MODEL TIPS AND PROCEDURES
Here are some very important things to understand while embarking on a very unique and exciting career that not many people have the opportunity to experience. Modelling is one of the more exclusive jobs but not necessarily always as glamorous as one would assume. With persistence, guidance, passion, and willingness to be open to possibilities, it will be an amazing opportunity.
It is important to remember that fashion modeling is a business, and as a model, you are your own business you are your own brand! We as your agent are here to work together as a team to help you build your brand.
We will guide, educate and promote you. Our goal is to develop your brand / image to a level that will attract our clients.
Careers don't happen overnight. Like any successful business, it takes time, effort, commitment, patience and allot of hard work to become successful.
YOUR MODEL PLAN
If Book Management is your Mother Agent or if you already have a Mother Agent, we will all work together as a team to construct your "Model Plan". The Model Plan includes a short- and long-term goal strategy custom designed just for you. Together we will create a timeline with detailed tasks that will and be assigned to both you and the Book Management team. The Model Plan is placed in your chart which is seen by every team member when they look at your schedule in our agency booking software. The software reminds every one of their assigned tasks and be held responsible for following though. This helps everyone stay on task and reach our mutual outlined goals.
It is VERY important that you grasp the concept early on that the nature of this industry commonly demands last minute adjustments to the Model Plan. This industry does not commonly allow for long term specific planning. Most castings for instance are held just a week or two before the job and the jobs are commonly not confirmed until a few days if not the day before the job. This can cause some models stress who are not use to the non-traditional characteristics of most normal jobs. Flexibility therefor is a very necessary attribute to have in order to take advantage of sudden opportunities that occur. Your ability to work well in this type of environment will help to maximize our ability to advantage of more opportunities to advance your career. You are always given the opportunity to accept or decline such opportunities.
THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT TO YOUR SUCCESS
Establishing honest and open communication between you and the Book Management team is the most important factor in having a successful career. We truly believe the foundation of Book Management's success has been built upon this essential mutual understanding. Communication is an essential element in creating a fluid working relationship that leads to exciting and rewarding outcomes.
Bookings and success will not happen overnight. Unless you are an established model with a strong book, it will take planning and time to get things going. It can take up to 24 months to properly develop your portfolio. However, we go about it, either if you are to travel abroad or test locally in your area, it takes time.
There are rare instances when you may go to a major market and be set up and work overnight, this is very RARE. Be prepared to gain a lot of patience, whether that be waiting to do your first shoot, or have more in your book to get you placed, or in a model apartment waiting for your casting sheet.
The first course of action is to build your book. Whether you are still in school shooting with local photographers, or we set up a test shoot for you in NYC, it's important to understand the very first steps.
Patience will put you ahead of the rest, and by understanding the need for resilience in times of quiet or craziness of fashion week. Most mother agents/agencies are looking to make a model’s career a lucrative long-term success not an overnight flash in the pan. A model is “made” and requires a great deal of development from the onset.
DEVELOPMENT, AND WHAT IT ENTAILS
Development is a crucial part of the start of your modeling career.
First, we will want to get your look i.e., hair, physique, and psyche ready. It could be you need to grow your hair and keep it trimmed until it can be properly shaped into a current and workable look, or you may need to work on your body and get better toned. These are things that require great dedication, time and patience. We will assess the time required; make a time-line goal(s) for you to achieve this. The digitals we will request will show us your progress and be the deciding factor to determine your next step.
This will require a good deal of dedication on your part; this may or may not be easy for you. Please communicate with us along the way so we may help you if need in terms of support. We are here to guide and provide support on many levels. Each person is different; our goal is 100% support of your needs along the way, whatever that entails.
DEVELOPING “YOUR” LOOK
We begin this by first developing a "look" for you. This starts by evaluating your physical characteristics: Hair color, length and style.
A cut, trim or color may be suggested, or you may be asked to grow out your hair.
Your booker will help you with this decision.
NEVER CUT OR COLOR YOUR HAIR WITHOUT APPROVAL FROM YOUR AGENT
Doing so can cost your thousands of dollars in bookings and months of lost work not to mention the cost starting all over shooting new images to build a new portfolio.
Your body condition will be addressed. You could be asked to tone up or gain some weight. We'll guide you with specific healthy approaches to accomplish these goals. We do not support dieting or the use of drugs to address these goals. We support taking a healthy and natural approach to developing lifestyle habits that support a tone body and healthy mind.
