Model- and casting-agencies
Why should you bother to make close-up's ? Well mostly the agencies are asking for a nearby portrait of a close-up. (Selfies or polaroids) to check your skin, to watch your expressions more closer. It also shows your wrinkles. If you are a big fan of retouching your face until perfection.... modelagencies want to check 'your real skin'. A close-up is a certain reality check.
To smile or not to smile?
Sometimes model- and castings-agencies are asking specifically for a smiling pictures, showing your smile and teeth. Do not be afraid to smile. Everybody gets more wrinkles while smiling, or even the eyes get smaller. And nobody has perfect teeth. A smile shows your expression and a bit of your character. Smile like you never smiled before and the close-up will probably very nice.
Tips & Tricks
Close-ups are necessary for your portfolio. Do not avoid to show them in your portfolio or on your website. Just go for it and just one or two will be more than enough.
Suddenly a photographer ask: "Do you want to model for stock photography?". You might have met the photographer on a forum or on Social Media. Or maybe you just get an email someday because of your portfolio on a model community. You want to answer: "YES!!" But you actually never heard of stock photography. What IS stockphotography?
Stock photography ia the name of the photography genre who are photographing for Stock photo (web)sites as Dreamstine, shutterstock, GettyImages, I-Stock photo, Adobe stockphotos. Or 'free' stock photo sites like Unsplash, Pexels, PicJumbo Pixabay etc.
All these companies/websites have thousands of pictures in their 'stock' for costumers to buy. They are buying these pictures to use for their blogs, websites and promotion material. You 'buy' them to get the copyright to use them.
The pictures are about everything. Normal life, actuality, politics, emotions, landscapes, countries, animals, cities, business, street life, people etc. etc. Think about newspapers and magazines. They use a lot of stock photo's because of deadline- and budget reasons.
They all have in common: great quality of the pictures and attractive content and compositions.
The photographers who are committed to the stock companies have proven themselves and they are very experienced and have great skills to know which picture could be a real hit. In other words, what the general public is looking for and would like to buy.
Modeling for stock photography?
Do you like to model for stock photography? You need to ask yourself this question. It is often not paid very good but you might get al lot of great pictures to use for your portfolio. (Make sure you read the model-contract very well!)
Your pictures will be on the websites and people/companies will buy them. So it might be possible your face will fly around on the internet and will be used for many different purposes. You should realize you do not have the 'right' anymore to interfere if you do not like the website or company or the way your picture will be exposed. You signed the contract, your got your model-fee and it is not up to you anymore.
But if you like the idea of getting your pictures out there: just go for it. Show your modeling skills and give it all! You can show the world your model skills, you get a lot of experience in just one day or a few days and as said: you might use the pictures as well for your own website and portfolio.
Social media is a very nice way to let the world know you are around. Or better said: you are available for photoshoots. But don't limit your choice. There is so much more than just Facebook, Twitter and Instagram...
Instagram (and Facebook) is about the likes and the followers. You rarely make real contact with photographers who see you as a Model for a photoshoot. This is simply due to the fact that it is very large and it is difficult to just by accident find a good photographer at an acceptable distance for a photo shoot. The communication options are also limited and it is really wise to check names on google. Often people pretend to be photographers but they are not real photographers.
Of course you can be lucky an build your own network, but on they are more ways to do the job.
Choose specific forums
There are also forums that focus specifically on models and photography forums. Or only on photography forums but as a model you can also build a profile there. I will mention a few:
Photography, art- and model-communities:
And the new app's:
Of course there are many more. Just google around and try to find the forums/Social Media you like the most.
Spread your wings
You will find that it is often easier to make contacts on specific forums.
Most forums are also better protected for the general public and you can, for example, more easily upload glamor or art / nude photos without being immediately findable on google or being censored.
Last but not least: get your name out there and use the possibilities to check photographers, to read the specific articles about photoshoots, use the reference-options and learn a lot to look at other models.
Good luck ! And contact me so we can get in contact and support each other !
"I started modeling after turning 40. It didn’t happen as one would envision in their dreams: sending a holiday picture to an agency and walking the Paris catwalks a month later. Realistically, it took a while.
I had been taking aerobic classes for some time, trying to get in better shape after having my two lovely children, when I heard someone talking about a woman who, proud of her workout results, did a photo-shoot for herself.
It interested me, and I wanted to try that for myself, so after a few months (and many, many workouts) I booked myself a photo session with a photographer. Well, the result was amazing, and I was so proud that I sent the pictures all around—even to casting calls and model agencies. I thought, why not? Some responded positively, but most of them did not; my pictures were glitter and glamour and that was not exactly how agencies want to see you.
I decided to learn about the industry and learned a lot on the Internet. I created profiles on forums, and contacted people in the photography/modeling world. In the next few years I did a lot of TFP and free work for photographers, while always focusing on creating a good portfolio. I worked hard, drove many miles, and had both good and bad experiences.
But, the doors finally began to open and agencies began hiring me for paid jobs.
So, to all the women over 40, do you want to model? If so, create a Model Mayhem profile and start registering with some modeling forums. Work with photographers and have a great time. Use the pictures for your Facebook and family albums, or try to get some workshops, casting-photo shoots or real jobs from agencies. Enjoy it and, with a little luck, maybe you’ll get more than that out of it.
It is not a shame to be over 40, and it is certainly not a shame to have your photographs out there. Be realistic about your ambition though— just do it when you want too.
As for being realistic, no agency or client wants a 40 year old for a high fashion or lingerie shoot, unless you are really famous or a brand-face model. (Or if it is a specifically “40+” advertisement shoot). Try to learn about the various types of work available. For example, commercial is something completely different from fashion. Doing free work or work for artists is also a completely different world as lifestyle or photo shoots for business brochures.
Go to castings for commercials, join acting-classes and, importantly, don’t take it personally when you’re rejected for a job. Be yourself when it comes to age. A 40+ model is being booked because she’s 40+, so don’t try to look like your daughter. They wanted a lady or mother for the job and that is why they were casting you.
Work hard, stay in shape, drink water and, most of all, have fun!"
Marga van der Vet is a model, blogger and content specialist. But mostly she is just a woman; living and loving her family, dog and horses. She lives on the countryside of the Netherlands and 'models' mainly in Europe.