7 Things To Look For In A Model’s Portfolio

January 5, 2009

in Instruction

What do I look for when I’m looking at a models portfolio? Of course it depends on the project, but there are some things that I’m always looking for.

I work with a lot of new models and mostly on projects where I’m the creative control. If I’m working on a project for a client, they generally pick the model, or at least give me specific guidelines.

This week I’m going to give you a series of videos where I review model’s portfolios. It is straight stream of consciousness, there is a lot you can learn by watching them all the way through.

What I Look For In A Model’s Portfolio

1. Quality of her images. To me the quality of your portfolio has a lot to do with your experience level. Sometimes it has everything to do with it. If a “model” has nothing but webcam images, she’s brand new. If she has nothing but images from the best photographers, she’s experienced.

2. Attitude. Is she a prima dona? If they spend a lot of time telling you how great they are, why they won’t shoot with just anybody, and how they always get paid, I avoid them. More trouble than they are worth. You’ll notice in one of this week’s video the model started out yelling at you. (She’s changed that since the review).

3. Expression and Pose. This is another quality indicator. New models often have one expression and dead eyes. Multiple expressions – that actually express emotion – show quality. If they look awkward, strange, or only have one pose, that’s something to note. Generally when a model doesn’t pose well, she is going to expect you to give her all the direction. As Valerie told me, getting into some poses and looking serene is tough.

4. Body type and skin quality. I’m probably not going to shoot lingerie or fitness with a plus size model, nor an anorexically thin one. Another big thing I look at is how smooth their skin is. A lot of Photoshop blurring on ALL their images, says they have bad skin.

5. Number of photographers she’s shot with. My feeling is even for the best, hottest model, you need to have shot TFP with at least 5 photographers before you can even think about charging. After that, you better be showing quality with whoever you shoot with. It also shows a work ethic. If they’ve shot with 10 photographers, they show up to shoots.

6. What she’s willing to shoot. If I’m planning glamour I look for lingerie, swimsuit and nudes in her portfolio. I assume if it is in her portfolio, it is something she’s willing to shoot. Sometimes they will specifically say what they want to shoot, which is helpful if it isn’t in their portfolios.

7. VIP or not? If she’ a Model Mayhem VIP, or an OMP paid member, that means she’s serious. Which is good.

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