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Agency

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Photo credit⬆️: David Bernacchi

Digitals (or “snapshots”) are JUST as important as your professional photos, if not even more so important. Often times, casting directors or agents want to see what you look like naturally, without all the fancy lights, professional make up, and photo editing. In fact, we don’t even want you to pose in your digitals. We literally just want to see your basic body shape, height, and overall look in the present moment.

Digitalsin addition to your professional head shots and portfolio photos–are used for all kinds of things:

  • Extras castings for TV, Film, & web series
  • Fashion Shows
  • Promotional events
  • Applying to an agency or mother agency
  • Fit modeling

Digitals do not require professional photography. They can be taken from your phone, however…

DIGITALS ARE NOT SELFIES…

THEY ARE ALSO NOT MIRROR SELFIES.

Your digitals should be taken by someone else, or by having your phone set up on an awesome phone tripod. I highly recommend getting one BEFORE you actually need it.

This one ROCKS. And for $20, you can’t go wrong.
Click photo for details.

Okay, now let’s get into how to actually take great digitals…

1. Wear a well fitted, simple outfit

Avoid patterns and graphics–they are too distracting. Avoid hats, sunglasses, and excessive jewelry. If you have been asked to wear specific attire, wear it. Otherwise, stick to the basics. Standard runway attire would work perfectly for your digitals.

Girls & Ladies: Wear black leggings, a black cami, lightly padded bra and age age appropriate runway shoes. In some cases, your agent may ask you to stand barefoot. ABSOLUTELY NO JEWELRY.

Keep your make up simple (daytime/natural). If you are submitting for a top level or exclusive agency, they will probably be very strict on not wearing any make up at all in your digitals. When in doubt, ask your agent or corresponding casting director.

Boys & Men: Well fitting jeans (nice jeans without much distressing) and a well fitted T shirt will work perfectly with runway shoes. Take off all wrist bands or watches. Oh, and take your phone, wallet a & keys out of your pockets.

*Cue Adam Sandler’s, Phone Wallet Keys*K

2. Consider your background & light

Remember, the focus should be on YOU…not your messy bedroom. Find a solid color wall to stand in front of that is in a well lit area. Your light source should be directed at you to avoid shadows.

3. No need to pose

Stand straight up with tall posture with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at your sides. If you have long hair, make sure it is out of your face. Your face should be relaxed–no need to smile.

TIP: The camera should be in line with the center of your body (about belly button height, instead of being aligned with your face.)

4. Snap 4 photos: Front, Back, and two side profiles.

Stand directly in front of your phone/camera for your front facing shot:

Model & Singer, Nick Montag

Notice how Nick stands straight up with great posture. Hands are relaxed and at his sides.

Next, you will want to take your Profile shots. Profile means “side-view”. They will want to see profile/side views of you from each side:

Profile side LEFT
Profile side RIGHT

Along with a back view:

Back view

5. Upload your digitals to your talent account within your agency’s database

And be sure to keep them updated. Your agent will need to have access to them at a moment’s notice for any last minute casting opportunities!!

TIP: I always appreciate when our talent email me to let me know that they have uploaded new digitals 🙌

Special shout out to Nick Montag for his awesome digital modeling! Nick was booked on the set of Chicago Fire (thanks to his awesome digital!) The episode is set to aire February 6th at 8:00PM on NBC! Nick is also the lead singer in our pop cover band, Down 2 Dance.

Still have questions? Let me know in the comments section below–I’m happy to help!

These big-time mistakes may cost you your contract…

Being part of an agency is a privilege–an honor, really. An agency has decided that you possess marketable traits and qualities that will bring strength to their team of professionals. While no agency expects you to be perfect, there are a few hard rules that are non-negotiable. Failing to abide by agency standards may cost you your representation.

Here are 5 of the biggest blunders to steer clear from:

1. No Shows

Okay, hopefully this one is obvious. But sometimes bookings are so much fun and it is easy to forget that it’s work. So let me say that again:

THIS. IS. A. JOB.

And a competitive one at that…

There are far more talent in this industry than there are jobs, and everyone is replaceable.

