are a few tips Ive picked up along the way from various models,
photographers, editors and other professionals. You
may find these useful, but try them out ahead of time and see how they
work for you. Dont try them out at the last minute before a photo
shoot when disaster could ensue. And in any case, use them at your own
risk. I take no responsibility for any outcome.
Representation - Usually a Bad Idea!
Most models are represented by mutliple modeling agencies, at least one
on the east coast and another on the west. However, it is becoming more
common for model representatives to ask models to sign an exclusive
representation contract. This means that all work the model does MUST
be booked through that one representative. You cannot work with any
other agent or agency. Think of it this way, imagine if you could only
buy your favorite fitness magazine at 7-11. Contracts are only a good
deal when they exchange things of like value: "I give you A, you give
me B." Exclusive representation contracts very rarely give the model
anything in return for signing over the right to other representation.
Verbal promises are usually made about all the wonderful things they
will do for you and the huge amount of work they will get you, but none
of it will be spelled out in the contract (and is therefore only so much
hot air). A good exclusive contract will give you the model something
specific and quantifiable in return, typically a guaranteed minimum income.
When someone offers you this kind of deal it says "We think you're huge.
We're gonna work our asses off promoting you. And we're so sure of it,
that if were wrong, we'll pay you out of our own pockets." This type
of exclusive is worth considering. If the contract doesn't give you something
clear and quantifiable in return, don't sign it. Oh... and "We'll promote
you to the best of our abilities..." is neither clear, nor quantifiable.
The basics of caring for your face are really easy:
.....Tone (closes the pores)
.....Sunscreen (if not in your moisturizer and you're going out
in the sun)
If you use an electric razor, shave before you cleanse
(the skin oils lubricate the blade, making for an easier
Shoot Days, Elastic Is Your Enemy
Tight elastic creates indentations in the flesh and the leaner
you are, the longer it will stay there. A really lean body can
hold an elastic line all day. It is best to show up for a modeling
assignment in loose fitting clothes and wearing no socks or underwear.
If you screwed-up and youve got an elastic marking, you
might try this trick snap or flick the
line sharply with your finger. This will cause a minor irritation,
causing blood to flood the area (this is similar to the standard
tapping trick nurses use to raise a vein).
Whether in black and white or color, depending on skin tone,
you will probably look better with a tan. It can be helpful to
maintain a nice base tan year round. But dont try to get
one at the last minute by overdoing the tanning booth -- broiled
model is not pretty (and very hard to fix)! On the other hand,
some of the competition bodybuilding tan in a bottle products
are quite good; ProTan is one I have used successfully.
Neutragena and Nivea both make highly regarded self
tanners. I myself have used Neutragena Sunless Tanning Deep,
which was very easy to use and produced a very natural looking
medium tan which lasted about 5 days fading gradually. I've also
seen models get really good results with Clarins-Paris Self Tanning
Gel and Self Tanning Milk. Regarding tan lines, they are generally
bad. If you are shooting nudes, the problem is obvious -- they
break the body in two. But even with respect to fashion or lifestyle
work, they can be a problem. No matter how trim a suit you tan
in, you might be asked to model something with a different cut,
that reveals a bit of flesh previously hidden. Best to avoid
the problem all together.
physique photographers prefer to shoot relatively smooth bodies.
Personally, I prefer a mix of model types. Though it is true
that the smoothness enhances muscularity. For this reason, more
and more guys are going smooth as a personal grooming
choice. Basically, the problem with body hair is that it casts
little shadows obscuring the definition lines. To Solve this,
many models shave or wax their bodies. Both can cause serious
skin reactions and should not be done immediately prior to a
shoot. One solution to this problem is to use electric trimmers.
