Model Mayhem 101: Getting Started

I know I keep directing my fellow model friends to (MM). Especially if you don’t have an agency. However, Model Mayhem, while widely used, has many in’s and out’s you should all be aware of.

What exactly is Model Mayhem?
Model Mayhem is an online social media networking outlet for models, photographers, and many more industry related individuals. As Model Mayhem expands, so does its users. There are accounts for not only makeup artists, hairstylists, and designers, but also stylists, photoshop wizards, artist/painters, body painters, digital artists, and agents.

Getting Started
I keep saying how important it is to network in this, and every other industry. Model Mayhem launched my networking abilities in the fashion industry and I’ve been climbing the rungs ever since. Model Mayhem is for dipping your toes and then diving in to the industry. I always suggest Model Mayhem for beginning models (unless your agency is adamant against you having an account or if they are already keeping your schedule full).

I’m not saying MM has been the driving force of my success. I’m saying it has been an ideal tool in showcasing my talent and connecting with other like-minded individuals.

How to sign up: Signing up for Model Mayhem is just like any other social media account. The only difference is, like Pintrest (if Pintrest still does this), you have to wait a day or two to be approved. Your approval is contingent upon the photos you submit for your portfolio. As long as they aren’t bathroom pics and ducklips (and even then, the acceptance rate is questionable), you should be approved.

Portfolio: Obviously you don’t want to submit bathroom pics for your portfolio, even if you’re starting from nothing. Have a friend or family member take some simple Polaroid shots of you. They needn’t be anything fancy, just some photos that show you off in a good light with nice clothes or a swimsuit.

If you have more professional photos, use those. It will be to your benefit to choose photos that your agency likes or is using for your physical and online portfolios. They know the market better than you do, so always seek their opinion where you can.

Profile: For now, you can get away with something quick and simple for your profile description. Most people begin this way. Here are some starter questions to answer in your description.

  • Who are you?
  • Do you have an agency? (see below)
  • Why have you joined MM?
  • What would you like to accomplish here?

IF YOU ARE AGENCY REPRESENTED, saying as much may help you or hurt you. Agency models are more sought-after and are likely to book more work and shoots. However, sometimes this scares collaborators off because they don’t wish to deal with a third party. You are also representing your agency when you say who is representing you on your profile. While you should be composed and professional at all times, it is especially important to be professional for your agency’s sake.

If your agency is unaware of your profile and a photographer contacts them about your profile, you could be reprimanded. Make sure your agency is aware of your profile. If they disapprove and have good reason to keep you off the site, then you should listen. If they are not maximizing your time, explain why you feel the need to maintain a MM profile. MM is a good tool to earn some side income. If that’s what you need, reason should stand it’s ground.

As you become more experienced and desirable in the local industry, your profile description will evolve and adapt with you and your reputation. Right now, as you are beginning your modeling career, your profile can be kept simple.

Where asked to put desired compensation, I make it a rule to select the option, “Depends on Assignment.” This allows you some wriggle room. You can choose to work for free (TF/Trade) with the people who will benefit your portfolio the most. As a rule of thumb, quality photography and tear sheets are always beneficial. For less experienced individuals than yourself, there can usually be a defined rate. There is an extremely fine line here, use discretion.

The credits section usually holds a list of all the people you have worked with, publications, magazines, and/or noteworthy events. Or you can leave it blank.

Select the artistic/fashion categories you are interested in for you and your modeling career. You may consult your agency about these.

For the website, I suggest linking to either your professional Facebook page if you have one, professional website, online portfolio, or agency profile.

Friends: Model Mayhem, as it rarely updates its website noticeably, if at all, is a little old fashioned. The friends list is literally just a running list of connections to your profile labeled “Friends.” That is all. Nothing special happens.

Some people are friend hoarders, to look more popular (that’s me). Others keep friends to people they know, like, want to work with, etc. I suggest accumulating friends. I started off being selective with accepting friend requests, but I gave up on that quickly. There was no point. I feel like collecting more friends increases MM status. Model Mayhem works in funny ways that way. Some MMers are also often drawn more towards “hoochy,” less skilled models. Model Mayhem is bashed on because of this attraction to less tasteful photos, but there are fashionable gems all over the site!

Announcement Board: When you visit the home page of Model Mayhem, you’ll see a running, ever-changing board of announcements. People are posting to this announcement board every minute. If you pay enough attention to the announcement board, you will start to see the same people posting often.

Based on how long you’ve been a member on MM and what kind of membership you have (don’t pay for a membership… it’s a waste of money), you are allowed to post an announcement every so often.

Announcements are, essentially, for bringing attention to your profile. Many people ask “comment for comment” in order to accumulate comments on their photos. Like a friend hoarder, this is a comment hoarder, which, I admit, am guilty for sometimes. Again, higher status! Other things to post are random, fun status updates, the major city you are in, a quote, etc.

I have only brushed upon the topic of getting started on Model Mayhem. When I had signed up, I hardly even knew what Model Mayhem was (their description in the FAQs is so vague). So you’re well ahead of where I was! In my next couple posts, I will continue to describe the ins and outs of MM, as well as being able to adapt your methods and profile to your growing image. There is a lot to know.

Be Fierce!!

Briauna Mariah (:

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