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A Note of Appreciation & Invitation to Join me at www.KimMillerStyle.com

26 Oct

I want to thank you for sharing the journey with me as my blog has evolved.  I greatly appreciate you reading and following.  I’m very attached to the Modern Me and had a hard time transitioning to a new space, but the time has come and it’s only fitting to permanently relocate my blog to my website at www.KimMillerStyle.com

You can click on my site and on the right hand side hit the button to subscribe to my newsletter.  Doing this will ensure you continue to receive my blogs on a regular basis.

I truly hope you will continue to stay connected.

Warm Regards, Kim

www.KimMillerStyle.com

Twitter @KimMillerStyle

Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KimMillerStyle

Kim Miller for the AZ Republic Newspaper at www.AZCVoices.com

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Modeling #101: Tips to Think About When Going to a PhotoShoot

23 Aug

The past month I’ve certainly spent my fair share coaching models in front of the camera.  I’m constantly reminded that modeling is challenging work.  The goal of creating images is to make them look effortless and natural, but the process getting there sometimes doesn’t feel like it.  It’s interesting; when I’m watching models I can often see what’s not working and correct it.  However, when I’m in front of the camera myself modeling it’s much more difficult.  There usually isn’t a mirror in front of you so you have to learn the skills and the best way to do that is practice.

Having seen hundreds of people on-set at this point, and coached a number of them, I thought I’d offer five tips to think about when going to a photo shoot.

What resonates on film and looks natural does not always feel natural when you are doing it.  Many new models show up and as they are posing say “this feels really awkward” or “I would never do this.”  Yes, we realize that.  Some of the best shots taken are sometimes uncomfortable.  Let me give you an example.  When shooting for Pepsi recently I spent 2 hours holding a granola bar in different positions.  Time after time they adjusted my hand, my leg, my angle, to the point where I kept thinking I would never sit like this nor hold a snack like this.  I knew, however, that it was working for them.  It was actually uncomfortable sometimes and by the end of the shoot I was exhausted from holding the position.  Obviously had it felt natural I would not have been so tired sitting.  Keep this in mind as you shoot.

You must look natural. I talked above about feeling unnatural in a pose but I’ll couple that with the fact that you need to appear relaxed.  I spent a lot of time saying this to models:

Relax your arm

Relax your face

Smile naturally

Open your eyes

It’s hard to relax, especially when you are a new model.  You’re focused on doing it correctly.  What you need to do is focus on simply being in the zone.  That means try to forget about the camera and show some personality.  Think about a scenario that mimics what you are shooting.  Mentally imagine yourself in this setting.  If you are shooting a running image, imagine yourself preparing for a long run.  What does your face look like, what you are thinking about, how do you really stretch or prepare for a run?

Watch your core.  This tip is more specific to those shooting fitness or bathing suit images.  Your core matters.  You have got to remind yourself on set to tighten your core by lifting up.  Imagine there is a string attached to your head gently pulling you up and elongating you.  Unless the shot calls for you to be bending over in some format do not hunch.  Keep in mind that no matter how fit or small you are, everyone has an angle that doesn’t work.  Paying attention to your core will help control this.

Listen to your photographer and any coaches you have on-set.  You hired these people because you trust them.  Let them do their job.  If they tell you to look down, look down.  Remember that they can see the image and know what’s working on camera, so trust their judgment.

Bring a lot of wardrobe items: You can never show up with too many clothing options.  I’ve been at countless shots where we have run out of options or something the model brought didn’t work.  Even when I’m styling clients I always bring extra options.  It’s much easier to have choices.  I’ve been on larger scale shots where I’ve been hired to model and there have been times when I’m asked if I happen to have an item with me (an extra pair of tennis shoes, a strapless bra, a camisole to layer under an outfit, accessories or props).  Bring options!

If you are shooting for your own personal use or for portfolio development and the photographer you are shooting with doesn’t bring someone to help, I’d consider two things. Either hire someone or consider bringing a friend to play this role.  I cannot express how much stress is alleviated by having someone on-set who knows what they are doing and can help with all the details.  They should be someone who can assist with wardrobe and help you dress, make sure everything is fitting properly and in-place, help be your advocate on set, make you feel more comfortable and major added bonus if they have experience in front of the camera as well and can help you with that.

