Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Isobella's Closet, some random outfits I wore this week

Taken with iPhone.

Forever 21 dress, Style & Co shoes, vintage Dooney & Burke bag.

BCBG Dress, Guess shoes.

Nina shoes, random hat from the street, H&M skirt, Aqua tank.

Petite of the Week is Leigh Ann


photo by Noah Clayton

Here is what Leigh Ann says about being petite and making strides in modeling:

"The modeling industry is much larger than most people tend to think. Its only high fashion and runway modeling that requires such an emphasis on height. The beauty, hair, accessory, jewelry, commercial, tv, and film industries are completely open to us shorties and I think it's so important for us to remember that. That's why I refuse to let my height limit my dreams and potential. It took me less than six months to create a diverse portfolio, work with dozens of photographers and become sought after by dozens more, this coming from a girl who stands at just 5'2". I've been modeling for less than a year and each step I take toward my dream of modeling helps me to learn and to grow; to make more and more compelling, dramatic, and eye-catching images; and to immerse myself in learning the industry that much deeper. I truly believe that our dreams come true when we commit to them... and my commitment is unshakable. Good things come in small packages, and models are no different! Passion doesn't have a height and mine is touches the heavens!~Leigh Anne"

photo by John Carman Photographer

Leigh Ann also does her own makeup for many of her shoots and I think knowing how to do your makeup is important. Usually for jobs there is a makeup artist but still knowing how to do your makeup is a good idea anyways.

(To submit to be Petite of the Week email me at a headshot.)

This week on my Model Talk Radio podcast Today at 1pm!

Today at 1pm, on my podcast Model Talk Radio, I will be share the things I've learned along the way about being a self-made model, and the things the don't tell you about the day-and-the-life of working as a model, when you're not giraffe tall, and how to handle the highs and lows of the pursuit.

Title of show: Being a shorter model: the things they don't tell you

Date / Length: 6/30/2010 1:00 PM - 15 min

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Finding a photographer for print modeling shots

Use the Backstage Yellowpages if you are searching for a photographer. I am hoping over time to have a database of photographer I can suggest for headshots and commercial print photos. Like an actor a model needs a nice headshot and beauty shot, she needs shots that show her personality. She needs natural, and real.

When looking for a photographer keep a few things in mind.

1. Go for good lighting and work with someone who understands the craft of photography.

2. Shoot with a photographer who understands print modeling and understands the type of photos you need for print modeling.

3. Somes you have to spend money, (yes pay a photographer) to make money. Most times TFP does not get aspiring models quality work they need to market themselves. There are exceptions but rare ones. I have had a few TFP's that results in tearsheets and were with serious photographers who were testing, however most of the time TFP can be a total waste, -remember you want quality, professionalism, and here is why.

Check out this link for finding photographers as an option:

If there is a female photographer or photographer you'd like to suggest to be apart of the database you can submit submissions at

Monday, June 28, 2010

What’s in the model’s bag?

I wanted to share insight on What’s in the model’s bag?

Showing up to a modeling job with a clean face isn't enough. Here are some things I bring to my model bookings.

Shoes. Always bring a comfortable pair of shoes, flip-flops or sandals to wear during breaks. You might be working in heels, and sometimes they are a bit too small or not worn in. So you will want to keep your feet looking pretty, not tired or red, while waiting for the crew to set up the next shot, or during a break.

Robe. Sometimes the stylist won't have one for you, so bring your own if possible.

Food and water. Even if there is catering, you still want to be prepared. Bring water to keep your body and skin hydrated.

Hairclips, hair pins and elastic hair tie. Even if the job doesn't involve your face, you will typically want your hair out of your face. Even for shoe modeling jobs and hand modeling jobs, I try to keep my hair out of my face if possible. Doing so limits distractions (like hair falling in your face!) while on set.

Cell phone charger. While you are working you might get called for other jobs or castings to schedule, so keep your phone charged, but on vibrant or silent, while working.

Q-tips. This is one of the most handy model-tools ever. You can clean up your face, nail polish, and a million other things with a q-tip. Bring some.

Thong. Models need to have handy their own tan, black and white thongs, plain and simple, no frazy dazzle, just simple thongs.

Also keep in mind you are there to do a job. Leave your bad mood, fight with your boyfriend, or any other shitty moment at the door and focus on getting the job done as efficiently as possible. It is better to ask where the bathroom is or take a water break than to end up crying in front of the whole crew. You want to appear capable and professional, and the client should feel like they hired the right girl for the job. You. Even if you are having an off day, focus on what the job entails, and bring your best effort forward.

Once I had my period, and I had a job for a shaving company. I had to be basically naked for 9 hours. However, I still made sure that no one knew the whole day of shooting that it was my time of the month. Part of being a model is keeping your positive spirit, hiding your tampon string when needed, and keeping your mouth shut, and not letting a challenge get the best of you, even if it means smiling through your cramps.

Facebook question: fashion photos for short models

A girl on facebook recently asked me, "I found a photographer and we're going to meet about what we want out of the shoot. Now I know to tell her that I need more "print" looking photos. Is it okay to have some more fashion type photos in your portfolio as well? To show that you can do multiple things? Do you just go to a print shop to make your compcard? and how many do you think is good to make for starting out?"

