Top Ten Modeling Tips for Aspiring Models

  1. Whether you’re just starting out as a model or you’re an experienced pro, you should always feel comfortable modeling. Before any shoot, you should either have a phone call or a sit-down meeting (in a public place) with your photographer to discuss the shoot. Always always always bring an escort to a photo shoot. The majority of photographers should feel comfortable with this providing that your escort keeps their distance and doesn’t interfere. If a photographer insists you come alone, simply don’t go. Safety should always come first.
  2. Do your research before working with ANYONE. Make sure they are credible and professional. Check references. You should also make sure their work is up to your standards and will portray you in a way that you want to be portrayed.
  3. Always be prepared and come on-time to your photo shoots. This is extremely important in setting the right tone for the shoot. Typically, money is on the line and you don’t want the photographer, client, and the rest of the crew frustrated at you from the get-go. Shoots typically are a lot more successful when there is a good vibe all-around.
  4. Communication is key! You never want to show up to a shoot when you and your photographer are not on the same page; it can cause unnecessary tension if you have different expectations. If you are NOT okay with lingerie, implied, nude, etc, make that 100% clear so there is no confusion. Be aware that your body, your photos, and your portfolio is your brand. If you’re not comfortable with nude or implied, it should be respected. Do not let anyone try to sway you with money.
  5. Know the poses for the genre of your shoot. Poses can be quite different in each genre of photography. For example, glamour poses are quite different from fashion poses. Practice in front of a mirror. Your preparation can make all the difference on whether the photographer decides to work with you again. You can find a number of posing guides online and in books to help you prepare.
  6. Networking- the more people you know in the industry, the more likely you are of finding work or being discovered. Always keep an eye out for new agents, photographers, or other pros in the modeling industry. Reach out to others and compliment them on their work, inquire about working with them, and so forth. Most importantly, follow up. Following up is key to keeping yourself fresh in the minds of others, which in turn will keep you at the head of the line for job opportunities.
  7. Know the ins and outs of your industry. Just like about any other profession, the more you know, the more you’re worth. So read up on everything you can and listen to other pros in the industry. Know the names of agencies, photographers, designers, and other industry influencers. Know what’s trending. Know what things cost and how much others are being paid for their work. Become a student of your profession and you will find yourself ever more confident and successful.
  8. Arrange your portfolio with your favorite 6-12 professional photos. By using 6-12 photos, you can show multiple looks but still keep it simple. Get feedback from photographers or agents on what to include and what to take out. Remember to only showcase your best work. A good rule of thumb is to always have quality over quantity.
  9. Don’t be afraid to knock down doors! Going into agencies during an open call is a great way to get noticed and get feedback. Always ask for honest feedback on your portfolio. If you are turned away, don’t get discouraged. Different agencies are looking for different looks. You will probably hear multiple no’s before you hear a yes.
  10. Social Media IconsSocial media is huge for agencies right now. Agencies such as IMG are conducting social media scouting with the hashtag #WLYG. Ford Model Management does “Fresh Face Friday” where you can submit a selfie for a chance to be scouted. Many agencies also include on their Instagram pages where they’ll be scouting. Following agencies is a great way to stay informed with what they’re looking for and where they’re looking.Here is a list of agencies you may want to follow: @nextmodels @fordmodelsscout @weloveyourgenes (IMG), @wilhelminamodels. Some agencies have Instagram pages specific to the area such as Next Models Miami with the handle, @nextmodelsmia. Go to your favorite agency’s website to find more social media links.
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Creating the Makeup Effect for a Greaser Inspired Shoot

By Natalia Zurawska, professional makeup/hair/spfx artist

Although I have been involved in a number of great projects over the years, one of my recent favorites was a greaser-style shoot with the rock band, Hedley. Besides working with Hedley, one of the things that made this shoot so special was a top notch team including Matt Barnes (photographer), Courtney Boyd (producer), and Dwayne Kennedy (wardrobe stylist).

There is a lot that goes into the production of a large-scale photo shoot. Time is money and the shoot must run smoothly. Communication is very important, so budgets, looks, location and scheduling were all discussed at a pre-production meeting for this shoot took place. At the end of the day, we needed to put together a well-executed shoot and produce something awesome.

