Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Introducing...The Amazing Petite Model Isobella Jade
Isobella Jade is no stranger to the modeling industry. Her success story is remarkable. Isobella Jade has always been the underdog in the modeling industry, as a result of being 5'2". However, through dedication, perseverance, the power of her dream, and a love for modeling she was able to overcome the height barrier and has modeled for Marshalls, Macy's, Victoria's Secret, Easy Spirit, and many more. She has also appeared in numerous fashion magazines and ads.
It was a real pleasure interviewing Isobella Jade, and I am very pleased to feature her here.
AVIVA How long have you been modeling?
ISOBELLA JADE: I started pursuing modeling in 2001.
AVIVA: How did you get started in modeling?
IJ: Today, on my modeling blog Petitemodelingtips.blogspot.com I share the ways girls of all sizes can get ahead as a model and skip scams and setbacks, but when I started off I spent a year shooting the wrong things, going in the wrong direction. When I started to take myself more seriously and focused on getting an agency and the proper photos I needed to market myself towards an agency, things started rolling. I started by mailing my comp cards by postal mail to every print agency in NYC, and talent agencies. When I continued to self-promote, build my network and build a portfolio and get professional photos that proved I could model, that is when things started. I think starting any pursuits involves analyzing yourself, figuring out what is marketable about you. And to not rush (rushing causes mistakes), or expect opportunities to happen overnight (usually they don’t). The more you put into your pursuits the more you get. One job leads to the next job but this is a self-made world and the marketing yourself process never ends.
Starting modeling comes down to knowing yourself and assets, knowing what is marketable about yourself will get you going in the right direction. It is hard to get started if you don't know what you would be good modeling for. You have to know these things before you even get in front of the camera. I think there is a lot of pre-planning and thinking that goes into pursuing as a model, especially when you are shorter.
AVIVA: What is the most exciting thing about being part of this industry?
IJ: I love the process of bringing a concept for a shoot, campaign, or editorial to life. I think it is exciting that every day, shoot, and project is different. Every job involves a different vision, photography style, and I enjoy the artistic process of telling a story through a movement, expression or stillness.
AVIVA: Could you tell me a little bit more about the books you've written?
IJ: I've written three books. My modeling memoir Almost 5'4"
about my early modeling pursuits and the first years of striving as a model, also I wrote a graphic novel called Model Life: The Journey of a Pint-Size Fashion Warrior, and Short Stuff: on the job with an x-small model, comes out this October. I am working on a teen novel and two other book projects.
AVIVA: What are some of the major companies that you've worked for as a model, despite being short?
IJ: I've done a lot of work as a parts model, using my hands, legs, feet, and body to model for brands, Marshalls, Macy's, Victoria's Secret, Easy Spirit. You could have seen my legs and feet and hands being used for those companies in their ads or commercials. You can see images from my experiences on my website www.isobelladreams.com
AVIVA: Do you have any advice on how aspiring models (esp. the shorter ones) can promote/market themselves to potential clients?
IJ: Yes, if you want to work with modeling agencies you have to show you can model first. Print modeling agencies (which is where shorter girls should target themselves) do not train their models on how to model,-not the ones I've worked with-so really you have to already know how to model before you approach an agency. It helps if you also already have some experience modeling for something, like a small company and have in your portfolio proof that you have been hired and modeled before. Even for an online jewelry company or local hair salon in your town. I think the more you show you can the more of a chance you have to work with agencies and also brands. When you are striving to get some experience, approach some aspiring brands and designers at tradeshows, craft shows or local conventions. Improve your network and get in touch with those who are aspiring like you are.
Get out of your house, off the computer and stop counting comments and hits and clicks and instead notice what brands and small businesses are in your town, the newspaper will tell you. Start by being a savvy model that knows her assets and has the confidence to market them to aspiring brands who might need a model. Having a professional comp card helps when you approach aspiring designers, companies, etc.
When approaching an aspiring brand in your town, or a local boutique store, if you have a comp card bring it, if not then bring some printed photos, and ask who you can speak to about the marketing for their company because you'd like to drop off some photos in case they might need a model. Or take their business card and mail them a jpeg later.
I think a lot of girls think it is easy and convenient to have an online portfolio or set up a profile on a model-site, but many real brands do not take that seriously. So I'd actually skip that. If you are sending images through an email I think it is better to mail a photo attached, a jpg image, pdf or a jpg of your comp card in an email fewer than 150kb in size. And be aware of the style of the aspiring company and brand you are pitching, if it is jewelry send photos of you modeling jewelry, not a swimwear shot! I know self-promotion works, but you have to be prepared for your success. Try. Simply try; putting yourself out there, asking for the chance might get you the chance.
AVIVA:You talked about differences between fashion modeling agencies, and commercial/print agencies. Do you have any advice for approaching commercial/print agencies?
IJ: Yes, you should approach them with the right photos. I would spend time creating a nice smiling headshot and beauty shots, and shots that show your personality and upbeat appeal, something like a catalog shot, because print agencies will be marketing your personality and photogenic self. You should be able to model naturally a product, like a handbag or shoe, accessories. So go out and get a photo shoot done with a professional photographer who understands what print modeling is, and hold a cell phone in the shot, a handbag, a coffee cup, show you can work with products, print agencies want to see that. And keep the clothing, hair and makeup natural, not overkill. Study print ads and lifestyle ads, and you will see that the shots are a lot less about being tough or having an attitude and more about smiles and personality. Your photos represent what you can do as a model, so when you are creating your comp card ask yourself, Would I hire this girl to model for a product or brand?” and “What products and brands could this girl model for?” Analyze your photos and ask yourself if they fit what print modeling is before you mail an agency your comp card.
AVIVA: Do you have any weird/funny/interesting shoot story that you would like to share?
IJ: Even if you have your period you can still model and get the job done, you just have to want to do it. Don't let any drama get the best of you, bring your best forward even if the day isn't going as perfect as you hoped. Being comfortable, focusing on the job,staying confident and being perceptive will get you through any bad day on the job as a model. And keep in mind that reality TV has so far basically lied a lot about what it is like to be a model.
AVIVA: If money/time was no object, where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
IJ: I sort of give myself 2 year plans not five year plans, but I plan to write inspirational books for teens and young adults. Within five years, I think I will be a mother. Still modeling, writing books, but also helping other go-getters. I like being around passion people, and those who are striving to tell their stories, share their art or designs, so I would like to be in a position to help small companies and designers grow their brand.
AVIVA: Do you have any additional words/comments?
IJ: Your inner voice is what leads you. If you doubt yourself, others will. To give yourself a chance and to not be afraid of your own talents and skills. To understand that even those who are talented or established are still practicing and growing, the growing never ends.
Isobella Jade is an inspiration to many aspiring (petite) models. She is living proof that success in this industry is not always about the size of the model in the fight, but it's about the size of the fight in the model.
You can find more of Isobella's work on her website and her blog, www.petitemodelingtips.blogspot.com, is filled with valuable information for models.
I would like to thank Isobella for her valuable input.
Stay tuned for more interviews, possible blog giveaways, and much more!