My reply might also help your own pursuits in modeling:

As a shorter girl, fashion photos will not help you. To be honest print modeling photos are best to get. Print modeling photos involve personality and are more natural than a fashion styled photo that has more makeup and styling involved. Showing fashion photos is not the "diversity" that will help you. Commercial print modeling is more conversative, an agencies for print modeling and talent agencies want to see smiles, personality and energy within your photos in a natural way, and print modeling type photos are a lot less styled and more about the model's personality, so study what print modeling is before you get infront of the camera,--

Don't waste time shooting what won't help you.

It is better to focus on creating the photos you NEED for commercial print modeling and they are very basic and not as complicated and don't need massive production to produce, good lighting, good energy, simple styling, natural makeup and your there!

It might sound boring but it is what you need. Less makeup, less styling, simple. I would use only a professional printing service for a comp card. You could also go to a print shop at prints headshots, but only go to a place or use a service that prints professional comp cards and has experience doing so. no Kinkos, no Sears, no Walmart, use or something similar on the web if there is not a physical professional headshot and comp card printing service/store near you.

Google: headshot printing + your city.
comp card printing + your city.

Typically a headshot printing service will also print comp cards.

I think if you can walk into a printing service for headshots they will often also print comp cards, and it is best if it is possible to meet face to face with the pritning representive because you want to make sure the color looks nice, see a proof in person before you approve. If you do use an online printing service, make sure you ALWAYS see a proof mailed to you in the postal mail in person, colors can look different when printed.

For a comp card is it is best to start with 50-100. Paying $100 for 100 cards is normal, sometimes more is common. Cards range from $1-$2 per card.


P.s: you could consider creating two portfolio books, one for anything you want in side, and then one for serious print modeling-- to use it for agencies, castings, and to get opportunities as a shorter model.

For more tips on modeling, agencies, making comp cards, and self promotion as a shorter model, tune in to my podcast radio show Model Talk Radio here:

The Shoe Modeling contest winner is Glenda + parts modeling tips

The Shoe Modeling Contest winner is Glenda, even though I wish there was a smile, when I look at her shot I think "catalog" this looks like a catalog for an online shoe retailer, or a store like Macy's. I think the dress is a bit too bold and the shoes should have been a bit more directly where my eye went, but she looks comfortable in her skin, and in the shoes, and she looks long and proportioned. Shoe modeling can involve full body and I like where Glenda was going with the shot.

She wins this! Michael Antonio Shoes (size 6) and Clarins Self Tanner, and a copy of my modeling memoir Almost 5'4"!

Most petite girls are a smaller size shoe and using your foot, legs, "parts" for parts modeling can be a way to get the door with a modeling agency. Many print agencise have "parts modeling divisions." It does involve submitting the right photos/ a comp card that shows your parts in a natural and ad inspired way.

There were some other submissions for the shoe contest I held last week that were of just the legs and feet. And for parts modeling it could work to just show the legs, Sharlotte from London, England sent me this leg shot. The background is a bit messy. So I would get rid of the clothing in the background, and keep it clean for creating a 'parts modeling shoe/leg shot'.

Also when creating shoe modeling shots, I think changing up the polish is a good idea. For health, beauty, heels, skincare, sandals, toes are seen sometimes, but in natural colors, clear, or light pink. Also showing your feet in and legs in different types of shoes, sneakers, sandels, heels, and by themselves in the sand or low cut grass, or just a plain background color is best. Also keep in mind, it is best not to promote that you are a "feet model", (this can sound be amatuer and can led to the wrong thing) it is better to say "parts model."

Here are more tips for getting into parts modeling. And below are more tips on creating photos for parts modeling.

Here are some samples of my feet and legs in ads:

Other tips on creating photos for parts modeling here:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Shoe modeling contest, last day to submit!

Today is the last day to submit to my shoe modeling contest! Deadline is Friday!

Win a pair of Michael Antonio Shoes (size 6) and Clarins Self Tanner, and a copy of my memoir Almost 5'4". This video shares how to submit! :) (email me a photo of yourself shoe modeling your favorite pair of summer shoes to

Deadline is June 25th 2010!

The winner's photo will be posted on this blog next week.

Did you miss this weeks live segment of Model Talk Radio, you can still listen here, and also hear the other archived podcasts on how shorter models can get ahead! :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

5 Tips for photographers working with models

Communication is important between model and photographer. I have been thinking about the photographer's perspective and here are some tips for photographers working with models. Many models who I speak to are aspiring and shooting their first shoots for their comp card and portfolio, here are 5 tips to keep in mind.

1. Communicate. Models should know how to move, pose naturally, but also communicate with the model while shooting and tell her how she is doing, does something look wrong? Is something not working? Is something working well?

2. Know something about makeup and styling. I love it when a photographer tells me I need more powder or to touch up something, I don't take offence, I like knowing the photographer is paying attention to detail. Let her know if that certain color of her shirt is making her look red or if it is not the best color on her. Try out the outfits before she gets her makeup done, so she can easily change if the color isn't working.

3. Talk to the model before the shoot and ask her what she is looking for, discuss how you can collaborate, discuss the shoot plans before the day of the shoot. Models like to be prepared and know what to expect.

4. Do a couple test-shots and show it to the model, models like to see themselves and know how they look while they are shooting; it helps them know what to adjust, change, and what to not do, to make the shot look best.

5. Don't let her freak out or get stressed about a pimple or a scar, tell her it isn't a big deal, those are easy to touch up.


Shoe modeling contest! There is still time to submit

I've gotten some good submissions but there is still time to submit to the shoe modeling contest! Deadline is Friday!