Just let us know what you need help with, and we will be there for you!
YOUR PHYSIQUE AND THE BUSINESS OF MODELING
First, we will want to get your look i.e., hair, physique, and psyche (Mindset) ready. It could be you need to grow your hair and keep it trimmed until it can be properly shaped into a current and workable look, or we may need to cut your hair to compliment your look and compliment your facial features.
You may need to work on your body to be better toned. We will assess the time required to do accomplish these goals and add this to the timeline of your Model Plan.
This will require a good deal of dedication on your part; this may or may not be easy for you. Please communicate with us along the way so we are privy to what you may need in terms of support. We are here to guide and provide support on many levels. Each person is different; our goal is 100% support of your needs along the way, whatever that entails.
We will assess the time required to do accomplish these goals and add this to the timeline of your Model Plan.
Digitals are crucial so we can see where you are in progressive stages.
This requires a good deal of dedication on your part; this may or may not be easy for you. Please communicate with us along the way so we are privy to what you may need in terms of support. We are here to guide and provide support on many levels. Each person is different; our goal is 100% support of your needs along the way, whatever that entails.
Present yourself with confidence, have a good attitude and a friendly personality. Show your personal style but keep it clean and simple yet sharp. Make a good first impression. A charming personality will get you far! If you have a question of what to wear to a casting or agency appointment please ask, we will give you tips.
YOUR PERSONAL STYLE & HOW TO LOOK LIKE A MODEL
It is imperative to show up to castings looking like a 'model'. Although this may sound funny at first to you, a stylish demeanor is a part of the protocol. The client or casting director will look at your book and will be able to 'see' how you photograph, however it is equally important to look the part when you are before them. We will go over your wardrobe with you and help you find a suitable style for each specific market. It is important to have certain pieces in your wardrobe.
Dressing for each market is very important when you are going on castings. Each market may demand a different style. However, there are basics on what to have always in your wardrobe. Think of monochromatic colors such as black, grey, white. This is easiest to mix-match. Throwing in a splash of color is always good. However, keep it chic and understated as then it looks smart and sophisticated. It isn’t necessary to spend a fortune. Be mindful of labels but not necessary when you are starting off on a small budget. Watch for sales end of season, shop thrift and the reasonably prices stores such as H&M, Zara, The Bay, and Simons online amongst others. Below is an example of a wardrobe checklist:
- 2- Pairs of dark jeans (that can be dressed up or down)
- cotton t-shirts (think Gap/Banana Republic) black, white, grey, and blue
- long-sleeved button-down shirts
- blue jean button down shirt
- khaki shorts
- dress shoes
- stylish boots
- nice flip flops
- underwear (Calvin Klein, Armani, or Dolce & Gabbana style etc.) (briefs or trunks)
- Black leggings
- Pair of blue jeans
- Pair of black skinny jeans
- Black cocktail dress
- cami’s or tight tank tops
- black leather jacket
- pumps (nude and black)
- long sleeved boyfriend shirt
Testing is a very important part of developing your book. These are images that will be the start of your portfolio or you could need a new test because you changed your hair. It is very important to keep shooting, however it's very important to always check with us prior to even accepting a free test. It is important to shoot with good photographers whether they are starting off or very experienced. They need to know what you may need in your book.
POSING AND GETTING COMFORTABLE IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA
Prior to your first test if you are a new face we will have a skype/phone meeting on what will happen. It is important to look at as many magazines to see the type of posing you see professional models doing. Your first test will be with a very experienced photographer. It will be important to listen and learn. Try to just go with the flow and not have any preconceived ideas in your head. Looking up models names via MODELS.com, then google one or two and try to find any behind the scenes video's of shoots may be helpful.
Depending on the market you are going to there can be many shoots where the girl will be asked if she is comfortable doing a topless shot. This is common especially in Europe. This may be something you are not comfortable with, and if you are not please let your bookers/agencies know in advance your feelings. This is not a reflection on you as a model but your personal preferences that will be honored.
DIGITALS, POLAROIDS AND VIDEO'S
This is something you will become very familiar with. During placement process new digitals and/or Polaroids are very important. These are clear images with no makeup, completely natural and in a natural light. This allows the client to see what you look like raw. You will need to know how to pose; we will help you understand this process. We will give you examples on how to pose. Digitals will or could be taken every month, or if you are on option for a client, you may do them per option. It is important to learn your best angels when posing for digitals, after a while this will become habit to you.