Good luck with your shoots.  Remember practice makes perfect.  Relax and have fun during the experience and as always, please feel free to post questions on my Facebook page at Kim Miller Style.  I’m always happy to share any resources and knowledge I have!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars: The Perfect After Workout Snack

20 Aug

One of the best things you can do after a workout is eat a balanced snack that contains protein.  For those of you with a sweet tooth, here’s an amazing option.  It tastes like fudge to me…definitely hits the spot.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars

Ingredients:

1 cup dry oats

6 scoops chocolate whey protein (I used a combination of Muscle Milk and Shakeology.  I find some chocolate protein powders to be sweeter than others so using a combination of two brands worked for me.  Pick your favorite brand and use that.

1 teaspoon stevia

5 tablespoons all natural peanut butter (My favorite is Trader Joe’s Organic all-natural no-salt peanut butter)

1 cup fat-free greek yogurt (My choice Fage 0% Greek yogurt)

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 tablespoons water (Depending on consistency)

Directions:

1) Spray baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

2) Mix dry ingredients together.

3) Add all additional ingredients except for water into dry mixture and stir until the mixture becomes a doughy consistency.

4) Slowly add water as needed until the dough is easy to spread (The water amount varies based on the type of protein used).

5) Spread the dough evenly into the baking dish and refrigerate for several hours.

6) Cut into squares and bag each individually.   Store bars in freezer or refrigerator until ready to eat.

Find The Right Exercises For Your Mind and Body

17 Aug

This post features guest blogger, Jim Rollince, sharing some tips and information on finding the right exercise for you mind and body.

For ages, experts have reported that exercise is great for your health, but it’s not just excellent for physical health such a losing weight and toning muscle, but exercise can aid in improving your mental health as well. Exercise is wonderful for those looking to stay in shape as well as improve their quality of life, and there are countless exercises that people can do. However, not everyone is able to exercise in the same manner, so it’s important that people find exercises that work for them. The following list outlines exercises that may be right for different people with different goals.

Among one of the most popular exercises is running, which is one of the best all-around exercises for your body. This type of exercise is ideal for those who want to lose weight, stay in shape, and improve their stamina. It can be challenging for those with knee problems, but it can help those with breathing difficulties. Plus, running can easily be done indoors with treadmills or along the street or walking path. Exercises like this, when done regularly, have been known to have many benefits, such as improving mood, energy, and sex drive, because exercise releases endorphins that help with these things.

There are countless types of exercises out there that can help people strengthen their muscles. Lunges and squats are among some of the most beneficial strengthening exercises for your legs, and home gym equipment such as ellipticals can help with this, too. Push-ups and pull-ups are great for your arms, and for those people, who want a strong core, try sit-ups and other variations of the exercise. These exercises are wonderful for maintaining healthy bone and muscle while aiding in posture and balance, preventing injury, and relieving pressure on joints.

Some people may not feel physically ready to begin running right away or may not enjoy vigorous exercise. In this case, there are many other relaxing exercises that are still great for the body and are sometimes even better for relieving stress and improving mood. Exercises such as tai chi and yoga are remarkable for improving flexibility, and they can greatly help with breathing. In addition, these flexibility exercises can help those people who want to reduce stress levels and to relax.

Sometimes exercise doesn’t have to be a structured activity at the gym or in a class, but getting outside and doing physical activity can do wonders for the body and for mental health. Many outside exercises are great for those wanting to explore the outdoors, stay entertained while exercising, or do something more exciting. Among some outdoor activities include rock climbing, which is a wonderful strengthening activity for both the legs and the arms, canoeing or kayaking, which help exercise arms, and hiking, among many other sports. Many outdoor sports can also be done inside, so those who are interested can do them all year-long such as running, swimming, and biking, which all can be either vigorous or relaxing.