Right now you can start submitting to my shoe modeling contest. Win a pair of Michael Antonio Shoes (size 6) and Clarins Self Tanner, and a copy of my memoir Almost 5'4". This video shares how to submit! :) (email me a photo of yourself shoe modeling your favorite pair of summer shoes to deadline is June 25th 2010!) The winner's photo will be posted on this blog.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Broke Model's Photography Guide -Thursday!

Agencies don't need the sparkle, all the dazzle, or fake eye-lashes, they just need to see the real you! The photos you need to start modeling no matter your size are pretty basic. Just keep in mind print modeling is all about personality, energy and actually, it is a lot more conservative than you might think. (so even if you have a nice body and want to do swimwear, you need to tame down the pout and put on the smile.)

On MODEL TALK RADIO the topic is The Broke Model's Photography Guide, because the basics are something that all aspiring models need and they are not that hard to create. Learn about what photos you need, how to pose naturally, and get something that will at least help you market yourself to agencies. (also covered will be things to avoid, the debate over tfp photography and how shorter models can use what they do have beyond height to get work.)

Tune in here for the live show at 11 AM EST 6/24/2010 or catch the archive anytime:

Does TFP work for models? I share my debate with this

This is a tricky one. It came up in a discussion with a photographer friend of mine who stopped doing TFP and stopped testing because the models never showed up, were late, or were terrible.

It made me think, if an aspiring model wants to approach a professional photographer that is established, has credits, has a professional photography career what would she do.

I also understand the an aspiring model has to start somewhere and the more established photographers are going to be hard to work with....for free that is. Well I think "getting something for free" doesn't always mean it is good or worth it, so be aware of that one.

If a professional who has a professional photography business and career is testing models it could be a good opportunity, but how would you approach this person?

Here is some of what we discussed and also some of my thoughts on things to be careful of in general when shooting as a new model and how to approach to get what you want and have a good experience.

This is a loaded topic and could be a whole book actually.

Honestly, before I share any insight, I want to stress that I don't think TFP through social media sites is a good idea for most models to consider. Most TFP photographers those offering tfp on these sites are lame, and their work on model social networking sites is lame and unprofessional, and is simply not the photography a shorter girl can use for getting real modeling work. If you are searching for a photographer on the Internet be VERY careful and have high expectations. Aim to find the professionals (in this Internet age I suggest always being skeptical).

Here are some tips for approaching and finding and getting what you need:

1. Many girls who approach me who want to model are eager to "Find a photographer" or they want to "get a photographer interested in shooting them." Well, I think before you search for a photographer, or get in front of the camera, an aspiring model has to know what photos she needs, and I think investing in yourself, paying to work with a professional who has quality work is a good idea to start. Paying $100 for a headshot is worth it, but even that can be very low price to pay, and of course you don't always get what you pay for, do, and sometimes it might take more than one shoot to get what you is a part of the process of being self-made. It is not easy. Something that will help is: Do YOU know what photos will work for you as a model? DO you know what type of photography YOU NEED to work as a model? If you don't I would find out, research or search thing blog to find out. Commercial print modeling is very different than fashion and nude modeling. Commercial print modeling is a lot more conservative and about personality, smiles, and energy and knowing the style of photo you need is very important when it comes to finding a photographer who can help you get the photos you need.

2. It is best to approach a photographer who understands what print modeling is. And for a shorter girl, your face is something that needs to be captured well,so if the photographer doesn't understand this, then most likely this is not a someone to work with, you should skip working with this person all together because you will end up wasting your time shooting nothing you need.

3. If you are on a budget and trying to get a couple shots for your compcard and portfolio which can market you towards print modeling, here are some suggestions of things you can offer to try to get what you need from a professional photographer when you do not have the funds for a full shoot. Be honest about your budget when approaching a photographer. Offer something to make the shoot worthwhile and make you stand out-- such as: a location, does your friend work at a cool cafe, lounge, furniture store, art gallery, is your friend a jewelry designer and could you offer to borrow some of the jewelry for the shoot, do you know a makeup artist who the photographer might be interested in working with? Show you are bringing to the table your understanding that to get something on a budget you should be a part of the process and show you are not just another model asking for a test.

4. Don't just think that styling, makeup, and good lighting makes the shots you need. The styling has to be fitting for the type of modeling you want to do, the makeup has to be fitting as well. Again, #1 know what type of photos you need.

5. Talk ahead of time about EVERYTHING, how many photos will you get and when? Get in writing if you can.

6. Another option all together is calling a print modeling agency, pick up the phone and call, and ask the agency what photographers they can suggest you shoot a headshot with. Usually agencies do have photographer's they can suggest to you.

7. To make a comp card you want to show the real you and the best of you and if you are really struggling with your budget and what you need, then here is another idea.
At sunset, or in the morning, (good light) have a friend of yours shoot some smile shots of you. Wear some jeans, a tee-shirt, a dress, and keep the makeup natural and hair natural. Hold a handbag, act like you are modeling some cute shoes, play with your dog. Basic shots are what you need and I do suggest aiming to work with a professional, but to "just get some first shots, shoot with your friend or even your mother.

8. Before your shoot study examples of ads and commercials, get in front of the mirror and practice posing naturally, hold a product, and start to learn how to model "something" naturally. Modeling is about modeling something. Modeling a product. Study lifestyle ads, notice the girls smiling. This is commercial print modeling, study ads and notice the styling, the hair, and model's expression, it is usually simple, natural, and full of real'ness.

