“How do I know if its a scam?” Part 1 #ModelTipTuesday

Day 4 – Still kickin it on Alex Beadon’s Blog Challenge and today’s challenge is to answer a frequently asked question in a blog post. I think that this is something that I;ll add to my blog on a weekly basis. #ModelTipTuesday will be dedicated to your questions about modeling. If there are any questions you have, send them to me via any of my social media sites, or email me your questions. I will either respond to them directly or respond to you and post the question as a blog post for others to learn from. So, Here I go!

One of the constant questions that I get asked about is scams. This modeling business can be shaaaady baby! I like to think that most people are inherently good but the ones that aren’t make it hard to decipher the good ones from the bad. I know it makes it hard to know who to trust and who is really there for your best interest or theirs, but there are a few things that you have to look at in order to really understand if something is a scam or not.

Check this out

Signs this might be a scam (according to Alean):

  1. If they contact you by email
    1. They are speaking in is broken English, or text message slang, or slang period
    2. The email address that they are emailing you from is non identifying (ex: 7394xytty@gmail.com) OR it doesn’t match the name of the person sending it (ex: Im Lisa Johnson but my email address is MartinElizabeth@gmail.com)
    3. They tell you they work with a well known brand or designer like, Ralph Lauren or Gucci (No high fashion brand is booking models sight unseen via the internet)
    4. They tell you that you have been selected to work for that big name client and want to pay you a large sum of money for your work but part of it will be paid upfront. (NO AGENCY WILL PAY YOU UPRONT AND ASK FOR THE MONEY BACK!)
    5. In order to you to be paid you have to provide them with a ton of personal information and your bank account information (ALL THAT INFO IS NOT NEEDED ESPECIALLY BANK ACCOUNT INFO)
    6. They leave no contact info (phone number, address, etc.) for you to contact them if you have any questions or want to look them up.

Take a look at this email that was sent to a model friend of mine.

 

Hello,

 Good afternoon to you over there and hope you are doing fine today?

thanks for your response, Presently the company (Ralph Lauren)

needs a model to advertise their new outfit and i am one of the

favored supervisor for the project coming up next month in your state.

Subsequently,The date is between 28th and 29th of June (NOTE THAT ON

YOUR CALENDAR) and the shoot location will be somewhere very close to

you and i will let you know it after details have been received…

 Beside how much is your charge for 4hrs in a day (WE PAY $250 TO

MODELS FOR PER HOUR SHOOT) and you are gonna do that for 2 days (Total

$2,000 for 8hours).

Transportation allowance will be included as we continue to work

together,you could be invited over to the company to sign a contract

with us if you pose pretty well. In order for this effect i would

implore you to provide me with your statistics (SIZE) as soon as

possible? so that what you need would be taken care of asap…

 You will first receive $300 to start with,which will be sent to you

immediately,this is for your transportation allowance only (NOTE: This

payment is for your transport ONLY and your full payment for the job

will be paid to you in cash immediately after the shoot in the

location).

 The photo shoots will be taken and sent to the company and it will be

display on our online web and magazine (worldwide).

 The company have personal photographers and makeup artist,so we have

made all necessary arrangement for your good looking on that day and

also our photographers are available to give you best directive. They

will be contacting you for proper

arrangement of time and location after payment has been made.

Bonus: The cloths you will be wearing for the shoot.

ESCORT:As matter of choice,you can bring along any one of your choice

to the shooting venue. All traveling Expenses, Food and

Accommodations/Hotel would be covered by my company. my company will

cover all the expenses on your escort.

EXPECTATIONS: You must have positive ID.

You must have a nice pedicure and manicure.

You must have nice smile and humble personality.

You must be willing to pose very well and good.

No hairy armpits.

 Reference and other forms/documented papers will be send to you via

courier service a week before the shoot.

 Guess the arrangement is understood? In order for payment to be made

to you on time,i would need you to provide me with the following

info…..

 

Name in full:

Residential address:

City:

State:

Zip-code:

Phone number(cell and home):

Age:

Charges $2,000(8 hours):YES/NO

Transport allowance $300:

OCCUPATION:

AGE:

ATTACH 2 RECENT PICTURES:

 

Measurements:

 

Best Regards,

Rick McNeil.

