Modeling portfolios for dummies

AdamsRocksHurt

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So a female I know (5'9 slender 23-year-old redhead) is interested in dipping her toe into modeling. Although at 23 she is a bit "over the hill" to really become a global sensation (as weird as that is to say that a 23-year-old is too old for anything) she figures she might be able to score local work or even some stuff here and there to help pay for law school. Maybe a few campaigns like American Apparel or something. She's asked me to help her work on some shots for at least a potential portfolio.
Now I can borrow a DSLR from a coworker on Tuesday. I apologize, I forget the model but I can find out and edit it in later. I've never done a modeling portfolio before, and since we like each other I'm not charging, and it's not a one-chance-only deal. If I completely screw up I can try again, but for convenience sake I'd like to do it and move on.
I would like to hear from anyone and everyone here, both pros and hobbyists, on their opinions and advice. About everything. Outdoor settings versus indoor. How to position lights. What outfits to put her in. What agencies might like to see. Legit ones, not ones affiliated with the dirty dirty. What websites are useful, both to post shots to be seen or to use for advice.
And if anyone else has any questions on this topic, by all means join up. This is... modeling portfolios for dummies.
 

Postman158

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Do you have ANY experience with photography? You said you can borrow a DSLR from a co-worker.. It might be in her best interest to find a professional local photographer to take some stunning pictures, since you are even asking indoor vs outdoor, how to light, what kind of clothes.. If she wants to land jobs, she'll have to pay some money to look like a model, especially for her pictures. Thats just my opinion on your situation.
 

DiskoJoe

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So a female I know (5'9 slender 23-year-old redhead) is interested in dipping her toe into modeling. Although at 23 she is a bit "over the hill" to really become a global sensation (as weird as that is to say that a 23-year-old is too old for anything) she figures she might be able to score local work or even some stuff here and there to help pay for law school. Maybe a few campaigns like American Apparel or something. She's asked me to help her work on some shots for at least a potential portfolio.
Now I can borrow a DSLR from a coworker on Tuesday. I apologize, I forget the model but I can find out and edit it in later. I've never done a modeling portfolio before, and since we like each other I'm not charging, and it's not a one-chance-only deal. If I completely screw up I can try again, but for convenience sake I'd like to do it and move on.
I would like to hear from anyone and everyone here, both pros and hobbyists, on their opinions and advice. About everything. Outdoor settings versus indoor. How to position lights. What outfits to put her in. What agencies might like to see. Legit ones, not ones affiliated with the dirty dirty. What websites are useful, both to post shots to be seen or to use for advice.
And if anyone else has any questions on this topic, by all means join up. This is... modeling portfolios for dummies.

Do you have any pics of past shoots you have done?
 

2WheelPhoto

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So a female I know (5'9 slender 23-year-old redhead) is interested in dipping her toe into modeling. Although at 23 she is a bit "over the hill" to really become a global sensation

I'm surprised at that assumption.
 

DiskoJoe

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So a female I know (5'9 slender 23-year-old redhead) is interested in dipping her toe into modeling. Although at 23 she is a bit "over the hill" to really become a global sensation (as weird as that is to say that a 23-year-old is too old for anything) she figures she might be able to score local work or even some stuff here and there to help pay for law school. Maybe a few campaigns like American Apparel or something. She's asked me to help her work on some shots for at least a potential portfolio.
Now I can borrow a DSLR from a coworker on Tuesday. I apologize, I forget the model but I can find out and edit it in later. I've never done a modeling portfolio before, and since we like each other I'm not charging, and it's not a one-chance-only deal. If I completely screw up I can try again, but for convenience sake I'd like to do it and move on.
I would like to hear from anyone and everyone here, both pros and hobbyists, on their opinions and advice. About everything. Outdoor settings versus indoor. How to position lights. What outfits to put her in. What agencies might like to see. Legit ones, not ones affiliated with the dirty dirty. What websites are useful, both to post shots to be seen or to use for advice.
And if anyone else has any questions on this topic, by all means join up. This is... modeling portfolios for dummies.

Do you have any pics of past shoots you have done?

I would suggest referring her to Model Mayhem and she could probably find someone to do it for free that has more experience.
 

DiskoJoe

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So a female I know (5'9 slender 23-year-old redhead) is interested in dipping her toe into modeling. Although at 23 she is a bit "over the hill" to really become a global sensation

I'm surprised at that assumption.

Im not. Models usually start out rather young. But she could still be successful if she has a good look.
 

2WheelPhoto

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So a female I know (5'9 slender 23-year-old redhead) is interested in dipping her toe into modeling. Although at 23 she is a bit "over the hill" to really become a global sensation

I'm surprised at that assumption.

Im not. Models usually start out rather young. But she could still be successful if she has a good look.