You will need to know your measurements in both inches/centimeters. Agencies will ask and it's good to know both. If you are asked to measure yourself, it's important to know how to properly do this. Stand in front of a mirror so you can easily see you have the tape at the correct angles.
Measure the bust line at the fullest part of your chest. Stand naturally with your heels together and arms resting by the side of your body. Position the tape so that it covers the widest part of the back and the fullest part of the chest.
Place your hands at your natural waistline. This is where the tape should be positioned. If you cannot find your natural waist, stand with your feet
slightly apart and bend to the side. Where your waist creases is the natural waist.
Stand naturally with your heels together in a relaxed pose. Measure with the tape around the fullest part of the hips. Do not pull the tape tight.
OPTIONS AND CONFIRMS
You will hear the term ‘castings’, ‘options', and ‘confirms' quite frequently. When you arrive to the agency on-stay you will head to castings, see clients and show your book, they then consider you for that job. You may then get an 'option' and this mean they are putting you on hold you for that particular booking/job, this DOES NOT mean you booked the job yet. It just means the client is interested in considering you. A few days or more before the booking they will then 'confirm' you, which means you GOT THE JOB or release your hold, meaning you did not.
Keep a healthy lifestyle: drink a lot of water, eat a healthy diet, workout regularly, get sufficient sleep avoid cigarettes and too much partying. One of the easy things to fall prey to is the excess of parties in the business. Going to parties is a great way to network and mingle with clients. This can be used as a tool. There is nothing wrong with enjoying this, but over abuse can be very negative to your health.
Especially when you are in the overseas markets you will be encouraged by a promoters to go out and party in the clubs, again there is nothing bad about enjoying this benefit, but you must have self-discipline and not get caught up in over indulgence or you will burn out fast. This will potentially damage your career. If you look bad or are known to party too much. The industry is very small, and everyone will know who is out all night and not. In some foreign markets they will fine you if you are late to a job, it will come out of your final statement.
EATING HEALTHY & WEIGHT CONTROL
This is always a very delicate issue. It's often tough for girls not to take this to an extreme as well. It is about balance and realizing that your body is in fact your business. However, this doesn't mean you drive yourself into malnutrition and take it to the extreme. One must know their own bodies. If you are naturally thin it is easier to stay in that shape. It’s extremely Important to eat well to keep up your energy and look healthy.
If you have hips & curves, it is not wise to 'diet' and restrict your eating to achieve that goal. It is best to exercise (*specific routines will decrease hips) to attain that goal. If at any point you feel this is too much, please talk to us. We realize that the industry standards can be very harsh, and this is not for everyone to be able to achieve. It's best we discuss what may be best suited to your personal 'goals'. It is imperative that you are happy, healthy and feeling positive. We want to support these goals and your best interest including your HEALTH and WELLBEING.
NEEDING TO GET INTO MODEL SHAPE
This industry has certain criteria for height and body measurements. While no two persons bodies are the same, we try to advise in general sense overall, however, we also like to be hands-on when it comes to getting a model into what we like to term “model shape”. Like an athlete models must maintain a standard. It’s not about only getting into that shape a week before a booking or going ‘on-stay ‘to a market. It’s about staying healthy and fit. We will go over with you what you need to work on. We will also make a personalized plan eating/fitness for you to achieve this goal and maintain it. Bottom line is always HEALTH and vitality.
SKIN/HAIR AND HOW TO KEEP THEM HEALTHY
Depending on your skin type this is something you ought to consider an important routine. Some very basics, eat healthy, drink water, and avoid smoking and too much alcohol. Sun is good in moderation, use sunscreen.
Women who may have a few blemishes it is important you wash with a good product 2x daily, use a toner, and scrub at least 2-3x per week. Do not pick on the blemishes no matter how much it may bother you; this only leads to spreading the bacteria. Change your pillowcase weekly or more depending on how oily your skin may be. Moisturize regardless of if you skin may be oily. If you have a more serious case of acne, then seeing a specialist is imperative. 20's and up- continue with good face care routine, start using products to prevent fine lines, as this will benefit down the road.
Men: be sure to moisturize your skin and wear sunscreen, while shaving does provide exfoliation, from time to time it's good to use a scrub.
