So, with this I come back, know I have been away for too long. I have spent a few time writing this in my laptop to copypaste in my pages, wish this helps to the young girls who write me asking for tips.. Greets!
I have been receiving several messages asking me for modeling tips, and I can’t honestly spend my time answering to each one of those messages, even though I sometimes feel identified with the ones who send me those, I just don’t have enough time, and most times I can’t even read the messages I receive unless they seem to be job offerings or interesting proposals. I love seeing new messages in my inbox, even if I don’t answer or even read them, just looking at those in general makes me feel supported, thanks. But the thing here is (sorry, I am not a concise person and in my personal profiles I am gonna be as long as I wish to be) that I am making my personal tips to give my honest opinion of what is best to start into alternative modeling. This way I can give this information to more people than I could give otherwise, and since this message is made comfortably and with enough time, it will probably be a lot better advice than it would be if I am just trying to answer in two minutes a message from a girl.
Please, know that I have been into alternative modeling for not even three years, so these tips are just the beginning of the ones I am slowly getting to myself, this is just the beginning of the knowledge I wish I’ll get when more into the industry and even if I was a 40 year old woman who has been extremely successful, my tips wouldn't fit all the models. These are just my beliefs about what is best, but it depends a lot in what does a certain person want, how that person is; to say a couple. My tips are mine, you can take them or leave them, I just talk from the experience I am starting to have and the things that have worked for me, the stuff I have observed and the goals I prosecute. So, you can read them, but don’t just take them all; take a look of your own ideas about it and check if that would work for you, or if this is really what you want. I truly believe it would be helpful, because even if my tips aren’t for you, it’s always good to see what other models think, and how they feel.
So, as a model who has only been into this for two years and some months, but who has gotten some great public by her (my) own way, I post these tips; comment them if you want, constructive criticism is always welcomed.
First part is just to get into it and start getting known, the second part is more about being professional and avoiding potential problems either in a personal or legal way, or just uncomfortable situations.
Take a look of the photographers in your area, prices, quality and how professional they are. Make sure you make a good starting portfolio, showing your best (specially now that you are a beginner and you’ll need more help with that). Try on different clothing, different poses, make up, look… demonstrate you are capable of several things, of showing different emotions, feelings, expressions, that you have your own attitude. Practice that by yourself while you look for the ideal photographer.
Once you have found him/her, hire a shooting and make your portfolio.
Now that you have the portfolio, look for having more experience and even more pictures. There are the TFCD/TFP shootings (Time For CD/Time For Pictures), exchange shootings where nobody gets money but both of them receive images that will be good for both of them. Now I was going to start writing endlessly, but I better just set the points one by one to make it clearer than a long generic story.
Read deeply every contract you sing, and make sure there is one in every shooting you have.
If it’s an exchange shooting, always get the ownership of the images, and the right of using them for your own exposure; that the photographer gives credit to you when he uses them for his own portfolio or contests or anything. And if one of the parts gets money from the pictures, set a percentage for the other part (for example: 70% for the one who sold the picture and 30% for the other part). But not sold as exclusive, don’t lose the right of using your own picture unless you made the picture specifically for that proposal (that would be receiving money, so it doesn’t apply here in exchange shootings). Never have an exchange shooting where they will later use your image in something as serious as an exposition, require money if it’s the case.
If it’s a paid shoot I leave up to you how much do you want to get, not just talking about money, but about your rights: being credited, owning the images, etc.
Working for free:
Besides what I explained about the contracts in exchange shootings, I only find this reason for working for free (besides a favor for a friend or similar), and the reason is: it benefits you. I could benefit you if it’s a work for something unpaid but with a great exposure and being credited, if it’s with an important photographer, a shooting that would enrich a lot your portfolio or a shooting you wanted for your own, and found a photographer who liked it and made an exchange shooting.
If it doesn’t benefit you, don’t take the shoot. The more shootings you have, the more experience you’ll get, but I personally find pointless to be in shootings that will not be useful, it will always be there a good enough photographer who would arrange a shooting both of you (yourself and the photographer) will like; so better get one of those.
Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot.