I agree they usually start young. But some advertisers for products around south FL here seek out models from our local agencies that are older than their 20's.
 

DiskoJoe

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I'm surprised at that assumption.

Im not. Models usually start out rather young. But she could still be successful if she has a good look.

I agree they usually start young. But some advertisers for products around south FL here seek out models from our local agencies that are older than their 20's.

yeah a lot of it is subject to what the advertising is for. You wouldnt want a 16 year old to model for AARP.
 

2WheelPhoto

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Im not. Models usually start out rather young. But she could still be successful if she has a good look.

I agree they usually start young. But some advertisers for products around south FL here seek out models from our local agencies that are older than their 20's.

yeah a lot of it is subject to what the advertising is for. You wouldnt want a 16 year old to model for AARP.

Or perhaps one would (if we were selling them the fountain of youth!?)
bigthumb.gif


And I can say that I'm pushing it in my 40's =)
 

Tee

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If she's applying to agencies, simple is better. Agency websites will have directions for how to apply online as well as in person. For initial "Polaroids" the agency wants to see what the model looks like not how well the photographer can make her look.

For a portfolio book, you'll need to see what the current image size is the standard.

Www.newmodels.com is a good resource for beginners. Have her start there. It covers how to find a reputable agency and not a model mill like John Casablanca & Barbazon (that will tell you anything you want to hear as long as your money is good).
 

Tony S

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To really help her, use the shots you take only to refer her to a more qualified photographer who can make great images every time. It's those first looks at an agency that really count, and the photos they look at need to be their best, even for simple ones. You might get lucky and get three or four nice shots after shooting several days, but what will also count is her being able to work with an experienced photographer who can also be a "mentor" for her first steps into modeling. If it were so easy that a friend could do it by borrowing a camera then that's what everyone would be doing.
It's a nice jesture you are making for your friend, but do her right and steer her in the right direction.
 

KmH

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I would like to hear from anyone and everyone here, both pros and hobbyists, on their opinions and advice. About everything. Outdoor settings versus indoor. How to position lights. What outfits to put her in. What agencies might like to see. Legit ones, not ones affiliated with the dirty dirty. What websites are useful, both to post shots to be seen or to use for advice.
All that would only require writing 6 or 7 complete books.

Vist the local library or Amazon.com

Newmodels

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Headshot, Comp Cards, Reproductions, Printing, Headshots, Comp Cards, Zed Cards,

PhotoflexLightingSchool - Because Knowledge Should Be Free
 
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CCericola

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No need for too many shots. To do the type of modeling she wants to do she will have to get in to an agency. If they do take her on a portfolio will be made for her and gradually grow as she gets booked. Companies like American Apparel pay an ad agency. That ad agency will hire models from reputable model agencies. Those modelling agencies have pools of models of every age, shape, gender, sex. She will have to find an agency that is willing to work with her on a part time basis. She is not very desirable if she can't go on a shoot because she has a law class that day.
 
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AdamsRocksHurt

AdamsRocksHurt

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Thanks for the responses, all!

As per helping her with her potential career- yeah, I'm not arrogant or foolish enough to think I could march right in with my photographs taken with limited experience and get her the cover of Vanity Fair. They still publish that, right? Oh, print media... I'm going to encourage her to set up online profiles and also ask around for more experienced photographers, too, like my coworker who has published photos in magazines and in galleries.

On the age thing- that seems to be the biz. A lot of girls are discovered pretty (some might say creepily) young, I know Natalie Portman was scouted at 13 and one of the big sensations right now Lindsey Wixson got started at 15 and is still under 18. I don't think she has delusions of grandeur, but maybe a realistic best-case scenario of being promoted via a local agency to others and ending up wearing a onesie leotard for American Apparel. And I think she's not doing law school for a while, so if the interest and money are there then fulltime is an option. Most of all I think she wants to have fun.

Photography is something I've long had an interest in, but it's got a double whammy of being both expensive and intimidating. Which leads to a Catch-22 as the only way to improve is to do it, but it's more difficult to do it when you know you're not very experienced. There seems to be some good chaps in here but I've looked around some other threads and noticed a line between the criticism cruel and constructive.

All in all, keep the advice coming. We live close to each other and are both employed so this isn't a necessarily "do or die, I don't cash checks made out by Calvin Klein I don't eat" scenario. More like dipping toes before taking a cold hard plunge in the epic world of posing (for her) and taking pictures of things (for me).
 

ph0enix

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If you think photography is expensive, try boat, car or motorcycle racing. The truth is that most hobbies can be expensive depending on how deep down the "rabbit hole" you want to go, metaphorically speaking. The good thing about photography is that you can start learning it with a fairly low budget. You won't become good at it in a week or two though.
 

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