Monday, August 31, 2009

inner strength and belief

It is the inner strength and belief in ones self that keeps the heart, mind and soul going towards all we aim to be. -isobella jade

When meeting a modeling agency

When meeting a modeling agency keep in mind YOU are also interviewing THEM. I have learned while working as a model that there is not one set person who can make you a model or make your dreams come true, no matter your pursuits, it takes a whole lot of YOU to get there. So always be prepared for the work of being a model, it doesn't end with an agency being interested, infact the work you do only increases.

The demand for Older Models - older models can find opportunity

I got a message on Facebook from a woman saying how she is 40 but wants to model. This was part of my reply on how older models are in demand.

Your message made me think about how models of all ages are working.
All you have to do is watch commercials, and observe lifestyle products and you will see models are all ages and infact 28-45 is a major age for commercial print models. Think about who spends money, who many ads are targeted towards?
Modeling has no age, but you have to know what you can "realistically model", if modeling is just fashion and sex appeal then you might have a tough time because many brands that target those areas want young models, however if you see modeling as "more" as "selling lifestyle brands" and products you will see that models are ALL ages. I would focus on getting some shots that bring out your personality, energy and show you in lifestyle settings, at the dinner table, smiling, drinking wine, wearing jewelry, leaving the house in a pretty gown, coming out of a car, laughing with children, cooking some food, running in fitness clothing. All of these movements are seen in ads for lifestyle products for mature models. Think of magazines like More, Redbook, Travel magazines, parenting, and ads for furniture, cell phones, business brands, Staples, Banks, models are used for wayyy more than just fashion and commercial print modeling is an area you should target.

The problems for older models happen when they try to be "too sexy" and struggle to fit into a business based on only glamour and instead miss the advertising and editorial sides of modeling.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

petite models: how do I model handbags question

A girl on Twitter asked me: If I was wanting to model handbags for example, do I approach random stores, agencies or the actual brand first?

My thoughts:
One of my best friends is a handbag designer. I met her at a young designer showcase event in NYC. I have modeled for her line, appeared in magazines modeling and together we have given her handbags exposure to the media and at the start I gained not only modeling experience that lead to bigger things but a great friend.

I think it is best to first start with getting some shots of yourself modeling handbags, even if they are your own handbags. Showing you "can" model handbags. Practice posing in front of the mirror, get a handle on how to work with a product first. Look at ads that involve handbags as well. (also showing a smile in a shot for a handbag can be good as well, because handbags and accessories are fashion items but often when shows in ads are not shown only with a high fashion forward vibe, so create photos that also involve smiles holding the bag, walking with it, etc-Also hand models have modeled handbags as well. So also consider getting some shots of just your hands holding the bag.)

Then I would get a comp card made. (

You always want to be as professional as possible, always, when presenting yourself. So it is more professional to have a comp card. The reason is that when you approach an agency, a small company, or smaller stores you want to be able to "show" you know how to model something, aka, in regards to your question: the handbags, accessories, etc.

I do believe an aspiring model could and should strive to work with aspiring brands while trying to work with agencies as well. However, when it comes to approaching stores and brands, and designers, I would NOT walk into a national chain or brand that is known throughout the world, instead I would start with local brands, aspiring brands, aspiring designers, fashion students, people who are striving to also promote their goods (products, brands), they will be more likely to take your comp card, photos, and work with you.

Sometimes having some experience modeling in a product catalog or online catalog for a product (handbags, accessories, jewelry) can help you when it comes to working with an agency. Showing you have some experience can lead to an agency having more interest in working with you. I had tear sheets in magazines I gained myself, and experience working with aspiring brands, designers, I approached, and then presented these experiences/images/on my comp card to prove I "could" model. Having some experience helped me get in the door at some agencies I have worked with over the years. So experience can help.

I would stop by a tradeshow, a craft fair, a local fashion show, a local college, I would try to meet aspiring designers, stop by a local boutique who might need a model, and ask "who handles the marketing for your company? And ask if you can drop off your comp card? Or ask how you can share some images with the person who handles the marketing, because you love their bags and would love to model them? Sure, later, you may not get paid a TON of money for it, or anything even, but it is the experience that will lead to bigger thins.

It is always worth trying, but it is helpful to try in a professional manner.