Some people may not find any joy in independent exercises, but there are plenty of ways to get involved in team sports, which often combine several exercises into one game, such as flexibility, running, and strengthening exercises. High schools and colleges offer plenty of opportunity for students to participate in team sports, and those outside of school may be able to find local teams to play with. Volleyball, basketball, and other team sports are excellent for improving coordination and strength. Plus, they can teach you plenty of skills to aid in your personal development.

Types of physical exercise vary so greatly, and there is always something for someone, no matter their physical goals and abilities. However, it doesn’t matter what type of exercise you’re doing, from walking to yoga or running and more, any type of physical exercise is good for the body, and they all release endorphins that aid in a happier mood, more energy, and better well-being.

Almost Failing as a Talent: The Highs and Lows of My Journey Into the Industry

6 Aug

It struck me that lately a lot of people have asked what prompted my decision to pursue a career in the modeling, writing and styling industries.  I thought I’d share in a blog for anyone interested.  I hope that some of my journey helps to inspire those interested in similar pursuits and offer usable tips.

It was about a year and a half ago when on a whim I replied to a post from the Editor of a local magazine about being featured in the About Me section, a small feature that shared highlights of someone in the community discussing fashion, hobbies and interests.  I didn’t really figure I’d hear back but I figured I had nothing to lose.  I was surprised when she emailed me back quickly and said absolutely, we’d love to use you.  I was really excited actually.  How fun!  The photographer assigned to shoot me was James Patrick (www.JamesPatrick.com ), ironically because he doesn’t really shoot that feature much.  I’m very superstitious and believe people come in to your life for a reason, keep that in mind as you read on.

James showed up to shoot me a few weeks later and we got to talking.  We have a lot in common and I was impressed by his enthusiasm for his art.  It was such a fun shoot. I remember I kept saying “you can photo-shop this right?”  Funny, I know now he prefers not to over photo- shop things.  He tends to see the beauty in realness, something I’ve come to appreciate.

The feature appeared in So Scottsdale’s (www.SoScottsdale.com) January 2011 issue.  James Patrick and I became fast friends and he spent a handful of months convincing me I should shoot some portfolio images with him.  I thought the idea was pretty ridiculous at first (fear!).  Finally I decided what the heck, it will be fun and booked him.  While shooting with him he mentioned he’d had some challenges with a location scheduled for that weekend in Tucson.  Remember, we’d become friends so I said “I can help with that,” and I did.  A friend of mine had the perfect house  and she was gracious enough to allow me to use it.  As such, I joined James alongside his assistant Jason Black (www.portfolioblack.com ) for that shoot and helped  on-set.  That shoot happened to be the cover shoot for Max Sports & Fitness Magazine (www.MaxSportsandFitness.com ) with Alex LaChance and Matt Christianer (www.MattChristianer.com).

During the shoot I did what I was told and tried to not get in the way too much but I remember being so excited to be there and just captivated watching the models.  Alex was the sweetest person.  If I remember correctly this was her first cover shoot.  In true Kim style (www.KimMillerStyle.com) I couldn’t help but jump in a few times… use my earrings, try this on, can I fix your hair?  Then I’d realize what I was doing and back-up.   Everyone seemed to appreciate it though, including James, so it worked.

I loved being there so much and wanted to learn that I offered to help James with anything and everything he needed for free.  (NOTE –  for free).  I figured there was something I could offer him of value, and I wanted to learn from him and the models with whom he worked.  He took me up on it.  I’m pretty good at logistics so I started booking locations for him and helping on set.  Having worked in fashion for 6 years prior styling came pretty naturally.  Fitness models on the whole seem to really appreciate styling assistance.  They are often self-admittedly not fashionable so many allowed me to help.

Having shot for a magazine, portfolio in hand, and some experience watching models on set I was seriously beginning to consider what I could do in the industry. Three of my friends sent me a casting call for City Center of City North.  City North is a commercial and residential development (http://citycenterofcitynorth.com )   They were holding an open call to cast a handful of people to model for all their venues.  “You should absolutely go,” my friend told me.  No way, I thought, I won’t get picked.  “This is so you,” she said. ” You dine, shop and frequent these places.  They want REAL people.”  I finally caved and decided to go.  I was pretty nervous when I showed up. Here’s the dialogue that played out in my head.

