Tokyo Travels

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I just returned from my first modeling trip out of the country and it was everything I could have hoped for and more! I had a lot of fun, met new people, and learned a lot.

One of the main things I did learn was that I need to change my booking policy. Previously, I never had a real issue with cancellations. Cancellations did happen on occasion but they never had a big impact on my schedule. They were more of an inconvenience than anything.

However, a big international trip has expenses that can’t be avoided. When you’re traveling your time is valuable and your travels have costs. For every cancellation you’re not just out the funds but also the opportunity to book another job at that time. This is especially true for last minute cancellations.

As my modeling career advances, so must my business minded-ness. For this reason, my booking policy is being updated to include non-refundable deposits. I was previously hesitant to implement this as I felt that it would turn away some potential bookings. However the pros for this change are beginning to out-way the cons.

I’m confident that this new policy change will allow for new opportunities and for more international travels.

Do you guys have experience dealing with cancellations? How do you handle it?

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“You’ve Done This Before”

I was recently at a fitting for an upcoming fashion show with a designer I had never worked with before. I came across his designs online and really liked the style, so I decided to reach out to him and see if he would be needing any models for his upcoming show.

He did.

I showed up. We chatted. I tried on some pieces. He took some photos.

It went exactly as expected, until he said the unexpected.

“You’ve done this before”.

He didn’t say it in an insulting way. In fact, he was just making an observation with a slight bit of surprise.

Maybe he hadn’t worked with many experienced freelance models before and was in the habit of walking them through every step of the fitting process. Maybe he was used to having new agency models who were young and shy and nervous. Maybe he just wasn’t really sure what to expect from me.

Whatever the case, his surprise is one that I’ve found many designers and photographers to share. In an industry saturated with novice, unprofessional, and/or unreliable models, this surprise is somewhat understandable. For me this is motivation to handle all modeling jobs as professionally as possible. I never want to be seen as a “flaky” model or one that doesn’t know how to do her job.

So yes, I have done this before and am ready to show you why you won’t regret booking me.

Modern Day Cold Calling – Model Edition

Originally Posted on My Website in October 2016

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I’m heading to St. Louis in just under two weeks for my first out-of-state modeling trip. I’m really lucky to have an awesome contact and photographer friend there who is helping me set up some modeling workshops. Besides the workshops though, I plan on scheduling some 1-on-1 shoots while I’m in town as well. That’s where the challenge lies.

 I once asked a photographer how he booked as many paid shoots as he did. His answer: Cold Calls. You may annoy some people, and you’ll get turned down a lot, but if you keep at it you’ll get some great gigs. As someone who finds it difficult to reach out to strangers, this definitely wasn’t the answer I was hoping for. Despite my hesitance though, I decided to test that strategy on this trip.

I took to Facebook, Instagram, and ModelMayhem to start contacting photographers. I sent tons of messages to anyone in the area who may be interested in working with me. I received almost no response at first. It was a bit disheartening. I had to book more shoots to make the trip financially feasible, but I was getting no where with my cold calls.

 Then I got a message. And a second one. Before I knew it, I was getting interest from a handful of photographers. That gave me the confidence I needed to keep cold-calling.

 Scheduling didn’t work out with some photographers, but with others it did. I now am really confident I’ll have enough gigs on this trip for it to be worth it. Though cold-calling is not my favorite thing to do, I am now a fan of the results that come from it.

Zazzle Business Card Review

It’s been a while since I made a blog post. Now it’s a new year, and I decided it was time to get organized and set new goals. One of these was to start blogging more! I have so much to share and am really excited to start doing that again.

 First, thank you everyone who has been following me on any platform – from Instagram to Facebook to ModelMayhem to my personal website. All this support is beyond encouraging! It plays a huge role in inspiring me to further my art and motivating me to take it to the next level.

 Speaking of the next level, reaching such a huge follower milestone on Instagram last year was what prompted me to make my brand more “official”. My first step in doing so was ordering business cards. I had been toying with the idea for some time, so I had already done a lot of research into different card options and sites. I settled on Zazzle in the end and ordered my first box of cards.

