Tag Archives: modeling

My Very First Photo Shoot

10 Mar

My very first photo shoot was in March of 2009 with John Wilson. I went in thinking I just wanted to shoot goth and darker stuff, but I didn’t realize how pretty I could look until I saw some of the photos. John was great at directing me and helping me with my expressions (which I am still working on to this day).

Here is one of the first photos we shot:

7 - John Wilson Mar 09 - My First Shoot

I love my hair and I really loved the way this shot highlights it. I don’t think anyone else up to this point has ever gotten it to blow around that well. I also love that jacket. I still wear it all the time.

And here are three photos from the prettier set I mentioned above. I was so amazed at how lovely they turned out.
5 - John Wilson Mar 09 - My First Shoot

4 - John Wilson Mar 09 - My First Shoot

6 - John Wilson Mar 09 - My First Shoot

And finally here are a couple from the darker sets we shot:

2 - John Wilson Mar 09 - My First Shoot

I did the make-up on that one, kind of on the fly since I hadn’t ever really done make-up at all at that point. I don’t know if I could do it again, but I think it turned out awesome.

And finally the one that is possibly my favorite from the shoot:

1 - John Wilson Mar 09 - My First Shoot

I so wish I could shoot more of that style but I simply do not have the wardrobe at this point. But I can say that if I’m only going to have one really good goth shot, this is the one I want 🙂

I was so lucky to have such a great first shoot. I think that shoot really gave me the confidence to really jump in to modeling and I will always be thankful to John for taking a chance and shooting with me. 🙂

A Taste of 2011

6 Mar

I thought I would share with you a few of my most recent photos taken during my first two photo shoots of 2011.

January Shoot

This shoot was a bit of a test, you could say, for me. It was my first shoot after much personal and modeling related drama, and was done to help me decide whether I wanted to continue modeling or not. My good friend Ted Vallejos of aglet photography agreed to shoot with me. Here is the lovely first “fruit” of that shoot:

Photographer: aglet photography (Ted Vallejos), Jan 2011

With that result (and that only being one of many photos we both liked), I did of course decide I should probably give modeling another chance.

February Shoot

My second shoot was once again with Ted, but also with Bob Cassady as a sort of workshop to shot how Ted and I shoot. Perhaps not the best representation of a shoot as we are close friends and pretty much goof off while shooting, but always fun nonetheless and I think Bob enjoyed both watching us and shooting.

Here are three of the images Bob Cassady shot:


Photographer: Bob Cassady, Feb 2011

I think I may actually be most fond of the first image with the glasses, but it would be hard to say. Bob is great to work with. I spun around in that crinoline skirt so many times I think I almost ended up being dizzy. Lots of fun!

And of course Ted didn’t disappoint with this test shot of a concept I think he mentioned he had been wanting to try.

Photographer: aglet photography (Ted Vallejos), Feb 2011

I don’t believe I need to say much. Although I will tell you that I love those shoes!

I look forward to sharing more from further shoots and I hope some of you will take these as incentive to book something with me soon. I am just itching to model again soon!

Preparing for a Photo Shoot

6 Oct

I get a lot of requests both in person and on MM about how I get ready for my shoots. So, I thought I’d share my secrets.

Honestly, it isn’t really much of a secret. I’m a pretty low maintenance girl anyway. However, there are a few little details that seem to really make a difference.

First off, make sure you know the following about the shoot:
– Will you be wearing make-up for the shoot? If so will you be doing your own make-up?
– Will you need to style your hair for the shoot?
– Will you be providing wardrobe/props/accessories for the shoot?
– Where will the shoot take place (indoors or out?)
– Do you know how to get to where ever the shoot is?

The day before the shoot, I like to get everything done that I can. This way I’m not scrambling on the day of the shoot to get everything together at the last minute. Get all the props, accessories, and wardrobe together the day before the shoot and go ahead and get them in a suitcase (or whatever you take things in). I pack my things in one of two rolling suitcases I bought as a luggage set at Wal-Mart for an trip a few years ago.

Don’t pack so much that you’re lugging half your closet, but make sure you have enough. What I will do is pack the things I know I’ll need, including shoes. Then I’ll add in a couple more choices of shoes and wardrobe just in case. I tend to bring all of my “shoot” jewelry with me in a case to almost every shoot. I used to pack at least three times that, but I learned that I never even came close to using it so I stopped bringing quite so much.

The evening before (or sometime before the day of the shoot), I make sure I know exactly where the shoot is. If I’m not 100% positive I know, I print out Mapquest or Google directions and then I put them in my purse so I don’t have to look for them the next day. I also make sure I have contact numbers for the photographer and anyone else involved. This is also a good time to double check the time of the shoot.

