Modeling is expensive. Before you invest one penny into your dream, you invest countless hours of practice time, sacrifice countless more hours of time with your family and then you spend your hard earned money on images in hopes of booking your dream client. The average model has 3-5 photo shoots before he/she finally has a portfolio that's effective enough to get them booked. This post is designed to help you get closer to a portfolio that reaps all that you've sown.
A KILLER HEADSHOT
Often times, you may wonder how your "book"/portfolio should begin. A well executed headshot captures the viewer's attention immediately. As soon as they open the book or PDF file, your headshot should let them know that this isn't your hobby.
Research your niché (commercial, editorial, catalog, fit etc.) to ascertain what the standard is and then give it your spin. If you have your sights set on on a specific agency, study their model boards and model your headshot after those. Every client and/or agency requires something different so it would be good to have a few great headshots. Your best, however, should be the first thing in your book.
Your Best Body Wins!
As a model, you are a mannequin. Your body is essentially the canvas that clients connect with. Start with your niché images (swim, active, etc.) These highlight your ability to tell a story to that particular audience. In addition, the potential client can get a gauge of what they can create with you. Images with too much clothing, ill fitting or too fussy will take the attention away from your body, so save this for more editorial, experiemental imagery later in your portfolio.
VersatilIty within reason
Sell your abilities. Sometimes I look at a Portfolio and see the same types of images repeated and am disappointed. Potential, polish and promise only go so far. Your portfolio speaks for you when you aren't in the room. As a result, your images should tell the story that you can achieve different looks, personalities, and angles. While you should have atleast one "editorial" image, creative and whimsical imagery should be saved for submission (unless this is your nichè). If you have dream clients, study their images, lookbooks and campaigns to assess what you can recreate to speak directly to them when casting.
Oldies Are Goodies
If you have several images that simply just work for you, don't feel pressure to change them out just because you see others with a new image every month. If clients consistently love a specific headshot or full body image, that's your Golden ticket image. Add to it, but don't edit it from your book until you can create the same success with a new image.
Note: Some old images should be edited. Even if they were previously successful, if they include trends that fashion no longer follows or makeup techniques that are dated remove them and recreate with updated techniques. Clients should be able to see that you understand the movement and flow of the industry.
social media isN't your Portfolio
Social media is a great way to create awareness of your abilities as a model! However, often times, brands want to see fresh, new imagery. Submissions to magazines, contest entries and castings often require the images you provide to not have been seen on Social Media. When booking your photo shoot sessions, decide which platform you'll be using those images for (Social Media or Portfolio) and share accordingly.
Note: Creative licenses and intellectual property rights give photographers, stylists and makeup artists the ability to share your imagery as well, if you aren't looking to post on social media, clearly indicate before and after your shoot session so they don't share your allocated portfolio images.
Your portfolio is your ticket to success. Cultivate and hone it to reap the results you want. If you are a new or aspiring model and aren't sure where to start, I have several resources that can help you get started and stand out from the crowd! Thanks for reading!