I believe success comes when you know your self, and are smart about your pursuirs and I believe in investing in yourself, and aiming to work with people who are serious about their photography craft. In my early modeling pursuits i had some very poo-poo tfp, and mainly it was because I wasn't thinking about what I needed and just focusing on getting infront of the camera, even if it wasn't quality. Which I did for a year. I made many mistakes at the start of my pursuits as a model, (my memoir Almost 5'4") shares much of these not-so-wonderful experiences, and how I overcame them. If I could do it again I would have aimed higher sooner, which is why I am telling you to do so. Aim higher, want better for your self and get more and better quality and build friendships with people who value their work, have ambition and are talented.

These days if you are just looking for someone with a camera that is easy to find, but to find someone who is testing models, or someone who is worth your money takes knowing what you need.

Here are some things to be aware of and be in the know of to prevent a letdown:

I suggest not walking into anyone's apartment to shoot a photo shoot without an escort. Be comfortable and go with your gut if something feels wrong, leave, walk out, you do not have to stay. Even in a photo-studio feel that you can bring an escort, and if the photographer does not let you bring an escort this is a good sign that the photographer is not really a photographer afterall and is really a creep.

Skip scams and mistakes and bad experiences by striving to work not just with photographers with skill but photographers that are also nice people. People who communicate with the model, who make the process about communicating and collaborating and understanding one another's goals of the shoot. If it feels like you are there just for the photographers pleasure, that is not a good thing. You should leave.


On the hunt for female photographers

I am looking for female photographers who shoot portfolio for headshots and commercial print styled photos. Could be up and coming or established but the passion for photography must be there. Many girls who email me and reach out through my facebook and social media ask about finding a photographer, it is the most common question I get. I am making it my mission to advise these girls to work with photographers that take photography seriously. Email me at your link and info if you are a female photographer that shoots with models of all sizes. Thanks, Isobella

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Equestrain-Inspired Trend by Sanctuary

More Equestrain riding looks from Sanctuary Clothing, -this blazer is super cute!

Wish I had these when I rode a horse on a ranch in Texas earlier this month.

equestrian riding pants = so hot!

It's hot, hot, hot in NYC right now, it's so icky waiting for the subway to arrive but when it cools off this fall, I am totally feeling getting some equestrian riding pants. I do love horses, and riding them, and here is a pant that have caught my eye. I like the pants a bit more than the leggings. Also they will be warm in the fall/winter.

This Vince Ponte Riding Pant is oh so HOT! (

Plus size petite models- is there a place for you in modeling?

I saw a recent comment on this blog asking if plus size petite girls have a chance in modeling. I think if you are realistic the answer is yes. If you are trying to walk the runway, be a Victoria's Secret model then the odds might appear to be slim, but if you notice your assets beyond your height and size you can find opportunities. Agencies typically work with models that fit the needs of the clients. Most print modeling agencies (def fashion agencies) do not get asked often for petite models. It's not like a brand or magazine says to an agent, "I need all your short models please." Most clients, brands and magazines, are looking for a certain type, size, ethnicity, hair color, eye color however and if you are petite and plus size I would focus on a couple areas. Ok so you might not have the height but make sure your other assets are being noticed. Like your smile. Skin, and here are some areas to consider focusing on:

Beauty. Create photos that show your beautiful eyes, your nice skin, your pretty lips, and smile, hair, nail care.

Put your smile out there. Many brands and lifestyle products use models of all sizes and plus size is seen more in magazine style editorials, as for product ads, it is their smile, energy and personality that is used in the ad. SO make sure your photos are representing your personality.

Accessories. Handbags, scarfs, hats, jewelry, etc all use models of all sizes in their ads. Focus on creating some shots for your comp card that involve "you modeling something."

Parts modeling. The other day at my hand modeling casting I saw a plus size girl. If you are curvy with nice skin and hands consider hand modeling to get you in the door to work with agencies. Many print modeling agencies have "parts modeling" divisions.

Celebrate your curves. Use examples from ads for Dove and Hanes to inspire you. Show off your personality in your photos, and strive to get photos that are professional and show the real you in a natural and pretty way. Skip the overly sexy corny photos, skip the "trying too hard to be a model", be your self. These days being your self no matter your size sells.

Study ads, observe magazines of all types and product ads of all types.

Striving to work as a model and model for brands and products involves an ambitious and realistic mindset. I call this being "realistically ambitious."

Modeling is tough, modeling is competitive, it takes a major investment, self investment and striving involves more than just having your photo taken, you do need the right photos and the right mindset.

Market what you have, focus on it, be honest with yourself about what you can do and can't do and pursue the areas you CAN. ~isobella

P.s: And don't forget! Petite's! You have till Friday to submit to win a pair of size 6 shoes, all sizes welcome. Win a pair of Michael Antonio shoes, Clarin's Self Tanner, a signed copy of my memoir Almost 5'4", click here for the scoop on the contest and how to submit:

P.s: If you didn't catch the email to submit, it is

recognize what you do have

I was thinking about how when you recognize what you do have, you get further. Get where you are suppose to be by noticing yourself and your potential. Accept what your not, and strive with what you are. -isobella jade

Monday, June 21, 2010

Short Models Shoe Modeling Contest starts now!

Right now you can start submitting to my shoe modeling contest. Win a pair of Michael Antonio Shoes (size 6) and Clarins Self Tanner, and a copy of my memoir Almost 5'4". This video shares how to submit! :) (email me a photo of yourself shoe modeling your favorite pair of summer shoes to deadline is June 25th 2010!) The winner's photo will be posted on this blog.

