Image is everything, your photos and your reputation.
You’re going to need photographs, that’s what modeling is about. You can’t get work if no one knows what you look like. Here are the 3 most common ways to build your portfolio.
Family Album-Senior photos & happy snaps are a good place to start. You could get a friend to try taking some portfolio shots of you. Know that most times, those photos aren’t going to show what an art director or photographer may be looking for. You only need to look… and you’ll see how many careers that never got off the ground for lack of professional photos.
TFP/TFCD (TimeforPrint/TimeforCD)-This is a Trade between you and the photographer. You donate your time and he donates some photos to your portfolio. This is the most common way for models to build their books and get experience. TFP/CD’s can vary widely. New photographers may be happy to have anyone in any kind of outfit as they are also building their books. Some are wanting collaborations on specific themes. Others have artistic projects and like a commercial project, you may have no input. Then there are those, who are not photographers at all. Owning a hammer, does not make me a carpenter. Anytime you can shoot… that’s a good thing. New photographers will show you new looks and give you the practice you need to feel confident in front of the camera. But… know that the photos that you get in the end, are going to be photos that will benefit you, not just the photographer.
Paid Portfolio- That’s what photographers do! When you hire a photographer to shoot your portfolio, you are the customer, it is their job to shoot the portfolio you want. If you are not satisfied, you have every right to ask for a reshoot or for your money back. (You will not of course be aloud to keep your photos, but you will have only lost your time). When you hire a photographer, you are usually hiring someone who has a studio. Only established pros have studios, many have been around for years. These photographers stay in business, because they have long standing reputations. They are also the ones with the most commercial contacts.
Your image is everything… every art director and photographer you meet and work with, leads to more work. When photographers get the chance to choose their own talent, they will almost always choose someone they have worked with. Every time you “stand up” a photographer… that will be a call that you won’t be getting!