This past weekend Ameer Muhammad, chief photographer of The Jachin Boaz Co., a photography and model consulting company, conducted a pre-search for models in Chicago for a new reality show set here in the city.
The JB Co., produce a reality television show similar to “America’s Next Top Model.” The test pilot show will focus on models from across the country competing to be in magazines such as FEDS, Floss, Don Diva, Riding Big, and up to 20 nationally and internationally distributed print magazines.
The model search, which took place downtown on Saturday and Sunday, looked for women to serve as consultants and interviewers for the reality series sponsored by Glamour Girls print magazine.
“I want to hire experienced models who were well spoken and keen to the nuances of interviewing other aspiring models,” said Muhammad. “I think women interviewing other women would be better because they know what to look for and how to judge amateur models because they’ve each done print work before. So they know what would is to be expected.”
Two women, who especially impressed Muhammad during the pre-search, had completely different backgrounds.
“One model was 19, Indian and a college student. She has only been modeling a year and I found myself impressed by her poise and intellect, and her unique look,” he said. “But most importantly I was impressed by the fact that she’d read the magazines and actually had spoken with the staff. It showed me her level of dedication to this project,” said Muhammad.
Once this first search is complete, The JB Co. will conduct open-call auditions for show participants, which will begin on Feb. 18, in Chicago. The search will span 32 cities across the country.
Between 12 and 25 finalists will be selected and flown to Chicago for one week of “model boot camp.” During the boot camp, models will be under the 24-hour video watch of The Official Glamour Girls’ cameras while for one week the best of the best are selected for the coveted prizes.
The grand-prize winner will grace the front page of one of the participating magazines, either Floss or Don Diva. They will also receive $5,000 cash and an exclusive one-year promotional model contract.
In addition, the winner will receive a one-year promotional booking contract for major music videos.
The audience will get to watch sexy swimsuit and lingerie shoots, intense, drama-filled competition, and a chance to see the inside of the urban print modeling business.
Modeling agencies, casting directors, nationally published photographers and magazine reps will be a part of the show.
Part of Muhammad’s incentive in doing the show is to bring more exposure to the concept of “Urban Modeling,” which he believes would have a strong impact in marketing in urban communities.
“It’s not about race so much as it is about attitude,” said Muhammad. “Models of all racial backgrounds can embody the spirit and influence of the urban landscape by the way they carry themselves both verbally and in front of the camera. It’s an attitude.
“This will be the first time in history that such a contest has ever been launched in promoting urban models,” Muhammad added. “We are proud to be the ones to bring it to the masses.”
However, what will the models conducting the interviews gain for their efforts to find the next big urban model?
“Exposure,” said model Canei, who will be interviewing young hopefuls when casting begins next month.
Canei began her modeling career in 1997. She got her first professional pictures done by Muhammad, contacting him after hearing his promotion on WGCI.
“We will have a wonderful opportunity to network and gain exposure, which every model wants,” she said. “We will also be featured in the print ads for the Floss and Don Diva magazines as well. So it will be a terrific experience.”
Canei feels that she can both inspire and offer some constructive criticism to modeling hopefuls.
“There’s more to modeling that just taking a picture,” said Canei. “So much of it is exuding an emotion or a mood or an attitude through an expression. It’s more challenging than most people think.”
All of the modeling finalists will be inserted in the participating publications as part of The Jachin Boaz Co. promotional campaign.
The Official Glamour Girls! Urban Magazine Print Model Search will air in October 2006 in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.
For more information about the search, call the The Jachin Boaz Co. at 708/417-4466.