Saturday, December 13, 2008

TImes they are a changing...

I know it has been a while since I have posted but it has been a strange and busy year for most people including me. The agency is still doing and has felt the pinch of the economy but we are still going strong because we are still holding to our core values of representing our talent with integrity and working with our clients in the same way.

Times like these have everyone struggling to make ends meet and save money. Cutting advertising is one way to make ends meet but most business advisers will tell you that cutting advertising is not the way to do that. You don't want your clients to forget you and look for someone else when times are tough. There are other options for our clients that hurt our industry (like using stock photos) when times get tough which is why it is important for us to continue to stay the course and keep providing good talent and not resort to selling high priced classes and portfolio packages to make up for any lost revenues.
Some companies have had to resort to using stock photography instead of models for their advertising. While I understand that hiring a photographer and a model for an ad does cost more than using a stock photo-It is risky. When you hire a model and photographer there is no risk of seeing the your photo in a competitors ad and you have made something original that reinforces YOUR brand. It is an image that you created for yourself and no one else. I have heard stories of and seen with my own eyes, stock photos that a company purchased and then seen the same photo used again by another company. That is money not well spent and it can jeopardize a brand.

I have always considered myself a cock-eyed optimist (and a hard working one at that) and I will continue to be one through these times. I think that Americans are tough and will weather this storm as we have done in the past. I think that our industry will not only survive but thrive. I am absolutely counting on it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

So you think you want to model?

We have recently been receiving many new submissions which are wonderful but it has prompted me to write about the proper way to send photos to an agent to be considered as a model. These things to vary from city to city so these are mostly my preference but some of my preferences will transcend different zip codes and time zones. (As they can be construed as common sense) While I try not to sound cynical, I hope you can forgive my occasional transgressions. Until you have opened the mail in our office for a month you couldn’t possibly imagine our perspective. Most of these nuggets are founded in actual events but instead of changing names to protect the innocent I have just gone ahead and left them out.

Keep in mind these first few shots you send us are just the preliminary step before we meet you. They don’t have to be professional shots but there are some guidelines.

First: Don’t send photos with sunglasses on. Unless we specifically said we were casting for the Unibomber or Paris Hilton- no photos with sunglasses please. We want to see you and your whole face not just the 2/3's you've decided to show us. Same with hats- do you have a bald spot, widow’s peak? They could work; but we need to know that to make an evaluation.
Another novel thought: SMILE! Forget about what you've seen on TV. If you are sending an agency photos to an agency for consideration (especially mine) I need to know IF YOU HAVE ALL YOUR TEETH. That's right, we take nothing for granted here. If some one sends me six tight lipped photos the first thing I gotta ask myself is "What are they hiding?" Maybe they do have teeth but they are the color of pond water or they have been opening soup cans with them. So send us a nice clear, smiling head shot so we can see what your face looks like. (And for the record; that whole pouty, scary, America’s Next Top Model wannabee look just makes you look silly.)
Next: Please, in the name of all that is sacred, send me photos of yourself WITH clothes on. This agent does not want to see you guys in your "da da dah's" or see Victoria’s Secret, Suzie's Secret, or anybody else's. Send us a full body photo (uh-clothed but not in a parka and mukluks either) wearing what you normally do.
The bottom line is to evaluate you properly we need to see what you REALLY look like in all of your fully clothed glory with all the perfections and imperfections that God gave you. None of us are perfect including those folks in the magazines. If you don't have teeth like Donny Osmond or hair like George Clooney, its OKAY- we just need all that information to make a decision. If you don’t have a perfect body that is okay as well. This market tolerates ALL shapes, ages, ethnicities and sizes and so do we. Our assessment is made based on whether or not we think we can get you work in THIS market. Often we get photos of people who are very attractive but have a look that is better suited to another city like Miami or LA but we don’t necessary think we can get them work here. We get back to everyone and let them know if we think that we can honestly get them work in the upstate NY area. If you are not sure you might as well just send in a photo- it won’t hurt anything and we are always nice. I am only sarcastic when I blog…LOL!