Know Who You Are and What You Want

Set goals for your modeling career

 If you're truly passionate about modeling you have an ultimate day dream about where you want to be in your career.

Write down your goals

You don't have to show anyone. Doing this will make your dreams more real, more attainable.

Make a plan of action

It should be comprised of smaller goals. For example, if your dream is to be signed by one of the top model agencies - some of your smaller goals would be to make it to a open call, or create a book. Then you break that down.. What do you need to do in order to make it to that open call or who should you work with to create an awesome book?

Be Realistic

In the end your goals should be reasonable. I know that I will never be a petite model.. well because I'm not petite, I'm 5'9. If you're 5'2 don't be discouraged that is highly unlikely for you to be a fashion model. The industry is massive and there are tons of opportunities!


Spokesmodel What? Learning to rep your brand

What is a Spokesmodel?
A spokesmodel is a person that represents a brand or company. Essentially, a model that is the face and voice of a company.  A spokesmodel may be called a Brand Ambassador, Brand Rep, Promotional Specialist, etc.

What does the job entail?
The job duties vary and are determined by the client. A few things will always be the same. You will have a target market, key points or a brand message, and you must be able to approach strangers. The most important thing is to be engaging and create memorable experiences with the consumers.

How much does it pay?
Pay rate varies with the market and client. I have worked for a flat day rate of $650, but I have also booked jobs at $16/hr.

What does it take to be a spokesmodel?
A neat appearance, excellent communication skills, and the ability to work independently. When applying you will most likely need a head shot and body shot.

Who is your client exactly?
The client is the company or brand that you are representing. It's important to always represent your client in a positive way and treat everyone as if they are your client.

Where can I find spokesmodel jobs?
You can find these jobs through marketing agencies. A few legit agencies that I've booked work through are Attack Marketing, Media Star Promotions, Team Enterprise, Encore Nationwide, Fusion, GC Marketing. You can always google the top 100 list for marketing agencies!


Fashion Model Taylor Michele

I have had the opportunity to work with Taylor Michele. We first met during Pittsburgh Fashion Week while doing a show for Crazy Hot Clothes and then again at a shoot for designer Brian David. I must say that Taylor embodies fashion modeling. Check out some of her work. This is what Taylor had to say about the world of modeling:

How Did You Get into Modeling?

I've wanted to model since I was 13 years old. I bought my first Vogue in 8th grade. I finally contacted a local photographer and had my first photo shoot in February of 2010 when I was 15.

Do You Have a Goal for Your Modeling Career?

I would love to be signed in New York with Ford, Elite, Next, IMG, Major, Women, etc. That’s the dream for me, however, I know most models do not make it in such a big market, so I try to keep a realistic mind set.

What Makes You Unique as a Model?

My hair and my gap. I understand models can dye their hair red any day, but mine’s natural, and I feel that’s definitely something I like to embrace and can use to my advantage. I also have a slight gap in two front teeth which I love, since it’s very edgy.

What Qualities Does a Great Model Possess?

I believe a great model should be modest, professional, and very personable. No one wants to work with a grump! 

What is Something that Modeling has Taught You About Yourself?

Before modeling, I was very self conscious about my looks. Surprisingly, modeling really helped me become more comfortable with my looks and body. It gave me a confidence I never had.

What are Your Top 3 Tips for Models Looking to Get in to the Industry?

1) Quality over Quantity. Work with the best people you can and get the best shots. If you have 5 okay shots and 2 fantastic shots, use the 2 fantastic shots for your book.

2) Modeling school is a waste of time…and money

3) Never let anyone tell you you’re not good enough or worthy. Yes, the industry has standards, but your dignity and confidence come first. Don’t let anyone bring you down.
Professionalism is more important than you may think. Perhaps, you're saying "Oh, modeling is only my hobby." That may be true now, but you cannot go back to make a second first-impression. Keep in mind that I learned some of this the hard way. =)  

Here are a few ways to keep it professional:

Initial Contact
You should try keep it professional from the start. Professionally address your Photographer, Makeup Artist, etc. Don't just say, "What's up? You wanna shoot?" No one will take you seriously. Be sure to include a subject, reason for contact, and your contact information. It's like professional email etiquette lol.

Everyone is a Potential Client
Everyone on a shoot or at a show has eyes and ears. Don't use inappropriate language or speak negatively about anyone. You may find that getting wasted at an event is fun, but it will most likely counteract why you're there in the first place. If you're doing a fashion show, you're there to show to clothing and represent the designer,mua, stylist, etc. People attending the event are a part of the fashion industry! Any person there could be your next client or referral. And remember you're always representing your personal brand.

Showing Up is Half the Battle
If you get booked, you need to show up! Canceling an hour before a shoot or just not showing up is unacceptable. Most of the time, the crew you're working with has put in a lot of time pre-shoot to make it happen. And they have most likely have deadlines to meet. If you cannot make it for some reason, let the person in charge know ASAP and try to find a replacement!

Don't Step on Anyone's Toes
Most Creative Directors or Photographers have the end result in mind. It's great to add your creative input on set, but sometimes it isn't needed or wanted. Don't take it personally. 

Come Prepared
Ask about what the concept is beforehand. Then look for personal inspiration in fashion mags or online and practice different poses in front of the mirror. Always find out what is expected of you and what you need to bring.

