Lifestyle and Mature Modeling

Lifestyle and Mature ModelingContrary to popular belief, modeling agencies need people of all ages, especially for lifestyle and mature shoots. While the fashion aspect of modeling might end by the late 20s, there’s a lifetime of work available for the model that knows where to look.

Lifestyle Modeling

Most popular for print, lifestyle modeling aims to capture moments in life. These can be candid jokes between two friends or celebratory times between families. Because of this, the models picked are older, starting around the mid-20s. In addition, with the necessity to make these images appear real, the subjects look real, with normal flaws found in all humans. This means imperfections in things like weight, teeth, or height. Appealing to a wide audience means presenting models a person could look at and pretend to be. Typically, the age range for this category extends into the 40s but can overlap with the mature category.

Mature Modeling

For those 35 and up, you can still get into modeling so long as you’re not dead set on walking the runways of Milan. Unless you’re a legend in the modeling field, a more realistic approach would be promoting yourself as a mature model. Much like the lifestyle jobs, mature also flourishes in the print industry where companies use images to sell products to the masses. If you look like the audience the product is marketed for, using you offers far more benefits to the company than trying to employ a much younger person.

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Body Shape: Styling Your Body

Body Shape: Styling Your BodyEvery body shape can look good so long as you know where to draw attention. Here are the quick and dirty rules to looking your best no matter your shape.

Pear Shape

You have a small chest and wide hips. Most women fall under this category.  Your rule is to keep the top busy and the bottom bland. Because your hips are already so prominent, you want to draw attention away from them with v-necks, scoop necks, and cowl necks. Layers are great (up top) and don’t be afraid to buy embellished dresses.

Hourglass Shape

You have a large chest and wide hips with a small waist. Because this is such a great spread of assets, form-fitting attire is your best friend. Make sure everything is tailored to your silhouette and don’t be afraid to show off just how small your waist is. Most dresses will flatter your figure, just be wary of loose-fitting dresses.

Apple Shape

Apples have wider shoulders than hips and larger stomachs that can jut out. Your goal is to hide the stomach and bring focus to your upper body. Wear A-line anything with loose material, flowy shirts that don’t hug you tight, and v-necks. While not every dress will work on your body, strapless is a choice you can rock like no other.

Athletic Shape

Athletes have a very close shoulder to hip ratio and lack big curves. Instead, they can come off as more boxy. Accentuate your muscular look by showing off your arms and toned tummy. Halter tops, racerbacks, and strapless tops are the best. For dresses, choose styles that show off your favorite asset and minimize areas you don’t care for with dark colors and vertical shapes.

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On Location Photoshoot Tips

On Location Photoshoot TipsOn-location photoshoots can be more stressful than those set up in a controlled, indoor environment. Outdoors, there’s no way to control the lighting or the weather, leaving those involved relying on research and luck to nail the shots.

Talk to the Team

Do not show up the day of and expect a perfect shoot if no one knows what they want from the project. Reach out to those you’ll be working with long before the photoshoot and talk through all of the goals as well as what will be needed to achieve these goals. Remember, too, that weather can be fickle and light does not last, so be ready to bend if, for instance, it rains. Again, talk with the team about contingency plans. What can be skipped? What can’t be skipped? Are there alternative shoot locations at that site?

Dry Run

If you’re close enough to the decided location, take a day beforehand and spend some time in the area. Get to know the ground you’ll be standing on. Is it uneven? Is it soft? How will that affect the poses you plan on capturing with the camera? If the location is not nearby, gather up photographs of the place and plan out what you want to be doing at each one. Having an idea of how you want to model around will save time and provided professional focus during the shoot.

Have Fun

Though stressful, don’t forget to have fun with the photoshoot. Tell jokes during the downtime. Smile if something doesn’t work out. Bend easily to new ideas when there’s time to get experimental. The more polite and fun to work with you are in a stressful situation, the better you’ll be remembered and the higher the chance you’ll be hired again for future on location shoots.

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Men’s Fashion Accessories

Men’s Fashion AccessoriesAccessories are those small additions that can make or break your outfit, taking you from a casual to a professional dresser in the time it takes to put them on. While men generally aren’t heavy on accents, there are a timeless few that push your look from drab to fab.

Watches

Even though phones now come with synced clocks, watches are timeless timepieces that immediately speak to your level of wealth and sophistication. Whether it’s a simple face with a simple band or a complex piece of machinery that relays far more than just the time, the important thing is to embrace your preferred style. Do you like unassuming pieces? Opt for classic watch faces with brown or black bands. Do you want it to be a statement? Get bold with either color or complexity. Just remember to never mix the two.

