A great Model portfolio is not created overnight. It is well planned and created to suit the purpose for which it is intended, of getting you the modeling job. A captivating portfolio is a models strongest marketing tool. Once you have a vision of the type of work you want to pursue, the portfolio should be created to maximize that LOOK. The goal of a great portfolio is to show potential buyers you have what it takes to get hired. A great portfolio:
Never use a photo in you portfolio that is not the absolute best you know is possible. Never settle for anything less than perfect. Competition is extreme, you simply can not afford to have anything in your portfolio that is below perfection.
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Lateness is not tolerated! Put some thought into where your going and plan a route ahead of time. In the age of online directions there is just no excuse anymore. Distance is also NEVER an excuse! If an agent can not trust you to meet them on time, they certainly are not going to trust you with their clients.
Don not bring guests to your appointment! This is no time for a social gathering. Space is limited. This will worry any photographer as it would make them look bad if you brought this type of entourage with you on an audition.
Know how to market yourself! Be realistic about where you fall in the market. If you are a 5 feet 4 in woman in her 40's you should NOT go fashion/glamour in all of your shots. Nor, should you show up in person with this look. Most likely you are considered to be a commercial type, meaning a soccer mom or executive. It is not the agencies job to educate you. Get a good sense of the type of work you may be right for and try to mimic that look. Also show up to the agency with this look! Agencies need to see it to believe it in order to sell it!
Be reachable! You must have a cell phone and answer it! Often projects come in at the last minute. Agencies must be able to get a hold of you! When these last minute jobs come in, most booking agents will reach for the people they can get a hold of. Many talent in the agency have a reputation for being hard to reach. When a client is calling at 5:30pm for a booking the next morning, a booking agent is not going to waste time trying to connect with people that don not normally call back within a few minutes. Instead, they call the folks that are usually available plus actually answer their phones!
Follow up! Many potential models walk into agencies with material that is not quite marketable as they are. But, if the agency has a real interest in them, they will give them invaluable feedback and suggestions then ask them to follow up. You would be shocked at the percentage of models and talent that do not do so! Follow up; they are too busy to chase after you!
Don not argue with a booking agent, accept criticism! Don not take criticism to heart. It is part of the business and the learning process in ANY career. Don not argue with agents, try to change their minds or put them on the defense. If an agent passes on you, don not question them. Simply thank them for their time, swallow hard and move on to the next appointment. There are plenty more opportunities out there. Go find them!