Become a Model

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My Dearest Girls!

I truly am aware of & recognize the topic that most of you are so fascinated with. And since I have such a great advantage of being exposed to it everyday as part of my career, I would love to share & engage you in some of my knowledge, insights, observations & simply know -hows of today's subject! Did I get you full attention yet?
Yes, of course! Give yourself around of applause! You got it right! Today's
amusing to most themes is: modeling!
   How do you become a model? - Is a question I come across almost everyday!
Let's be honest, almost all of us once dreamed of being a model! With our lil feet drowned in our Mom's shoes & having put on all the jewelry she owns, we proudly pretended to walk the runway like models. And Some still dreaming, trying to make a lil girls dream a reality, working on being a model. However, not everyone has got IT to become one! Just because one has the looks & practiced to walk the runway since she was a little girl, doesn't mean she can be one. In today's' subject I will debate on how JUST the looks & JUST the dream is not enough. It is combination of both and much more that is A MUST in the modeling world. And even though our favorite princess Cinderella’s song: "The dream that you wish  will come true". Having experience in this field, I have to add: "If you truly work hard for it".
   It's true that the photographers get to be the first ones who young models turn to. Who else if not a photographer will put an aspiring model in the right direction? The way that we (photographers) can guide our muse and advise no one else can. This is what I am going to help you with right now, however remember, that not all of us will & must do it. There are photographers that a model works WITH & there are photographers that she/he works FOR. Don't forget the difference between the ones that are paid to help a model create her/his portfolio, and there the ones that pay A MODEL for the work.
   Do not expect me tell you what all of you want to hear, which is that anyone can be a model. No it’s not. And because you are my readers and I care about you, I will be real & have no mercy

  So you want to be a model? Why not? Let nothing stop you, but remember these sort of guidelines I am going to share with you.
   In true tough reality, not everyone can become a model & its not as easy as some might think. To have you dream come true, you must put not only you heart and soul into it, but work extremely hard for it. An Yes, you have read it right in the beginning of my thesis when I said that LOOKS alone won't take you to be where you want to be. Beauty and looks are not the only factors that make a model, but true effort & I am not afraid to repeat again HARD WORK that you put into it! Even though, I do agree that appearance play a great role, but there were models I worked with that were not completely fortunate looking, but once I started shooting them, I could not get enough of them & those girls became extremely inspiring, pleased my mind & fulfilled all of my visions just by the way those girls presented themselves. As oppose to truly gorgeous models whose beauty turned into nothing but a bore & shots turned into a monotonous pattern of one after the other. You would think: So what's the photographer for? He or she is supposed to take pictures from the right angle & direct the shoot. But remember, not all photographers will babysit you and give you the direction. If you are getting paid for a shoot, no one will give you the second chance. It is very tough in this industry. If you do not know how to work it, then you won't be able to sell yourself. Just stand there & be beautiful is not going to get you anywhere. Neither will waiting for a photographer to call the shots for you & lead you.
   If you want my opinion, model is the girl who is strong-willed, determined, and aggressive in her dedication. In other words a girl of a strong character.

  It seems as if it's so easy to be a model. But it's a hard labor. It's a constant competition you have to deal with.     You must always look good, your skin, your hair, your body.
   You are running around all day between casting calls which are not paid & there is no guarantee you will be picked for the shoot after you spent so much waiting in line, and prepare yourself, diet, exercises for days before you get to stand in that line to have someone shoot you for just couple of minutes. And how I said it's all unpaid work, because most of the times, there is no guarantee you will get a call back. At times, it's ungrateful, unpaid labor. Sometimes, you won't even get casting calls. Other times you get discouraged and feel like giving up.

   According to my knowledge in this field, there are couple of things that must be taken into account to be a successful mode : model's determined effort, her age & her agent. I already expressed my thoughts about the effort; let's talk about the age. In my point of view, age matters more than the beauty. To start working after 26 is completely unrealistic for a model, only if she has a lot of experience on her shoulders & a great portfolio. And by including great portfolio, I do not mean pictures /shots that her portfolio is contained of but as a portfolio/resume of agencies she worked with & a list of a several amount of brands she was shot for. So it is not easy for me to say, but I will say it that it is going to be extremely tough. To be honest, I have no example I can bring as successful one who started at that age.
   The last but not least is the Agency. It is a must -must for a model to be agency represented. Because as far as your agent can push you, no one else can or will. It is their job to get you ahead, to get you through and most importantly get recognition. Well, perhaps, you may try on your own, yes, it might work in the beginning but it won't take you far to a level, which your agent can. Since all of the world famous companies or designers turn to modeling agencies only when they book a model to represent them or their brand.
   After all is said, I have to remind you that we live in a 21st century, in this day and age's fashion there are no great limitations. It's not necessary to have a cute little nose, or legs that start from your ears. If you know how to sell it, you will always find a customer that is looking just for your type. If it's not a runway, it's catalog, if it's not High fashion, it's commercial look that they are looking for. Needless to say, your EFFORT is what is so necessary; your HARD WORK is what will get you ahead. Believe in yourself, love yourself, never ever give up, because miracles do happen like in that Cinderella's song that ends like this:
     Have faith in your dreams and someday
     Your rainbow will come smiling thru
     No matter how your heart is grieving
     If you keep on believing
     The dream that you wish will come true

But do not forget to Just believe in it.

Try your best & work work work hard.

Alena Soboleva.




And special thanks to Film Annex for the new blog platform that allows me to carry my ideas.

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About the author


Alena is a Russian born, New York City based fashion photographer. Currently 21 years of age, Alena is one-of-a kind, with a number of notable career achievements under her belt. Alena is well honed in the field of fashion photography shooting amazing models from top agencies in New York City…

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