Think about it. Your agent could have submitted someone else in your place, so be sure to value the small opportunities and the large opportunities just the same. Many times, agents will cast you in smaller spots first to see how well you perform. If you successfully prove you are up for the challenge, you will be considered for bigger opportunities when they arise…

Being an agency talent can be a lot of fun, but at the end of the day, it is still a business. As an agency talent, you are responsible to uphold your end of the job to the highest degree. Everything you do is a reflection of not only yourself, but your agency as well! Have integrity, and always do the best you can to prepare and perform your best at every opportunity given to you.

2. Posting illegal activity on social media

Your agent is representing you. Make us proud to be your agent online and offline! We live in an era where our clients can quickly look up your content on social media whether your agency knows it or not. While we can do everything within our capability to showcase your talents and abilities in the best light, your value and self projection on social media can impact whether or not you are booked for a particular job or assignment. It should go without saying that anything from under age drinking to displaying illegal substances on social media can result in immediate contract termination.

Keep in mind that there are other things you should avoid posting on social media even if they are not specifically illegal:

Avoid negative or self deprecating captions or bio headlines.

Examples I’ve seen:

“I’m ugly but whatever.”

“My hair is disgusting.”

Or… my favorite for all the wrong reasons:

“My bio is trash just like me.”

🤦‍♀️

Making rude comments on other’s accounts, or producing content that is otherwise distasteful or abusive to others.

Before posting to social media, ask yourself:

“Will this post reflect me in a positive way?”

“Will this post reflect my agency in a positive way?”

“Does this content inspire or contain value?”

“Will this post inspire others to want to follow my story?”

Want to learn more about social media for agency talent? Read, “Social Media for Agency Talent”, available soon. 🤓


3. Forwarding out or re posting confidential agency casting emails to non-agency friends/family

Yeah…so this one is definitely a big deal for many reasons:

Castings can contain scripts, sides, storyboards, and clientele information that is strictly confidential. Your agent is responsible for maintaining the confidentiality agreement between that casting director and client. As an agent, it is not uncommon for me to have PDFs of Hollywood scripts to forward to talent for self tape submissions.

This can also become a liability for an agency: if outside talent show up to a closed audition. (Or worse–a fashion show audition that they were not selected for.) If the client asks the uninvited talent how they heard about the casting, and that person says the name of their friend who is a part of the agency, (or their social media) this reflects poorly on the agency and someone’s contract is definitely on the line…

You should assume all agency contact information is confidential, and it is your responsibility as an agency talent to adhere to agency agreement and confidentiality policies. On occasion, your agency may inform you of “Open opportunities” that may be open to your friends or family, and the email will state that. (A great example would be a local volunteer fashion show.) When in doubt, it is always best to ask your agent if you are not sure. Ignorance is never an excuse.

4. Disrespecting Clients or demonstrating less than professional behavior at auditions & bookings

There is a reason why clients contact an agency to hire talent for various projects. Clients will happily pay for that added “polish” they get from refined agency talent. From arriving to the booking on time, prepared and ready, to understanding the importance of project confidentiality, clients prefer working with agency talent because they can rest assured knowing they are hiring pleasant, experienced and trained professionals for the job.

Always uphold the agency standard of professionalism. If you have any emergencies or concerns while on a booking, contact your agent ASAP. We are here to help you!

NEVER conduct yourself in a disrespectful way on set. This includes engaging in any form of gossiping or verbal slandering on social media. Walk away from people or situations that are not exuding professionalism, and notify your agent of anything you believe they should be aware of.

Your agency strives to make each booking experience as pleasant and rewarding as possible. Prompt communication is necessary in maintaining awesome collaborations with clients.

5. Talent Poaching

This one definitely sounds bad even if you don’t know what it is. Simply put, talent poaching occurs when a talent or client seeks to go around the talent’s agency to avoid paying an agency commission.

Working directly with one of the agency’s clients without their knowledge is a quick way to get an agency contract terminated. Ask yourself if it is really worth it to attempt to get out of paying an agency commission of 15-20% from ONE booking to lose ALL future casting and booking opportunities provided from your agency? Not to mention…tarnish your reputation in the process? If a client asks to “hire you directly”, meaning, without utilizing your agent, you subject yourself to being payed unfairly (or not even at all, if nobody is holding the individual accountable for payment.) As a talent, you will risk being taken advantage of, risk not being paid, and even more importantly, you risk having your agency contract terminated.

