Tuesday, March 30, 2010



That’s right, I know the title is rude. So what? Don’t look over your shoulder, don’t look at the model to the left of you and don’t look at the model to the right. I am talking to you. Have I got your attention? Good.

Every single time I decide to do one of these “in your face” blogs, it usually stems from something deep inside of me that’s been simmering for a long time on a very low fire. Each and everyday of my professional existence, I am bombarded by models with the same questions over and over again. Do I have what it takes? (Usually a resounding no) Can I make it as a model? (Anyone can be a model – look at the fat chick that holds the Pine Sol bottle – she’s a model [an actual paid model]). But the stellar remark that gets me every time is when one of them have the audacity to say “I am going to be the supermodel.”

Are you really? Do you really have what it takes to be a supermodel? Names like Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Christy Turlington, Agyness Deyn, Jessica White, Natalia Vodianova, Raquel Zimmerman, Gisele Bundchen, Jon Kortajarena, Tyson Beckford, Gabriel Aubrey, Andre Van Noord, Tyson Ballou - hell even the current ones like Sean Opry, Rob Evans, David Agbodji, Corey Baptiste and the list is endless. You have that certain jene se quois to stand in such an elite line up and demand the money they demand? Well, let’s get down to business.

I am going to lower the bar for the moment. Let’s not even take SUPERMODEL status. Let’s just be an honest to god working model. That means at LEAST 75% of your annual income is generate solely through modeling. You go out there shoot after shoot, hoofing it from casting to casting. Being turned down job after job. Going to the gym, eating right, sleeping right, just to get up and do it all over again, because the agency is trying to make money off of your superior DNA.

Agent? What agent? You’re not signed? OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH, you’re one of those. Those are the types of models that I like the most. Usually (and I am using the term loosely) this type of model is a person with above average looks, better than most body, had a couple of photo shoots under their belt, because someone told them that they could be a model. They go out into the world after a couple of photo shoots and want to start making money for their time, or thinking photographers should pay them to shoot them. What the fuck for? What are you bringing to the table that tons and tons of models before you (and most certainly after you) can’t bring to the table? What is it about you that makes you the “it” model of the moment? The model that is not signed usually and can’t get the campaigns. What is it about you? (Hence the title of this blog).

Models only seem to know about a handful of agencies (and trust me ladies and gentlemen, there are HUNDREDS of agencies out there)… The ones that are usually tossed around are Ford, Elite, Wilhemina, DNA, IMG, etc and the unsigned model has that lofty idea that they are going to walk into one of those agencies and the bookers are going to fall at their feet and offer them the illustrious contract in which they think they deserve. Guess what, models. It RARELY happens. These agencies are inundated with thousands upon thousands of modeling hopefuls that they turn down, so to think that in the possible SLIM chance you’re going to be that one is highly unlikely. Impossible? No. But highly improbable.

The reason this blog came into fruition, an unsigned black male model I shot came to me talking about he wants to be with Ford, Elite or DNA. I had to stop him in mid-sentence and look at him. First off, they think just because they’re signed with Ford, or Elite or DNA they are going to start raking in the money. So I humored him. I brought up DNA Model Management’s website. Just so he can see the roster. On the website, there were two black male models. Only two. Let me put it to you like this: only two obviously black models. So I turned to him and said, “DNA? Really? I can guarantee you a month ago, you didn’t even know who hell DNA Model Management was. Somebody filled your head with a bunch of blue chip agencies, you wiggled your ass in front of a couple of photographers and now you think you can enter that world. Guess what? You’re handsome, yes, but did you take a look at their board to see if you (a) have what it takes and (b) compete with the two STUNNINGLY beautiful black models that they already have?” Models, again, do your homework. Not all agencies are a good fit for you and vice versa. Pay attention to what they are looking for (if you went to Silver Model Management, for example, you would KNOW they wanted muscled out bodies, so if you were 6’2, 150 editorially built, why in the world would you go there?) If you look at a roster, you will see some sort of common denominator amongst models (it could be body type, it could be facial structure, it could be age, it could be national origin). You have to see if you can fit your peg into their hole. I know its wonderful to think big and lofty and you’re going to be “the one” to break the mold. I applaud you in that aspect, however, when you are applying to some of these agencies, they are looking at you in a money making capacity. If you’re unable to make them money, they are unable to do anything for you.

Time and time again, models send me photos for me to evaluate them. I see gang tats, tats covering more than 60 percent of their body surface (right up into the neck region [Ralph Lauren would LOVE that]), body piercings, eye brows with parts, long unkempt hair, du-rags, braids, gold fronts, bodies that are too short, too big, too skinny, bad skin, crooked teeth, slightly crossed eyed, ill body proportions the list can go on endlessly. However, you want IMG, DNA, Ford, Elite and Wilhemina to sign you? As my father would say “get the fuck outta here!

This is a very competitive field ladies and gentlemen. And if you don’t have the goods you better (a) get out now or (b) get it together so you DO have the goods.

Here is a to do list.

