Thursday, October 31, 2013

"On The Grind” - Jeannie Ferguson:

Amazing things come in small package and this 5'3 curvy diva is one of the best in the industry.
Ms. Jeannie Ferguson has knocked down many barriers and overcame tremendoous obstcles in a land of glamazons. Ladies, read her story and be inspired.

Christina: How long have you been a plus size model?

Jeannie Ferguson: I've been a plus model for 7 years professionally and 3 years aspiring.

Christina: Have you ever been signed exclusively to a modeling agency? Is so, which one?

Jeannie Ferguson: I've never been signed exclusively, however I was signed to MSA many, many moons ago. LOL! Nothing ever came out of me being signed, since there was no market for Petite Plus. Now I am signed to True Model Management for Fit.

Christina: Name some of the modeling assignments you have booked on your own?

Jeannie Ferguson: BET's Rip The Runway, The Slim & Toned Legging Infomercial, TLC Show Big Brooklyn Style, Glamour Magazine, FFFWK, NJFFFWK just to name a few. I've truly been blessed to work and not have an agent.

Christina: Other than the non-exclusive agencies you work with how do you get most of your jobs?

Jeannie Ferguson: I get most of my jobs thru word of mouth of clients, submitting to the companies directly and "The Sharing is Caring" created by the 1 and only Christina Mendez.

Christina: Do you model full time? If no, what is your other hustle?

Jeannie Ferguson:  At this time, I do not model fulltime. I am a Pre-Production manger.

Christina: You are a well known model with an amazing following. How did you achieve your name recognition and fan base?

Jeannie Ferguson: I achieved the recognition by treating others the way I want to be treated. I too was an aspiring model at a time and I know how it is to have some of the big names look down there nose at you...huh some of them still do. But, I remain as humble and as grateful as possible.

Christina: As a woman who is 5’3 have you ever felt discouraged to pursue a career in the industry?

Jeannie Ferguson: Yes! At a time I was constantly told no because I was too short or I am not a real model because of my look and height. It can be very, very depressing.

Christina: On a previous post I did titled “Dry Spell” I highlight the “Walk This Way” workshop you created. How did that come about?

Jeannie Ferguson:  I was always asked by some of the aspiring models, how can I walk like you or can you show me how to walk with confidence. I fought with myself and consulted with my dear friend Mia Amber and "The Walk This Way with Confidence Class" was created. PLEASE NOTE I LOOOOVE TEACHING MY CLASS.

Christina: If you could use 3 words to describe your “modeling hustle” what would it be?

Jeannie Ferguson: Confident, Strong and Neverending.

Christina: Any final thoughts for our fellow aspiring and professional model on the grind?

Jeannie Ferguson: Keep on keeping on. Don't give up because someone tells you no. Research and study the ways of the industry and don't feel like your the best. Humility is key!
Follow her on Facebook

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Photoshoot Time!

As a model one of the most important things to have are quality portfolio pictures. The quality of your pictures will determine the type of work you will book. We all heard the saying "You get what you paid for..." and this is true when it comes to your pictures. I still book jobs from some of my timeless quality pictures that were shot over 6 years ago.

I recommend that aspiring models test with a few photographers or with your friends just to practice and review how certain poses, makeup and clothing looks on camera before you spend the big bucks. When you feel ready to get serious about your craft you will need to save up to shoot with one of the top dogs in the industry.

When it comes to creating pictures that will get you booked and stand the test of time you will need to invest in the ultimate "Dream Team". What's a dream team? A killer makeup artist, hair stylist, fashion stylist, photographer and retoucher. Everyone in the team is equally as important. If you attempt to cut corners you will see the affects in the final product.

Most photographers will tell you "I can shoot plus size models." but the truth is that shooting us is a skill and not all photographers know how to properly capture our curves. I listed just a few of the extraordinary photographers in the plus size industry. The price ranges for their services are between $500-$900. Contact them directly for prices and inquire about any upcoming sales or promotions.


Lucas Pictures - (New York based) 


Stanley Desbas - (New York based)


Nikki Gomez - (New York based)


Inez Lewis - (Los Angeles based)


Captured by Chelzea - (Canada based)


Michael Anthony Hermogeno - (Los Angeles based)


Enrique Vega Photography - (New York based)


 (Ask about their travel plans, they all travel frequently.)

Professional Hair and Makeup are so important at a shoot and need to be selected wisely. I usually start by asking the photographer who he/she recommends. Sometimes the photographer has a rate that includes hair and makeup. But, remember this is YOUR shoot so make sure you review samples of the makeup/hair stylists work before you give the final OK to use them. Models, you can be selective this is a big financial investment and you are the boss of this shoot. Also be prepared to hire a person for hair and a person for makeup. Very few do both task flawlessly. The price range for a makeup artist and hairstylist is $200+ each. After working in the industry for so many years I have my go to glam squad.