Okay, that last one isn’t even a risk. You can guarantee with certainty that you will loose your contract it your agency finds out. And, social media makes that a very likely outcome.

If you feel that you are being poached by a client, kindly but firmly tell them to contact your agent for booking inquiries, and that you honor your talent agreement with your agency.

Agency work is a team effort. It takes a lot of moving parts and clear, quick communication to make an agency run smoothly and effectively. Do your part to maintain agency level professionalism, and always contact your agent if you have any questions or concerns. Help us help you succeed!

Find this article helpful? Thinking of applying to an agency? I’d love to hear your questions and comments in the comments section below!

⭐️CYNTHIA

Want to know a secret? It actually isn’t just all about your look or acting capability. When you are signed to an agency, you take on a new role of responsibility. Being signed to an agency is an honor, as your agent has decided that you possess qualities that–with consistency and determination–will yield to success in your local market.

Agency talent are held to a higher standard of professionalism, reliability, work quality, and communication. Whether you are modeling brands on the runway or advertising a product in a commercial, it is important to know that not only are you representing yourself, you are representing your agency as well. Agency work is a complete team effort: be good to your agency, and your agency will be good to you.

1. Quick follow up

In a fast paced industry like this one, prompt communication is essential. Often times, there is not a lot of lead time on auditions, so you need to be checking your email periodically. If you are selected for a call back, we will need to confirm your audition or self tape audition ASAP. You should also know your schedule a few weeks out so that when we touch base, we can confirm dates for auditions or bookings.

2. Professionalism. Professionalism. Professionalism.

Cheetah print bodysuit: A wardrobe staple this year! You need one in your life–Click photo!

There is a reason clients come to an agency to hire talent for specific jobs instead of taking a chance by hiring people off of Craigslist. Clients will happily pay for the added “polish” that an agency talent is guaranteed to provide. That said, the way you carry yourself, how you dress, how you write your emails and how you speak are all important factors that separate agency talent from the rest. Make sure that you emulate professionalism in all tenses. Check on this blog to understand the specifics and expectations of Agency standard professionalism.

3. Being flexible & willing to adapt to change

Totally in love with this blazer. Click photo for details<3

Sometimes the runway choreography changes. Sometimes your outfit changes. Sometimes the venue changes. Please keep in mind that the directors do everything they can to minimize changes, but sometimes they are necessary. Have a willful and collaborative spirit in light of unforeseen circumstances. DO NOT COMPLAIN or carry a negative or resentful energy. People will notice, and the odds of you being hired by that client again are extremely slim. This is a very competitive industry, and everyone is replaceable. Stay humble, work hard, and be pleasant to work with.

4. Have Integrity

Your agent works for YOU. Never trash talk your agency. If you are displeased with your agency, there is probably a misunderstanding of expectations, and you should contact your agent to discuss any questions you may have. If you are still displeased, simply ask if you can terminate your contract early, or wait for your contract to expire and simply choose to not work with them again. It makes you look unprofessional when you start trashing your agent. Other agencies will not want to take you on if you have been known to trash previous agencies.

Another case when integrity is important is when a situation arises when you notice that you are being “poached” by another agent or client:

If a client is trying to “pay you directly” by trying to avoid paying agency fees by not having your agent involved, that should be a red flag to you as a talent. If your agent isn’t involved, who is holding this person responsible for your payment? And, how will you know if what they intend to pay you is even fair compensation? Not to mention, if something goes wrong…you’re totally on your own.

As if that wasn’t enough, if your agent finds out you are working with one of the agency’s clients without their intervention, your agent can terminate your contract. (Yeah, we’ll fire that client too) But think to yourself…is it worth losing all of the opportunities provided by your agency by trying to go around them for just one job? All to avoid paying a 15%-20% Agency commission?

If you think you are being poached by a client, politely tell the client that you work closely with your agency and you honor your Agency Agreement.

And then tell us…we’ll need to know!!

5. Understanding the talent-agency relationship

Gold chain belt. A subtle way to tie the look together. Click photo for details!

By now you probably know that your agency (or the agency you will have someday) has your back. Agencies don’t make money unless you work, so we want to get you booked for as many things as possible!

