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Friday, August 3, 2012

5 THINGS BLACK MODELS SHOULD KNOW

before you read this be advised that this is my opinion based on my own personal experiences.

1. NEVER GO TO OPEN CALLS.
an open call is a specific time that the agency sets aside (generally once a week) to see new talent, who are permitted to just walk in without an appointment or prior comp card submission. This is most common for the fashion agencies in larger markets like New York and Los Angeles. If you are a black model, don't waste your time.

Getting clients to book black models is triple the effort and pays a lot less than their white counterparts. No one is looking to work hard for less so they are not looking for you. no matter how amazing you are, you look like more work for less pay. Who do you think wants to work hard for less....no one so don't waste your time.

They are  looking for easy money....if you are not white, you are not easy money.

Often time you never get to see real bookers....you are seen by interns. Its  their job to filter out the riff-raff.

I don't know of any black models who got signed to an agency by going to open calls. It is better to just email your pics. They check every email and its in front of them a lot longer than you would be  at an open call.  If they like what they see they will set up an appointment to see you in person that is not on open call day.

At the end of the day its all business. Agencies are trying to make money...white models are easier money, black models are hard work. No one wants to work hard for less.

2. LOOSEN UP. (this is for the fellas)
Black models (esp. males) are alot more stiff and controlling than their white counterparts. The white guys I have  photographed tend to be more open and  less afraid to to look silly. The black guys  tend to be more stiff and  "posey" and more focused on looking cool. Its the  reason why fashion people hate pageant girls.... there main focus is to be their idea of what pretty is and that  usually gets in the way of  creating a great image.


3. ALWAYS BE ON TIME....NEVER BE LATE.
They expect you to be late so don't live up to any negative expectation.....especially the one where black people never show up to anything on time. Being late is costing someone a lot of money, don't let your career be the price.....


4. YOU ARE THE  SPOKESPERSON FOR YOUR ENTIRE RACE.
You are representing ALL black people whether you want to or not. That means you  must be onpoint at all times. That one or two black faces in campaigns, editorials, and on runways  is the industry's way of representing Black people in their branding.  If you drop the ball by being late, having a bad attitude, not taking care of yourself, or doing anything that can be interpreted as negative, your actions will affect the client's decision to book another black model. You will never hear a client say "The last time we booked a blonde girl she was late with a difficult attitude and we just dont want to deal with that this time."

5. YOU DON'T NEED STRONG IMAGES TO GET SIGNED, YOU NEED THEM TO BOOK JOBS.
If you are trying to get signed, agencies are looking for  fresh and new faces to send to clients. you need pics that make you look fresh and new. Its kind of hard to seem "new" if you over saturate yourself  by testing with every GWC (goon with camera) who is free. The biggest mistake in this industry is to have bad pictures floating around that create a negative image  for you. If you are trying to sign with an agency, clean images with you  wearing basic clothing in natural light work best for that. These images show  agents that you are photogenic and allow them to visualize the type of clients they should send you too. After getting signed, the agents will then send you to select photographers  to create appropriate images to attract clients to help you land jobs.

If a booker says you need "stronger" images that is their nice way of saying NO! They don't see immediate money making potential with you.

The only way I would advise models to step outside of the agency to shoot with photographers not referred by their booker is when the collection of  images  in their portfolio generate no response by the client or  if your portfolio looks identical to all the other guys at the agency. Its kind of difficult to stand out in front of the client if your book looks the same as the previous models they meet with. Clients  see hundreds of models to select  the few they need for the job. You need images that set you apart from the rest and  inspire the client. Expect to pay for  top quality work because its an investment in your career.

Most models don't have an informed eye to know good imagery. When selecting a photographer to work with look at the portfolios of the models who previously booked the jobs and try to work with the same people they worked with. The client was obviously inspired by the images and maybe the formula might work for you too.


6 comments:

  1. Hey Terrice what some great advice I must tell some of my models friends about your post. However I will be in NYC during fashion week I would love to like you with you to do interview for my blog. If you have any question please email me at info@aubreyinternational.com

    Thanks Aubrey

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  2. Very well written Tarrice. I learned so much from your conversation. I appreciate everything!

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  3. Very good info man. Thanks for that :)

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  4. Can you please make one of these for Hispanics? I'm guessing Hispanics should do the same too haha

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