Support Our Fellow Model, Amber!

Hey, all! I just wanted to make a quick blog post to encourage all you Facebook fanatics to vote for fellow model, Amber Gibson, who is in the running for the "Face of Smashbox Cosmetics Contest." In order for Amber to be considered for the semifinals, she'll need to be in the top 20 and so far she's kicking butt but can definitely benefit from more votes! The contest is being held by Smashbox Cosmetics using their Facebook profile, which is why you have to be on Facebook in order to vote.

The cool thing about this voting system is that it is through Facebook so all you need to do is log in and go to the link (which I will provide in a minute), click on the "Vote to Win" button, and then click on the link for "Highest Rated" and she'll pop right up! Voting takes a second to do and you can vote once a day until June 21, 2009. Another great thing is that you don't have to sign up for anything or create a profile for anyone. Pretty convenient so please take the time to vote for Amber--I know talent when I see it, and Amber is one of those individuals who has managed to put together an impressive freelance career and I definitely want to see her do more and you can help!

Here is the link:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Smashbox-Cosmetics/15139870074?v=app_77737382263&viewas=594555118

(And in case you're wondering, that is the fabulous Amber pictured in this post)

V-Neck White Miss Ecuador Candidates in the Beaches Fashion Week

2009 Miss Ecuador Candidates in the Beaches Fashion Week

V-neck white miss Ecuador candidates in the beaches fashion week

White is Natural Color for Miss Ecuador 2009

2009 Miss Ecuador Candidates in the Beaches Fashion Week

White is natural color for miss Ecuador 2009. She is candidates in the beaches fashion week.

Yellow Color of Miss Contest from Ecuador

Miss Ecuador Candidates in the Beaches Fashion Week

Yellow color and green accessories of miss contest from Ecuador 2009

Miss Ecuador Candidates in the Beaches Fashion Week 2009

Miss Ecuador Candidates in the Beaches Fashion Week

Miss Ecuador candidates in the beaches fashion week 2009 with all green view.

It's All in the Face

Facial expressions are yet another domain that you as a model need to master, especially if you are a commercial/print model. While fashion, runway, and editorial models are accustomed to mastering the stoic, blank, seductive look as well as the sexy pout, commercial/print models are required to go above and beyond when it comes to facial expressions. Knowing how to convey emotions is very important in this type of modeling because your job is to sell the product, idea, image, or company name. And in order to do that you have to put forth your best effort to convince the consumer that they want to buy whatever it is that you are promoting. Who would want to buy a new brand of cereal if the model on the box looks like she wants to spit it out?

I like to think of commercial/print models almost as character actors. Depending on what the shoot is for, you need to get into character. It is common for the photographer or project director to give models a scenario or set up a situation and advise the model on how he/she needs to react. This is also where having the ability to follow directions is critical. If you can't get into the moment, you'll never get the shot, and chances are you'll never get called for work with that particular client.

Oftentimes the road to mastering facial expressions in commercial/print modeling can be time consuming and make you feel downright silly but that's good. You're supposed to get out of your comfort zone--that goes for any type of modeling you do. The inability to break out of your shell will hurt your career in the commercial/print field. When it comes to facial expressions it's all about exaggerating but still making the expression "camera friendly." There are ways to convey certain emotions without it looking ugly in the picture. This is where the practice comes in. In a past post I talk about exercises that can be done at home to help you hone your skills. It may seem impossible to practice in front of a mirror and then be expected to know exactly how to pose your face when you're on a shoot. Trust me, it can be done because I do it all the time! I'm very familiar with my face, how it reacts, how it conveys expressions and emotions and I know what works for me and what doesn't. It can be done but it takes time and dedication. Some models are able to pick up on it right away while it may take time for others. And that's okay. You aren't expected to master anything overnight.

Being able to express emotions is important for both male and female models in the commercial/print world. Don't second guess yourself or else you'll always be holding back in some way. It's always better to learn how to be over the top and then tone it down as opposed to having to drag the emotion out of you. If you needed reference images I would suggest visiting stock photography websites and typing in keywords of different emotions such as, "surprised," "anger," "attitude," etc. Speaking of stock photography, if you want to do stock photography modeling, knowing facial expressions will also benefit you greatly in this field. The thing with stock photography is that you will almost always be placed in a natural setting where you aren't required to be so "modelesque." That means posing in a way that looks like the photographer took the image in a real-world, candid type of setting. But expressions and emotions still play a role, which you will see once you start familiarizing yourself with stock photography websites. Here are a few sites I would recommend:

www.istockphoto.com
www.dreamstime.com
www.shutterstock.com
www.jupiterimages.com

The Casting Couch

This topic may not seem like it belongs on a modeling blog, since the "casting couch" is a term that is commonly associated with the acting world but I've had some curious minds ask me about the chances of dealing with this situation when it comes to modeling. While I do answer a lot of common questions I want to make sure I address questions that aren't the norm. In order to get as much information out there as I can, it helps to address the concerns of the few and not just the many. Make sense? Let's move on.

Never heard of the "casting couch" concept? Then let me clarify. In a nutshell, this term is used to describe the age old method of sleeping your way to the top--namely, young, aspiring actresses sleeping with directors, movie producers, and just about any high roller that in turn promises them the best roles or the chance to take part in a large film or television project. So what does the casting couch have to do with modeling?

I'm sure some aspiring models--not to mention their parents--may be wondering if sleeping around is a commonly used method to further one's modeling career. I can reassure you that the casting couch in the modeling industry is very rare. To drive the point home, a short aspiring model can be the most beautiful girl on the planet but there is virtually no way she can sleep her way onto the catwalk (not to mention the large number of homosexual men in the fashion industry--you'd definitely be barking up the wrong tree in that sense lol). Sex in the sense of moving up in the modeling world is not as commonplace as it is in the film industry for the simple fact that the two industries are not the same and the demands are vastly different. There are very few models out there (male or female) that have become supermodels by sleeping with designers, managers, photographers, or modeling agency staff. It just doesn't work the same way.

What does often happen, however, is the occurrence of intimate relationships between models and photographers. These two players in the industry tend to become drawn to each other like magnets. Many photographers date their models and vice versa. I've met photographers that married models they worked with (I know plenty about this topic because my current sweetheart is a photographer and we met while working a modeling event together. Four years strong so far!). Of course there are photographers that date around or play the field. Same with models, male and female. The model-photographer relationship is a common one but is usually not pursued with the intent of trying to "make it" in the business. Then there are clients that deal with freelance models that may try to take advantage of the situation in an attempt to have initiate some type of intimate or sexual relationship with you. Do your best to recognize these type of situations and get out fast.

So if you or your parents are worried about "trading favors" in order to pursue modeling, don't worry, you more than likely will not have to sleep with anybody in order to make a name for yourself...at least not in the modeling world. And if anyone offers you the opportunity I'm sure you're smart enough to know better--especially if you've read this post!