Like any facet of entertainment, models must promote and market their abilities, resume of experience (a portfolio), and public persona. How does one go about doing this well?
Start with the basics! The model first needs to make sure that they are going to be able to meet the physical demands of the industry. It can be disheartening to find out you aren’t fashion runway material since you can’t change things about yourself like bone structure and height, but knowing where you fit in the industry will save you a lot of heartache down the road and help you readily pursue the facets of entertainment that will more likely welcome you as a talent into their circles.
Once you know where you fit, you’ll be able to build the marketing materials you’ll need. As a fashion model, you will need a great book geared toward fashion which includes as many fashion tear sheets as possible. Print models will need books and tears that focus more on lifestyle and commercial photography/clients. Promotional models may not need a book at all, but would be wise to have something to show.
Having the right type of work in your book is imperative to gaining attention in the circles where you hope to book more work. A print model who wants to do fashion may take neat pictures that boost her self-esteem, but fashion clients aren’t ever going to consider her for work if she doesn’t fit their statistical needs. To make it worse, the commercial and lifestyle clients who might be interested in booking that same model are more likely to choose someone else who has the type of work in her book which they will be shooting.
Utilize special skills if you have them. For example, dancers are able to use their bodies to make shots interesting while still showing the client what they want to see. Adding motion to a commercial shot screams “fun, vibrant, and attention-grabbing” -- the last of which is exactly what every client hopes to achieve when hiring talent.
Are you grabbing the decision maker’s attention with what you have to offer? Build a book that is not only geared towards the clients most likely to notice you as a model, but also one that shows something unique and exciting!