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Body Positive Modeling and Tips

Here at SmartGlamour, we are committed to promoting body positivity in the fashion world not just through our clothing, but through the images we share on this website and social media. We aim to have SmartGlamour’s models represent every kind of body you can find.

And when we say “all” bodies are good bodies, we mean “all” in the literal sense.

SmartGlamour holds castings open to the public for models in our Spring and Fall campaigns, as well as periodically have open-to-the-public castings for smaller campaigns, usually focused on new designs and fabrics added to SmartGlamour’s line. Recently, SmartGlamour’s founder Mallorie Dunn held a body positive modeling class for SmartGlamour’s models. Here are some tips she shared in that class, for support in your body positive modeling career!

Things to think of before you get in front of the camera:

  1. Who’s the photographer? If you know who you’re shooting with, look up or ask for samples of their work and get a sense of their style.
  2. What makeup and hair will be needed for the shoot? If you’re attending a casting or a shoot and no information has been given, ask. Be as prepared as you possibly can.
  3. What poses will you give the photographer? Have about three to five poses ready as your fallback. If you aren’t sure what poses to use, consider:
    • How you normally stand can be a pose!
    • Three variations of a pose that will give different looks in a shot include turning your head in a different direction, putting a hand on your hip instead of hanging down and a look away instead of directly at the camera.
    • Some faux “movements” you can try are taking a step forward (to simulate walking), a fake “jump” if you’re able. Hands extended can be fun and work to give your pose movement as well.

When in front of the camera:

  1. Think about where the light will hit you. If you are looking to highlight a part of your body (such as your face), you want to be sure that the light is facing in that direction.
  2. Whether the frame is a headshot photo, upper torso, full length, etc. keep in mind the positioning of the parts of your body that will be in the photo, particularly if you are looking to highlight an item of clothing or accessory in the shot. If you are not sure what frame the photographer is shooting, ask them.
  3. Think about what details need to be shown of what you’re modeling. For example, if you are modeling a top with a detailed back design, you will want to include some shots of the detail in the back. If you are not sure what should be shown, be proactive and ask the photographer and/or the person or company for whom you’re working.
  4. Many people hold stress in their face and this can come through in a shot. Remember to breathe between each shot, and with each exhalation let your face settle into whatever look you’re trying to give. Also remember that, while you are working, you’re having fun! Let your joy you feel modeling shine in your face (even if you aren’t smiling).
  5. It’s a good idea to ask the photographer about the shots, especially if you aren’t getting feedback. This will help you picture what you’re giving the camera as you pose.

Tips for the runway:

Whether you’re modeling for SmartGlamour or another company, please keep in mind:

  1. The points where you need to pause to show off the clothing. The runway director will give you direction.
  2. The direction of the light. Think of it as a moving photo! The light will be on you. Keep your head up!
  3. The placement of the photographer at the end of the runway, who will be looking to get two to three shots of you. Have a few poses ready to go for that point of your walk.
  4. When you’re walking away from the photographer and back to start, you’re still on the runway. Work it at every point on the runway!

Other body positive modeling tips:

  1. Your body is your body and not some other body. Remember you are using your form to show off the clothing. Do not try to contort yourself into some other body shape, size or profile.
  2. It’s OK to say no if you aren’t comfortable with something the photographer or company you’re modeling for wants you to do.
  3. Ask all the questions you need to ask to get comfortable and knowledgeable about what they’re expecting of you.
  4. Advocate for yourself. If you need something to make the job work for you, kindly ask for it!

We hope these tips help you in your body positive modeling journey!

SmartGlamour has an open casting call up, with a few slots left for auditions! Today is the last day to apply (8/30). Please follow SmartGlamour’s Facebook and Instagram accounts for more information about the audition and the Fall 2017 show. Also, keep up with SmartGlamour via our newsletter!


