Any model has to have the right marketing materials in order to book the work, but not just any materials will become profitable. So what does a fashion model need in his/her book to land a major campaign? Well, a major campaign tear sheet, of course!
Yes, I say that tongue in cheek, but it’s the truth. The age-old problem that every kid faces when he/she joins the work force: how do you get experience if you can’t get the job which requires having had experience?
Models face this issue, too! Building their book by paying to test is the most common way a model builds their book. Some models are able to test on “trade,” meaning that they will give their time and likeness for the photographer to use in his/her book, and in return get the same images to use in the model’s book. Count those opportunities as a lucky strike! Models also build their books by shooting smaller local and regional campaigns.
More important than taking pictures to add to your book, though, is being sure that you have the right kind of images! A model with very dark and severe features may want to shoot more editorial tests, since that will be the market most open to that look. A young female with a tight curvy body and 5’7” or shorter should choose to shoot swimsuit shots to highlight her figure. And an older male model in his 50’s would want to shoot family friendly commercial shots (think color, smiles, and action)!
The grass is always greener on the other side. We want what we don’t have, but that doesn’t mean that we should ignore good sense! Build the book that will most welcome your look and doors will open themselves as you grow!
Where do you fit in the industry? Not sure? Send me a pic and I can help give you some direction.