Forums > Model Colloquy > How to get far

Model

Caitlin Hoder

Posts: 5

Colorado Springs, Colorado, US

Hello. My name is Caitlin. I am looking to become a model and actress but I'm not really sure how. I am 18. I am 5'2". I live in Colorado Springs. But I want to move to California.

Jan 13 13 03:43 pm Link

Photographer

Valenten Photography

Posts: 265

Balikpapan, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia

Hey,

I guess your first short-term goals would be to shoot TF with some photographers in order to gather a quality portfolio.

Maybe try to get in touch with not-so-experienced photographers (doesn't mean their work is not decent!) so that they don't expect too much from you for your first shots. You may not learn a lot like this but at least you'll learn (I believe) to be more at ease during a shoot.

Jan 13 13 04:20 pm Link

Model

allison mindy

Posts: 1495

New York, New York, US

California would be a good move if your are serious. I assume you mean a big city like LA. I think the whole "I don't drive so I need you to give me a ride" thing on your profile is going to hold you back pretty significantly. I would say either learn to drive, or if you cannot for medical reasons expect to be paying for your own transportation, and again if you are serious about moving go somewhere with good public transportation.

Jan 13 13 04:31 pm Link

Photographer

Pocket Watch

Posts: 51

Dallas, Texas, US

To get far in life, you must have three things -

1. Determination - That means working every day towards your goal and devoting significant time to improving.  Every day.  Shoot with everyone who is willing, and has something to offer.  Always be working to improve your portfolio.

2. Location - Use it to your advantage.  You are close to Denver.  There are more people in Denver with cameras than in the Springs.  Meet them.  Put out casting calls.  Shoot a lot.  Well, everyone who's references check out.  Once you exhaust the local supply of talent, you should have a great portfolio and then it makes sense to seek out new areas (California).

3. Luck - Everyone wants to make it. If you do the first two, you'll put yourself in the position to take advantage of breaks that come your way.  Be ready for them.

To sum up - Work hard. Every Day. Do the little things (like checking references). Work with everyone you can to get experience. And don't "move to California" without a damn good plan - like where you'll work, how you'll live, etc. 

Good luck.

Jan 13 13 04:37 pm Link

Model

allison mindy

Posts: 1495

New York, New York, US

Lost Photo wrote:
Shoot with everyone who is willing.

I agree with a lot of what you have to say but strongly disagree with this. I think even new models should be selective with who they test with. Obviously this is relative, but even the newest models are not going to benefit shooting with some photographers imo.

Jan 13 13 04:40 pm Link

Photographer

Pocket Watch

Posts: 51

Dallas, Texas, US

allison mindy wrote:
Obviously this is relative, but even the newest models are not going to benefit shooting with some photographers imo.

Yep, good catch.  I should have been more specific.  I edited it a bit.

Jan 13 13 04:51 pm Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12835

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Don't drive and you are thinking L.A. That isn't going to work.  Oh but not only a driver it's an escort as well so it's even worse...

Jan 13 13 04:58 pm Link

Model

allison mindy

Posts: 1495

New York, New York, US

AJScalzitti wrote:
Don't drive and you are thinking L.A. That isn't going to work.  Oh but not only a driver it's an escort as well so it's even worse...

Don't know how I missed that part about the escort, but yea I agree with AJScalzitti.

Jan 13 13 05:28 pm Link

Model

allison mindy

Posts: 1495

New York, New York, US

Lost Photo wrote:

Yep, good catch.  I should have been more specific.  I edited it a bit.

Totally agree with you after the edit smile

Jan 13 13 05:28 pm Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13612

Los Angeles, California, US

In your profile, you mention that you are completely dependant on other people, for transportation and safety- if I were a photographer, i'd be worried you weren't capable of posing,being on time, being reached by phone, bringing the right stuff...etc.

You insult any professional photgrapher instantly, not by stating that you wish to bring an escort, but by spelling it out and saying flat out that you don't want "anything to happen".  It's great to be cautious, it's off-putting to practically call all photographers dangerous.

Not having a car?  Totally fine.  I don't have one either.  Stating that you need transportation...not many jobs on Earth provide transportation; certainly not to somone without experience, certainly not to someone who wants to bring a friend along.

