So a lot, and I mean a LOT, of (mostly) girls ask me for advice/tips for getting into modeling… SOOOO I figured I’d make it nice and simple and put my “best” tips and tricks here =)
Hair and Makeup:
Okay so you’re gorgeous, all your friends tell you how pretty you are, everyone says you should be a model blah blah blah… just because you’re beautiful doesn’t mean you can go in front of a camera and look fabulous. Everyone, and yes, I mean EVERYONE, needs a little help from the hair and makeup department. Just look at celebrities? Sure they’re gorgeous on the red carpet or in your favorite magazines and you can say it’s all about photoshop, but most of it is HAIR and MAKEUP. You’ve all seen pictures of celebs before/after they’re all done up, and the same goes for you.
Know what kind of look you’re going for, whether it’s the “natural Abercrombie model” look or the “ultimate sex kitten” look, you need to have an idea of what to do with your hair and makeup. And yes, even if you’re going for a “natural” look, you’re still going to have makeup on believe it or not. Camera flashes drown out most of your makeup, and photos (should be) SUPER HD, so every single flaw is going to pop up. For a natural look you’re going to need concealer, foundation, powder, blush, possibly a little bronzer, some light skin-toned eye shadow to define your crease and highlight the inner corner and brow bone, along with a darker smudged eyeliner close to the lashline to define your eyes, and obviously mascara or even very natural length individual false lashes. Clearly for a “sexier” bolder look you’re going to need more, and it’ll probably have to be a little darker when you look at it in a mirror than you would “think” would work. You also don’t want to go over the top with your eyeliner either, you don’t want to look like a raccoon ;) if you’re comfortable with doing your own makeup you’ll probably want to bring your makeup bag with you (which you should do even if using a makeup artist for touch-ups!) and look at the photos on the camera when you get a chance. It’ll help you add anything where you need it. If you aren’t comfortable with your own makeup, see if you can find a makeup artist to help you out.
As for hair? You probably know what looks good on you as far as curly/straight, and you’re probably going to want to do multiple photoshoots with different hairstyles, but don’t forget that you’re probably going to want to add a little volume to your hair. A little “oomph” can go a long way. Look at any catalog or magazine, no one has flat straight hair. Even with straight hair, teasing the crown a bit and even drying your hair upside down to add volume can go a long way. Also, do NOT be afraid of hair extensions! You can get some pretty affordable clip-in extensions like “hair-do” for around $50-60 depending on length and the quality BUT you can NOT style them. You’ll have to style YOUR hair to match them. As for human hair extensions I bought a pretty cheap set from Sally Beauty Supply, they were about $95-100 at the time which is significantly more expensive BUT I can curl them, straighten them, wash them, even dye them if I want. They’re not all in one piece, it’s actually 8 separate pieces that I have to put in individually (but it’s really not difficult at all) so they are a little bit more time consuming but much more natural looking. I had mine cut so it looks like I have long layers and when they’re in no one knows it’s not my hair. Can you tell from my pictures? Well you probably can now that I said something but BEFORE THAT you probably thought I had just been nomming some amazing hair miracle grow LOL!
Even though my hair was straight, a little teasing, a little hairspray, and a few clip in extensions gave my hair that little something extra that didn't make it look like I had flat boring hair. A little body goes a long way!
Well, you can find photographers all over the place… Facebook, Model Mayhem, even Craigslist, but no matter where you find them they may or may not be legitimate. ALWAYS ask to see their portfolio, check references, look at their website, even by talking to them you can find out if they’re a professional photographer or if they’re just a guy with a camera. If you look at a photographers work and the photos don’t fit your style, DON’T SHOOT WITH THEM. If you look at a photographers work and it looks like it was taken with a disposable camera, DON’T SHOOT WITH THEM. I figured they would be no-brainers but you’d be surprised how many girls work with these “photographers” and then complain about how creepy they were or how unprofessional they were. If you can talk to other models they’ve worked with, even better. Trust your gut, if you think this person seems shady don’t work with them. Some photographers allow escorts while others do not, the best way you can bring an escort to ANY shoot whether a photographer allows escorts or not is to have a friend, not a boyfriend, not a husband, not a family member, but a FRIEND that can be your “makeup artist” or your “wardrobe consultant”, anything professional. During the shoot their job isn’t to distract either model or photographer, but to HELP. Most photographers won’t have a problem with that. Also be sure to tell your photographer if you’re bringing someone along, make sure you tell them what their “job” is going to be and that they’ll be there for the duration of the shoot to help out. Also sounds like they’d be no-brainers but again, you’d be surprised how many girls show up with their jealous boyfriends and the shoot ends in hell for everyone involved.