I believe in working hard

I believe in working hard, and that there is no short cut. I am currently writing a YA novel, striving to write a chapter a day, among other things I'm doing, and without putting your hand on your goals, they will just sit there and start to rot. Accept that the road is long and the journey is a part of it, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. I believe in working hard and I really like people who do. :)
~isobella jade

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hanging out with the WiingGirls at the Red Bull Air Show

Photos from the weekend with WiiingGirls from the Red Bull Air Race at Liberty State Park, I was trying to see how many girls I could get photos with. (I loved their little hats!)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hand models are all ages

At my casting yesterday (for hands) I was the youngest one there. One girl brought a baby carriage and her baby. It cried a little but I will admit I was a little shocked she brought the baby to the casting. I wondered when I left if she left the baby in the hallway or took it in with her when it was her turn. Anyways, hand models are all ethnicities and ages and types for sure, let that inspire you :) ~isobella

totally alive to you

"what might be dead in one person's view could be totally alive to you." -isobella jade on trends, the latest things, and what's next.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tomorrow morning 10 am Model Talk Radio

Tomorrow morning 10 AM Model Talk Radio. See you there! I will be basing the segment on some recent topics on the blog on the importance of posing naturally and not relying on the photographer to tell you what to do as a model, and also some tips when it comes to approaching a modeling agency and how you should be interviewing the modeling agency as they interview you. The segment is called Why There are not petite modeling agencies. And I will tell you why! :) ~isobella jade

If you haven't checked out my memoir Almost 5'4" check it out here. And "Model Life: The Journey of a Pint-Size Fashion Warrior" can be found here. (amazon and bn)

polls are not working

I am soo ohhh sooo bummed that my polls are not working on my blog right now. So sorry for the Google weird icon. Trying to fix it.


Don't over mail the modeling agency the same old thing

A girl recently commented on this blog: I noticed you said that you often times resent your comp cards to the same companies- did you ever have any of those places contact you to tell you to stop? If so what did you do?

My reply:
Hi hun, well I have mailed agencies more than once my compcard, and when I did I typically re-sent every 6-8 months. It helps if when re-sending you have something new to show them or an accomplishment. Such as a job you gained through self promotion at a local hair salon or boutique or aspiring designer you met a tradeshow modeling jewelry or a handbag or something that proves you can model a product. An agency likes to see that you are capable, experienced and able, and professional, so when re-sending always re-send with an update, not the same card and story. If a place was to tel me not to submit so much I would stop. I would look for other options. Or approach them when you have a new card and some experience to share.

In print modeling typically agencies want you to have experience, unlike fashion where they mold your career, having some experience, even something small like a local modeling job with a hair salon or aspiring designer, or boutique or fashion student could appeal to an agency because it let's them know you are serious, you know how to model, you are trying and striving, ~isobella

Is it a good fit? Interviewing the modeling agency

Many girls approach me about getting a modeling agency to work with them, and I get asked about my thoughts on working with certain agencies, but the thing is, YOU have to feel good about it. When you work with people it isn't just about YOU being accepted, it is about you feeling the opportunity really is one for you, feel in your gut it is a good thing for you. Don't rush or feel pushed into anything. Interviewed them while they interview you. There are good agencies out there and professionals who are positive and great to work with, aim for it. Be true to you.

Ask questions, ask about the jobs they book, their clients, will they work with the compcard you give them to work with? what can you improve on? Don't expect a full fledged hands-on experience in commercial print modeling, agencies in print modeling are not as hands-on, but do expect to get professionalism an aim for it. Ask questions. Don't feel you must do anything. If any agency tells you that you must pay to work with them, or that you must purchase a photo package, RUN! you do not have to, but you do have to prepare your own photos, be able to craft and create the marketable photos you need. Managing yourself is a big part of working as a shorter model with agencies.

An art student creates her portfolio before a gallery or company hires her. The same for models,you have to craft and create your photos, make sure they represent you honestly, and the best of you. Create a comp card, buy a portfolio, be prepared, be ready, invest, and work!

When meeting the agency or when an agency wants to meet with you or work with you, prepare questions, ask, and don't be afraid to say no. You will find an agency that will fit your needs and desire. Strive for it.

Remember an agency can get you infront of the clients, but the rest is up to you.


Self publishing means freedom BEA

I first self-published my modeling memoir Almost 5'4" by choice, and recently at BEA I spoke on a panel about the experience, "Self Publishing means freedom", is my quote in the Kirkus Review from BEA above. I've worked w big, small publishers & myself and you are always your own hustler, no matter how you are publishing, you are always your best marketer, and passion and persistence is a major part of it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

use each day, set goals, prepare

"Don't let the thought of what you don't have yet hold you back, focus on what you want to accomplish, use each day, set goals, prepare, and be prepared for the highs and lows of striving." ~isobella jade

Models facing the mirror, naturally posing is a process and an asset

Last night on my iPhone I was checking my Facebook messages, and I replied to a girl who wrote me this:
Hello hope you are well. I think I told you in the past that I was curious about modeling and had started pushing that curiousity. Well anyhow I got on with an agency in Seattle recently and this last weekend did a photoshoot with a photographer in Seattle in order to get some professional shots. What I learned is that I have a lot to learn about modeling, I felt so intimidated doing the photoshoot cause I really didn't know what I was doing. I've never taken a modeling class before but have taken acting on the camera, I'm looking to do consumer print type of work. I never realized how important hands were in modeling and relaxing and I kept looking to my photographer for "what do I do next". If you have time, what would your best advice be about someone who was just starting at age 31, lol, and who has no idea how to model but is good at learning? I'm the kind of person who when she sets her mind to something can do anything. Thankyou for your time.

