Jamie Eason Q&A, May 2008: Advice & Success For Future Models!

Jamie is back and has valuable insight for those aspiring to become great models! Here are straight-forward answers to questions such as getting good photographers, building a portfolio, importance of networking, and more...

dot Dear Jamie,

Your photographs in the magazines look amazing! You look like a natural in front of the camera. When you first started modeling did being in front of the camera take some time getting used to? dot

    Thank you very much! I can assure you that I was hardly a natural. As a matter of fact, it took some persuasion to even get me in front of the camera in the beginning. It's a bit frightening until you find your comfort zone. Each time it's a new photographer and you always want to help them capture photos they will be pleased with.

    It takes practice to learn your best body positions and facial expressions. I've learned that mastering a variety of facial expressions is the most critical because in this day and age of Photoshop, they can change your outfit and even your body shape but they can't change the expression on your face.

Jamie Eason
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dot Dear Jamie,

You have been featured in several of the industry's top magazines. What is it that you like most about modeling? dot

    Modeling is fun because it allows me to step outside of myself a bit and portray "characters" for various concepts in magazines. There is a lot of preparation that goes into the layout of a magazine, from hair and makeup to lighting and post production. It's really exciting to see a final product in a magazine and even more exciting to hear the response from people who appreciate the pictures!

Jamie Eason
Jamie Eason
Fitness Model Extraordinaire.
Photo By SecondFocus.
Week #52 - 3/13/2007
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dot Dear Jamie,

As an experienced model in the industry who has worked with many professional photographers, what do you feel are the most important things an aspiring fitness model (male or female) should look for in a photographer? dot

    Reputability and professionalism! I learned very quickly that the most successful photographers are very professional and usually have a concept in mind. Taking pictures to build a portfolio is very different than taking photos for publication. Published photographers are usually very busy working and will make sure you are prepared for the shoot long before you arrive.

    Photographers looking to just create images with you will sometimes want to push the envelope to develop both yours and their portfolio. Always keep in mind that if you cannot imagine a place that a particular photo could some day be published, in a magazine you would like to be in, then why shoot it?

    I've seen plenty of models shoot nudity for the sake of "art" but if they never intended to be in Playboy or a similar publication, there is no need. Besides, if Playboy is your goal, there are photographers that work directly for them. Just be smart and always shoot with a clear goal in mind.

dot Dear Jamie,

What do you feel are the most appropriate and important types of photos to include in a portfolio for someone just starting out in the industry as a model? dot

    Take a look at your favorite magazines and aim to create similar images. The most successful models are the ones that can cross markets, meaning appeal to a large variety of people.

    Try and find photographers that specialize in a particular genre or style of shooting. For example, some photographers are experts at shooting lifestyle and fitness, while others have mastered the glamour lighting.

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[ Click here to learn more. ]
Preparing For A Shoot!
Getting ready for a photo shoot may seem over whelming to the new comer, eager to showcase their newly fit physique. I will discuss the important parts of preparing for a photo shoot.
Author:
Ava Cowan

    A great headshot is crucial too. Again, find someone who specializes in headshots because they will have mastered the lighting and framing for that type of shot and you won't end up with an over Photoshopped image, which neither agencies nor magazines like.

dot Dear Jamie,

As with any entertainment based media, the fitness industry attracts its fair share of weirdos, what do feel are some tell-tale signs of trouble that a model should look for and steer clear of when approached by less known photographers or promoters? (i.e. Internet scams, web cam, nude/lingerie shots...) dot

    It's always safe to assume that if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Always remember that no one is looking out for your well-being as much as you can for yourself. There are many false promises in this business and never compromise your values or comfort level because it will ultimately come back to haunt you.

    If a photographer asks you to shoot out of your comfort zone or you get a creepy vibe, leave. No single photographer can make or break your career.

    Also, if you intend to meet a photographer for the first time, express an interest in bringing a chaperone. If the photographer is not willing to allow it, be leery. Notice any change in attitude or pushiness. You can always have your chaperone keep busy but close by so as not to interrupt the shoot.

    Please note that some photographers feel it can be a distraction to bring the boyfriend or significant other, which is a fair concern, so be professional and have them leave the room, but again any change in demeanor from the photographer may be a red flag.

dot Dear Jamie,

Have you ever had a bad experience with a photographer? How did you deal with the situation? (answer can go into detail if you wish, but names are not necessary!) dot

    I've been very lucky to shoot with a lot of great photographers. I got the advice a long time ago that once I shoot with a photographer, the next one I shoot with should be just as good, if not better. Therefore, I've always sought photographers that were the best in the business.

    I will often seek referrals from models they have previously shot with, so usually I have a pretty good idea of what to expect. There has been only one instance where a photographer insisted on shooting implied and was pushing for nudity, but because I do my homework, I never even ended up scheduling the shoot. Again, always be firm but polite when you express your limitations to a photographer. Remember, you are the product and you control your image.

RELATED VIDEO


Jamie Eason: True Beauty:
Episode #1: Introduction.

In this first episode, learn all about the lovely Miss Jamie Eason and her fitness modeling career, photo shoots, makeup tips, and her fitness lifestyle! (And listen to her sing!)

Click The Play Button To Start The Video.
Or Download Here:
Windows Media (27.5 MB) - Video iPod (137.0 MB)
[ True Beauty Main Page ]

dot Dear Jamie,

Networking and marketing ones self as a fitness model is very important when trying to break into the industry, what tips would you give to a model looking to do so? (attending tradeshows, expos, seminars, business cards, comp cards...) dot

    Building a strong portfolio and networking are the two biggest factors in breaking into the industry. Magazines see potential everywhere, every single day. Build a portfolio with solid images that show a finished product. Also, remember to shoot in the style they are after.

    If their images are typically laid out on a white background in the magazine, don't submit all glamour photos with black backgrounds. Be smart!

Jamie Eason
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Build A Portfolio With Solid
Images That Show A Finished Product.

    Also, attend as many industry events as you can. The goal for these is not to find photographers but to show the industry owners of various products that you are not only a pretty or handsome face but that you could be a great brand ambassador. There are thousands of men and women after the same goal, so give them a reason to remember you and recall you for a project. Get to know them and their products and you'll seem a natural fit.

dot Dear Jamie,

What other words of wisdom can you offer based on your knowledge and experience in the industry to someone new to fitness modeling? (discuss some of your own personal experiences, maybe brief diet and training advice, managers/promoters necessary?) dot

    Unfortunately, modeling is a business based largely upon looks. Do not take rejection personally because sometimes companies have a specific look in mind and you just don't fit the bill.

    My first visit to a publisher's office in NYC was less than successful. I was told that I was too buff and that my face was too square. I continued to shoot in spite of this until I found my niche. Although I can do some glamour modeling, my strongest shoots are usually bikini and fitness oriented. Also, I've had a bit of luck in parts modeling, excluding my hands and feet (not the prettiest).

Jamie Eason
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
My Strongest Shoots Are
Bikini & Fitness Oriented.

    Find your niche, shoot with the best in that field and network in the markets you are interested in. Modeling should be the short term goal that you use as a catalyst to develop other opportunities for yourself. Maybe you are a published model which helps your personal training business or maybe you use it as a foray into writing?

    Whatever your goal may be, just remember, the most successful models treat this as a business with themselves as the product, not just a hobby.

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