Monday, November 15, 2010

Six steps to get modeling experience in a small town

Hey Girls,

You might think you have to move to LA or NYC to pursue your modeling dreams, and these cities would be great to pursue it in, however in your own smaller city you can build your modeling experience and bring that with you no matter where you go to get ahead and get more work.  Here are 5 tips for building modeling experience in a small town:

In smaller cities and towns there might not be thriving modeling agencies and the ones that are there might only be limiting because they are a branch of a fashion agency. So if your goal is to work with a modeling agency I would first focus on getting some professional photos,  I would also think about getting some of your own experience.

1. You first need model marketing tools a compcard and portfolio, remember your portfolio grows overtime and your compcard is the main thing to focus on getting printed. But you also need to know the type of photos you need and what print modeling is:

2. Focus on the type of things/products/brands that you could model for, where height isn't a big thing when it comes to modeling their products. So study the photos you need for print modeling and the type of realistic products you can model for.

3.  Aim to get your professional model marketing materials. Comp card.  To prepare to create your comp card, understanding what shots you need and then I would research and approach photographers in your town or perhaps a photography student at a local college. Photographers that shoot weddings and portraits, can hande shooting a headshot and commercial print shots for modeling. Don't look for a freebie, or a TFP often that leads to nothing of value for a serious model unless the photographer understands what print modeling is. Make sure your photographer does understand what print modeling is. And create shots that fit your modeling goals. If you want to model jewelry, show it in your shots, if you want to focus on beauty, show it in your shots. You want to model jeans or clothing or  accessories make it look like an ad or a shot in a catalog.

4.  Get your professional comp card printed. Research in your town some local headshot printing companies, that also print comp cards but skip a Kinkos, aim for a professional comp card service printing co., or try http://www.compcards.com/

5. Approaching local companies with your comp card.  Attend trade shows, craft fairs, research even in the yellow pages small companies, family run, businesses in your town that might need a model for their marketing and promotion. In my last segment of Model Talk Radio, I shared a suggestion of how to approach a jewelry company.  So, here we go. With comp card in hand, stop into the boutique or store.
I think it is best if your photos on your comp card fit the vibe of the company or type of jobs you are trying to get.  (If you want to work within commercial print modeling understand what that is, and make sure your photos fit the vibe of the small companies and aspiring brands you are approaching.) Ask "I like your jewelry and I am curious who handles your marketing and pr, because I'd like to talk to them about the models they use for their promotion."  or " Could I leave a comp card for your marketing or pr manager? Your jewerly is realyl beautiful and if you ever need a model, I'd love to work with you."  Or ask for a business card, and then email a jpeg (72 DPI, no LARGE files!) of your comp card or images of you that relate to the brand.  If it is a handbag company, send pictures of your modeling a handbag, if it is jewelry then a close of you modeling a necklace or earrings, you get the point.   Don't expect to make MAD $$ because smaller companies have smaller budgets, but when you are starting off it is about the quality experiences you are gaining which can lead to more work.  Experience, proving you can, showing ahead of time, "I can model, I've been hired before to a model a product" can lead an agency giving the shorter girl a chance as well.

6. What else is in your town? So you know there are a few agencies, maybe just one, but what if the agency hasn't been responsive to your comp card submission? What else is in your town? production companies? Marketing companies? Pr Agencies? Photo studios? Media companies? Newspapers? A regional magazine?The headquarters of a well known national brand could even be based in your town.  So do some research and find out what is in your town before you say it is hopeless.

To market yourself in a smaller city, I suggest getting a comp card, you will appear more professional even if you do not have much experience. If you want to be taken seriously and work with professionals you have to be one. If you have aspirations to work as a model or actor in a main market, LA or NYC, showing up with some experience is a good idea.   Also for print modeling, where it is less hands-on from the agency, it can be helpful to have some experience when marketing your comp card (to have tearsheets on your comp card) to them, and already show some experience.

Working as a model, when you are shorter is about your own hands-on effort you put in, and involves investing in yourself, so aim high and strive and seek to get the most out of it, even in a smaller city there is possibility, give it chance,
~Isobella

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