My mom acted as my stylist and MUA, and photographers loved her cause she stayed out of the way and only jumped in when she was needed.
It’s usually a great idea to work with photographers that friends or other models you network with have worked with before. Talk to them about their experience with them and see how it went. It’ll help a lot if you can talk to multiple models that have worked with the same photographer so you can get a general idea of how the photographer works… or if he’s a total creepjob.
Okay, general rule of thumb: if someone messages you with a deal that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Someone offers you $10,000 in advance for your personal info so you can work together next month in California when you live in Texas… yeah that’s a scam. An “agency” wants to sign you but you have to pay $5,000 for modeling classes… also a scam. Yes agencies will probably have you “train”, but in order to pay for that they will deduct it from your paychecks for the PAID gigs you’ll be getting. Basically, be smart. If it sounds shady, it probably is.
Know Your Flaws:
We all have flaws, it could be tiny, it could be huge. But we all have them. You have to know where they are, and know how to work them. So you have a little extra baby fat on your belly… use your poses to conceal it. So you have a larger forehead… style your hair to “fix” it. Every “flaw” has a solution.
Also, almost everyone nowadays has a camera or at least a camera phone or even a webcam… you can all take pictures of yourself in front of a mirror. Practice taking pictures with different facial expressions, poses in front of a full length mirror, even hair styles and different makeup to find out what works best for you.
Your clothes, hair, and makeup can change significant little issues. Throwing on a pair of heels makes you look taller and leaner and improves your posture, so always bring a pair with you. (However you’re ALWAYS going to want a pair of flats/flip-flops to walk around in while going from location to location!) Know your body type and wear what’s flattering for you. Trust me, taking pictures in possible outfits for photoshoot in a mirror or having someone take quick snap-shots of you can REALLY help you decide if that outfit is gorgeous or if it makes you look like you had a few too many cupcakes LOL!
Practice your poses and facial expressions so you'll be confident enough in front of a camera to take really good photos
Wear clothing that best suits your body type! Another no brainer that LOTS of people tend to screw up. Just because something looks amazing on your friend, doesn’t mean it’s going to look amazing on you. It doesn’t have to do with your weight, it’s just your shape. Some women are lucky and have an hourglass shape so they can almost wear anything, while some women are more boxy, or more pear shaped… chances are you aren’t the same shape as your friends. If you have to, try on all of your outfits before a shoot and take a snapshot or two of you in them, you’ll see what it’s going to look like on camera and if it’s still flattering on film as it is in your mirror or in your head ;)
You should also take pictures with the FLASH on with the underwear you plan on wearing, sometimes the flash makes it show through. It’ll also help with hiding panty-lines, which you never want. If you’re doing a swimwear shoot or anything that’s going to show a decent amount of skin do NOT wear tight underwear (this includes bras!!) because it’ll leave marks on your skin that will NOT look good through a camera! So obviously, make sure you’re wearing clothes that make you look good from head to toe ;)
Sure, no one wants to “admit it”, but as a model you’re going to have to have your photos edited, even if it’s just a simple crop or fixing that crazy stray hair that happened to fly across your face in what would have been the most amazing headshot you’ve ever taken. Not saying you have to learn how to make yourself look thinner, or make yourself look taller (you can do all of that just by wardrobe!) but fixing little “problems” is a great skill to have. Sure most photographers will edit photos for you, but some photographers WON’T edit your pictures or they’ll give you all 300 of your raw unedited photos from the shoot on a CD, times like this you’ll love knowing how to do simple little edits.
Even if it's just making your photos appropriate for FB ;)
I’m sure I didn’t cover everyone’s questions, so I’ll probably end up updating this later. So if your question wasn’t answered, feel free to leave a comment =) Hope this can help some of you!