Modeling is not the profession for you.  You are not anywhere near ready. 

In any business, you need to tell the person you want as your client, what YOU can do for them.

Right now, you offer nothing.  Don't move anywhere to become a model, or anything to which you aren't completely dedicated.  If you move, only do so because you want to be there.

Being 5'2'' won't do you any favors in this industry, in any genre.

There are plenty of short models in the world, but they work tirelessly and are completely independent businesspeople.

Jan 13 13 05:30 pm Link

Photographer

In Balance Photography

Posts: 3372

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Shandra Stark wrote:
In your profile, you mention that you are completely dependant on other people, for transportation and safety- if I were a photographer, i'd be worried you weren't capable of posing,being on time, being reached by phone, bringing the rigt stuff...etc.

You insult any professional photgrapher instantly, not by stating that you wish to bring an escort, but by spelling it out and saying flat out that you don't want "anything to happen".  It's great to be cautious, it's off-putting to practically call all photographers dangerous.

Not having a car?  Totally fine.  I don't have one either.  Stating that you need transportation...not many jobs on Earth provide transportation; certainly not to somone without experience, certainly not to someone who wants to bring a friend along.

Modeling is not the profession for you.  You are not anywhere near ready. 

In any business, you need to tell the person you want as your client, what YOU can do for them.

Right now, you offer nothing.  Don't move anywhere to become a model.  If you move, only do so because you want to be there.

Couldn't be said any better...

Jan 13 13 05:42 pm Link

Model

B R E N N A N

Posts: 4141

Charlotte, North Carolina, US

Shandra Stark wrote:
In your profile, you mention that you are completely dependant on other people, for transportation and safety- if I were a photographer, i'd be worried you weren't capable of posing,being on time, being reached by phone, bringing the right stuff...etc.

You insult any professional photgrapher instantly, not by stating that you wish to bring an escort, but by spelling it out and saying flat out that you don't want "anything to happen".  It's great to be cautious, it's off-putting to practically call all photographers dangerous.

Not having a car?  Totally fine.  I don't have one either.  Stating that you need transportation...not many jobs on Earth provide transportation; certainly not to somone without experience, certainly not to someone who wants to bring a friend along.

Modeling is not the profession for you.  You are not anywhere near ready. 

In any business, you need to tell the person you want as your client, what YOU can do for them.

Right now, you offer nothing.  Don't move anywhere to become a model, or anything to which you aren't completely dedicated.  If you move, only do so because you want to be there.

Being 5'2'' won't do you any favors in this industry, in any genre.

There are plenty of short models in the world, but they work tirelessly and are completely independent businesspeople.

+10000 billion.

Aside from everything already mentioned (no transportation, and escort..), at 5'2" you don't have a chance of making it as a full time model unless you shoot nudes.

Wanna act? Cool. It's a more difficult, longer road than modeling. Take acting classes, pay for a good actors headshot, work background for a few years, and get your union credits (you almost certainly will not work in CA without them).

Jan 13 13 05:48 pm Link

Model

allison mindy

Posts: 1495

New York, New York, US

B R E N N A N wrote:
Aside from everything already mentioned (no transportation, and escort..), at 5'2" you don't have a chance of making it as a full time model unless you shoot nudes.

Sorry, but I disagree with this. I don't shoot nudes. I'm 5'2 and 1/2 and I've modeled full time for the past 2 years. I'm not going to say I live live a queen and don't work my ass off, but it's definitely possible.

That being said, I don't do silly things like demand a ride and bring an escort to "make sure something doesn't happen". I'm a big girl; I check references for everyone I work with.

Jan 13 13 06:01 pm Link

Model

B R E N N A N

Posts: 4141

Charlotte, North Carolina, US

allison mindy wrote:
Sorry, but I disagree with this. I don't shoot nudes. I'm 5'2 and 1/2 and I've modeled full time for the past 2 years. I'm not going to say I live live a queen and don't work my ass off, but it's definitely possible.

That being said, I don't do silly things like demand a ride and bring an escort to "make sure something doesn't happen". I'm a big girl; I check references for everyone I work with.

You have a gymnast background, a different look than the OP, and shoot implieds.

