Yesterday we had our first Petite Modeling Workshop on How to Become a Model. I wanted to share a few things many don’t realize and are unaware of when in search for opportunities within the industry, especially when you don’t reach the standard 5’7 height requirement.
As I’ve stated before, and even spoke about during this weeks Google+ Hangout, quality over quantity is crucial. And the thought of having any portfolio book together just to show you have experience only hinders your image as a strong model when the opportunity for petite modeling is already so slim.
To just be “beautiful” in a photo does not grant nor guarantee you a career in modeling. Your job is to sell a product, with an emotion and a purpose. I have had to turn away several beautiful women who want to model for The 16th Bar, and although they have an incredible personality, their photos continue to fall flat. It’s worse than deer in the headlights. Your eyes are always the selling point to any photograph. It’s the window to your soul. But you cannot expect to be taken seriously when your eyes in your photos, really look like you’re lost in la la land. With that, I wanted to share a few important requirements each model should perfect when building an impressive portfolio and building her career.
Learn Your Best Angles: We all have a good side and you need to learn which one is yours, and what angles give your look the most strength. Many times models hold their chin to high, giving you a straight shot into their nostrils, and others try desperately to give the “I’m sexy” look by lowering their chin to look up with their eyes and often just create a double chin effect that flatters no one. Learn the best placement for your head and body to create the most slimming look and you’ll be ready to move forward.
Facial Expressions: Once you recognize your best angles, you must learn to create different emotions using various facial expressions . Run down the list. Excited. Hopeful. Provocative. Profound. Each of these carries with it a sort of character that you can build upon. Practice each emotion separately to master them, just as if you were rehearsing for an acting role. Focus on the emotion and what features create that emotion on the face, the eyebrows, the lip placement, the eyes, and practice capturing these feelings.
The Eyes: Above everything, the most important feature is your eyes. Your eyes are what truly convey the emotion. When you can capture intensity through the eyes, every picture can become a powerful image worthy of any portfolio. Remember, if you can create an intriguing look, designers, photographers, and everyone else will be left wanting more. In other words, go back and stand in front of the mirror and practice some more.
Develop Your Look: Think of this as creating the character you want to portray. It sets a standard for what photographers and designers can expect from you and enjoy. If you’re having difficulties finding your right look, find someone you admire and share similar facial features with to mimic their expressions, makeup, and style, until you start developing your own look exclusive to you. Once you create your signature look, you can build your personal brand and personality, making it incredibly easier to land castings that match your style perfectly.
Posing: One of the easiest ways to experiment with poses is to tear out pages of your favorite magazine and try to replicate them. Practice in front of a mirror so you can see first hand how it looks and what looks good. Knowing the difference between what kind of modeling you’re pursuing will differentiate how you will pose as well. Modeling for Sports Illustrated will be much more provocative with chin up, shoulders back, and showcasing your curves more than the clothes itself. When modeling for a fashion editorial, the focus of the shoot is and always will be the product. The face is strong, shoulders come forward (think of showing off your collar bones), and usually instills an almost strong yet slouchy feel, where she doesn’t need to try to look seductive because she already knows she is.
Preparing For An Audition: Having a strong portfolio book will be a strong determining factor but properly preparing for your casting call can make or break your opportunities. Make sure you come in with beautiful natural makeup. Remember you are a blank canvas, do not hinder your opportunities by arriving in extremely heavy makeup that hides your true beauty. Be sure to wear figure flattering clothing that shows your figure (and your sense of class and taste) most likely they will take your measurements or want you to try on a few samples as well so come prepared.
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