I usually take a shower, shave, etc the evening before the shoot. I’ve noticed that my hair does better if I’ve washed it at least 24 hours before the shoot. You don’t want it to look greasy or limp, so you’ll have to know about your hair. That’s just my hair. One of the biggest issues I see with some girls, particularly those with fairly straight hair, is that they look like they haven’t washed it in days. It doesn’t look clean. If you’ll be working with a hair stylist I recommend asking them their preference as some prefer more or less days between the last wash and the shoot.

Now, here’s a little secret that a lot of models don’t do, but a lot of photographers do appreciate: do your nails, fingers and toes. Make sure they’re all the same length, especially on your hands. I usually keep my toenails pretty short to avoid snags and other unpleasantness. If you don’t know about a color, go with a nice neutral nude or maybe sheer light pink. If you don’t want color, a clear polish works okay too. If you are wearing a color for some reason, take nail polish remover so you can remove it if necessary.

I also like to send a little confirmation message to the photographer the day before the shoot. I do this for two reasons:
1. It lets the photographer know I’m still going to be there and I’m not going to flake.
2. I’ve had photographers back out or need to cancel (for a legit reason) and this will remind them if they have to. That way I’m not on my way the shoot and I get a call saying they’re sick or they had an emergency. I suppose it could still happen, but generally it doesn’t.

The day of the shoot is where the hair and make-up comes in. And that’s pretty much all you need to worry about now because you’ve taken care of the rest the day before. I will tell you that opinions vary as far as when to do hair and make-up so these are more guidelines than anything else.

If you will be wearing make-up, and it’s fairly simple, you can do it before the shoot. I prefer to put my foundation on and not much else until I get to the shoot and confirm the make-up. The exception to this is if I’ll be shooting outdoors and there will be no where to do my make-up, then I show up in make-up. In either case, don’t forget make-up remover.

If someone will be doing your make-up, they will thank you for showing up with a clean face. It wastes time if they have to remove the make-up you already have on before they can apply the make-up for the shoot.

If you’re actually styling your hair (meaning it requires heat tools, or something else you can do quickly), you’ll probably want to do it before the shoot.

You’ll notice that I don’t mention any use of beauty products, etc. I don’t usually use them. Some exceptions:
– I will use a light facial moisturizer or a lotion (for the rest of my body) if I feel my skin is dry
– I will use a sheer sunscreen if I’ll be selectively exposed to the sun for a long time, if you do this, be careful to use something that doesn’t appear greasy and also, some sunscreens will leave residue on clothing

One other little tip I can give you is to have a general modeling kit put together in a bag that you just take with you to every shoot. This should include things like: make-up applicators, make-up remover, a razor, lotion, a strapless bra/thong in nude, tweezers, a small sewing kit, etc. Basically just put things together that you can think of that you might need. Since we all model different styles, you’ll have to look at what you need for your shoots.

Sun Protection

17 Jul

As a model I have found sun protection to be one of the most important day to day things I do religiously to benefit my modeling. Last year I had very minor tan lines and I was told I should avoid them. I decided at that point that I would do everything I could to make sure it never happened again.


At first, I started using Neutrogena Dry Touch (the lotion type). I liked the feel and it seemed to work. It wasn’t oily or sticky. However, I started to notice it was causing me headaches. I tried Aveeno’s spary on as well. I got the same results. So I started doing a little research. Turns out that those two sunscreens are what are called chemical based sunscreens. To the best of my guessing ability, I’m assuming one of the ingredients was causing my headaches. What my research lead me to find was that I should try a physical based sunscreen (think zinc oxide, it isn’t absorbed into the skin, it physically blocks). I tried Coppertone Sensitive Skin and I’m quite happy with it. If you’d like to read more about chemical vs. physical sunscreens check out these links:


The biggest concern I’ve run into is that I do have to apply it and it does change my skin tone a bit while its on. The Coppertone Sensitive Skin tends to make my skin look a bit paler. However, I have noticed that it doesn’t make me shiny once I let it “dry” (a few minutes). I definitely also have to put powder on my face even for shoots I wouldn’t usually wear make-up for to cut down on the shine.

Other Options

Because I don’t like applying sunscreen all the time, I also use a few other methods to prevent sun exposure. And please keep in mind that I am outdoors at least a couple hours a day in the heat (about 3o minutes at a time) so you may need to adjust for your time spent in the sun.