Bracelets

Watches aren’t for everyone but wrist adornments are. Gaining traction not too long ago, male bracelets are now firmly entrenched as a must-wear for fashionable forays. While watches certainly are versatile, bracelets are even more so, lending themselves to combinations that watches never can. Bracelets can be stacked on one arm, but avoid that when wearing a big metal band. Also, never match the bracelets on both of your wrists. Asymmetry is key.

Pocket Squares

Every man must have a well-fitted suit and every suit must have its accessories. While ties and cufflinks are classic options, most men forego a very important complement to their overall look. The pocket square is an extremely versatile choice that displays your color coordinating acumen. Often complimentary to the tie, singles or multiples can really bring together an ensemble with a desired pop of color that can’t be achieved through any other accessory.

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The Professional Instagram

The Professional InstagramAs the undisputed image app, Instagram is a juggernaut when it comes to e-fame. It was the first app that allowed regular people to become artsy photographers, and while few will ever rise to the ranks of stardom on the platform, it still hints at a chance for glory if managed correctly.

Create It

Step one is to create your account. But before you do that, you need to know what the account will be for. If it’s going to serve as a digital portfolio, stick to your stage name. Also as a portfolio, be very selective about what you post. If you want to share your modeling potential with the world, it’s a very poor decision to fill your Instagram with pictures of just your pet cat. Understand that this may take some time to narrow down but if you have a vague idea of what you want your focus to be, moving in a certain creative direction will help you amass great shots that naturally evolve into a solid collection of work.

As a final note, be regular with your images. Even if you can only post one a month, that’s still twelve photos in a year. Successful Instagram accounts regularly post, regardless of if they have a creative block.

Manage It

Now that you have a schedule and a theme, it’s time to grow your Instagram. The fastest way to do so is to engage the Instagram community. Interact with those that post comments on your photos. Reach out to fellow Instagram posters and get to know them. See if maybe a collaboration is possible. In short, build a network of both fans and business partners. This will ensure you maintain a community that is constantly growing due to others promoting your account. Once big enough, you may even find yourself inundated with sponsors.

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The Model Bag

The Model BagBecome even more of a respected professional by filling out your model bag. On call with you, it’s a great way to always arrive prepared and ready to go.

The Book

Your book should always be in your bag updated and devoid of junk. The only things that should ever enter this portfolio are your choice pictures and modeling comp cards. Everything else, from negatives to contact sheets, is junk. Think of your book as an extension of you and keep it as presentable as you would keep yourself.

Makeup

Bring everything you think you’ll need. Concealers, lipstick, blush, mascara, eyeliner, and full palettes are all par for the course. While this is especially important for women, men should never be without a solid palette for bronzers, concealers, and blush.

Undergarments

Spanx are not fun to walk around in and many auditions do not require you do. However, there’s always a chance you may be asked to try on a garment. Compliment it by donning proper underwear you’ve brought with you. Women gather up your bodysuits, panties, socks, and stockings. Men bring an array of underwear types as well as one black and one white t-shirt or tank.

Sewing Kit

There are quick and dirty ways to fix the occasional clothing mishap but those are shoddy at best. Instead, invest in a small, cheap sewing kit so you can correctly fix a malfunction in such a way that you know it will hold through the audition. In this sewing kit should also be a stain remover stick.

Mouth Protection

Including toothpaste, a toothbrush, and floss, having a small breath buster in your bag can mean the difference of getting to enjoy some snacks before an audition or starving your way through a go-see that ran longer than expected.

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Vlogging

VloggingBlogging took off with the rise of the internet and gave way to vlogging once streaming became fast and easy. Though simple to start, it’s much harder to succeed. Don’t go in blind. Here’s what you need to know to find success with video blogs.

What Value Do You Offer?

Simply put, how will you make your videos worth watching? Will you offer up a talent, like drawing? Or will you share research on a certain subject, like history? Sometimes all that’s needed is a daily entry on how your life has been, but such a diary still needs that hook that brings people back and welcomes people in. Your vlog can literally be about anything but the more you focus on one subject, the quicker you can grow your audience and brand.

What is Your Time Worth?

One of the hardest aspects of starting out vlogging can be determining how much time to put into your projects. After all, time is money and if you don’t know how much your time is worth, you’ll never really be able to settle on what you can realistically do and still find success. Look around online. There are many sites that can calculate out how much each hour of your time is worth based on views, subscribers, and other data. Use this information to then make sure you’re spending your resources wisely.

