Hey ANTM fans! Here’s a unique perspective from our America’s Next Top Model guest video blogger, professional petite model Isobella Jade! Each week she’ll be sharing her insights about Cycle 13 with us here at BuddyTV from her vantage point as a pint-size model trying to make it in the industry.

By Isobella Jade

What do running and beauty have in common? Well, a lot, if you are on America’s Next Top Model. The mini-models of cycle 13 got a beating last night racing through Wal-Mart for the CoverGirl beauty challenge. Nigel and his beauty-wife Crissy Barker announced the challenge and prize of getting to be featured on CoverGirl’s page on Walmart.com and a $1000 gift card. The job: Race through Wal-Mart to different model-prep-stations, tank tops and jeans (did anyone else wonder how all of the girls fit in the same pair of jeans…were they all a size 0 or 2?), shoes (same thing, were the shoes all the same size?), beauty, and photography, in an attempt to prove the importance of hustling to get ready fast before a go-see or modeling casting.

The catch was that each station did not have enough items for each model, so the first runners that got to the station could continue on, and the rest got eliminated. They had three minutes to do their face, which makeup artist Sam Fine had sort of, but not really, prepared them for in a quick beauty session before the challenge.  
 At the end, the girls looked disheveled and exhausted from running and were judged on their appearance and makeup. Bianca, Erin (who pushed and shoved her way to the finish and had an issue with Ashley along the way), and Sundai stood in jeans and tank tops, waiting to be judged.

Sundai won, and I was very excited for our littlest girl to win the Beauty-Indy-400 around Wal-Mart.  

Tyra Ruins the Beauty Shot for the Shorties
Then, the miniature models on America’s Next Top Model cycle 13 were wrapped in sheer scarves and prepared for a beauty shot. The concept intrigued me because a beauty shot is an important shot for a petite model to have. Beauty modeling is an area the short girl can capture, so I watched with curious eyes to see how Tyra would pull this off.  

She started by being the photographer of the day.

So far the shots the models have had–re-enacting a childhood photo, on a horse, and with a bunch of metal–have not been that impressive. I think many of their shots, such as Laura’s with the baby doll in her hand, should eventually be cropped and turned into beauty shots.

Many times for an aspiring model, while in front of the camera it can be a challenge to produce that beauty shot straight on to the camera because it involves a certain confidence but also ease as you position the face. It takes focus to bring a calmness, but at the same time sternness, to your face. Often the beauty shots I have in my portfolio were originally full body or three quarter length shots that I later cropped. A beauty shot happens best when you internally know how your face feels when it is ready to be shot. Your eyes often guide the shoot more than the photographer during a beauty shoot, and when you face is ready for the shot, you feel it in your eyes.

I wish Tyra went into more detail about the difference between producing a beauty shot and a commercial print photo or fashion image. I also did not like the scarf concept, and thought it was not necessary to cover the girl’s faces with scarves for a beauty challenge.

Best beauty shot:
Sundai (To me she had an amazing episode; the result of her photo shoot was one of the only shots that was just of the model’s face.)
Most creative with the scarf: Ashley

I don’t think Brittany should have won the photo shoot because her face was barely visible with the tan sheer scarf covering her face, which me doesn’t represent a quality beauty shot.

During the shoot Tyra had issues with Erin: not the way she modeled, but the personality she lacked during the shoot. When the camera was not clicking, Erin answered questions with her eyebrow as if her expressions could speak louder than her voice. Tyra stressed how Erin needed to work on her personality on set, and I agree. Models should bring not just their beauty and confidence to the set, but their personalities. They should be able to hold a conversation. It is also the model’s role to keep the shoot flowing, positive and fun. I have been on sets where the atmosphere was rude, harsh and hurried, and I brought that burst of energy, conversation and laughter that brought a lightness and enjoyment to the task we needed to get done. I also think creative people–those who are interested and understand art and design–are better models, since modeling is a visual job.

Tyra had issues with Ashley and blamed her for being so difficult, which was ridiculous because it was Tyra who was so flustered, not Ashley. I thought her first scarf looked fine; she didn’t need to be changed 3 times. Sometimes on shoots things do change. Models should try not to smudge their makeup during changes, and keep a positive spirit no matter what the voices are saying about how bad that outfit or styling looks. But this was an example of a stressed, annoying photographer.

Aheadshot.jpgThe Key to the Perfect Beauty Shot
To prepare for a beauty shot, I suggest going to the mirror. Get to know the photographer’s point of view in your reflection. Seeing what the camera sees, practicing your poses, and knowing your face angles can help you be a better beauty model.

Over the years I have become more confident with the straight-on eyes to the camera shots, but it takes time, and actual desire to learn how to be a better model. Being able to pull off a beautiful straight on to the camera shot is a good goal for a shorter model and I wish Tyra went into more detail about this.

If you have a visual in mind while you shoot a beauty shot, such as thinking about cosmetic ads, sunglasses ads, skincare ads, hair care ads, and other ads and editorials that involve close-up and full body beauty shots, you will be able to create a better shot. Also, a beauty shot can involve a smile and doesn’t have to involve massive makeup. Some beauty ads are more simple or natural, and even a little messy, with hair in the face in a wind-blown or beach style.

If an aspiring model doesn’t have a beauty shot in her portfolio, she should work hard to get a good one, crop a photo she already has, and strive to study beauty ads. The Beauty area of the modeling industry has no height requirement. It is a place that welcomes girls of all shapes and sizes.

Keep Looking Beautiful,

Isobella Jade is known as one of the tiniest working models out there. She is also the author of Almost 5’4″, her modeling memoir, and the upcoming graphic novel, Model Life: The Journey of a Pint Size Fashion Warrior. Daily Isobella gives modeling insight and advice on her blog on being a shorter-than-average model, and speaks weekly on her radio show called Model Talk. Jade has booked modeling jobs for Marshalls , Victoria ‘s Secret, Easy Spirit, Macy’s, Time Magazine, TLC, and more, and has been featured in The New York Daily News, The New York Times, Allure.com, Page Six, The New York Post, and Nylon.

Read More by Isobella:
Short Model Sensei: You’re Never Too Short to Model! (And More Thoughts on the ANTM Premiere)
Short Model Sensei: Tyra’s No Revolutionary! (Thoughts on ANTM Cycle 13 Ep.3)
Short Model Sensei: How to Get the Most Out of Your Inches (ANTM Ep. 4)

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like The OfficeIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole Twilight thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.