At the pre-production meeting, Matt Barnes explained the lighting, how the shots were going to be organized as well as what looks he liked for us to go with. From my end, I relayed to the producer my requirements that all of the models come with clean, dry hair, no makeup and no nail polish.

Image Courtesy of

The theme for this photo shoot was very “Greasers” inspired. Once learning about this, I researched a lot of 50’s looks that would compliment the concept. I also needed to go with great looks that could be done in the shortest amount of time with lasting power as there were 3 locations and some of the shots were outdoors. I watched the movie “Grease” for reference.

On the shoot day, Dwayne, the models, Hedley, and Courtney all got organized. Since all the shots were group shots and everyone was a “hero” (no background talent), it meant we all had to work well and quickly as a team. Dwayne would take certain models and dress them while I started on hair.

Hot roller sets for this shoot were essential. They heat up quickly and are very easy to put into the hair. Also, while the hair sets, I am able to start on makeup. Adding mousse and hairspray before setting the hair not only protects hair from heat, it makes curls last and gets rid of frizz. Using different sizes of rollers creates different textures, all while fitting into the “Greasers” theme perfectly. Smaller sized hot rollers are perfect for short hair while larger sized rollers are perfect for longer hair. I use Conair© ( hot rollers and TRESemmé ( mousse and hair spray.

I also like to make sure the hands, skin, and feet (if showing) are perfect. I quickly painted the nails red to complete the look while the hair was setting before starting on makeup application. “I’m a Waitress” by O.P.I ( was the perfect shade for the nails.

For a 50’s inspired look, a paler complexion looks great. Since some of the shots were outdoors on a summer day, I made sure to apply sunblock as sunburns can develop quickly. Applying sunblock first allows time for it to get absorbed into the skin. I prefer sunblock from Dermalogica® ( If the model has great, pale skin, I tend to add as little makeup as possible as I really believe in “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” A little bit of concealer under the eyes goes a very long way. If extra coverage is needed, Face Atelier Ultra Foundation Pro ( is my go to for flawless results. I dot on a little concealer after foundation and blend, in order not to wipe it away. Powder is always a necessity to reduce shine. It is also important for setting the foundation and concealer. I typically go with Cover FX ( for powder.

Brows are groomed, shaped and stray hairs are tweezed if needed. I then fill them in if necessary and make them look as symmetrical as possible. I love Gimme Brow by Benefit (

Image Courtesy of The Huffington Post

Dita Von Teese was a great example of the makeup and hair we wanted to fit the theme of the shoot. I always apply a primer or concealer on the eyelid. It helps makeup stay put for hours. I then begin to apply a neutral eye shadow to the lid. The lightest shade of eye shadow will go in the inner part of the eyes as it really makes eyes pop. The darkest colour of eye shadow is applied to the outer edges of the eyes. False lashes are a necessity for this look. I apply them as close to the eye line as possible and finish with eyeliner. I used eye shadow (Vanilla, Semoa Silk, and Brun) and Eyelashes (#20) by MAC ( For eye liner, I used the “Noir” color from Crème Eye Liner by Laura Mercier (

A little blush on the apples of the cheeks balances out the whole look. I used the radiance blush in Romantic Rose from Elizabeth Arden (

Red lips are a must for this look. To make sure the lipstick stays pristine, I apply a red lip liner all over the lips, followed by lipstick in the same shade. I make sure the lips are symmetrical and filled in using a lip brush as it provides a lot more control and keeps everything hygienic. Using a little bit of powder around the mouth sets the makeup and prevents lipstick from bleeding. I used MAC’s Russian Red (

The rollers are taken out last and hair is brushed and sprayed. I use bobby pins and a few accessories to perfect the style.

In the diner shot, a litte bit of “theatrical dirt” adds to the look. Grease and glycerin and water are used to create the look of sweat on the cook.

Hedley was groomed with a little sunblock, concealer and powder. Hair was styled to perfection. Tattoos are emphasized by using a little bit of baby oil gel. John Travolta in “Grease” was a perfect reference for the look they wanted.

Once makeup, hair, nails and the body are all completed, I create a touch up kit to bring with me on location. I like to keep brushes and makeup in different Ziploc bags to keep everything hygienic. I also include hairspray, bobby pins, brushes, sunblock as well as covered straws (prevents lipstick from smearing when drinking). Bringing little fans when it is hot does wonders to keep everyone happy.

