The truth about Modeling Portfolios

A few words about Modeling Portfolios: They’re never done.

A model should never consider her portfolio finished unless she’s finished modeling. A portfolio is an everchanging, ever growing collection of images showcasing a model’s work. You’re an artist and artists don’t typically stop creating unless they retire.

I often hear models who will make claims like they don’t need any more pictures for their portfolio, or they have a well established portfolio – or something else along the lines of “Thanks by I’m done building my portfolio”

Now often times it’s a model’s way of lightly refusing an offer to shoot with a photographer – and that’s all well and good if that’s all it is. But numerous times I hear this from models who truly believe that they no longer need to build their portfolio….Again, allow me to refer to you the first line of this post.

A model’s portfolio is never complete. It should be edited, old pictures removed and new pictures taking their place. If you’ve made a major change to your look then your portfolio requires an overhaul to update all images to be representative of your current look.

Utilize TFP to build your portfolio. If you need new images for your portfolio utilize TFP where you can. If you need images for your book don’t make a photographer pay you for the shoot – that’s not what commercial shoots are for. Commercial shoots are for photographers to work on specific projects of their choosing, of which they retain the usage rights for. I’ve run into models who have the expectation the a photographer is going to pay them anytime they get in front of a camera – even if it’s for their own (the model’s) purposes and this isn’t the case. Another way to think about it is: the person dictating the creative/content is client, the person following the direction is the hired service provider. In any other natural setting in this arrangement the client pays the service provider for the work to be performed.

In a collaborative situation the lines get skewed a little since both parties are fulfilling both roles but I think the core concept comes across. The moral of my story is the same as most of my other posts – there are a variety of resources for models in this industry to get what they need without having to pay a lot of money for it. At the same time though, be fair. Just because you’re having your picture taken doesn’t mean your necessarily entitled to a paycheck.