My reply might inspire you:

Hi Hun, I got your message and liked it because it is touches on the very thing it takes to model or pursue anything that is a challenge. I am about to go to bed, it's 12:30 am in NYC but I wanted to tell you to hang in there. Learning -in modeling happens from 2 things. Observing yourself an trying again. You are right about the hands and a hand can ruin a shot. I think I will write a post on this topic on my blog as well because really what your curious about is based on Knowing yourself- and the cameras perspective. The mirror is the best thing to get infront of right now And practice, not forcing the posing but noticing what happens when you move your body how it changes. Where do ur hands go? How does your expression change your body? And you are right modeling is tough and work and involves the whole self to be aware. I think it takes some creativity to model well, and I don't mean makeup and hair I am talking about knowing the concept and goal of the shoot and projecting that for the camera. I think it is a mix of knowing the camera is there enough to model for it but also forget about it enough to be yourself and be aware to keep it natural. Not needing direction and being able to put your energy into the shoot is best is what makes a good model actually. Here is a little test. Face the mirror. Grab a handbag and model it in 15 different ways within 5 minutes without stopping but doing it in a fluid way. I am serious. Usually on a job the actual modeling is fast! The prep is what takes the longest -lighting, makeup, etc. Sometimes the shots for a job are crafted and planned and you are told what to do but other times not and the models personality and modeling skill gets the job done. It is a team effort but knowing how to model a product naturally and knowing yourself and proportions is a smart asset and skill to master as an aspiring model that you are. Age has nothing to do with it :)I hope this helps a bit for now, ~isobella
Ps: look at lifestyle magazines from More to O to redbook to Marie Claire and glamour magazine, get inspired by the shots of women smiling and engaging with products in the ads :) observe and grow and try

Monday, June 14, 2010

polaroid in my new Max Studio blue dress

My long dress short jacket look today, taken from iPhone, Max Studio dress forever 21jacket, Anne Klein heels. I mix it up. This is from just a moment ago, just now, polaroid in my new Max Studio blue dress in chair by window, with and without jacket.

Wella Professionals Color Discovery Tour at Seaport, NYC

Back in the day I did hair modeling with Wella, here is an upcoming event at the Seaport if any new aspiring models want to check it out. Or if you just want some hair tips. The scoop:

Monday, June 21 11:00a to 6:00p
at Pier 17 South Street Seaport, New York, NY
On June 21st and 22nd, Wella will be taking over the South Street Seaport to educate women about haircolor. And there to kick-off the 8-city tour will be “Dancing With The Stars” host Brooke Burke

More insight here:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Modeling a product is the mindset

The more you think about modeling as modeling a product the better. Modeling and being a model is about modeling for something, an ad, a commercial, an editorial in a mag, a catalog. Modeling is not about the ego nor should you pursue it to gain confidence, that is something you should have before you pursue modeling. Yes modeling is competive but above all it is about being prepared for opportunity with the right photos to best market you. Recently a girl told me she wanted to get print and tv modeling opportunities and also included doing glamour and fetish modeling--well the firs two are good to pursue but the last two I'd skip. You wanna know why:

Print modeling and commercial work leads to a long term pursuit within modeling, and focusing on print modeling means you can model for many different products and brands and magazines, using the words Fetish model can easily turn off a print modeling agency and agent because Fetish modeling is not taken seriously in the real modeling business of ad campaigns, product ads, commercials, and it is a lot more conservative.

Also, overall, it is extremely sketchy to rely on teasing the camera as a glamour model or only appealing to men within modeling for a long term pursuit. Also glamour and fetish modeling will limit your ability to translate that into real honest and respected legit well paid modeling jobs through a print modeling agency for commercial print ads and projects, which leads to more opportunity and better paid work. If you want to model for a beauty ad, or a hair ad, or in female lifestyle magazines, or anything involving lifestyle products, it is best to stray from glamour or the word fetish. These areas are not considered legit to the real print agencies and ad agencies which hire models for print ads and commercials.

When I say Glamour I am not talking about Victoria's Secret, those are real models who work with great photographers for a global brand, I am talking about posing for the sake of posing (or just to feel hot), and using the word model just to boost an ego or think that being naked is something you have to do to get ahead as a shorter model. It is NOT. The photos you need to "really model" are not those among pin-up or Glamour modeling.

((If you want to pursue lingerie modeling or fitness or anything involving the body, do it in a commercial print way, do it in a way that is selling to a female consumer, not just a male. Print agencies do work with lingerie and fitness and body models, but the type of photography is a lot more about the product and has a feel of beauty where the models looks more respected and more sincere, a softer look. No pout, no finger to the mouth.))

Overall, is best to think about modeling a product when you think about modeling. Ask yourself, do my goals equal modeling for something? If so, you are heading in the right direction for print modeling. The photos you create and use to market yourself will determine whether you get opportunities or not. So make sure you are creating marketable photos that reflect your goals.

Don't degrade yourself as a female and don't think shorter girls are only glamour models, or only able to do one type of modeling-- that is not true!

In commercial print modeling, #1 you REALLY need the right photos no matter your height, and it takes time and the right mindset to craft them.