All products are not the same! You ought not spend a fortune but a good product will be worth it. You can find reasonable products at Sephora, Shoppers Drug and inquire about your skin type.
Eating healthy will play a big part in your hair as well.
In addition, try not over blow dry, and make sure to keep it trimmed. Products vary and this is something that everyone has their likes/dislikes.
TIME, DEDICATION AND RESILIENCE
Building your modeling career and portfolio takes time, effort and dedication. A model must be strong and open minded to the fashion industry and it's fickle nature. You must adapt well to a multitude of different personalities as well. Confidence and a strong-will are the best weapons of self-defence in this high-paced, ever evolving and fiercely competitive business.
If you want a successful modeling career, being professional is one of the most important things. You must be prepared to withstand long hours on a shoot; waiting is a tedious process, whether it's a casting, rehearsal or a shoot. You must always keep a positive and laid-back attitude. Nobody wants to work with a model that makes the job more difficult with negativity or ego. If there is EVER an issue where you feel uncomfortable for any reason during a shoot, always text-call us or your booker at the agency. There are never any issues that shouldn’t be heard if you are uncomfortable.
Please treat this like any other business, be organized, prompt, and dependable. Make sure you have all your paperwork in a safe place that others can get to at home if you need them while overseas or out of town. Have all your info on you as well or on a cloud where you can access them immediately, including passport info, visa info, health insurance etc. Please make sure we have a copy of all pertinent info as well to help you in case of any urgent business. It can cost you money in the long run when you are not prepared. Always have high-resolution files of your book somewhere safe in case you lose your images, and/or portfolio.
TRAVEL, ON-STAY AND DIRECT BOOKINGS
A good idea from the onset is to be able to collect “Air miles” from your very often travels, try to sign up to as many as possible. Your booker(s) can advance flights and add your travel card(s).
A few to consider: Jet Blue, Delta, American, Air France, British Airways, And Virgin Atlantic. Go to each their websites and sign up and make a note of each number.
While being a model has its rewards, one of the pitfalls of the industry is its nomadic quality; a model must be willing travel at a moment’s notice from a direct booking for a weekend or perhaps on-stay in one market for up to 3 months at one time. This often results in the feeling of loneliness and the feeling of being out of touch with one’s family. It's very important to focus on the long-term goal and try to realize it's not forever. Try to engage in the culture if you are in a different country. These are unique circumstances where you can travel and get paid. It's very important to have interests outside of the modeling world; a hobby can be a great distraction to the day to day. Make sure to stay in touch with your friends and family back home. We will always make sure to be on call for you 24/7 in case of anything you may need, so stay in touch with us as much as you can with good updates or anything you may need.
BEING HOMESICK IS NORMAL
It’s completely normal to feel homesick on your first trip abroad. But after a couple weeks, it does get better, and you begin to feel more comfortable with your surroundings. Always give a new market a week or two. If you’re unhappy and want to go home, know it’s completely okay and this does happen with some new faces. Please voice your concerns with us so you can change your flight details and make new arrangements. Remember that there may be contractual restrictions and repercussions to ending your stay early.
One of the more exciting things is traveling to new countries and meeting new people and their cultures. Most of the fashion industry speaks English, so the language barrier isn't too much of an issue. However, it is always polite to try and speak their language. Learn a bit of the culture in which you will be going. Each country and people may have different cultural habits. Each market is vastly different in how they may want you to present yourself to clients on castings. They will more than likely request certain things for you to bring. However, it's important to ask questions and be proactive in researching the cultures of each place you may be going. This will no doubt impress your bookers and will make them want to work even harder for you.
MAJOR AND SECONDARY MARKETS
Familiarize yourself with the many markets that you could go to, as odd as it may be you could easily fly out for a direct booking or get a contract for up to 3 months at a time in any Asian market. There are many things being shot in China now whereby a model will do a 3-day booking in Shenzhen (south China) or to Seoul, Korea. Many of these markets have numerous big publications like Vogue, Elle, Numero and many other good magazines with English writing that are beneficial to a portfolio. There are more magazines in print and come out faster than in the major markets. Each market has their own fashion week as well, and they look for models for this as well. In addition they shoot a lot of TVC's (TV commercials) that can pay well. This is great for exposure and experience that can benefit your level of modeling to a higher degree.
The major markets for fashion are New York, Paris, London, Milan, Barcelona.
