I am one of the leaders of the Acadiana and New Orleans Models GuildsThey are regional not-for-profit trade associations for working models. These guilds are not a front for agency/management recruitment or "pay-to-play" schemes. Nor can they be leveraged to promote other model industry services. The purpose of these guilds are to provide education and protection for experienced and aspiring models of all genres. We also serve a function to protect artists, teachers, and producers by providing reliable and reputable models for their needs. Independent and agency-signed models are equally welcome. With honest recognition that we have more viable models than available work, we are also engaged in activities to expand paying options for local models. Depending on the specific agenda, many meetings will also be open to industry professionals who hire or partner with models. Join Facebook Group

I want to give this advice and cautions to the aspiring models who are willing to learn. Please scroll down to view:

Short Posing Exercise (L)

Posing Practice Video:

This is a short video mix from one of my model workouts on the ‘day off’. It’s based on the artistic poses I try to give photographers for only a moment and improves the dynamics of poses I can hold longer for other artists. The day before I got bug bites on a shoot in the woods. The day before that I bled from a cut on location. I still have some sore muscles from a modeling gig the day after.

When a pro model is paid for a few hours of service, that pay is also covering a ...few hours of prep not seen, many hours of training, the investment in learning, the effort to improve, and the overhead of finding work and developing business.

The investment made by photographers, makeup artists, costume/fashion designers, prop makers, set decorators, and all other talent and crew skills should not be underestimated either.

Advice to Aspiring Models:

This unedited photo (Above: Original photo) was captured by Cully Firmin just yesterday; at my request. To be clear, he was working for me this time. Of all my modeling over the last several years, I am most proud of this picture. I have been building my portfolio and resume for 8 years with paid and beneficial trade work and still continue to build. The process of updating and marketing never ends. You cannot just take a picture, post it online, and say you are a model expecting to get paid work. Modeling involves hard work and dedication. The beautiful imagery you see in mainstream magazines and films involved hours/days/months and sometimes years of preparation before you get that chance in front of a camera at that level.

I am a professional model because I earned it, not because I have a pro photographer husband or because I got on TV as an artist. And an FYI for the ignorant prudes who pretend to know the business, I was introduced as a “nude model turned bodypainter” on GSN; a Sony Pictures prime-time family channel. Brace yourself for some tough love:

Confidentiality is extremely important. You will most likely have no rights to use images from professional productions. You could be prosecuted if a related ‘behind the scenes’ phone-pic is posted on social media without permission. If you spoil an artist’s debut before the release date, even if he doesn’t prosecute or say anything at all, imagine how such an act could affect your career and chances for success. I know these issues well because I have experience in front of and behind the camera in major productions. If your social network rants make you look like you can’t work well with others, or like you can’t be discreet with confidential information, don’t think they will trust you for that pro job offer you think you deserve.

Casting directors hate the highly-edited headshots and portfolio images that are supposed to show what models and actors look like before transformations. This angers them because models are lying about what they look like. They do not have time to teach you. That is not their job. They simply reject you. Professionals in the industry need to know what you naturally look like and how you express various emotions and capabilities with your body. Many casting directors have asked me for cellphone pictures in a bikini while holding a piece of paper with the current date to send to them right away. I actually carry a bikini in my purse now just so I can respond according to directions as fast as possible. They do this now because too many people are lying to them with fake pictures and false experience claims. Arriving for an audition or on set not looking like the same person in the pictures submitted can get you fired, barred, or even industry black-listed if done too many times. It’s a serious expensive problem if you were not a suitable fit for the cast call and the production had to delay and rush to cast another to fit the role. I learned about these issues because I’ve been on set as that fortunate replacement. Not because I send fake pictures.

Lastly, the real professional talent scouts and agents that you hope to meet, are the quiet ones. You will never know when they are present. They need to see who they might work with to make sure the talent doesn't give them trouble in makeup and wardrobe trailers or on set. Unlike those fake "agents" who brag about the "experiences" they never had and claim they are your "doorway to success". They are only entrepreneur frauds and scam artists who prey on the dreams of others. Some are more dangerous trafficking criminals. I unfortunately have experiences running into them as well. When we first met, Cully Firmin helped me get out of a bad situation with a deceptive predator in New York. Be smart, be patient, work hard, stay humble, and please make sure to do your research. Don t expect pros to work for you for nothing and don't take a "model class" with people who don't even know what a key light is...