Building a model portfolio: step-by-step instructions
The most important first step for any aspiring model hoping to break into the modeling industry is building a modeling portfolio. The concept sounds simple enough, but you may be wondering how to do this process correctly and what steps are required of you. We’ve included step-by-step instructions below on building your modeling portfolio.
First things first, keep in mind that your modeling portfolio is your BEST chance to help you book modeling jobs. It is also your first impression with potential clients and modeling agencies, so building a strong portfolio is extremely important. As such, you’ll want to determine something before you even start your portfolio, as avoiding this step can cost you a lot of time, money, effort, and potential work: decide which areas of modeling your look is best suited for. Be realistic: If you weigh 300 pounds, you’re best suited for commercial and plus-sized modeling; So don’t waste your time taking pictures in swimwear and hoping to become a mainstream bikini model. If you’re not sure about the different types of modeling or what your look is best for, do some research on Google,
Once you’ve determined your target modeling areas, you’ll need to start finding a photographer or several. How many photographers you choose to use to build your portfolio is entirely up to you. What matters here is quality; quantity is just a circumstance. (*Note: This is mostly true for unsigned and freelance models; models who are signed to a modeling agency before building their portfolio usually get a list of approved photographers that their agency can use.)
When looking for a photographer, there are a few things to check off your “mental checklist.” Your first business case is to do your research on each candidate: their credits, their resume, how long they’ve been in the photography business – these are important. In addition, you should write to the photographer and ask about their policy regarding a photo shoot. What are their rates? How many photos do they plan to give you once your shoot is complete? Do they make prints for you, or do they give you the digital files?
Another facet of research that you should do is check the references of the photographers. What do his former clients say about their experience with him? Ask your potential photographer for a list of names and emails of some past clients (models in particular). These people can privately answer a few questions describing their overall experience and whether it was positive, negative, or neutral. Keep in mind that if you receive a negative referral, it won’t be anyone else, not even the photographer. DO NOT betray, spread slander or encourage gossip. It must be understood that these answers remain solely between the two of you. Getting multiple positive referrals is a good sign and should be considered when making your decision.
Now that you’ve chosen your photographer(s), you need to determine which photos you need for your portfolio. Remember, you’re targeting a well-rounded portfolio, has variety and fits the modeling areas you’re most suited to. Please consult with your photographer: Ask for his opinion, discuss the types of modeling you will pursue and the most appropriate photos for each genre. As a photographer, he has a lot of experience in the modeling industry, so it is in your best interest to seek his opinion and guidance and take his suggestions to heart. Once that is completed, you must be both agree on a few details about the shoot, such as wardrobe (what do you take to help achieve certain concepts and looks Must certain garments, patterns,? Or colors? What poses do you need to practice? What is the ideal hair/makeup concept for each set?) It is very important to ask and coordinate these things before your shoot, which can prevent any misunderstandings afterward.
While not required, a recommended next step is to find a professional hair and makeup artist. It’s much easier to put together the right team and get your portfolio right the first time than taking shortcuts and having to try again as a result. If you don’t know where to start to find one, you’ll want to use recommendations again – your photographer should have a few, as he’s probably worked with many in the past. Of course, you can always search yourself, but it is a long process, and you are not guaranteed a personal referral. Either way, taking this step will have a huge impact on your portfolio and the bottom line. If you just can’t afford a professional, don’t despair just yet – can you ask a friend with a background in makeup or hair? There are some great hair and makeup tutorials on YouTube if all else fails. You have to take the time to practice what you are watching.
Now on to the next step: photoshoot preparation! You want to do these things ahead of time to avoid undue stress. The day before your shoot, collect and pack all of your previously agreed-on wardrobe options, but also add in a few extra votes just for safety. It is imperative to have all the correct information about the shoot written down or typed on a piece of paper and bring it with you on the day of the shoot. This paper must state your arrival time, where to park, the address and mobile phone numbers of those involved. You also want to bring reinforcements: a bottle of water, a snack, and spare items as a precaution. For example, get your makeup (maybe the makeup artist never shows up, or she does show up but her face powder is shattered), and bring your curling iron (maybe hers decides to stop working that day or forgets it). to take from her). Yes, this is a lot of preparation, but it will pay off. Pfff! It’s finally photoshoot time!!
After your photo shoot is complete, start the image selection process. The key here is to focus on VARIETY. Also, you want to make sure you pick a few staple shots to include in your portfolio: a headshot (both smiling and nun), a full-body shot, and a ¾ length shot.) Then have fun with it! Choose the other images to include, as long as they are still relevant within your chosen modeling areas. Again, it’s important to ask your photographer for his advice and opinion – as a professional, and he can certainly advise which photos are best in your particular case. Above all, remember that you absolutely must choose the BEST of the best. Remember, this is your first impression, and you want to NAIL it!
The last and final step is to have your beautiful photos printed and put into a portfolio! You must print the images at 8″ x 10″ dimensions. Don’t stop making a great first impression now – go the extra mile when it comes to everything about your portfolio. This means getting a high-quality photo book and only putting photos in pristine condition in your book. If any of your prints have water damage, creases or bends, leave it out and print a new one! These may seem like small details, but they do matter. Plus, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start cutting back now because this is the last step in building your model portfolio! So please give yourself a high-five for all your hard work because it’s going to pay off-book yourself some modeling work now with your amazing new modeling portfolio!!