Also, remember, modeling is a self-serving business for a shorter girl, it is all about what you put in, if you expect it is be easy it sure won't be!

Things shorter girls can model

Things shorter girls can model: shoes, handbags, haircare, cosmetics, skincare, fast food commercials, travel ads, nailcare, fitness wear, cookware, furniture, headphones, to cell phones, & much more. Modeling ever-day lifestyle products is an aspect of commercial print modeling, and this area of modeling should be a shorter girls forte', and a smile is a short girls best asset. Personality helps, and nice skin as well.

Modeling for a short girl is...

Modeling for a short girl is...

All about marketing, hands on production of making and preparing your marketing materials, compcard, and portfolio, and being prepared of the marketing invovled with mailing your comp cards to commercial print agencies.

All about persistance, and ambition, trying once is not enough. It can take, months, years and a lot of time, effort, and more trying, to get modeling work with agencies.

Not based on just being pretty, it is based on "being what the client" is looking for.

All about using what you have and putting it to use in the advertising, editorial and commercial worlds. By understanding where you fit into this business of image and marketing what you naturally have, you can find opportunity.

Understanding that fashion is not just modeling, although it is the most talked about aspect it is actually the smallest area of the modeling business.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Short Model Support: The Model Language -radio segment

You might wonder, what is a compcard? What is a model voucher, what is a portfolio, and be curious about the language of the modeling industry from a shorter girls perspective, well the next show of Model Talk is all about the basic model language.

Host Name: Isobella Jade
Show Name: Short Model Support: The Model Language
Length: 15 min
Description: Isobella shares the language of the modeling business that a shorter girl or any model needs to know to get ahead. It is not just who you know, it is what you know.

Tune in to listen live at 12pm Weds the 26th or listen anytime to the archive:

Reading about Beverly Johnson, Vogue September 2009

My favorite part of Vogue is not even the fashion spreads, it is the little part at the start called Nostalgia. This month features a story of a memory of Beverly Johnson. She shares the moment she got her Vogue cover and what it meant to America and models, and the whole fashion history. I love reading stories about other people's journey to success and acomplishment, but it isn't just the top of the rock success I like to hear about, I like reading the moments of self-discovery, when things started, the roots of a story (it is the reason I wrote my own memoir,) I think it is interesting, inspirational and comforting to read about a person on their way to success, and the experiences they have had.

This article about Beverly shows her beating the odds, given a chance, and speaks on possibility, although only 2 pages, make me want to read more about Beverly. I wonder if she has a book, she should have a memoir, I will Google to found out now!

I'd love to meet her one day and swap stories.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

5 ways to improve America's Next Top Model

There are many things about ANTM that upsets me. Here are my top 5 ways to improve the show based on what I think is wrong with it. I don't really obsess over America's Next Top Model, or the winner, or the contestants, but this season I plan to watch and observe and obsess a little over the good and bad of the show and the perception it gives girls of all heights. It is the season of the shorter model on ANTM (or so-called shorter girl, I don't think 5'5" or 5'6" is really that short), so as one of the tiniest models out there, here are my top 5 ways to improve the show based on what I think is wrong with it.

1. Tyra leaves the girls cold and when they are kicked off....they are left thinking...what's next? Improve this!

2. Tyra has the models hold items like a snake or do weird things that have nothing to do with real modeling. Sure, I have posed with a live animal, a Tiger, but most models need to learn how to pose with products mostly! Improve this. Add products to the show of all types, handbags, shoes, etc.

3. She only talks about fashion modeling which is the smallest percent of the modeling business. Especially when the average American viewer is under 5'4" and all Tyra talks about is tall chicks. How depressing! There is no relatable aspect to the viewer.
P.s: Your short chicks for cycle 13 really aren't that short hun.
Thumbs down. Wish you thought of this stuff earlier.

4. She has never shared the language of the modeling business, the real day and the life aspects of being a model, and elements that a model should have, know and use such as: what is a voucher, the meaning of a portfolio, why a comp card is important, what happens at a casting, etc. Please improve this!

5. It is hard to watch without thinking what is the real point of this show?... "Is this show full of ****"

Amateur modelville- how models can skip it

If you are serious about modeling then you want the best photography you can get, you should want to work with the best agencies you can, and get the best modeling jobs you can.