Model of the Month: Rachael

Next up in our Model of the Month Series is Rachael Hirsch. Rachael has modeled for us in two collections (stepping in at the last minute for her first time with us) and is such a great SmartGlamour supporter! Rachael chose her favorite photos from SmartGlamour collections and also some of her own Outfit of the Day photos to feature!

1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do? 
I feel really fortunate to be able to wear so many different hats outside of modeling!  I have been an Opera Singer for the past 10 years, and I love being able to share the gift of music with others.  I am also very passionate about educating people of all ages, creeds and nationalities about why it is so important to keep the arts alive and strong in the United States. When I’m not preparing for concerts or productions, rehearsing, or traveling for my singing career, I also am the office manager at IMG Artists, one of the world’s leading classical music management firms. Staying immersed in the business aspect of my industry keeps me on my toes for sure! Aside from my fierce love of music and the performing arts, I absolutely love empowering other women to be their best selves.  I volunteer frequently, and especially love working with organizations that look to help and educate women.  Of course, I love trying delicious new food, traveling, being outdoors in nature, cuddling my kitty Samson, and taking in everything the fabulous city of New York has to offer.
2. How did you get involved with the brand?
I came across a SmartGlamour post on Instagram calling for two more models to walk in the first ever Fall 2014 SG fashion show. I had been following SG already for a couple of months and had fallen in love with its message and beautiful clothes, so I said ‘why not?’ I sent in my measurements, and not long after that, I was strutting myself down the runway-It was awesome! I have felt so honored to be a part of this special brand’s growth and to witness how it’s changing the lives of so many women. Not to mention, my closet has gotten considerably cuter. Just saying… 🙂
Rachael in her Arianna Convertible Dress, maxi length – black and teal floral11401164_10101128416985388_6945608903280935452_n
Rachael in her Joan Sheath Dress in our sold out blue and white check
3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back?
It’s pretty simple. SmartGlamour is a brand created by a real (fabulous) woman, who understands real women, and does an unbelievable job of empowering women through fashion to feel gorgeous in their own skin.  THAT’S powerful.  In a society that tells women they have to fit a set of standards to be considered beautiful, it is SO refreshing to see a company that is doing something fresh, something different, and doing it WELL. How could I not continue to come back and show my support?
4. What does body positivity mean to you?
Body positivity means loving every inch of the skin you’re in.  It means loving the little squiggly stretch marks that show how much you’ve grown, it means loving the little rolls on your stomach (I endearingly call mine the ‘Little Poochie’), it means loving the way your thighs hike stairs and strut down the sidewalk to get you to where you need to go, it means accepting whatever you’ve got going on and unapologetically owning it.  The world is tough enough as it is, we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves as women! Always speak to yourself as you would speak positively about your best friend.  Remember that there is not one other body on planet earth that is exactly like yours. I also think it’s safe to say that exhibiting body positivity doesn’t just mean loving and honoring everything you’ve got, I believe it means honoring and respecting what all women have–We’re all in this together!
5. If there is a message you could put across to other women through your modeling photos – what would that be?
The message is plain and simple …Confidence is key! However you feel about yourself on the inside is sure to manifest on the outside.  It is my hope that when women see my photos and strutting down a catwalk, they think to themselves “hey…that girl isn’t perfect, and she’s still loving herself, and loving life.”  Happiness does not begin when you’ve think you’ve achieved the “perfect body” (what is the perfect body, by the way? Has anyone figured that out?) Oh yes, the perfect body is YOUR body, exactly how it is right now in this very moment. Cool, right? 🙂 
6. What is your advice to other women who would like to give modeling a try?
Throw any fears out of the window and go for it! Confidence, confidence, confidence!  It is important to also research different agencies to find out which one may be the best fit for you. For a long time, I only assumed models came in one shape and one size, but that’s not true!  I have had the pleasure of being a part of the curve division with MSA Models for the past year and a half, and I believe it’s so important not to take yourself too seriously.  Relax, enjoy the process of learning, expect a lot of work, a lot of rejection and keep staying diligent and positive on your own personal journey.  Getting as much practice as you can is also so important! Get in front of the camera as much as possible! Go to classes! Put on your iTunes and strut through your apartment to nail your catwalk!– Whatever it takes! Work hard, keep smiling through it all, and stay humble!

