The making of a Starr... SarahStarr of Model Mayhem.
For many of you that know me or have worked with me, you know how much I enjoy interviewing others. Especially prior to working with new talent. Recently I connected with an aspiring model new to the local scene: SarahStarr. No doubt as noted in her bio, she's looking to broaden her horizon through modeling & acting and connecting with others. So while in discussion of our first photo shoot, I took time to ask, just what aspires one to model? Her answers intrigued me so much, I was compelled to create this week's blog post from our interview. So with no further delay, let's meet local aspiring model/actress: SarahStarr.
What aspired you to begin (modeling, acting, singing, writing) ?
Well let's see...what has inspired me to go for me dreams...I would say myself! My whole life I have been pushed by most of my family to become a doctor and for a long time I was actually pursuing it! One day I looked around and realized that wasn't where I truly wanted to be. I had to refine myself as a person recently and remind myself that I can do anything and that I only get one shot in life to go for my dreams so I'm trying to make it count!
What are ways you feel Todd Matherne Photography & Promotions will benefit your goals?
I believe that your services could definitely benefit me by helping me expand my portfolio and connect with others!
When you picture yourself in front of a lens, what do you see in your mind?
When I picture myself in front of a lens, in my mind I picture pure entertainment! (Not to sound conceded but) I am a multi talented person that could entertain even the toughest of critics with looks or personality!
How many opportunities have you had to (model, perform, sing, write) etc... ?
I have had multiple opportunities to show my talent, I've been in a local musical, done a few photo shoots, walked in a fashion show, had my poems published in school, and I've been in a few plays however I am really trying hard to continue to build my portfolio!
When are you generally most available, weekdays or weekends? Mornings or afternoons?
I am very flexible however right now my schedule is sort of tight because I am a full time student. I'm currently free mid-week and on the weekends. Hopefully after this semester ends I will have a lot more free time to work with for the summer!
Picture Your Way To Success
I'm going to open up this blog with a couple of quotes we've shared with many we've represented talent wise...
"A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success." - Joyce Brothers
"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do." - Pele
It all starts with recognizing your own talents! Once you define yourself and begin to showcase your talents, those around you will begin take recognition. When you're able to picture your way to success within your talents, others will too.
5 Steps to Getting Talents Discovered
Once you develop a plan of action and overall direction, we highly recommend following these 5 steps to succeed within your talents...
1. Network, Network, Network! We cannot express this enough. Making what you do a priority, requires communicating with like-minded people through social media marketing and in person meetings.
2. Find representation! This is something we are strong advocates in, as Todd Matherne Photography & Promotions continues to provide this service to a wide variety of local talent.
3. A must have is what we like to call..."Tools of the Trade!" For example, if you're an Actress, you'll need Headshots, Talent Resume, Website, Agent and Acting Classes just to name a few. Musicians will need Demo CD's, Music Equipment, Band Members, and so on. Own your craft, study, and stay fresh. No matter what your talent, all require some form of Representation!
4. Brand yourself, your name, and your talent! Become a household name! One way to do that, is to have the same representation of yourself across every social media outlet and within everyone you know.
5. Stay professional at all cost. Always present your talents as exactly what they are and nothing less. When you do, you'll gain an abundance of recognition.
What's Your Talent? What Steps Do You Take To Get Recognition?
This is our favorite part of the blog. Where we get to hear from you! Thank you for taking time to read. We hope you gained a wealth of knowledge invaluable today. Respond below with your talents and steps to recognition! 👍🏻💯😃
Editorial & Marketing Assistant of TMPP
Historic Photographer & Photojournalist
What is Promotional Modeling?
Many aspiring and professional models often ask us the same. A promotional model actively engages potential customers to sell a product or service. They frequently attend conventions, trade shows and many other special events. Since they are interacting with others, promotional models are different from print, runway, and other types of models. Their main function is to provide both information and entertainment. In addition, they raise awareness of the brands being promoted. The overall goal is to increase product sales. One of their most important duties is to attract attention, and to know the product or service being presented.
Just ask Chas, our newest addition to TMPP! When asked that same question, she said... "I believe it is putting a face with a name. To do your best to meet the requirements for the client, brand or business that you are representing. Much like acting, you can build a character to suit the needs of the "team." It's about becoming a part of the process, not only being the face, but knowing and being able to speak on behalf of what it is you are representing. So yes, it's important to know the company and their services."
Photo credit: TC Imaging.
Casting Calls? What We Do and Why!
Prior to each new year, Todd Matherne creates a casting call for Todd Matherne Photography & Promotions, "Promotional Model & Representative" of the year for both Model Mayhem and other social media outlets. From there, I then expansively share these resources across all online channels. All information is collected, from questionnaires to pictures. We collaborate to review each candidate and choose the one that best fits our qualifications. This is also based on the overall goals for #TMPP, and how that promotional model will benefit our company and themselves. Casting is the icing on the cake!
