Sunday, March 28, 2010

The scoop on fashion and the shorter model

a pic of me from my iPhone in my rain gear. The rain or a cloudy day doesn't stop me from wearing my heels!

Recently on my Facebook wall the topic of fashion agencies came up.

Many fashion agencies do have commercial and lifestyle divisions however if you go to their websites, typically you will not find one girl under 5'8" --on the Elite website they are all tall, I mean 5'8" 5'10 tall, NY Models all tall girls too, Ford has print and parts division, but typically Ford models are 5'8 and kids division, they have a kids open call coming up: --and of course there are exceptions, and I always say aim high, but be realistically ambitious, if you are banking on fashion agencies signing you and you are 5'6", 5'5" ,5'4", 5'3", 5'2" then you should understand what commercial print modeling is and where you fit in the business of modeling and where you should put your energies to get is best to submit to print modeling agency your comp card or photos. Most girls who want to model these days are new to understanding the difference of fashion and commercial print and most are shorter than fashion height.

Here is a post I've written on the differences:

So for those that are new to modeling, there is nothing wrong with trying, submitting a snapshot, but you will notice open calls have height requirements and, sure of course, try, go for it, but also realistically I suggest striving to get experience with a print modeling agency, and Lauren Green is well respected print modeling agency in NYC but typically for models 25 and older, and there are many print modeling agencies out there, here is a list of some in NYC:

Really it comes down to researching in your town print modeling and talent agencies and casting directors and having your marketing material ready. A comp card and and portfolio, a headshot for commercial and TV work. Put it this way there are more print modeling agencies than fashion agencies. It's just up to you to find them and seek out the opportunities. There is a major amount of hands-on, self- investment and self-involvement to work as a model when you are not fashion height, and no matter your height modeling is tough!...However if a fashion agency's print division doesn't welcome you then remember there is a lot more out there, and there are many commercial print agencies out there and for a shorter girl THAT is where it is at.

Getting a print modeling agency to work with you is work. And I talk often about what it talks to create photos, make a comp card, and market your self to the right agencies.

I don't want girls to feel discouraged if fashion shuts the door in their face because fashion agencies do not typically work with shorter girls, under 5'7" unless you are a teen or child, but do be prepared for the hansd-on work that is involved with working with a commercial print modeling agency, talent agency and cast is a way more hands-on world than fashion.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Heels, beauty and book giveaway!

Happiness = books, heels and beauty products

This week I am giving away a pair of heels from Bakers called Rock & Candy by ZiGi, (The shoes are a size 6, the standard shoe modeling size, however they might fit a size 7 foot!) and win a copy of my original modeling memoir Almost 5'4", along with an awesome eyeshadow palette from Forever 21. I went to Forever 21 recently and their beauty section looked really good. To win this heels,beauty and book giveaway email me at: your best natural beauty shot and a shot of you modeling a pair of heels like a shoe ad. The deadline is Friday the 19th. (Put in in the subject please: Heels, beauty and book - if you can.) The winner will be posted on my blog this weekend. Goodluck!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

5 tips to a modeling agency when you're short podcast

Tune into 5 tips to a modeling agency when you're short on Model Talk Radio, catch the live show at 1pm EST 3/10, or listen to the archive any time my sweet shorties :)

Listen here:

Goodbye Model Sites Hello Professional video

I just put a new video up on my Youtube page, it's called Goodbye Model Sites Hello Professional and I share tips on how to grab your bootstraps and strive as a model despite height, in the right ways.

Trying in the right ways is the biggest part.

To hear better turn down my radio show podcast on the left side first. Enjoy!

"The Price of Beauty," and "Who Do You Think You Are?"

I am looking forward to to shows this March:

Jessica Simpson hosting the show "The Price of Beauty," on the show Jessica will go all over the world to learn about how beauty affects the lives of women of all walks of life. I think this is a great concept for a show as well.
It airs
Monday, March 15
10:00 PM ET/PT ON VH1

You can check out the show details here:

I am also looking forward to catching the NBC reality series "Who Do You Think You Are?", more on the show can be found here:
The show discovers the family history records of celebrities and media figures, actresses, athletes, and coming up, March 12th, 8/7c, Emmitt Smith: Football legend Emmitt Smith discovers his genealogical roots on a journey that takes him beyond his expectations.

Should you move to another city as a model? Answered

A shorter girl recently ask me about moving for her modeling, she wrote this: "I’m busy working on my portfolio here in South Africa, but would like to get an agent to represent me in NY, is this possible, if so which is the best Commercial/print modeling agency that you'd suggest? and would emailing them a few pics be good enough"

I replied with sharing insight on how having experience as a model before you move to a new city can be towards your benefit. Also I filled her in with the fact that there are MANY print modeling agencies and talent agencies out there, but print modeling agencies which work with models of all ages and sizes do not typically house their models and talent, and I stressed that modeling is not a stable pursuit in the sense that coming to a new city, or country can be a major risk and letdown if you do not have a backup plan. I love to hear from ambitious models, but having experience, even just a few magazine or editorial or catalog tear sheets is helpful, but most important you cannot up and move without doing your research, confiding in your parents or an adult. If you study for school in a different country or city it could be easier because you will most likely have housing or a dorming situation, but up and moving without a plan and without any experience is not a good idea.

I moved to Miami to model for 7 months, and did prepare ahead of time with mailing my comp cards to agencies but as a shorter girl it wasn't like Elite was welcoming me with a cold glass of water and in my memoir Almost 5'4" I go into the challenge and hardships of trying to survive on a dream and how much self promotion and research it involves to market yourself as a model in a new city.

