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THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING YOUR PORTFOLIOPAGE SIZEThe standard size is 9″ x 12″. You’ll see some other sizes on our website, and those are fine for special cases. But if you’re seriously trying to break into the modeling industry, you need a 9″ x 12″ portfolio book. Your photos should also be 9″ x 12″ prints, because smaller prints floating around on a big page look unprofessional.
COVER COLORIf you’re working without an agent, a unique portfolio can help you stand out from the crowd and get noticed. A book with a color cover, or even a clear portfolio, makes a stylish statement about you.
BOOK CONSTRUCTIONWhile a professional model’s portfolio has a rigid cover, a beginner book can be lightweight with a flexible cover. For presentation to a prospective agency or client, the pages should be permanently-bound into the cover.
PHOTO CAPACITYA beginner’s modeling portfolio book only needs to hold 20 items. In our opinion, your book should contain 5-11 great professionally-shot photos, that show your various talents and your best features. After that, the book should display snapshots that reinforce and legitimize your resumé. (Get someone to take snapshots of you appearing in a local fashion show, or you working as a promotional model at an event.)
POCKETSUnlike a professional model’s portfolio, a beginner’s portfolio should have a pocket in the front. See the Starter Portfolio Book below.
If you’ve been scouted for your first one-time interview at a city agency, and all you’ve got is a handful of photos, you’re in a “presentation setting.” If you don’t have the marketing material for a full-blown beginner’s book, then see our Advanta Portfolio below.
Glossary of Modelling terms
The company that specializes in creating ads for big brands.
A company that represents models, actors and talent of any kind. A modelling agency is responsible for representing and promoting its roster of models and booking jobs for them. Modelling agencies usually handle contracts, payments and the whole business side of the model's life. Sometimes, especially with larger agencies, the agency will "lend" the model money for a photo shoot, comp cards, clothes, an apartment, etc. The agency will then pay itself back by taking money out of the model's first earnings. It is MOT usual for reputable agencies to charge a 'sign-up' or 'joining' fee, or to charge for test shots - if they feel you have potential as a model they will be eager to sign you.
The book agencies distribute to all of their clients to promote their models. The book contains the comp card for each model represented by the agency. Models are often required to pay a fee to have their comp card printed in the book.
Whatever the model stands in front of during a photo shoot. In a studio, this is usually seamless paper or a faux location scene.
A close-up shot of part or all of the face (lips, eyes, etc.). This kind of photo is usually used in a cosmetics print ad or in a magazine editorial about skin care products, make-up products, that kind of thing.
The condensed story of a model's life - basically a resume with particular jobs highlighted.
Bonuses are not always given in cash-designers may give clothes as bonuses if they can't pay the models' full day rates for a runway show. And no matter what form the bonus takes, the agency takes 20% of the value of the bonus. Bonuses can be given when a shoot is long, or when a client loves the pics and wants to use them more often than the original intention/contract.
When you tell your agent you're not available for a job, for either professional or personal reasons, and the agent cannot book you during that time, you've "booked out" for that time.
A specification on a call-sheet that means clean hair, clean face. You should show up for the photo shoot with no make-up on and freshly washed hair. The opposite of this is "hair and make-up ready," which is pretty self-explanatory.
Also referred to as a comp card, zed card or model business card. A comp card is a piece of card stock printed with at least two photos of you in various poses, settings, outfits and looks (the widest variety possible). It includes your name, your contact information, usually your agency's info and all your stats. Comp cards come in lots of different formats depending on the city, agency and the type of model or actor you are. Agencies will usually issue comp cards for you after they sign you.
The number of models posed in a photograph. Some standard fashion configurations are singles, doubles, triples, and groups.
Also called Proofs. A photographer's term for a sheet of film printed with small versions of all the photos taken during the photo shoot. From the contact sheet, the photographer and the client will choose which shots they want to print and enlarge.
Cove Studio or CYC Wall
Also called a Cyc Studio. This is a photography studio that has no corners - instead, it's sort of rounded everywhere with built-in backdrops. In photographs, corners and edges (like where the wall meets the floor) tend to look ugly. A cove studio eliminates this effect. Seamless paper gives the same effect in a regular studio.
