Thursday, March 6, 2014

How To Be A Model - Beginning Modeling Guide & How I Became a GLW Muse by Alexa Poletti

Hi hi hi!! Today I have a very special post for you. This topic is a little outside of my usual fashion posts, but it is a topic that I get asked about soooo often that I felt like it deserved it's own post. I am excited about it, so I hope that you are excited to read it!

Drum roll pleaseeeeee....

Now, of course, I am not a modeling agent or anything like that, but I have just put together a personal guide of tips and whatnot that I have learned over the last few years of being a model. And of course, this isn't the only way to be a model! There are many, many other ways to go about it! Everyone wants to know how to start modeling. People literally ask me this more than ANYTHING ever. So let's get started! 


I know this seems like a given, but SKIN CARE. 
I can not stress this enough! Please, people! Take care of your skin! Wash your face & moisturize (if your skin needs it) every day. Washing is important for obvious reasons. Moisturizing will help skin keep its elasticity which helps reduce wrinkles and promotes healthy skin. If you have to go out in the sun, or are someone who likes to tan, protect your skin with sunscreen. I literally keep sunscreen in my purse and in my car. I hate being tan! *hiss*!!
 I know many of you reading this blog are teenagers, so what I want to stress to you is DO NOT SLEEP IN YOUR MAKEUP. I was sooo guilty of this when I was a teenager. Whenever you want to just fall into bed and sleep and the thought of taking off your makeup makes you want to die, at the very least, take off your makeup with a makeup remover wipe or something. Sleeping in your makeup at night will rapidly increase how fast your skin ages. Annoying right? We just can't win. But as a teenager, I know you don't care about wrinkles. But you will care one day, and especially if you want to be a model, think twice before sleeping in your makeup. Sleeping in your makeup also increases your chances of breakouts. Find a skin care routine that works for you. Everyone gets a pimple from time to time, but if you show up to a photoshoot or fashion show with acne spread all over your lovely face, you are definitely not going to have a happy photographer/client.

Learn Your Angles
Pretend your mirror is a camera and move your head around in every direction and angle that you can think of. Faces look different every way you turn them. What is your most flattering way? Try to angle your head to accentuate your great features and downplay features you don't like. For example... If you have a square jaw, you may want to tilt your head down. If you have a long nose, you may want to look straight on. If you have a round face, you may want to turn your head slightly one way or the other. 
But let's get real. I know you've got your selfie game on lock. You probably already know your angles.

*TIP*  My favorite tip for pictures where you aren't directly facing the camera: Tilt your head towards the camera, to create a sharper jaw line. When you tilt your head away from the camera, you quickly lose definition in your chin. 

cat glasses because why not?

Learn How To Pose
Do some homework. Research models that you like, styles you like, photographers you like, and fashion you like. Take note of how the models are posed in these pictures that you find appealing. Try to keep some of those poses in mind while you practice poses in the mirror. You'll learn pretty quickly what looks bad. The body part that I find (as a photographer) to be the most often neglected are the hands. Keep your hands pretty! Pretend you're a dancer and you want soft little delicate princess hands. Unless you're a grunge goth model, but even then, you don't want to look like you have robot hands. It is easy to forget because you are busy concentrating on posing your face, your hips, legs, arms, etc. You can have the best pose everrrr and it will still look uncomfortable and unnatural just by forgetting to pose your hands. Once you've found a few poses that you think are solid, get your sister or best friend or brother or dog to take some practice photos of you on their phone just so you can see how your poses translate when seen from another person's perspective/camera. It's helpful to check it out on an iPhone screen before you even bother jumping in front of a real camera.

*TIP* Check out this great article for tons of tips on posing:

Screenshot from PetaPixel's article on posing. Read the article HERE.

Once you feel like you're ready with your posing and angles... 