How you present yourself as a model can say a lot towards where you will go and the jobs you will get...or not get.

A shorter girl, will most likely work non-exclusively with agencies and she will make her own compcards but how you present yourself on the comp card is very important. So when making a comp card ask yourself "Is this comp card marketing me towards print modeling?" "Does this comp card have a commercial marketable appeal?"
"What type of modeling jobs, clients, magazine, etc would like the girl on the comp card?"

A major question I get is "how does a person start modeling?"

The answer is simply: Get your marketing material, get your comp card, get your professional photos. Then comes a massive mailing to print agencies, talent agencies, casting directors, etc.

Don't email the agency through the website. It is more professional to mail it.
Send quality images, not just any old photo. You want to show you are professional so present that you are. That you have your stuff together, that you are ready!

It takes a lot of confidence and knowing yourself, to model.

The short-cut, the "someone else will handle it" mentality is not the way. Modeling when you are not a fashion model is more hands on, more about you, what you want, creating it, doing it, marketing it, and it is a lot of work.

Monday, August 24, 2009

how-to-model book for the short girl title picks

I am publishing a how-to-modeling book for the short girl. What title do you like best:

1.) The Short Model's Handbook
2.) The Short Girl's Guide to Modeling
3.) The Short Girl's Modeling Guide


If ANTM was more like Home Makeover I'd like it

I know it is one of the most popular shows out there, but if America's Next Top Model was more like Home Makeover I'd like it. 8 reasons why the show sucks, and what it needs to improve on.

The show should help the girls not just put them down.

The show should bring out the girls assets and not just pick out their flaws.

The show should include showcasing all types of modeling, commercial print, parts, not just fashion. Models are used in everything from cell phone ads, to tampon commercials, to travel ads to contact lenses, nail care, hair care, every day something you use a model modeled for.

There are not enough smiles. Most of the girls on the show look scared, nervous and like they pissed their pants.

The show has given America a top model but how come we don't hear about her or her doing anything 6 months after the show is done with? That's weird?

The show should teach the girls how to market themselves and what they do have so that when they get kicked off they have some sort of a plan. And they at least know how to go about pursuing modeling after Tyra tells them to flick off. The show should be more assisting to the girls and the fact that they have chosen them to be apart of a television show to teach them something about modeling, but yet there is no follow up, how is this girl doing, what happened to that one. It's like, we will take girls who know nothing about modeling and tease and make fun of them on aspects that actually really do not "make them a model" anyways, and then say Goodbye. Things like this can mess with the mind. I also would like to hear more of the model opinion on what Tyra is teaching them...I'd love to hear a girl say "WHY the heck did I have to hold a snake today, how does that make me a model?"

Granted certain modeling agencies are involved on the show but more than just a fashion agency should be approached to be featured as an opportunity the winner gets.

It is just reality TV, yes I know this, but it could be a show about more than limited elements of the modeling industry. Don't limit the viewer. Modeling is WAY more than fashion Tyra.

child models and modeling agencies for babies

A girl on Facebook asked me, do you have any advice for child models? My friend has an amazingly photogenic 8month old who I think should model!

Tell yourfriend, she should mail photos of her baby to an agency that has a children's division, for kids and babies,like CESD, or FFT, which works with kids and babies, or FORD Models, and Wilhelmina, which have a kids division. The best thing to do is mail by postal mail photos of your baby. And DO NOT get scammed, never pay an agency anything before your baby gets a modeling job and then the agency gets paid a percent (usually 20%) which is already usually taken out of the check, and like any model she should make a compcard for her baby. Also I would read this article on baby modeling here:

The struggles of the short model no more!

The two major concerns I get from shorter girls who want to model are:

Finding a good photographer

Finding a modeling agency that will accept them.

The perception of "what you think modeling is" can actually help you find the answers.

Is it just fashion? Is it just runway modeling?

Usually I tell the girls to think of modeling as using your personality to sell a product. Using what you have to apply it to the advertising, visual marketing world.

Many, many, many more products out are out there today, than 10 years ago. Many, Many, Many more opportunities are out there as well for a girl who want to model, because modeling can mean so many more things, modeling a handbag, modeling for a travel magazines, magazine for a hair product, modeling in a commercial for dog food!

