Friday, September 14, 2012

Do you know what you are worth? Your agent does!

I am sharing an email that I just sent to all of my models today as it may help people better understand what a manager does for their talent. Many of you who know me well, know this to be my philosophy but just as a refresher or for those of you who don't, I want to share this with all of you. My job as your agent is more than just answering the phone and plugging you into a job, collecting a check and taking a cut. My job is to get the best price for your image and your experience. I don't sell models out to the lowest bidder. There are places (and people) you can go to that can get you jobs just to get you a [modeling] job. Facebook has turned into that place among other places, but if you are somewhat serious about this and wish to protect your image long term, you need to be careful what you say YES too. We just received a phone call from a local client who wanted an experienced, attractive spokeswoman for a TV ad. She had to be over 5'6" and deliver lines for a .30 second ad. I gave this client a quote that was quite fair and reasonable, and limited the use to a year (I also said they would have to pay travel for out of town selects). That client came back with a response that said additionally they would like to use that talent for 2 to 3 hours, my quote had to remain in effect for a year (what?!), they would not pay any travel, they wanted a full buy out to use whenever, whereever and however long they would like and that their budget was 125.00 and it was non-negotiable. The very polite response (the one I sent back ;) simply said that I had to respectfully decline as what he wanted in talent did not match up with his budget and I wished him a good weekend. Do I need the 20% so badly that I would sell any of my talent down the river on this job? NO WAY. Will he post this somewhere and get a whole bunch of responses? Probably. Should you respond and make 125.00. That is up to you. The bottom line is if you do get this "plum gig" you could be out of the running for something better that comes up because now this job has you out there on the little screen as this guy's gal precluding you from other [possibly better] things. Do we have jobs that come up that with rates I don't like? - yes. Some of you have replied to them and I have told you I would rather you didn't take it and leave it to someone starting out. (that's me, doing my job) It is also upstate and in a not so great economy and sometimes we have to play ball....but not all the time..... Do you know what you are worth? I do- its my job. :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

More on Tattoos...

So, I hate to hammer my point into the ground but one of my beautiful models just lost out on an amazing job because of a tattoo she has on her back. She and I discussed this and she is fine with me making this a teachable moment for people who may want to model.
When a client is trying to select from several different models, all of whom are gorgeous but one of them has body ink (which must be covered for the ad) this definitely puts that model at a disadvantage.
We all make choices like this every day as we make decisions and "purchases". When you grocery shop, do you pick up the can that has a slightly torn label? The contents are no different than the one next to it; yet we all gravitate towards our version of perfection. Why? Because we can. Because it is our money and we can do with it as we wish.
When it is advertising money and a client has to pay extra for someone to artfully cover tattoos then they can politely decline to do so. Maybe they won't, but often they do. Sadly in the case of my earnest, lovely model whom I adore (and for the record DOES regret her tat because she got it at age 17 or 18 and wishes she hadn't) she didn't get this REALLY cool national gig. Rats.
I have made not secret of the fact that tattoos are not for me. Mostly because I just can't make up my mind...and stick with it. (fortunately I still like my kids names!) The greater issue is at what age DOES/SHOULD one make this decision. In all seriousness I may be able to now, but I still don't trust myself. I have been in my new house for 4.5 months and have already changed lampshades and ottomans. Nothing is safe-I can't be trusted.

Of course much of this is tongue in cheek except for the fact that tattoos in the "modeling" work place really are considered out of place...I don't make the news, I just report it.:0

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

To Tattoo or not to Tattoo...that is the question.

I have put off a post like this for a long time. Mostly because tattoos are a really personal choice and a bit of a touchy subject. I am only posting now because they DO relate to the field of modeling and I it has been coming up a lot in the office lately, so that is how I am slanting this posting. (though I my personal opinion on the matter will seep in LOL)
First, let me start by saying that I don't have anything against tattoos or the people that sport them. I consider it a style choice- albeit a mighty permanent one. I am also going to say in the interest of full disclosure that I don't have any and I don't want any. I liken getting a tattoo to deciding on a husband, sofa, throw pillows, shoes, car, finger nail polish, comforter and wall paint for every room in my house (all of which I have changed already- some many times ;)- and never EVER being able to change them again. No thanks. Again- I couldn't make the decision on a husband stick; so I am going to select the ink that someone is going to drill [permanently] into my flesh with a needle? Um, no.

