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Monthly Archives: March 2017

Step to Create Model Portfolio

Your model portfolio book will be made up of a book with anywhere between 10 and 25 photos normally consisting of 9×12 prints.

You will want a good selection of different types of “looks” in your portfolio. For example; have some photos created indoors in a home setting, some in the studio, some outdoors in different locations.

Also include shots which may be considered commercial, fashion, casual, and editorial content. Ask the photographer to help you with choosing looks that best fit your personality and the type modeling you wish to pursue.

You’ll also want to include a good headshot (without makeup) and a good body shot (swimwear or tight-fitting clothing) especially if you plan to apply to the larger model markets. These larger markets such as the top NY agencies like to see exactly what they are getting when they view your photos. They don’t want to see fancy posing or clutter, just you so keep this in mind when creating model photos for them to view.

Do not think that “more is better”. It’s much more effective to have 8 absolutely beautiful, perfectly shot photos in your portfolio than 100 mediocre ones.

Please keep this in mind when putting your portfolio together because it’s very important! If you have to really pine over whether or not an image makes the grade for quality or belongs in your model book, it most likely doesn’t.

A professional photographer or agent can help you decide when it comes to quality of photos so ask for advice if you’re not sure. Also, you can view model images on agency websites or on my on site at www.bobpardue.com/model/photo-gallery to see if the quality of your image is up to standard.

Let’s get started

Now, let’s get started in developing your model portfolio. A really good, complete model portfolio is not created overnight. You will develop it as you develop your talent by working with different photographers.

Different photographers? Won’t this cost a fortune?

A terrific model portfolio won’t cost you a fortune if you follow the simple steps below. Your model portfolio will not be free, mind you, but way less expensive than paying several different photographers to shoot each section.

Step One – Paid Photo Session

If you are working on a tight budget, this may be a little painful to you but worth it if you are trying to build a killer portfolio.

Finding a photographer for your first model session

Although your local portrait photographer may be teriffic in doing family portraits or weddings, he/she may not know all the ins and outs of creating a model portfolio. You may want to check to see if they offer this service but I would check places like One Model Place or Model Mayhem for photographers who are well experienced in portfolio work.

You should be able to hire a really good photographer for anywhere between $300. to $1,000. with the latter being the extreme in a high-end market area. I would think the average would be around $600.
When choosing your photographer, don’t just base your decision on price. If the photographer can’t produce those perfect images for your portfolio, it doesn’t matter what it costs!

What you should ask the photographer

Below are some questions to ask your photographer before agreeing to hire him/her for the job of creating your model portfolio.

Ask if he is experienced in model portfolio development – Be sure to choose a photographer who is used to creating model portfolios so that there is less chance of confusion about what you need and desire in your portfolio
Ask where the photographer is located (This really seems silly but I have received hundreds of contacts from across the US just because models brought up my website when they did a search on photographers in their areas)
Ask for references of recent model shoots (contact at least two models)
Ask for the price range for portfolio packages, how many photos, etc.
Tell the photographer the type 0f model images you need and ask if she has the ability to create them.

Ask who will provide the hair and makeup artist(s), you or the photographer. This varies greatly and I would suggest having these services no matter who provides them.

Ask if he provides retouching or airbrushing services and whether this is included in the original fee given.

Ask how the photos are delivered – This also depends on the photographer’s way of doing business so is very important. For instance, we deliver all our images on cd but in printable and web formats so that the model can have copies made whenever she needs them. Also, this means she does not have to print every photo to get what she needs.

Ask about usage rights – This question relates to the previous one. It’s very important that you receive usage and reprint rights for your promotions. If the photographer does not offer reprint rights, ask about usage of the prints. You may be able to work something out with him.

Ask how long it takes to receive your images after the shoot. You don’t want to wait for an eternity or until you are six months older before receiving your portfolio photos.

Ask about clothing and props – What should you furnish and does the photographer have any props and/or outfits on hand.

Ask if she will assist you in your posing – Tell her that you are new and ask for posing suggestions.

Ask if you can bring a friend or parent (If the photographer refuses this request, I would suggest looking for a different photographer).

Ask if the photographer will help in your promotion – Not the usual job of the photographer but some will. We offer an online comp card album online for six months with each model portfolio session.

Ask the photographer if she offers a guarantee. You should be well satisfied with your photos. After all, it’s your model portfolio you will be showing to the world so you’ll want it done right!

 

Know More about Pet Photography

Photographing your pet can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Done well, it will allow you to immortalize Fluffy or Spot – that significant member of your family – the pet that shared you food, chewed your shoes, and brought you the newspaper. In fact, the act of seriously photographing your pet will bring you both closer because the process opens you to noticing the small, wonderful things that you might have missed before – the way he wags his tail, etc. This is a grand adventure.

