The modeling industry is a diverse and dynamic world that attracts individuals at various stages of their careers. There's always room for growth and learning, whether you're just starting, actively working, or aiming to sign with an agency. On August 17, 2023, I had the privilege of participating in the "Called to Create: Photographer and Model Panel" at Called to Create Studios, hosted by the talented studio owners Emma Manis and Jahara Jennae´. In this blog post, I'll share key insights from the panel discussion, focusing on the digital marketing and social media aspects of modeling, which I represented.
The panel consisted of diverse professionals, each offering a unique perspective on the modeling industry. Alongside photographers Ryan Azia and Jermaine Dabney, RVA Fashion Week Rising Photographer, were models Hannah Grace, Diamond Minetta (RVA Fashion Week Model of the Year), and myself. With different ages and career points, our collective insights provided a wide range of perspectives and expertise.
I took the opportunity to explain how I leveraged my background as a marketing professional to enhance my modeling career. By using digital tools and strategies, I've established a strong online presence without the constant hustle of traveling. The intersection of these fields becomes evident when connecting with brands online, creating and executing content, and developing evergreen marketing strategies. This synergy allows me to work smarter, not harder, often accomplishing multiple goals simultaneously.
For freelance models, creating a curated portfolio is essential for casting directors. Finding the right team and defining your personal style and aesthetic are crucial steps. I also emphasized the importance of having a personal mission, aligning your work with your values, and making choices that support your mission. For signed models, maintaining an updated professional portfolio is a given. However, I encouraged them to curate their personal social media profiles too, as these can offer a glimpse into their authentic selves. A consistent digital presence is invaluable, allowing casting directors to explore a model's personality and style before making contact.
The panel aimed to inspire and empower the next generation of freelance independent models. We exchanged Instagram handles, and I've already received messages from models seeking advice on various aspects, from voiceover work to building digital comp cards. It's heartening to see the eagerness of these aspiring models to learn and grow.
While our panel discussion couldn't cover every facet of the modeling industry, it was a valuable event for anyone considering a career in this field. The opportunity to connect with creatives from diverse backgrounds and foster a sense of community is priceless, especially in the early stages of a modeling career. Called to Create will host a model workshop on October 7 for those looking to dive deeper into the modeling world. This event promises a full day of one-on-one coaching and discussions with Diamond, Hannah Grace, and me. To sign up, visit their website here.
Events like the "Called to Connect" panel are pivotal in nurturing growth and collaboration within the creative community. I'm honored to have been a part of this experience and extend my heartfelt thanks to Emma, Jahara, and the Called to Create team for this opportunity. I'm eagerly looking forward to the upcoming workshop, where we can continue to inspire and empower emerging models on their journeys to success.