DOPAMIN MODELS - Interview HARBOR Magazine (english)


An insight into the reality and the life of an international model HARBOR Magazine 1/2014 © HARBOR Magazine & DOPAMIN MODELS


What is the truth about glamour and luxury? Model Dino Busch gives

an insight into the reality and the life of an international model

– over and above casting shows and TV shows.

Foto Claudius Holzmann

44 HARBOR I.2014




How does a model get discovered and what are

the requirements to be able to work as a model?

Dino Busch: Talent shows try to give a fake impression of

what real life is supposed to look like. Tons of tests and

‘competitions’ for all kinds of different characters. Wallflower

meets arrogant urban-chic. The more drama, the

better. Does anybody in these formats really want to find

the next top model or is it all about making a profit? The

product has to be sold, and in this case the product is

the show, not the models. Most of the successful models

never planned on becoming a model or even dreamed

of becoming successful. As a young teenager, I was already

scouted twice on the streets. At the age of 17½, my

pictures caught my agent’s attention on facebook and

that’s how I started.

Carsten Drochner: First of all, it was Dino’s face that

caught my attention. He was photogenic in all private

snaps I saw of him. To be pretty is not enough though. You

have to have that little something. Also, Dino works as a

photographer, and I was impressed by the work he created

with his friends. He has an eye for aesthetics and the

ability to capture moments and emotions precisely.

Dino Busch: Many models were bullied throughout their

childhood because of their looks. Too tall, too skinny, too

boring. Sometimes it’s just the nose, the mouth or the

chin. Gisele Bundchen used to be bullied because of her

skinny body. But it is precisely these features that make

a person interesting. But looks alone are not enough. As

a photographer, I would say a model is only photogenic

when that person has vibrancy. Something special that

enables the model to fascinate people.

Carsten Drochner: For many agencies and clients, the

looks are all that matters when it comes to booking a

model. Many agencies change new for old models on a

daily basis. For us, character and personality are very important.

Something that makes a person stand out from

the crowd. Next to personality and singularity, versatility,

self confidence and motivation are important. And of

course, soft skills such as politeness, good behaviour, reliability

and the ability to cooperate with people. If all these

points are fulfilled and there is a family that supports you,

the requirements to start working as a good model are

also fulfilled.

Does the biggest responsibility lie in the hands of the mother

agencies or model managers?

Carsten Drochner: The most reliable and responsible agencies

not only invest in teaching the models and preparing

them for the job; they support the development of these

young people into strong personalities. Self-confidence,

self-esteem and knowledge help them to be a partner

for all clients and their productions. They don’t only care

about maximising their profit but about achieving what is

best for their protégés. Not only financially, but also guaranteeing

them a trustworthy contract throughout, good

and safe basic conditions in their own country and while

they are on their travels, and protection from exploitation

and disrespectful behaviour.

Dino Busch: Many agencies worldwide try to escape their

responsibility and leave their models alone. Only a minority

of models have parents with knowledge of the law

who can check the details of contracts. But it’s not only

about the contracts. A good agency supports its models

at all times and helps them wherever possible, even when

they are on the other side of the world at that moment.

What time do you get up in the mornings, what role does

having to be patient play in your everyday life, and what

does a model have to do during a typical day?

Dino Busch: Normally, the agency sends the appointments

for the next day in the evening via email: castings,

go-sees, and during fashion weeks in the big fashion capitals,

up to twelve castings per day all over town. This

means a lot of queuing and waiting in lines of up to 200

models, all hoping to book this one runway job. It is important

to remember that decisions during castings are 100%

subjective. During fashion weeks, the person him or herself

unfortunately isn’t important at all. Casting directors

and clients are looking for a mannequin who can present

their own fashion in the best way possible. Two hours’ waiting

for a quick “Hello” and “Thanks for coming”. Eleven

appointments left.

At castings for photo shoots, personal values are more

important. The team may be working together for up to

several days in a row. That’s why photographers find the

personality very important. Diva behaviour and bitching

around on set is a danger to the success of the project.