So all of that out on the table, here is how tattooing relates to modeling: Clients don't like it. Why would they? Much like hair that is too blond or too long, crazy colored contacts, acrylic nails and beards, they are distractions. They also are extremely personal. Good for you- bad for the COMPANY whose product you are representing. Modeling is about advertising, not about the model. You like butterflies? Great- you may not be promoting butterflies. You like skulls- it may not be a good fit for medical editorial you are being cast in.

A hidden tattoo- one that is only seen by your doctor, lover or someone you may run into on the beach may not cause a problem for a shoot upstate but big agencies are not amused by tattoos either. The big agencies are turning away people with obvious tattoos.
My favorite line [from talent] is "I can cover it with make up". Here's a news flash: if the clothing isn't yours and it is a wedding gown or its a cocktail gown or costume that belongs to a client there is no way they are going to allow body make up.

I know people that love their tats but I also know many people who have tattoos that regret them and it is MOSTLY because they got them done too young. This is my issue more than anything. I can't think of one thing that I was doing when I was 19 or 20 that is still relevant to me now. If I had gotten a tattoo back then, I shudder to think what I would have scrawled on my body. Thank goodness vibrating needles scare the bejeepers outta me or I would have some 80's rock band name embossed on my derriere or worse: an old BF's!

So in closing I would just suggest that when it comes to things that involve your body and all things permanent that you pause. If you want to model I would really, really pause. Even in smaller modeling markets like this tattoos have proven to be a an impediment.
If you feel compelled to do something permanent, commit to sending money every month to your favorite charity...or exercising...something that you can undo with minimal fuss. When you get to a point in your life where things are less likely to change and you have made all of your big life decisions (one that doesn't include a modeling career :) that maybe a good time to consider a well thought out tat.

One thing that will never change, is that things will change. I am always evolving; I still can't commit to throw pillows or wall colors for very long, and we definitely won't discuss the husband thing.... The needle issue notwithstanding, I can't imagine what I would ever consider so germane that I would have to have it tattooed on me. Perhaps when I get too old to drive, the GPS coordinates to the nearest Sephora and Panera for my driver? ;)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Hints for a good photo shoot

• Make sure that your make up is PERFECT! Hire a stylist for your shoot unless you are very good with hair and makeup (and by this I mean you do this for a living). If your hair and make -up are not good- your photos won’t be good. If you hire a stylist (ladies) they will stay and change your hair and make-up as you change your outfit. This will give you a great diverse shoot. Make sure you discuss this with them when you get your price.
• Your main head shot is the MOST important shot so (for us) it must be a plain white background (let your photographer know this!) and you must be smiling with your teeth showing. (here is an example of a great photo of one of our models and she gets a lot of work. Nilde) This is the shot that will draw people into your web page. It must be a knock out! Focus on solid colors vs busy prints and steer clear of logos. These are all distractions. Avoid trends as well as these will “date” your photos.
• Bring and assortment of clothing- upscale casual, business etc. Bring and assortment for the photographer and you to brainstorm over. Don’t just bring a few things.
• DO NOT wear excessive amounts of jewelry or bejeweled clothing. The star of this shoot is YOU. Excessive accessories are a distraction and can also “date” your photos.
• There IS a difference between photographers who shoot weddings & senior portraits, and model portfolios. Agencies want lifestyle photos that look commercial and editorial (not like you are the manager of the month at Walmart) If you are unsure- ask your agency and they will review the photographer's site/work.

ALSO- try not to go crazy with your photos either. A picture of you with a flower pot on your head with bizzare make up is not going to help your career much. Sometimes TOO much diversity is a bad thing. Lately we have been seeing a lot of new photographers taking photos of models that look good in their portfolios but don't help the models. (and by help the models I mean: GET THE MODELS PAYING JOBS!) If you are helping a photographer out, that's great! It is a good way to get photos for free, but make sure you get photos you need out of it too. Ask the photographer if at some point during the shoot you can get your critical head shot, or business shot or whatever else it is that YOU need as well.

The bottom line is your professional photos are not just for your friends to OH and AH over on FACEBOOK. They are supposed to get you paid jobs.