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, June 17, 2017

Answering a Reader Question #943

Anonymous Wrote:

Thank you for writing this article! I just found your blog and have found it really helpful thus far. I have quite a few questions for you, if that's alright. First off, I am 14 and looking to be a commercial/ print model (I am 5'6.5" so I think I'm too short for runway modeling, but I may still grow). My measurements are 30-23.5-35. I am of mixed race (half Chinese, half Caucasian). Would that make me more "appealing" or "exotic" to agencies? Also, I have quite a few blackheads on my nose and some on my cheeks that I have been trying to get rid of but can't seem to find a way to. They are not very visible unless you look very closely, but would this somehow hold me back? Do you have any skincare tips for getting rid of them? Lastly, I'm kinda intimidated with the whole application process...should I apply to multiple agencies at once or should I apply one by one? Should I apply first to smaller agencies so that I have a higher chance of getting booked or should I apply to big agencies with less of a chance?
Thank you so much :)

Hi Anonymous!

That's perfectly fine to ask away...that's what I'm here for! :-)

Your age, height and mix all sound ideal for commercial/print agencies. As long as you look healthy, are well groomed, have a great smile and personality and are photogenic, I have no doubt you would get the interest of an agency.

Blackheads happen and the fact that you can't see them unless up close is good. I use Biore pore strips and they work fairly well. What is your daily skincare regimen and what products do you use? That info would help me give you more accurate advice when it comes to caring for your complexion. Also knowing what your skin type is would also be helpful (i.e. is your face dry, oily, combination, sensitive?).

I always advise submitting to multiple agencies, large and small, around the same time. This will improve the odds of hearing back from more than one around the same time as well. That helps greatly when it comes to making decisions if you happen to have more than one agency interested in signing you.

What matters most is that the agencies you submit to are ones you meet any listed requirements for (it'll likely be stated on the agency websites) so as long as you're good to go with that, you should be totally fine with your submissions!

Answering a Reader Question #942

Steve Wrote (in response to the Modeling 101 blog post, "Models, Technology & Communication"):

Hello Dania:

I agree with all of Sarah's comments! You have written some great advice! Well lets face it, most models are very young, don't have college degrees, many have not graduated from high school, and still learning about the world. So yeah, there are quite a few that haven't learned how to "speak properly to another human being”, but we are understanding, as this is normal for their age. So we teach them proper "etiquette", problem solved! Those who can't hold a "solid phone convo" aren't going to be very successful models, lol! The same advice follows for your proceeding blog (article), “Models, Shoots, Shows + Common Sense Tips”.
And yes, you are professional to a fault, mature and responsible for your age, and that is a necessary component of successful modeling. After reading your 5 part series on Modeling and Branding, I was really happy to see this article as a follow up. So if I understand correctly, “email still reigns supreme” over less precise forms of communications found on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, and even including texting. 

Perhaps many aspiring models don’t have enough to write about or enough credits to post regularly on social media platforms? When should a model start posting regularly? I find that as a newbie, Model Mayhem is a very good site to start with.

Back in 2000, when I was first learning how to use computers regularly as a student at the University of Colorado, my professor taught me how important it was to keep practicing every day, and that certainly includes emails! After writing more than 4,000 emails and earning a stack of college degrees, I learned professional writing techniques. So you learn how to use email effectively, like adding clients to your contact list so the messages don’t get lost or delayed in your junk mail. Spelling errors really turn people off, so you must use a spell check program to be considered seriously! Save the “What’s up and Hey” for communicating with established friends. If I don’t proofread my writing, it nearly always contains grammatical errors. Yes, so you sound out the words in your head, then translate the words into writing. I use my thesaurus frequently to find the perfect word (and spelling). Writing is more precise than speech.

I’ve only used Skype a couple of times so far. I think agents want to see what you look like and how you speak in addition to seeing your headshots. Is Skype more popular for use business use vs. personal use?

Email is great for me because I write a lot of emails after business hours. I’m still cautious about sending some emails too late at night, because your recipients will be notified what time you sent them. I’ve received many replies from business people evenings and weekends from well-written emails. Just wondering if a follow up to this article might reference additional educational techniques for improving email writing skills if this is not too far off the modeling topic? 