I am not saying don't move to another city to model ever, but only make that journey if you have a backup plan and have done your research ahead of time on the town, on agencies, on casting directors, etc.

Hearing back from one agency doesn't mean you will be working ALL the time, in today’s age there are MANY girls who want to model which means print modeling agencies have many models to find work for within their roster. So, just know that the pursuit of a model is not always stable. Just a heads-up.

The media and fashion magazines flaunt fashion models, but many models work for lifestyle brands and model lifestyle products but they are not jetset and I just want to be clear about the lifestyle of a print model. Here are tips on the differences between a print and fashion model:

I think it is best to strive to get professional photos and then get some experience in your own area, even local experience modeling for a local brand or magazine, so that if you pursue other markets and cities you have some experience to use to market yourself with.

It is a growth and the "discovery fairy tale doesn't happen anymore often." The odds of someone in print modeling loving your photos and flying you to the US or another city are slim without experience or already having an established portfolio of work.

Especially if you are at the early stage of your modeling pursuits, it is a grab your bootstraps make it happen for yourself world. So grab your bootstraps and start preparing your headshot, comp card, and keep your goals and dreams but also strive to get some legit experience. Strive to get some opportunities locally to better market yourself to other goals, and to prove you are capable.

Also print modeling agencies in NYC and in most cities accept modeling submissions through postal mail and typically they suggest a model sends a modeling comp card. Emailing your photos might seem like the best, easiest way, but it is not, you will come off more professional, more put together if you make a printed comp card grab an envelope and stamps and mail by postal mail your comp card.

I hope this helps,

P.s: Every week a new Petite of the Week is on this blog, models are not just one size and it really comes down to how you market yourself and what you DO have. If you'd like to be Petite of the Week submit at and share how you are making strides in modeling despite your height. Aim high!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Model Talk Radio "Sizing up: The Model, the Agency, the Editor, the Designer"


Tune in here for the latest segment of Model Talk Radio, which airs 3/3/10 at 10:30 am:

Sizing up: The Model, the Agency, the Editor, the Designer

What causes change in size acceptance in modeling first? The Model, The Agent, The Editor or the Brand? There have been more diverse models in the past year in magazines and ads, but what causes size acceptance and change first in modeling? Model, author Isobella Jade shares how the agent, editor and the designer can inspire change in the modeling business and how "model size" and "sample size" and a "brands image" go hand in hand. How does size affect your modeling pursuits? She will also give tips on creating your comp card and marketing yourself to agencies no matter your height/size.

Her modeling memoir called “Almost 5'4"” is based on being a shorter than average model. The memoir recently hit the UK through The Friday Project, an imprint of HarperCollins. You can also find “Almost 5'4"” on Amazon and Isobella is also the author of her fashion illustrated graphic novel "Model Life: The Journey of a Pint-Size Fashion Warrior".

Her books can be found on and and in bookstores.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Marketing your self as a model: posing is not enough

Every day many girls ask me about the topic of photography in modeling. It is a major concern among aspiring models.

The photos you create make such a difference towards if you get representation or not from an agency. The more you focus on what the word model means the better. A model models something, and modeling means more than just posing. For a shorter girl, print modeling should be your focus.

Here are some hints to know if the photos you have are professional, agency quality and marketable, to show you can model:

1. Before taking the photo study ads for all types of lifestyle products, from cell phone ads, to hair products, to travel ads to ads for accessories.

2. Does the photo you created look like you are modeling for something? A product? Could it be an ad? Does it have an ad appeal? Ask yourself, does the photo just look like you are posing, or like you are really modeling something, it is such an important difference between just taking a photo and actually looking like a model. Does it look like you are "doing something" in the photo, in action, and enjoying it, happy, and showing your personality in a natural way?

3. Are you smiling? A big part of getting opportunities when you are not giraffe tall is using your personality within your photos, so make sure your photos show your personality.

4. Is the lighting good? If there is a shadow covering half your face this is not an acceptable marketable face, so make sure the photo is clear and the lighting is well done in the photo. An agent, casting director, etc, should not have to guess what you look like.

Remember modeling is not an easy pursuit, it is competitive and challengeing and tough. Modeling is a lot of work, involves a lot of hands-on work, and it involves really understanding your self, knowing your assets and how to translate what you DO HAVE and how to make those assets marketable towards modeling products for ads, commercials and editorials for magazines.

If you are a new model don't use the word amateur model

I find the words amateur model the wrong way to present your self if you are ambitious and serious about working as a model.

If you are a beginning model or new model, use the words "aspiring model" don't use the words amateur model, and just because you are new to modeling doesn't mean you should work with amateur photographers, don't.

Aim to work with those who understand the craft of photography. An amateur photographer is "playing around" with the word photographer, they might have the camera but do they know how to use it? Create a marketable shot? Create a shot a print modeling agency needs.

If the photographer doesn't understand what a print modeling agency needs or wants to see on a compcard, skip working with this person.

Unless that photographer has goals to work as a commercial photographer or make a business out of his photography craft, skip it, stay away from that type of photographer when it comes to your pursuits.

Know the photographer you are conducting a shoot with knows the craft of photography, knows lighting, and that the photographer understands the shots you need for your comp card and portfolio. A professional photographer, will not just shoot to shoot but will have a photography business and it is ok, and a good idea to invest in your self and goals with it comes to photography.

Petite modeling source for advice and tips on modeling and modeling photos and inspiration for the petite models.