Pronounced "syk," cyc is short for "cyclone" studio. See Cove Studio.
A photographic studio that is lit with natural light, usually by way of windows and skylights.
The person who makes sure that clothes fit the model properly, and pins them if necessary.
Fashion Fit Modelling
A male or female model fashion designers and garment manufacturers use to size and measure clothes for production. Fit models have the perfect proportions for a given clothing size. They are used by designers to piece together new creations, see how they move, and develop their patterns. The key for a fit model is to never gain or loose an inch. Fit models can be hired by manufacturers in permanent salary positions. Often, clothing manufacturers do not hire separate fit models for each size. Instead, they measure the clothes on a standard size (size 8-10 for women; size 40 regular for men) model and then use computer programs to magnify those dimensions for each different size.
Contractual term for a photo shoot in which each model is getting paid the same day rate. The highest paid model on the shoot usually gets paid less than his or her usual rate. This helps eliminate accusations of unfair work practices and general griping by lower-paid models that are working just as hard as the highly-paid model. Models don't look as good in photographs when they feel they're being cheated to pay the star.
The session that takes place before the photo shoot where the clothes to be modelled are fit onto the model. Based on the model's particulars, the clothes are usually altered to fit. When you go to a fitting, be prepared to stand around partially clothed all day long, in front of several people. These people will usually be stylists, seamstresses and designers.
A model listed with multiple agencies (as opposed to one particular agency) or a self-promoting model who works without an agent. Most commercial print models are freelance and work as independent contractors.
A model's appointment to see a potential client.
Models are paid halftime for all travel time. If your day rate is £50 an hour, you'll get £25 for each hour you travel to and from that job. Your agency also gets 20% of halftime travel rates.
A poster displaying head shots and information about models represented by a modeling agency. Models may have to pay to appear on an agency's headsheet.
Any place, other than in a studio, where a shoot (photography or film) takes place. When you are on location, it means you are outside the controlled environment of the studio or soundstage and should prepare accordingly.
A legal document provided by the client/photographer and signed by the model or agent. It gives permission to the photographer to use photographs taken at a particular sitting. If photographs are used without a release, or in a way different from what is stated in the release, then the model can sue for breach of contract.
A contract signed by the photographer giving permission to the model to use the photographs taken during a particular sitting.
Also called a Book or Model's Book. A notebook conaining a collection of a model's best photographs (usually size 8"x10") and tear sheets demonstrating their abilities in front of the camera. Models can usually purchase good portfolios stamped with their agency's name and logo directly from the agency, but plain black portfolios work fine, too.
Prints For Time
An agreement between the model and photographer to whereby they work for each other on a mutually beneficial basis, and no money changes hands. The photographer provides a selection of prints from the shoot in recognition of the model's time commitment.
Sheet listing a model's education, experience, and vital statistics. The resume is usually attached to an 8X10 or a composite.
The actual page torn from the magazine a model appeared in. Models put their tear sheets in their portfolios. Tearsheets are even better than photos, because it shows the kind of work the model has already done.
When a model and photographer work together on a new idea or on their portfolios. No fees other than sharing film-and-developing expenses are involved. Model and Photographer Releases should be signed before the session.
Models get paid for each different medium in which their photograph is used. These different mediums, or usages, may include: consumer magazines, trade magazines, product packaging, print ads, bus ads, subway ads, billboards, magazine covers, direct mail, magazine editorials, posters, catalogues, brochures, point-of-purchase (point-of-sale or p-o-p), annual reports, book covers, kiosk, duratrans (those big portable billboards that are towed around behind trucks), newspapers, etc. The model receives an additional fee for each usage the client buys. Usages also vary according to time and region. The longer the ad runs and the more markets in which it appears, all drive up the model's fee. The largest usage is the unlimited time usage, worldwide buyout. That means the client can plaster the photograph across every city in the world in every possible usage until the end of time.
See Composite Card.