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So far I’ve been really impressed! Here are some things that stood out to me:

  • They have a large selection of business card templates. 

    You’re sure to find one that fits your needs and style. From different sizes to varying glosses, I loved having so many options.

  • Their design page is easy to use.

    I’m someone with almost zero design knowledge. Their page lets you easily customize your cards and has a straight forward list of tools to use at your disposal.

  • They save your design. 

    There’s nothing like creating the perfect item and then losing it. You don’t have to worry about that with Zazzle! They save your design for future orders. If you’re not ready to order right away, you can also share it with others and save it for when you are ready.

  • Fast Shipping.

     In today’s world of same-day-delivery, nothing is as important as fast shipping options! Zazzle really delivers on that and packages your cards safely for transport.

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I would definitely recommend checking Zazzle out for any of your business card needs. They also have options for comp cards, which I’ll be looking into as well. Have you ordered from them before? How was your experience?

DIY Sailor Moon Transformation Cosplay

Originally posted on my website

I love dressing up. As a model, I don’t think that’s particularly surprising since it’s part of the job. Transforming into another character is fun! Halloween has always been my favorite holiday for this reason. I was in a few plays when I was younger. I am always interested in photoshoots that have a style different from my own. All of these things have paved the way for me to dabble in a bit of cosplay recently.

 

I celebrated the start of 2016 at Ikkicon, an annual anime convention held in Austin. I decided that it would be the perfect opportunity for me to make my first very own cosplay. I had been planning on creating this for some time and am really proud of how it turned out. With a bit of last minute sewing help from my mom (ok – a lot of last minute sewing help), I “transformed” into a ballet-esque, mid-transformation Sailor Moon.
Without further ado – here is my very first DIY cosplay post.
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Materials:

  • Ballet Leotard (Link)
  • Ballet Tights (Link)
  • Ballet Shoes (Link) *Make sure to buy 1 size larger than normal*
  • x1 Pack Velcro Squares (Link)
  • x2 Roll Wired Organza Ribbon – Hot Pink 2.5″ (Link)
  • x3 Pieces Elastic
  • Needle & Thread
  • x1 Brooch *See #3 if you plan to DIY your own brooch*
Directions:
  1. I started by preparing my ballet shoes. You will need to sew your ribbon into your shoe. This is the video I used for reference (Link). Prior to watching the video, I didn’t know that you needed elastic. Luckily my mom had some laying around, but I’m sure you can find some at any craft store or even amazon. You will use 2 pieces of the elastic for this.

    Another thing I didn’t do enough of prior to the convention was shaping my shoe. Make sure to shape your shoe enough before-hand or you will have a really hard time walking around.

  2. Sew your third piece of elastic to the back of your leotard. The leotard back is pretty open, so I sewed the elastic accros the part where my bra strap would be. I found this to be the perfect height.

  3. Pin your brooch to the front of your leotard. For me it worked best a bit above the chest.

    If you choose to make your brooch rather than buy it (as I did). You will need 1 pack of yellow polymer clay (I used Craftsmart brand from Michael), a brooch pin, hot glue, and paint/gemstones.

    Mold your clay until you get it into the shape of the brooch. I also molded an additonal moon piece and cirlce to make the raised sections. If you’re using gemstones then make an indentation in the clay where you plan to put them.

    Follow the package instructions for baking the clay.

    Once the clay has cooled, glue the moon and circle shapes to the front, the gemstones in their places, and the pin to the back.

    I coated my pieces in several coats of paint. I would also recommend using a gloss to make it shine.

  4. Cover the back of the brooch in velcro. You will be velcro-ing the ribbon pieces to it. This makes the cosplay easier to removed. Pin the brooch to the leotard at about chest height.

  5. You may need someone to help you with this part!

    Measure 8 strips of ribbon. Start by wrapping on end of the ribbon around the elastic you have across your back, and measure it to the back of the brooch. I had 4 pieces go between my legs, 1 on either side of my hips, 1 on either side of my waist, and 2 across either side of my shoulders.

    Make sure not to pull the ribbon too tight when you measure. You want them to stick up, away from your body.