How Often Will You Vlog?

Be consistent. No vlog ever grew through sporadic postings. Every major and successful blog has a regular schedule that they stick to. If they end up having to miss a few days, notices are always posted. Some even record extra material to post on those days they miss. Set yourself a schedule that is realistic for you to follow and stay with it.

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Finding Your Acting Type

Finding Your Acting TypeWhat works for one actor to get into character does not work for another. This is why there are shelves full of methods designed by performers explaining how they achieve the performances they do. Finding yours is the perfect way to push yourself further as an actor.

Trial and Error

In the end, there’s no secret code for figuring out what works for you. The only thing you can do is try out as many types as possible. Test out method acting by taking workshops on Stanislavski or Strasberg. Once you have a grasp there, switch on over to improve and see how you enjoy thinking on your feet. The more you try, the more you’ll come to understand yourself and what works well for you versus what doesn’t.

Mix and Match

Unlike some actors that swear by only one method, don’t be afraid to only take the bits you like and mix those with other bits from other types you like. That’s absolutely fine to do as long as it’s improving your acting chops. If you’re good enough to get hired, no one cares if you mixed some methods. If anything, they’ll wonder what makes your unique brand so good.

Challenge Yourself

As a final note, while it’s absolutely important to really hone in on those natural talents you have, do not let your weaker side rot but not exercising it. Even if you are terrible at improv, keep practicing until you get to the point where you’re decent at it. It’s okay if you can’t be the best. The point of these challenges is to grow as an actor. Becoming mediocre at something you used to be terrible at means your entire method gets better and you become that much more marketable.

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Fashion Show Tips

Fashion Show TipsFashion shows can be stressful, but don’t let that throw you off your game. Here’s what to expect and prep before you take a walk down the runway of a show or an audition.

The Look

Cute and comfy is key. Lines are harsh on the body and clothes that fit too tight are notorious for outlining all aspects of your undergarments. By keeping it loose, you avoid lines.

The Undergarments

Nude is the only color you should have on under your clothes. They should fall so that there are no lines whatsoever. However, even if you perfect this, there’s a high chance you’ll still be asked to avoid wearing certain parts, namely the bra.

The Bag

Bring your model bag whether you’re working a job or not. Many people and professionals attend fashion shows. You never know who you might strike up a conversation with.

The Activity

There’s going to be waiting. You’re going to have to wait after checking in. You’re going to have to wait before prep. You may even have to wait afterward. Bring something to read or do quietly that can be put down at a moment’s notice.

The Attitude

When it is your turn, put your activity away and keep it away. Be attentive to your makeup artists and hair stylists. They’re going to ask you to contort your face or head in some way and you should always be alert to this to help their jobs go smoothly. Word travels between professionals, even those that aren’t models.

The Show

Doesn’t matter if it’s an audition or a full on show. Own every moment you’re on that runway or in front of judges. You deserve to be there. You want to be there. In a job where confidence is key, believing in yourself is something all success stories share.

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Mastering Men’s Shoes

Mastering Men’s ShoesThough the joke always focuses on women’s shoe collections, men aren’t free from requiring a massive collection themselves. From casual sneakers to fancy footwear, here are the basics you need to know to put together a simple set of looks, from comfy to formal.

Sneakers

Most guys are athletic. To do so, you need a good pair of sneakers that support your feet during physical challenges. As these are the most casual a man can get, pair them with gym clothes or jeans when going hiking. In a perfect world, no man wears these shoes outside of his local fitness center.

Loafers

The next step up, loafers were originally loungewear that has since become more fashionable than sneakers. Most still maintain comfortable insides designed with support in mind. Because of this, they should be paired with typical day wear. Including khakis, polos, linens, and cotton, wear loafers anywhere you would be tempted to wear your sneakers.

Dress Shoes

Here is where it can get complicated. At what level of fashion are you supposed to don your fancy shoes and how fancy should these shoes be? To cover most outfits, you should aim to have around three pairs of dress shoes ranging from casual to dressy. Your most casual dress shoes should look great with any pair of jeans you have. The next tier should match your slacks. The final tier should match your tux.

How do you style them?

It really all depends on whether you like attention drawn to your shoes. While most men opt for neutral colors (think browns and blacks), preferring louder colors in their clothing, there are many that want quieter clothing so their shoes can stand out. In the end, don’t be afraid to try on different combinations and judge them in front of a full-length mirror.

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