If you are new to the pursuit of working as a model, then start with a headshot that looks fresh and natural like the girls on the front of the hair dye boxes. A smile shot will get you towards modeling products and for something you can tell your mother about and which will lead to a long pursuit. Models can model until they are 80 in print modeling, it's all about how you market yourself :)


Modeling photo tips for comp card

To get a better quality photo experience remember Shoot only with someone -a professional photographer- who understands what print modeling is. Like in life, with a test in school or for a sport, being prepared and being smart about investing time into your pursuits results in a better chance for accomplishing a goal and your success.

Watching for good lighting in photos, natural makeup and styling and bring forward your energy and personality is best for shorter models.

It is better to get the basic shots you NEED than random ones that look unprofessional.

Professional doesn't mean over Photoshop -it means natural, you as your real self in the photos and compcard you use to market you to agencies.
I suggest with the word professional in mind to keep the shots natural and do not overkill the Photoshop!

These days to present yourself to an agency for print modeling your compcard should show the real you because real people and girls of all sizes are seen modeling in lifestyle ads and campaigns. If you are shorter than 5'8" (most of us are!) you really should strive for print modeling and be aware there is a certain type of photo to show, and natural is best.

Remember, aim higher, and want professionalism, skip TFP with amatuers, you don't have to go crazy shooting over and over and over and over and do a massive amount of shoots, (most of the time that is amatuer to just shoot to shoot), -shoot with a goal, shoot to get ahead, and get opportunities, not just for the heck of it. Aim higher, want more, and get more out of your goals. Yes it is tough, yes it is competitive, of course, this is modeling, but these days modeling is open to anyone who wants to try it, if you have the right ambition and the right photos and marketing mindset.

Texas hello

Hey there! Been in Texas for a week and haven't been able to write much for the blog:( I rode a horse at a ranch! Went to San Antonio and swung through Austin. Will share pics when I get back into town and back in the rat race of NYC :)

I am however working on a collection of modeling stories from experiences I have had in modeling since writing my memoir Almost 5'4" and that will be published as an ebook and then a print book. A collection of stories I am excited to share!

Also I am working on a teen novel!

More news soon on that!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Totes are a great size handbag for petite's

I am NOT MAJOR into logo's, I actually avoid them, and instead I love finding something unique, something that is vintage is awesome, and something that has an original, one of a kind flair.

Well this handbag was found in Madison, GA, during a trip to Atlanta, and it was most likely in someone's sweet granmdmother's basement, and that is the reason I like it, I like it because it is beat up a little, has a story within the handles, the little nicks show that the bag was used and loved. And I now get to love it!

I think tote bags this size are perfect for petite or smaller girls. Easy to carry and they are proportioned to our size! It is around 13" x 8". It is so easy to hold and carry and it carries EVERYTHING! The only thing it doesn't carry however is my modeling portfolio, it doesn't fit, but on the weekends or when I don't have a casting I am rocking this older Dooney & Bourke bag.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

In Isobella's closet, Petite Fashion Favs

Love white and cream colored shorts and cropped denim jackets Forever 21 and Ralph Lauren gold shirt size S/P and Nina shoes and like to tie scarves to my bags.

And I love knitted tops too, Forever 21

Model beauty tricks, nail polish savior!

I'm off to get some of my favorite heels fixed at my fav shoe repair, and here is a shoe trick: buy nail polish in the colors of your heels, I have red, brown, black, silver, that way if you scuff up your shoe's heel just paint a little bit of polish on the scrape or scuff and it will hold you over until you can get to the shoe repair. I always carry nail polish in my purse. (just bought an awesome brown from Revlon)

Also when you go to the salon to get your nails done, bring your own polish with you, you can touch up any chips and mani/pedi lasts longer (and bring your own nail file and buffer too, be safe/cleaner!). Don't feel awkward telling the lady to please use your own awesome file and polish. They will. Just ask. I always do it.


~isobella jade

Houston Modeling and Talent Agencies

Hey, ya'all, I am visiting Houston, TX next week and I wanted to share a modeling agency highlight on the Houston area for aspiring models of all sizes. Here are some agencies to check out these three in Houston appeared legit and work with all ages.

I am looking for more legit agencies in Houston with a great rep, email me if you have had a great experience with an agency in Houston. Email:
I don't care how long you have been around or who you've helped succeed, I care if you are legit, and not a scam!

( I do not support modeling schools or classes to be a model, or believe in paying crazy fees to work with agencies. Agencies take 20% of your pay from a booking. These days for print modeling agencies do not invest in their models such as making their comp cards, getting their portfolio, etc, this is something a model needs to buy on her own, go to the art store and get a PRATT portfolio. Use a printing service for your comp card and headshot. Don't fall for scams. These days it is about you discovering yourself and this doesn't involve getting scammed.)

Keep in mind these days anyone "scouting models" is a scam. Scouts back in the day seeked tall models and these days it has become scam-ville for a person to say "You could model!" so beware!

To work with a modeling agency you do not have to pay to use their photo services, and you do not have to pay for a modeling school or lessons,******** however you should be prepared to create and make your own comp cards and I suggest doing this through a printing service such as and a professional agency that wants to work with you will at the very least work with the card you give them, even if it is not perfect, until you can improve it. DO NOT pay thousands for comp cards and photos, beware, it's a rip off! Also keep in mind you don't need a whole freaking portfolio to start modeling, you just need the basics shots. headshot, smile shot, standing catalog like shot, and a shot showing you CAN model a product naturally, like a cell phone, a handbag, a close up beauty shot is nice, and these shots can be basic, good lighting, and a professional photographer who understands print modeling is BEST to work with. But YOU should know ahead what YOU need for print modeling. Do your homework!

