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Building a great modeling portfolio? (3406 hits)

Here's a few important concepts to remember:

1. Remember that modeling is truly a "first impression" business. You know the quote - "You only get one chance to make a good first impression." - There is no business where that is more true than modeling. Every agency or client that you contact - your photos, comp card or modeling portfolio will always go in the door first.

2. Set your standards HIGH! You should use a very critical eye when selecting images to put in your modeling portfolio. Make sure that the photos that you display have the ability to attract agencies and potential clients.

3. You are only as good as your worst image - and believe me - photographers, agencies and art directors WILL remember the worst image.

There are 4 kinds of pictures that you will potentially wind up with. Bad, Good, Great and WOW pictures.

Your modeling portfolio should consist ONLY of Great and WOW photos. Throw away the Bad and store the Good in a box of memories. Place your WOW pictures on the right hand pages of your portfolio and the Great pictures on the left hand side.

Questions and answers to build a great portfolio book...

How large should the photos be? 8x10, 8.5x11, 9x12, 11x14?

The correct answer does tend to be somewhat market specific. In New York, 9x12 and 11x14 books are popular and often required. In Miami, snapshot sized "mini-books" are a popular trend.

In most metropolitan markets, like Philadelphiam, Baltimore, Chicago and San Diego, 8x10 and 8.5x11 books are the norm and more than adequate. We would recommend purchasing a book that holds 8.5x11 pages - after all - if you are hoping to do print work - your tearsheets are likely to be 8.5x11 - so you want them to fit in the book.

How many photos do I need to have?

Less is better! You will not impress with quantity - you will make a lasting impression with quality.

If you think about it - I could take two good photos of you - a headshot and a full length shot - and show that you are beautiful and have a good, fit figure. So if this is the case - why all the stress about a portfolio?

The purpose of the modeling portfolio is not just simply to show that you are attractive - it is to show your ability to portray different characters, age ranges and importantly personality!

As a new model - 6 - 12 pictures is adequate to present yourself to a new agency. 20 should be a maximum - but only if they are 20 "WOW" pictures. Good pictures don't make the grade.

Should the pictures all be in Color?

Is every advertisement in color? Of course not! Black and White is not only an artistic medium that can be effectively used to create and convey a mood, but it is also a medium that is still very much in use today - so don't be afraid to include a few great Black and White photos in your portfolio.

Do I need to do photos in a swimsuit or lingerie?

There is NO type of modeling or photograph that you HAVE to do to be a model. You do NOT have to model swimwear. You certainly do not have to model lingerie, and you do not have to model anything that is in conflict with your cultural or religious beliefs. Certainly, the more that you are willing and able to do, the more opportunities that you will make available to yourself, and there is no legitimate modeling agency that will ever tell you otherwise.

Hope this helps someone...
You can find more informative articles like this at the DisplayMode Fashion & Modeling Media Group: http://www.displaymode.com/
Model featured in this articlle is Rae D. - Los Angeles, CA
Photography by: Marcus Tremble - http://www.displaymode.com/Director
Posted By: Marcus Tremble
Saturday, October 18th 2008 at 6:51PM
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