While Matt worked his magic behind the camera, I did touch ups as needed . Once the shoot was wrapped, I made sure everyone got a wipe or some face wash.

All and all, the shoot went really well and the final images turned out great.

Happy Shooting!

Natalia Zurawska (Makeup Artist) –
Matt Barnes (Photographer) –
Courtney Boyd (Producer) –
Dwayne Kennedy (Wardrobe Stylist) –
Hedley –

Greaser Style Shot with Hedley in front of Orange Building

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Q&A with Model – Jade Amber (OMP ID: 406737)

Portrait Bikini Photo of Jade AmberIf you aren’t familiar with the incredibly beautiful and talented Jade Amber (OMP ID: 406737), it’s time to take notice. Jade has been an OMP member since 2009 and is a true success story. Not only is she a fantastic model, she is a true pro in the industry. A model that any photographer or client would be lucky to work with.

We managed to get a few minutes out of her busy schedule to pick her brain about her modeling career.

OMP: Thanks so much for answering our questions today! So to start, how long have you been modeling for?
JADE: Thanks for having me! I’ve been modeling for about thirteen lovely years now.

OMP: How did you get into modeling?
JADE: I entered an LA Looks Hair Gel Contest out of a Teen Magazine and I placed in the top fifteen out of two hundred and fifty thousands girls and I was one of the ten that wasn’t selected, but LA models signed me and started flying my mom and me to and from LA! Awesome experience for a young girl.

Are you currently signed with anyone?
JADE: I am non-exclusive with a few agencies and am getting ready to sign with Wilhelmina.

OMP: What do you do as far as diet and exercise?
JADE: I do 6 days a week of working out with at least 30 minutes of cardio. I eat very clean, lots of greens and chicken.

OMP: Has OMP been beneficial to your modeling career?
JADE: Absolutely! OMP has helped me meet some amazing people in the industry who have booked me for work or who have referred me to others for work.

Black and White Bikini Shot of Jade AmberOMP: What is a perfect photographer like for you?
JADE: Someone who is professional in their career and strives for success as I do. A photographer that can see a vision beyond just a beautiful woman.

OMP: If you could go back and start all over again, would you?
JADE: I would not, I’ve been very blessed with the people who have supported me and I know this is only the beginning for me (big smile).

OMP: Do you do anything before a shoot to prepare?
JADE: Yes, I search out concepts and investigate who I will be working with just to make sure they’re on the level. I also crack down on my eating and working out prior to.

OMP: Where would your dream shoot be?
JADE: I’ve always wanted to shoot in Greece. I have no doubts that it will happen (big smile).

OMP: Where is the coolest place you’ve ever shot?
JADE: Absolutely would be South Africa!! So amazing! A two week journey and the adventure of my life!

OMP: Have you ever been scammed? Do you have any tips to avoid scammers?
JADE: I can’t say that I have. I’m very particular with who I work with and I do a lot of research.

OMP: Do you bring an escort to your shoots?
JADE: I have, but not always and I try to never take a boyfriend, it can be conflicting.

OMP: Have you ever dealt with an inappropriate photographer? If so, how did you know it was time to leave?
JADE: I can’t really remember a time, but if I had to deal with that, I would just be professional, do my job then address it afterwards. If it’s too inappropriate, I’d have to address it then and if the shoot ended over it, then so be it. If you’re not professional, I’d rather not work with you.

OMP: Do you have any tips for a model who is just getting started?
JADE: Be careful what you shoot and who you shoot with. Do your research on the photographer and make sure that you’ll be safe.

OMP: Thanks so much for talking with us today, we really appreciate it!
JADE: Thank you!

To see more of Jade’s work, view her profile here, , or go to her website at

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Controversey and Plus Size Modeling

Until recently, the typical 5’9” / 100 lbs model was the only consideration for any major swimsuit campaign. However, the demand for plus size models rises every day. With major magazine companies like Sports Illustrated showcasing plus sized models such as Robyn Lawley, society loves the body-positive statement Sports Illustrated and Robyn are making. What society doesn’t love is that Sports Illustrated labels Robyn as plus size.

