Why so many aspiring models get their photo submissions wrong...
A few years back, I wrote an article on modeling agencies for shorter models. It was certainly one of my most popular posts. Today I hope to shed a little light on what aspiring models think is a proper photo to send to an agency.
Most reputable agencies are pretty clear on their websites how they would like to receive photos. Agencies will have specific instructions on photo submissions and the days they schedule interviews. The first rule is to do your research before you begin submitting photos. Look at the roster of talent on the agency's website. Review the looks they represent. What height and weight requirements are they representing? I see many aspiring models not doing enough homework before they spend hundreds of dollars on unnecessary photoshoots and not understanding what agency's are looking for.
Keep it Simple!
Photos should be clear and sharp.
Your photo submission should not be the time to send artistic editorial photos with heavy colorful makeup and jewlery. Photographers should not be adding crazy elements or filters to take away from your everyday look. In general, model scouts are looking through hundreds of photos a day looking for models who can represent products and brands across many mediums. Agencies need to see a clear example of your look.
Pick the right photos.
We just want one photo please...
So the agency says to please submit one photo only. This is where many aspiring models make their biggest mistake... in choosing a photo that does not represent what they truly look like. Your photo should have a clear representation of your face and body; zero to little makeup; form fitting clothing to show your body type, neck, shoulders and hips; and no distracting clothing, jewelry or headwear to distract the reviewer. One area of contention is hair. Many aspiring models fail to realize wigs and weaves are not acceptable with most traditional agencies. Hair is a sensitive subject with many models,who use braids as part of their look. The safe bet is to go natural.
Choosing the right photographer.
Now you are ready to go for it ... to take a leap of faith and see what agencies say about you. It is time to pick a photographer to capture the image that represents your look. Remember, it is not a portfolio session. It is a submission shoot, which should be a lot simpler and less expensive. Keep in mind, agencies want to see a natural, clean representation of you, so the most you can submit is one or two photos. Just as you have researched the agencies, equally research the photographers. Visit their website and Instagram feed to see their work, and determine whether it represents what is current in the industry. Check to see if the photographer regularly works with models and agencies. Set a budget for your session. Submission sessions should average $150.00 to $250.00 depending on your city.
Special thanks to model Blair Simone for an amazing session. She can be reached for bookings at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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