It is also important to have realistic expectations going into an agency. You should understand Where You Fit into the Model Market, Understand the Importance of Reliability, know how to Dress for a Comp Card Shoot, know what to wear to a runway audition, as well as how to audition for runway. Trust your agent’s feedback on your photos, and let them help you. They know what will book as opposed to what won’t!!

Your agency will provide you with the materials you need to be successful, as well as groom you for optimal marketability. Your agency will do their best to market you and put you in the best light to potential clients and casting directors. You will be notified of castings and opportunities by your agent, and it is your responsibility to follow up promptly when those opportunities arise.

It is your agent’s job to keep you safe and away from low-value opportunities. (I hate the word “scam”–it’s too vague.) If you are offered a collaboration via DM through Instagram to “collab”…send it to your agent. We’ll tell you right away whether or not the opportunity is worth pursuing.

Your agent networks, supports your endeavors, and always has your best interest in mind. I strive to be my talent’s personal cheerleader, mentor, and booker.

You should have a solid, team-driven working relationship with your agent. Do your part to help us help you, and you will find the most success in all your endeavors!

Hey models! I wanted to do a quick recap of what you should always come prepared with to your photo shoot. As we know, full preparation is key to a successful photo shoot. (Yes, this blog is going to cover things for men, women, and kids!) I’m putting together a list of things you should ALWAYS pack with you to ensure you will be camera ready! I’ll also be linking my favorite, most affordable photo shoot cosmetics and hair products.

Want more info on photo shoot preparation? Click here to read “The Pre Photo shoot Discussion all Models and Photographers Need to Have”, and make sure you become familiar with the “Photo Shoot Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts”

Okay, let’s get into it!!

1. Basic Photography Make up

Now, if this shoot is for a paid booking, you are probably going to have a make up artist. While you won’t have to pack all of your make up, it is still a great idea to bring the basics. If this is a student photo shoot or a trade shoot you will want to bring ALL of your makeup. Adults will need the following:

Oil-free Moisturizer

Not only will the moisturizer hydrate your skin, but it will prep your skin for a nice even layer of foundation. This SPF 15 moisturizer is my absolute favorite because It is the only one on the market that provides SPF protection against both UVA A and B rays, and works wonderfully under make up. It’s non greasy, PABA free, and is great for sensitive skin. #WIN

TIP: Use a sweatband to hold all of your hair back while applying your make up

Under Eye Corrector

Note, THIS IS DIFFERENT FROM CONCEALER. The under eye corrector will be slightly pigmented to neutralize the red, purple, or brown circles under your eyes. You will want to get an under eye corrector pigmented to suit your under eye situation:

GREEN=redness under the eye

YELLOW=dullness (medium/olive color skin tones)

PINK/PEACH=blueish/dark purple color under the eye (This is my absolute favorite under eye brightening corrector)

ORANGE/RED=Dark circles for medium to dark skin tones This one will last all day and give you the perfect matte finish!

BLUE=Yellowish tint under the eye

Use your finger tips or beauty blender sponge to lightly apply the corrector in an inverted triangle patch underneath the eye and onto the side of your nose. Be sure to blend up close to the water line (lower lash line)

TIP: Make sure you always wet the beautyblender/sponge before using it, or it will absorb all of the product and not blend very well.

Concealer

Hide the pigmented corrector by concealing it. Choose a concealer that is your same skin tone, or half a shade lighter. Tip: you can also use the concealer to highlight the inner areas of your face. Concealers come in different forms (solid stick or liquid). There are definitely fancier concealers out there, but I find that when paired with the right corrector, this $6 option from Maybeline works just fine.

TIP: Pat blend with a dampened sponge or beautyblender.

TIP: DO NOT USE HIGHLIGHTING POWDER unless discussed with the stylist/photographer. Highlighter will drastically change the lighting effect, and it may not fit the aesthetic of the shoot. They way the lights are positioned for studio/print photography will already add highlights to your face. Don’t make yourself look like a rookie. Leave off highlighting powder for head shots & print photography. READ THIS BLOG for more on Photo Shoot Etiquette.

Foundation

You will want a full coverage foundation that matches your skin tone perfectly. While there are plenty of high end options out there, the product doesn’t need to be on your face for that long, so an inexpensive option will suffice. I recommend the Stay Matte shades from Rimmel. This one is full coverage and works great. It comes in multiple shades and is super mattey…perfect for photo shoots!! The best part? You can get it here for under $5.