(Image credit: Sports Illustrated)

Robyn is a plus size model signed to Wilhelmina, Milk Management and Bella Models. She is 6’2” and a size 12. Although many may believe how wonderful it is of Sports Illustrated to have finally included a plus size model in their magazine, a huge majority of the population is criticizing Sports Illustrated for calling Robyn “plus size”. Robyn’s 6’2″ / size 12 frame is actually very healthy for her height. Her size to height ratio is average among women in the U.S. Labeling Robyn as a plus size model has sparked much outrage. We imagine that had Robyn been 5’5″ and a size 12, she wouldn’t be gracing the cover of SI. Despite her clothing size, Robyn’s height makes her size proportional. Since the average American woman is a size 14, stating Robyn as a plus size model insinuates that the average American woman is either plus size or overweight.

Despite the controversy surrounding Sports Illustrated, Robyn has still been able to use her celebrity and grace to relay a positive message. Robyn has launched her own plus size swimwear line in sizes 8-18 (U.S). She is giving girls and women all over the world the confidence they need to be comfortable with their bodies. Robyn is redefining beauty. She promotes body positivity on her social media: “Why are we so focused on having the girl fit the clothes rather than the clothes fit the girl?” She has been nominated for rookie of the year for Sports Illustrated, and they refuse to label her as a plus sized model after all of the backlash received after introducing her as the first “plus size” model. Her title now is simply, model. Robyn does not consider herself a plus size model; “I just consider myself a model because I’m trying to help women in general accept their bodies” the model told Time. Not only has the model created swimwear for larger women, but also has requested certain designers to change their samples to bigger sizes.

(Image credit: Cosmopolitan Australia)

Robyn’s body positive outlook and focus on health will hopefully break the industry standard of the extremely skinny model. More importantly, we hope that she can inspire young girls and women to love themselves in the skin they’re in.

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Grunge Fashion: The Attitude

Written by – Stephan Pisko, M.mpL. – Metaphysical Photographic Life- OMP#25261

Grunge Image #1The grunge look is a little more difficult to pull off if you don’t possess the ‘honest attitude’ it’s harder to do than it visually seems and some personalities’ are just more suited to execute the ‘grunge look’ than most. It is not about protesting anti-fashion it’s about ‘who you are’ do you know yourself honestly ‘are you that attitude ?’ same is true in casting a film: ‘Is that the right role for that particular character and personality ‘. Everything must click personally and honestly or it just looks like some person wearing used ratty grungy type clothing so ‘out of place’ that it looks feels absurdly stupid.

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana notoriety pushed the grunge phenomenon to full fruition he was the correct personality and character for this ‘uncreated look’ it just developed on it’s own Kurt did not place (or) force any intent in creating this fashion movement he usually slept over at his friends’ places’ with his clothes on which I feel aided in the unknowing development of the grunge look blended with his stamped lifestyle of ‘come as you are’ not ‘as you aren’t’.

Grunge Fashion Image 2

Grunge is ‘normal working class’ creativity. It birthed out of the small working hero town of Aberdeen, Washington, Kurt Cobain’s hometown, not 5th Avenue New York (or) Rodeo Drive Beverly Hills, but you will see it visually in these places. No doubt it’s just too easy not to. Grunge is, “I’m comfortable with the way I am too bad you’re not”. It is a positive depression …. a general laziness …. a used fabricated attire and was given blissful birth through painful Aberdeenish greys. Cobain was the catalyst that effortlessly smudged neurotic attitudes into the grimy crude that is Grunge fashion.

Grunge Fashion Image 3

Model – Noella Nykyforuk – OMP #1005109
Photographer – Stephan Pisko, M.mpL. -Metaphysical Photographic Life- OMP#25261

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The Amazing Dani Silva – The Naked Truth Interview


STC: Thank your joining us for another round of STC excitement. We did not get enough of you last time.

Dani: Yeah, last year I was hijacked from behind the desk by attending photographers and not prepared at all to do any shooting. I was a late bloomer; all the models were already chosen for the seminar, so I became the welcoming committee for the arriving attendees. It was fun but this time things are different and I am ready to set the Temple House ablaze!

STC: Your career has exploded as a result of your recent discovery, especially in Latin America. Do you consider yourself the next Colombian sensation?

