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Do I want to be a model..
Where do I start...
You'll need a modeling portfolio, I'm sure you'll all know what one of those is but for those that don't it's basically a selection of pictures showing yourself in different outfits and poses. The standard size for the photos is 9 by 12 inches and you'll need around 10 - 12 photos. Make sure you focus on quality rather than quantity, remember, you're only as good as your worst photo. Make sure your portfolio has a selection of both head shots and full body shots. Make sure you get a variety of different looks such as swimwear, catalogue and lingerie, you get the idea, also get a couple of black and white shots in there. Avoid using pictures of the same shot.
It can be very advantageous to have photographs from different photographers in a portfolio. This will show the versatility in terms of styles and it will prove that a model can work with a variety of different people. Obviously, the cost of hiring different photographers for a portfolio is prohibitive, but there are many excellent photographers out there who will do prints for time - and of course many more bad ones. If you research what's on offer well, it can be an excellent alternative.
Before going ahead with a photo session ask to look at the photographers portfolio to see if you like his style of photography. No doubt if you go to the photographers studio to book the appointment he will have examples of his work on display anyway. If you've never done modelling before this will also be an excellent practice run for you. Avoid photographers wanting to take nude shots, if possible take a friend with you to the shoot.
I will meet with you to discuss what you're looking for, the type of shot, the mood and message you're trying to achieve. Based on this discussion, I'll build up a detailed brief of what needs to happen during your shoot. At this point, I'll give you a quote for this work. Normally, these meetings take place in my studio; to give you chance to check out where we'll be working. I can provide qualified hair/makeup artist and a stylist if needed for an affordable additional cost.
Why Are You Making A Fashion (Modelling ) Portfolio
A fashion model portfolio is a collection of a model's best model photographs which are used to get fashion modelling assignments with top modelling clients. Your model portfolio is an essential part of your model look and will reflect that in your model photographs. It's important that you keep updating your portfolio regularly and you will find it one of your most important model tools in your possession. The following are some modelling portfolio tips to help you build a first rate model book.
The model portfolio has a number of important functions including:
1. Giving the client a chance to see just how you look in a variety of situations.
2. Shows the client that you have experience as an experienced model not an amateur.
3. It demonstrates your ability as a model and shows a client that you are photogenic.
A model portfolio (also called your "model book") should have 12 to 16 photos placed in sheet protectors so your images will be easier for a client to see and use. If you have pictures that need to be viewed horizontally, get them reduced in size so that they will fit vertically in your portfolio case. Use only your best photos in your portfolio. The weakest picture will bring down the impact of a great portfolio. If a picture is weak, leave it out. It will only cast a bad appearance in an otherwise beautiful presentation. To keep your pictures from floating around in their acetate sleeves, use cellophane double-sided tape to keep them in position.
A proper model portfolio case is absolutely essential. Clients don't want to shuffle through loose photos of all different sizes. It just doesn't give you that professional edge you are seeking.
Always put your best 3 pictures in the front of your model portfolio and be sure to place them on the right side of the portfolio as you have it opened. Leave the left side free of any photos so you create no distractions for the best three pictures in your model portfolio. After the first three photos, you can place photos again on both the left and right hand side of the book. Always place your best photos on the right hand pages. This is because the viewer's eyes always looks to this side of any book first.
Be sure to leave a strong finish to the conclusion of your model book. Do this by placing one of your best images on the last right hand page, and leaving the left side with no photos to distract.
Always try to use fashion model tearsheets form published work in your model book. It will give you a professional edge in the model market.
Make sure all your pictures are in perfect condition. If pictures have been bent or damaged, leave them out.
Use a real model portfolio case to hold your pictures and not a standard photo album. Again you want to give the client a look of professionalism and if the client just finished looking at a professional model portfolio, you don't want to come in the door with a family photo album. It just hurts your chances of being selected for the job. Most models use a portfolio that is designed for 8x10" photos. It is probably the best size overall and makes one of the best presentations for the money spent. Not only that, but a magazine tearsheet is the same basic size as an 8x10" photo. You will want to include fashion magazine tearsheets in your model portfolio if you have them to give you a professional edge!
The first rule for photographers model portfolios is that all the pictures you present must be professional. That goes for the image, the quality, the pose, and your overall look. You can use both black and white prints in your model portfolio.
You will want to include as many model tearsheets as possible in your model portfolio. Top professional models have portfolios that have nothing but fashion tearsheets throughout the entire book. Tearsheets are a vital point in your model portfolio. A fashion model tearsheet will show a client that you have what it takes to get the job done in a real modelling assignment. Clients don't like to second guess a model and their ability to get the modelling job done when they are paying £150.00 per hour. A magazine tearsheet, on the other hand, will show the client that they don't have to take a chance on someone. It shows the client the model is capable of getting the job done when asked. Fashion model tearsheets are really very difficult to obtain for your portfolio, and that is why professional models will work for a magazine assignment with little or no pay. It's the exposure and the magazine tearsheet which is the real compensation to the model.
In your model portfolio there are certain model photographs you have to have in order to build a successful model look. These shots include: modelling headshots, full length photos, a photograph of the model smiling in the photograph, plus one or two action shots, several different photos with various hair styles, and a really outstanding body shot. These are just the basic types of photos you need to have in your model portfolio to make it a success. Don't be afraid to model with another model in the picture as long as it is someone of the opposite sex. If you are male and you model with another male model in your photograph, the client may actually like the other model in your model portfolio better than you and will go to excessive lengths to try and find out who that other model is so they can be booked for the modelling assignment.
