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Model Portfolio advice

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sturatcliffe View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sturatcliffe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Model Portfolio advice
    Posted: 07 November 2012 at 18:08
I've been asked to shoot images for a 15 year old male to go in his portfolio - He is interested in modelling and is after head shots and full body shots (in colour and b/w)

Is there any advice as to what to include?

Should it be just studio (high and low key) or are shots on location good for a portfolio too?

He isn't signed and is just showing an interest so there isn't a particular 'genre' i will need to have in mind for the shot.

What is the best size for portfolio prints?

Any advice is welcomed

Thanks!
www.srphoto.co.uk
Wedding & Portrait Photography
 



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Photosopher View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Photosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2012 at 05:51
If model is unsigned, then he needs "submission photos". He will "submit" these images to various agencies in order to get signed, or further attention. Requirements for submission photos are completely different than portfolio prints.

Unless you've shot for a particular agency that this model will pursue, then there is no way to determine the style that agency wants to see for portfolio. Each agency has their stable of clients, and they have a number of photographers that shoot in certain styles to specifically entice those clients to consider new models.

The best submission photos look like well made snapshots in good lighting with contemporary clothing. They show model in a variety of scenarios. These shots are not about the photographer. It's an assignment with a purpose of getting the model attention from a working agency. Show the model in a natural state, well groomed, new clothing. Hair needs to be recently styled. Give model a checklist for getting nails trimmed, nostril/ear hair trimmed, and eyebrows groomed if necessary. Tell model not to tan more than a week before the shoot. Tell model to drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep for the week before the shoot. Tell model not to try any new grooming products for a week before the shoot.

Model should bring a variety of clothing. Bring three outfits for every one look. Shoot head shots and various body shot crops on each look. I shoot about 75 images for each, and edit down to about 25 for model to proof. The only thing the agency sees is an envelope with about six or seven 8x12 laser prints. They can see the proofs later if requested. But chances are, if they sign model, they'll throw your shots out and have model shoot again with one of their known photographers. Don't take offense at this... your job is to get model attention from agency, that's all.

Now here's how to get into the agency through the back door...

Before the shoot, call the agencies and ask to hire a makeup artist/clothing stylist for a male model shoot. They will be happy to accommodate you. If the price is too high, then ask if they have any new stylists wanting to build a portfolio. If all else fails, then tell them you've got $100 in your budget for a stylist. They will book someone. They will take your money. Then ask them what their submission procedures are. Some don't accept emails... some insist upon them. Some insist upon open call Thursdays at 2pm, and some say to drop off an envelope of photographs. Get the name of the person who handles "new faces". They will be your followup contact.

You, as the photographer should make that call. Then you dish out the info to models as you see fit. The longer you do it, the more you'll learn what type of model each individual agency is looking for. You'll be able to steer models in the right direction and save everyone a bit of time. Some agencies specialize in high fashion for international markets. Some specialize in retail fashion for local catalogs. Some specialize in commercial character models. Ask the new faces director what they are looking for... then browse through their web sites to see the type of images they promote to clients.

I recommend that unsigned models do not invest into a portfolio book. Just an envelope of photos... under ten (better six or seven), is all that is needed. The agencies have their own books with their logos on them. They will have specific print sizes that can't be determined until book is purchased. Probably 9x12 though. They may have big master books, and then require model to purchase a dozen mini books... and they may not do portfolios at all, handling everything on the web instead. Each agency is different.

Sample Submission Photos Here.

Good luck... Have fun... and hire that stylist... mostly for clothing than anything.
http://www.ctphotographx.com
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sturatcliffe View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sturatcliffe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2012 at 12:43
Thanks for the advice!

It isn't for any particular style or agency so I am going to try a range of styles that show him off best.

He is 15 and a very keen sportsman so hoping to use that a little.

I understand I am selling him and not my pictures.

Thanks for linking to an example
www.srphoto.co.uk
Wedding & Portrait Photography
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Photosopher View Drop Down
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Joined: 13 June 2010
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Location: St. Louis Mo
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Photosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2012 at 14:29
Originally posted by sturatcliffe sturatcliffe wrote:

...a range of styles that show him off best...a very keen sportsman so hoping to use that a little.


Yeah man you got it. Have fun with it. Shots of active teens are always in style. Get his signature and your shots might find another purpose in a stock photo agency. Can't wait to see the shots.
http://www.ctphotographx.com
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