 

This kind of scam is a variation of the Nigerian Email scam. You know those emails that say they are a random Prince from some unheard of land and  they want you to claim your inheritance left by a distant relative, and they want to send you a check for the amount but you have to pay them money back once you cash the check… Yeah they took that to modeling. Check out this link that details more red flags you should be on the look out for if you happen to get a random email like this one – http://www.newmodels.com/Nigeria.html

 

Good luck out there in model land! and remember a Good Model is a Smart Model!

 

Be smart lovelies!

 

xoxo, Alean

How I got started as a model…

The header pic, is a pic from about 10 years ago, maybe more an 10 years, of my first swimsuit shoot in Atlantic City. I thought I was DOOOOOOING IT! lol Thank goodness that was the beginning and there was a lot of improvement to be had!

 

Day 2 of the 7 day blogging challenge by Alex Beadon, and the challenge is to write about how you got your start as an entrepreneur. Since my modeling is how I got my start as an entrepreneur, I decided to detail that. If you want to know how it got me to start my business, I’ll be detailing that in the future on my company’s blog, “The Pour”

 

Here Goes!

 

What initially drew you in to become a model?

 

I have a cousin that was a model when I was a kid. I remember looking at her pictures in her portfolio and some of her tear sheets from the ads and print work that she had done and thought to myself, I want to do that. The pretty, perfect, and polished look that she portrayed was what initially sparked my interest in modeling. I think I was around 9 years old when I realized a model is what I wanted to be.

 

What challenges did you face?

 

Well, the number one challenge that I faced was getting started. I didn’t know how or where to start, who could point me in the right direction, how to get work, what did I need to be a model, what was a scam and what was worth pursuing? And so forth.

My first comp card. Thank the Lord for growth lol (that email address, I no longer use by the way)
My first comp card. Thank the Lord for growth lol
(that email address, I no longer use by the way)

How did you overcome them?

 

I did a lot of researching, back when I was starting there were a few ‘urban’ models who had websites that displayed their portfolios and resumes and also gave a lot of tips on how they got started (before blogging was popular) so I took some of their advice from their sites as well as other modeling advice sites and started out on pursing my career. A lot of what I have come to learn has been from trial and error and research to figure out what path would be the best path for me to try. Through my research, I learned that pictures are the main thing that will get you booked and without them you won’t be taken seriously as a model. SO I set out to do a photo shoot. I found a few social networking sites dedicated to models and photographers and I put a few pictures of myself on there that opened myself as looking to shoot in order to build my portfolio and I had a number of photographers respond willing to shoot me and a few even for free! I decided to shoot with one photographer (I paid him) and ended up learning a TON from my initial shoot and used those pictures to book more shoots in order to perfect my posing and my port, and thus I began to seek out work and the bookings started to come.

 

How did you get your first booking?

 

My first booking was fashion show that I was referred to do by the same photographer that I did my very first shoot with. It was for a local designer, I can’t remember her name, but I was booked for that show based on the pictures he showed her that he shot of me. I didn’t even know how to walk the runway I was a PURE newbie, Lol But I booked it!

 

What has been your biggest lesson as a model?

 

The biggest lesson I have learned as a model is the vital fact that pictures and your network can and will take you places. Without the pictures and without knowing people you won’t get far. It’s like the saying goes, “Its not always what you know, its who you know and who knows you.”

Allow me to reintroduce myself…

My name is Hov, (Oh) H-to-the-O-V.……..
But not really tho! Lol

Hi I'm Alean

If you haven’t figured it out by the domain name of the site, my name is

Alean Elston

(AL-leen ELS-ten)

and welcome to my digital space!

I’ve been modeling for 12 years now (and still getting stronger) and as I’ve gone about in my career I’ve come across some awesome people and learned a lot about business and a ton about myself. What I’ve realized is that I learned the most when I shared with others and when they shared with me. It enabled me to grow and I hope that I’ve enabled others to grow as well. With that being said, my goal is to connect with the aspiring models, the professional models, the drinks and business enthusiast, and the beverage and modeling/entertainment industry folks who want to follow along with me in our journey with my blog. I believe that if you are one of those people, then we have a few things in common.

