Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Your Modeling Portfolio

So you want a modeling portfolio to start your career. A model’s portfolio is her resume. It shows what she has done and is capable of doing. Before going out and getting your portfolio done, contact the agencies you want to work with and see what they prefer to see. Some don’t want anything more than very basic photos showing what you look like.

A portfolio should include at least the following: casual head shot, fully styled head shot (hair & make-up professionally done), a body shot (swimsuit is ideal, or lingerie), fashion shot, an action/lifestyle shot and even an editorial or catalogue shot. The key is not to put styles you don’t want to work from in your portfolio, ie don’t include several lingerie shots if you don’t want that type of work. Include at least one B&W shot as a lot of work is still done in B&W.

Over time you will replace old photos with newer ones. Best of all is you will get to add tear sheets from work you have done. Tear sheets get there name from pages being torn out of magazines showing a model’s work.

Your best two pictures show be the first and last in your book. If the first shot doesn’t catch their eye, then they may not go much further thru your book. And you want the last shot to be remembered so you close on a high note. Very often the first shot is the made-up headshot.

It is better to have a few great pictures than a lot of just average pictures. Standard book prints are 9x12 and contain a max of 20 photographs. It is better to have only 10 really great photographs, as quality is key. Yes, I’m repeating myself, but it is an important point to remember.

You need 2 good headshots. One should be the fully made-up shot mentioned before and the other with minimal make-up and retouching. Ideally your hair will be back on the second photograph as they really want to get a good look at your face as you are naturally.

You need a good mix of environments in your book. This means that you need some location work and some studio work. Don’t use two shots of the same outfit. Pick the best one and use it.

Beware of agencies that want you to pay them or their "special" photographer to get your portfolio made. If they won’t let you use your own photographer, run, run away fast. It is fine for them to have suggested photographers.

Modeling can be a fun and rewarding career that will require a lot of hard work and good decisions. Photographs are a major expense that you will be paying. Be sure to get what you need, when you need it.

Orcatek Photography - Phoenix, Arizona

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