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!"
An image says more than a thousand words and nowadays we communicate a bit through photos. Most models often have hundreds or even thousands. But where do you store your precious photos or work material?
"Nothing is black and white", Nelson mandela
Latex Fashion is very popular for models. Mostly models are looking very shaped and glamorous when they are wearing latex outfits.
Latex does not need to mean: tacky, porn or bad pictures. Latex clothes are very beautiful and real eye-catcher. Forget the 'porn' related genres. Latexfashion is more popular than ever!
Read more about behind the scenes, polaroids or casting- photography:
What is your action plan? Have you thought carefully and thoroughly about your plan in advance about your plan to become a model? Or is it just a vague dream and not really a well thought out plan?
Start putting your plan on paper. This is easy for yourself, to get your thoughts straight, but also for future contact with potential agencies or photographers.
I have experienced it easily and have prepared a few questions that you can think about. These questions are useful in practice.
You will soon come up against such questions. For example, do you want to travel, be a model for the tobacco industry or do you want to pose for a lingerie company or maybe even naked?
Answer the questions for yourself, and your plan of approach is getting better and more clearly defined.
Also write down some thoughts for yourself and form a clear picture of your future as a model. Whether it will all be feasible will have to look into it. But first think carefully and be better when you actually set out to become a model!
As a 40 plus model it is no longer just about fashion, it is mainly about commercial and stockphotography, or maybe photography based on TFP, and you prefer to stay hobby-model. Or do you, for example, want to be a model for a certain brand, or do you not like it at all (socially or politically)?
It ain't easy but it is worth to mention a few lines.
Start by writing down you motivation.
Sure you have some experience...
What's your plan? Do you have (full time) time? Time-frame?
Are you willing to travel?
Are you willing to change your looks?
Do you have a certain life-style, vision or religion?
As you see, start writing and your plan will get more vision and possibilities.
Think before you act. Create a clear vision on what you want and what you really do NOT want. It is in everybody interest to be loud and clear upfront before you get a contract, a job or a career.
Do you need to travel for a shoot?
If you are booked for a photoshoot it is written in your contract LOUD and CLEAR: to be somewhere on time! You are not a famous super model yet, so you cannot afford diva behavior.
But imagine that you are booked in a different city, or even country, than where you live. You can leave very early in the morning from home, but there is a high risk that you will get stuck in traffic or that something else happens unexpectedly.
In this case it is useful to leave the night before, to book a cheap hotel or a bed and breakfast.
What's an: overstay or hosting-service?
You may also be offered an overnight stay. In this case, check whether everything is correct. There is always a model on a forum that has worked with the photographer or agency in question.
But, do not assume people will host you unless you did not asked or you are unknown to them. You have a build a good reputation, as in: not-smoking, no drugs, normal behavior. If you are already know, it might be easier to invite yourself for an overnight stay to save costs for hotel.
In other countries, than Europe, it is more common to be ‘hosted’ by other. It means you can stay for the time being and you will get your room for the nights. It is also called: over-staying.
Adresses are to be find on:
couchsurfing.org or airbnb.com, but those are good sites. It offers alternate ways to stay in a city without paying for a more likely expensive hotel. Craigslist.org is also a good source in some areas. Worst case, have enough in an emergency savings to cover travel home.
Travel for a one-day shoot:
It is however more likely to travel for a one-day shoot.
As said, think about whats more important: to travel the day before, have a good night sleep in a hotel and to save yourself a lot of stress, or to be an early bird and have a lot of stress in case of traffic jams or other disaster.
I always prefer the first. It might be a good idea to talk about it with the modelagency or the photographer as well. They probably see the advantage of you being early and fresh at the shoot, in stead of stressed and already tired. The amount of money for a hotel or bed and breakfast can be split-ed or you can ask for a small compensation. The money, for a hotel, can always be negotiable in the contract.
Be sure to bring the clothes, accessories and shoes which are required for the shoot, but try to travel as light as possible.
Sometimes a modelagency has written in the papers for the shoot: bring 5 different sets of clothes. That's a lot of luggage to bring with you. But think carefully, make sets of combinations and limit your shoes. It is really crazy to bring your whole closet. Be clever and focus on travel-clothes. Non-ironing clothes which will work for the day of the shoot. Try them all upfront and be sure it fits well.
Be creative and keep your focus on smart combinations. In the end there are probably a lot of clothes which are nit used for the shoot and just a few pieces of your garment which really works well!
List of travel-must-haves:
Always be prepared for the strangest things which might happen.
Because surely they will happen. I once stood somewhere on a forest trail waiting for the whole shooting-team. The team was on the bus that broke down. The photographer-assistent called me but I spent many hours waiting in the forest until they finally arrived.
And what about photoshoots in old vacant buildings, practically inaccessible industrial sites or studios in the heart of a city that was completely inaccurate in terms of address details?
Travel easy = planning ahead
Never assume anything. Plan carefully, view google maps. Plan your trip and make it not only the best, but also a pleasant, stress-free experience.
Fashion photography is bot only about the clothes, the light, the setting...
but also about posing !!!
Read all about posing
What is a SEDCARD and why is it so important to have a sedcard as a model? Is any picture good enough for a sedcard or should you book a photoshoot to get specific 'sedcard' pictures?
Read all about: Sedcard Photography
Nude colors are always daring on pictures.
Especially when your skin is pale white.
But you can do it!
Some tips & trics:
Nude colors can be amazing on pictures, but they are not the most 'easy-going' colors for a sedcard picture for a model. But with a lot of help of the photographer and a little bit of help of photoshop, you can rock it!
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.