Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What does TFP (Time For Print) or TFCD (Time For CD) mean?

This is a term used when money isn't involved. Basically this occurs when it's a non-paid gig and in return for your services, you obtain one or all copies of pictures the outfits you wore or simply give you the experience to add to your resume.

I am not at all opposed to this option and when I started this opportunity helped me practice my craft, network, and build my resume. However you need to be somewhat selective to what you agree in regards to these terms. For example; if the shoot involves you wearing or doing inappropriate stuff that you would not be able to show your mother or show a potential client....then I would steer away from that job. As a new model ( and this new digital age), you need to guard your image because people/companies will judge you from work you put out and showcase.

Overall... if you are not getting paid, or do not have the opportunity to obtain the pictures as payment because they are unprofessional----rethink the freebie. Thanks to the internet a bad picture can haunt you for the rest of your life is a popular website for makeup artists, hair stylists, photographers and models. If you click on casting sections, you will see numerous TFP/TFCD gigs all over the world. This site is great because you can see pictures of their work and that can let you evaluate if its worth it, before taking that next step.

End Note: I believe that the best way to becoming a better model is to practice...but choose wisely.

This is a picture from a TFCD project. Hair, Makeup & Photographer all found on

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Where to find modeling jobs?

If you are not signed exclusively with an agent then you need to read, print, study and apply this. Realistically, you need to be in a "major cities" or be willing to travel frequently to cities such as NY, LA, Miami.

Here are some great ways to find some gigs on your own:

1) Surprisingly, in the past, I have found great gigs on, scroll down to the Gigs section and select Talent. Like anything you need to be very careful.....with time and experience you will be able to weed out the scammers/swindlers . My advice,"If its too good to be true then 9 times out of 10 its a scam". Here is some craigslist tips: 
  • if they request nude pictures or in swimsuit...its a scam.
  • if they say "no picture needed" and they want to meet in person...its a scam.
  • if they ask for a private skype session...its a scam (you never know who else maybe recording)
  • If they mention a MAJOR brand or products name for example "Ashley Stewart is looking for a model"......its a scam. Most major brands stay off things like Craigslist to hire models or they will be anonymous and say "major female clothing line is seeking..."
  • If they say a fee is involved to cast or submit your pictures....I personally will stay away from them.
  •  If they say this is a paid gig, flying you and your friends to Bahamas and then a cruise to Aruba plus 20,000 spending money....its a scam. Most real posts on craigslist are simple and to the point anything over the top is very suspect in my eyes.
Now there are many legitimate websites that require a monthly, quarterly or yearly membership to apply directly from their sites. Here are some of my favorites.

They cater to NY, CA, South and Midwest

This covers most states and the site caters mostly to film, reality TV and theater but you would find a couple modeling gigs.

This one is more specific to NY/NJ/CT and PA. It lists a lot of modeling gigs as well as agency open calls and film/TV gigs.

5) You can also get gigs by networking at local fashion shows and events. An aspiring plus size model, should never leave the house without a few comp cards (will discuss this in future post) and biz cards. Take note of who you want to meet and never be shy to approach them.... a firm handshake and make your 4 minute speech short and sweet. Sample: "I model, I am a size___, I am professional, reliable and anxious to learn. I would like to give you my business card in case you ever need a model for your next shoot or show."

Note: Make sure to get a card from them or email so you can follow up a few weeks later :-).
This is like any other have to spread the word that you have a product (Y-O-U) and you are available to work. Some will bite and others won't; but like anything in life the more you try, the more opportunities you will have to get a HIT.

6) Another option is called "cold calling or cold emailing"

In my telemarketing days, I hated to do this but now that I am my own business I understand the logic of doing it. This option requires much research. You need to look for emails, numbers or addresses to folks in charge of hiring models and target them by emailing or mailing them your comp card(including a handwritten personal note or post-it to the comp card). Don't get discourage if you don't book a gig or get a reply...this is a hard one but when done correctly it can be a WIN.

Note: Make sure all emails are professionally written, proof-read and the font is reader friendly (not too big or too small).
7) And last but not least is word-of-mouth. In this social media age, FB, twitter, tumbler, Instgram and blogs to be considered word-of-mouth.

Don't be to proud to follow or request to befriend other plus size models or ladies that share the same passion as you. Some folks don't share good stuff but others give freely. You never know when you see a post like this "I just booked the Wendy show but they need one more size 14 girl." POW you just heard/read about a gig from the inside.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Should I be a freelance or an agency model? Which one is better?

I been both an agency model and currently been a freelance model for over 3 years. Both categories have pros and cons and you simply need to go with what works best for YOU. However here is some food for thought on the topic.
As a freelance model, you need to be: very organized, able to research companies /designers to find out their legitimacy, have a "go-getter" attitude, able to multitask, very internet savvy and most importantly, accessible via phone or email. Agencies usually have a team of employees working behind the scenes that scout gigs, keep track of invoices, negotiate and set rates with clients, assure all needed information from the client are provided before and after a gig. As a freelance model, you will need to juggle all those tasks yourself. Besides hard work you are solely in control of your career and destiny. What you put in is what you will get back.
The advantages are:
- You can manage your schedule based on your life not the agents needs.
- You can continue to embrace your own style and not conform to your agent’s requirements.
- Also, agents usually work with 10 or more girls and sometimes you can fall under the radar and never get called for any assignments. Being that you are in a contract with them you can’t leave or look for other gigs on your own. This actually happened to me at one agency and those were the toughest and longest months of my life waiting until I could end my contract while not getting any work.
Now, as an agency model you’re only major role is to model. A good agent will make sure your day is worry free. Your agent usually calls and emails you about casting information and you show up with your portfolio and a smile. That’s all! If you get the gig your agent will call or email you back with the great news. They will negotiate a rate, gather all the information you need for the job such as what to bring, wear study or prepare for. Your agency will make sure you get paid within 60-90 days and follow up until the client pays you.
The advantages are:
- Agencies have working relationships with certain clients and that bond can increase your chances of getting the gig.
- As an agency model you have more opportunities to book with major clients who prefer using agencies for liability reasons.
- Agency models tend to get paid more money.
This is just a glimpse of the two, I strongly recommend that you try them both and learn what works best for you and your lifestyle. However, if you can’t find an agent please don’t get discourage or attempt to give up on your dream…. God might be making the choice for you. Rejection is God’s form of Protection.
***** As a freelance model, you need to be very cautious of giving your information out freely, I cannot stress enough on doing your research. *****
Safety Tips:
Check with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) regarding companies
Create a business email separate from your personal email (same goes for phone numbers)
If a company asks for you to send provocative pictures --(RED FLAG ON THE BUSINESS BEING LEGIT )
Trust your instincts on projects that you may feel are questionable (your safety is priority #1)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