I have a light jacket that I’ll throw on any time I’m walking in the sun or I’ll only be out a short time and I don’t want to apply sunscreen. I also have a baseball cap for work that I’ll wear when I’m in the sun for work. I don’t usually wear hats, but I will wear that one during work hours.

Every morning, I faithfully apply an SPF 15 facial moisturizer to my face, neck and the small portion of my chest that gets sun around my collar. Mine is Oil of Olay and it’s fairly inexpensive (less than $10 a jar). It does leave my face a bit shiny for a while, but that could easily be solved with powder if I cared to.

I always wear pants unless I take the time to put sunscreen on my legs or I’ll literally just be walking from my car to the door.

I stay in the shade any time I can. This includes in the car. I always carry a jacket and I’ll drape it over the part of me that sun is shining directly on while in the car. One of the most brilliant things we’ve done at work is to use those pop up pavilion things (basically a frame with a covering over the top to provide shade). We have two set up outside for work when I’m outside with the kids and we’ll take one with us to the water park and such so we don’t have to worry about trying to find shade.

Yes, it is extra effort. But not having to worry about it and not having tan lines is important to my look. Plus, in my opinion it’s a good-for-me choice. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but once you get into doing it, you’ll find it’s just a few extra minutes.

Options I Tried that Didn’t Work (For Me)

So far the most disappointing one was a sun umbrella or parasol. I’ve tried it two or three times in the past year and it just doesn’t work for me. The main issue is that it takes one hand away to hold it and when I’m at work (which is when I spend the most time in the sun) I need both hands free. I don’t use one the rest of the time because if I go in someplace (like a store) I have to figure out what to do with it and worry about leaving it. I love the idea of carrying a parasol, but it’s just not practical for me.

Also, I should mention that just staying in the shade and never applying sunscreen doesn’t work for me either. Unless I’m going to be in the sun for less than 5 minutes, I either need to cover up with sunscreen or clothing.

Attitude – You Want to Have the Good Kind

13 Jul

Your attitude, both in text and in person or on the phone, can play a fairly large part in your modeling. It’s very, very easy, particularly in forums on modeling sites, to get carried away and make a very poor impression. The important thing to remember is that people do remember, they do notice and they do talk to each other.

For example, if you post on a forum and you act like a diva or you’re rude or otherwise unsavory, you may lose potential shoots. ‘Well, nobody in my area uses the forums’ you may say. And while that may be true, never discount those that don’t live near you. I’ve had several photographers from other states/cities contact me for work after having seen some forum post I made that they liked or found insightful.

If you come across as fun to work with or as having a really good attitude, photographers may be much more inclined to find a way to shoot with you. This might be via them traveling to you, offering you paid work in their area, etc.

But forums always carry a certain amount of drama, right? No kidding. However, you as a mature, professional model (or photographer or whatever for that matter) are there to network, share ideas, and talk about relevant things. You are not there for petty arguments over where tattoos are good or bad, whether so and so should or shouldn’t be there, or anything else. You should offer your insight if you feel so inclined, but don’t get in arguments if you can help it. If something is starting to irk you, walk away. Go comment some photos, practice your poses, or find another topic to discuss.

And what about interactions in person? Those are important too. I’m not going to go too deep into how you should act while shooting right now, but I will say that your attitude during a shoot can be so much more than just a one time, in the moment thing. Photographers and models talk to each other. I have gotten a fair amount of paid and solid trade work just by being a good model, having a good personality and being fun to work with. Photographers I worked with talked to others and there is no local photographer I’ve worked with recently who hasn’t said they’ve heard great things about me. I’ve even worked with photographers from out of state who have friend here who knew about me. And it wasn’t hard at all. I just did what I’m supposed to do. I’ve had my share of issues as well, but I handled them to the best of my ability and moved on.

A good attitude can be a powerful thing. A bad attitude can ruin your reputation. Besides, you’ll feel better and be more confident if you’re honest, friendly, and professional. You’ll probably have setbacks, we’re all human, but try to keep the drama to a minimum.

It’s Okay to Say No

11 Jul

In modeling you have to be assertive to be a good model and you have to realize that it is okay to say no. You will not be right for every project and every project will not be right for you. I know that some paid projects can be tempting, but if you are not comfortable with any project, pose, or idea, you can say no.

This is particularly true for models that have any aspect of nudity (even implied) or a sexy tone to their work. You’ve probably heard the phrase “sex sells.” And this is true. There is an entire industry based around this idea, but that doesn’t mean you have to participate in it. The porn industry is not the only place you’ll find nude models. There is art nude work, figure & fine art work, glamour nudes, erotic nudes, posing for artists, and a few others I’ve forgotten. Most people agree that fine art and figure nudes (think of sculptural nudes, or paintings you might see in museums) are beautiful, or at least “artistic.” However, many, many models are not comfortable posing nude like this. Just because you appreciate something doesn’t mean you have to pose for it.