To find a photographer I suggest checking out this link to a post on my blog based on How to Find a Professional Photographer:

Skip the internet marketing and promotion and mingling, etc, the Internet is not a place to start calling yourself a model, nor is a place to find professional photographers. (In my modeling memoir Almost 5'4" I talk all about my Internet photo mistakes.i think the book will intrigue and inspire you.) It is better to strive to work with a professional photographer, aim higher to get better photos to get the photos you need to better market yourself. Save time, energy, money and skip the scams and mistakes in the process.

To work with agencies if you are short you have to keep two things in mind:
Commercial print modeling agencies accept and work with models of all types (sometimes you can also find a talent agency but focus on that commercial print modeling agency submission by postal mail of your compcard.) Focus on working with agencies that work with models of all ages, NOT just fashion agencies. Fashion agencies will slam the door in your face typically.
A commercial print agency accepts photos by postal mail only, so no open calls. You need a modeling compcard to mail them.

When it comes to creating photos:
Smiles, energy and personality. These are three things a commercial print modeling agency wants to see.
So product photos that make you appear approachable, happy, a model who has spirit and can model anything, from a cell phone to a shoe, to a computer. Observe the ads in magazines, the lifestyle ads, that show a model "doing something" "laughing" and "using a product" and create photos similar.
You also need a nice headshot, face shot, smile headshot, you can also create a close up beauty shot that looks like a skincare ad.

There is no reason to complain that you can't model anymore. There are agencies out there, it will involve work, time, more work, and more time, but if you market yourself well with the right photos to the right agencies you can find opportunities. You might not find yourself, famous, jetset or a supermodel, but you can find modeling opportunities.

Something I tell myself daily:
"Be realistic with yourself while being as ambitious as possible"


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Modeling is more than showing off what you got

Modeling is not just about "showing" what you got, it is about showing that what you have can be great to work with products, for ads, editorials, catalogs, commercials, etc.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Modeling nude with products is parts modeling

As a body parts model I have learned clever ways to cover my body for modeling jobs. Here are some examples of how I posed with a product, whether modeling handbags, jewelry, or shoes or a chair. Also cropping a photo can help to make it have a more commercial print or editorial, appeal.

become who want to be

To become who want to be you have to discover what you can be, taking a chance on your self is the biggest thing you can do for you.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Commercial print modeling photos for short models

Shorter girls, and anyone curious about modeling should consider commercial print modeling. Commercial print modeling does not have an age limit and you will not be thrown out when you get to a certain age (like fashion tends to do with taller models who have expiration dates when the model is not considered "new" or "exciting" anymore.) Commercial print modeling welcomes models of all ages, shapes, sizes, and ethnicities, men and women, children, teens, all ages. If you want to start modeling and fashion is slamming the door in your face, don't worry!

You can still get great modeling work in commercial print modeling. Did you know commercial print modeling is the largest area of modeling? Yup!

Here are examples of photos you should try to create for commercial print. Energy, natural makeup, happy, not so fashion forward clothing, a lot of what commercial print modeling is about is: just you being you. Having an editorial flair within your photos is good too, but think beauty, health, accessories.

my comp card for "parts modeling," parts modeling involves hands, feet, legs etc.

You can still wear a cute pair of jeans and hold a handbag or something, but it has to look like an ad for a happy girl, upbeat, friendly, not moody, with a confident appeal.

I love fashion but I know as a shorter model I had to think about "what does the agency want to see" " what type of products and ads could I realistically be apart of"-if I want to work with agencies, and get opportunities, to build my portfolio I had to caiter my photos towards the direction of commercial print.

I do not suggest sending any photography with heavy makeup,that are high fashion styled, or overly sexy, nor anything with bad lighting to print agencies. I would also observe the photos commercial print agency models on the agency website have. Observe ads of lifestyle products to get inspired, notice lifestyle ads to get the vibe of you are going for already in your mind ahead of time, before shooting, model and photographer should have the understanding of what the model needs to get in the door. Plan it out, have examples ready, be prepared, before you shoot.

I would look at beauty, skincare, ads for cell phones, haircare, technology, furniture, tampons! Everything commercial print targeted. That is how a short girl can start to work with agencies.

