I was recently asked: My shoot will be in December and I am only 5'7" so I want to get involved in commercial/print modeling. What type of outfits would I bring to a shoot for this type of modeling? Also, I am African-American and have hair extensions, Do you think it is okay to take my photos with hair extensions or should I have completely my real hair ? Thanks!
I'm sure you are anxious for your photo shoot in December and I wanted to get back to you with some tips. Before you do the shoot however, I would make sure 100% that the photographer understands what print modeling is. And also I would rip out of magazines examples of print modeling ads and campaigns that can inspire you for the shoot.
Here is more on why your photographer should know what print modeling is.
I would shoot the way your hair is the most often. So how your hair looks most often is what is on your comp card. So shoot in extensions if you plan to always wear them. And if you don't, then plan to keep your hair natural. You want your hair the way it always is because after your shoot and when you create a modeling compcard you will be mailing it to agencies and you want to look like the girl on the comp card. They will most likely want to mee you if they are interested in working together and you will want to look just as you did on the comp card for this meeting and also for modeling castings you want to look how you look on a normal day. Which is also why it's a good idea to always keep the makeup natural, as the real you. NO over photoshopped. Tell photographer you don't want crazy photo shop and NO blowing out photos. This is about natural images...professional but very natural.
Later when you are sent on castings you will be expected to also look like the images on the comp card you created, which is why it's also a good idea to make sure how you do your hair, the length etc is important. I mention in my book Short Stuff: on the job with an x-small model (it's on BN.com and Amazon.com and my website) that once I cut my hair shorter and right afterwards I was booked for a modeling job and my hair was a lot shorter than what the client (job) involved so I had to panic and get extensions put in for it the night before the job and it was not fun and could have been a really bad experience--- so always keep your hair the way it is in your photos. Or else you will have to update your photos often and your agency on how your hair is and it can be a pain in the butt! :) Here are tips for what to wear/clothing selection and how the photos for print modeling should look and what they should involve, they are very basic actually because print modeling photos involve, real life scenarios--and the clothing is pretty simple.
Wear something that is classic and timeless, you don't want the shots to be extremely fashion forward because in print modeling it is not about the clothes usually, it's about the personality of the model and using your personality to market that product within the marketing campaign photos. Stick to solid colors, no ruffles or extreme flair that would distract from capturing your own personality and glow on camera. An example of a few outfit choices would be:
Basic black dress just above knee, keep it classy, a pair of cute heels, not super super super high -you don't want this photo to age or narrow you into --too fashion--too glamour--too sexy. You want it to be about personality and print modeling is really different than fashion modeling so make sure you know the differences too. (see below) Like a Marie Claire or Glamour magazine, the shot scenario could involve you getting ready or heading for the door, or walking outside, coming out of a car, before you go out with the girls...pretty but not WHOA crazy hair and makeup!
A workout or fitness outfit-the shot scenario involves you right before you go for a run maybe stretching, taking in fresh air, like Self magazine.
A close up beauty shot. Think health and beauty, very clean.
A more casual shot, in jeans and a cute sweater or shirt, scenario: you are talking to your best friend on the phone--smiling sweetly.
A shot where you are modeling with an accessories product, a handbag, earrings, a pen or a beauty product, etc. The focus is you and the product but not forced, the scenario is maybe you are leaning against a wall holding a handbag and lookin into it taking something out of it, it is a close up of the bag and you and also one pulled back, you decide which is better. Or maybe you are putting on your earrings or it is like a beauty shot and close up. Make the shot involve interacting with a product in a natural way.
Always think Ads, ads, ads, because print modeling is about product ads, so for the shot bring a real-life scenario to life and think about how it could show your personality and that you have a look that can work with many products.
No stiff jaw, no pout, no squinting eyes, all upbeat and friendly expressions ( close up shots obviously can have a more relaxed expression).
And NO logos within the shots for your clothing or the products you are holding/using/wearing. You don't want to later attend a casting for Essie nail polish when in your shot you are showing a nailpolish for another nail care brand. Keep it logo free...never show logos in your photos.
You would only show logos or have a logo involved within your comp card or portfolio when you book a job for the brand.
The best way to prepare your outfits is to study ads and editorials in magazines of all types for print modeling/lifestyle product ads. Keep in mind ads for every day items that people use, even tampon ads where the model is laughing or smiling, you will notice the ads are less about the clothing the model is wearing and more about their expression. The clothing is tamed down to something more every day where or not screaming a logo and extra dazzle.
Print modeling is about really you just being you.
I hope this helps for now :)