As a photographer, working with models, I see a lot of portfolios. It can be hard to build up a proper portfolio, especially for a young model, just starting out in the industry.
At the very start of their career a lot of models build up their portfolio with tfp (time for picture) collaborations, which is a great way to get yourself in front of the camera and gain some experience! But these shoots are not always what you need to build up a professional model portfolio.
First you have to find a photographer (and maybe HMUA) who are willing to work with an unexperienced model, which is actually not that hard. But most likely these photographers are just starting out as well, so you have to do good research on their work to make sure they can deliver the quality you want for your portfolio.
What I see quite often as a result from tfp are photoshoots with a certain theme, that is a bit cliché. Hot girls posing in front of graffiti walls, emotional railway portraits or gothic brides on the cemetery, is not really what you want to see in a professional model portfolio. To get an idea what is expected, have a look at model set cards and portfolios of new faces on model agency websites.
Another thing I don’t like to see in portfolios are over edited photos and too much makeup. You might ask yourself, aren’t all the professional photographs in magazines highly retouched as well? Yes they are! But same with photographers, there are good and bad retouchers. As your portfolio is about representing you and your look, you don’t want to look fake or over retouched. Like with many other things in your portfolio, less is often more. A well done beauty shot can be a great addition to your portfolio, but make sure not to exaggerate it with heavy make-up looks. Your first portfolio should be about you, your individual look and expressions, not about showcasing the work of an Makeup-Artist.
Finally it is quite a challenge to select the best photographs for your portfolio. A general advice is to go for quality over quantity. But it can be the hardest thing to judge photos of yourself. That’s why I offer to assist with the final selection of your portfolio photos. That way you learn how a photographer looks at your photos, which might be different to how you see yourself. That can be a worth-while experience. It is a great Idea in general to speak with other people about your portfolio and work. In the best case try to get professional feedback from photographers, designers, Model agencies or editors.
As you might have seen on my website, I have a special offer for model portfolios, which I created to help young talents to get a good start in their model career. This offer is for everyone who wants to start a professional model career and needs a portfolio to enter the casting world. With the time you get jobs you can always update your portfolio and show more diversity of yourself. But this package is a good way to start with and get a foot into the doors of model agencies and job castings.
If that sounds like something you want to do, send me an email to book your own portfolio shoot!
I’m looking forward to hearing from you!