They can accomplish much the same effect without the risk of
skin reactions. Norelco makes an excellent rechargeable,
cordless, trimmer, the T7000.
visible tattoo you may have can affect whether or not you
get a particular job. The Tattoo is your message
to the world, not the artist's or advertiser's. While tattoos
don't carry the extremely strong negative connotations
they once did, they can still limit your ability to get
advertising work. By the same token a cool tattoo might
be what makes you stand out from the other guy and get
you the job. Just something to think about. Also, there
is now some indication that laser tattoo removal may convert
the tattoo inks into toxic and carcinogenic compounds,
so tattoo removal may be dangerous as well as expensive.
know of two tricks to dramatically increase vascularity for a
shoot. The first is a glass of red wine, drunk about 20 minutes
before the start of shooting. This doesnt work for everyone,
and you also need to be aware of the circumstances, and how the
alcohol will affect your energy levels and hydration if you are
going to be out in the sun. The second is a posing oil call Hot
Stuff used by professional body builders. This oil is very
pungent and derives its effectiveness from a variety of herbal
extracts. Try this ahead of time if you are going to use it,
as some guys have a mild reaction to it and flush very red. This
is not a problem if you are working in black and white, but could
spell disaster if working in color.
Your Face Gently
drying your face with a towel, pat, dont rub. Rubbing just
stretches the skin, and it doesnt
get you any drier. Similarly for your hair; rubbing vigorously
will just give you a bad case of split-ends.
the line in the old folk song goes... Shed pass for
29 but for the eyes. The most immediately noticeable sign
of aging is wrinkles around the eyes. You can help stave off
and reduce eye wrinkles by faithfully applying eye cream morning
and night. Do this by GENTLY dabbing the cream under the eyes
and around the outer eyes. Tap and dab rather than rub; if your
application of eye cream stretches the eyelid skin, youre
defeating the point. Also, use your ring finger to apply lotion
around the eyes; it sees less day-to-day use than your index
finger and consequently is smoother and is less likely to carry
any kind of infection.
For years, a secret among models has been to use Preparation
H for emergency relief from puffy eyes and dark circles -- really
bad idea. This is kind or like using hydrocloric
acid for a face peel -- didnt
exactly work for the Phantom of the Opera. A far better alternative
is to use teabags and ice water as compresses. Select a strongly
caffeinated tea like plain old black tea (Liptons
etc.). Moisten the teabags with ice water and place them on the
eyes as compresses. Relax for 10 minutes. Update:
But now Garnier has come up with a great little product
that does the same thing (caffeine included), without the mess,
the Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller. I've tried it and
it works great.
how itchy or tired your eyes might get, NEVER rub your eyes.
This does two bad things: first it stretches the delicate skin
surrounding the eyes and can lead to premature wrinkling and
aging; second, it grinds into your eyes whatever is irritating
them, which will only make the situation worse. For itchy eyes,
put several drops of artificial tears in the outer corner, blink
it around and then allow it to flow out the inner corner of the
eye, washing the irritants out of the eye.
lip balms contain various ingredients (such as camphor) which
actually make your lips dryer, thus you apply it more often and
use more product; great for the manufacturer, terrible for your
lips. Worst of all is a common brand (which shall remain nameless),
that comes in a little yellow lidded glass tub. This stuff has
a huge following. READ THE LABEL. It's actually for cold sores
-- its designed to be drying. It contains both camphor
and salycilic acid (acne medication). If you find yourself in
the need of something for chapped lips, you are better off with
something very basic like Vaseline.
tip is one of economy. Most grooming products intended for the
face are considerably more expensive than similar products intended
for the body. So you really dont want to use them for hand
lotion. So, apply these products with your fingertips, not the
whole hand. In this way, youll use a lot less product and
your supply will go a lot farther. Additionally, moisturizer
should really be called sealant. It doesn't actually add moisture,
but rather seals it in. Apply it while your skin is moist. You
may also find it helpful to wet the fingers before applying it.