What is an agency model and what is a freelance model?

An agency model is a model who is represented by an agent and they are contractually obligated to work together. Usually this agreement can be 1 or 2 years long. The agent will be responsible for some of the following roles; managing your career, shopping you to potential clients, getting you castings/go-sees, offering constructive criticism on your look and style, reviewing your pictures, ordering and designing the layout of your comp cards, arranging your portfolio and assuring that you are being paid in a timely matter. The agent usually receives 10-20% commission; sometimes they will charge you a yearly fee for being on their website and/or to cover any administrative fees. Read you contract in detail for more information.

A freelance model will solely be responsible for doing everything that an agent/agency does. Freelance models tend to work with various “non-exclusive agencies” to seek additional work. Non-exclusive agencies are just that….you don’t need to sign any contact or pay any additional fees. You will only pay the standard commission of 20% if they find you a job.

Think of it like agency model is the chick that is married and the freelance model is simply playing the field and dating around. :-)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

How To Become A Plus Size Model?

Christina Mendez
Dress Size: 14
Bust 40, Waist: 35, Hips: 46
I get that question asked daily but to be honest there isn't a play book to becoming a Plus Size Model. 

Everyone’s journey and story is different. I never want to tell someone you need to do it like me to succeed because I am surrounded by successful plus size models who all have different stories on how they became a Plus Size Model. 

For me, I modeled in high school but stopped after I attended college. After college, my priorities changed with marriage and the birth of my son Damian becoming my main focus. 

Modeling went on the back burner for many years before I returned in 2006.
Follow this blog for amazing tips, advice and resourceful information.

What is a Plus Size Model?

The fashion industry says that anything over a size 8 is consider plus size. However, most working plus size models tend to be a size 12-16. Currently, some major brands are now using curvy size 16-18 models on their ads which are a great change.
Within the plus size modeling umbrella lives various types of modeling:

Fit Model

These models make great money and although they are hardly seen by the public eye. They are responsible for trying on garments and assuring that the fit and construction of the garment is made correctly before the company begins mass reproduction of the item. The requirements needed for this gig are specific to the client's customer base. Example, Lane Bryant might need a size 14 fit model that is 5'7 and has a 40 bust, 37 hip and 43 hip. The only way to get this job would be to match these measurements.
Some companies have a margin where you can be 2 inches from those numbers to be considered but again it depends on the client. This gig isn't looking for the prettiest model or tallest they simply want a professional model that is reliable, has a flexible schedule and meets the needed requirements.

Print Model

Most ladies aspire to see their face on a magazine, big smile on a billboard or curves on a store front. Personally this is one of the hardest area of modeling. These gigs are usually paid as a half day or full day flat rate. However, some pay an hourly rate that can range from $150-300.
To book a print gig you must fit the vision the client has sit in their minds. You must look the part, look great in the product, able to pose and/or take direction, be professional, reliable and have a great personality. Shoot days are long and require good chemistry between you and others on set. Personality and charm goes a long way when aspiring to be a print model. With print height is sometimes overlooked however it will depend on the client and their vision.
As a print model you should have great skin, your body should look great with or without spanx, well groomed (nails, toes, teeth, underarm, legs, bikini wax). 

Although Photoshop is used heavenly in the industry clients prefer to spend less on retouching.
Runway Model
This gig requires you to look the part, fit the clothes well, have the ability to strut your stuff and meet the height requirement. The industry standard is usually 5'9-5'10 however I been in many shows with models shorter then that so don't get discouraged. If you are shorter than the requirement then make sure you bring extra high heels and BRING IT at the audition.
Also to be a runway model you will need to be patient because the prep and wait time before a show is usually very long. You also need to be able to get along with others because you will be backstage or usually in a small space with a large group of folks you might not personally know.

Commercial / TV Model
This is one of my favorites. When I was a younger i always wanted to be on TV and I still act like a little girl when I see myself in a commercial, TV show or film.

This is a gig that already has specific requirements that you need to meet such as race, height, hair color, complexion, size, union status, experience and skill sets. Some gigs require that you learn lines but others simply need you to demonstrate an expression or showcase a reaction, these are called "non-speaking roles". 

Some non-speaking roles are cast solely from your pictures or prior videos you may have online. Other roles will require you to study lines and recite them at the audition or read them from a poster board or teleprompter. There are classes you can take to become better at this; feel free to Google to locate your local acting school for more details on teleprompter lessons and TV Commercial classes. *Research Research Research*

These are only some of the many categories within plus size modeling that you should explore.
Feel free to go on my website and click tearsheets & videos to see some of my work samples--