Showing posts with label modeling advice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label modeling advice. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Model Perfection, Photoshop and Filters ! Why don't my Photos look that?

Next time you are scanning magazines, Instagram feeds, and websites, and you see a perfect photo of a flawless model in a dreamy location and you start to think to yourself “why don’t my pictures ever look like that?’ or “why does my hair and makeup never look like that even when I spent hours on it” – just STOP!

You know all about image manipulation and photo-shopping of magazine and web images, and you’ve probably tried out photo filters on your phone to enhance your own pics, but there is often so much to it than that, and keeping this in mind when you look at these altered images takes the sting out of it this perceived perfection.  It takes a whole team to make an image for a magazine editorial when working with a model, and an even bigger crew when the feature involves a celebrity. Models and movie stars are mere mortals and just like the rest of us, not a single one of them arrives on set looking like the final image.

A typical editorial shoot has a large crew to make a production go smoothly and to help the team achieve the images to create the “story”.  The model may have been cast by the magazine’s booking editor, or a casting director.  The producer takes care of the location, catering, transportation, scheduling, and budget management.  The fashion or beauty editor represents the magazine, has the “concept” of the shoot planned out ahead of time, and sourced the other members of the team.  They might also have assistants on set.  The photographer and their assistants look after the technical aspects of the shoot and interpret the story line given by the editor.  The digital tech processes the images as the shoot progresses, so the team can be certain they are on the right track.

The stylist brings all the clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry that fit the concept and will have several options for last minute switch-ups.  The stylist also pins, stitches, clips, irons, tapes, and alters the styling to fit perfectly for the purposes of the shot.   The makeup artist and hair stylist are given a mood or inspiration board, and it typically takes two hours to transform the model into the “look” that fits the storyline for the shoot. 

For each shot the model and photographer work to compose the image, whether it is a static, posed shot, or if the model needs to repeat a specific movement.  Add in the changing lighting conditions, wind, or other variables in a shot such as waves, crowds, or vehicles, and each shot must be done like choreographed routine when shooting on location.  And normally the team shoots eight such images in a day for a magazine editorial.  The production team must be creative, good collaborators, proficient, and flexible to get it all done in a day.  Catalogue shoots might rotate models and shoot twenty “looks” per day.  Advertising projects might have an illustrated storyboard for the shoot, and the team is then  led by an art director. 

After each shoot is completed, the images are edited by the fashion or beauty editor and the photographer, to choose the best shots to tell the story.  These images then proceed to the post-production stage to be manipulated and retouched.  Hair out of place or skin imperfections?  Gone.  The dress blew in an odd way when the model moved?  Corrected.  Less than idea lighting conditions?  Brightened.  Tourists looking on at the edge of the frame?  Out.  Model’s eyes too small, legs too thick, hair not full enough?  Altered.  Colors too dull?  Enhanced.

It takes a team of top professionals to create the best possible images on set, and then the image is still manipulated to be optimal and void of any “imperfections”.  This is the case in nearly all photo productions.  How can anyone without all this creative help ever achieve these type of images?
So don’t compare yourself, or judge, or feel inadequate when you see your photos and feel they fall short.  Do your best and be your most amazing self.  Practice what looks good for you in photos.  Try filters, but not all the time.  There is nothing “wrong” or “less” about being yourself. 

When I started modeling there was no photo-shopping of images after they were completed. We used black and white Polaroids to check the light and the details. Yes, we still had a team, and it was so gratifying to see my pictures later knowing how hard we all worked together to make it happen.  We appreciated the efforts so much more.  It was me!  It was real!  Technology has trained our brains to expect perfection in images – and in ourselves – but it is not a true representation of reality.  No one can measure up to these standards. 

I have many posts on this blog to show you from my perspective as a model how to put your best face forward and pose like a star in photos!

Instant tricks to improve your phone photos!  But first - let me take a selfie! Real supermodel tips

Natural light is the easiest way to get the most flattering photos. When you are outside, position your head so that you can feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Learn more about how to find the perfect light outside {HERE} Lesson #1 - Soft lighting is a girl's best friend!

It's pretty easy to "put a smile on your face" - read this post to make sure it at least "LOOKS" genuine because you can definitely tell when it's not. {HERE} How to smile for a photo - No cheese please!

Use makeup to enhance your beauty and create illusions with highlighting and contouring. This is a trick celebrity makeup artists have used for years for flawless perfection in a photo. Learn how to do it yourself {HERE} Contouring is the New Photoshop #NoFilter!

Practice. Practice. Practice. Moving in front of the camera is easy - Learn how the pros do it {HERE} How to move for a photo like a model!

❤            ❤           ❤ ❤           

My book “Face This: Real Advicefrom Real Models on How to Become Picture Perfect!: A Model’s Secrets”  gives in-depth tips and photo illustrations to anyone who wants to look better in photos.  In today’s social media world, who doesn’t need this advice?  You can find my book on Amazon!

#modeltips  #modelingadvice  #howtolookbetterinphotos  #magazineeditorials #fashioneditorials  #beautyeditorials #facethis:amodel’ssecrets #shelleygoodstein

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Your Best Swim Suit Shoot Starts Here! Better Pictures on the Beach.

Shooting on the beach in a swimsuit can be one of the most challenging shoots a new model can do, but having a few tricks ready and practiced, can make the experience a lot less stressful and much more successful.

The whole point of doing a swimwear shoot is to show your proportions and how natural you can be without relying on a lot of styling or contrived hair and makeup.   It’s all you!  Make sure you are in great shape before you shoot swimwear so that you can actually use the images in your book – no one is going to retouch you into having an amazing body if you clearly need to go to the gym!