But also on a photo shoot, patience is a must-have. Waiting,

fitting, waiting again, then hair and make-up. Wai-

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Foto Nghia Truong

46 HARBOR I.2014




ting again, light testing, waiting and then the shoot starts.

Waiting again if the set isn’t built properly yet and so on.

So a ten to twelve-hour shooting day consists of a lot of

waiting and at the same time being ready at all times.

What is the truth and what are the myths of the jetset life?

What role does money play in the industry, and why do

catalogues pay the rent?

Dino Busch: In the 90s, models were superstars: Claudia,

Naomi, Linda, Christy. They had strong, unique looks.

That’s why they have still been getting booked recently.

And this in a time of short-lasting fashion trends, in which

models don’t even survive for a decade. In many shows,

it’s already hard to tell the difference between the young

models on the runway. But still many brands are screaming

for a new selection of new faces. This leads to agencies

having massive newcomer boards. The person is not

important anymore, the agency’s model ID is more than

enough. It’s not unusual that only 10% of models in an

agency actually make money. The other 90% are exchanged

really fast. Only a few are making big money

and live off that. Those who have recognisable faces

and spent a lot of time in their career. Being pretty is not

enough. You have to be able to express the values of those

clients and brands who booked you. You need to be

versatile and be able to present emotions and moods.

Talent is a basic requirement, but to be a good model,

you have to learn your craft. You need elements of acting,

dancing and other disciplines. The most glamorous

jobs, beautiful editorials for major magazines and runway

jobs make the least profit. They are your publicity. But

they don’t pay the bills. Neither is the payment enough

for other basic needs such as food, clothes and so on. Big

campaigns are the best thing that can happen to you.

But there are not so many of them. The most glamorous

jobs such as editorials for the big magazines and runway

jobs do not really pay. They are basically all about PR.

But that doesn’t pay the bills. Neither is it enough for the

other expenses in your everyday life such as food, phone

bills, clothes etc. Advertising campaigns are the best

that can happen to you. But there are not that many of

those out there. The money you earn for your life is made

through catalogue jobs. And what is the truth about the

luxurious lifestyle everybody is talking about? This happens

in between the pages of the magazines and at all

the events models get invited to. But canapés with caviar

and champagne don’t keep you fed in the long term.

Where do you work? Which markets are interesting for

models, and is there more than just Paris, Milan and New


Dino Busch: Big names such as Paris, Milan and New York

represent fashion. That’s where all the big shows take

place. Many ads and editorials are shot here. But the

photo studios are not as glamorous as you might think.

You are there to fulfil a purpose, and you work and try

to achieve the result the client wants and nothing more.

And you work wherever clients, producers and production

companies have their offices. This might be Hamburg

or Düsseldorf in Germany. Or even not so amazing cities

such as Guangzhou in China and Bombay in India.

The 101 of modelling

Dino Busch: The work of a model seems to look very easy.

But there are big differences between theory and reality.

Let’s start from your mental condition. You always hear

the word “No” and a lot of criticism about your body that

is not always appropriate. You have to have a thick skin

to survive that. The most important ability a model should

possess next to soft skills (such as a healthy appearance,

getting lots of sleep, a healthy diet and fitness) is patience.

Modelling means waiting. Long flights, castings,

fittings, make-up, show and shooting preparations. All of

this takes time. So it’s not unusual to sit around at a job

for several hours doing nothing. And this is way more exhausting

in the long term than it sounds in the beginning.

Also, publications and negotiations with other agencies

can take weeks and weeks. So anyone who hasn’t got

patience should look out for other job possibilities.

When do you feel you’ve done a good day’s work?

Dino Busch: You’ve done a good job when the client is

happy and the model as well. The best-case scenario is,

of course, that everybody is happy. But in the end, the

model has to put his own interests aside. Criticism of the

pictures, make-up or styling is an absolute no-no. You

should rather try to let the client experience your passion

and professionalism. A good model is only happy, when

the client is happy. And the jobs should always be fun, of


Din o

How does modelling influence your personal career perspectives?


Foto Carina Jahn

48 HARBOR I.2014




Carsten Drochner: Modelling opens doors to job opportunities

in a lot of non-classic employment fields. Companies

have high expectations and are looking for personality.