It's just like someone getting signed and making it as a model without agency standards. Yes, it's possible (i'm an example of this), but what are the chances?

Jan 13 13 06:08 pm Link

Model

-Aviva-

Posts: 3451

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

I agree with a lot of what has already been said.

Some general advice for new models which I hope will help the OP a little:
Do not make any drastic moves unless you have a game plan and preferably the equivalent of 3 months of living expenses in your savings account or emergency fund. I have always been a big believer in savings.

Think of starting out as a model the same way that you would starting any business. In business, the customers don't just find you-you go after them.

Do your research on the type of market that you are best suited for, find people who shoot the types of images that the market wants (pay them if you have to), then keep on networking with people. Make sure that you work well enough with people that they invite you back (ie. on time, reliable, work hard, good attitude).

Keep on working hard, always strive for progress. Look at the portfolios of the most successful models in the genre that you want to work in and see what you can do to improve (not copy them though)

I also wrote a post about additional tips for models who are just starting out:
http://www.ahlifeandstyle.com/2013/01/1 … model.html

I hope this helps.
Good luck!
Aviva

Jan 13 13 06:12 pm Link

Model

allison mindy

Posts: 1495

New York, New York, US

B R E N N A N wrote:

You have a gymnast background, a different look than the OP, and shoot implieds.

It's just like someone getting signed and making it as a model without agency standards. Yes, it's possible (i'm an example of this), but what are the chances?

I agree that the chances are like .0001%, but I hate saying never wink But you are completely spot on that I get booked a lot for my flexibility.

And yes, you are amazing dear. An understandable exception indeed smile

Jan 13 13 06:13 pm Link

Model

B R E N N A N

Posts: 4141

Charlotte, North Carolina, US

allison mindy wrote:

I agree that the chances are like .0001%, but I hate saying never wink But you are completely spot on that I get booked a lot for my flexibility.

And yes, you are amazing dear. An understandable exception indeed smile

Pffffttt, I wouldn't go that far tongue *blush*

I like saying never, but then again I'm a cynical pessimist who feels like I'm not doing anyone any favors by giving them false hope or blowing smoke up their ass. wink

Jan 13 13 06:16 pm Link

Model

allison mindy

Posts: 1495

New York, New York, US

-Aviva- wrote:
Think of starting out as a model the same way that you would starting any business. In business, the customers don't just find you-you go after them.

Do your research on the type of market that you are best suited for

2 great points. Networking is key to any business and being a freelance model is no exception.

Definitely know your market. At 5'2 you'll never be doing high fashion for example.

Jan 13 13 06:16 pm Link

Model

allison mindy

Posts: 1495

New York, New York, US

B R E N N A N wrote:
Pffffttt, I wouldn't go that far tongue *blush*

I like saying never, but then again I'm a cynical pessimist who feels like I'm not doing anyone any favors by giving them false hope or blowing smoke up their ass. wink

I would tongue

haha I can understand this, but feel like if you really want something you should do everything in your power to make it happen. Call me an idealist!

Jan 13 13 06:19 pm Link

Photographer

Sand Angel Photography

Posts: 569

Phoenix, Arizona, US

Be friendly
Be professional
Be reliable
Be on time
Be approachable
Don't listen to all the people who are fearful.

Do that and you're ahead of 90% of people around you. It's pretty much like with any job. smile

Jan 13 13 07:02 pm Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13612

Los Angeles, California, US

Sand Angel Photography wrote:
Be friendly
Be professional
Be reliable
Be on time
Be approachable
Don't listen to all the people who are fearful.

Do that and you're ahead of 90% of people around you. It's pretty much like with any job. smile

Being reliable, on time, and approachable, are all going to be tough for someone who requires that the photographer provide transportation, and is offensive in her llama herder-policy-delivery.

Jan 13 13 07:22 pm Link

Photographer

Sand Angel Photography

Posts: 569

Phoenix, Arizona, US

Shandra Stark wrote:
Being reliable, on time, and approachable, are all going to be tough for someone who requires that the photographer provide transportation, and is offensive in her escort-policy-delivery.