When I think about a running list of modeling topics you could write about in the future, what comes to mind first is the importance of maintaining good health, particularly as models age, and some basic tips. Even young models who gain a little weight might get passed over for a fit model. Your related label, “skincare and grooming”, does have quite a few related articles on maintaining skin, hair and fingernails. And you do mention multivitamins in your July 24, 2008 blog. Perhaps an article about teeth might be useful, since after eyes, it may be one of a models’ most important features? Do you have any basic dietary or other tips on maintaining healthy, white teeth? Are perfect teeth a little less important for commercial models, male models and older models?
Steve Norwood

Hi, Steve!

You're definitely ahead of the game when it comes to communication and etiquette so I have no doubt that you'll have an easy time networking and fostering the business relationships necessary to be successful in your goals for an entertainment career with modeling/acting!

I think for newer models just starting out, many use social media for their personal lives already so there aren't any real rules or guidelines established for when they should start posting regularly when it comes to posting about modeling related matters but once they start actively getting into the business, then they should start sharing their experiences on social media if they want to start connecting with other professionals to create future opportunities. It'll be up to them to decide if they want to use their existing social media profiles to do modeling related posts or create an entirely new one solely for that purpose (which is what I could recommend).

Skype is becoming more commonplace for business purposes, however, many agencies make it clear that they prefer to still interview models in person if that is an option. A lot of scams and fake agencies will "scout" models online and try to set up a Skype meeting to offer them representation. This is mainly true for situations where a model will be contacted out of the blue with an offer that appears too good to be true.

If a model submits to an agency or otherwise reaches out first and develops an open line of communication, then setting up a Skype meeting is more legitimate, especially if the agency is proven to be real and respectable.

A lot of new models get scouted on Instagram so that has started to change the face of how models get connected to agencies but I still say to exercise caution and take such happenings on a case-to-case basis.

As far as doing a follow up article about educational techniques for improving writing skills, that's too off topic in relation to modeling so I won't be doing any posts related to that but there are a ton of amazing resources out there for people to take advantage of if they want to strengthen their writing skills.

I have a running topic list written down for future blog posts that do include some of the proposed topics you mentioned about grooming and maintaining one's appearance so it's just a matter of time before I get those posted on my Modeling 101 blog so stay tuned for those. But in general, having a healthy and bright smile is important for models in general. Models don't have to have "perfect" teeth but their smile should be healthy and that can be achieved with at-home whitening kits or getting them professionally whited by a dentist.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Answering a Reader Question #941

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi !

I am attending some open calls next month and i am so stressed because although i am 5'9" and my waist is 23" my hips are 37/38" which i know is too big for high fashion modelling and the agencies are top agencies!! I dont know what to di because i know i need them to be smaller but i dont know how and i already do a lot of excercise!

Do you have any tips or advice ?

Hi, Anonymous!

The hip area is a huge problem for many people and as you know it can be difficult to slim down for modeling purposes and getting within range of what high fashion agencies require. What makes it even tougher is that you can't technically exercise your way to smaller hip bones.

What you can do, however, is try to slim down by getting rid of the excess fat we sometimes carry around the hip area.

I don't know what specific exercises you're doing or how long you've been maintaining that regimen but below is a link to an article that describes various exercise regimens that help to burn fat around the hip area, as well as nutrition guidance about what you should be eating, cutting back on, etc:

Remember, good nutrition paired with regular exercise and a daily routine is what will help you lose unwanted fat naturally and in a healthy way.

Even if you don't meet your goal measurement by the time you attend open calls, I still strongly encourage that you go to the agencies because it will help to hear feedback straight from the source instead of just throwing in the towel and not bothering to go at all.

You can't read their minds and even if they tell you that they can't represent you for high fashion work, there's a chance they may want to market you as a print/lifestyle model instead or other category of modeling you'd be suitable for.

I wish you the best of luck and don't be discouraged either way--make sure you go to those open calls with a positive attitude and the self confidence you know you possess and the rest will take care of itself!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Answering a Reader Question #940

Missy Wrote:

Hi dania,

Im 16 and next month i have an interview with an agency in london!!!!!!!! I read that you should probably wear heals should i still do that even though im 16 and ive never really wore heels, will they be expecting that?