It will glide on mor easily.
a really fast method of applying moisturizer. It's not for everyone,
but if it works for you it is really fast. While still in the
shower, with the water running, apply a thin film of plain old
baby oil all over your body. Rinse off the excess and towel dry
as usual. If you have normal to dry skin or shower more than
once a day, this will probably work great for you. In the US,
Johnson & Johnson makes a nice version of baby oil that adds
aloe vera and Vitamin E.
applying any kind of lotion to your body, whether it be moisturizer,
sunscreen or self-tanner, rub the lotion ONLY in the direction
that your body hair naturally lies. This rule applies even if
you are smooth due to shaving or waxing. By applying the lotion
with the direction of hair growth, you minimize the chance of
the lotion clogging your pores and resulting in blemishes.
all had the experience of walking passed a stranger and being
nearly cold-cocked by their overwhelming perfume or cologne.
Cologne should be subtle. It should be for intimate moments.
It shouldn't announce your impending arrival when you are still
20 feet away. Trouble is, it is really easy to turn into one
of these idiots who bathe in the stuff. You see, over time we
get used to a scent and it doesn't seem as strong. Without realizing
it, we use more. If you've been wearing the same cologne for
a long time, switch for a while to give your nose a rest. With
the new brand, pay attention to how much you use (remember to
go for subtlety). Never use more than you use the first time.
Now for a little trick -- at an intimate moment, nobody wants
a mouthful of cologne. So where to apply it? Spray it on your
hands and run them through your hair. Nice. Subtle. Intimate.
is a natural inclination to want to get pumped up for a shoot,
to look your best. But there is a tradeoff involved.
When you are pumped up, you will look bigger, but you will also
lose definition and appear softer or flatter. When
the blood floods the muscles, it also flushes the skin. If you
workout right before shooting, you will look bigger, but you
wont look as defined.
Flexing and Your Face
is very physically demanding. Several of the professional bodybuilders
I've worked with have told me that they don't work out and practice
their posing routines on the same day -- it's just too physically
demanding. Posing is essentially a matter of isometric contractions,
tensing one muscle group against the opposing muscle group. While
it is possible to isolate one group, without flexing any other
muscle (say the triceps and biceps without affecting the forearm),
this requires a degree of body awareness and control that is
beyond most of us. Generally, this is not of importance; it would
be unusual for a photographer to want one body part flexed, while
another is relaxed. But like all rules, there is an exception.
You typically want to be able to keep the neck and face relaxed.
It is a hard skill to learn and will take lots of practice in
front of a mirror. But here's a little trick that may help --
after flexing, jut your chin forward just slightly. This trick
makes it harder to flex the neck and face muscles and also reduces
the appearance of the muscular contraction in the face and neck.
posing, regardless of where you are looking, it is important
to actually focus your gaze ON something. If you simply look
in a direction, without looking at anything in particular, your
eyes will defocus and you will appear dimwitted and vacant.
I exaggerate (and Im stealing a line from Robin Williams),
but most guys, all things being equal, would love to have an
extra inch or two. Well heres a couple tricks that will
give the APPEARANCE of an extra inch or two. First, trim your
pubic hair back at the base of the penis. This will clearly reveal
part of the shaft that is normally obscured, giving the illusion
of greater length. Second, remember the tanning advice above,
well, use a bit of sunscreen on your penis. Besides protecting
you from a burn where you REALLY dont want a burn, it will
also keep your penis a shade lighter in relation to the rest
of your body, making it stand out a bit and appear larger. Finally
a secret from underwear and swimsuit models. Gone are the days
of the Sears catalog and the airbrushed, neuter model. Heres
the trick to showing a prominent, but not ridiculous bulge a
hair scrunchie. Put it around the goods and it tends to push
everything forward a bit. By the way, the hair scrunchie tip
is suggested for modeling swimwear or underwear... NOT as fashion
got to keep well hydrated. Your body is basically a chemical
plant with raw materials coming in, being processed and waste
products being sent out. Everything your body does requires water.