When Personality Gets in Your Way
Having an extremely outgoing personality is great! It's not always needed though. I have experienced models who have put on a fake act. With all of their focus on impressing the crew with their personality, they sometimes fall flat infront of the camera. Remember be yourself and leave your ego at the door.

Be Professional Even if They're Not
You may encounter some unprofessional industry "professionals." I can think of a few people. Let me just say this.. When you're forced (booked) to work with a screaming rude photographer, just bite your tongue. Your feelings are not a concern of a lot of people in this industry. Remain professional regardless. It can be so frustrating at times, but don't publicly insult anyone. When their career comes crashing down you will know why! 

Makeup That Will Make You a Star

Have you been doing your own makeup for photoshoots? If so, it's time to take it to the next level. The ultimate goal of our modeling careers should be to consistently book paid work. This is where Star comes into play. 

Cindy Hines is the local makeup artist behind Star Hair and Makeup. Cindy has been in the industry for about two years. As you can see from the photos below, She has wasted no time getting creative. I had the opportunity to ask Cindy a few questions about her passion. Read on to find out how she got into the industry and what advice she has for you.

Creative -Photo Courtesy of Brosius Photographics

How Did You Get into Makeup Artistry?

I got started when a local photographer gave me the opportunity to work with some local models to help get my portfolio started. Through this, I gained confidence in my work and it allowed me to explore different areas of makeup. I have also taken a course to gain more knowledge on makeup application and plan on attending makeup workshops in the future.

Creative - Photo Courtesy of Chris Gooden

What is Your Favorite Aspect of Being a Makeup Artist?

 My favorite aspect of being an Makeup Artist is the different people that I get to meet. I have made so many contacts while doing this and gained so many supporters.

Creative - Photo Courtesy of Kristi Telnov

 How Important is it to Use a Professional Makeup Artist?

It is important to use a professional MUA (makeup artist) because they help with creating a look that will work for your facial features. Shading and Contouring are an important part of applying makeup and not everyone knows that. But sometimes it is just nice to get pampered and let someone else make you beautiful.

Beauty - Photo Courtesy of Brosius Photographics

What Should a Model Do to Prepare Her Skin for a Shoot?

Moisturizing your face is a good way to prepare the skin for makeup. It softens and hydrates the skin so makeup is easier to apply and not so harsh on the face.

Star Hair and Makeup provides Makeup Artistry for Weddings, Special Events, Fashion & Glamour Photoshoots.

Like what you've seen? Stop by and say hi on Facebook, find out more about Star's services on Model Mayhem, or book directly by Email Cindy at

One of my favorite photographers in Pittsburgh is Megan Gardner.  Megan has been into photography for about 7 years. Did I mention that she is a talented model and makeup artist, too? She has called Pittsburgh home for less than a year, but has been busy at work ever since. See what Meg loves about photography and what tips you should follow to be a better prepared model.

"I have always loved all forms of art, but I think photography is one that I have the best understanding of; therfore it's the best creative outlet for me. I think that is really my favorite aspect of it. Being able to get my thoughts and ideas out through my photography is great"

 Meg on her favorite aspect of photography

Are You a Coveted Model?

Here's what Megan looks for in a model:

Models need to have strong, interesting features
and know how to emote very well.  In beauty height and weight are irrelevant.  However, if I were shooting fashion, glamour, commercial, etc.  I would need different looks depending on the project.

Are You Photoshoot Ready?
 3 Tips on how to prepare:

1 Nails
Since I mostly shoot beauty, one big thing is your nails. Nothing kills a beauty shot quite like bad nails. If I am shooting a dark look with someone, it's safe to say that they shouldn't show up with pink and purple polka dot nails.

Practice Makes Perfect Beautiful
Practicing expressions in a mirror before a beauty shoot is also very helpful. A lot of new models have a hard time working different expressions into a shoot, but practicing them in a mirror helps a lot. This way you see what angles do and don't work for you and you get an idea of how much little changes in just your eyes even will make a huge difference.

 3 Fresh Face
Do not go to a beauty shoot with makeup on your face and/or product in your hair if there will be someone there for hair and makeup.

Model Bag - What to Bring to the Shoot

Meg says you should always ask the photographer and style team what to bring prior to the shoot. But here are a few things that she suggests

Beauty Shoots:
  • Strapless top/bra
  • Your foundation. This is debatable, because with a good MUA, you shouldn't have to worry about this, but with new MUAs, a lot of times they may not have a foundation for your skintone.
  • Mascara. Again, just in case.
Fashion, Glamour, Commercial Shoots:
  • Same as above +
  • White/Nude and black bras. At least one strapless.
  • White/Nude and black thong or other panties that will not create lines under wardrobe.
  • + Whatever wardrobe you are asked to bring if wardrobe is not provided.
  • Your ID (you will need this if a release is used and/or for nude/adult work)
  • Safety pins
  • Tooth brush. Those Wisp disposable brushes come in very handy as well.
  • Black and nude panthose
  • Moisturizer
  • Chapstick
  • Makeup remover (Garnier makes awesome face wipes)
  • Bobby pins and hair ties
  • Tweezers
  • Disposable razor
  • Simple pair of black heels
  • Hairspray
  • Water and a small snack (like crackers).

You can find out more about Megan and her services on Model Mayhem or her Website.

Photos Courtesy of Megan Gardner Photography