Catching Up with Neon Carnival

ally-ertel-model-neon-carnivalIt’s been a few weeks since my last blog and I feel like I have so much to share! I’ve made it through LA fashion week, had the opportunity to shoot with some amazing photographers to update my book, celebrated my 24th birthday, shot an editorial, starred in a music video, booked a gorgeous wedding dress job, and went to one of the craziest parties ever! I’m still learning to get used to the off and on nature of being a model in this crazy fashion industry. Some days and weeks are so open and free while others are packed with castings, shoots, and special events.

I have an abundance of pictures and thoughts to share about each of these experiences but that would turn this blog post into a novel! ;)

In the interest of efficiency (and keeping your much appreciated interest while reading this!) I’m going to work backwards with the most recent shenanigan- the epic Neon Carnival :)

Started by Brent Bolthouse, Neon Carnival is considered the “Vanity Fair party of Coachella’s first weekend”. While Coachella is known to be a special event in itself, there are quite a few things that make Neon Carnival one heck of a party on its own. Way out in the middle of the desert of Thermal, California (not too far from where Coachella actually takes place), a giant carnival is set up in an airport hanger, complete with airplanes on the other side of the gates. The party literally goes from 10 pm until 4 am and attracts quite a crowd of people in the fashion and entertainment industry. It’s known to be ridiculously hard to get into so I’m super grateful to my amazing agency Photogenics for the invite!! (more…)

Being Prepared!


Hello everyone. Hope everyone is doing awesome and pushing toward those dreams. I wanted to talk to you today about always being prepared. There are a few things I never leave home without and I want to share with you. First up a comp card or business card.  A comp card is a 4×5 card with a headshot on front and a few pictures on back along with your stats and contact info. If you are agency signed of course have the agency information on there. If not I suggest an email address or a link to your website and I don’t give out personal phone numbers. Now I am agency signed, but I still have my website that links to my agency. To check out my webpage visit  Business cards have a headshot and again a way to contact you. This is a business, treat it like one and respect the work that goes along. I always carry them. Business cards are obviously easier to carry, but almost always after a job or fashion show, someone will ask for one. This gives them something for you to leave with them and they will remember you!!

Now lets talk about the model bag.I have a bag with a few essentials I never go with me everywhere. IN that bag (besides comps and business cards) I carry the following: black pumps, nude pumps, black bathing suit, a bright colored swimsuit, jeans, shorts, solid colored conservative top, a cute fashion top, and a cute cover-up type dress. Now you ask me why? Many of you may not realize sometimes you may only have a few hours’ notice before a casting. Most of the time it is a days’ notice, but things pop up, and clients change their minds. I will give you a few examples of things that happened in the last couple weeks. I went to cast for a commercial where the character was a more Goth, dark type girl. I got to the casting and they said , “oh you didn’t get  the email this morning, they changed it to a cute girl next door look” ok no problem, bag in car, throw on cute cover-up dress and nude pumps. I went to Miami for a request casting for a swimsuit calendar; (more…)

Hannah West, Model with BMG

Fashion and Beauty Photographer Betsy Hansen

©Betsy Hansen

I recently shot with Hannah West, model with BMG Models, Orlando office, and daughter to the owners of Charylis in downtown Winter Park. When the agency sent me her portfolio, most of the images were fashion-oriented, showcasing a full-length Hannah. I decided to go out on a limb, like I like to do a lot of the time, and photograph beauty imagery in studio. She looks so much like a porcelain doll, and her skin is just glowing.

We created the looks around headpieces from Hazel Faire. Typically promoted for bridal, the headpieces softened up the look of the entire shoot. They are super girlie, and somewhat “hippie-esque”, which I love!

See more of Hannah’s images at:

Thank you to our team:
Paula Abraham, Hair & Makeup
Lindsey Warren, Photo Assistant
Marie Llewellyn, Hazel Faire Accessories
BMG Models Orlando

Good Luck!

Well in response to the hundreds of emails, text, and facebook questions I have received this week. I have decided do walk you through, step by step, my Wet Seal Model Search experience. In March 2013, I had seen the model search in the store and honestly forgot about it. I had been out with some friends, got home one night and my mom said, “Did you ever enter that model search, when was the dates?” I looked it up, the last date was that night at midnight. I looked through some pictures I had and came up with one I had just shot with Mike Spectacle and one my mom took. I just wanted something that showed my personality. Here are the ones I entered with.

Hunter Denoyelles Wet Seat 2013 WinnweI was having computer complications that night of course and finally got it to submit at 11:45, no kidding. I wasn’t even positive it went through. I told myself I had to forget about it now, and not drive myself crazy. If it is meant to be it will. The announcements weren’t going to be for weeks. The day it was supposed to be announced came and went, so I thought it was over. But the next day, my mom and I were literally shopping in a WetSeal store and she asked if I ever heard anything. Right then and there I received an email saying I had been selected in the top 100!!

I was so excited, and they gave us a list of things to do and dates to be completed by, along with a $100 gift card to Wet Seal. Just follow all instructions and watch timelines. We were instructed to do a one minute video and post it on YouTube, telling why we should be selected as Wet Seal Model Search Winner. Here’s my video:


Cassidy roney by shannon brayI’m going to go on a little rant again, sorry guys! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what having modeling as a career entails. The model goes to a bunch of castings looking for jobs, he or she has to live near these castings I might add. They may not work for weeks or months and in that time they have to eat, pay for rent, buy clothing because models are expected to keep up with fashion and always look on point, and any other additives. So, what’s the problem here? The problem is that we make no money in between jobs or even see the money we do make for sometimes three months after a job. I can also say that we do not receive any benefits for this career such as health care. Now, some may say that’s just the nature of the beast but I completely think that models should be given more than they are getting as of now. We work our asses off to look perfect, all the superficial things add up. We have to completely fend for ourselves in new cities and countries 100% alone. It takes a toll on your mental health, trust me. Most of the girls I know do not have health insurance so if they are injured on the job or become ill, there is literally nothing they can do about it. I believe we should be making a salary of some sort, after all our Bookers and agents are making the majority of the money here and most of them receive salary on top of commission. I think that some sort of monthly income, no matter how little would greatly improve the lives of models. I know before I had a part time job in NYC I could barely afford to eat let alone buy winter clothes or new heels for a job which is expected of you. Then even with a part time job it wasn’t much better. Having a smart phone is essential for models because checking your email for castings and notices on the go is crucial. Let’s be honest, phone bills get crazy. Just add that to our list of things we have to pay up front for. (more…)

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