Monday, May 23, 2011

Industry Insider

How do I Find a Photographer

    Every model needs a portfolio and composite cards. These are the basic marketing tools of the model, just like a resume would be to any other job seeker. At a minimum, a model should have a good clean headshot, and one good, simple full-length shot (in something that will show off the shape of the model -- a fitted dress, a leotard, swim wear, lingerie, etc).  If you are already with a reputable agency, they will likely have a list of competent photographers who you can choose from. Also, other models might be able to give you suggestions on the photographers that they have preferred to work with.

    Unless you are posing for the photographer's work in exchange for free portfolio prints, you'll also have to consider a budget. For a headshot and full-length shot, figure anywhere from $50 - $500 for the session and an 8x10" print of each. If you are getting many more looks (for a composite card), expect to pay anywhere from $250 - $1500 for session and prints.

    Before having photos done, it's best to talk with your agency to find out what their suggestions are. Again, they can't force you to have certain types of photos taken, but if they are a legitimate agency, they will want to give you advice on how to make you most marketable (again, the more money you can make, the more money they can make). Some agencies have very specific suggestions such as number of shots taken in studio and number taken on location, where locations shots are to be taken and what type of backgrounds, what type of studio background and what type of colors, print sizes, pose length (close head shot, medium length to waist, 3/4 length to hips, full length), film, and even lighting.

     It's best to discuss these requirements well in advance so that you can let the photographer know (and have time to play) the shot you need. For your portfolio work, you should plan on paying for a stylist/make-up artist. You need to look you very best, and paying for a stylist is like getting a free course in "how to make YOU look beautiful." Again, your agency or photographer should be able to recommend a competent professional in an affordable price range.

    Remember that as a model, you are responsible for your own decisions and conduct. You need to let photographers know if you feel that their conduct or requests are unprofessional (or making you feel uncomfortable). If the behavior continues, you have the right AND responsibility to leave a photo session immediately.

Model:  Desiree Michelle
Images by:  Industry Image