 

I love modeling, modeling led me to start my own business, starting my own business enabled me to work with various beverage brands and sparked the passion of me working within the beverage industry. All of these things are very connected in my life and if you have a passion for any one of those things, there is where we share our connection. I’ve been in your shoes as the inexperienced model, looking to find out how to get started and how to start booking shoots, shows, and getting paid. I’ve been the business owner that struggled (sometimes I still struggle) to get the first client and develop the momentum to continue to build a customer base. I am the person passionate about cocktails and wine and beers and wanted to learn all I can about the business of it, I’m also the blogger that lives life just like you but my goal is to share my experiences and ideas and to connect with those who share the same sentiment, and build and grow.
The one thing that I hope that you take away from my blog is that you can have multiple goals but they mean nothing if you don’t pursue them. All it takes is a few baby steps towards your goals for them to gain traction and watch it grow faster than the speed of light. I’ve watched it happen to a number of my peers, and now it’s my turn.

Watch me work.
If you need to reach out to me with any questions, or you would like to work together please don’t hesitate to email me – alean@aleanelston.com

Success: Its All About Your Perspective and the Progression of Time

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” ― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Recently I was afforded the opportunity to work with a new client for their company’s promotion for Alexis Bittar at Neiman Marcus and it was pretty interesting. It was for a company called PaintAPic.com and what they offer is a custom paint by number painting that you complete based on any photo that you submit. So what happens is you send them a picture, it could be a picture of your dog, a picture of you, a picture of whatever! and they flatten out that picture and turn it into a paint by number picture. With your picture they also send you the paint you need to complete the artwork and the canvas &  paint brushes so you’ll have everything you need to complete your art project.

(But back to the point of this blog post, lol) For this particular promotion we were asked to do a paint by number version of Alexis’s latest advertisement for his FINE collection pictured here:

alexis_bittar_ad_fall_winter_2013_2014

Before we started to paint I wasn’t told exactly what it was that we were going to be painting. To see the Paint-A-Pic before its completed, I thought it was mountains and rivers and all that jazz. Basically I thought we were going to be painting a picture of a landscape. See the picture below and tell me its not a mountain scene! lol:

Alexis-Bittar-PaintAPic-Neiman-Marcus

Ok so if you don’t think its a mountain scene its okay, I see it as that because that’s how it appeared to me upon my first sight of the work ahead, its just my perception. As we started to paint, I still couldn’t see how this was going to become a version of the ad, but we pressed on, section by section. As we continued on in our work, people were walking by wondering what it was we were working so hard on. My job was supposed to be paint the picture and try to get others involved in painting it with us and talk about the product. For me it was a bit difficult, ONLY because doing this painting in a high traffic area caused me to tune everything out and focus. That’s rare for me! lol I was so into this painting I missed the chance to engage with potential consumers. eventually I forced myself to multitask and draw people in but my main thought was, I gotta finish this I want to see how this is all going to look completed. But like all work that has to be done, this painting was taking more time than I thought. We painted and painted and being that I was so close on the work I still didn’t see what it was supposed to be, but everyone that walked by could see it.

 

Why?

 

Because they were looking at it from a different perspective. Because they were able to see it from a distance, they could see that all the small pieces we were painting and the time an energy and effort we were putting into the painting, was building itself into becoming a great piece of art work.

 

See where I’m going with this? Check out this picture of the painting mid-way through:

2013-12-06 17.51.52

It was in the moments after the painting was finished, when I stepped back and looked at the finished product, I realized how much this painting experience is a story of my life. I take on projects knowing that there is going to be a lot of work involved and often times as I get a little deep into a project, especially when its taking a long time, I can get a little frustrated wondering if this is going to turn out as great as I originally thought it could be. I have people that see what I’m working on and I get compliments or people that want to be a part of what I’m working on, and personally sometimes I cant see exactly what or how things are going to turn out, even  though I know it is going to be great in the end, because I’m too busy focusing on what i’m doing up close and not in the scheme of the big picture. And even though I know things will come together if I stick with it and do the little things in order to build it into bigger things in time, I have to learn that there are little steps in order to get to the big vision. With this experience though I have learned that in order for me to keep focus on the big picture at hand and not get discouraged or frustrated or any other emotions that don’t help the work/project positively, time to time while I work on things I need to step back and see that the little things that I have been doing are shaping to be a vision of success that can only be obtained if I complete the smaller components that make it all come together.

 

And with that Success is obtained through your perception of progress through time.

Thanks for checking out a bit of whats in my mind 🙂

 

Oh yea, here’s a finished picture of the paining:

Alexis-Bittar-PaintAPic-Completed

Pretty cool right?!

 

Be sure to check out PaintaPic.com to get your custom paint by number canvas and Neiman Marcus for the latest Alexis Bittar Jewlery. Tag me in your instagram pic if you get either, I’d love to see it. Follow me on IG – @completebeauty

So I decided to start #Vlogging…

So I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m like, #justdoit, lol. There are so many things that I want to accomplish and try and see, that If I wait for things to be perfect, it will never happen.