 “Let go of your fear Kim, Just do this.”

“You really don’t have any right to be here.” 

“Stop, that’s negative talk. You’re gonna get this if you believe you can.”

“I know some people are probably laughing at me for doing this.” 

“That’s not true, that’s in your head.”

……and on and on it went.

I was so well prepared and the audition lasted 5 minutes.   Geez, not a lot of time to impress, I thought, but a week later I got the call.  “You got the gig”.  I was at work at Divalicious (www.shopDivalicious.com) at the time.  Terri Coakley gave me a big hug.  She was the first person I shared the news with.

One of the shot used by City North in their marketing campaign.

The City North experience was incredible and it was there that I had a chance to talk to photographer Elvis Castillo (www.elvis-castillo.com ) who gave me some great advice.  “Kim, you really ought to start a fan page on facebook and a website.”  I laughed out loud…seriously!  It’s funny looking back because I thought the idea was so ridiculous at the time.  I now understand what he meant.  My facebook page, Kim Miller Style (www.facebook.com/KimMillerStyle) and my personal profile at Kimberly Kay Miller, to some degree, is meant to be a forum to offer information, share my work, share the work of others and inspire people along their own journey.  It’s not all “look at me”.  At least I really hope it’s not anyway.  I didn’t get that at the time.  Live and learn.  He gave me a ton of good modeling advice.  I was very grateful.So now I had some real modeling work under my belt, still helping James for free, and really focusing on fitness, my true love.  I have a personal transformation story having lost 50 pounds and in working with James I’d met a lot of physique competitors.  I decided on two things. I’d compete and I’d blog (www.themodernme.wordpress.com ).  I love to write but the idea of blogging was scary at first to me.  People will think I’m weird.  Who blogs?  The more I thought about it though I figured maybe there were just a few people that would benefit from hearing my story.  If I can lose the weight, find strategies and make it work, anyone can.  So that was my lead story.  I jumped in and started blogging, and haven’t stopped since!

Along the lines of competing…I started researching coaches and decided on Scott Keppel (http://www.scottstrainingsystems.com ).  I’ve worked with Scott’s Training Systems (STS) for a year now and couldn’t be happier.  Scott has a “real-life” approach to coaching, which I love.  It’s never win at all costs.  This worked for me, as I am a strong proponent of balance.  Working with Scott took my fitness to the next level, and although my bikini competitions were my first and probably last, they were one of the best things I’ve done to understand who I am and what I represent.  I was never there for a trophy; I was there for their journey.

So, here’s where we are at.  I’m still working for James (for free), meeting models, improving upon my logistics and styling skills, building a portfolio, blogging & focusing on fitness.  I hear about Fitness & Sports Network’s conference (www.fmievents.com) from a number of people and decide to go.  I feel a bit unqualified to be attending because at this point I don’t completely know what I’m getting in to (release fear!) but I register anyway.  I remember asking James, should I have business cards?  What should I write on them as a title?  “What do you think you should have as a title,” he says. (So James if you know him).  “Uhhhh…I don’t know.  Can’t you please just tell me,” I respond.  We end up talking at length about this and I finally decide on commercial and fitness talent and here’s why. I see myself as much more than a model.  I really love to write, share information, motivate others to live healthy and embrace fitness, help people become more fashionable, etc.  I also aim to not be limited to work in the fitness industry, so this title seems to work.  It’s broader than model in my mind and seems to suit me better.