Goal

As with anything, it’s best to proceed with a goal in mind so you know where to start. What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to capture your pet’s playful side? Are you trying to setup a funny photo using a prop such as a birthday hat? Is this an interactive portrait between your pet and your child? Sit down and put on paper this goal, because it will help you in preparing properly. Nothing is worse than spending an hour going to your favorite scene with equipment in hand and realizing your forgot a favorite toy – do your self a favor, do not skip this step.

Setting

Now that you have decided on your goal, it’s now time to decide the proper setting. Indoors vs. outdoors. Near the fireplace with an open fire in the background, or in a studio. At the beach or in the woods. As you think about the proper setting, think about how your pet will respond to that setting. If you decide the public park is the perfect place, you must think about your pet’s resistance to distractions. Is he/she able to resist running after another animal or person? The more you know your pet and look through his/her eyes, the better off you will be.

Preparation

Now you are at the critical preparation stage. You’ve set your goal, you’ve decided on the appropriate setting – let’s try to anticipate all that can (and will) go wrong. I use the word ‘wrong’ loosely – try not be too rigid and to have fun – we will talk more about that in a minute. Write out on paper every possible thing you can think of. Here are some suggestions :

÷ Exercise your pet – just enough so they are still alert, but not hyper

÷ Lighting – outdoor is best, but flash will work too – should be natural lighting

÷ Grooming – only if it doesn’t adversely affect your pet’s mood – then do it days beforehand

÷ Props/Toys – favorite of the pet

÷ Food – favorite of the pet

÷ Be prepared for sudden movement – shutter speed about 1/125th and use iso 400 or 800 film (if indoors)

÷ Watch the scene clutter

÷ Have pet at least 6 feet away from background to reduce shadows

÷ Bring an assistant to help manage your pet

÷ Zoom Lens

÷ Camera, Film, Tripod, Equipment, etc.

Etc., etc. Are you getting the idea? The first time you make out your list, the process will be a little tedious, but the beauty is that once the list is made, all you need to do is modify it slightly for the next sessions.

On Location

Whew, you’ve made to shooting location – congratulations. Hopefully, you’ve brought everything you are going to need, right? Right! Now, it’s time for setup. Be organized; get everything laid out in a logical fashion. The last thing you want to be doing is fiddling around with equipment when you need to be shooting pictures – an animal has a zero attention span and you have got to be ready to snap that picture when the moment is there. How is you animal’s demeanor? Is he/she super wound up? If yes, then perhaps some light exercise would be in order – nothing too heavy, but just enough to help him/her calm down. How are you? Are you stressed? Relax, and go with the flow – animals are super sensitive to your mood. Give your pet some last minute grooming – just touch-ups. If you are outdoors, how is the wind? Is it too strong? Is the sun too bright? Remember, overcast is much better for exposure. Make sure that your pet is far enough away from your background so as to not cast any shadows.

The Photographer’s Mindset

Your mindset should be one of peace and serenity. I can’t overstate that enough. Also, you need to climb into the mind of your pet as best you can. What are they thinking and feeling? Align your expectations properly. If you have never done this before, don’t expect perfection the first time out – that will just raise your anxiety level and will stress out your pet.

Shooting

One of the most important things to remember is to get down on your pet’s level, physically, as much as possible. A shot from above doesn’t portray intimacy. In addition, when you are at your pet’s level, it’s easier for you to empathize with it. If you’ve never crawled around on the ground before, you might feel a bit foolish, but trust me, it makes all the difference in the world. Make sure that you and your handler work with each other – you have got to be in charge, but also try to be flexible – you have a lot of variables that you are managing.

 

Wildlife Photography Tips

Practice taking shots of moving targets. Learning how to pan moving targets will allow you to take dramatic photographs with a sense of speed.

Keep your camera handy and set up for unexpected encounters. Make sure you have fully charged camera batteries and plenty of film or memory.

Before you go into an area, read up on what kinds of animals and birds are commonly found there. Learn all you can about these animals and birds. This will help you know where to look to find them and what kinds of behavior to expect.

Learn to walk and move quietly and practice freezing your position so that your presence is not startling or threatening to the animal.

Learn to be observant of everything around you using all your senses. With a little practice, you will gain the ability to be aware of small movements, unusual colors or sounds, even smells that can tip you off to the presence of an animal or bird even when they are well camouflaged. I cannot believe how many times I’ve watched people walk right by wildlife without noticing them. Hiking with an awareness of your surroundings enhances your experience immeasurably.

In the wild, telephoto lenses are basically a must. This brings you in a little closer without scaring the animals. The use of a tripod is not always mandatory, if you have enough light you will be able to shoot at a fast shutter speed to eliminate shake. Some telephoto lens have vibration reduction technology but are considerably more expensive.

When you photograph animals and birds, make sure the focus is sharpest on their eyes.

Shoot small animals from a lower angle.

The best times of the day for viewing and photographing wildlife are early in the mornings and just before dark. This is when wildlife is usually most active and the light is the most dramatic.

Try to keep the sun at your back so that the light falls directly on your subject.

Using all these tips will help you improve your nature photography. The very most important thing is practice, practice, practice and don’t forget to enjoy yourself!