I’ve always wanted to video blog and I’m stepping out and just doing it and letting it take me where ever it may.

So here goes!

The video blogs will be released once a week, beginning the week of 8/5/13 and will cover a range of topics. If there is something you’d like me to vlog about, explain a blog post in more detail, let me know. Comment my posts and videos, email me, tweet me, facebook me send me smoke signals or whatever! The more you talk to me the more I can shape the content to best help you all.

I hope you enjoy!

Alean

I need a new Place to Work…

As some of you may know, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook,  My favorite place to get work done is at Starbucks. I love the “caffinated” atmosphere, everyone sipping and getting work done. I think the smell of coffee also gets me motivated to do work too… but, I NEED A NEW PLACE TO WORK!!!

and by that I don’t mean a job (but if you have any leads I’m perfect for please let me know!). I mean a new place in terms of location. Starbucks gives me what I need when I’m here but I cant keep spending $3 – $10 a day on this “crackk!” I wish there were some places where I can work that gives me the same atmosphere, free wifi, and great coffee drinks at a lower price!

Please give me some suggestions!

Places I’ve tried:
Panera Bread
Dunkin Donuts
Barnes and Nobles
Various Diners located close to me

I just missed you…Return to sender #life

image

I just got this in the mail today…

“Return to sender… Unable to forward.”

There is a reason for that… See, I sent this get well card to a co-worker of mine that was sick in the hospital. The day after I sent it, she had passed.

She never got my well wishes and thoughts of encouragement. I can’t help but to think, if she had gotten this, would this have brightened her spirits and maybe set her on the path of getting better? Or, I should have sent this last week then things would be different.

Getting this in the mail today just reminded me that she really is gone and I never got to speak with her one last time. Sigh

I’ll just keep with me the memories and hope my well wishes, appreciation, and prayers are felt.

Purchase PINK! – 4 Great Breast Cancer Awareness Items that Benefit the Cause

So for about a week now, I have been searching for products that are on sale in order to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness. I have searched all over the web and I have compiled this short listing, I hope you will enjoy and Purchase PINK! for a great cause.

 

Breast Cancer Ribbon Soap – ButterflySoapCreations.com – $8

Purchase this 5 oz. fully usable soap scented with Angel Wings and Butterfly Kisses and $4.00 will be donated to National Breast Cancer Foundation LLC. for the month of October!

 

The Original MBA – Sandra Weaver Carman$19.99 Special Pre Sale Price $15

Know someone entering the work force or starting their own business? The Original MBA – Succeed in business with Mom’s Best Advice, a book filled with time-tested strategies which lead to a new, modern wisdom. The book is based on the last Mother’s Day gift the author gave her Mom, who died from metastatic breast cancer. “It was a list of the lessons she had taught me,” states Carman, “Fifteen of those lessons were fleshed out for the book, which will be released on 10/16, Mom’s birthday. The lessons included in the book are illustrated with the story of how I learned it as a child and another story, this time from some point in my career, where that lesson served me well. There are also “MBA Chores” in the book so readers can lock in the lessons for themselves.” 5% of the proceeds go to It’s The Journey, Inc., an organization that supports women with breast cancer, raises awareness of breast cancer and funds early detection initiatives for uninsured women.

 

Pepper Spray Key Chain – SABRE Red – $10

Be safe and benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation at the same time. For every purchase made a donation to the NBCF is made for each pink pepper spray unit sold through SabreRed.com. according to SABRE Red, “We donate 10% of the sale and thus far have donated over $300,000.00 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.” The Quick Release PINK PEPPER SPRAY with detachable keychain allows immediate access to your defense spray when unlocking a door or driving an automobile. The most popular SABRE style, the NBCF PINK PEPPER SPRAY Quick Release, is a powerful 0.54 oz container delivering a ballistic stream which reduces wind blow-back about 10 feet. Approximately 25 shots are contained in the compact canister.

 

Love Noes Admired Vase – Lenox.com – $59.95

This beautiful vase is a wonderfult addition to your home or office. Not to mention it makes a wonderful gift for someone especially since the holidays are coming up. The Lenox Love Notes collection helps support breast cancer education; 10% of the proceeds from the sale of these products is donated to Breastcancer.org. The Love Notes Admired Vase, stands 11″ tall. It’s crafted of fine porcelain accented with 24 karat gold.

