Friday, January 28, 2011

Petite modeling: why I don't solely market myself as a petite model.

Hey Girls,

I am comfortable with my pint-size self, and I love being petite, but when it comes to working with a modeling agency I don't solely market myself as a petite model. 

I market myself as:
a print model
a beauty model
a parts model   (actually in parts modeling being petite can be a benefit so consider pursuing this area)
a health/fitness model

Instead of making height such an issue defining what makes you a good model, when you are marketing yourself say: "I am a print model, parts model, beauty model, fitness model, etc."--the thing is, most clients (brands, marketing professionals that cast models for campaigns and ads and commercials) do not typically seek a petite. Although fashion is slowly opening up to producing clothing targeted to petite's, typically a casting won't ask: We're interested in brunette petite models for campaign. 

It's just not the way it is.

However keep in mind ahead of time when you are pitching agencies that many modeling agencies (even the print modeling agencies)  typically aren't seeking petites or screaming we want short chicks, there are a few modeling agencies in NYC & LA who have petite divisions but not many out there. Don't limit yourself by focusing so much on your height. Show the agencies you have more to offer.

Since the clients typically don't ask for a petite the agencies often feel the demand is not there. However the demand for print models is there, and it is the way a shorter girl can sneek in the backdoor and get into an agency, despite being the shortest girl they work with.

In print modeling, when you are working with an agency you will be sent on castings most likely not because of your height and more because of your look, your personality, something you have beyond height that the client wanted to see. Still a shorter girl can find modeling work if she markets the other assets she has.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't celebrate your size, and love your size, and actually for magazines sometimes you will see in Glamour and Marie Claire petite fashion and styling tips, but really when it comes to marketing yourself as a model to agencies, I would target print modeling agencies, not fashion agencies, and market yourself as a "print model with great personality, great eyes, great hair, etc, and the other assets you have."

Getting opportunities as a model is all about how you market yourself, your photos, being prepared, having your marketing material (comp card, portfolio) and it is about your own marketing mindset. Becareful about calling yourself "so petite" as if it is a bad thing. I'm so petite, I wish I was taller, I know I'm petite....It is a good idea to think about the way you use your words when talking about yourself as a model and marketing yourself as one.

Focus on getting photos that capture your assets beyond height, so you will have photos that can help you market yourself to print agencies. Notice what type of photos print agencies want to see. Mostly the girls are showing personality, smiles, energy, they have life, an upbeat appeal about them. Let your photos represent what you want and can do within modeling. Inspire the agency to want to work with you.

Your photos lead you where you will go, so take your time preparing them, and let your height not be such a big deal when it comes to WHY you are hired to model that product for that print ad or commercial. Show your height is not what makes you a model, but other assets that do.

Modeling is very tough to pursue, modeling is so competitive, and the marketing and advertising worlds have become more humanistic and accepts of different ethnicities...((right now is the time for Asians and I think in coming years it will be Indian models))... but still fashion is different than print and print has always welcome all types and being proportioned, looking healthy and having good skin and personality is what sells in commercial print modeling.  

You're petite, so what, don't let your height be all that defines you. Height isn't everything in modeling.


I would focus on your assets beyond height, focus on getting professional photos that show these assets, and remember a smile and personality, are a petite models best features. Great skin, proportioned body, and nice nails and hair can also be a bonus.  

My height is not what makes me a model, it's me, my other assets as a model, my will to try, how I market myself, the work I put in, the marketing mindset. I wouldn't dwell on petite being a bad thing or something that prevents you from modeling, accept that most modeling agencies don't have open calls for short chicks and there are many differences between a fashion and print model, and mostly I would notice your other assets beyond height and target people and agencies who appreciate those assets, 



Michelle Ruiz said...

I really love the photos in this post!

Unknown said...

Hi Michelle :) glad you like it