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Launching a modeling career is tricky enough, but you’ll make it even harder if you don’t have a portfolio. The good news is that they’re easy to put together, and a good modeling portfolio can make the difference between getting that coveted modeling job and losing it. The bad news is that if you mess it up, it’ll certainly cost you jobs, and may even ruin your career before you even get started.

Sleeping model Reema

There are many different types of modeling, some with very specific requirements in terms of physical appearance and skill level. While it’s true that the most common types of modeling do require tall, thin people, there are other types of modeling where the preferred body style is more flexible.

Sneha in Cowgirl Hat

  • Live modeling is one example where personality is more important than an exact body type or look. Live models represent companies at trade shows, shopping malls, and other venues to promote a particular product or brand. Since live modeling requires interacting with many people, it’s important that the model is outgoing and has a sunny disposition.
  • Fashion modeling is the most common type of modeling that people know about. To be a successful fashion model requires a certain height. In the larger markets, such as Kolkata, the minimum acceptable height is 5’5”, while in the smaller markets the minimum is 5’2”. Fashion models must also be quite thin. In terms of looks, a wider range is acceptable, from conventionally beautiful to striking.

Woman in Sleeveless top

  • Commercial print modeling is a catch-all for models who appear in advertisements in magazines and newspapers. It can range from swimsuit modeling to portraying a specific role, such as businessperson, doctor, or representative of a particular demographic. Appearance requirements vary with the type of job. For instance, swimsuit models need to be curvy, yet show good muscle-tone, while representatives of a particular demographic simply need to be attractive examples of that demographic.
  • Body part modeling showcases a particular body part, such hair, legs, or hands. If you have lustrous hair, graceful hands, or legs that go on forever, consider this modeling type.

Adriana Lima

Hire a professional photographer

Call some local modelling agencies and find out who they use. Photographers who work in the industry will have experience with models. They will likely also know what agencies generally look for in portfolio pictures and are able to advise you accordingly. Convey your brief clearly to the photographer and discuss things in detail so that both of you are on the same page on what needs to be achieved from the photo shoot. In your discussions with your photographers, decide on the poses, the wardrobe items, the locations, the looks, themes and concepts for the photo shoot.

Indian Saree Sneha Das

Hire a professional make-up artist. If you are lucky, the photographer will sort this out for you, but remember to ask if the cost of the make-up artist is included in the fee, or if you have to pay extra. If the photographer isn’t providing one, ask the local modelling agencies to recommend one. As with the photographer, make-up artists in the business will know what’s expected. Although not a must, but its recommended to get a professional hair and make-up artist for your portfolio shoot. A professional can add a lot of value to your portfolio images and make you look even better with the right styling of your hair and make-up.

Wool Hat Sneha Das

Remember, your model portfolio is your big step forward and its best to get it right the first time. Your photographer should be able to recommend a good make-up artist (any good photographer should be able to make great recommendations on this). Again, definitely have a look at the make-up artist’s portfolio website to get a sense of their style. Always do have a backup plan (carry your own makeup or enlist the help of a friend) in case your make-up artist fails to show up.

Teen Eye close up Sneha Das

Practice posing. Look through magazines to find poses that inspire you. Don’t be afraid to alter them a little to make them your own. Practice them in front of a mirror and change the angle from time to time. Ask a family member or friend to critique your poses as you practice.

Shoulder-less black dress model

Pick out your clothing for the shoot. It’s important to realize that the purpose of your portfolio is to sell you. Eliminate anything that distracts from that purpose. To that end, keep your clothing choices simple. Choose solid colors and stay away from prints and patterns. Opt for clothing that you know fits you well: avoid anything that’s too tight or loose. Your portfolio is also not the place for “fashion-forward” outfits.

Salwar Dress Payal Das

  • You will need several outfit choices since you don’t want to have pictures of you in only one or two.
  • If you intend on going into commercial print modeling, it’s a good idea to bring a swimsuit, too.

Prepare to demonstrate versatility. Having a number of looks suited to the type of modeling for which you are suited is essential. If the photographer is good, he or she will know what types of pictures and looks you will need.

  • Headshots are images where the model’s face is depicted clearly. Usually coming in 8×10 sizing, the picture is typically of the model’s head and upper torso, taken at close range. It’s important that the headshot focus on the face. They are also usually taken with minimal make-up, so that the model’s facial structure and skin tone are evident. Every model needs one in his or her portfolio.

Beautiful Blonde face female

  • Beauty shots, on the other hand, are artistic images, that like the headshot, are of the model’s head and upper body. However, unlike headshots, the model is made-up and may be posed dramatically. If you want to work as a commercial print model, this photograph is a must for you.
  • Fashion shots are exactly what they sound like: photographs of the model wearing different outfits, with the focus being on the clothing. Even the model’s make-up complements the outfit. These images are for fashion models.
  • Swimsuit shots showcase the model’s body. This is another photo that you’ll need for commercial print modeling.
  • Another photo that’s important if you want to go into commercial print modeling is the editorial shot. Centered around a story, here’s is where you’ll be playing a character in a particular narrative.
  • Make sure you have your outfits ready at least five days before the day of the shoot.

Payal Das in Indian Saree

Maintain your looks. Looking your best at your photo shoot is crucial to your success as a model. Accordingly, perform any routine maintenance on yourself as you need before the big day. For example, have a hair-cut or get a manicure.

  • The day before the shoot, make sure you get a good night’s sleep and stay away from alcohol.

Sanhita Mitra

Focus on the type of model you want to be

While pursuing your passion to become a successful model, you also need to be realistic and aware of the stereotypes that are a part of the modeling industry. In most cases, your body type would define the kind of assignments you get, as most clients have a pre-conceived notion of what they feel fits their brief. For example, its harder for shorter or petite models to break into fashion modeling. While these stereotypes are constantly being broken and you certainly can break them on your way, it helps to be realistic and honest about your strong points. This would increase your chances of achieving success and reduce setbacks and rejections.

Sanhita Mitra

Making an informed decision about the type of modeling you want to pursue would bring clarity and focus on how you want to shape your modeling portfolio. For example, as a freelance model you would need a lot of variations in your shots, but as a high fashion model, you would need to focus on high fashion images.

Arpita Nandi

Communicate with the photographer.

Good communication between model and photographer is essential for great pictures. Listen carefully to what the photographer wants. Try not to be nervous, but do acknowledge that the feeling is normal…even models who have been working for years get nervous.

A clear understanding goes a long way on achieving the results that you want from the photo shoot and insures against any mistakes or nasty surprises. For tips and inspiration on planning your images, have a look at some stunning model portfolio examples.

Semi topless model

Showcase your confidence and charm

You want your pictures to capture the essence of what you can bring as a model: your vivacity and ability to portray varied characters and moods. Don’t be afraid to show off. This is your time to shine.

Backless model Reema

Demonstrate proper etiquette

It’s important to build good professional relationships with your photographer and makeup artist. Be sure to write both of them thank you notes after the photo shoot is over.

Courtesy: wikiHow , pixpa

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Amitava Ray

I'm a Photographer & Blogger. Born & raised in Kolkata, India. Me অমিতাভ রায়, from 1979 started Photography & Blogging since 2006👍
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