Chas: From Thunder Roads Magazine to TMPP! What's Next?
First, let's hear her path to success...
"Never give up on your hopes and dreams. Obstacles may appear, but you must push forward. As a young girl I had the model dream seed planted by my family. Unfortunately, I stopped growing before I reached the average model height. As I got older, I was introduced to theater and acting. At that point, there was never anything else in life I could imagine doing. The entertainment world and in front of the camera is the only option. I have an amazing 10 year old son who not only is my life, but also my motivation to succeed. I have worked in the Louisiana Film Industry for over five years. I started in background, I've done stand in work and had speaking roles, with John Schneider Studios. I want to make everyone I know and love proud and show them anything really is possible."
Photo credit: Dos
You can clearly see why we selected Chas as TMPP's 2017 "Promotional Model & Representative" of the year! In addition to her own endeavors...she will highlight our business Facebook page, represent the DJ/Karaoke service and receive a multitude of promotional material. We are looking forward to a great and productive year!
Staying Tuned In?
This year is full of new opportunities for TMPP. Stay tuned to expansive promo endeavors for our DJ/Karaoke service with Robert Brown "DJ Slip" and Kevin Roberts "KR Productions!" A new feature this year is "Business Consulting." Mostly, let's give a warm welcome to Chas! 2017 Promotional Model of the Year! No matter what your needs are, it's all right here! Leave us a Like and Comment below. We want to hear from you!
Photo credit: Aaron Fellhoelter
Editorial & Marketing Assistant
Writer, Historic Photographer, Actress & Singer
Todd Matherne Photography & Promotions
Todd Matherne Photography & Promotions is please to announce this year's annual Biloxi trip on Oct. 29th. Here's just a few images from last year's journey including images from Mobile, Al.
Recently I polled the following question to local photographers, "If you could write a 90 day start up plan for an aspiring model, what would you include within your plan? The responses were overwhelming. I've categorized everyone's opinion into these following steps:
Give them the chip, not the whole bag!
DeeDee Thompson writes...
Remember, modeling is an art!
Begin with a "Mood" board. One can be easily created and shared via sites such as Pinterest. Outline the theme and color selection with the creative team (Photog, MU&H, Wardrobe, Etc). So many don't realize that the color scheme of the session makes a difference.
Meet with each key player (in person, Phone, E-Mail, Etc) at least twice. Once to discuss the concept and to finalize and verify the session. Nothing is worst than to plan on a Green & Red color palette and the model arrives with Blue & Yellow. That will cost you "Time and Money". Have at least 3-4 location options. The team will need to know if they can carry out their duties on location (Lights, Power, Changing Rooms, Etc).
Lastly, remember that if this is your session, you are responsible for the execution. You must have a trusted team by your side. No team, no problem but you must ask for assistance from someone who understands your needs and desires.
Proceed with caution!
Invest in yourself!
Jon B Barry says "be prepared to spend $30k"
So in summary here's my take on it. Being prepared is always key. There's nothing more enjoyable than working with an aspiring model that's on time, prepped and an agile within posing. It's important for the photographer to offer direction and the model, suggestions.
Upon completion of your photo session, network your images as if you were applying for a job. Think of that select image (up to 3 max) as your resume. I've had more success with one picture published at key times. (Check previous blog post on best times to post on Facebook).
Finally, take caution and always research the respected photographer. Ask questions and request for references from other models. This will ensure you are working with a professional regardless of the compensation. And as mentioned, have fun!
A word from the author: The information contained within this blog is expressed written consent from each respected photographer. These are their personal opinions based on experience and professionalism within their respected field of expertise. Todd Matherne Photography & Promotions neither denies or affirms the content within this blog post.
You have to start somewhere! Why not here?
Do you have an interest in the movie industry? Are you looking for a right place to start? I'm going to share my experiences and advise with you. You'll also hear view points and invaluable information from a few friends in the movie industry.
Ever since the age of 4, I knew that my lifelong dream was to perform. As my parents watched their favorite shows, such as "The Carol Burnett Show, I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners"...I would extensively study and act out the character scenes. I would sing commercial jingles and attempted to be their daily entertainment. Yes, it was quite a hilarious sight! That carried into adulthood, where the stage and set is now my second home!
In September 2011, I began to reach out to several casting agencies. By October that year, I was cast as an Extra for background work in the movie, "Thunderstruck." From that point, I received countless movie and commercial opportunities with every casting agency across the state. That Extra work lead to Featured Roles, Body Doubles, Stand In, auditions for main roles, Inspirational Speaking and Life Coaching. From those castings, I've also been contacted by Producers and Directors across the country. It's been quite the adventure, and looking forward to further endeavors along the way.
Now that I've shared my experiences with you, are you ready for some exciting news?