Keeping well hydrated will improve your complexion, make your
muscles work better, improve your fat burning both in action
and at rest, and make you less prone to injury. And drinking
lots of water does not cause water retention, in fact drinking
more water is part of the cure. For the average person, the standard
advice is 8-8 ounce glasses a day (one-half gallon). But, thats
for the average, sedentary guy. Add at least 16 ounces for each
workout. Heavy coffee drinker? Well, caffeine is a diuretic,
add some more. Take allergy medications or decongestants? Add
some more. Heres a clue... your urine should be no darker
than the color of straw... if its darker than that, you
need water. A trick suggested by several models is to drink a
glass of water every time you take a piss.
If at any time
while working out, you get a metallic taste in your mouth similar
to the odor of nail-polish remover, IMMEDIATELY STOP YOUR WORKOUT!
You have gone into Ketosis, which means you have used up all
the other fuels available to your muscles and they have switched
over to burning protein. In other words, the muscle itself is
being consumed to fuel your workout. Go get something to eat
ASAP. Simple carbs are the immediate need, to restore the muscles
a great round butt whether on themselves or on their partner.
Squat movements are the key to getting that killer ass. And there
are two keys to a great squat movement -- never let the knees
extend beyond the toes (too much shear force) and go deep as
you can. As my trainer puts it The
deeper you go, the more ass you get. And the more ass you get,
the more ass you get. By the way, the knees never going
over the toes thing goes for everyday use as well. Take note
of how you climb stairs -- you might want to take them two at
a time; it's much easier on the knees and improves that butt
at the same time.
touching your face is a bad habit; just consider the places your
hands have been between washings. Touching a doorknob and then
touching your face is like having everyone whos touched
that doorknob recently touch your face; and consider where their
hands have been. In the gym it's even worse. Your touching dozens
of surfaces that have been handled by dozens of people in a given
day. From the moment you step into the gym, until the moment
you've showered, keep your hands away from your face. Also remember
where you might be putting your face in the gym! Pressing it
into the pad of a bench, leg curl or fly deck -- cover the pad
with a towel. And by the same token, watch where you put towel.
When your done your workout shower or wash your hands. And your
gym towel goes into the laundry.
for Living With a Healthy Lifestyle
1. Most guys
who train seriously and eat right have little use for a flour
or sugar canister or a cookie jars. But these make great stoarage
alternatives to having a kitchen counter littered with big jars
of protein powder, king sized canisters of oatmeal and piles
of protein bars. Just because you live healthy doesn't mean your
kitchen has to look like a pharmacy.
2. Commercial protein shakes are really pricey. They can run
$3 and more when bought at the gym. A high quality protein powder
bought in bulk runs around $1 a serving. So here's a little trick
learned from my trainer -- get heavy duty ziploc storage bags
and fill them with a single serving of protein powder. Throw
them in your gym bag. When you are ready for one, just fill the
bag with as much water as you want shake it up, drink it straight
from the bag, then toss the bags. It's cheap. it's easy and theres
no bottle to wash and drag back and forth.
3. Sticking to a workout plan and a diet plan can become an emotionally
heavy burden. It can get to the point where you are constantly
worrying about it. The stress isn't any fun and it is counter-productive.
So instead of worrying about being responsible to do the right
thing all the time, be responsible for to do the right thing,
right now. It makes a huge daunting task into a little task.
Don't think about eating right all the time, think about eating
right at the current meal. Don't think about getting at least
8 hours sleep every night, think about getting 8 hours sleep
tonight. And when you fail, let it go. You are only responsible
for the present, and the failure is in the past.
4. Plans change. Be prepared. Sometimes social plans or work
commitments may keep you from being able to go to the gym. But
plans do change. So keep the loaded gym bag handy in your car
or at work, ready to go if you are freed up at the last minute.
5. Guys are lazy. We hate doing laundry. So we tend to use things like towels
for as long as possible. Nothing wrong with that. It saves time and money, and
it's easier on the environment. But moist towels are a breeding ground for bacteria.
If your towel "smells" at all, retire it to the laundry and grab a new one. And
if we're talking about a towel you used at the gym, retire it after a single
use no matter what.