok with just bringing in some 4 x 6 prints (and writing my contact info on the back) and business cards,to interviews for agents to keep?

A: It is important to refer to the agency websites to find out what size photos they want you to bring in. Each agency has its own requirements so you'll want to plan that accordingly. The websites will typically say something about this when it comes to open calls.

However, if you are contacted for an actual interview with an agency, then you can ask them at that time what size photos you should bring to the interview. But having sets of 4 x 6 prints with your contact info on the back is good to have handy in general so if you've already got those in place, that is great.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Answering a Reader Question #959

Princess of Dorne Wrote (in response to the blog post, "When You Get No Support for Modeling"):

I don't know about mine. I already graduated from college, hoping to get their 'favors' yet I feel like, they're still hesitant.

Hi, Princess of Dorne!

Things with parents take time, especially when it comes to accepting their child's role in the modeling industry. In my case, I am happy to report that my dad is now totally on board and supportive of my career (it only took about 10 years haha). But the fact that he is now on my team made the long wait and obstacles worth it.

What changed my dad's mind was when I moved back home to look after him and help take care of the household since my mom works a lot and isn't really home. He got a front row seat to my phone conversations with clients, handling emails related to booking jobs, seeing me get ready for shoots and gigs and my social media posts documenting what I was doing.

That's not to say you need to move back home (if you aren't already there) to prove to your parents how modeling is working out for you but it may take even longer before your parents get to a place where they are either fully supportive or at least are understanding enough to respect your decision to pursue modeling.

All parents want their kids to be safe, prosperous and happy so it's understandable that the iffy and oftentimes unstable nature of modeling as a career would make them hesitant. Until they get to that point where it's all good, in the meantime don't be combative with them or put too much energy into trying to change their mind.

Stay on your path, make good decisions and prove by your actions and successes how well modeling has been for you and in due time they'll see the love you have for it and hopefully that will be enough to get them on your team.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Answering a Reader Question #958

(Responding to the Modeling 101 blog post, "Modeling & Taxes (for parents of models under 18")

Patricia Mendez Wrote:

Thank you for writing this informative article. My question is: my 18 year old son is being charged $2,600 to cover the fee for filling out the W9 form in order to work as a model. Is this a scam or is this how it really works?
Thank you in advance.
Patricia

Hello, Patricia!

I'm not a tax professional but I have never heard of any filing fee to fill out a W9.

For one thing, you can find a blank W9 to download, fill out and submit for free on any government website.

Secondly, I've never heard of any company, agency, client, etc. who has required payment for a model to submit this document. As a model I have been asked to provide a signed W9 via email and no money was ever a part of the conversation.

This sounds like a scam of the dumbest degree on the part of the person requesting it so tell your son to run for the hills and not do business with whoever this individual/company is!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Answering a Reader Question #957

Anonymous Wrote:

Hello Dania! Thanks so much to have created a diary. I just discovered it and it helps so much. I've been a life model for art galleries. Recently I have been approached for nude photography and I would like to know if the rates differ from the full clothed photography. Also, I couldn't find where is the limit to quote a nude or semi nude photo shoot. For example, if I have my hair in front of my nipple and a short, then technically I'm semi-nude in the studio in front of the photographer but still, the result of the photo is that nobody sees any erogenous area. How do you make the difference and quote the right rates? Does suimwear and underwear are the same rates than full clothed in the industry? Thank you for your time and for your expertise!

Hello, Anonymous!

You're super welcome, I'm glad it's proved to be a useful resource for you!

I did a post some years ago about types of modeling (including all the ones you mentioned) and the various pay rates, which can be found below:

http://amodelsdiary.blogspot.com/2009/03/description-of-types-of-print-modeling.html

Although the post was from a while back, the pay rates don't tend to change too much (aside from the additional factors like location/market, budget, client, usage, what you need to provide versus what will be provided for you, etc). so you can use it as a starting point. Please note that I obtained the info from another online source so I am not the original author of the content. It's more for reference.

Aside from the rates quoted above, from previous castings I've seen for nude modeling projects in terms of photography, I've seen models charge anywhere from $150/hour up to $500+ for a half day and $1,000+ for a full day of shooting (these are models who have lots of experience in nude modeling and a portfolio showcasing their specialty in this category).

Anything involving nude modeling should command the highest rate due to the obvious nature of the work involved.

Lingo-wise, doing full nude modeling is one thing but if you aren't actually showing any private parts/genitalia, then it is technically "implied modeling" or "implied nude modeling." This rate would not be as high as the other categories mentioned above because you aren't showing anything.

While the pay rate should still be up there (I would say $100/hour would be a good place to start negotiating a price for your modeling services), you wouldn't charge the same as you would if you were required to be nude and showing your private parts.

Hope that helps as a starting point for you!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Answering a Reader Question #956

Anonymous Wrote:

Is a test shoot same as tfp or is it a specific kind of tfp? And is it ok to have a resume with both acting and modelling work?

Hi, Anonymous!

You are correct. A test shoot is also known as a TFP shoot and is used interchangeably with other terms like "TF" or "trade shoot." They all essentially mean the same thing: a free exchange of services between a photographer and model to create images both parties can use for promotional purposes.

It is perfectly acceptable to have a resume with both acting and modeling work if you offer both types of services.

However, it is also a good idea to create other variations of your resumes, like one with just your acting work and one with just your modeling work. Sometimes you'll have to submit the right version according to the project you're interested in.

For example, if you want to submit to an acting job then you should send them the resume that has just acting work on it and not modeling projects and vice-versa. So having these 3 versions will make your life a lot easier for targeting work-specifics castings.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Answering a Reader Question #955

Anonymous Wrote:

Hey Dania,
Still such a fan of your blog! 
I have a random question that I need some advice on. I reached out to an agency, through Instagram DM, that I've wanted to be signed to for quite some time. They DM'd me back stating they'd like to set up a meeting and asked for my contact info. It's been 2 days since sending my contact info and haven't heard anything from them regarding the meeting yet. I realize they're busy, so just wondered if I should follow up and If so, how long should I wait to do so? Thank you :)

Hey, Anonymous!

Awww, I'm so flattered to have you as a fan, thank you!

Looking at the original date you posted your comment on my Modeling 101 blog post, which was October 3 and given that it is now October 10, enough time has passed that you should follow up if you haven't already done so or if the agency hasn't already contacted you (I hope it's the latter!).

In general when contacting companies like modeling agencies, which do tend to get busy, it's always a good rule of thumb to wait to do follow ups at least 5 business days after you last made contact (that's not counting the weekends).

So if you haven't already heard from them or dropped them a quick message, you are certainly free to do so now. Keep it short and sweet. Something along the lines of, "Hello, I just wanted to reach out to follow up in regards to setting up a meeting and trying to schedule a date and time that works for you. I look forward to your reply!" would be more than enough to get the ball rolling and get them back on track.

I hope that helps and best of luck with the agency, I'll keep my fingers crossed that it works out for you! Please let me know how it goes! :-D