Dani: [laughs] Well, thank you. I admit that I love when my grandmother calls me from Colombia, all proud that she saw me on E!, Univision, or in Toyota and KFC commercials (even if I don’t eat chicken). She keeps track of everything I’m in. I don’t remember all of it.

STC: What turns you on?

dani-beach-568Dani: Oh, wow! It’s a little early in the afternoon to answer those types of questions. [laughs] I guess that for me, I’d say there is nothing like a highly confident man. There’s something incredibly sexy about a calm, collected, confident man who just knows he is about to rock your world and doesn’t need to oversell himself. I can’t believe I just said that! What did you put in my coffee? [laughs] And of course, if you know how to take good pictures, I will adore you for life [winks]

STC: What turns you off?

Dani: I totally get turned off if anybody tries too hard to impress or thinks that they can buy me. I like people who treat others with respect and dignity. I don’t “dig-that-gold”! Men sometimes think that everything is for sale but the best things in life are free!

STC: The most “sexcellent” experience on camera?

Dani: [laughs] “Sexcellent”? Is that another “Jarmoism”? Well, besides shooting with STC lately? [laughs] The most “sexcellent” moment, right? I had this shoot not long ago with a photographer from New York who rented this house with a cool swimming pool. It was all very professional but I just felt that the moment was right for a few innocent “topless” images. I think I shocked the photographer since he was not expecting such a sensual moment. But, what can I say, I’m a very passionate woman and I was feeling it at the time. Yeah, that was quite sexy. I felt that a bit of sensuality was needed at that point to make the shot work.


STC: Would you like to give any direction to our March seminar attendees?

Dani: Yes! Arrive ready to work! Don’t party the night before because I am a volcano on set. You’ll need all the energy you can muster to handle me [laughs]. If you expect a lot from a model, guess what, I expect the same from a photographer. I get plenty of opportunities to shoot with top photographers and I’ve learned that those who come in with a clear vision and lots of energy find success in this industry.

STC: You are an agency model and get to shoot with lots of pros in the commercial and fashion industries. What does your heart say? Fashion or glamour?

Dani: I am a passionate, sensual, nerdy Colombian [laughs]! So my heart says, “Glamour.” Let’s face it, if you want to do modeling professionally and have an agency behind you, then obviously commercial and fashion has to be in your heart as well. What girl does not like fashion, right? But I love glamour because it comes so naturally to me. Mind you, fashion houses have also adopted glamour these days. Look at Victoria’s Secret, for example. So now, I can get the best of both worlds.


dani-makeup-568STC: You are the most free-spirited, open-minded Colombian I have ever met.

Dani: Thank you, you’ll make me blush now. I believe in not holding anything back. I live my live to the fullest every day. Unlike most girls nowadays, I believe in living drama-free and enjoying the many wonderful things life has to offer before it’s too late. We all have the same humble beginnings, but it’s up to you how you roll your dice. You are the master of your faith and destiny.

STC: Friend or a lover?

Dani: [laughs] Lover . . . for life! I fall in love with something every day.

STC: If there was a place you would die to go for a shoot, where would it be?

Dani: Greece, just Greece, anywhere in Greece will do. Hint, hint! I think STC will need to go back soon, no? Santorini is written in my destiny and my bags are packed!


STC: If you were not a model, what would you be doing?

Dani: I would open a small, super-charming coffee shop on an island on a beach. Greece would work! I’d make fresh juices and coffees for locals and whoever wants to come and visit would be welcomed. I am very simple and easy going. I love falling in love with nature and the simple things! I’m a beach bum. I don’t need much, just love and happiness and the beach. Ah, and I almost forgot, my Yamaha bike, named “She-Wolf” would come with me wherever I go.

STC: Would you ever consider being a Playmate?

Dani: Maybe. I’m not sure what my agency would say though. Why don’t you convince me [laughs]?


STC: If you could go back and start all over again, what would you do differently?

Dani: Nah, are you kidding? Absolutely nothing! I am loving life and looking forward to the future and what it will bring. I live with no regrets, ever!

STC: Any imperfections?

Dani: I’m extremely nice with everyone. I strongly believe in karma. But if you cross me, watch out. I can be very vengeful! I’m Colombian and very fiery, after all! I’ve been told that gasoline runs in my veins instead of blood and that I can ignite at any given moment; mostly in the mornings [laughs]! But don’t tell anybody!

