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The Virtues of Having an Online Presence As an Aspiring Model

Two times this year, the value of having an online presence for models became apparent to me: once when a video game producer reached out to me to cast models at E3 for THQ’s booth, and recently when I was casting for the first AGT video.

For tier-one projects, such as a Bloomingsdales catalog, it makes no difference whether you have 50,000 followers on Twitter or not. But for tier two projects – modeling for a trendy new clothier like or being a promo model for an upstart Facebook type website - having a significant online presence could be the difference between booking the job or not.

The reason is simple - on the internet everyone is fighting for visibility. If I’m looking for a promotional model for my new online business and one woman has a Facebook Fan Page with 200,000 “Likes” and the other has no online presence, all other things being equal, who do you think I’m going to hire?
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The model with the healthy online following brings value in the form of advertising and promotion. With the unknown model, the upstart company may be doing her more of a favor than she’s doing them.

There's a good article in the Wall Street Journal about this. A quote from the article: "When you walk into a brand and you say 'what about her, what about him?' they now ask 'how many followers do they have?' " said Ivan Bart, senior vice president and managing director of IMG Models.

Of course, the counterpoint to this is that models have to use their online presence judicially. Just as soon as having a positive social media outlet can help you, having a reckless one can hurt, as model Jourdan Dunn attests to in bashing Dior in the aforesaid WSJ article.

Bottom line: for aspiring models and actors, there is real value in cultivating an online following.

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Video Blogging for Urban Models

Recently I’ve been looking into a phenomenon on YouTube called “hauling.” These are videos about shopping for clothes and occasionally make-up done by young women who often constitute the very demographic the products they review are targeting, so there’s a certain authenticity to the videos. By and large, the more successful outings seem to be done by well educated, affluent, Caucasian women. But there are a few ethnically diverse entrants in the market, such as AndreasChoice, a dead ringer for a younger Rosario Dawson. Bottom line: there is definitely room for a clean cut, well spoken woman to deal with issues particular to the urban modeling and more curvy models.

The amazing thing about these videos is how sophisticated they are and how much money these women are making from advertising with YouTube (using Google Adsense). Also, they get a lot of free stuff through marketing tie-ins in the videos. These are highly
articulate women with a good sense of style and aesthetic. They use tripods to shoot these videos on HD DSLRs, post several videos per month and rack up literally millions of views in short time frames. The biggest mistake you could make is to underestimate this and think it’s easy.

What does it take to become a successful blogger on YouTube covering clothes, make up, hair products, etc? From what I can tell, you need to have the following characteristics:

1. You need to be beautiful or at least cute
2. You need to be articulate and charming… basically, likable and able to clearly and concisely convey your thoughts
3. You need a nice living space with good sunlight
4. You need a good DSLR camera (with HD video ability) and a tripod
5. You need a solid computer to edit your videos with
6. Internet access (obvious)

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Most of these women who now earn thousands of dollars per month on YouTube have been at it since ’09, so this doesn’t happen overnight. But what’s cool about this is the degree of autonomy you have over your work schedule and the fact that you are making money doing what you like to do. Often times these women have a website as well that is quite successful, in addition to Twitter and Tumblr sites. These are all synergistically tied together so each is bringing in money while helping to promote the other sites.

If you think you might want to do this, catering specifically to the concerns of curvier models and urban modeling, you should watch a few of the experts in action first. Good luck!

Haulers to check out
-- Juicystar07:
-- Macbarbie07:

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How Much Should You Charge For a Photo Shoot?

Every now and again I will post a tip for photographers in this section. This one concerns what to charge for your photo services. Newbie photographers often underestimate the amount of time that goes into a professional shoot, only to later resent the client and doing the project.

One of the key things I learned with pricing photography jobs is that a photo gig itself involves a lot more than taking the photos. When you hear about a noted photographer getting paid $10,000 a day for a shoot, it's because much more than a day’s work is involved...

1. Pre production - Scouting the location, selecting hair, make-up, model. Meeting the art director or producer of the project. Conceptualizing, story boarding, etc. obtaining permits for locations, insurance.

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2. The actual shoot - Generally, an all day affair. High stress and lots of work. You're "on" the entire time. Don't underestimate packing up everything. If you don't have a crew, unpacking, setting up, and re-packing is a job in itself.

3. Post production - Again, meeting with art director and going over the results of the shoot and most importantly, retouching the selected images for publication.

You know how many hours that is in total? Probably 40 easily, maybe more. And it's probably 1-2 weeks time you're on that project, from the first meeting to the last.

So when someone says "I'll pay you $500 to shoot my wedding,” be careful before you accept. Because you may wind up resenting it; shooting is a lot more than the day you go out and take the pictures.

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