Agreed. That's where "Be professional" comes in. smile

My boss doesn't give me a ride to work. He expects me to figure out that detail. Being professional includes not bothering the people you work with about your personal lives and drama.

Jan 13 13 07:39 pm Link

Photographer

Marc Damon

Posts: 6562

Biloxi, Mississippi, US

This thread should be in Critique.

Jan 13 13 07:55 pm Link

Model

Misty R H

Posts: 471

Anaheim, California, US

Go to the website below. It has many helpful tips. It also tells the requirements for different types of models.  It has lists of agencies, posing tips.  Very helpful.

If you are serious do you homework and check it out.

http://www.bobpardue.com/

Jan 13 13 10:10 pm Link

Model

Jordan L Duncan

Posts: 207

Jacksonville, Florida, US

Shandra Stark wrote:
In your profile, you mention that you are completely dependant on other people, for transportation and safety- if I were a photographer, i'd be worried you weren't capable of posing,being on time, being reached by phone, bringing the right stuff...etc.

Yep. If you can't figure out for yourself how to get to and from a shoot and how to know the difference between safe and not safe without needing an escort to tell you, then would be afraid to work with you.

If you don't know how to drive, learn. In LA if you don't know how to drive then you will spend a TON of money on cabs. If its because of a medical reason (which I understand because I'm not supposed to drive because of an anxiety disorder I have) then have a DD take you and drop you off and pick you up.

If you are worried about safety, then check references. I check at least 5 references before I go on a shoot, and I talk with the photographer a lot to get a feel for his personality. If it feels shady, I end it and don't book the shoot. In almost 10 years I've only had to leave a shoot one time because it felt shady and the photographer was pressing me to do something I didn't want to do. I told him no, grabbed my stuff, and left. Another way to be safe is to tell people exactly where you will be. Give 3 or 4 people the address of the shoot, the name of the photographer, and tell them what time the shoot begins and what time it ends. When you take a bathroom break while shooting to keep in touch with your driver or text everyone to let them know you are okay.


Shandra Stark wrote:
not many jobs on Earth provide transportation; certainly not to somone without experience, certainly not to someone who wants to bring a friend along.

When I worked at Target, they didn't have a shuttle come to my house and pick me up. When I worked in an office, my boss didn't come to my house and get me every day and drive me to work. When I worked at Starbucks, they didn't send a cab round to collect me. See where I'm going with this? Modeling is a real job, just like being a secretary or a telemarketer or a cashier or a doctor or a rocket scientist. If you need transportation, figure it out on your own. Its not the photographer's responsibility. And believe me, if you can't trust a photographer not to try and hump you the minute you are alone together, you definitely shouldn't be trusting him to arrange your transportation to and from shoots.


Modeling is not as glamorous as you might have been led to believe. Its a lot more preparation and work and disappointment than it is fun stuff. You have to love it unconditionally for what it is in order to make it.

Jan 13 13 10:30 pm Link

Model

Jordan L Duncan

Posts: 207

Jacksonville, Florida, US

-Aviva- wrote:
Do not make any drastic moves unless you have a game plan and preferably the equivalent of 3 months of living expenses in your savings account or emergency fund.

THIS. Unless you want to turn tricks. j/k

Jan 13 13 10:32 pm Link

Photographer

Critical Eye Studios

Posts: 132

Washington, District of Columbia, US

Shandra Stark wrote:
In your profile, you mention that you are completely dependant on other people, for transportation and safety- if I were a photographer, i'd be worried you weren't capable of posing,being on time, being reached by phone, bringing the right stuff...etc.

You insult any professional photgrapher instantly, not by stating that you wish to bring an escort, but by spelling it out and saying flat out that you don't want "anything to happen".  It's great to be cautious, it's off-putting to practically call all photographers dangerous.

Not having a car?  Totally fine.  I don't have one either.  Stating that you need transportation...not many jobs on Earth provide transportation; certainly not to somone without experience, certainly not to someone who wants to bring a friend along.

Modeling is not the profession for you.  You are not anywhere near ready. 

In any business, you need to tell the person you want as your client, what YOU can do for them.

Right now, you offer nothing.  Don't move anywhere to become a model, or anything to which you aren't completely dedicated.  If you move, only do so because you want to be there.