Model of the Month: Shenelle

Next up in our Model of the Month Series is Shenelle LaPierre. Shenelle has modeled for us in two collections and is always a joy to work with! Shenelle chose her favorite photos from SmartGlamour collections to feature!
1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do? 
When I’m not having fun modeling, I work full time as an entry writer for the Customs Brokerage department at C.H. Robinson International – a freight forwarding company. I know you’re wondering… What is an entry writer? Sort of an agent that reports data to US Customs for goods being imported into the U.S. by various importers domestic and foreign. We have a responsibility to make sure the information sent is true and compliant with customs regulations before the merchandise is released into the public. I’ve been in this industry for the past 10 years and I enjoy it. In addition, I am a NJ licensed bail bonds woman and a notary public. I try to stay busy and keep things fun and interesting. I love meeting new people, networking, traveling and trying new things.
2. How did you get involved with the brand? 
I came across an SG post on Instagram when I was looking for open model calls… This one was for the Fall 2014 look book and fashion show. I followed the instructions and weeks later we were shooting! I was nervous but excited that I was able to represent someone else’s brand that was all about self acceptance and body positivity. I had just broken into modeling so I felt this would be a great experience. I was still working on my angles and posing but all I had to do was be myself and have fun with it. I ended up enjoying the experience and have been a supporter ever since!
3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back?
SmartGlamour is not your average clothing line. It’s so much more than that.. It’s about equality for women of all shapes and sizes. Empowering women of all ages, shapes and sizes. Whether we are on the runway, the race track or the board room we should love ourselves for who we are and not by society standards. On the other hand, the bold prints, patterns and colors are trendy, customizable to your size and fun! You don’t come across many designers that offer to customize the clothing to your body. Many just have standard sizes or will charge an arm and leg for customized clothing. I’m always looking forward to different styles and trends and SmartGlamour brings it.

4. What does body positivity mean to you?
Body positivity to me means accepting yourself for who you are. My motto is “Dare to be you!” Don’t be afraid to be yourself regardless of the situation your in. I think body positivity deals with our mental and physical traits. So it all starts with you! We should never change or conform to someone else’s standards to please others. It is then that we get lost in ourselves. I say be blunt, be honest with others and yourself, be beautiful on the inside and out, it’s your life, live it! Smile, laugh, be witty, creative, outspoken, fashionable, observant, smart and charismatic. People will love you for the person you are because your actions are genuine rather than fake. That makes all the difference! If your close friends and family know who you are, then the world should too!

5. If there is a message you could put across to other women through your modeling photos – what would that be?
Confidence is golden! It exudes through your body, your smile, walk and that fabulous garment or outfit your wearing. You are more than just a body – so show yourself off! I feel when you’re comfortable in your own skin you can do anything. Know what you’re capable of and go for it. Remember, when you’re on the runway or in front of a camera, it’s your time to shine! Take those moments to show everyone the real you! Be you, be beautiful and those photos will be unforgettable.

6. What is your advice to other women who would like to give modeling a try?
My advice to women who want to model is to go for it! Models come in all shapes, sizes and ages. Know what you want to do and do your research! Research! Research! It’s very important. Some won’t tell you everything you need to know in order to book those shows or get signed with a reputable agency. The more I wanted to model, the more I searched for requirements and what I needed to do to prepare myself. Nothing is more upsetting than showing up to that casting or photo shoot unprepared. I went to model seminars, classes for posing and runway, and got important tips from reputable people in the industry. After a couple of classes and “model talk” seminars I felt more prepared. I knew what to do and how to present myself in order to land that gig or casting call. Also surround yourself with positive supporters who will bring you up and be happy for you! At the end of the day, if modeling is what makes you happy, that’s all that matters. Live your life, love what you and smile for the camera!