The MySpace Shot, Portfolio Building, & 50 Shoots

The MySpace Shot & Camera Phones
When joining a modeling site (like Model Mayhem), not everyone has the means to get shots that are professional quality right away. However, there’s a difference between a “myspace angles” mirror shot, and a camera phone shot taken to show what one looks like. I’ll be a nerd and post some examples for you. The top shot is a crappy myspace pic, and the bottom shot is a photo that was taken to show what I look like. Both were taken with my camera phone, about 10 minutes ago. Pardon the glasses:

Yes, I realize they’re not the greatest. That’s the point. Sometimes, that’s all some people have to work with. Note, however, that it’s far easier to see what I look like in the second shot, than in the first (and that I actually went as far as finding a non-distracting background in the second shot as well). When it comes to modeling, MySpace Angles FTL.

A New Model’s Portfolio & Building It
A portfolio is a constant work in progress. A model should constantly be updating her/his portfolio to reflect her/his current look, measurements and genre. That said, a model should also be primarily shooting things they are interested in, yet should keep any limitations (like height/measurements) in mind when shooting. A good source of information is www.newmodels.com. That site is a good starting point for a new model, and can help models keep their goals in sight.

Obviously art models, alt models, and hobbyists (along with other genres that Roger doesn’t talk about on his site, including promo models and glamour models) may have different portfolios and different goals than someone looking to sign with a fashion or commercial agency.

“Aim for 50+ shoots in a variety of styles and with many photographers. Then you’re a real model.”
So doing 50 shoots makes one a real model? No.

First, “real model” is one of the worst things one can say. There’s no such thing because there are just too many definitions of the phrase. Some people think a “real model” is only one who is agency signed. Others equate it with being published in a well-known publication, and there are some who say “if you posed for a photographer, you’re a real model”.

Someone can do 50 shoots and still not understand what it takes to be a good model. Being a model doesn’t just mean sitting in front of a camera 50 times. It means being aware of where every part of your body is—down to fingers and toes—and what those parts are doing, at all times. That means being aware of lighting, and how to angle yourself to best use that lighting. It means being able to pose yourself, with or without instruction. It means mastering your facial expressions and being able to express yourself fully with just your eyes. It means pushing your mind and body past its limits to get The Shot, and not complaining about it, because it’s part of your “job”. It’s knowing your limits, and being realistic about your goals and ambitions.

(And yes, the above paragraph is mostly from an older blog.)

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