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Radiance Magazine
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Celebrating 15 Years in Print

Dear Friend,

Though I am no expert in the modeling field, here's what I generally suggest to people who are interested in it . . .

1 Get some good color photos taken of you, headshots and some full body shots, in different kinds of outfits (casual, career, dressy). Do your hair differently in the photos to show the variety of your look. Get a photographer to do a session with you, but don't pay too much. Check out his or her work/portfolio to see if you like their work and are comfortable with them before scheduling an actual photo shoot. Make sure you get all their prices ... like what he or she is going to charge you to make prints after the session... Your session could take 1.5 to 2 hours with a few clothing and hairstyle changes. Take a look at their studio. Get all the details and your agreements in writing.
2 Once you have some good photos, call your local boutiques for large women (or the chain stores) and talk with the manager (or owner). Ask if they do in-store fashion shows or events where they use models. Tell them about yourself. See if she/he wants you to send a photo or two to them for consideration, or if they'd like to set up an appointment to meet you, have you try on their clothing, etc. Models ought to get reimbursed in some way or other. It is not always financial, depending on the store, designer, or the situation. Think about what you're willing to do this for and talk it over with the owner/manager. Sometimes models get clothing in trade for their time and efforts and work. Sometimes you take a job for the experience and exposure, and to add some good photos to your portfolio. Sometimes models are paid in cash (or part cash and part clothing).

Find out if the store does print advertising -- they might need a model for their ads. If they are a manufacturer of plus-size clothing, they might be in need of "fit models" for various sizes of clothes.

3 There are at least a few books on the market which I think might be helpful to check out. These two came out in 1997 I think -- check them out and get more good information on the plus-size modeling industry. Catherine Schuller is the author of The Ultimate Plus Size Modeling Guide (she was a plus-size model with the Ford Agency in NY for awhile) and Suzan Nanfeldt is the author of Plus Size Style.

Women over a size 18 are still experiencing prejudice in the modeling field. Ms. Schuller states in the article that "the most requested size is 14, since the camera tends to add visual weight, the smaller sizes generally get the most work." In addition, Ms. Schuller also suggests that "if you fall outside the standard size and height ranges, you might find more work by booking directly with clients."

Keep in touch! Good luck and take care.

Alice
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-Alice Ansfield, publ.

 

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