Remember make a compcard, and send your compcard in the postal mail to the commercial print agencies. Sending your compcard in the mail is the way to get a modeling agency for a short girl.


Quick we need photos of your hands! hand modeling

One of my agents says today "We need a digital photo of your hand now!"

So I used my Logitech web cam to get some natural quick shots. The logitech camera is great for quick shots. And affordable. Here are some of the images I took to send off to one of my agents.

Sometimes if you have experience as a hand model, you can booked just based on your photos, especially for last minute jobs.

Model ready hair with David Babaii shampoo

This week I am trying David Babaii Amplifying Shampoo, a bit pricey for my budget but the stuff works and I might consider making this a splurge I can get used to.

My hair felt totally more alive the next day, and even on a hot NYC summer humid day my hair held.

Cruelty Free and by purchasing you also help endangered wildlife.
It is also free of sulfate and petroleum free and free of animal testing.

Good hair, good cause.

Why a modeling comp card is more professional to mail

Here is insight on mailing and working with agencies. First. I would NOT send photos through email. It is unprofessional. It is more professional to send your compcard. Mainly because:

1. It shows you have already been in front of the camera and have put together a nice marketing compcard for the agency to use.
2. It shows you are ready to go, right now, to a casting, you don't need to "still make a compcard."
3. It shows you are serious about modeling. You have your marketing tools and you know what you're doing.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Why do modeling agencies charge you for photos

I was recently thinking about how and why agencies charge aspiring models for photos. Is this wrong, is this ok? It is helpful? Or is it a scam?

I decided it is wrong.

I think they are charging you because they think you are unable to handle making photos. They want some easy money from knowing you don't know what you need and how to do it.

Well if you do know what you need and how to do it, you can save money and time.

If a model is ambitious, can create her own photos, and is determined to be apart of her marketing process and basically isn’t a lazy model she can skip scams, get ahead faster, and even save money. I have never been one to just sit and wait for things to happen, or believe that someone else can totally make my dreams and goals come true. Having the “want” to do something is not enough these days, you have to “want to do the work.” The work involves making your own comp card, working with professional photographers, knowing what type of photos you need and really being apart of your process of working as a model.

It is a process. It is time. It is not an overnight thing.

Recently a girl commented to me about an agency charging her for photography and to be on their website…she asked if this was a scam. I think it is.

If you can produce your own compcard and photos you can skip the scams. Also the scams will be less likely to approach you. If you come off professional, together, and capable, ready, then how can you get scammed?

I always suggest a girl manages her own photography, her own look, how she wants to be marketed, and the photos she shares, however a commercial print agency will often give girls tips, comments, advice on photography you should never be forced to use an agencies photographer. There are even warnings on legit modeling agency websites that mention this.

Remember at the early stage, you also do not need a “whole” portfolio to start modeling. You just need some good commercial print modeling shots. A nice headshot. So don’t go crazy over getting photos that won’t help you. Focus on what you need and get in and get your compcard made and get rolling!

It is a scam if an agency charges you to be on their website, it is also a scam if they force you to use their photography. An agent is a person who is suppose to “market you” and while you will give the agency your own marketing tools, provide compcards, --the agency will use what you give them if they want to work with you and at least try to use it to market you, until you can improve your photos. Even when I had a not so marketable compcard, the agency took it and did their best with it, until I had better photography and a better compcard to give them.

Shape Magazine's got your back for Beauty

I don't believe in going broke for beauty. You can enhance and take care of what you have without it costing you an economic crunch! Shape magazine laid out the winners and I am picking my top ten to share:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Shorter girls need compcards, here's why

A girl on Facebook left me a comment on my Wall that read: I was told by a Ford photographer recently that you shouldn’t have a comp card when trying to get an agency unless your switching from one agency to another that an agency wants nothing to do with a compcard thats not theirs? I’m confused now because of how much you talk of compcards. I am only 5'5". So trying to find a good commercial print agency to submit to.