You can't build a successful model portfolio overnight either. It takes months to create a powerful fashion model portfolio. It takes a lot of planning as a model to show clients you are serious about a modeling career. What kind of planning? You have to make decisions as to what kinds of photos you need in your portfolio. If you already have a great model headshot, then you need to make plans to get a terrific body shot if you don't already have one. Look in the fashion various magazines for ideas.
All your shots have to be powerful, too. If the client doesn't give your model portfolio a second glance, then you haven't hit the mark. You have to stop the client dead in his tracks. You have to get the prospective client looking at your pictures and thinking about you in his next modelling assignment. If you see the wheels in their head start to turn, your portfolio is working for you.
One important note about picture arrangement in your model portfolio. You always want to start off with a powerful image for your model book. You have to make the clients excited about turning the next page to see what they will find next. Even better you want to stop the client from turning pages with superb and captivating model poses. When you can do this, your model portfolio is working for you in top form!
The Comp Card...
You'll defiantly need one of these. A comp card is what your modelling agency will use to market you.
What is a comp card? A composite card (sometimes called a ZED) is a model's business card. In most cases, your comp card is your one and only opportunity to make a good first impression. With that in mind it is important that the images on your card are your absolute best and nothing less. Additionally, the printing and reproduction quality is extremely important. Poor reproduction makes your images look bad and as a result - makes you look bad. Besides a great head-shot, the comp card will have other photos that show your experience, your versatility, range, and what type of work you are seeking. For best results all of the photos should be the highest quality you can obtain at your stage in your modeling career. Make sure the you have them printed on rigid card that will withstand a bit of wear and tear.
Be careful! Do NOT have a modeling agency print your comp card. If you do - they will put their logo on it. You are going to want to sign with as many agencies as possible if you are serious about getting work. Comp card printing can get expensive - print them yourself and give each agency copies - they have stickers that they can put on them with their contact information and you will save money.
An agency or coordinator should represent models. The model must have a portfolio, and comp cards. The agency/coordinator provides you with work (That is their main purpose. It is safe to say that they work for you!) They make a commission on your fee.
GOLDEN RULE - Don't go with an agency who asks for money up front! You'll probably never hear from them again and I ceratainly doubt you'll ever get any work from them.
Also check to see if they are reputable and genuine. The agency/coordinator provides you with a safe working environment and looks after legalities of the paper work for the job. They provide their clients with "Professional" models. Keep copies of all-important papers, such as contracts etc. You may need these if you have a dispute with the agency/coordinator. It is wise to choose the agency/coordinator carefully so you can stay with that them.
How do I approach an agency?
The oldest way to go about it is to visit them. Book an appointment ahead of time by phone. Bring at least 2 pictures. They don't have to be professional pictures. A head shot, natural and clear. Also a full length shot that somewhat reveals your figure, a clingy dress , swimsuit, figure flattering clothes or other tight fittings garments should be worn. Forget about baggy clothes! It will tip off viewers that you have something to hide. Ask lots of questions. Ask to see what work their models are currently doing? Ask for names and phone number of clients and call them to verify the information, be concerned if they promise you work right away or promise you high salaries. If they don't allow you time to think about it or if they use pressure techniques to sign the contract, be concerned. They should not ask for money upfront for classes or training. Be concerned if the they claim to be looking for ordinary people. Reputed agencies/coordinators might have open interviews during the week, give them a call and find out.
Our Top Ten Modeling tips..
1. Always be on time, if you cannot, be let the Photographer know. Punctuality is very important."safety tip": If you are not taking anyone with you to the shoot, let someone know where you are and with whom. And be sure to tell the photographer that someone knows where you are.
2. Always go prepared : ie...clothing changes that you know will fit you. Don't always think that he/she will have everything that is needed for the shoot.
3. Always take your own make-up; even if he/she has told you there will be a make-up artist there. Always think of the could be's.
4. Get references, as many as you can. That would include other models and/or assignments that the photographer has had. Check and double check. And be sure that a legitimate photographer is doing the same with you. Never take anything for granted.
5. Get phone numbers and addresses if possible, if he/she is hesitant. You might want to rethink the shoot.
6. Make sure that you know exactly what the shoot consists of, and never feel pressured to do anything that you do not feel comfortable doing. If nothing else, go by your gut feeling.
7. Always take along enough "cash" for cab fare etc. In case the photographer cannot provide adequate transportation. Most will, but always be prepared for the "just in case".
8. Keep in mind that modeling is a business, not a personal venture. You need to be prepared to negotiate with prospective employers, regarding everything from pay to content. Don't just drop out of contact because you don't like what's offered - either negotiate or say, "Thanks, but no thanks." You never know, the employer you turn down could well have your dream job later - and if you treat him or her rudely or with disrespect, you'll likely miss out.
9. Don't ever do anything that you might be sorry for later. What you do today can affect your carreer later down the road. "If you pose for a photo that you cannot show your family and friends, and be proud of it, it wasn't worth doing". Mainly YOU should be proud of it.
10. If you have a verbal or signed agreement on traveling expenses etc. Make sure that it is followed up on. Written is sometimes the best.
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