The phone rings, and you answer the call and hear your agent shout, “Congratulations!!!” You have been selected as the new print model for the Hottest Accessory Line of Hats and Scarves. Your agent goes on to describe how your personality, smile and creativity bubbled over in all your pictures from going-natural.com, really resonating with the customer. By simply ‘being you’, you have been granted an opportunity of a lifetime to represent this season’s new line of hats and scarves.
Your challenge, if you choose to accept is as follows:
· You have no time to style your hair.
· You must meet with the photographer and customer immediately for your photo shoot without any instructions of what is required or expected.
Merriam-Webster defines Expectation as:
1 : the act or state of expecting : anticipation expectation of what would happen>
2 a : something expected s> s for an economic recovery> b : basis for expecting : assurance c : prospects of inheritance —usually used in plural
3 : the state of being expected With each modeling assignment, the expectations of the customer, designer and/or photographer may not always present itself in a way that is preferred.
The vision of the photo shoot can very well be undefined or fluid, with the staff and production team providing several different perspectives of the artistic direction of the shoot. Panic is not an option, neither is retreat. So what do you do?
First things first, identify your product, i.e. what you are selling? It’s all about hats and scarves in this photo shoot. You want to inspire fashion magazines, online readers, and onlookers to go out and purchase the products you are advertising.
Identify your strengths and capitalize on them. Now that the focus of the photo shoot is known, how can you incorporate your strengths to bring out your best in the shoot? Do you have a great smile? Do you have a small waist? Do you have a long neck? Are you a dancer at heart? Are you good at tying knots? I bring up these questions to inspire you to be creative and think outside the box. What appears as a quirky, ugly, or indifferent by most, is actually a physical strength within you. Learn how to work it in your favor.
Bring together the Product + Your Strengths. If you have a great smile, do not hide it. Put on your hat and scarf and SMILE… Be silly. Have fun so your smile genuinely shines through. What better way to accentuate a small waist than by tying the scarf around it? This way you are selling the product and showcasing your best asset. Alternatively, there is nothing like a long neck graced with a beautiful wrapped scarf. Showcase your neck and shoulders by wrapping and tying the scarf in various ways. This way you are giving the consumer options on how to wear scarves. When I think of the greatest dancers and entertainers of all time like Fred Estaire, Gene Kelly, Michael Jackson, I see the timeless Fedora hat! My mind goes back to their unforgettable dance moves. Why not bring that energy to the set? Channel your inner Michael, Fred, and Gene and have fun while doing it!
Learn short cuts on how to style your hair in a pinch. Whew! Lady Luck was on your side since you did not have time to style your hair. The majority of your hair will be covered under the hat and/or scarf. However, your hat doesn’t have to cover your hair completely. You have several options. Try twisting only the hair that frames your face and a few strands in the back with a Leave-In Moisturizer. I suggest using Jamaican Mango and Lime Cactus Leave-In Moisturizer to hydrate and nourish your hair in a pinch. Untwist your hair right before the shoot begins. This will give the illusion that you have a head full of twist outs but you actually only have a few twisted out strands poking out of the hat. Another option is tying the scarf around your head with the knot in the back and then wearing the hat. This is such a cute twist on wearing your scarf, and no one will know what you hair looks like underneath! Last but not least, if all else fails grab a hair pick and pick out your hair to achieve a big afro. Again, channel your inner Michael and rock a page boy or apple jack hat with an afro in the back. Your creativity is endless, only if you allow yourself to be open to the possibilities.
My personal journey and lessons learned. Each one of us possesses our own unique gifts and natural abilities. Instead of trying to be someone or something you are not, work with what you have. Become aware of what makes you special and “Do You”! I may no longer be a supermodel size and I am definitely not a teenager or a twenty-something. However, through out my 33 years of living I have discovered who I am, what I stand for, and what my spiritual and natural gifts are. I know now what clothes and shapes look best on my body. I embrace and rock my natural hair to the fullest. I have become a more confident and assured woman with new found awareness of my own being. This awareness comes across in my pictures and demonstrates how well I work with others. When you know what you stand for and have placed boundaries in your life to prevent yourself from falling into life’s pitfalls and traps, you are less likely to worry about what others think about you. When the vision for your life is predetermined by you, you will have leverage and control over your own identity. You will also stand up for your self when faced with the Industry’s idea of what you should look like and how you should present yourself to the public. How many times have we seen models or musical artists portrayed as oversexed, underweight, or so far removed from who they truly are?
A true leader faces the “giants” in life that no one else is willing, or is simply afraid, to tackle. When you are holistically at your best, a bad hair day is rather humorous. You have so much more to offer the world and it will definitely show in your pictures and portfolio.