This was my reply on my Facebook Wall:
Fashion is different than commercial print. Ford is fashion. For fashion modeling (girls 5'9" 5'10") it is a totally different world. A shorter model needs a compcard, to get in with the commercial print modeling agencies. Infact mailing the compcard to commercial print agencies is "how" you get an agency to work with you. A commercial print modeling agencies does not make it for it. You, as the model, make your compcard, mail it to agencies, and if the agency likes your look they call you. Don't email the commercial print agencies. Commercial print agencies only accept photos through postal mail the majority of the time so be prepared to make a compcard. Your compcard is your model-life line.

I recently dig a segment on my radio show Model Talk called: Short Model Support: Modeling Agency 101, tune in for tips on submitting to commercial print agencies here. I think it will help:

Also here is a post on model contracts and how getting signed and working with a fashion agency is not the end all. And for a shorter girl she can still model without being signed to an agency. She can work non-exclusive with commercial print agencies.

Short Model Support: Modeling Agencies 101

Short Model Support: Modeling Agencies 101

On this segment of Model Talk, Isobella shares insight on how a shorter girl can approach a modeling agency. Also as one of the tiniest models in NYC, she announces her self as America’s Next Top Model’s Short Model Judge for cycle 13 this fall, sharing commentary on the show this fall.

This segment was live on 8/19/09 at 11:30am, you can listen to the archive of this show and any other shows anytime here.

Does a short girl get signed to a modeling agency?

A girl on Facebook recently asked me: How does someone try to become a signed model? People are telling me I need a portfolio. Isn't that something an agency provides? (Like the direction in which the agency wants to market you.) I have a polaroid camera should I get someone to photograph me and just go to an open call?

I wasn't sure of her height, so assumed she was short. I told her:

Many times a shorter girl does not get signed by an agency right away, infact it might not happen all together. Or at all.

Don't worry though, getting signed is not the end-all and not having a modeling contract doesn't mean you can't model. You can model while working non-exclusively with commercial print modeling agencies. A commercial print modeling agency works non-exclusively with many models, so it is usual.

For a shorter girl, especially, it is all about you knowing how you can be an asset to an agency and targeting your photos around that. Actually, YOU, as the model, create your photos and manage your own photography while working non-exclusive with agencies and while trying to work with print modeling agencies, which can come as a shock to many shorter girls that email me,message me, facebook, myspace, twitter, me, etc. There is real work involved for a shorter girl to work with agencies. Real work.

Commercial Print modeling should be your focus.

To work with a commercial print modeling agency you do to make your own compcard and portfolio too. An agency for commercial print modeling does not make it for you. Do don't expect this. Also you might be surprised to learn that there are no open calls either for commercial print modeling. You mail your photos by postal mail to the agency. Mailing a compcard is best.

It is how I did it. Sort of like a painter needs his paint and paint brush, you need to make your compcards and marketing tools to give to the agencies to market you with. It might sound different from what you hear in the media and on reality Tv but commercial print modeling involves these things:

1. Creating photos that have a commercial print appeal, happy, smiles, energy, think of print ads for cell phones, fast food, smiles, upbeat energy. Here is a sample of photos you need to create.

2. You need to make a compcard from the commercial print photos you make.
Here is insight on making a compcard and why you actually do it yourself and why you should:

How a compcard can help your modeling pursuits:

3. Mail the compcard to commercial print modeling agencies. Put your number on your compcard and mail 2 cards. Here is insight.
Sending your photos to agencies and how to do it:

And this is insight about why you don't really need a cover letter:

This is insight on what to put on your compcard and what not to put:

4. Next comes mailing, mailing and more mailing of your compcard to commercial print modeling agencies.

5. If the agency wants to work with you, they will call you.
Here is insight for the agency meeting, after you mail your compcard to the agency:

And this is insight on how I started modeling despite being so darn short :)

Alloy is a good example of teen modeling photography

When it comes to creating modeling photos for a teenage aspiring model a good source of inspiration is Alloy. I recently was on their website and I like the energy, personality, natural fun spirit found in their online catalog.

Observe the models, the smiles, how they are modeling the clothing, and get inspired for your own modeling shots for your compcard to mail to print modeling agencies.

Focus on modeling accessories, jeans, handbags, shoes, and put a smile into it.

Commercial print modeling agencies want to see this energy in your photos.

Also, even if you are in your 20's but look younger, you should also be considering shots like these always for print modeling. The smile works for any age, but teens often ask me about photography tips and this post is inspired by the teen girls who email me about photography.