Nudes are not the only thing people say no to, they just happen to be a good broad example. Some models won’t shoot with fur, with alcohol, with cigarettes, with other models, in lingerie, in swimwear, outdoors, in hotels, etc. It’s up to you to decide what you will and won’t do. It doesn’t matter what it is. If you aren’t comfortable with it and you don’t want to push the issue, don’t shoot it.

There may also be specific situations in which something comes up that you are not comfortable with during the shoot. Let’s say the photographer wants you to climb a tree in your brand new heels and some outfit that you’d rather not mess up. Or maybe you just don’t want to climb a tree. You don’t have to. Really, you don’t. The same goes for anything else.

Okay, so I’ve told you that you can say no, but how and when you say no is very important too. You need to let the photographer (or whoever is asking you) as soon as you can. If it comes up in pre-shoot communication, you need to tell them then. If they wait until the shoot, then you have no choice but to say it then. I say this because it is ideal to have everything worked out before you start shooting, but that’s another thing altogether called communication.

Now, how do you say no? This part can be uncomfortable. If it comes up during pre-shoot communication, then you can simply say “I am not interested in doing _________ .” or “I am not comfortable posing for ____________ .” Or something to that effect. Keep it simple, and keep it professional. Do not say anything like “Ewww, I would never do that!” or “You sick pervert! No I will not do that!” I don’t care if the guy (or girl) is asking you to “do” 5 goats and an elephant while smiling and eating a tofu banana. Why? Because it is your job to be the professional. If you stay in modeling long enough, chances are you will get some weird offers. And yes, I’ve had offers for bestiality. I told the person I wasn’t interested in working with him and did not hear from him again.

If it comes up during the shoot simply say something like “I am not comfortable doing that.” Again, don’t get upset. If something happens beyond the photographer asking you to do something (and this should not happen) then you can leave. If you feel the person is a threat to you or that they are acting inappropriately toward you, then you can leave. Yes, they will probably try to tell people that you “flaked” or whatever but if you remain professional, that will pass.

In all of my time modeling I have only ever had to say no one time and that was to one single pose. The photographer apologized and we moved on. I was professional, he took it professionally, and as far as I’m aware nothing else has ever come up about it.


11 Jul

When I am asked what the most important part of setting up a shoot is, I always say “communication.” Nothing can be more frustrating than poor communication as far as I’m concerned. Both you and the photographer end up confused, it can contribute to the evil drama and is simply not in any way helpful to anyone in the industry.

Good communication is more helpful than you can ever imagine until you start doing it. And it doesn’t have to be time consuming, which seems to be a common concern. It might be as simple as one or two extra messages or e-mails before a shoot. When I am booking a shoot with someone who doesn’t know me I like to send them a little confirmation message. I cover things like:

  • the date, time and location of the shoot
  • what I’ll be bringing (wardrobe, props, etc)
  • hair and make-up
  • recap the concepts we’ll be shooting if there’s more than one or two (for example maybe we’ve talked about fine art, boudoir, and then doing some fashion stuff as well)
  • my phone number (very important to exchange numbers)

Sometimes I also add in a short bit about how my nails will be done, personal grooming (if relevant), and any other concerns I might have.

Obviously, all models & photographers are different and some of us like to communicate more than others. Some people like to keep it short and sweet, some (like me) prefer to discuss things to make sure the details are covered.

Another very important thing to communicate about is the products of the shoot, particularly if you have specific expectations. A few things you may want to discuss are the number of photos you will receive, how will the photos be delivered, how long does the photographer expect they will need before they can deliver photos, etc. Many photographers will give this information on their profiles or in initial messages, if not, it should perfectly acceptable for you to ask prior to the shoot.

Communication after the shoot can be important too. I also try to either TAG the person/people I worked with (on MM) or send them a message within 24 hours of the shoot. I thank them for being part of the shoot and I try to add in something personal (versus just a cut and paste response).

Models, if you’d like to check in on your photos after a week or so, you can send a nice, upbeat message saying again how much you enjoyed the shoot and that you can’t wait to see the photos. Don’t be pushy, be friendly. I takes a while even to do simple work on just a few photos. And chances are yours wasn’t the only photoshoot they have to work on.

I have found that communication is what has separated me from some other models. It has also separated the good photographers I’ve worked with from the great ones.

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