All secondary markets:
LA and Miami in US
Hamburg, Denmark and many others in Europe
Tokyo and Hong Kong (now there are many cities in mainland China that markets have emerged, and a model can do well with money in pocket while getting some nice tear-sheets for their portfolio)
Shanghai & Beijing for example as well.
other markets: Singapore, Bangkok, Seoul, Mumbai, New Deli, Malaysia, Indonesia, Athens, Australia and New Zealand.
In most markets, castings are a simple process: you go to the casting location, show your book, take some snapshots, and go on your way. In China, Japan, and Taiwan, castings work a little differently. Along with the usual process, models are asked to do a series of poses until the client, or their booker says, "stop."
If this is your first trip overseas, or first trip to Asia, it's perfectly natural to be nervous! Even some seasoned veterans still find it embarrassing or struggle with their posing. Although the casting process may require some adjusting on your part, once you get the hang of the posing, you'll be fine.
In contrast, there are some models that never get used to posing in front of clients. To be fair, it can be a very awkward and uncomfortable experience. They can be amazing models with years of experience, but they might still decide that the market's not for them. As a model, not every market that you'll travel to will be best suited for you, and that's normal!
Even though traveling to China, Japan, or Taiwan may seem daunting, The Business Model is here to help make things easier for you so that you know what to expect before your next trip overseas.
In Japan, clients prefer models to pose by doing small and simple movements. They don't like it when models do big poses or anything over the top in castings. When you go to castings and clients ask you to pose, remember to be slow and graceful in your movements. The same goes for male models. Clients don't like too much posing and prefer male models to be very natural, cool, and strong, as in the rest of the world. For fashion editorials they do prefer stronger poses but as previously mentioned, nothing over the top.
The Japanese people are renown for having a love of all things kawaii; anything cute, sweet, and/or adorable. Youth is celebrated in many cultures but in Japan, it's practically become synonymous with the culture. There are many different clients in Osaka and Tokyo who love when models pose very cute or lady-like in a natural way. Ranging from campaigns, magazine shoots, and even commercial work, models doing cute poses - or being “kawaii” rather - are seen almost everywhere.
Clients might also ask a model to pose in a more quirky and fun way depending on the feel they are going for. But remember to not overdo your posing and stay graceful.
China & Taiwan
Models who go to China and Taiwan often share funny stories about their work experience. Not only is the culture a huge shock but the modeling industry is completely different than anywhere else in the world. From the types of jobs, clothes, and clients, modeling in China can really test a model's limitations and patience.
At castings, you'll be asked to pose for the client and show a specific 'feeling.' This means the client is trying to communicate that they want a specific mood or tone for the catalogue. You'll then do a series of about 8-10 poses and if the client likes your posing, you'll be asked to try on the clothes and the client will ask you to pose again.
While you're doing your poses in front of the client, you will be posing in front of other models from your agency and maybe models from other agencies as well. Posing in front of clients, especially when there are other models around, can be time consuming. Castings in China take an inordinate amount of time (one can last an hour or two) and all models go to the same castings. This is normal in China and it does take some time to get used to.
Your success in the Chinese/Taiwanese market is largely dependent on your ability to pose and less your look. In China and Taiwan, clients need models who can move fast and do a large variety of poses. Chinese jobs can be between 8-10 hours with up to 150 changes of clothes. Taiwan has even longer days where a model can shoot upwards of 200-300 looks/day and jobs can last as long as 14 hours/day.
Since there are so many clothes to shoot, models need to be able to do a variety of poses, so the catalogues don't look boring. Even if the smallest changes (one hand on hip, a head tilt, one step ahead, etc.) will show the model's versatility. The trick to mastering the art of posing in China is to pretend you know what you're doing.
As ridiculous as it may sound, even if you have absolutely no idea, fake it. Be confident in yourself and even if you repeat the same poses, you'll be fine. Just remember to keep moving.
However, if you do your poses too fast, clients will think you're rushing and that you're nervous. The trick is to make every pose flow seamlessly into another one and do them slowly - think of a less extreme version of "voguing."
China and Taiwan are not markets for everyone. But any model that can handle working in the Chinese and Taiwanese markets will find modeling anywhere else in the world easy. China also teaches a model how to pose, be versatile, and be prepared for anything a client may ask.
