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Friday, January 31, 2014

ASK JOEY: International Relations

No matter where you are in the world, most models and actors dream of working internationally. To do so, you need to know what types of documentation is required to work abroad, and whether or not there is potential for success when you are just starting out. My best piece of advice is to find an agent locally who has contacts or works with a branch office overseas that believes in you. Depending on union regulations, it's not as simple as hopping on a plane and booking work. Speak with your agent, who can offer you advice and paint a realistic portrait of the opportunities that may be available to you and how they can help. Trust me, if they can get you work anywhere, they will!

I'm a Ukrainian model and just moved to NY so I would like to proceed with modeling here as well. I don't know where to start. What would you advise me to do?
Do you have a work permit or green card for the US? You'll need one to be able to work anywhere in the country. You have enough pictures in your book to start setting up meetings with agents. You live in NYC and there are plenty there to contact! You're not tall enough for fashion, so I would suggest setting up meetings with commercial agencies and go from there. The work permit and/or greed card definitely need to be your first step though. No agent will be able to get you work if you aren't legally able to do so here in the US.
Most people tell me that I should do some modeling. I did it when I was in my 20s but stopped to finish school. I'm now turning 31 and don't know where to start again and get a stronger portfolio. I'm working with a modeling agency in London, but they send me out and I don't have the same success because I'm like the same experience as girls who've been doing this longer. Do you think I have a chance for success in London? Any tips on how to learn to pose better?
You are very pretty - I'm sorry you didn't keep up on the modeling but definitely try to jump back in! At your age, especially in a smaller market where they use the same girls for years, it's almost like a steady job for them and not much work to go around for others. Keep trying, you never know what could happen. If you want to update your portfolio, see if your agency has any photographers they'd set you up to test with, or if you can find someone in your area who will shoot with you for trade. It's a lower cost way to get some new photos!
I was wondering what you thought about modeling overseas for a girl like me who hasn't had HUGE jobs but I get good jobs and work consistently. My dream would be to travel and model but I'm not sure how to get signed with an agency out of the country or how that works. Do you have any tips or suggestions for me in particular? I am quite commercial and have dabbled in acting as well. How do I go about pursuing these things more seriously and getting bigger jobs that will allow me to travel professionally?
If you are a commercial type model here in the States, the market overseas is not open for Americans, especially in Europe. They only use actors and models from their country. The unions control the business there as SAG-AFTRA does here. The only models that work there from the US are fashion models. I don't know what's going on in Asia for you, but they DO work with foreign fashion models. The way most models work overseas is through their agents here who have contacts in foreign countries. If you have an agent here, ask them if they have a branch or contacts they work with overseas that they could set you up with.
What do you think the possibilities are of me getting signed with Ford? Wilhelmina Los Angeles wanted to sign me, but I have no working US Visa yet. I'm a German citizen and have an EU passport, a lot of strong references, and worked really hard in NY a few years ago. How can I get an agency in the US to rep me without a Visa, when I need an agency in order to get a Visa?
I'm sorry to say, but you do have a problem with the Visa. It's a terrible catch-22. If you find an agent who really believes in you and that you can book, they will sign you and help you get the Visa. You have to find the one who believes in you and will take you on without it.
I really want to be a model, but in my home country (New Zealand) I am too short to get any modeling work. I am an actress and promo girl for my university, but my dreams are bigger than that. Do you think I have the right look for the US?
Unfortunately, you are too short for fashion modeling in the US as well. Work as an actress if you have the training! Actors from New Zealand and Australia are hot right now. Pick up on it! You could work in the US as a commercial model and actress, but like I said, without the height, fashion is going to be out for you in any market.
In the meantime,

Have a successful day!


Follow me @TheJoeyHunter

*Have a question for me? Ask away at my ModelWire Network Profile.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Grammy Fashion Round-Up

The thing we love most about Grammy fashion is that anything goes. Looking at red carpet photos, you'd think everyone was attending different events. With all of the different musical genres and personalities, we get to feast our eyes on everything from traditional to far-out fashion. Below are some of our stand-out picks from last night's awards. Whether or not these stars were winners, they definitely made a statement (good or bad, you be the judge) with their attire...