  6. Sew each ribbon piece around your back elastic piece. Do not sew them to the elastic so that you can slide them around if you need to adjust the placement. I recommend sewing the 4 pieces that go between your legs in the center.

  7. Now you are ready to add the velcro to each piece! Fold the end of each ribbon into a triangle shape and stick the velcro to it. Then wrap them around your body in the appropriate positions and attach the velcro to the back of the brooch.

  8. You’re done! Enjoy your con!

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If you’re interested in ordering the same wig and contacts – I ordered them both from Uniqso. I was very pleased with the quality and recommend them. Alternatively, there are many versions of this wig available on eBay.

Check out my Pinterest board for links to all the items, reference photos, and additional instructions.

New Website & Blog

webI started off the new year with the launch of my modeling website! I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for me and am really proud of how far I have come in the past few months. The launch was a huge milestone and I’m setting new goals now.

I’ll be using this blog just as another platform for the blog on my webpage. I like the way I included a blog section on it and plan to post new items there. However, I love using WordPress, so I’ll post some here as well. We’ll see how this process works out but that’s my plan for now.

You can visit my site here . I’d love any feedback !

5 Tips For New & Aspiring Models

I recently did a photoshoot that was streamed on Periscope. It was an interesting experience, being able to interact with viewers as we worked. One viewer specifically inspired me to write this post. She’s an aspiring model who had quite a few good questions about getting started.

I’m by no means an expert, and I’m sure people have had different experiences when starting out in the industry, but here are some things I’ve learned along the way.

  1. Social Media Is Your Friend

    There are so many resources in the world today and you should take every advantage of them. Two resources that I have used a lot are ModelMayhem and Instagram.

    MM is great for finding photographers to work with (though you do have to be smart about who you contact, which is true for anything you do on the internet). I built up my portfolio and got a lot of different experiences thanks to MM. One thing to note about this site is that there will be a lot more opportunities for TFP shoots rather than paid shoots (there are paid ones available too – but they tend to prefer more experienced models).

    Instagram is great for seeing what is happening in real time in your city. Is a photographer looking for a last minute model? Is there a casting call coming up? What sort of projects are people in your city working on? All of this can be found by searching through the tags.

  2. Understand Your Shoot

    You’ve booked a shoot and are really excited to start working… but you don’t know what you’re walking into. I’m guilty of not being entirely aware of what type of shoot I’m going to a few times. When you’re new and naive you don’t really know what questions to ask or what exactly to expect.

    Before going to the shoot you should at least know the following:

    1. Who you’re working with
    2. What to bring
    3. Where to go
    4. Will it be paid or trade
  3. Communicate!

    One thing that I often hear from photographers is how little models communicate. Personally I try to re-confirm the shoot details a few days before, as well as the morning of the shoot. Sometimes I will also let the photographer know when I am on my way.

    It’s also important to thank the photographer after your shoot, as well as clarifying the details on when you can expect to see the photos. This sets a deadline for the photographer to get your photos to you and lets them know that you enjoyed working with them.

    People love a good communicator and being one will make you seem more professional and reliable.

  4. Be Humble

    Being a model may look glamorous but it isn’t always so – especially when you’re just starting out. There will be times when you have to do your own makeup, or stand outside in the cold, or hold difficult poses. Don’t complain and try to keep a good attitude. This will make people enjoy working with you and help you to book more shoots in the future.
  5. Choose Your Shoots

    My final point for this list is to be selective. You may feel that, since you aren’t experienced, you need to do anything you can. That isn’t true. You are building your image, so make sure to schedule shoots that will help that image. That doesn’t mean you can’t try other types of shoots, but rather don’t feel pressured to do something you aren’t comfortable with. If you can’t swim, don’t do an underwater shoot. If you’re uncomfortable being nude, don’t do it (this is a big one! A lot of models get pressured into nude shoots). Even if you don’t know exactly what you want, you should try to stay away from things you know you don’t want.

I hope these points helped and good luck on any upcoming shoots you may have!

Also – I’d love to hear about any tips you may have for new models. Please feel free to share them in the comment section!