Your portfolio! ( or
why I'm always complaining about bad photos being posted
September 2, 2013 at 11:31pm
Model, MUA, and
Wardrobe: Aida Nieves
Gordon Forsyth of Jersey Jems
When you are a model, you want to be proud of what you stand
for. Your image is everything and you will always be
compared to the person standing next to you. The way
that you represent yourself, hold yourself, and the
first impression that you give are all important factors
in who you are and how people see you. The portfolio
that you create as you try to ascertain your first 'tear
sheet' is something that will not only help you to win
jobs, but will also provide a very lasting impression.
This is your one shot, your
opportunity to show people once and for all who you are
and why they should be interested in hiring you. And it
is imperative that the portfolio you show is up-to-date,
that is if you are applying for jobs and utilizing your
portfolio to represent who you are. So as you work to
develop and update your portfolio, you want to be sure
that it ends up being something that you can take great
pride in, that you work with a photographer you can
trust, and that the pictures represent the character of
what you are about. It is always a good thing to show a
diverse style of pictures as well, showing your range
and flexibility as a model.
If you are a model just starting
out, then the very idea of a portfolio can be a bit
overwhelming. Many models start out with "Time For
Print" shoots - a photo shoot where a photographer
provides you the pictures in return for shooting you.
Just be vigilant that you do not cross the threshold
lines or limitations that you are comfortable with. You
should set clear expectations of the limitation prior to
the shoot, whether you are doing a traditional fashion
shoot, or evolving to more of a Maxim style shoot.
Your portfolio should contain a
diverse set of pictures, including head-shots, full-body
shoots, as well as vertical and horizontal style
pictures. Remember, these pictures are the 'first
impression' shots. When you are just starting off, you
have nothing to speak of, so there are numerous hurdles
a first-time model will need to battle through in order
to develop a portfolio that will work for them.
Be patient, do not make hasty
decisions, and work only with those photographers that
have impeccable references. As you work to develop your
portfolio, you want to include any promotional jobs you
may have worked, as well as any other semi-professional
shots you may gain as your experience grows. Even the
most seasoned veterans will need to rely on their
But your ultimate goal is to get
your 'tear sheet'...a firm representation that you have
made it to print! Tear sheets show that others have had
the confidence in your look and are extremely valuable
assets to any models career. A tear sheet can convince
prospective clients that you can carry off a certain
look and others have believed in your look and style.
As your portfolio starts to take
shape, a more refined focus will come into picture. You
will see what kind of industry jobs you are successfully
attaining, and it may allow you to focus on the niche
you best fit in to. Finally, your portfolio is an ever
evolving working document; one that you need to
constantly update and perfect as you grow your career.
In the end, be sure that you work with experts that know
how to properly put a professional portfolio together.
Don't be shy about getting advice from other models that
already have successful portfolios! And once you start
attaining 'tear sheets', the sky is the limit!