Coco Rocha's first modeling trip overseas was to Taipei, Taiwan, which she described as, “model boot camp.” The whole experience itself can be very humbling and make models more appreciative of working in markets back over in Europe or America.
Types of 'Feelings' & Poses
In China and Taiwan, clients will ask you to do some poses at a casting and they'll usually ask you to do one of the following:
Big pose and 'cool feelings' pose are similar to one another. The client is looking for an editorial feel, but they want you to go more over the top. For example, have one leg up, hands on your neck, and a strong expression.
Brand name' feeling
When Lana Del Ray's campaign for H&M came out in 2012, clients in China fell in love with the images and wanted to portray a similar feel in their catalogues. Usually the client has a storyboard of images they have used for reference that they will show. If they do not, try to ask them for a reference image if they have one. If not, do your best to try and emulate the same feel in the photos they do show you and do your best.
This translates into editorial poses. Think edgy, bigger poses, such as both arms on waist and a strong facial expression.
When a client asks you to show “expensive feeling,” think of the latest Burberry or Louis Vuitton campaign and try to emulate the poses or facial expressions of the model. Be strong with your poses and pretend that the bedazzled poly-blend sweater you're selling is Chanel or Prada.
Pose, pose, pose! In China, many clients won't know what they want. They may ask you to do editorial poses at a casting but at the job they'll ask for sweet poses. When you're at a casting and the client asks you to freestyle, do a mix of editorial, sweet, and natural. Remember to pose slowly and with confidence and allow your poses to flow.
Very similar to natural pose. For example, stand straight, pop your hip out, look to the side, hand on hip or in pocket etc.
If you have a casting for office wear or mature women's clothing, you will be asked to do a series of 'lady' or 'elegant' poses. Act graceful, put together, and like a sophisticated businesswoman who's walking with her briefcase or admiring her watch.
When your booker or client asks you to do 'nature' poses they aren't asking you to pose like a tree, they're asking you to pose in a natural way. This usually means small movements and nothing dramatic. Shuffle your legs slightly, look to the side, have your hand on your hip, etc.
“S” pose will often be asked of you if you are modeling swimwear or lingerie. The client wants you to stick out your chest and bum and form an “S” shape with your body. Lingerie clients in China prefer women with large breasts and very small hip measurements. Male models that are very muscular and defined book all of the underwear and sleepwear jobs in China.
This style of posing refers to looking as though you are being commercial and sporty. At a casting, you can pretend to run, jump, and have a big smile.
When a client asks you to be sweet, they want you to look very youthful, show a small smile, and be cute and flirty. On the job you may be asked to hold a flower or even cuddle with a bear. Models who have been to Japan will be familiar with this style of posing.
ON STAY CONTRACTS
In a special market such as Tokyo, they offer a model a guarantee contract for a specific amount of time. Normally no less than 60 days. If you are a new face, the normal rate is 13,000.00 USD for boys and 17,000.00 for a girl. This depends too on the agency. They will advance your flight ticket, apartment, fee's ( such as visa etc.), comp cards, portfolio book, weekly pocket money and a mobile phone. All these monies will be deducted from your gross billing. If you make 20,000.00 gross on all your jobs they will minus your expenses, then take 40% from your net and you will take home the remainder. They will pay you the day before you leave Japan.
For most of the other markets, they will advance everything, but there will be no 'guarantee contract'.
These markets are very enticing to the models because they are basically not risking any out-of-pocket money to start up their portfolio.
“When will I make money, how do I get paid.... OH MY! I'm in too much debt to the agency!”
As a new face it will take a good amount of time to be in the black with your booking agencies, no doubt there are times when a big job comes in and you've been put there faster.
Generally speaking, it's no different than going to college for 4 years getting a degree and coming out and starting the low-level position. Once you gain more experience or a strong book, you have greater chances of your established career. This greatly depends on each individual and their own career.
Let's say you are placed in NY, they advance you your airfare, apartment stay, and pocket money weekly. Right away you are in the negative on your account by $3,000.00 USD, however, you get a look-book that pays $2500.00, several shows that pay $700.00, they reimburse your account, and you receive the remainder. Most agencies will look at this as an investment, and with the strong belief in each model they represent know they must do it this way. You are not indebted to repay them unless we were to move you to another agency in that same market. These are rare, rare events, and we are always mindful of directing a career to be placed with an agency that will be behind the model 100%.