I show up at FMI, it’s October 2011.  I’m near competition and I look super fit but I’m run down and in a serious phase of self-discovery.  To be perfectly honest I was completely overwhelmed at FMI.  During the conference I broke down crying with James Patrick and Jason Black (my dear friends at that point) and confided in Shannon Jay Doughtery (www.shannonjaydougherty.com ), who’d also become a good friend and motivator for me.  All three of them helped me pull it together.  I just kept thinking, ohh my gosh, I’m going to completely fail if I don’t book some really big job or end up on a magazine cover.  It honestly took me a while a sort through all the information I learned at FMI, and a while to make sense of it.  The challenge of that conference is that you leave fairly overwhelmed with information, and if you are like me you want to live up to expectations. I’m not a real “get out there and market the hell out of yourself” kind of girl and leaving the conference I felt a bit like I failed.  I didn’t work hard enough.  I felt unlike myself there because I was overwhelmed.  One of the few things I remember clearly from this conference is sitting listening to Fitness Model and Talent Danielle Pacente (www.daniellepascente.com) talk about her entry into the industry.  She shared her expereinces and it struck me when she said, “I knew I wanted a career doing this, so there was no maybe for me,  it was happening.”  That kind of attitiude is contagious so I figured, we’ll if she was brave enough to do some of the things she did I can certainly at least try.  The conference was one of the best things I’ve done for my career, it just took me a while to figure it out.  The people I met at FMI have been some of the greatest supporters I could ever ask for and the information presented has been extremely valuable.  I believe people never succeed in isolation, only in groups, so this was an integral part of my career development, not to mention it earned me some life-long friends.

Returning from FMI, I began to work on pitching stories and writing.  A friend of mine, Gretchen Goodell, happen to send one of my blogs (fate) to the AZ Republic Newspaper with a note that said, ‘I love her articles, maybe you can use her for something.”  Just days later I had an interview with the newspaper who eventually agreed to use me as a featured fitness blogger (www.azcvoices.com).  Woohoo!  I’d been working hard on my blog and gaining followers and this was the next step.  A goal of mine when I first has ideas about writing had been to work with them so I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity.  As a side note, my blogging for the Republic later resulted in being published in AZ Magazine (www.azcentral.com/style/azmag/ ).  Being published in AZ Magazine resulted in many people connecting with me for tips, training, jobs and just to say that they were inspired by something I wrote.  I’ll take it.  My primary goal is and will continue to be to change lives for the better and help inspire healthy living, balance and confidence, so while these small things don’t get a lot of public recognition, I consider them the most valuable thing I do.

Pitching, pitching, pitching…images, article, images, articles, and often both.  This sponsorship, that opportunity, this ambassadorship, that contest.  Everything that suited me I looked into.  The thing about it, if you follow me on facebook you see some of the highlights of the things I’ve done and been successful at.  What you don’t see is that for every one thing I land I’ve probably been told no nine other times.  My success rate is probably about 10-15%.  It’s a small margin but I’ll take it because I love the things I work on.  So, don’t be disappointed when you send in a few things and get a no, or better yet get no response.  Just keep plugging. Jeremy Scott (www.JeremyScottFitness.com ) once shared with me that he never gives up.  He just puts his head down and keeps working.  Eventually when its’ right it will happen.  That advice and knowing the success he’s achieved has gone a long way toward helping me realize you have to put a whole lot out there and get comfortable with hearing no to make progress.

As luck would have it a friend of mine, Chris Lynn (www.chrislynnemodel.com) saw my styling potential and hired me to style her for upcoming photo shoots.  If memory serves, she was my first paying styling client.  She later landed on the cover of Scottsdale Health Magazine and allowed me to style her for that feature.  So grateful.  She’s a talented model and has become a great friend.   That cover caught the attention of Arizona Model and Actor Management Owner Gail McCauley (www.azmodelandactormanagement.com ), who contacted me shortly after to introduce herself.  A handful of conversations later, I met with her to discuss my career goals.  She saw my potential and offered to sign me and I took it.  Here’s why.  Gail’s been in the industry for a long time and a handful of years ago had a vision and decided to create her own agency.  There are some really big agencies in town, but AMAM suits me.  Gail provides her talent with personalized attention and actively seeks out opportunities.  She looks for not only talent but personality.  As such, our agency is filled with folks who love what they do, support each other, are grateful and give 110%.  I feel lucky everyday to be part of this great team and AMAM has built a strong reputation in the fitness community, which is fabulous because so much of what I like to do falls within this realm.

Ohh my gosh, I’m signed with an agency!  I’m honestly so excited at this point and this helped me tremendously because with Gail’s representation I start booking more jobs.  Commercial and fitness work, print ads, web videos, runway shows, brand ambassadorships.  I definitely believe that if you want to succeed in the modeling industry you should find the right agent and work to become signed.  It helps to have someone acting on your behalf who has your best interest in mind.