Translucent Face Powder

Time to set all of those liquid based products on your face. Opt for a powder that matches your skin tone, or that is neutral in color. The one I use has been on the market for about 100 years and I love the way it smells. Get it here for about $6.

Other

Aside from my mascara, eyeliner, contour, and lip color, I’m always sure to bring extra bobby pins, scissors (for loose threads/tags) eye drops (for redness/irritation)  and chapstick. Oh, and you’ll definitely want to bring a lint roller!!

2. Hair Products

While you will want your hair to stay in place, too much hairspray (or cheap hairspray) can make your hair look wet or stiff. While it’s totally okay to use less expensive cosmetics (they won’t be on your face for that long anyway) I definitely advise getting a great hairspray that will give you a soft, touchable hold. My go-to hairspray is this one from Rusk. It provides all the hold I need and doesn’t make my hair look stiff or stringy. And, by now you guys probably know that I’m kind of a sucker for anything that smells good. I am happy to report that this one definitely passes the #smelltest.

I actually think it smells like roses…

Also, I personally think “texture” sprays are kind of a waste of time. Most of them just end up weighing my hair down. Instead, try using some dry shampoo to maintain volume. Be sure you get one that matches your roots! There are a few options from Batiste: Blonde dry shampoo and brunette dry shampoo. They also offer a white/neutral color option as well.

To tame frizz, add shine, and retain moisture, I highly recommend this silkening treatment. One drop for all of your hair is all you need. Seriously. This product changed my life. I love the way it makes my hair look and feel, and it’s especially great for color treated hair like mine! I swore to myself that I would only use it on photo shoot days, but…I don’t know how to not use it every day. IT’S THE BOMB!!!

Bottom line:

When it comes to hair, you definitely want to be neatly styled. The “Messy Bun” or “bed head” looks do not photography well. Tame all baby hairs and fly aways back with bobby pins.

3. Nude & Strapless Undergarments

Okay dudes, you can skip this one. But only this one!! (And only if you promise to take your phone out of your pocket–we’ll be able to see the rectangle impression it will leave in the photo!)

Ladies. It kills me when I see a gorgeous girl with an elegant dress on, only to have the whole look cheapened by lime green bra straps peeking out.

#detailsmatter

Do not let your undergarments be an afterthought! If you are wearing a strapless dress, you are going to want a strapless bra or some nude inserts. Plan ahead of time, and clean up the details!

4. Clean, New Looking Shoes

Your shoes need to look new. No side scuffs. No salt stains. New.

Think about this for a second. Would you EVER see scuffed up shoes in a clothing advertisement? It is your responsibility to own a couple different pairs of shoes that you take excellent care of so that they always look new.

Once again: Details Matter.

5. Small Accessories to Compliment or Enhance the Look

Purses, belts, yoga mats, tennis racket, etc. If the shoot is for a comp card or digital modeling photo, you will definitely want to read, “How to Dress for a Comp Card Photo Shoot.” It’s a great idea to bring in a prop that compliments your outfit/style. Leave pets and babies at home–you want the attention to be on YOU.

6. Composites

To learn more about Comp Cards and other important modeling materials, read “5 Model Marketing Materials YOU NEED.” Think of composites as your modeling business card. While you may want to keep a few on hand, your digital modeling portfolio and social media are even more important to keep maintained.

Well, I’d say that just about covers it! Now that you know what to bring, it’s time to make a checklist before your photo shoot day. Be sure to read, “The Ultimate Photo Shoot Checklist”.

Know someone who will need Senior Photos soon? You may want to have them read this.

Have a question? Drop it in the comments section below! I’m happy to help 🙂

⭐️CYNTHIA

Could your skin care routine use a little VAMP? Not to worry, We’re going to break down what can become an overly complicated process into a simple regimen that ANYONE can follow. I am straight up writing this blog for all of you who are too busy killen’ it and don’t have time to have a fancy, over-the-top skincare routine.

Skin care is SO IMPORTANT…not just because you will want a flawless camera completion, but to also prevent and minimize long term damage from UV exposure and aging. Plus, all of the skin care products I’ll be linking will each be around or under $10. YAAAS.