1. Do you homework. Check out all types of agencies, you may be able to work your way up to one of the blue chips. Don’t frown upon a boutique agency you can learn a lot and they can mold you on the nature of the business.

2. You are a product. Take care of it accordingly. Modeling (unlike bodybuilding) is a year round job. Take care of your face, skin, hands, feet, body. Keep your drinking, drugging, smoking to a minimum. No one wants to see a tired, washed out model on their campaign or in front of a photographer’s lens.

3. Listen to those to can honestly help you. You will come across a lot of people telling you a lot of unnecessary information. The world is incredibly small. Do you homework. See if these people who say they can help you can honestly help you. If they are in positions to help you, that means they see potential. Don’t waste their time.

4. Study your craft. You should breathe, eat, sleep modeling. That is not only your job – it should be your LIFE. Find out who the “it” models are and find out why. Elevate your game. Study walks, magazines, campaigns, etc. Stay on the pulse of the industry.

5. Invest in your career. That can be getting a gym membership to paying a good photographer to photograph you, to working with a runway coach. A single picture can make the difference between booking a job and seeing the front door. A bad walk and you are laughed at. Talented photographers invest their time, energy and artistry to produce good quality images for your portfolio. So invest and invest wisely. Keep your book current and all photos should be “oh my God” status.

6. Speaking of photographers. Not everyone with a camera is necessarily a photographer, be careful who you decide to let photograph you. If they are not going to elevate your book, don’t waste your time. The true motto is this: Test up, don’t test down.

7. Watch who your friends are. This industry is very very small and the internet has made it even smaller. You have no idea who may know whom. So be careful about what you say and who you say it to. A simple dismissive conversation may come back to haunt you.

8. Build lasting relationships. Loyalty is a viable commodity in this industry. If you are developing lasting mutual relationships with bookers, agents, photographers, etc. keep them alive. You may be the next one for that campaign merely because you’re a friend of the right person. Most times it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

9. Be patient, be diligent, and be thick skinned. You will receive a lot of rejections in this industry. It is up to you to be strong. Every rejection is a learning process. Not every model is right for every job. A career is not made overnight. Don’t think you’re going to shoot on Monday and by Thursday you’re running to the bank to cash that Prada campaign check. It doesn’t work that way.

10. Be loyal. I cannot stress that enough. Thank those who took their time, money, energy, connections and knowledge to invest in you. Those who arrange photo shoots with photographers who would’ve turned you away. Those who pulled strings to have a booker meet with you. The people behind the scenes. Be loyal to the ones that believed in you, because when the chips are down (and trust me, there will be some dark times). Those will be the ones you can always rely on. Never shit on them, even as you grow and excel in your career, never forget where you came from.

Whew… Time to get back to photos. Until next time. Next up...

Brandon Espy - the Grown and Sexy Shoot



  1. Wow! I love this!!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. :::applauds:::

  3. this is a good post, but you are a joke if u think Eva Marcille a supermodel

  4. For those of you who think Eva is not a supermodel are correct and rightly so (she is, however, a very WORKING model), however, if that is the only thing you are walking away with from this blog entry, then the entry is lost on you...

    Real talk..

  5. i dont understand why u are mad at how ppl think. most likely those that u are talking about are the ones who are going to agree with you and don't know that you are talking about them. i'm pretty sure if steven klein was to write an entry like this but about photographers. he would probably talk about you and u would just agree with him. in conclusion, this is a pointless post.

  6. Models need to understand that photographers, stylists, hair and makeup people and even your agency can really make or break you.

    In my 30+ years working, I know that this is a business built on RELATIONSHIPS, not attutudes. I have learned that people that come through the door with attitude are actually covering up what they actua;;y feel insecure about.

    This is not brain surgery nor rocket science, and to make it even more graphic we should all understand that our work is truly not saving the world. So why make it difficult for evceryone concerned? Why not be pleasant, upbeat and prepared? Photo shoots should be fun and organized.

    The model industry is about more than just superior good looks...it takes some brains, connections and some perserverance over a period of time to create a succesful career. I meet models everyday with portfolios full of beautiful pictures and nothing else to show for their work. The whole reason for getting photographed it to use those photos as a calling card to create future work opportunities. Just because you have a book full of gorgeous photos does not mean you are a model.

    A real model knows lighting, makeup, how to dress and how to conduct themselves in a studio. It is not about YOU, but instead, the end result. It amazes me that people want a good result, yet they come unprepared and they bitch, moan, complain and try to direct themselves when they are not looking through the lens of the camera and have no idea of what is being captured.

    Humility and a sense of cooperation can take you a long way in ANY professional career.

  7. Thank you for this Dallas. Ive learnt a lot and will keep working on learning more.Thank you for this.

    God Bless

  8. Nicely said Bruce

  9. You do seem mad, highly unprofessional on your part. Construct your words appropriately, you should be giving advice in respect to your experience. Not with curse words, I thought you knew better

  10. What i love the MOST "Anonymous" people not man (or woman) enough to leave their contact information... How about that for being unprofessional... ?