I’m still pitching and I’m lucky enough to get some yeses.  Pressure’s on now.  The playing field changes when you are getting paid.  I’m writing on things like running, and parenting and nutrition and mental fitness.  Trying to stick with things that fit my brand.  I write on things I love and I am excited to be published.  I always worry with every great thing that it will be the last.  I’ve learned to do everything I can though to not think that way and just keep saying “yes I can.”  The yes I can attitude is the best indication of whether you will succeed.  Convince yourself of it!

To wrap this article we come back to James Patrick. It took me 6 months of free work and I loved every minute of it!  Finally, James says you are hired.  I don’t want you going anywhere Kim.  I adore working for him because he inspires me both personally and professionally and the models we work with are truly the most amazing people.  Of all the things I do, I probably love this the most.  There is not better feeling then helping someone look and feel amazing on camera.  Working with James has helped me realize that GOOD photographers can take experienced models and create fabulous images but  GREAT photographers can take a novice, inspire confidence, help them open up and show their true personality on camera and create amazing images.  There is a big difference there!  So, sorry to say, but if you are a photographer that complains all the time about shooting models who hire you who are not experienced enough… the “I’m so great that you should bow down to me attitude”, then you are really missing out.  Some of the most talented and and accomplished models I know started their career because a photographer believed in them enough to say “you can do this” and helped coach in a way that inspired them and allowed them to learn.

A lot of great projects came my way I haven’t mentioned in this post.  It’s getting awfully long so I’m not going to go into it, except to say you can also check TheProExposure at www.theproexposure.com, a podcast I co-produce in an effort to help those  looking to succeed in the industry learn from those who have been successful.  There we interview models, photographers, editors and other folks who have great insights and believe in helping others.  The ProExposure is soon expanding to include video clips, blogs, articles and many other user-friendly resources.

If you only read one paragraph I hope it’s the one below.  The important themes I hope you picked up on are:

Release Fear: 

Everything I do requires an element of letting go of fear.  I’m not a risk-taker and all the things I pursue involve an element of risk.  I might not make it, I might not succeed, I might be told I flat out suck.  I have to actively remember to let this go.  It’s the only way I’ve succed at anything.  You have to remember this as well.  Set aside your doubt.  If people don’t see your potential, they are not worth worrying about.  Follow your passion.  Believe you can do it!

Just be You:

People in the areas I dabble in get it.  They understand blogging, they understand fan pages, they get why I read marketing and motivational books, they appreciate the challenge of fitness pursuits; they know what it’s like to pitch articles and get rejected.  People not in that world don’t always get it or why anyone would do it.  I’ve lost friends as result.  I had to learn to become comfortable with being judged.  I had to believe that regardless of what people said I knew why I was doing what I was doing, and I had to stand by that.  Just be Kim was my motto.  You can’t make everyone happy all the time.

Invest in People:

People come into your life for a reason.  I obviously didn’t mention a million people who have impacted my career, but I’ve named a few here.  I look at every person and think, there’s a reason this person’s in my life.  What can I learn from them?  We’ve all met others who seem to know it all and don’t think they can learn from others, especially those who might be perceived as “less accomplished.”  I suppose I don’t think that way.  Sometimes it’s the people you least expect that change your life.  Always keep that in mind.

 Do Not Quit:

I have wanted to quit so many times in my life.  In high school athletics, in college activities, in grad school overwhelmed with academics, in my fitness pursuits and goals to lose weight and get in shape, in physique competing and even in parenting sometimes during my darkest moments, and especially in pursuing a career in the talent industry. If you really want something under NO circumstances is quitting an option.  If you are working really hard I guarantee you will hit a wall.  There will be a moment that you think everything you have done has gotten you no where.  You will be frustrated, disappointed, overwhelmed, dismayed and sad.  It is that very moment right then that will determine your success.  That’s usually the turning point.  Those that want it pull it together, put their head down and work harder.  Call who ever you need to for support, pull in all your resources, ask people to cheerlead for you.  Whatever you do, don’t give up…period!!!!