You now have one central spot for all casting! "My Casting File" www.MyCastingFile.com
That's right! One spot where you can sign up for FREE and even *Upgrade to Pro* for only $24 a year. I highly recommend doing this, as you can add more content and improve your chances of being cast. Another word of advise is to get a Talent Agent and Professional Headshots! So, you're ready to be an Extra?
Now's your chance to hear from these select few...
"Stay vigilant. Learn as much as possible. Don't approach talent when on set. Make sure you get professional head-shots from a head-shot photographer. I have shot over 600 actors and know exactly what casting wants. There's so much more... When you sign up for a class with me, you'll learn everything you need to know!"
Owner and Operator of AMP'D Studio
A Full Service Photography & Videography Company in New Orleans. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shot.by.steve/
"If you have ever been interested in acting, being a movie star or background actor...it's a great place to start. It's fun and you get paid. This is how I started my journey into acting and I must say that I do love it. Many people think you have to take expensive acting classes that can cost up to thousands for modeling agencies.
"Package deals" that usually tell everybody they can make them a star. Don't fall for it. These are scams. Never pay up front fees to get into movie extra work. Many real casting agents and agencies post calls for movie extra work on their websites, and many use Facebook. Yes that's right, Facebook! You can also check Craigslist under gigs or Talent gigs. This is the best way to start. Remember, real agencies never require an upfront fee. Once you have made it onto the movie sets, remember to network - network - network and do not be afraid to ask questions! Before you know it, you'll be a pro and on the road to being a professional actor.
Michelle Torres, Actress
The Next Step...
From informative advise and tips to contact resources, you're now one step closer to being cast as an Extra! So, make your next move and get some professional head shots made. You're going to need those along your way. I highly recommend Steve Hammond, as he knows the movie industry inside and out. Not to mention, the top quality you'll receive! Next, go to www.MyCastingFile.com and register. Communicate with others doing the same, and ask questions. You'll be surprised by the wealth of information you can gain from other like-minded professionals in the industry. Do you want to pursue an acting career? If so, you will need those professional head shots more than ever and a Talent Agent. In next Saturday's Blog, we'll cover agency search do's and dont's.
For those beginning your journey as an Extra or in your acting career, I hope you've found this blog to be insightful. Now, I'd like to open
this blog up to any questions or other information you'd like to share. Ok? Ready, Set, Go. Like & Comment below...
Actress, Singer & Writer
Editorial & Marketing Assistant
Todd Matherne Photography & Promotions
The eyes have it! In this week's blog post, I'm going to cover another one of my pet peeves...catchlight.
So, what exactly is catchlight? A “catchlight" is simply the highlight of a light source reflected off the surface of the eye. This highlight adds depth and dimension to the eye, and gives the eyes life in a portrait or snapshot.
In this short blog post, I'll share light sources that easily produce catchlight including:
featured photo Cathy Imson's Images
Catchlight has existed long before any of our DLSR cameras or cameras for that matter. See the portrait painters of that time, knew where to place that little white reflection of light above the iris. While many argue the placement between either 11:00 to 1:00 o'clock or 10:00 - 2:00 o'clock, this I know ; Without some degree of catchlight, your model or client will appear like the walking dead. Not the most flattering when trying to have your images stand out, right?
So, what do I do with my hands? You are the model and this is your first photo shoot. You arrive early, makeup on point and having your best hair day. You greet the photographer and begin posing for a few test shots. Now, chemistry is building and the photographer is asking you to make slight adjustments with your eyes, smile and body language. You start to notice that you feel a little awkward, as your hands seem to just dangle. "Does the positioning of my hands affect the picture?", You ask yourself, "After all, the photographer will tell me what to do, right?" Very possible if the photographer knows the rules, yet what if this is his or her first shoot? Perhaps it's best everyone has a basic understanding of posing. Let's start...
There are over thirty five different rules for creating a great pose from the eyes to the feet, where to crop and so on. In this blog post, I'm going to cover one of my greatest pet peeves; the hands. Have you ever seen an image of a beautiful model, yet she looked a little masculine? Or just the opposite, a very muscular man though something didn't seem quite right? As simple as tilting the head and hands may make all the difference.
OK, great! So again, where do I place or how do I place my hands? A general rule to start with, is to always keep your hands on different plains. In the image to the left the model has one side placed on her thigh and the other open hand at the base of her hair. Each hand is illustrating her "feminine" side. Which lead's us to our next topic. Feminine or masculine?
The Feminine Hand Rule.
Of all the rules, the hand rules for me is where the art in my personal images begins. It then is followed by the eyes. In the image to the right, each hand is on different plains as discussed. Secondly, the open side of the right hand is placed to the camera along with pinky side of her left hand. This creates a very natural looking feminine look. If the thumb shows, the thumb would then be curved.