STC: What is a perfect photographer to you?

Dani: I have to think about this for a second. I like when someone shows up with a clear vision for the shoot and knows how to push me to get the best out of me. Why don’t you guys come and show me what a perfect photographer is all about at the March seminar? I promise to show you what this Colombian is all about.

To find out more about Shoot The Centerfold or to register for their upcoming seminar (March 21-22), please go to

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The Best Makeup Artist Tools for OMP Members

By: Natalia Zurawska

Hi Everyone,

My name is Natalia Zurawska. I have been a professional makeup/hair/spfx artist for the last 10 years. There are so many amazing products on the market today. Here are just a few I could not live without. If you are a professional makeup artist, try these out – true time and money savers as well as great quality! I have included some great tips as well.


Dermalogica’s Pre Cleanse Wipes

These amazing wipes are perfect for removing environmental pollutants, sunscreen, waterproof mascara and more. I like to use them on myself as well as on set. Infused with aloe, apricot oil, rice bran and Vitamin E , they nourish the skin and don’t clog pores. Use alone or add a little water to create a cleansing milk before fully washing your face. No artificial fragrance, colour or parabens. Comes in a package of 20 for $18.

The Zuca Artist Backpack

The Zuca Artist Backpack is perfect for the artist on the go. The innovative design features 4 clear vinyl-lined pockets on the door panel to store small items. A very clever strap is perfect for storing alligator clips.

This amazing backpack also features 2 clear vinyl-lined Utility Pouches – (can accommodate up to 4) used for organizing all tools and products.

It includes a thermal pocket for a flat and curling iron so there is no need to wait for cool down. Built in straps secure the backpack to your Zuca rolling case. Even the straps are ergonomically designed and the back is padded.

The backpack is perfect to set up anywhere and transforms into a sleek workstation. The convenient strap holds the door open for easy access.


Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage

I love the Secret Camouflage by Laura Mercier. It comes in a variety of tones perfect for every complexion. I also love that you can customize your colour because of the two-hue pans. It is perfect if you or talent get a bit of a tan or lose a little colour without having to get a new product. A little goes a long way and stays put all day with no creasing, drying or discoloration. Infused with chamomile, Vitamins A, C and E, it is perfect for even the most sensitive skin. Apply with a concealer brush and use your clean hand as a palette to mix desired shade. Apply to under eyes and blemishes by blending gently outwards. $38 for .26oz pans. Concealer brush $32

Best Tip*

Apply after foundation so you don’t wipe it away. If you are doing a dark smoky eye, it is best to apply shadow first and let the residual eye shadow fall. Clean off after a few minutes and apply concealer. It prevents the concealer and eye shadow from creating a messy mix.


M.A.C Eye Shadow Palette

Every makeup artist as well as makeup lover should have one! The case size is 4.25’ by 7.5’ and contains 15 little circle containers to pop in the eye shadows which you can customize. I notice that some artists like to take out the “holding circles” and fit in many more eye shadows as the case is magnetic. Whatever floats your boat I personally like to keep them apart as I notice there is much less shattering and mixing of shades. Empty palette available at M.A.C stand alone stores $12.50. Each shadow $13.50 each. You can also get a free shadow for recycling 6 empty containers.

Best Tips*

If you happen to get a regular pot eye shadow from M.A.C you can wiggle the little lip where you open it with a knife. Heat up a flat iron and pop the little pan and eye shadow on the heat checking every few seconds. Simply wiggle the eye shadow out if its plastic pan and pop into your palette. Voila!

You can use wax paper to protect your flat iron however I find it works better without, just keep an eye on it. Wipe your flatiron down with a wet wipe afterwards while it is hot by clamping it down and running it through a few times. It will get rid of any previous hair product residue as well as anything melted.

Clean the palette easily by spraying 70% rubbing alcohol. If any of the shadows have shattered a little, make a little paste with the alcohol and leave the lid open to dry. Clean around the edges with a q-tip or folded over paper towel.

Image courtesy of

A Variety of Mascara Wands

As a professional makeup artist, I have noticed it is not so much the formulation of the mascara unless it is waterproof but the brush that makes the biggest difference.