Daily skin care should be simple & inexpensive! Let’s get into it:

Morning:

1. Cleanse

Having a daily cleanser for your skin type is important! This is a product you use multiple times a day, so you will want to get one that is made for your skin type (Oily, Dry, or Combination). If you have sensitive skin, you will want to opt for a cleanser that is gentle and does not contain a high amount of alcohol, sulfates, or parabens, which will dry out and irritate the skin.

This oil-free Neutragena cleanser is perfect for sensitive skin that gets oily from time to time. If you tend to fall more on the dry-skin side of the spectrum, you would probably benefit from Neutragena’s hydrating gel cleanser with hylauronic acid (vitamin C) for locking in moisture & adding softness. Fighting acne? No worries. Neutragena’s oil-free, micro clear wash will help you cleanse and treat acne on a gentle, every day basis. For under $5, you couldn’t ask for a better product!

2. Toner/Astringent

Combo to oily skin people will benefit from a toner that will absorb access moisture in the “mask” part of the face. (Forehead, nose, cheeks). If your skin gets pretty oily, you will definitely want to try out Neutragena’s oil-eliminating toner. Combination skin would benefit most from a toner that contains zero alcohol, but will still minimize oil from emerging mid-day. This hypoallergenic, alcohol free toner is perfect for sensitive and combination skin.

3. Moisturizer 

There’s a reason we don’t use regular body lotion on our faces. Our faces contain lighter, thinner skin that is more sensitive and prone to damage than the rest of the skin on our body. Most skin types will benefit from this oil free, light weight moisturizer for sensitive skin, which can be used morning and night. This moisturizer is perfect for men, as it relieves razor irritation, contains SPF and provides extra hydration for dry skin. Want to fight the sun in addition to locking in moisture? Good idea! This moisturizer, specially formatted to even out dark spots and imperfections contains SPF 30 in addition to hypoallergenic properties for sensitive or damaged skin.

Night:

1. Make up remover

We all know taking make up off at the end of the day is an absolute MUST. What’s equally important?

Taking off the make up remover.

Make up removers contain chemicals to help break down make up particles. When left on the skin, they can cause dryness and irritation. Doing this repeatedly will lead to excessive dryness and hyper-pigmentation of the skin! Take your make up--and make up remover off!

Neutragena make up wipes are super convenient and easy to use, especially if you are traveling. (They also make oil based make up remover which works just as well.) Some people prefer to use coconut oil or coco butter, which works too!

2. Cleanse

Yeap, you can definitely use the same cleanser that you use in the morning or after a work out. No need to over complicate things. Never harshly rub. Use circular motions with the tips of your fingers over your face and forehead. Be very gentle around your eyes.

3. Moisturizer: Night time edition

While there’s really no harm in using your daily moisturizer once again at night, while you sleep, your skin rebuilds and sheds dead skin cells. I always recommend using a night time moisturizer that contains retinol. Retinol, (especially when combined with vitamin C) works extremely well to boost collagen regeneration. While retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, it is perfect to use while you sleep. You can return to your daily moisturizer (that hopefully contains SPF!!) again during the day.

4. Eye Creams/serums

If you are using any specialty serums (anti wrinkle, tightening, or eye serums) now is the perfect time to apply them. They only “serum” I currently use is my eye gel. The skin around our eyes is the most sensitive skin we have on our faces. I like to use this tightening eye cream packed with nutrients like vitamin A & B to fight fine lines.

5. Zits:

Got a nasty zit that you want gone or drastically minimized come morning? My secret to fighting volcanic zits is my Mario Bedescu drying lotion. It’s pink and smells like sulfer, which is why I often refer to it as my “satan salt.” But trust me, it will smite your zit overnight. Hazahh.⚡️

Okay, this is the only item on the list that is a little over $10, but it’s totally worth it because IT WORKS.

Do not shake the formula–the pink mineral composite is supposed to settle at the bottom. Take a cotton swab and dip it into the thick, pink sediment and blot a small amount on top of the zit.

Don’t forget–there are several important skin care steps that need to be done once a week. Read the next blog, “Do These 4 Things Once a Week and Your Skin Will Love You Forever”

Wanna stay up to date with all the latest details? Sign up for the newsletter and I’ll brighten up your mundane and boring inbox🔥