People who show enthusiasm and are able to give their

best. They are looking for good communicative skills and

expect the applicant to speak at least two languages fluently

besides their mother tongue. The best-case scenario

includes experience abroad and intercultural skills; this is

because of increased globalisation. Also creativity, being

able to work in a team, having the strength of your own

convictions and the ability to be self-confident and independently

minded; these are all qualities that are in high

demand. What better way is there for young people to

achieve all of this? Which other job can offer a young

adult the chance to gain all this experience? Dino is way

more independently minded than many other people of

his age. He travels the world, lives alone and organises

his daily life and himself all on his own. He is also able to

meet many interesting people, which can help him get

into other career paths after his modelling career is over.

What sets you apart from other models and what are your

special characteristics?

Dino Busch: Every model is different, a different type. Obviously,

I have my face and my body. That is important,

because every client looks for a type of model that can

represent his product in the best way possible. Other than

that, I have to find other ways to convince the client to

hire me. I always try to be positive, to have a positive vibrancy

about myself, and I like to crack a joke from time to

time. I have a lot of stamina, and even after working for

ten hours, I am still excited. I love my job. The clients and

people I work with see that, and I think you can also see

it in the results.

What sort of support have you had in the past and will you

still need in the future?

Dino Busch: Parents and good friends are essential in this

superficial industry. You need help to adjust to the lifestyle

and sometimes a shoulder to cry on. My parents support

me in the best way possible; not only do they give me

their time, they also supported me financially in the beginning.

A good mother agency is also very important.

The agency knows the business and can give better advice

than friends who have no idea about the industry. So

if you have good friends and a family who are looking after

your back plus a good agency, you are good to go.

What gets you really excited?

Dino Busch: Everything about this job, to be honest. The

friendships, the travelling, waiting at airports, the pictures,

the shows, everything. It’s a great feeling, to be the

centre part of a creative process and to create a result

in the end, which wouldn’t have been possible without

you. It’s a privilege to be creative, and that’s what excites

me about my job. The whole package gives you so

much that you couldn’t achieve in any other way at this

point of life. The feeling of seeing yourself on billboards, in

ads or in magazines is also incredible, and of course the

payment plays a part in me being happy about it.

What are the temptations and bad influences out there,

and how do you resist them?

Dino Busch: There are some. Models get a very privileged

treatment. We don’t pay in clubs and get all drinks for

free. That sounds like fun, but can become dangerous

very fast, because there is no consistent routine in your

life, there are no fixed times or days you are working. You

need to have a strong personality and be responsible, to

set yourself limits. And never go out clubbing before jobs

and castings. The client deserves a model who has slept

enough and is fit, who can work with 100% of energy on

the job.

What makes modelling so different and nice but still like

every other job out there?

Dino Busch: The job is often pictured in a completely

wrong way; behind all the glamour of jet-setting, parties

and billboards is a lot of work. It is a completely different

work process than most other jobs, but it is also professional.

Those five or seven pictures in a magazine can take

up to ten hours of production. We don’t work everyday,

but we work on weekends and always have to be prepared

in case castings and jobs come up at the last minute.

The job has many positive aspects, no doubt. Mentally

and physically it is tough, the competition is big. The job is

different from someone working in an office. But it is every

bit as hard and not just a paid hobby or a paid vacation,

like many people picture it to be.

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What responsibilities do parents have, and what level of

support is necessary?

Parents should always be aware of their responsibility, no

matter if the child is a minor or not.

They invest time, money, patience and understanding

into the modelling career of their child.

Be careful about ads and offers from model and casting

agencies that are looking for new models. Professional

model agencies have their own scouts who approach

new faces on the street, in the shopping mall or other locations

of your everyday life.

After getting in contact with the agency, there is an invitation

to a free test shoot. The invitation should contain

a request for a parent to attend in case of the model still

being under age.

Be very careful if you have to pay for the introduction and

the shoot or if you have to join a paid course. A professional

agency never charges. They believe in the new face,

and they invest their money in the model; these expenses

are going to be paid by future bookings of the model.