LENGTH OF STAY & CONTRACTS
This will greatly depend on where you are starting off. If you go straight to NY and are placed in an agency there, and then Paris-Milan, you may go to Athens or Barcelona to start off your book. This has so many variables to the time of year, what our objective is for your book. Equally plausible you could go to Hong Kong or Singapore where getting tear-sheets for your portfolio is also good.
If you are placed in NY, LA, or Miami you will enter into a contract like our mother agency agreement. We will go over the fine print, as each agency has their own unique set of rules. If you are placed in the European markets, there too you will be required to sign a contract. Normally they will send it to us to review and go over with you. We can go over all nuances such as:
Advances- whereby an agency may give you weekly pocket money (usually up to 80 USD per week) and will advance you your hotel or model apartment. In some circumstances they may advance your airfare. Normally they will offer one or the other not both, again it really depends on each individual model. Be careful of what you spend, keep track of receipts for tax purposes.
Modeling is seldom glamorous.
There is the opportunity to travel, meet amazing people, be seen by a lot of people, and make a lot of money, but it is a lot of work. Photo shoots can start at sunrise and involve standing around for hours. The demands of photographers, stylists, art directors, agents and clients can be overwhelming. You may have to rush to one location, only to have to wait around to be seen, and then promptly rejected.
Shyness is not a good quality for a model.
Fashion shows may not have separate dressing rooms. Photo shoots may not have private changing facilities. Clients or scouts may opt to take your measurements to see if you fit the mold.
Dealing with Rejection
You will need to work on letting go of feelings of not always being chosen for a booking or being canceled from a booking last minute. Options will come and go; you must practice not taking it personally. You will get used to it. Stay in close touch with your booker they will let you know the ins/outs of the particular booking situation. It can be very disconcerting at first, but you will get used to it, and with a great attitude your bookers will work harder for you!
model apartments and more....
No two modeling careers are the same, you cannot judge what one model is doing over yourself. It is difficult not to compare, but very important to not fall prey to others negative experiences. It is good to hear advice, but not to judge too harshly and be critical.
I hear this too often when models are in model apartments and they cannot help but discuss bookers, agencies, and other models. DO NOT listen until you experience things for yourself! You cannot know what is going on in that model’s career, so be respectful but do not engage in any model apartment drama, this is a negative that can cause so much stress on you and everyone. If there were to be any issues, it is best to privately discuss with us. It's a bit like being in a dorm, you have no choice who your roommates will be, so it's always good to be very open minded and respectful toward others.
Be humble – Although many people travel, traveling the world, as an International model is not something most get to experience. Even with what may seem like an endless supply of models, you really need to put things into perspective: There may be a few thousand models out there, but the world’s population is around 7 billion! You are part of a very small percentage of people that has been given this opportunity. Stay humble and grounded and remember how lucky you are. Even if you find yourself working well, nobody likes working with a diva and they don’t last long in this industry.
Nightlife & Responsibility – In most markets, models get treated particularly well, with free dinners, club entries, free alcohol etc. Although going out on the weekend is normal, remember that you are there to work. If you go into a job the next day smelling of alcohol and cigarettes, the clients will take notice and it will not only leave a bad impression on the client but also on your agency. This could result in being fired from the set, damage future bookings with the clients, and ruin your relationship with your agency. If a situation is bad enough you could even be sent home. You are there to work first and foremost and should be a professional so please be respectful and act responsibly.
Note: If you are under the legal drinking age under no circumstances should you be attending a nightclub. All countries have laws, so respect them.
Get your phone unlocked
If you have a smartphone that you cannot live without, be sure to get it unlocked at home before you travel. This can be done at your local service provider for a one-time fee of approximately $40-50. You will then be able to get a SIM card for your phone in the country you will be going to and keep using your phone.
If you have never lived in a dorm, you will soon find out what you’ve been missing out on. Model apartments aren’t as glamorous as depicted on television shows (America’s Next Top Model) but are quite simple and standard for the most part. You might get lucky and get one with a pool or your own bathroom or you will be sharing a cramped space with 4 other models. Either way, living in a model apartment is a learning experience on its own.
Your housemates are going to be models from all parts of the globe: Eastern Europe, Brazil, Russia, the States, and Australia etc. You might get the best housemates ever or sometimes you will be with people you may not click with. That’s completely normal and does happen. If you establish common ground and are respectful of one another, you’ll be fine. The experience is going to be an eye opener and you will learn a lot about yourself.