  11. Excellent post! My cup runneth over this morning as I'm reading this. It's interesting though. As a photographer, I feel most, if not all of this information applies equally the same to us behind the camera as well. Surely on this side of the lens we have a bit more time to get our act together and the diet's not quite as strict. But the daily question still remains, if we're not constantly doing these same things, "Who the fuck are we?"

  12. Seth - You've said an absolute mouthful. I agree with you wholeheartedly... We, as photographers can control what goes out into the world (be it a photograph of a flower, a rock, a child or a supermodel). Even though we may not design dresses, or paint faces, etc., we are the vehicle in which these items are put in the forefront. We must never rest on our laurels thinking that "hey, I've been shooting for a year, I need to get a multimillion dollar campaign." I would reply to them in the same fashion... "Really? Who the fuck are you?" LOL...

  13. Well put.

    Sincerly, Corey S. Taylor Nashville, TN

  14. Dallas,

    You should post this for a month. It's good for a model to dream big, but you can't dream big without the truth. A lot of new-face models come in this business and they realize after 2 or 3 years that they're still in the same place, like running on a treadmill. It doesn't mean they can't make it, but don't make the road harder when it's already tough. When a model comes to me, I give true advice.

    A lot of models get their looks twisted, thinking because their boyfriend or girlfriend says their beautiful that the industry will think the same, but it doesn't mean that the industry is going to see you the same way. That's why knowledge is the key. I would rather have someone be truthful with me than just tell me what I want to hear. The industry is what it is. It's an industry where you need to build relationships with key people. It's an industry where loyalty is number one. Because you never know when you have to cross that path again.

    Young models get frustrated very easily and think the only way to solve the problem is to throw stones when things don't workout their way. Not realizing that it's just not their season. Patience, persistence, perseverance, appreciation, gratefulness, and the last word, being thankful, gets you to where you want to be. Models come a dime a dozen, so what you're not willing to do, someone else will. So it's no biggie at the end of the day.

    That's why I appreciate models like Marcus Hill, Brandon Espy, Cherif Ndiaye, Anthony Gallo, Tyson Beckford, Shawn Sutton, Marcus Lloyd, Marcus Randall, Nate Owens, Marlon Yates, Brandon Hartley, Nate Gil, Zack Clark, Victor Ross, Will Lemay, Chad White, BJ Williams, and the list goes on and on. But it's models like this that listen the first time and make it happen. And that's why they're always called back the second time around.

    I love you Dallas!

    -Michael Maddox <3

  15. Many models need to understand that a face isn't gonna get it alone. If you can't listen and take instruction from someone who is trying to help you, MOVE ALONG. Looks don't mean everything. Some people look good just to f*ck, but may not be good enough to model.

    Also, it's good to aim high, but do your homework to make sure you're headed in the right direction that benefits you and your genre of modeling in particular. It's like a Mustang in a race with a Ferrari...enough said. Be knowledgeable, humble and open for instruction. GREAT post, Dallas!


  16. There are times when you read something that makes things clear for the reader. This blog posting was entertaining, informative and comes from the perpective of a trusted and talented photographer. Dallas J. Logan was kind enough to share some wisdom from his dealings with models, and the steps they can take to achieve their goals.

    As a stylist (and to most people in this business) this blog posting also applies. Talent and a good book can only get you but so far. It's the people that you meet along the way. They take a chance on you and watch you work, and trust me they are watching to see if you can deliver the goods. It's your job (model, stylist, photographer, MUA, ect) to deliver and get them to take notice that you can do the job exceedingly well. This is what get you back in the door. This is what keeps you thriving. Doing your best.

    Time wasters are not allowed and are never tolerated. Hateful comments and bad energy is the calling card of bitter time wasters. Instead, take the time to up your game and if you're not destined to be in front of a camera, take a step back, reevaluted and if you love the fashion business that much, find your niche somewhere else.

    Dallas you are (as always) amazing. Love you babe.

  17. Brilliant and informative post. Models take heed.

  18. Yo Real Talk!

    Thank you.

    Vincent Von

  19. I needed that.

    I love how real your are.

  20. I appreciate this post very interesting!(ClapofHands)! Thanks Dallas!

  21. My girlfriends and i would love for you Dallas J. Logan to do a photo shoot of model Marcus Hill and model Brandon Espy nude they are beyound fine!!!!!!!!!!!!!! there body A+ Face A+. Both has beautiful afro-centre kissable lips.

  22. I woke up to this post this morning, geared me up towards what needs to be done. Thank you Sir. Much love

  23. Dallas im late, but as i sit here, in London, coming from a couple of castings I can honestly say this post rocks! Its sooooo easy to ride the roller coaster of emotions, being up, down, etc. A steady approach and a winning strategy are the only ways to succeed in this industry consistently. Who the fuck am I? I tell myself that everyday, every casting i dont get, because it will make me appreciate it that much more when i do. Thank ya much sir!