Have you been getting as many bookings as you would like? Are you getting the quality bookings you aspire to? The problem could be, and most likely is, your professional photos. Or, lack of professional photos.
Here at CMG, I can not stress the importance of having good quality professionally done photographs. Whether you are aspiring to acting, commercial modeling or promotional work, it is crucial that you have good, current and relevant professional photos. Consider that you wouldn’t expect to get an office job without investing in at least one good business suit, so why would expect to get a job that is appearance based without investing in to photographs to represent yourself.
Everyday we have dozens of models commercial and promotional who are either not submitted for work, or is not chosen by the client because of the quality of their photographs. CMG will not submit models to potential clients if the photographs we have on hand are not the quality we are looking for. What we send the client reflects on CMG, and the quality of talent we have, so unfortunately many people do not even get considered for bookings because of lack of good photos in our database. More and more of our clients are requesting photo approval now for promotional events and conventions and we see first hand models we really like that aren’t considered because of their photography.
Here are some general rules for the professional photographs that will help you book more work.
- Use Photographer that is experienced and has a good working knowledge our personal portfolio photography! Your friend/relative that has a good camera and aspiration to being a photographer does not cut the mustard! A good experienced photographer will know how to shoot you to maximize your marketability and will know what agents and casting directors are looking for.
- Make sure the photographs are about you! The photographs should not show a lot of background and scenery. The purpose of these photographs is to market you, not the photographer. Artsy shots, shots with beautiful scenery or unusual make-up should be used for the photographers portfolio, not the talent’s. For this reason TFP (time for photos) is not usually the best bet unless you can confirm that the photographer will shoot the kind of shots you need to market yourself.
- Make sure you have a proper variety! We need to have a good headshot. With the kind of make-up that you would wear if booked for a live event. You also need to have a good lifestyle shot. Make it relevant, consider what you would want to submit for a catalogue shoot. We do not want long shots on a beach where you are no more than an inch on the photo. Again, the beautiful beach shot reflects the photographer, and not you. And please, no shots of you standing on a railroad track! We won’t even download those shots! In addition, we do want at least one bathing suit shot, but your whole portfolio should not be made up of bikini and lingerie, or over the top “sexy” shots. Most times we can not submit those to potential clients. While very often, the photographers want to shoot those especially if you are doing TFPs most “paying” model jobs are by consumer product companies that want to appeal to a wide audience so they are avoiding models that look “over the top” sexy. Most want pretty/good looking models that appeal to both males and females or even families. Very rarely do we have clients that want to see the bikini shots. And, we have had incidences where we submitted a model’s bikini shot and she was not chosen by the client only to send regular lifestyle shots and have them selected later.
- Make sure you have a variety of expressions. Do not send us a bunch of photos with your Zoolander “Blue Steel” expression. You need to show that you are versatile and have different looks. We absolutely need shots of you smiling. especially if you do event/ live modeling. No one wants to hire someone that has a sexy, pouty look. They want to see “fun, personable” people. Save those photographs to submit to the men’s magazine photo contests.
- Stay away from “studio” shots. Only studio shot should be your professional headshot. Otherwise they need to be realistic and relevant. Again, be careful of those landscape shots. But, they should be good lifestyle out of studio. No mall glamour shots, or high school like photos.
- Keep your photos current. You need to have new photos everytime you make changes to your hair or physique. You should wear makeup that would represent how you would look when you show up for a booking. We have had models sent home from events because they showed up with their make-up done differently than was on their photos. This is considered “mis-representing” yourself and is very frustrating to your agent, the client and yourself. Any new visible tattoos should be considered too, new ones might require you to get new photos.
If you need help finding a good qualified photographer, please feel free to contact us. We have so many contacts throughout the country that we may be able to steer you in the right direction.
Good luck, and be sure to send us copies when you get new photos!