Test Shoot v Portfolio
Whether you are working with a modeling agency or working freelance you will need photos - photos for your composite, portfolio, and web presence. With a modeling agency, they may try to help you find test shoots. Working independently, you will have to track down your own test shoots.
Test shoots or testing has become a generic term for photographic shoots where a model acquires photographs to use for the model's promotional materials.
You have two basic goals when doing test shoots. One is to get good quality photos as fast as you can to start getting work. The better quality (more professional and creative) photos you have in your portfolio the better paying jobs you will get. The second is to get experience in front of the camera and learning how to find your way around a studio or location shoot.
The most direct method in which to have your test done is to hire a photographer who has experience in testing and other related genres within the fashion world. When you approach said photographer do not be scared to ask as many questions as you deem necessary.
Ask if the photographer provides hair and make up for said test shoot and if they do not then feel free to ask for advice on who you should hire for that.
Styling is key. If unsure make sure you consult with your photographer. Normally the test shoot requires 4 to 5 changes of clothing in order to provide a varied Test Shoot. Styling will vary depending on what you have decided to focus on in your career as a professional model but you should have fashion outfits, bikini, lingerie, casual and smart wear within said test.
Posing is the most important element of them all. Make sure to practice, practice, practice through viewing of images in magazines, through youtube tutorials. Practice facial expressions in front of a mirror, check out how your arms and legs look and make sure they do not look awkward.
The best tip for posing will be "your working triangles" that is, forming triangles with your arms and legs etc. make sure you learn fast.
Once you are successful in castings do not expect the photographers to be telling you how to pose. Aren't you supposed to be a professional model? Is the photographer asking you which settings to use for his DSLR or lighting set-up? No!!! Its simple really. You either perform or the other 70+ models are able and willing to take your place.
Building your Fashion Portfolio
Launching a modeling career is tricky enough, but you'll make it even harder if you don't have a portfolio. The good news is that they're easy to put together, and a good modeling portfolio can make the difference between getting that coveted modeling job and losing it. The bad news is that if you mess it up, it'll certainly cost you jobs, and may even ruin your career before you even get started.
Remember quality matters more than quantity. Select 12 to 16 of your best photographs. Enlist family and friends to help you out.
Make sure that your photos show you in different outfits and in different locations. Also important is including images of you in different lighting, for example, indoors and outdoors.
The standard photo size is 8x10 inches. Other sizes include 9x12 and 11x14.
Arrange your photos for publishing. When a potential client opens your portfolio you want to wow them from beginning to end. Accordingly, include your best pictures, two in the opening and two in the closing pages of your portfolio.
Get a portfolio book printed. Your photographer may offer this service. If not, any photo printing place can do it for you. They can also create a disc of your portfolio, too.
Another option in addition to a printed version is an online portfolio. It's best to hire someone to design a website to host it rather than trying to do this yourself. Otherwise, it will appear amateurish.
Update your portfolio. As you get modelling jobs and gain experience, add this to your portfolio. Keep “tear sheets,” usually magazine pages or photos from a photo shoot. These demonstrate your success as a model.
Include a profile page. Your profile will list important information about you. Include the types of work you’re willing to do, your statistics, for example, your height, weight, hair and eye color, whether you have any problem areas on your body, for instance, tattoos or scars, and finally, any relevant skills you have, such as knowing a sport, or how to play a musical instrument.
Once you are out there remember. Dreams do come true but it is upto YOU!!