With that in mind, choose a bikini or one-piece that fits properly and does not dig in on the sides making rolls or indentations.  If you aren’t super voluptuous, don’t try to pad yourself up – it never looks good and clients will see it as a drawback. Enhance what you have and own it.  Same goes if you are curvy!  Wearing a suit that fits actually makes your body look better.  Watch where the bottom of the suit hits at the top of your leg to make sure it doesn’t dig in or shorten the visual look of your legs.

If you are a newbie, start by wearing a pair of shorts over your suit like above, until you are comfortable enough to shoot without them.  Or try a sheer cover-up that let’s the light through and catches the breeze and flutters around you – it can be super flattering.

Striking a static pose right away can feel forced and awkward so try movement, such as walking towards or away from the photographer, or twirling around.  This looks much more natural and can get you warmed up. When standing still you must be really aware of your posture and pose.  Model from the top of your head to the tip of your toes as the camera sees all of it, and it all matters.  This takes practice in front of a mirror at home to know your body’s best angles.  Cheating a little to one side is more faltering than shooting straight on, unless you are really fit and can slam-dunk a power pose, staring down the camera.


  • Keep your shoulders down and back so you have a long neck and beautiful collarbones.
  • Arching your back a bit so that you feel it in your lower back makes the legs longer and thinner.
  • Arms should be relaxed and natural.
  • Crossing one knee slightly over the other and touching your ankles together while standing on your toes really lengthens visual look of the legs.

Opening your eyes on a bright beach can be really difficult but there are tricks you can learn that will help you to avoid a scowl

Close your eyes, relax your face, and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth – open your eyes on the exhale and close them after your hear the camera click.  This makes the most gorgeous natural beauty look if you do it correctly.  Practice!

  • Let the photographer count you in, opening your eyes on their cue. "1, 2, 3, OPEN"
  • Shoot in an open shade area if possible, or see if there is someone on set who can hold a “scrim” to provide shade over you while you shoot.
  • Smile!  A big, sincere, gorgeous smile makes a natural squint – and looks great!

You and your photographer are a team and it is in both of your best interests to make beautiful and marketable images.  Choose your photographer carefully, and make sure their esthetic matches yours, when you are choosing for a test shoot. Plan ahead and be on the same page.

Practice at home and learn as you go on the shoot and enjoy it!  If you are tense it won’t work. Have fun with sass and class  ... because it’s not all about your ass, despite what the Kardashian's might have you think!

Best tip from this entire post you must always remember .... SHOULDERS DOWN and be YOU!

Big thank you to Allana Wesley White for the amazing photos - definitely the photographer in the know in Miami! 

Friday, April 29, 2016


It is a model’s obligation to arrive prepped and ready to go for every booking and photo shoot, from hair, skin and nails, to mental attitude. It's
the true sign of a professional model. 

Don't leave things until the night before the shoot but maintain your beauty routine at all times so you are ready to go when the agency calls to say  “you’re booked!”.

  • I recommend shaving fuzz and fine hairs from arms and face. To learn about this technique check out a previous post Women's facial shaving {Here}. If waxing do so at least two days before any shoot and really moisturize your body skin, to avoid redness

  • Avoid alcohol the night before so you don’t have a puffy face that goes for any salty foods too

  • Never try a new product the day before a shoot in case you have a reaction to it! Trust me!  This happened to me from a facemask and I had to shoot a jewelry campaign the next day! Not good.

  • Wash your hair the night before, not the morning of a shoot.  Hair stylists prefer hair slightly dirty as it holds product and style better.  That does not mean having any product already in your hair, or greasy hair.

  • Make sure your haircut, hair color, and hair condition are maintained regularly so you don’t arrive on set with a birds nest for the stylist to deal with

  • Make sure you have clean nails and no colored nail polish and that includes your toes

  • Get a good night’s sleep – woe to the model who parties all night and thinks she can pull off a great booking in the morning – no one is that beautiful – or irreplaceable

  • Pack your bag the night before with nude lingerie including a nude thong, bring your toothpaste/toothbrush, and don't forget energy bars, water, and your phone charger. Even if you are arriving with clean face because a make up artist is booked, always bring the basics - foundation, powder, mascara ... Once I went to an early morning booking and the makeup artist was deathly ill and couldn't make it to the shoot and it the location was far from town in the middle of no-where. Thankfully I had enough to makeup with me to make the job still happen for everyone.

  • Check the call sheet for any other specific things they might ask you to bring - always bring 2 choices if clothing or shoe requests

  • Eat breakfast!  Do not starve!  Models who don’t eat before a shoot because they want a super flat stomach or are just nervous, are fooling themselves.  They have no sustainable energy to last through the shoot and clients and the creative team never have patience for low energy from the model.  Eating a normal breakfast will not be an issue by the time you are shooting, after hair and makeup.

  • Arrive with a clean, moisturized face, without any makeup - sometimes this appears on the call sheet as "clean - clean"  (clean hair, clean face, clean nails

  • Sometimes it will be written on the call sheet "arrive bikini ready" - that means waxed and without any fake tan streaks

Being prepared is in your own best interest in helping create beautiful images which can get you re-booked in the future.  Never assume that the photographer or client will be willing to retouch your roots, shaving stubble or lack of proper hair removal maintenance, ragged nails or cuticles, or the dark circles under your eyes from lack of sleep.  The makeup artist and hair stylist are there to enhance your look and are not there for your beauty upkeep.

My first agent told every model to always arrive fifteen minutes before your call time in case you are lost or can't find the location, or need to use the washroom, or whatever.  When you arrive on set, greet everyone, be respectful, polite, and engaging.  Always ask the protocol regarding social media, selfies on set, and posting.  The booking is not about you but about the client and the project, so be professional.  It's business.  When the shoot is finished, thank everyone on set before you leave.  Remember: today's assistant stylist, editor or photography assistant could be tomorrow's client! Have a great booking!