Some brushes give a very natural effect while others provide a lot of drama and depending on the look hence, it is great to have a lot of brushes on hand. Since it is unhygienic to use the same brush on many eyes, I cut the brush wands out of the new mascaras and wash gently after every use.

For brides and any type of sport/water involving shoots I love to use the Lash blast 24 hour mascara by CoverGirl. It stays put through sweat and tears and creates a beautiful natural look with defined lashes along with noticeably added volume and length. $10

For a major effect, I love the new “They’re Real” mascara by Benefit. The brush hugs each lash and saturates it so well making eyes pop. The effect is gorgeous and dramatic! $29

Best Tips*

If you are out of eyeliner, gently swipe your eyeliner brush along the mascara wand and use it as liner in a pinch. Layer on for a defined look or smudge out using a q-tip.

Replace mascara every 3 months to prevent eye infection.

Never pump mascara in the tube – it just dries it out. Instead, swirl it in the tube.

Best Tips*

Keeping an ice pack or heat packet in your kit depending on the season and especially if you are shooting on location.

Makeup is expensive as well as fragile. Weather can effect the formulation. By keeping ice packs covered in a sandwich bag (to prevent condensation) or heat packets, this can greatly reduce the chances of any texture and quality changes. This works well in kits as well as personal makeup bags. Both are available at the dollar store. The interchangeable heat/cool pack works very well too.

I hope you have enjoyed my tips.

For all things beauty including work, You Tube Channel, blogs and E-books please go to

All the best,

Natalia Zurawska

Makeup/Hair SPFX

For more great tips, check out Natalia’s amazing ebooks:

You can also connect with Natalia on your favorite social networks:

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A Perspective: Old Photographers – New Photographers – by Allen Henson

There are a lot of photographers now-a-days, easily a hundred times more than the “film days”. Then, I’d speculate there was a certain discipline and respect for the process. Film’s expensive and developing it on the fly a meticulous process that requires a certain technical/chemical aptitude. Now a visit to Best Buy and 30 minutes worth of YouTube tutorials and everyone thinks they can throw their hat in the ring and contend. I’m one of the Best Buy generation of photographers. Without mentorship, or education it’s been a fairly painstaking process riddled with growing pains. Every now and then I really want my hat back. Thank God for YouTube tutorials right?

I’m glad however I’m not a member of the old guard. I can’t imagine seeing the landscape of this industry shift from the glory days of big budgets to this at times flailing amputee of a trade that it is. If I had that means of comparison, I’d lose my mind. Being a photographer was a trade and now for a majority of photographers more of an accessory, a fad or something lightheartedly tossed around like wearing old Canon AE-1.

To the old guard, the ability to adapt and evolve is incalculable and the only thing that will enable many of you more seasoned artists and staples of our industry to continue moving forward. Without that capacity you’re a dinosaur, a docile exhibit or catalogue of days passed.

There are however exceptions and beacons of hope. It’s encouraging to talk to a tried and true artist who’s been able to contend and bridge the chasm. When you see an artist maintain status and relevance through compelling imagery, an unmistakable brand and that ability to evolve. It’s a good thing, a very good thing.

I recently sat down with Antoine Verglas, a photographer who was shooting these definitive 90’s supermodels while I was still playing with plastic toy soldiers. He’s an institution, easily one of the most influential photographers of our era.

(1)In the 1990s Antoine Verglas introduced a new style of fashion photography when he captured models Stephanie Seymour, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford in a series of intimate, documentary style photographs that ran in several international editions of Elle magazine. Prior to that fashion editorials were highly poised. Antoine Verglas’ photographs were more candid and uninhibited, with natural light. The guy is legendary; then and now.

In an ever multiplying landscape of artists the only way to stay relevant, to stay ahead of the pack really, is to be the best… or damn close.

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Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: The Use of Shadows in Lighting

Even novice photographers get it; gear is important but second to the right implementation of that gear. And a camera more often than not isn’t as important as the right lighting environment, whether it’s available or man-made.

A fairly common mistake we have all made at some point in our developmental process is the over use of lighting. Through the course of our experience we evolve and devolve – just look at several of your pieces you’ve shot over time. You’ll see it – something you tried that changed everything, maybe something you stopped doing. For me, the discovery of shadow changed the entire game.