How To Create a Modeling Portfolio

27 Jul

If you looking to get into the modeling industry, one of the most important things you will need is a strong up-to-date modeling portfolio.  Aspiring models are often unsure how to put this together or end up adding images that are not suitable for booking the work they aim to do.  Consider the following steps when looking to create a workable portfolio to develop your business.

1)      Determine the type of modeling work you aspire to do:  The images you place in your portfolio should reflect the work you intend to do.  One of the biggest mistakes models make is shooting images that don’t resonate with clients with whom they wish to work.  For example, let’s assume you feel like you are well suited to model for a company that promotes family fitness.  It’s unlikely that this company will want to see anything in your portfolio that is overly sexy or revealing.  If you hope to book work that requires you to wear swim wear it’s appropriate for you to include an image in a bathing suit but make sure it’s conservative and tasteful.  If it’s in your portfolio, clients will assume that’s the type of work you want.

2)      Find a photographer.  Hiring a qualified photographer is critical to your success.  There are many people who might offer to shoot you for free but it’s imperative that you keep in mind that these images are a reflection of your abilities.  A good photographer will help you on camera, understand lighting, be professional, thoroughly attempt to understand your goals, help you in securing good locations and secure permits as necessary  and have a solid background in shooting images similar to that which you wish to create.  Ask for recommendations and make sure the photographer is responsive.  There is nothing worse than hiring someone who fails to return calls, respond to emails or provide your images to you in a timely manner.

3)      Determine your wardrobe: Once you have an idea of the type of clients for whom you wish to work you are ready to create a vision for your images.  Arm yourself with as many ideas as possible.  Look up talent on model websites to see if there are ideas, ask agents or others involved in the industry.  Go through ads, look at catalogs and surf the web for eye-catching images.  Pay careful attention to look for models that look like you!  For example, let’s assume you want to work for companies associated with the banking industry.  What do those people look like?  Are they dressed in suits, how is their hair styled, is their outfit conservative, what type of accessories do they have on?  You are going to aim to dress like this!  Furthermore, you should look at the props that are often featured.  Do not incorporate so many props that they distract from your image, but do consider using something.  Examples for this type of shoot might be a briefcase or a laptop.  Bring a lot of items.  I’ve never been at a shoot where I had too many choices!  The photographer will sometimes say the color doesn’t work or the texture isn’t good on camera.  In this case you will want to have back-ups.

4)      Hire a Make-Up Artist (MUA):Now is not the time to start learning to do your own on-camera make-up. Qualified hair and make-up artists understand the intricacies of shooting for photos.  Hair and make-up on camera can be different than that in real life.  You may really like the MUA who did your make-up for your wedding, but it’s important to ask if he or she has experience in make-up for photo shoots.  Look at the work they have done,ask for rates and make sure you find out what that includes.  Schedule your appointment well in advance.

5)      Come Prepared: Arrive on time with everything you need.  Have a list of questions for your photographer.  Bring the research you have collected to share with the photographers.  This will give them an idea of what you hope to capture.  Do not, under any circumstances, let the photographer convince you to do anything you don’t feel represents you well.  Assuming you’ve done your research in picking a photographer this is likely not going to be a problem.  Never-the-less, keep that in mind.  I walk into every photo shoot now thinking, these are the clients for whom I work.  If they were standing here right now would they like this picture I am taking?  It’s as simple as that.

