Saturday, October 13, 2007


Dear Players,

Another week has passed us by and what have we all learned from it ?
This week column is a continue from the last week posting about different International Markets for modeling work

This week we will be talking about Dubai, Greece and Turkey.
A great place for models starting out and want to build their portfolio is Athens in (Greece) if not in Asia region.
Because of all the different variation of magazines, such as high Fashion, Glamour, Men magazine, Car magazine, Women magazine etc. Greece has more then 70 different magazines and is always in a constant search for models for their editorials. There are a few agencies very good in Greece of many. Many models are searching them self in to greece to build their book and to enjoy the beautiful country, food, weather and parties it offers everyday.
The Greece market can be very good for some models and some not , like any other market. To me, honestly it wasn’t that good. For what reason I don’t know, as I usually clean up the jobs in every market I travel to. The greek market has a demand for Blond models and dark big guys with Muscles.
Greece is not the best place to make money, which all models are aware of. A editorial can pay a model very lousy money. So low as 50 USd for a photo-shoot and then its agency commission on top of that.
But that’s Ok if you as a model are looking for building the portfolio. There are still commercial and print work to make money from.

Going to casting in Athens can be a hassle if the agency you’re working for not has a car. Which many agencies unfortunately don’t. I can remember a few years ago, it was only Elite Agency having car for their models to travel in. Since its a few years ago I was there I not to sure of the changes from the other agencies ??
The weather and the islands in Greece is amazing. Greek people like to stay out , relaxing in coffe shops or go clubbing night time. Athens is a very happening city almost every night. There are massive nigh clubs along “Glefada” Beach, where all the celebrities,model and hot people shaking their asses. A very good place to Party is “Venue Club” and “Akrotiri” as well “De steel Club”. during the weekends, a hot spot for models to go is Buddha bar, where most of the city models and celebrities go to chill out and spend time together.
Most of the night clubs in Greece have models night set up, drinks, food etc..

Day time while attending castings can be a hassle, because Athens is a very big and wide spread city to live in. Its a lot of traffic and pollution. One day out and your face is Black. Many models are taking the subway and busses to casting. I prefer to spend a bit more but travel convenient. Which is a investment in your self. Or why not try to split a cab with other models from you agency. Which is a possibility as well. The casting are usually very far from each other and it can be a lot of walking. So make sure to have those sneakers on hand and ready to walk. The agency supplies their models with map, which they deduct end of contract like anything else. Nothing comes free for models except Alcohol, Food and drugs. Ha ha ha... I wonder why ???
Agencies usually charges their models 30 % commission. Not many agencies advance for their models to come. Models flying to Greece usually need to have their flight booked them self, Hotel etc.. Agencies arranges apartment or Hotels for their models to a less cost. A month stay could set you back around 600-700 USD. Greece can be a very expensive place for many models. Especially if they not working that much there. Stay focus and think business and everything will be OK.

Turkey market:

Where should I start talking about Turkey. I don’t have many good things to say about the Fashion work in Turkey. Except that they have many good photographers who works internationally and create some amazing editorials shoots.
Most of the work in turkey are catalogues, a bit of commercial work and some magazines.
Turkey is a big export market for fabrics and textile. So there are always brands popping up everywhere and high demand for models. The problem with Turkey is that there are far to many agencies around under cutting each other and many not-so-good models. And its not like the Turkish clients think to much on their brand. That’s how I see it. Of course in Business you should always cut costs, depending on the investments of course. But I have seen some clients just taking crap models because they are a couple of hundreds dollars cheaper. In fact I’m myself are working with the top agency in istanbul, and the rates for us models in this agency is 3-4 times more then other agencies fee’s. But the quality of models as well is better. Photo-shoots in Turkey are many time Ok. No much stress and very relaxed. Stylists, photographers assistants are very accommodating. At least trying to be. I had a lot of fun working there because of all the people and friends I meet. Without meeting them, I would have hated Istanbul.

Istanbul is a very beautiful city that is divided between Europe and Asia. There is bridge that separates these two borders from each other. What’s good and bad with Turkey, is that the agency has a car for models to move around in for casting and jobs. The negative side is that you will be stuck in this car all day long with long traffic jams and squezzed between a few models. Which sometimes isn’t that bad, depending on who you sitting with of course ;)

make sure to bring your own healthy food and drinks. Not Alcohol OK ! hee..
The agencies in Turkey supply their models with Weekly allowance as well advance Accommodation air-ticket etc. Same here which will be deducted end of contract. Editorial work pays between 100-200 USd.
Catalogues if you work with my agency “Fashion Ajans” its between 800- and up to 1500 USd a day depending on the job. Tv-Commercial ranges between 2000 to 5000 and higher a day. Campaigns varies from different brands. Turkey can well be a expensive place to live in. Also make sure to watch out for all the cheaters. There are far to many of them unfortunately in turkey. Istanbul is a quite unpleasant place for beautiful women as the turkish men don’t have much respect for women. So walking along during night isn’t the best suggestion to do. Always try to remember the ays taxi takes you. Because they love to always take the longer way with their clients.
On the other hand if you’re out to party and have fun, there are quite many good places to go depending on the season you travel to Turkey. A popular place is “Ulus 29” and “Reinar club”. Very hip, Where all the rich and beautiful people goes late night. Make sure to bring a big wallet with you. The restaurant bills are quite outstanding compare to other countries.