Beyoncé Knowles in Michael Costello

Daft Punk

Chrissy Teigen in Johanna Johhson & John Legend

Katy Perry in Valentino

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Madonna in Ralph Lauren

Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys in Armani Privé & Pharrell Williams wearing Vivienne Westwood hat

Robin Thicke & Paula Patton in Nicolas Jebran

Taylor Swift in Gucci

*Photos via Grammy.com

Friday, January 24, 2014

ASK JOEY: Being Commercial Isn't Bad

I know sometimes I can sound like a broken record, but if you want to model and don't have the height, you need to embrace the fact that you will have to go the commercial print and TV route. As I mention in a response below, most of us are born commercial types and very few have the sizes for fashion. The good news is, there will always be more opportunities in the commercial world. The sooner you realize the niche you belong in, the better off you'll be. Find a commercial agent who will help nurture your career and ride the bus in the direction it's going. If you have the talent and the drive, there's no telling where it will take you.

I've been struggling with having "the perfect face" but being "too big" for agencies like Elite and Ford and "too small" for plus size agencies. At this point, I'm lost. Would you mind giving me some advice on where to turn next?
You are definitely a commercial model/actress, so you'll have to face the fact that you'll do well in TV and commercial print. I would suggest trying to start by finding a commercial agent you can work well with who will get you out on auditions. I would suggest getting some more variety of photos in your portfolio - not just swimwear. You need to be versatile as a commercial model or talent. Redo some of the shots in your book and get out there to meet with commercial agents.
I am a plus size model, and I want to get into print. I realize plus fitting models and print models, even in the plus industry, have different requirements. What do you think is the best way to transfer? Do I have to start from scratch?
You have to market yourself as a commercial model and actress. The pictures you have currently can work to help you get an agent, you just have to see the right agents. If you're not the right height for fashion, whether your plus or not, you can pretty much forget it. Most people are born commercial types and not fashion models. You're still a bit on the short side for fashion, so I would suggest finding yourself a commercial agent you like and going from there. You're close to the San Francisco market, so there will be a good amount of work to be had there.
I am 50 years old and very fit. I am only 5'4" and have not been able to find representation due to my height and age (and possible other factors I'm not aware of). I believe there is a niche market for me and have been submitting to job postings with no success. My primary desire would be print work. Do you have any suggestions on how to get started?
You have to do print and TV. Go commercial and you'll find more success. You say you did fitness modeling - is that not print? You need a variety of pictures and you need to find a commercial agent to start. Most models/commercial types have been doing this since they were in their twenties or younger - they grew up in the business. It's not easy to break into when you get older, but I like your look and think you can find success. You should take a few commercial acting classes and submit yourself to agencies. Chances are they won't have a lot of your type on their books, so you should be able to find someone you want to work with who can submit you for jobs.
I'm curious on what is the best way into the fashion industry. I work had and bring a lot to the table with everything I do. I am a dancer, so I know what it is to perform and emote. What do you think would be the best way for me to book that first job? 
You're going to have to forget fashion modeling because you don't have the height for it. If you are serious, work on your book. Your pictures are all the same. You need to get out of your dance mode and get into commercial print mode. Get a few commercial headshots to add into the mix, since you are a TV and commercial print type. Take a few acting classes and find a commercial agent if you don't already have one. You're close to LA so there will be plenty of opportunities for class and a variety of agencies to submit to. If you don't have an agent yet, don't be afraid to start with a smaller boutique agency that will help develop your career.
In the meantime,

Have a successful day!


Follow me @TheJoeyHunter

*Have a question for me? Ask away at my ModelWire Network Profile.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark: The Use of Shadows in Lighting - Allen Henson

Even novice photographers get it; gear is important but second to the right implementation of that gear. And a camera more often than not isn't as important as the right lighting environment, whether it's available or man-made.

A fairly common mistake we have all made at some point in our developmental process is the over use of lighting. Through the course of our experience we evolve and devolve - just look at several of your pieces you've shot over time. You'll see it - something you tried that changed everything, maybe something you stopped doing. For me, the discovery of shadow changed the entire game.

When we first discover lighting, it's pandemonium. Ring flashes, speed lights, kino, mole, LED, acute's, mono heads, and modifiers galore; barn-doors to soft boxes, gels, CTB, CTO... your head could explode over the sheer number of lighting combinations. One single sitting can turn out a hundred plus different images just with different lighting techniques.

So many of us crank in as many lights as possible, trying everything. Not a wrong answer on the path to finding your lighting voice, but maybe not your answer.

I eventually became way more infatuated with the shadows light created than with the light that light created. You must have both. Without shadow there either isn't light or there's just too much of it. Lighting in photography & video, after all, is just the allocation of light and shadow. It's your image! You tell the light where to go the same as you'd tell a model.