 

AleanElston.com Goes PINK for October

October is host to a lot of different things:

National Dental Hygiene Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, National Book Month, and a whole HEAP of other things. (this link lists them all – http://www.brownielocks.com/october.html) But there are 2 MAIN reasons why AleanElston.com went pink this month and they are:

My Birthday is in October and PINK is my favorite color 😀

and

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Last year I made it a point to add BCA facts every weekday during the month to get people educated about the facts concerning breast cancer. Being that I feel like I’m doing waaay more lately than I was doing last year, I figure I would display a few facts here and add more facts on my facebook and twitter as my time permits. Check out a few facts below.

Breast Cancer Awareness Facts:

  • No causal connection has been found between drinking caffeine and getting breast cancer; in fact, some research suggests that caffeine may
    actually lower your risk. So far it’s inconclusive whether breast soreness may be linked to caffeine.
  • Hair straighteners/relaxers DO NOT cause breast cancer in African-American women. A large 2007 study funded by the National Cancer Institute found no increase in breast cancer risk due to the use of hair straighteners or relaxers. Study participants included African-American women who had used straighteners seven or more times a year for 20 years or longer.
  • Myth: Living near power lines can cause breast cancer. Reality: A 2003 study aimed at explaining what appeared to be a high incidence of breast cancer in certain counties on Long Island, N.Y., found no link between the disease and electromagnetic fields emitted by power lines. An earlier study conducted in the Seattle area yielded a similar conclusion. Research into potential environmental risk factors is ongoing.
  • MYTH: Breast implants can raise your cancer risk. REALITY: Women with breast implants are at no greater risk of getting breast cancer,
    according to research. Standard mammograms don’t always work as well on these women, however, so additional X-rays are sometimes needed to more fully examine breast tissue.
  • Ladies, Do you do regular self breast exams? Dont know how to, how often, or when to do it? Check out this video:http://www.5min.com/Video/Self-Breast-Exam-119380343
  • Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women.
  • White women have a higher incidence of breast cancer than African American women beginning at age 45. In contrast, African American women have a higher incidence rate before age 45 and are more likely to die from breast cancer at every age.
  • The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).
  • Weight can increase breast cancer risk. Obesity is a factor considered when determining a breast cancer risk.
  • Out of every one hundred cases of breast cancer, one will occur in a man.
  • Cigarette smoking is a risk factor with an uncertain, controversial, or unproven effect on breast cancer risk, but, smoking does contribute to saggy boobs. Smoking breaks down your skin’s elastin making you a “saggy smoker”
  • Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women between the ages of 15 and 54, and the second cause
    of cancer death in women 55 to 74.
  • Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam (CBE) as part of a periodic (regular) health exam by a health professional, preferably every 3 years. After age 40, women should have a breast exam by a health professional every year.
  • Ninety-six percent of women who find and treat breast cancer early will be cancer-free after five years.
  • You are never too young to develop breast cancer! Breast Self-Exam should begin by the age of twenty.

So that’s why the site is pink for October. If you have any events going on concerning Breast Cancer Awareness please let me know, if available, i might attend or Blog about it. Leave me a comment with the details or email them to me directly at alean@aleanelston.com

 

Twitter Motivation from @SuzeOrmanShow

Yesterday I was able to do something that I don’t get the chance to do too much… and that was lounge around and watch a little bit of tv. Thats when I came across Suze Orman and the Money Class. I am definitely a fan of her show and I watch it everytime I can, but for some reason I heard something that I never heard her say before… and that was that you should have an 8 month emergency fund in place… I was like WTH?! That just seems soooo impossible for me… 8 months tho?!

I told my self that I would start crafting a strategy and put it in place and attempt to give this a try with my already extended budget. But out of my frustration, thinking, and just out right awe about 8 months… I sent Suze an empty tweet (Empty Tweet is a tweet/mention that I don’t expect anyone to respond to), and to my surprise SHE RESPONDED!!!

This is what she said:

3 words…

Doesn’t sound like she said anything ground breaking right?! But to me that was something that I needed to hear at that current time, and Ms. Orman was right on time with it.

 

And you know what?! She was totally right, nothing is impossible and that unexpected response shook me out of that mind set and I started working on things yesterday with an renewed excitement.

 

To Suze if you ever read this, I just want to say thank you 🙂

 

The power of words is amazing, don’t you agree?! 😉