Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Can my tattoo hold me back from modeling jobs?

A girl on facebook wrote me about her modeling with a tattoo concerns:
"love your blog. I am 5'5 AND have a tattoo on my arm... I am getting tattoocamo which is that cover up tattoo stuff soon so I hope that works a little, you at least gave me a little hope but that didn't make my tattoo go away."

An excerpt of my reply:
Models these days are not just one type, and a tattoo actually could land you a job depending on what it is for. I wouldn't dwell too obsessively on having a tattoo but I would know how to touch up and cover up the tattoo if needed. As long as you show personality within your modeling photos and on your comp card YOUR SMILE, ENERGY and PERSONALITY is what a modeling agent and casting director would be intrigued with, show that with or without a tattoo you are a good model. (Use the tattoo as an advantage for certain modeling jobs, brands, companies that have used girls with tattoo's before, I have seen commercials and ads that involve the model having a tattoo, whether it was real or not I don't know, but the tattoo could be something of an asset sometimes for certain jobs.)

So I wouldn't try to hide it and I would be honest about having tattoo's to agents and casting directors. Also, who knows the tattoo could end up giving you a tearsheet in a magazine. If the tattoo has a meaning or is something you are happy about consider submitting professional photos of your tattoo and self to the photo editor at Marie Claire or Ink magazine, if the photos are professional they might intrigue the photo editor for a photo story, since tattoos are actually something talked about in articles sometimes, and might be something for a beauty story. If this special tattoo remover works you could maybe send a story or tip into the mags or something on covering up a tattoo.. Your experience, -Just a random thought :)

Side note: Also although shorter girls should focus on commercial print modeling. I remember seeing photos from a recent Chanel runway show where the models had fake tattoos on. So keep in mind, tattoos are not as taboo.

As for commercial print modeling and editorial work, I would think of products, brands and companies that might feature a model who has a tattoo to model their products. Think of what would fit the look of your tattoo, but even a handbag company might, a jewelry company, cosmetic company.

--overall don't let the tattoo hold you back because it can be touched up and many models have tattoos, and scars, etc :) I'm not sure if you have a compcard yet, but when making one reemember that these days having something unique going on can actually book you work sometimes,- (sometimes what we consider a flaw could be opportunity, ex: my first tearsheet in a magazine came from a beauty story on bangs to cover my sorta big Hey it got me my first tearsheet!)

Then she wrote me again about her comp card: how many photos on my compcard should be of me with my tattoo showing, or should I use that cover up in all the images I put on that compcard? maybe one photo with the tattoo?

I think it is ok to have one photo with the tattoo on your compcard, don't over do it because you don't want to be defined by the tattoo or miss out on an opportunity because you have pretty eyes and nice skin but the shots on your comp card are not showing it, I would add a photo of your tattoo that has an editorial feel, as if it is a part of a beauty story, or maybe with some jewelry that has a similar color to the tattoo, like a jewelry ad? Make it look like the tattoo is not something that ruins a shot but enhances it. :)


Miranda Conklin said...

I live in NY and have absolutely no idea how to get involved in modeling.

I would want to get into hair modeling/ beauty since I have thick curly hair and an "all american" face.

I am 5'2" and I am pretty sure that beauty modeling is my best option.

Do you have any suggestions?

I don't know where else to post this so I am posting it here =)

Thank You

Isobella Jade said...

Hi Miranda, beauty modeling is a great area for a shorter girl to pursue. Here are some tips on that, a beauty shot can look MANY different ways, but a straight on to camera beauty shot is nice, and side profile as well:

Also, I would strive to research talent agencies, print modeling agencies, and to make a comp card as well. Height isn't everything in modeling but you do have to know how to market what you have. hair modeling and beauty modeling are good areas but make sure to include a smile shot on your comp card you will want to show personality. Here are some tips for print modeling photos and comp cards:

And this one is on the type of photography you need:

A shorter girl should be creating her own comp card. You can try using or on my blog there is a list of printing options based in NYC as well. ON the right side of the blog. You will want to find print modeling agencies and actually on my blog I list some in NYC here:

Isobella Jade said...

You can also email questions about modeing to me at


Stacey said...

I think having a tattoo wont harm anyones chance in getting herself to modeling. Well, unless, there's a dragon screaming. A little tattoo won't be bad especially if it is made out of good taste.

A model friend has a very nice tattoo lettering in her side that says "my gravity", she models for swim wear and this doesn't affect her job.

gabrielle s. said...

Hi, my name is gabrielle...i have two tattoes one on my ribs and on my shoulder...could that affect the chances of me becoming a model? I am five ten also I have a monroe piercing...i asked the agent I was set up to meet with that it would be fine if I keep it because it suits me but maybe other agencys may not be okay with therefore I took it out but I really love it. Should I keep it out?