Never sign a contract in a rush. Ask all questions you want

to ask until all points are 100% clear. Especially in the modelling

industry, there a many promises that will not be

fulfilled in the end. It’s important to have a fair contract

that covers all the small details. You might want to check

this contract with a lawyer, just to be sure. Trusting people

too easily can become dangerous. Especially under-age

models should get special treatment. You have a very

close relationship between model and agency, because

it is the only consistent part of your job, since all the jobs

are short term. They are the person you can trust when it

comes to taking care of your career and your personal

issues. These kind of agencies are hard to find. Is there someone

who is able to always be there for the model, no

matter what time of day or on the weekends? Problems

in Asia, Australia, Indonesia or the States are not bound

by the rules of an eight-hour working day and a five-day

working week. The work with models requires a lot of responsibility,

professionalism and integrity.

The first steps

Especially in the beginning, it is important that the ‘new

face’ gets help to earn experiences. You need photographers

who shoot for free. This is how the model gets

self-confidence, experience, safety and good pictures to

further their career. These shoots take a lot of time, lots of

hours or a complete day and can be hundreds of kilometres

away. The shoot itself might not cost, but you invest

time and money for travelling out of your own pocket. International

agencies only provide money for models who

have already gained experience and who have a strong

book. Modelling requires a lot of investment of your personal

time. Time you cannot spend with your friends and

on different hobbies. Especially under-age models should

always travel with a person they trust and they feel safe

with. Normally, not much can go wrong, even travelling

internationally. But there are people who use this business

to treat people without any respect and let models work

in inhuman conditions. They can achieve this easily with

models who come from poor families and dead-end situations.

Especially East European models or models from

South America from rather poor environments are in danger.

Therefore ‘new face’ models need to build a strong

personality. Self-confident young people who are able

to say “no” and who just leave the studio if they feel something

is wrong. And who know that their families and

their agencies have their back in any case.

50 HARBOR I.2014


a r e e r



How to deal with criticism

Competition is part of the business. It leads to a bigger

selection and better prices for clients. Only the strongest

providers can survive in the long term when it comes to

quality or by offering a product the market does not cover

yet. Modelling is not much different in that way. There

are thousands of young people who get casted all over

the world and get introduced to clients and agencies.

Hundreds of boys and girls compete for a single job.

The decision not to take a model has nothing to do with

the person themselves and is never objective. The decision

is always subjective. The client might not like the

hair colour, the hips are too big or the nose doesn’t fit. All

points made up from personal criteria. The problem is that

there are human beings who have lost the connection

to reality and lost their manners, who think of themselves

as demigods and who have no social skills. It hurts if you

always get negative comments about yourself and if you

get insulted. Nobody can take that easily. That’s when

you need your family and good friends who support you,

who take time to listen, to talk and to cheer you up. Anyone

who doesn’t have that will struggle a lot. All of the

above should not leave a bad impression. The majority

of people working in this industry are amazing. Photographers,

stylists, designers, other models and clients. People

who are fun to work with. Working in a professional field

with lots of compliments and constructive criticism. You

build many friendships that go further than just modelling.

As a model you work hard on your body to gain an aesthetic

physical appearance. A healthy diet is essential.

Studies carried out at the Robert Koch Institute show

that one in five of all teenagers between 11 and 17 have

some kind of eating disorder, whereby the number of

girls is double in comparison to boys. Models are in even

greater danger, since they work in an industry that tells

them what the ‘perfect’ measurements are. You have to

watch out if your kid is eating enough and if it is getting

everything that is important for a healthy development.

Health is always the most important part.

Summing up

Inform yourself about the business. Only then will you be

able to give advice. The most important thing is that parents

have an open ear, because often they are the only

ones who can actually help. This means you should Skype

a lot, support as much as possible and take time to talk.

About Dopamin Models

Dopamin is a Boutique Model Management company.

We think that a good model only comes in a combination

of beauty with a strong character. That’s why we place a

lot of value on the personality of our models.

Our philosophy says that we take care of models represented

by us with all our heart. For us, they are individuals,

and safety and health is always of paramount importance

to us. We try to support our models in developing

not only their modelling career, but also their personal

artistic career and their character development.


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