Try to have shootings constantly, if serious work doesn’t appear, arrange TFP shoots to get experience, remain fresh, be active, know more people in the industry and get more images. Maybe one of those images is the one that will get you a job (or lose it, NEVER take a picture you could regret). This is why I recommend to…
…establish your boundaries:
Before you start on this, take your time to think about what do you want and don’t want to do; specifically the amount of skin you want to show and how to show it (it’s not the same to shoot for a beautiful and delicate nude than to wear a bikini and pose with open legs and squeezing your boobs). Set this, and never pass the boundaries unless you are a hundred percent sure of it. It’s up to you, but make sure you’ll not cry later your decisions. As a model who is starting through internet, you will have a hard (more like impossible) time while trying to erase all the proofs of the pictures you took.
Take a look at the photographer’s work:
When a photographer contacts you for a first time, take a look at his/her portfolio. Not only the quality of the pictures (that would be related to the “working for free” tip). But of what does that person look for the images, if that goes for you; or, being clearer: make sure that person is in fact a photographer and not a person who pretends to be one. Ask if you can go with a friend to the shoot, if the answer is “no”, don’t accept the shooting. If the photographer seems to be obsessed with nudity, or anything that could be related to “sex”, don’t accept as well (expect phrases such as “it’s nothing wrong with nudity” or “your body is really beautiful, you are not really doing your best if you cover it”). If they say it once but accept what you don’t want to do, it’s Ok, or if they just leave; but those who try to convince you aren’t usually nice people. A lot of photographers are just guys who bought a camera to have an excuse to see innocent women naked in front of them, or worse things.
If you are not too busy, try to meet the photographers in public places another day before the shooting and get to know them a little; also talk about the shoot.
Make sure you arrive early enough to every single shoot you have. If you find it impossible, give them a call, even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
Don’t change your appearance without letting the photographer know. If you arrange a shoot, don’t change your appearance it the period before it, and if you plan a change, tell it to the one who wants to shoot with you so they will decide if they still want it.
Be confident, always have in mind you are the model; a human, but a professional. Relax and believe you are giving your best. Confidence makes miracles; if you are extremely nervous or feeling shy, try to break the ice a little; don’t focus on that, it will only make things worse. And remember, the photographer is another human who could be nervous about shooting with you.
Don’t be a diva. I personally hate people who want everybody to be licking their asses and mistreating the others while they wouldn’t accept any treat slightly bad to them; or not just slightly bad, just any way of treating that wouldn’t be saying “you are the best and the only and I would do anything for you because even your shit is worthy”. Ewww, hate it! You will never be the best, the most beautiful, the most nothing (not even bad things). So be confident, make yourself be respected in every way possible; but don’t think you are over (or below) anybody.
Bring your own makeup, there will usually be makeup artists, but just in case they don’t show up, bring some basics to put makeup yourself. It’s also good to have a little knowledge about applying the makeup and styling your hair; that way it would be easier for you to have shootings as you wanted. Sometimes, when I have a look in mind it doesn’t matter how good the MUA (makeup artist) is, it doesn’t look as I pictured so I feel disappointed. When I imagine a whole shooting and ask for it, I usually want to be my own stylist. (But, of course, going back do the “don’t be a diva” point; never act as if the makeup artist had no clue; if he/she is there, is because he/she got there, even if that way of working isn’t one you like).
As the last comments (I could be here writing and writing endlessly but I think that’s enough): Don’t get disappointed, it’s hard to reach the top, but even more if you get disappointed.
Protect your intimacy: if you are gonna try to get known through the internet, better don’t use your real name and make your modeling accounts different to your real accounts. If you are gonna make a profile in some website and they ask you for an email, put there the modeling email only, even if the email is not going to be shown.
Keep learning, looking. You’ll never know enough.
Comment me what you thinjk about the tips.
Pictures shall be added to make this more apparent, so here I post a couple of pictures by Raquel Jaramago (Jaramatography), make up by Silvia Gil, make up by Helen and the other models are Eva Modelimage (Nazi Nurse) and Mary (retro nurse).
Greets, have a nice week! Today I am not putting a song I like, this post is dense enough.