Hire an amazing photographer to start your portfolio.
If you're serious about being a model, bite the bullet, save up, and pay for a good photographer. No amazing photographer is going to want to shoot a new model for free and no one is going to want to shoot a model with a shitty portfolio period. It's as simple as that. Find a photographer in your area that you love (Google is your best friend) and hire them. Great photographers make YOU look good and a lot of them will help direct your posing, which is super helpful to newbies. Once you have a solid start to your portfolio, more photographers will be willing to work with you for cheaper rates or even just TF (trade for... time, prints, etc. = free).  It all starts with those initial great shots for your port.

Build your portfolio the right way.
Only include your best photos. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY. If your photographer gives you 10 photos from that look similar with slight pose changes, CHOOSE ONE. We don't need to see an album on Facebook with 45 pictures from the same shoot. Narrow them down to only your best shots where the posing, expression, setting and/or framing are noticeably different from one another. Once you have a ton of shoots under your belt, start only using your best shoots in your port. Portfolios are constantly evolving, so don't be afraid to give older shoots the boot. You want your portfolio to be something you're proud of. 

-BE MINDFUL OF COPYRIGHT AND NEVER EVER CROP OUT LOGOS (unless you state somewhere else ON THE PHOTO, not description). It is illegal to sell your pictures even if they are of you. Copyright belongs to the photographer unless you have a contractual agreement saying you are allowed to use the photo for profit. It's a small industry. Photographers are friends with photographers. If you treat one photographer poorly, word will get around and no one will want to work with you anymore.

Once you have a great port...

-One thing you could do is get an agent.
But I don't have an agent so I am not going to talk about that because I have zero knowledge on the subject. So instead...

Start reaching out! Start a fan page. Start an Instagram account. Find a way to get your modeling photos online. Think of companies you like or admire and see if they are looking for models. Enter contests. Send companies pics of you wearing their clothes... They love that! Try to get featured on their social media pages & maybe they will just be blown away by your awesomeness. Show them your portfolio and show them that you have something to offer. If your portfolio is strong enough, they won't feel as nervous about taking a risk on you. Try contacting small businesses or etsy sellers about modeling their items. Get your face out there. But also be mindful that once you are trying to make yourself a public figure, you have to always portray yourself the way you want people to see you on social media and in life in general.

-Prepare for disappointment. Expect to be let down. When it comes to modeling, you hear no a lot more often than you hear yes. Plus, when you put yourself out there, people are going to hate on you because they have nothing better going on in their lives. They are going to call you names, insult you, and beat you down. To them, you'll always be too fat, too skinny, too ugly, too tall, too stupid. Expect your figure, your race, your expressions, and even something as stupid as styling choices that didn't even have anything to do with you to be attacked, and to somehow make you a "terrible" model. You'll never win if you try to make everyone happy. Just make yourself happy! Grow a tough skin and brush off the negativity. Don't let words hurt you or you'll never make it. Haters and trolls don't go away, unfortunately. 

-& I debated including this, but I constantly get asked about Model Mayhem for newbie models, so I will address it.

This site is SKETCHY so if you choose to use it, be careful. Do not try to shoot with every photographer who contacts you. Take a VERY CLOSE look at their portfolios and shoot only with those who would benefit you the most. Do your research on the photographer before you shoot with them. Do they have a website that is legit? Do they have a business page on Facebook? Basically, find their internet footprint and see what you can find out about them before you agree to go meet a stranger and stand in front of their sketchy camera. You wouldn't go model for someone on Craigslist without doing any research about the potential serial killer photographer, so be smart about it. Bring a friend with you if it's your first time shooting with a new Model Mayhem photographer. Your safety is worth bribing your friend to come with you and sit around for two hours playing Flappy Bird.
Also, prepare to get bailed on. Model Mayhem users are notorious for bailing last minute. It's annoying.
But every now and then, Model Mayhem can come through for you, which leads me right into...

So all in all, I think if it weren't for Model Mayhem, I wouldn't be where I am today. Just PLEASE be smart about meeting people from the internet. 

A Person from the Internet 

Good luck with your modeling endeavors! I hope you find this guide helpful!

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