I've found the bulk of what I'm interested in aesthetics-wise is primarily single source, whether constant or strobe. And, usually unmodified or a beauty dish at least. We like to throw the word "noir" around just as much as "edgy." For some end-all examples of this lighting, pull up some 40's black and white flicks - great film noirs like The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, Citizen Kane... What do you see? A whole lot of shadow. It's moody as all hell and easy to recreate on a shoestring budget. Shadow is your friend. Embrace the dark side.

"I just want to tell you all how happy I am to be back in the studio making a picture again! ... You see, this is my life. It always will be! There's nothing else - just us - and the cameras - and those wonderful people out there in the dark." - Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) in Sunset Boulevard, 1950

Noir vidi example

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lena Dunham Covers Vogue

Hollywood hipster queen, Lena Dunham, has landed her first Vogue cover. The fashion bible has even dubbed her "The New Queen of Comedy."

Lena is ultra-glam in looks by Rochas, Alexander McQueen, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and Céline. Her spread was shot by the illustrious Annie Leibovitz and features her Girls co-star, Adam Driver. 

As far as her personal taste in fashion, Dunham says, "I love clothes that have eccentricity and wit to them."  Her eclectic wardrobe includes favorites by Erdem, Marni, Miu Miu, and Peter Jensen. 
“I’ve always loved Comme des Garçons; I’ve always loved Yohji Yamamoto,” she says. “I’m into Charlotte Olympia flats. I really love a Prada bag because they always have one weird detail that you didn’t think about. I always wear J Brand jeans because the waist is high . . . a low-cut jean is a problematic thing for me.”
To read the full cover story by Nathan Heller, head on over to Vogue.com

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

ASK JOEY: Head to Agency Open Calls

Finding an agent can sometimes feel overwhelming and impossible. At the end of the day, it comes down to timing and having a few quality shots in your book. As I've said before, most agents will have you test with one of their photographers when they decide to sign you, so it's not imperative that you have a ton of pictures to get meetings. All you need are a few solid shots - definitely include one or two commercial pictures. (This is ESPECIALLY true for men. There are fewer opportunities in modeling for men, so you want to make sure you are well-rounded and can sell a variety of products.)

For fashion agencies, check their websites for open call information. Going to an open call is infinitely easier than trying to get a meeting. No matter what kind of representation you are looking for, don't bypass smaller agencies in the hopes of only signing with the top tier. You could miss out on an agency who will work harder at developing your career because they aren't handling as many clients. Once you start submitting, it really comes down to timing. Is your look the type that is selling right now? Does the agency you've submitted to already have a lot of clients that have your similar look and type? Certain things are out of your control, but having good shots and maintaining a positive, professional attitude is really up to you.

