I’m trying to get into modeling…?

Question by MichyBaby: I’m trying to get into modeling…?
I have a composite card with head shots and whatnot, but I don’t have a portfolio. I know that I can’t just jump into the modeling industry and expect good work without a portfolio, but what modeling agency (and a legitimate one, not some InterFACE talent agency or what have you) would take me without a professional portfolio? How do I even obtain a portfolio?

Best answer:

Answer by J D
Go sign up at ModelMayhem.com and search for photographers in your area who are willing to do TF* shoots. “TF*” means “time for something,” where the “something” is usually images. In this setup, you give the photographer your time as a model, and you get images in return. No money exchanged, although when one party travels a good distance it’s not uncommon for them to ask for gas money.

You should be able to get a start on your portfolio this way. You *won’t* be able to ride ModelMayhem.com into fame, nor will you be able to use it as a steady source of income. It will, however, introduce you to a whole lot of photographers and others in the industry who are willing to work on a TF* agreement. You’ll also meet other models who can give you a variety of advice, along with makeup artists, hair stylists, etc.

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3 thoughts on “I’m trying to get into modeling…?”

  1. Pretty much any legitimate modeling agency that is worth your time, will require a portfolio, so here is some help on how to ‘obtain one’ as you put it. First of all, it would be easier to understand how to make a portfolio, if you to know what is IN a model’s portfolio. It is a collection of some of your pictures, (head shots and body frames) as well as any runway records, or designer recommendation you might have. It is also a record of past shoots and shows that you have done, but from what you said, it sounds like you won’t have many of those. Also, it should contain some personal information, just like a portfolio for any other job. When you go to an agency, you will probably be asked to take a couple of photos and walk in a strait line and pose, just so they can get a sample of what you’ve got. You might be able to find a small, crappy and unknown agency that will take you without a portfolio, but it’s better just to get one, and find a better agency, as you don’t know how long you’ll be working with them. If this doesn’t help, then you should seek the advice of a flesh and blood model, somebody with modeling experience, or an agency owner.

  2. Best “education” on how to get into modeling & the modeling world: http://www.newmodels.com or http://www.exploremodeling.com. Both sites explain how the modeling world REALLY works and how to get into modeling. Educate yourself so you don’t get scammed. Also check out: http://carinaecasting.com/site/index.php/tag/model-call/.

    FYI – you don’t need a portfolio in order to send photos to an agency. Any agency who wants you will know exactly what kinds of photos they want in order to promote you. Do NOT listen to anyone who says you need a portfolio in order to get started! I had nothing when my agency accepted me. When they signed me, they told me what types of photos they needed (“Commercial/lifestyle”), gave me a list of photographers in the area who did that type of photography, and I had to get photos taken for my comp card (model’s business card which has photos on it). I didn’t have to use any of the photographers on the list, I was free to go to any photographer I wanted as long as they knew how to do commercial photography. If an “agency” sends you to use their in-house photographer & don’t give you the option to shop around for a different photographer, then it is a scam.

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