How To Make the Perfect Modeling Portfolio

Holly Bissonnette| October 14, 2014
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First impressions last forever and these are what you want to make on your modeling auditions.  You should always want to turn the heads of the agents and make them sign you up without batting an eyelash. But, in a sea beautiful faces and bodies, how exactly do you expect to turn heads? Let’s go over the basics for making the perfect modeling portfolio.

professional-photographers modeling
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The key to your success lies in the hands of a professional photographer and your ability to make good pictures. This makes presenting your portfolio a must at any modeling audition or go-see to show scouts that you fit the bill.

A portfolio is a compilation of your best takes. It will showcase the different looks you can offer them that will make them book you on the most coveted modeling jobs. It is the first thing that agents go through while you are introducing yourself to them. Making it looking as professional as possible is very crucial. All the photos, the angles, the expressions should be executed well enough to impress the best model scouts in the world.

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So what does it take to make a professional portfolio worthy of the top modeling agencies?

Practice Always Makes Perfect modeling

Master Poses. Get an idea of the photos or poses that you want to take. You can get inspiration from magazines or catalogs and practice on achieving the look. A lot of aspiring models often have the misconception that they can do just about any type of pose they can think of.

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As cliché as it may sound, practice makes perfect and a great photograph will give you better chances during auditions. Marie Claire magazine put up a compilation of model advice and Alexis Broker, who is known for Project Runway, advised would-be models to practice posing in front of their mirrors. If they think they look good in looking glasses, then they are probably good.

modeling confidence
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Be Self-Assured. Confidence exudes even from a photograph and this is very noticeable to modeling agents. Awkward hand placements may indicate that a model is not very convinced of what they’re doing and it will show on the photograph. Practice constantly until you are comfortable in your own skin and this will work like magic on your photos.

Professional modeling Gets the Job Done

Contact professional photographers and makeup artists. Not every photographer or makeup artist is equipped with the skill in providing good output especially for fashion photography. Getting a random person for the job might be an opportunity to save on expenses, but if his skills are all wrong, you might end up regretting your choice.

enjoy modeling
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Professional Photographers Know Best. Fashion or professional photographers know just how much effort a model needs to exert on a photograph or what would be a better pose or angle. They will know exactly what lighting to use and what would look good in the pictures and what would not.

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Skilled Makeup Artists are Worthwhile Investments. A good makeup artist knows just how much makeup would be right for the amount of lighting used at a photo shoot. Most photographers can put in a name or two for makeup artists who know exactly how to style a model. If not, it pays to look for one who has had extensive experience in styling models for fashion photos.

Always ask these professionals about their fees to make sure you are on the budget. For the photographer, always ask about how long it will take for them to produce the photos. This could be the most expensive step on your road towards landing that modeling job, but it will pay off really well. Some modeling agencies also prescribe photographers from whom models can have their test photos taken.

Make a Good Plan and Get Creative in modeling

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When you have an idea of what you would like to show on your photos, make a plan. Plan out the number and type of looks you want to achieve, the clothes you will be wearing and the locations where you would like to take them from. A model also needs to allow their creativity to flow through them to produce an even more impressive outcome.

Once you have these all sorted out, talk to your photographer and stylist about your look ideas and the shots you want to achieve. They will have a great amount of insight on how these can be done or some advice on how to improve them, so they would look more stunning. It pays to have people who have much experience in attaining money shots.

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Make sure you get a variety of shots including a good head shot, a full body shot and a smiling shot. Then you can play around with other ideas like getting a photo with natural lighting, an editorial shot and one in your swimwear. Make sure you can give agents as many looks as possible.

Prepare for the Big Day

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Be in top shape. You need to look great in your photos and for that you should be in the best shape possible. Once you already have an upcoming schedule for your photo shoot, aim to get a good night’s sleep and keep yourself healthy. Your hair, your nails and skin should also be in top shape. Get some tips from your stylist if you would need any type of regimen or treatment before the shoot.

Get your outfits ready. The clothes you should be wearing for the shoot should be in the most ideal as well. They should be cleaned and ironed days before the shoot. You can also pack them ahead of time to avoid forgetting them at the last minute.

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Iron out every last detail before the shoot. Check in with your photographer and stylist every now and then to make sure everything is ironed out. One good reason for booking professionals for the job is there is absolutely less risk for them to bail out on you on the eleventh hour. Nevertheless, check in on with them to make sure that you are still set for the date.

On the day before your shoot, make sure that every piece of clothing is in your bag and packed properly. Double check on the things you need to bring, but do not stress yourself out. Rest well to feel refreshed the next day.

Respect Begets Respect

Be punctual. Make sure you get to the location of the shoot earlier than scheduled. That will give you much time to prepare and condition yourself for the busy day ahead. It will also give you some lead time for your hair and makeup and more time to get more photos taken.

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Maintain professionalism. It is also very important to be professional the whole time. Treat everyone with respect and you will be surprised how that will work wonders to your career. They could certainly put in a good word for you if they had a good experience working with you.

When you are on set, always listen to what the photographer wants you to do and try to do them as best as you could. It is normal to feel nervous or awkward at first, but find ways to release the tension to get a better register on the camera. Channel your confidence and just enjoy the rest of the shoot to make your movements as fluid as possible.

Confidence is King

Enjoy your shoot. As Nigel Barker would say, if you take a picture of someone who is comfortable and feels good about themselves, that would be the most beautiful picture of them. So, be happy during your shoot and feel confident. This will make lot of angles look good, thus you will have more photos to choose from.

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Say your thanks. At the end of the day, when you have finished your transactions with your stylist and photographer, never forget to thank them. Schedule when you will be expecting your photos from the photographer and sort out whether you will be getting them printed or in a digital file. There are photographers that provide both formats.

Create Your Story

Once you have the photos with you, choose the best looking one that will showcase your versatility in modeling. There is absolutely no need to produce a whole bunch of photos, just the ones you think would stand out and catch the attention during modeling auditions. Compile these and present them as if you are telling a story through your photographs.

The presentation of your portfolio could create a big impact during your audition. If you give them something that has depth and looks very professional, they will automatically think that you want these modeling jobs so bad they will want to hire you on the spot. It will give them the impression that you will try your best to be better so you can book the best modeling jobs in the world.

Like any other artist, you are as good as your portfolio. Even famous models need to update theirs every now and then to book more clients. The more jobs you book, the more credible your name will become in the industry. It is just a little investment that you put into the lifetime of your modeling career.

Build up your portfolio with about six to twelve shots for your first modeling open call to give agents a good view of what to expect from you. The more jobs you get booked for, the bigger your chance to build up your modeling book to as many good shots of you as possible. With the right portfolio, you will be surprised at how fast you can get booked for jobs during your modeling auditions.



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