Thursday, February 18, 2010

Five Steps to get ahead as a Short Model


Modeling as a shorter girl is tough, that's for sure, but I am a big believer in making things happen for your self, and for a shorter girl that is the way to get ahead as a model. Here are five tips towards getting ahead as a shorter girl.

Five Steps to get ahead as a Short Model

Modeling as a shorter girl is tough, that's for sure, but I am a big believer in making things happen for your self, and for a shorter girl that is the way to get ahead as a model. Here are five tips towards getting ahead as a shorter girl.

Spend on your goals, invest on your pursuits.
When ever I made money in modeling I always put it right back into my pursuits. With new compcards, printing new portfolio prints, getting a new portfolio, and much more, especially the beauty and body up keep. A shorter girl has to get her comp card together and marketing tools to get ahead, it is NUMBER 1. (by the way: A comp card will get you further than a website when it comes to working with an agent, real brands and attending real castings, focus on having these marketing tools as your first step.)

Number 2, it doesn't matter if you know the latest trends in fashion or every top models name and their story by heart, but you do have to have an understanding of your own self. Understanding where you fit into this modeling industry is a big part of finding opportunities when you are not giraffe tall. The more you know yourself and focus on realistic goals, the better. There is more to modeling, and working as one, than just fashion, the runway, and having long limbs. Make sure you know your assets. If you do not know your assets you should consider thinking about what type of products you could see yourself realistically modeling for and spend some time focusing on putting your: great eyes, hair, personality, smile, to use as a model --with photos that compliment your assets.

Because number 3 is creating photos that sell you and if you know what you can realistically model for you can create photos that will better target the areas you can get ahead. Commercial print modeling is the area for a shorter girl. Focus on getting the shots you need by understanding what you do not need. You don't need:
-Shots that involve a lot of makeup on your face. (Even for beauty and cosmetic ad opportunities you want to focus on a beauty shot that has a natural look, not heavy cakey makeup.The client wants to see your face honestly and clearly before they hire you.)
-You do not need a high fashion shot. You do not need a shot that shows you in a high fashion pose, or pouting or with a strong serious face, instead flaunt your smile, and observe lifestyle product ads that show models smiling in them to get inspired.
-You don’t need a modeling school or need to learn how to walk. Print agencies work with models of all sizes not based on how well they walk. Print models are hired for their personality and approachable look, clear skin and healthy hair, print models are hired because their look that fits the product’s personality as well, which is usually about being friendly or happy and showing expression in a commercial print ad.
-Skip the glamour shots, and watch out for overly sexy photos because these shots that turn off a commercial print modeling agency. If you want to model swimwear make it still show your spunk and personality in a pretty way, look at magazine editorials you'd see in Glamour, Marie Claire, Cosmo or Allure, or similar to what you’d see on the Macy’s, Target, or Alloy catalog or ad. Even if you are modeling swimwear or under garments in print modeling, usually it is still more conservative, so think health, beauty, fitness when creating your body shots.


Although it is a hustle and a lot of work to get comp cards, get a portfolio, get photos and mail your comp cards out to agencies, it is the way for a short girl. There are no open calls in print modeling. Submissions are still by postal mail even in this Internet-age. And having a comp card makes you appear more professional and ready for castings and bookings, when mailing the agency. Working non-exclusive with print agencies is the lifestyle of a shorter model, however you can work with more than one agency non-exclusively. Shorter models do not typically find exclusive representation until they are more established perhaps.

The 4th step is self promotion and marketing. Getting the attention of an agency usually doesn’t happen overnight. It might take more than one comp card submission and mailing to an agency to get a meeting, sometimes it takes 3-4-5-6 or more submissions to even the same modeling agency over the course of a few years to hear back, at last! Many girls go through months and years of submissions before hearing back at all. So be aggressive with your mailings, update your compcards, improve your photos, mail them out again, try again, but also strive to get some experience on your own through approaching aspiring brands and designers (especially accessories designers), attend tradeshows, and network with those who are ambitious and trying to get ahead, growing their brand and get the right exposure and tear-sheets too. Strive to only shoot with professional photographers, and those who are serious about the craft of photography, and even if it takes a bit longer stay true to your goals and focus on getting them achieved. Through this attitude, I even gained a few tear-sheets in magazines through photographers that worked with magazines and were ambitious to get published as well. After I had experience modeling for a magazine, aspiring brands and designers, it was easier to market myself to modeling agencies because I had proof that despite my height I had been hired and modeled for a respected national magazine and growing brands. It was very grassroots and self-inspired and my actions lead me to get the work I get today. It takes a very focused and ambitious mindset to get your own opportunities, and at the same time it takes being skeptical, careful, honest with yourself, realistic, and a positive attitude, to self promote in the proper ways that will benefit your modeling pursuits.

The 5th step should really be a part of the first step. Skip the Internet all together for your model promotion. The Internet is amateur for modeling. Trust me, I wrote a whole book about my ins and outs about using the internet as a model, and the majority is a waste of time. Focus on the professional and being one, and you get more.

Also see this post based on five jobs where height doesn't matter and some self promotion tips:
http://petitemodelingtips.blogspot.com/2010/01/five-modeling-jobs-where-height-doesnt.html

http://petitemodelingtips.blogspot.com/2008/10/improve-your-model-marketing-for-small.html

Isobella

1 comment:

Hostess torino said...

Really this is the great information. Commercial print modeling is the area for a shorter girl. Focus on getting the shots you need by understanding what you do not need. You don't need:
-Shots that involve a lot of makeup on your face. (Even for beauty and cosmetic ad opportunities you want to focus on a beauty shot that has a natural look, not heavy cakey makeup.
Hostess torino