Tara Taylor - Makeup Artist Only (NY Based)


Makeup By Johanna Javier - Makeup and Hair (NY Based) 


Brown Candy Design - Makeup and Hair (NY Based)


 (Ask about their travel plans, they all travel frequently.)

Fashion Stylist is one piece that I have tried to cut off my budget and I must say the stress of putting things together is so overwhelming that I regretted not having one. I consider myself a fashionista and I love to shop but when it comes to shopping for a shoot I feel so much pressure to look great that I become useless. Before selecting a stylist I would recommend asking the photographer. Based on your budget and theme he/she will be able to recommend someone who they've worked with before. Again check out their work before you agree to book them. The price range for a fashion stylist various so much but be prepared to pay over $300. The stylist on set will be responsible for making sure you look great throughout the shoot. Some will shop with you. Some will raid your closet and see what you have that might work for the shoot and others might bring amazing stuff from designers and department stores. Here are some great ones to consider.

Spry Lee Scott - (NY/LA Based)


Meaghan O'Connor - (NY Based)


Steffany Allen - (NY Based)


Reah Norman - (LA Based)

 (Ask about their travel plans, they all travel frequently.)


After the shoot is over the photographer will usually email you a link to all your pictures or mail you a disk...either way you need to get them cleaned up by a retoucher before they become your "money makers". No matter how pretty you think the picture is don't ever release without cleaning up any imperfections or correcting lighting. Most photographers include 1 retouched picture per look so make sure you inquire about that when you book your photographer. Another model recently introduce me to an awesome website; They are affordable, quick and willing to make changes until you are happy with the image.


Monday, October 7, 2013

"On The Grind” - Asia Mone’t

"On The Grind” spotlights non-exclusive agency models that continue to defy the odds and make their mark on the plus modeling industry. Being a working plus model I understand the value of having a modeling agency but I am here to let you know that if you currently do not have one you can still be successful and accomplish your dream. I am a prime example of that and every month I will bring you my fellow models who are on their grind.

Our first spotlight model is Ms. Asia Mone’t. She was one of the first models I saw with a professional website when I first came into the industry in 1996. Asia Mone’t has been seen in national campaigns for Plus Retailer Ashley Stewart and she has walked the runway for Full Figured Fashion Week in New York City. Asia was the first Plus Size Model to appear in a campaign for intimates brand Le Mystere. You have also seen her in the Style Network’s hit reality show, “Glam Fairy,” BET's "Rip the Runway Model Search ", Inside Edition, Extra TV, The Today Show, Essence, Glamour and the list goes on. I have always admired her drive and professionalism.

Meet the Fabulous Asia Monet....


Christina: Have you always wanted to be a Plus Size Model?

Asia Monet: Nope.. To even dream to be a model was so farfetched to me.

Christina: Are you currently signed exclusively to an agency?

Asia Monet: I am not signed exclusively to one agency, but I do freelance with a couple.

Christina: Do you want to be signed? If so, have you contacted any agencies?

Asia Monet: At this stage of my career I don’t desire to be exclusive. Opportunities come through different agencies and directly to me.

Christina: How did you feel when you received that first agency NO?

Asia Monet: For me the first no I received came with a heavy feeling of rejection. A feeling of not being good enough to be in this industry. But as time went on "No" to me became "Not at this time”.

Christina: Has anyone ever made you feel less of a model because you didn't have an agent?

Asia Monet: Yes I have encountered the term "Agency Standard Model" with gives off the implication that if you didn't have an agent, you didn't live up to a certain standard.

Christina: What are some of the brands you have worked with?

Asia Monet: I have worked with Ashley Stewart, LeMystere, and Wacoal to name a few.

Christina: How do you get most of your jobs?

Asia Monet: At this stage of my modeling career most of jobs are from referrals and the agencies. In the beginning I sourced clients I thought I would be a good fit for. I answered casting calls on the web like from Craig's list and model network sites.

Christina: Do you model full time? If no, what is your other hustle?

Asia Monet: Yes my regular clients consist mostly of fit work. But I also design web sites for other creative professionals.

Christina: If you could use 3 words to describe your “modeling hustle” what would it be?

Asia Monet: My Model Hustle is Strategic, Purposeful and Preparatory.

Christina: Who are your model inspirations?

Asia Monet: I am inspired by fellow model hustlers but the one who I admire both as a Model and Business Mogul is Tyra Banks. She has built an empire stemming from her modeling career.

Christina: In 5 years where would you like to be?

Asia Monet: In 5 years I hope that I will be reaping the benefits of my sacrifice and grind in this industry with my own TV Show, Intimates Line, and a Best Selling Book :)

Christina: Any final thoughts for our fellow aspiring and professional model on the grind?

Asia Monet: Always prepare yourself with knowledge of your craft and the industry. When you understand that your Grind is a Business and treat it as such, there will be no limits to where you can go.