Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Modelling tips: portfolio selection

A great model has a great portfolio. That requires two things: having good photos and picking out the right one for your portfolio. This article focuses on the latter. How will you –among the tons of brilliant pictures you have – pick the ones that sell you?

Decide where you want to go
Many models make the mistake of letting their portfolio be a reflection of what they have done in the past. That’s okay if you want to keep doing what you were doing. But if you are heading in a specific direction, gear your portfolio in that direction as well. Don’t fill it with portraits if you are aiming for a career in fashion. A portrait-dominated portfolio will yield you portrait shoots. Photographers and agencies select models on the basis of what they see in portfolios. If fashion is what you want, the lion’s share of your portfolio should be fashion pictures. Have you stopped posing nude? Remove the nudes from you portfolio.

Great pics only
Be critical. Adding one mediocre picture to 9 very good ones, will decrease the WOW-factor of your portfolio. A portfolio with a low number of good pictures tells me this is a good model with little experience. Add a couple of mediocre pictures to it, and the portfolio will tell me this is an inexperienced model with varying performance and an inability to choose. Which one would you like to be?

Even if you are specializing in a certain direction, make sure your portfolio reflects your ability to look different in every picture. The more ‘looks’ you are able to convey in a convincing way, the more modeling jobs you will be eligible for. Use different themes, different photographers, different outfits, different make-up artists, different expressions. Show them how versatile you are.

Kill your darlings.
“Ah, my first paid assignment”, “That photographer was such a nice guy”, ”That dress cost me a fortune” and “I just love that car I am posing in front of” are not good reasons to keep a picture in your portfolio. The mere fact that a photographer, fellow model or make-up artist is a friend of yours is not a very good reason either. Don’t let your emotions decide what’s in your portfolio. Picture quality is the one and only measure to go by.

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