My headshot taken by Sylvia Hardt

6)      Make sure one of your images is a strong head shot.  If you want to do professional modeling nearly every client will ask for a headshot and sometimes that is all they ask for.  A headshot should look exactly like you.  Now is not the time to glam it up.  Look at most of the ads out there, they are real people.  Aim to look like a real person.  Have your MUA do your make-up naturally, wear a solid color shirt, have your hair styled simply and make sure the shoot is not taken with a distracting background.  Headshots typically only show people from waist up.  You’re headshot is the most important image you have in your portfolio.  Make sure you get something that represents you well.Once you have your images back you will want to purchase a portfolio.  I don’t think this is the time to skimp on money and I’d spend at least $40 on a hard cover book.  There are several available on www.amazon.com  Simply search for “modeling portfolio book” and you will find options.  Have your pictures professionally printed and add them to your book.  Make sure you also get web images as there may be times you are required to submit photos online.On a final note, I’ve rarely been asked at auditions by casting agents to see my portfolio.  However, it is vital that my agent have up-to-date quality pictures of me as often times she is required to present them to clients when attempting to book me for auditions and jobs.  My comp card has been extremelly important, as I’ve been asked for it at nearly every audition I’ve been to.  My comp card is printed on quality paper, profesionally designed and has four images, a head-shot on the front, and three images on the back (one lifestyle, one fitness and one evening wear).  My name and my measurements are also shown on the card.

Good luck to everyone just starting out their modeling journey.  May you grow and learn and as you do always remember to share your knowledge with others.

Eat for Health: A Peek Inside My Shopping Cart

4 Jul

Looking fit is partially about exercise, but has a tremendous amount to do with what you eat.  Diet plays a major factor in fitness, and selecting the right foods, as well as combinations of foods at the right times can go a long way toward health, physique and weight management.  All products are not created equally!  When choosing foods it’s best to make every attempt to eat one ingrediant whole foods.  Things that are not packaged or processed including fruits and veggies from the produce section, grains and legumes, lean meats, nuts and seeds and eggs.  Truth-be-told though, we are all going to buy some packaged products.  Sometimes it’s for convince, others times it’s simply because we like the item.

Below I’ve included items from my grocery basket.  Some I eat often, some only once in a while as more of an indulgence with a healthy flair.  This allows me to keep my diet very clean almost all the time.  Check out these items and give them a try.  If you are currently eating a similar products check the labels and compare.  The items I have on here a known to many to be excellent healthy options.

Jennie-O Extra Lean 99/1 Turkey:  This is great on the grill as turkey burgers or chopped, cooked in a pan with PAM and served over a sweet potato.  Typically I season it with a little garlic powder or fresh garlic cloves.

 

 

 

Trader Joe’s Pomegranate Seeds:  These are delicious and nutritious.  Serve them in Greek Yogurt or in a protein shake.  My friend Bath Katz makes the best homemade guacamole with fresh avocados and includes these.

 

 

 

 

Trader Joe’s Raw Creamy Unsalted Almond Butter: All this contains is raw almonds.  There is no added salt and no added sugar.  It tastes great served on the brown rice cakes featured below and topped with blueberries.  You can add it to smoothies, serve it on Ezekiel bread or eat a tablespoon plain.  If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s www.traderjoes.com  near you simply read the label to ensure the only ingredient is almonds.  The same goes if you are eating peanut butter.  Find a brand that has only peanuts.

 

 

 Lundberg Organic Brown Rice Cake: Brown rice cakes are easily portable.  Select brown rice rather than white and check to make sure there is not added sugar.

 

 

 

 

 Starkist Albacore White Tuna in Water: A great recipe for tuna, mix Fage Greek Yogurt with spices, celery, jicama and the tuna and serve on Ezekiel bread.    travel with this tuna and add it to salads if you are eating out.  Tuna contains a good amount of protein, which is essential to include in your diet.

 

 

 

Food for Life 100% Whole Grain Ezekiel Bread: If you are going to eat bread stay away from the white!  Ezekiel bread is excellent topped with chicken and veggies, tuna and nut butter.  This also comes in a low sodium variety.

 

 

 

Manischewitz Balsamic Vinegar: This is a great alternative to high calorie dressings.

 

 

 

 

Green Giant Butternut Squash: This comes in a steamable bag so it’s easy to prepare.  It’s delicious with cinnamon sprinkled in top.

 

 

 

 

Endangered Species All-Natural Dark Chocolate: If you are going to indulge, dark chocolate is a better option that other varieties.  These small squares are the perfect portion ensuring you don’t eat too much.

 

 

 

 

Hopefully this offers a few ideas for you next time you’re at the store.  I’m always looking for good options so please feel free to share your favorites!