Being 5'2'' won't do you any favors in this industry, in any genre.

There are plenty of short models in the world, but they work tirelessly and are completely independent businesspeople.

Well stated.....Now that the OP has heard what is the pros/cons of her inquire..... I would like to know how much determination the OP has to see this through or was this thread just a trial balloon??

Jan 13 13 10:44 pm Link

Model

SHIRA

Posts: 33

Spartanburg, South Carolina, US

Jordan L Duncan wrote:

Shandra Stark wrote:
In your profile, you mention that you are completely dependant on other people, for transportation and safety- if I were a photographer, i'd be worried you weren't capable of posing,being on time, being reached by phone, bringing the right stuff...etc.

Yep. If you can't figure out for yourself how to get to and from a shoot and how to know the difference between safe and not safe without needing an escort to tell you, then would be afraid to work with you.

If you don't know how to drive, learn. In LA if you don't know how to drive then you will spend a TON of money on cabs. If its because of a medical reason (which I understand because I'm not supposed to drive because of an anxiety disorder I have) then have a DD take you and drop you off and pick you up.

If you are worried about safety, then check references. I check at least 5 references before I go on a shoot, and I talk with the photographer a lot to get a feel for his personality. If it feels shady, I end it and don't book the shoot. In almost 10 years I've only had to leave a shoot one time because it felt shady and the photographer was pressing me to do something I didn't want to do. I told him no, grabbed my stuff, and left. Another way to be safe is to tell people exactly where you will be. Give 3 or 4 people the address of the shoot, the name of the photographer, and tell them what time the shoot begins and what time it ends. When you take a bathroom break while shooting to keep in touch with your driver or text everyone to let them know you are okay.



When I worked at Target, they didn't have a shuttle come to my house and pick me up. When I worked in an office, my boss didn't come to my house and get me every day and drive me to work. When I worked at Starbucks, they didn't send a cab round to collect me. See where I'm going with this? Modeling is a real job, just like being a secretary or a telemarketer or a cashier or a doctor or a rocket scientist. If you need transportation, figure it out on your own. Its not the photographer's responsibility. And believe me, if you can't trust a photographer not to try and hump you the minute you are alone together, you definitely shouldn't be trusting him to arrange your transportation to and from shoots.


Modeling is not as glamorous as you might have been led to believe. Its a lot more preparation and work and disappointment than it is fun stuff. You have to love it unconditionally for what it is in order to make it.

Well said. I agree.

Jan 15 13 12:03 pm Link

Model

Melodye Joy

Posts: 542

Rancho Cucamonga, California, US

Caitlin Hoder wrote:
Hello. My name is Caitlin. I am looking to become a model and actress but I'm not really sure how. I am 18. I am 5'2". I live in Colorado Springs. But I want to move to California.

Hi Caitlin and welcome to the crazy world of modeling and entertainment in general...

I personally started with one goal, a sharp portfolio. And I am still working at that (have been since starting at 21)..

Moving to CA or NY isn't going to make you famous as much as one may think. There are some talented people all over the world. Some do it for hobby, some have made a business of this industry.

-Work on a sharp port first and foremost

-Establish a rep with local talent, and later consider traveling and extending that rep

-Seek commercial endeavors that may combine modeling and acting

-Push yourself, but never push your limits

-Never take no and THE END...but a beginning, something to drive you further

-Don't always say yes. Be particular, be wary, be aware..you want to establish a rep that succeeds you, not a rep that can bite you later (i.e. nude/erotic work now could toll to being dropped from an agency/contest/potential client due this fact...it has happened, not that it will, but just be careful anyway)

-Try new things, and don't dare take the first person to say you can't to heart...I learned that first hand and I wouldn't have had the opportunities I have now if I'd of listened

Happy modeling!
xoxo

Jan 15 13 01:37 pm Link

Photographer

Art of the nude

Posts: 11892

Olivet, Michigan, US

-Aviva- wrote:
Do not make any drastic moves unless you have a game plan and preferably the equivalent of 3 months of living expenses in your savings account or emergency fund.

And, make sure you know what it costs to live in LA, because it's a lot more than in a small town.

Jan 15 13 07:43 pm Link