Secure your belongings
You might have some housemates who have a case of sticky fingers so keep your valuables (laptop, phone, expensive clothes, jewelry, passport, important documents like contracts, etc.) stowed away in your suitcase with a lock or safe box. It’s not uncommon for some models to steal jewelry, money, or clothes from their housemates so always take extra precaution.
Be respectful and courteous
It’s not unusual to share a model apartment with one bathroom with up to 5 other models. As such, please try to limit your showers to 10-15 minutes max!
If you happen to be a smoker, please be respectful of your housemates and go outside. The smoke can get into clothes and furniture leaving an unpleasant smell in the apartment. Also, many people find smoke to be very bothersome and do not want to be exposed to the harmful fumes.
Stay in touch with friends and family
Keeping in touch with family and friends is always a good idea. Whether it be via WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, or the telephone, staying in touch with loved ones is always a great way to de-stress. They will help you stay grounded and ease any feelings you may have of homesickness.
Runway (I don't know how to walk)
Depending on your circumstances you may get a runway coach or a few lessons while being on stay in NY/Paris/Milan. If you are overseas in Asia they will more than likely expect that you know how to walk already. We will cover that issue prior to your going to any market during a fashion week. Practicing is important. Watch some YouTube videos of some established models walking the runway and try to mimic as they do. Most importantly it’s important to be confident.
All major city’s world-wide have their own fashion weeks but the biggest and most prestigious where all the major designers plus up and coming new ones will be in: NEW YORK, PARIS, and MILAN- These are the 3 major and most important fashion weeks in the world. Smaller markets such a London, Tokyo etc. have them as well.
Double tax/tax forms
As indicated in our model agreement. Please make sure you obtain the proper tax
documentation from your country. This is imperative so you do not pay taxes to the country you will be contracted in. Some country's do not bother with this, however there are some that will take out 20% of your net earnings and that can be a lot to you.
You will need to contact your tax offices and request Certificate of fiscal residency/ for the tax year of 20______.
Some countries this takes no time and other months! So, better to be prepared. We will certainly help you in any way possible to garner the proper documentation.
Your taxes at home.
It is very important to keep receipts if you can for cash expenses including dining out, buying groceries while on-stay. The best way is to use your debit card to keep track of these expenses. It's good to get in habit of doing this regardless of if you are making enough to declare. Every penny will add up to take off your taxes. Be ever mindful and it will be easier in the long run. If you need any questions answered on that please ask, we will be happy to lend advice.
TOOLS AND NECESSITIES
Like starting off in school there are things you will need to be a model. First and most importantly your PASSPORT. If you don't already have one, please apply immediately. Depending on your circumstances you may need to expedite, as it takes up to 8 weeks for you to receive it. You may do this online or at your local post office.
PROOF OF RESIDENCY
CANADA – Certificate of residency
An application letter should be submitted to the local tax office where your return is filed. It should specify the information to be included in the certificate, such as the name, address, social insurance number and period of residence. It may take a month or two to get.
USA - Form 8802 for US Citizens
it is very important to have this form if you are traveling overseas and do not want to pay taxes in that country. Please fill out these forms and apply immediately so you have it on hand. http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=137809,00.html
British Citizens- Residency Certificate
forms to claim relief under Double taxation agreements. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/international/faqs.htm#20
All other countries check with your local tax office to inquire about a submitting a letter for proof of residency. It involves educating and training you on all the many aspects of being a model.
You can also access a full growing list of topics by talking to your agent, most for which are outlined in your contract or discussed prior to signing:
- Your physical appearance.
- Your mental image of yourself.
- Learn what your Booker responsibilities are.
- Learn what your Booker expects from you.
- Testing / Building your Book. (portfolio)
- Your Comp Card. The process and costs
- Your iBook / When and How to update
- Perfecting your runway walk.
- Learn about types of Jobs you may be sent on.
- How to prepare for a casting
- How to present your book at a casting
- How to prepare for a shoot.
- How to address issues on a shoot
- How to be a great model in front of the lens
- When and How do you get paid / taxes /accounting
- Vocabulary of the business (glossary)
Never forget that we signed you with Book Management because we believe in YOU! We are putting our collective energy into your success; we are here to help you in any way reasonably and ethically possible to see you succeed!!
Your success is our success. :)