I would love to find representation with an agency in New York. May I ask for some advice on the best way to do that?
You have enough pictures to start seeing agents. You live in NYC, which is lucky. Most agencies there have open calls, if you aren't able to make appointments to see them. If an agent wants to work with you, they can see it in just a few pictures - they won't need a ton of them to make their decision. Just go in with a few of your best shots. They will then get you tested by a photographer they like, to get the images they need to get you working. If an agent tells you they think your pictures are "weak," it's a nice way of saying they don't want to rep you. Just pick up and move on to your next option and you'll find the right agent for you. Don't be afraid to start with a smaller agency. 
How do I, in the best way possible, contact agencies in the hopes of possible representation? I'm really keen on getting representation in Asia. With the different culture there, is there a different way I should contact agencies in Asia compared to how I would contact US agencies?
If you have an agent in NYC or in Denmark, they can set it up for you. Agencies in Asia work with agents in Europe and the US. If you are currently repped, I'd start by asking for a referral. If not, you can also try picking up a model directory, Picture Perfect is a good one, and start emailing your book to agents in Asia you think you might like to work with. You can also check online resources like ModelWire's Fashion Directory  (some of the agencies have branches in Asia) or www.fashionmodeldirectory.com for robust agency searches.
I live in NYC, which I know is a great market to be in. If you could help me out by offering any constructive criticism and advice on how to further my career, it would be greatly appreciated.
If you're looking for fashion agents, you're going to need to change direction. Your look is not what's selling at this time, but that doesn't mean that won't change. For now, I would say go commercial and take some acting classes if you aren't already. There are a lot more commercial agencies in NYC than fashion agencies, so I would suggest targeting some of different sizes to try to set up meetings. They will be able to help get you out on auditions for both commercial print and television work. There's a lot more opportunity there, so that's what I would suggest for you right now.
How do I end things with my current modeling agency? They aren't getting me any work at all. I don't know what to do.
If you don't have a contract, it's as simple as calling your agency and saying you're leaving. You may want to try get a meeting with them first to sit down and find out why they haven't been getting you auditions or bookings. They may have suggestions as to changes that may help them get you out there. If you have a contract with your agency, you'll need to notify them in writing that you are leaving. Check to see if there is a 30 day window to leave (many contracts have one) and make sure to follow the rules of the contract should you decide to move on. You may want to consider signing with a commercial agent (if you don't have one already) as there are more of them in LA. They will submit you for print work too, so it may be an option in terms of getting out on more auditions or go-sees.
What would be the necessary steps for me to get into an agency? I have never tried to do so, but want to be prepared and if you could offer advice based on my look, that would be great!
Right off the bat, you look the same in all of your pictures. They're too street, no smiles, etc. I personally like happy guys, so don't be afraid to have a few photos in your book where you're smiling. You'll definitely need them since you live in LA, and the bulk of agencies you'll want to start off meeting with are commercial. I would definitely get some new photos that have a more commercial feel to get some variety in your portfolio before trying to set up meetings. You can reach out to photographers via MWN to see if someone is willing to work for trade so you don't have to spend a fortune to get pictures. You can also check the photographers listing on LA Casting, as many of them will offer discounts for finding them there. Once you have a few new shots, think about what agencies you'd like to work with. Most will have submission information on their websites. Commercial agencies will let you know if they want electronic or hard copy submissions, and many modeling agencies will have open calls as well. 

In the meantime,

Have a successful day!


Follow me @TheJoeyHunter

*Have a question for me? Ask away at my ModelWire Network Profile.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Golden Globes Fashion Round-up

With awards season heading into full swing, we got our first taste of major 2014 red carpet fashion at last night's Golden Globes. We love the slightly more laid back vibe of the Globes (aka celebs on the sauce throughout the telecast) which leads to more fun, less traditional fashion. This year seemed to be dominated by ladies in red and those with the best accessory - a baby bump!

We aren't down with a worst dressed list - wear what you love - but here are our favorite looks from last night.

Lupita Nyong'o in Ralph Lauren
Kate Beckinsale in Zuhair Murad 
Elizabeth Moss in J. Mendel 
Cate Blanchett in Armani
Drew Barrymore in Monique Lhullier

Caitlin FitzGerald in Emilia Wikstead 
Aubrey Plaza in Oscar de la Renta 
Margot Robbie in Gucci 
Maria Menounos in Max Azria Atelier 
Naomi Watts in Tom Ford 
Olivia Wilde in Gucci
Kerry Washington in Balenciaga

We also need to give a special nod to our favorite dapper dudes: Leonardo DiCaprio, Channing Tatum, Bradley Cooper, Matthew McConaughy, Chris Pine and Aaron Eckhart were all looking fantastic!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

ELLE Cover Controversy

If you've been reading the internets over the past few days, you may have noticed that they are abuzz with commentary on the February 2014 Elle cover featuring Mindy Kaling. The magazine has released four covers for the "Women in Television" issue, with the other three featuring Amy Poehler, Zooey Deschanel, and Allison Williams. Some are arguing that the mag is being both racist and sizeist by featuring a close-up facial shot in black and white of Mindy, while the other three women are treated to nearly full-body, full color covers. (See the remaining three covers below.)

If Elle hadn't been accused of similar gaffes in the past, many people probably wouldn't have thought twice about the difference in covers. There was "Jacket Gate" with the Melissa McCarthy November 2013 cover, and a similar crop issue in 2010 for their 25th anniversary issue. In that issue, Megan Fox, Lauren Conrad, Amanda Seyfried, and Gabourey Sidibe were all featured on separate covers, and while the first three were show in full-length, Gabourey's cover featured only a close-up head shot.

Mindy took to Twitter to defend her cover, with the humor and grace we love her for.

Here are the remaining covers featuring Amy Poehler, Zooey Deschanel, and Allison Williams respectively. All image credits to Elle.

No matter what Elle's reasoning, we think Mindy looks gorgeous and elegant on her cover. The black and white shot makes hers stand out from the rest. What do you think of the covers and of the mag's decision to feature Mindy so differently?