When photographing female models, unless you are demonstrating power (fitness, karate, holding tools, etc.)...generally, you'll keep the front and sides of the hands to the camera rather than the back. Hence, feminine. Do you see now where the hands create a softness to the image?
The Masculine Hand Rule.
Since I became educated in hand placement, I also became very conscious of my own hand positions. When being photographed or even a selfie, I make best effort to display the backside of my hand. This gives a male model a more masculine look, as generally that's what you are shooting for. Depending on the message you wish to send, the sides of a male hand will follow the same rules as a female. For me and I'll leave this here, I prefer the backside or knuckle side when taking pictures unless I'm holding an object, eye glasses or etc...
and just a slight tilt of the head...
How valuable is your time?
You've heard the ole saying, "time is money?"
In this week's blog post, we are going to focus on effective time management. I mean let's face it, every time you turn around another social media channel is being created. When is enough; enough? Text message, voice messages, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram & Twitter. What ever happen to just having a website & email address?
How does one keep up? How do you manage all of these channels effectively? Let's face it, you have a life too, right? Do you feel your anxiety starting to build? That's where this week's story begins. How to utilize technology to make better use of your time.
Arrange, organize & prioritize!
It wasn't long after I came into the auto sales industry, I learned my first sales word, a "lead". In today's world, over 90% of car buyers shop online. They browse popular websites, they enter their information (inquiry) and submit. As a professional salesman, my position is to then determine which are qualified to buy or a qualified lead. In a days time I effectively manage over 100 leads because they are all arranged, organized and prioritized.
OK, so I'll leave the car sales for my day job.
Let's begin, you wake up on a Saturday morning, you have Facebook messages, text messages you notice your inbox is full. How do you prioritize who you respond to first? How do you keep up?
As mentioned, the first step is to arrange your contacts "leads". I mean, the majority of these messages are people wanting to hire you, right? If not, we'll cover that later down the road. How to prospect! OK, so here are a few suggestions. I recommend searching for task management apps or utilizing your existing calendar program, such as Google ICal, Outlook or the likes. There's plenty task management tools out there.
In it's most simplest form, your smart phone probably has this capability such as daily reminders, calendar and contacts. I take it a little further. I used a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) application called Insightly. I'm currently using the free version which allows up to 3 users, 2000 records and 200mb of storage. Even with weekly activity I'm a ways from a paid subscription; though missing out on email campaign capabilities. Choose what's best for you.
So, great! You've now learned how to arranged this wealth of information coming at you. It's time to organize. This leads us to the most effective time management tool there is. Now last yet not least, you need to arrange time to manage this. This is what I call administration day, as many of you reading this have seen on Facebook. Primarily this day is Monday's for me.
I created a generic agenda and chose Monday. The first day of the week. See, given I'm involved in entertainment, I'm generally very busy towards the weekend. Mondays for me is my most productive day of the week. Great, what about my day? Maybe for you a Saturday works better or even a Wednesday, regardless of which day it is, the process will be the same. Alright Todd, great so what do I do next?
So, in my day planner under notes, I've created an agenda that I follow every week. Here's a sample of how yours may look.
Of course you would create an agenda that is tailored to you. You may be more active in other social channels. This is a generic template that I use. Notice that finances is part of this? This may look similar to a content calendar though for me it's more of an agenda. I generally start out by opening multiple tabs from a desktop computer. Given I'm also involved with booking management, this is a guideline to keep on track with my goals. An uninterrupted morning is typically 2-3 hours.
So, you've now received leads through out the week. You've learned how to organize them and even established a specific time weekly to focus. Now it's time to prioritize. For this, I'll let you decide which is priority to you as you may have offers that either include income or opportunities for exposure. Both have significant value! Remember, Time is Money! Stay tuned for more blog post each week, as I dive deeper into using Social Media more effective to network, prospect and get hired.
Models featured: Faith Webster, Ashley Bush. Photography by Brian Wright Photography.
"I want to be a model!".
Often I receive inquiries that goes something like this "... all my friends tell me I should try modeling, so I thought I would give it a shot". No doubt it's a great ambition to always want to expand your talents though, how does one get started? In my humbled opinion, before you even step in front of a camera perhaps ask yourself, "What am I honestly trying to achieve?" Are you looking to be America's next top model or are you seeking local compensated opportunities including promotional modeling, local department stores or modeling for a credited photographer?
So, rather than just continue to ramble my thoughts, I've polled this exact question on Facebook and received a wealth of information. So here's what a few members of several popular groups had to say...
From a photographer's eye...
"A recent credited photographer Andrew Askew wrote, Great topic (working on a similar Blog topic), anyway, here are some areas of concern.
So, are you ready to be a model? I hope you enjoyed everyone's input and this short blog post on things to consider to be the next top model. In closing, here's a little snippet of input. You are the product, so sell yourself first! ~Todd Matherne Photography & Promotions