Hey, Missy!

Congrats on your upcoming agency interview, how exciting!

If you want to become a model, you've definitely got to make heels a part of your life. I don't know your height or if you plan on pursuing fashion/runway but if so, you need to make sure you've got a pair of nude colored heels that are at least 4 inches tall.

Once you've got that pair, start practicing at home so that you are comfortable with walking in front of the agency if they ask you to do so at the interview (it's likely they will).

Below are links to other modeling blog posts I've written that are related to the runway walk you can dive into:

As long as you practice at home, you'll feel like a natural when the time for your interview comes. I wish you the best of luck!!!

Answering a Reader Question #939

Steve Wrote:

Branding & Modeling Pt III: Know the Basics
I am yet-to-be represented actor/model, who is unfamiliar with the social media platforms used for branding. After I have established the name I think I will be using, do you think the most important social media platform to establish is Facebook, followed by Instagram? To simplify the process for people new to social media sites, is it perfectly acceptable to have only one profile on Facebook for both branding and family/friends? A big concern of mine with Facebook is privacy in that it is very easy for alleged creditors, sales people or others who don't like what you represent to find you. Both of my Facebook accounts are inactive, and according to Facebook, people are only allowed to have one profile with the same email address, so I'm trying to decide which account to shut down and if I should use my real name or not, any suggestions? 

Steve Norwood

Hi there, Steve!

That's definitely a good place to start. The good thing about Facebook is that you can have a profile for your friends and family and keep that private and create a "Facebook Page" for your modeling/acting endeavors and branding.

Having an existing Facebook profile is what will allow you to create a Facebook page. So if you are able to reactivate whichever of the two Facebook profiles you want to keep, you'll be able to set up the page.

Below is a link that explains how to create a Facebook Page:

You would select the "Artist, Band or Public Figure" category. The video shows you step-by-step what to do and was posted only a few months ago so it reflects the most current setup for Facebook.

You should set that up asap so that it is ready and in place.

Answering a Reader Question #938

Steve Wrote:

Branding & Modeling Pt II: Where Do You Start?
I am yet-to-be represented actor/model newbie, with no credits. At what point in my career should I establish the name I will be using in social media? Do Actor/models usually use their real name if it is good sounding or memorial? Or should I wait on creating my name until I am represented by a talent agency? 

Steve Norwood

Hey, Steve!

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes using a real name or a stage name so it's a matter of personal preference. A lot of models/actors use their real names when they get into the industry and typically only change it if their agency recommends it.

To keep things simple in the beginning, however, it's easier to start with using your real name. Agencies won't be super picky about that part of it.

And I think Steve Norwood is a fine name. :-)

Answering a Reader Question #937

Anonymous Wrote:

Dear Dania,
You are the best, thanks so much for your advice!!
I have a question though: I got accepted to a small but reputable model agency. However, they said that before signing the contract with me they would need me to get a test shoot done. They sent me a list of some pretty famous photographers and said I can either have a shoot with one of them or find any other photographer myself if I want. The prices for the test shoots on the list they sent me were 50£ (64$) on average, which is not too much, and the photographers are really famous and worked all over the globe. But do you think it's ok that they will sign a contract with me after I get the test shoot done? I don't know why but that makes me a bit nervous haha
Thanks in advance for you reply!!! <3

Hi, Anonymous!

Awww, thank you for the kind words!

Truth be told, I'm not familiar with the details of how things work with agencies in the UK so while I know that normally it isn't ideal to do test shoots as a type of prerequisite to signing a contract here in the US, I don't know that the same goes for agencies where you live. So I wouldn't feel comfortable guessing at the answer.

However, the fact that all the factors line up favorably (the agency being reputable, the photographers being famous but the agency giving you the option of finding your own photographers and the amount quoted being decent), I'm inclined to say that this would be an "exception to the rule" situation where you should proceed with the shoots.

Obviously, if it works out, you'll get signed and get things rolling. Worst case scenario, if they don't want to move forward (for whatever reason), you'll have a quality set of photos for a portfolio you can then take to other agencies.

So I say go for it! Please do keep me posted, I would love to know how it works out for you and best of luck!!!