Miss Asian Vancouver 2015 Charity Gala – Catwalk Coaching

Mar, 7th, 2015

Contestants gathered at popular nightclub 10:00 am Saturday morning. Victoria & Alina brought a special guest with them. Click Yunona, Miss Russian Vancouver to view photos of the November 2014 Charity Gala. She shared with the contestants her personal experience about her evening dress, high heels, the runway and the silver top she made for her talent performance. Also, she gave catwalk coaching tips, recorded contestants with her cellphone and helped organize the girls by height so they could be assigned their contestant numbers.

During the break Victoria and Alina asked the contestants what they would perform during the talent segment. It was interesting to hear everyone’s preferences. They also discussed the logistics of how they would set up the stage for each performance.

Jessie Li, Panel Judge

Jessie is a model and the founder of J.Li Models. In my Vancouver Best Dressed 2014 post, I voted her and two others the Best Catwalk Models. Jessie has an amazing walk so be prepared to bring your “A” game on the night of the final!

Jessie walking heel/toe to the beat at the Jason Matlo show
Jessie making eye contact with the photographers
The sexy and confident gaze of a composed Miss Li
The audience gasped as she took off her jacket. Yes, it was that memorable!

R!c’s Catwalk Coaching Tips

I contributed to today’s session by demonstrating six examples of what not to do on the runway. I provided feedback privately to each contestant and I’ve listed my do’s and don’t below.
* I’ve never been a model
* I’ve never walked down the runway
* I’m not a Runway Coach
However, as a photographer I’ve attended several dozen runway shows, modeling competitions and viewed thousands of images. As a result, I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work on the runway. Some actions listed below will cause me to automatically delete images. Conversely, the more things you do correctly, the odds will increase your image be seen on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and photographer’s blogs.
Please keep in mind that runway shows are different than modeling competitions in the respect that runway shows are meant to showcase the Designer’s collection. Typically models look expressionless to avoid outshining their outfit. Also, Designers will have specific instructions for how they want models to behave on the runway. It will be your job to adapt your walk to meet their requirements.

Don’t Do This      Do This      Here’s Why
1. Chew gum
Don’t chew gum on the runway!
Chewing gum distorts your face. As a photographer I’ll automatically delete these images.
2. Walk with your head down      Keep your chin up & look straight ahead      You’ll gain confidence with practice. As a photographer I will automatically delete images if you’re looking at the floor.
3. Blink excessively      Slow down and relax      Models do this when they are nervous, concentrating on their walk or counting steps to the mark. You’ll relax with practice. As a photographer I will automatically delete images if your eyes are closed.
4. Speed walk      Step to the beat of the music      Models do this when they are nervous but you’ll relax with practice. Speedwalkers are hard for photographers to photograph.
5. Swing your arms wildly      Be aware of your arms      Speedwalkers swing their arms wildly. If your leading arm is outstretched like you’re about to shake someone’s hand, it will look distorted in photos. I won’t use these types of images.
6. Street walk      Walk heel/toe      Walking heel/toe creates a flattering hourglass shape. As a photographer I time my photo when your lead foot touches the runway to capture this magic moment.
7. Walk off-beat to the music      Step to the beat of the music      When music with a strong beat is playing, guests, judges and photographers will be wiggling in their seats. Use this powerful opportunity to connect with everyone. As a photographer, I love when models step to the beat of the music because I can anticipate when I’ll take my photo to capture the flattering hourglass shape previously mentioned.
8. Miss your mark      Count your steps during rehearsal      a) Nervous models frequently glance down to find their place. As a photographer I’ll delete images if you’re looking down.
b) Runway lights are calibrated to the marks. Light levels may drop off dramatically before or after your mark.
c) The mark allows photographers to pre-focus for a full frame shot. Walking past your mark forces the photographer to crop the shot.
9. Show negative emotions      Play a role or concentrate on a happy thought      You might hate your dress, hair or make-up. You might feel sick, nervous or angry. However, if these emotions show on your face, the guests, judges and photographers will assume you’re bored and not taking the event seriously. Each second you’re on stage, you’ll need to stay in the moment. Replace any negative thoughts with your favorite movie character. Alternatively, recall a happy moment with friends or family.
10. Pose for 1 second      Slow down and make eye contact with the judges and photographers      Nervous models cheat themselves “big time” by not pausing once they’ve reached their mark. Make the most of your 3 – 5 seconds. With a relaxed, confident look, lock eyes for a fraction of a second with various judges and photographers. Start from left to right (or right to left) with a continuous sweeping motion. As a photographer I LOVE shots where the model is looking directly at me. It also means you’re connecting with viewers who are looking at my photo.
11. “Selfie” smile      Have a relaxed, confident smile      Selfie smiles look good on your cellphone, but not in a modeling competition. Turned heads and half closed eyes look like you’re trying too hard to be sexy. Let your inner confidence shine through your eyes and smile.
12. Look bored while other’s walk      Smile, look engaged and be supportive      The second you step on the stage, cameras will be everywhere. Nine times out of 10 you won’t know when a photo is being taken. Photographers will take group shots of the contestants and guests will photograph their daughter/sister standing next to you. Smile and look relaxed every second so you can look good no matter when a photo is taken.


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