Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Aspiring models: Focus on marketable photography

Hey Girls,

Aspiring models should focus on creating marketable photography, because photos are what gets you in the door with a print agency wanting to work with you. It starts with your photos and your comp card, you also want your comp card to show marketable photos because for castings your photos represent what you can do as a model.

Some girls ask me if the portfolio means more than the comp card? The comp card, is more important that the start. Your portfolio grows over time, but your comp card is what you will mail to agencies and creating marketable photos that bring out your best assets in a commercial print friendly style for your modeling comp card should be the main photos when you get in front of the camera. You want to know yourself as a model, how to model, and the photos you need, here is insight on the ever-constant question I get on model photography and striving to create photos that are best for print modeling.

Study what print modeling is and what print modeling photos look like.
The more you know the better you will be. The more you know about where you opportunities are as a shorter girl the better. For a girl under 5'8" it is commercial print modeling. And targeting this area of the industry involves having the right photos and a comp card prepared. Study what print modeling is and know where you fit into the modeling business. (Modeling is about modeling for something and print modeling is all about personality and within print modeling all types of models are used for campaigns, commercials and product ads and catalogs. However you can not work as a print model without the right photos.) Understand the photos you NEED for your success and focus on working with photographers who understand what print modeling is, and understand your photo goals.

Investing in yourself and doing your research  is worth it. 
Research professional photographer's who understand what print modeling is, is very important as well. Do invest in yourself. Your photos are what get you opportunities as a model. Professional photography is best. Save money for better photography, don't wing it, make your photography important. Because in modeling your photos are what attract an agency and also book you work as a model. Your photos matter a lot. You want to create a marketable comp card. If you want to be professional you need professional photos, this doesn't mean trying to be something you are not in your photos, print modeling is about being natural, being yourself, so you can skip the massive styling and cakey makeup. Focus on getting the right photos that fit your goals for modeling.

Practice having your photo taken and practice in front of a mirror being natural.
Before you get in front of the camera practice looking at yourself in the mirror and posing naturally, not forced but modeling a product in a natural way, hold a handbag, a cell phone, model with a product. Work on your natural expressions and study your face. You should know your face well enough to know how your face "feels" when you are facing the camera and what it will look like from the camera's perspective. The mirror is like the camera's perspective so study your facial expressions, and watch what happens to your arms, neck, body, face, when you move and angle your body if a different way or hold a product in different ways. It is also a good idea to have a friend take photos of you naturally with their digital camera, not to use for model photos, but as "learning examples" and as practice as you observe and learn from what was good or bad about your pose or the way you are standing or positioning your body or face.  Becomnig a good model, knowing "how to model" involves knowing yourself, and body and face and how to move your body in a way to make it appear proportioned (and for a shorter girl it can involve making yourself naturally appear longer than you actually are sometimes).

Creating modeling goals helps you skip photo mistakes.
You should think about the photos you want to create and need, before you get in front of the camera. Again, your photographer should know what print modeling is and understand the type of photos you need and that a print agency wants to see. You should be planning to create a comp card that is marketable so that when you mail it to the print agency the agency will contact you. Sure, after the photo-shoot for your comp card images you can ask yourself, "does this photo represent my modeling goals and the type of work I want to get and can realistically get?" but really you should have already planned marketable photos, know what you need and not have to wonder if the photo is marketable, you should already know what is and isn't a marketable photo.

Aim high and strive, here are more posts on model marketing and photography:

Some photographers on Backstage.com for headshots, beauty shots and commercial print photos, explain what you are looking for to the photographer, be honest about your goals and needs.

Tips on how to find a photographer:

Photography on a budget tips:

I believe in having a goal, knowing what you want and need, researching the answers and making it happen :)

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