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Breaking Into Modeling

September 20, 2017

Breaking Into Modeling

Becoming a model requires a lot of preparation, but perhaps one of the most important tools will be your modeling portfolio. “A great portfolio shows a range of emotions, moods, and fashion awareness,” explained Carol Lynn Sher, a CIF Board of Advisor and the Director of Commercial and Print for CESD’s Youth Department.  “Often a beauty shot is the first photo.  High fashion shots, a lifestyle shot and applicable sport shots follow. Samples of previous print work, “tear sheets” are also  included.”

Children In Film developed this list of tips to help you create a successful portfolio.

Types of Models:  What type of modeling will you do?  There is a difference between print, commercial, runway, fitness and plus-size modeling, and most agencies will specialize in a particular type (or they will have a different department for each type), so you’ll want your portfolio to express the niche into which you best fit.  Maximize your strengths rather than trying to convince the pros to overlook what may otherwise be perceived a weakness.  For example, if you’re not very tall, but have beautiful hair and skin, you can maximize your portfolio to show your commercial or print appeal.  Is a shampoo print ad in your future?   What about hand modeling?

Include a variety of shots.  Your portfolio should show versatility.  Include photos with varied expressions, framing (full body vs. headshot) and outfits.

Hire professionals.  We’re not just talking about hiring a professional photographer (though that is very important).  Having a professional modeling portfolio may also require that you hire additional professionals before you go out on your first photo shoot.  Make sure that your hair, makeup and wardrobe are up to par and if this means bringing someone on to assist you, then be sure to research pros that have experience within the same field of modeling that you want to work.   Agents/Classes?

Demonstrate your experience.  Have you participated in a local fashion show or print ad?  Put these samples in your portfolio.  They do not need to be the featured photos or even at the front of the book but having them there shows agencies that you’re getting out there.  Make sure to choose shots that are professional.  Often, no photo is better than a bad one.

Show that you are knowledgeable.  A model who comes across as a true professional is more likely to book work.  Being a professional does not necessarily mean you’ve booked a lot of jobs, but rather that you understand your business.  To stay on top of your business you must research industry trends, study fashion, read fashion magazines and pay attention to print ads and choose photographers who’s work reflects this knowledge and skill as well.  If a photo looks unprofessionally shot, it will show a potential employer that you too are not as professional as they’d hoped.