If you not lucky to find yourself a rich man or woman to take you out.
Other then that, Istanbul has very beautiful architecture. The small walking streets with loaded coffee shops, Bars and restaurants are very pleasant with friends.

Have some nice cheese and White wine its a must while visiting istanbul. And the food is very delicious.Mmmmm...
Don’t have to high hopes on the work in Turkey as you will be competing to not-so-good models and cheaper ones then you.

Dubai Market:
Dubai has established itself as a major worldwide tourist destination, It’s a rapidly developing cosmopolitan city located on the coast offering miles of white sandy beaches and warm turquoise seas – as well as the beach life visitors come to Dubai for the superb shopping, Arabian cuisine and the desert. 
Dubai is one the seven Emirates that makes up the United Arab Emirates and is the second largest. Most of the year Dubai is warm and humid, averaging 40° degrees in the summer months. Please note temperatures in the summer can exceed 45+ so it is very important to keep hydrated. During winter, the temperatures drop to between 24°– 30 so a jumper in the evenings can be a necessity. 
Dubai is conveniently located only 6 hours from London and all major airlines including British Airways and Emirates have daily flights. 
Dubai is very cosmopolitan in lifestyle and welcomes most nationalities and religions. The main practiced religion is Islam – the local women are covered but there is no dress code for visitors and/or foreign residents, although a respect of the country and its religion is advised.  
The local currency is UAE Dirhams and Fils. The Dirham is tied to the US dollar. Do not exchange money at the airport there are many banks and exchange houses in town offering more competitive rates. Bring either cash or dollars, travelers cheques are not so easy to exchange. All major credit cards are recognized. 

The official weekend for government sectors in Dubai is Thursday afternoon and Friday, although many private companies recognize Friday / Saturday as their weekend. 


Things to do, places to go 
Being a major tourist destination Dubai offers numerous activities and ways to spend your weekends and free time. The beach is a great place to unwind and relax, beaches are sandy, open and safe. There are plenty of beach clubs which you can join for 1 month, they contain first class gyms, most gyms offer a good selection of classes. For the more adventurous, the desert offers camping trips, dune driving, sand boarding and camel rides. 

Dubai is a shoppers haven. The air-conditioned shopping malls house all well known brands such as Gucci, Armani, Ralph Lauren, Zara, Mango, and Debenhams. Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Mac Donalds and Burger King are all available. For those tempted by the more ethnic Arabia – explore the traditional souks ( gold, silver and spice souks ) After all Dubai is known as the city of Gold .Alternatively if you are looking for fakes there are plenty in the form of handbags, designer clothes and watches in Karama.  
Dubai has a plentiful nightlife, beach parties, clubs, pubs and concerts. 

Dos and Don’ts  
In the UAE you need to be 21 and over to legally buy or consume alcohol, that includes club entry! Although alcohol is legal in Dubai there are stiff penalties for drink driving, under age drinking – and you could end up with a hefty fine or even a jail sentence, likewise with Drugs – the penalty for Drugs in Dubai is life imprisonment. 
Clothing - swimsuits and bikinis are fine for the beach and pool you can wear short skirts and tight fitting clothes, but it is more respectful to be less revealing and stop the men ogling. 

Female and male models should ideally be of a Mediterranean appearance. The greater demand is for dark hair, however eye color is not restricted and skin tones can be pale. Female models should ideally be at least 175cm and men 180cm plus, bodies should be thin and toned. A good smile is important as is a good catwalk presence. Most of our work is commercial. 
Type of work available:
Print/Press ads
Fashion shows
Corporate Video
Corporate brochure, Hotels, Airlines, properties.
Editorial ( only a small amount of magazine work but it is growing ! )  
Dubai’s population is only Dhs 2 million. Many people have a false preconception of Dubai and expect huge earnings and mega buyouts. The City is oil rich but in terms of advertising and consumers it is a small market. We work on the same percentages as South Africa, use this as a guideline.  
Accommodation will be a flat/villa share either with other models or the owners. The accommodation is of a high standard. Estimated rent of Dhs 500 - 700 per week. Food and eating out can be relatively cheap, so your expenses largely depends on your lifestyle. Wherever you stay you will be responsible for any telephone/internet charges and purchasing of your own food and drinks.  
Your Expenses 
Any expenses which may include (dependant on your guarantees- if any) visas, flights, accommodation, sim card, driver, laser copies, scans, copy books, couriers etc will be added to your account and be deducted from the final balance. You can check your account with our accountant. 
Dubai does not have a train system and only a very limited bus service. When traveling I advise you to taxi government taxis ( the yellow colored metered cabs) they are safe and inexpensive. Alternatively you could rent a car, you would need to bring your driving license. Your first days in Dubai will be spent on go-sees, normally with another model. There are not many go-sees to be taken so you may on some days find yourself with free time on your hands. 



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