A fashion model portfolio is a collection of a model's best model photographs which are used to get fashion modeling assignments with top modeling 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 modeling 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. Don’t be disappointed if they do not finish looking at your book.
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, but you will find color to be the least expensive. Years ago black and white was cheaper, but today, only 9% of photographers shoot in this medium. With the great amount of color being shot by professionals, the cost has dropped dramatically over the past decade. Plan to work on building color model photographs for your model portfolio; it will save you money and will give you a more dynamic model image.
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 modeling assignment. Clients don't like to second guess a model and their ability to get the modeling 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: modeling 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 modeling 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 like Seventeen, Elle, Teen Magazine, Teen Vogue and Cosmo Girl 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 modeling assignment. If you see the wheels in their head start to turn, your portfolio is working for you.
One important note about pictures 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!
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