When we first discover lighting, it’s pandemonium. Ring flashes, speed lights, kino, mole, LED, acute’s, mono heads, and modifiers galore; barn-doors to soft boxes, gels, CTB, CTO… your head could explode over the sheer number of lighting combinations. One single sitting can turn out a hundred plus different images just with different lighting techniques.

So many of us crank in as many lights as possible, trying everything. Not a wrong answer on the path to finding your lighting voice, but maybe not your answer.

I eventually became way more infatuated with the shadows light created than with the light that light created. You must have both. Without shadow there either isn’t light or there’s just too much of it. Lighting in photography & video, after all, is just the allocation of light and shadow. It’s your image! You tell the light where to go the same as you’d tell a model.

I’ve found the bulk of what I’m interested in aesthetics-wise is primarily single source, whether constant or strobe. And, usually unmodified or a beauty dish at least. We like to throw the word “noir” around just as much as “edgy.” For some end-all examples of this lighting, pull up some 40′s black and white flicks – great film noirs like The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, Citizen Kane… What do you see? A whole lot of shadow. It’s moody as all hell and easy to recreate on a shoestring budget. Shadow is your friend. Embrace the dark side.

Written by: Allen Henson

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The Selfie Phenomenon and Modeling Portfolios

But first . . . . Let me take a selfie . . . selfie . . . Let me take a selfie.

With the explosive popularity of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, posting pictures has become part of our everyday lives. One of the most trendy types of pictures is the selfie. Selfies are so popular that earlier this year, the word “selfie” was added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. This particular word has also become the center of a music video by The Chainsmokers aptly called #SELFIE and it features a number of actual selfies from celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and David Hasselhoff. Since its release in January this year, the video has garnered 132 million views and climbing.

What is a selfie, you may ask? Very simply, a selfie is a self-taken image. Selfies are most commonly taken with a camera on a cell phone, but virtually any camera can by used to take one. Often times selfies can be identified by an out-stretched arm appearing in the image. This is because to take a selfie, you have to hold your cell phone or camera out in front of you and your arm ends up being captured in the frame. Selfies have pretty much become cemented into our every day lives. You pretty much can’t be on a social network for more than 30 seconds without seeing one. It has almost become second nature for us to snap a picture of ourselves whether it’s planned out or it’s a spur of the moment one like Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar selfie which is the most retweeted picture ever with over 3 million retweets.

So why do we take selfies? Because they’re fun, right? More than just being a fun way of socializing, studies suggest that they may boost one’s self-esteem. A selfie is a frozen point in time where everything in the picture is all about you. There’s no pressure to take one and you can get an instant confidence boost especially when you get likes and comments on an image via your favorite social network. From an outside perspective, selfies can seem narcissistic and perhaps excessively taking selfies can be. However, in this age, a self-taken image is part of how we socialize.

Selfies also provide a way for us to sneak a peak into the lives of others. Many people are often curious and interested to see what goes on with the private lives of actors, models and others in the public eye. These celebrities know that their image is a way for them to stay connected with their fans. Models are notorious selfie takers . . . and why not? . . . models live glamorous life-styles, go to the best parties, and take great pictures.

However, a problem arises when aspiring models confuse selfies with professional portfolio images. Selfies are generally taken by a camera phone, which is low in resolution and low in megapixels. Most camera phones produce pixelated, poor quality images that really don’t cut it for a professional modeling portfolio. Beyond the quality of the image, seeing an out-stretched arm in an image appears unprofessional. You may notice that selfies are not a part of supermodels’ portfolios. That’s because selfies are primarily meant for friends, family, and fans to see. Your portfolio is for prospective clients and other industry professionals to see.

Grow your portfolio with a variety of pictures with different looks and poses. If you want to be taken seriously in the modeling industry, especially when you are starting out, hire a professional photographer or work with someone you know that is able to take some good shots of you with a decent camera. Your portfolio should showcase your very best work and will usually be judged by the weakest image. You don’t want a prospective client or agent to decline you, because you have a low quality, pixelated selfie.

There are many reasons why selfies have become a cultural phenomenon. Selfies are an honest form of photography that is personal, candid, and which we love sharing with our friends and family. As a model, there are ways to work selfies into your personal lives, but make sure to separate the images that are seen by your personal and professional networks. Doing this will speak volumes about you as a professional.

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