I believe in investing in yourself for yourself, not for an agency, until the agency is booking you consistant work, I would freelance non-exclusive with the agency and understand that you are your own best manager. Eyes open and do your research on the agencies ahead. Goodluck!

Aim high and Strive!

Beauty stuff that caught my eye

A girl on facebook sent me this article from the Village Voice that asks, Is is woman too hot to be a banker? The article inspired me to write her back this:
The world is nuts about looks and it is toooooo crazy, people have forgotten the soul of another and it is possible to be pretty and smart, and it bothers me. I will never be just a pretty face, heck no, I have a lot more to give and offer, and I wish more women and men would notice the value in a person's worth as a human being not just their beauty. I wish the media would as well. I have a friend who is a bit older and she gets something different: not being hired because she is not young enough or cute enough, crazy world we live in. Focusing on your inner value and worth is best,~isobella
P.s: I do think the women in the article is wearing a shirt that is too sexy for a banker job, but I totally bet it is for the story and was purposely that low for the story, she prob doesn't wear shirts that low to work, if so, ...mmm umm lady that's a bit too low to be taken seriously.
Check out the article here:

On the NYC subway I do not wear extra short skirts, or I take a cab if I am wearing a dress or not with my man. I do notice the eyes of men look at me and other women who wear skirts, dresses and checking out our legs, toes and it is freaking upsetting. I have walked off trains pissed and upset and my day ruined over some gawks! Usually I just take a deep breath and end up rolling my eyes at myself and the jerks who stare but I do make an effort not to wear something overly sexy on the train, because it is going to happen, the train, come on, it is the worst!

Ok now some beauty things I am using and liking, let's start with this long lasting eye liner with built-in sharpener, also it is soft and says put:
More pics here.

This week I gave myself a lovely face mask, The Body Shop had a 3 for 30 special!

This brown nail polish saved my shoe! What I mean is I busted the heel of my shoe, scrapped it bad and to fix the damange caused by these city streets, I just dabbed some nail polish over the scrap, and perfect! At least until I get to the cobbler. I have nail polish in black, red, brown, and many others for my shoes! Also I got this awesome book for $5.99 at Borders, called An Eye for Beauty, featuring Bo Derek, it is still in it's wrapped plastic, I will surprise my man with it tonight! :)

Instead of telling my friends they look good all the time, I try to tell them they are good people. I find that when you notice the beauty within yourself, your inner person, and get back to the real meaning of what beauty is, -the heart and soul, the give and do, and give some respect to your mind, ability, and potential,-- you glow, your face actually glows, your eyes, your skin, all come alive when your beauty inside is appreciated your really beauty is seen. I am sick of the material, there is a beauty product for every thing, I mean, of course I love trying new products and shoes, and makeup but they do not run my life, I am more than the handbag I carry and more than the lipstick I put on, and more than the beautiful way my mascara wand curls my lashes, the word pretty does not run my life or how I feel about myself. To feel good I ask myself what did you accomplish today, who did you help, and did you show your love, I am a human being, a person and that is what I want you to see, ~isobella jade

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Should you model in other markets answered

A girl recently posted a comment on my blog here asking if she should try to model in other cities.

My reply:
I suppose it depends on where you are in life and if you have a backup plan. ALso it depends how experienced you are. If you have no experience here are my thoughts:
I think it is better to start local and build, if you want to work other markets, such as NYC or LA, it is better to have some experience first, meaning have modeled for a brand or have done some editorial work, even locally or worked with a popular local brand in your area. It is better to show you have experience when entering a competitive market, but modeling is a tough business and it is about self-serving, knowing your assets and no matter where you live there are opportunities but you have to be good at marketing what you do have that can translate into working with brands and magazines, and real modeling opportunities and agencies, it starts with a self investment, the right photos and a comp card. It is better to pitch yourself with some experience if you strive to work in other markets. Also keep in mind modeling for a shorter girl is not stable in means of housing, rent, and a stable income, it is VERY tough to survive pure on modeling because paychecks are 60 days or more sometimes, and typically print models are not housed like fashion models.

Hope this helps, but don't feel down, there is a lot you can do in your area to get some experience and build, here are some tips on smaller town model marketing and using your comp card:

~isobella jade

Shoes for short girls Style and Co is not for old ladies

Actually bought some shoes today that were not heels. Could be for any size of course, but as a girl who loves my heels, these are cute enough to be something I could rock with a dress or pair of shorts.

I am open minded about shoes and the brand, I focus on what I could wear that shoe with more than once! :)

Going to Houston this weekend, after Belmont Stakes (going to wear a ol big hat!), and will have up some modeling agencies in Houston for print models soon! By the way the sun is beating so hard on my window I could get a suntan inside, might need to put on sunscreen, don't want lines!!

when creating a model comp card natural is better

Today I am sharing the latest insight on model casting and comp cards and how there is no need to spend a fortune on compcard photos or portfolio photos anymore, and how professional images does not mean overly photoshopped images, she shares how your natural self is better for booking modeling work these days.

Tune in here:

June 2, 2010
5:30 PM EST Live show! Listen to archive anytime and other segments on Model Talk Radio here: