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In Most businesses the most important marketing tool is the simple business card. For both models and photographers it is the Portfolio. Your portfolio is you most powerful sales tool and your most important job as a model is first to sell your look, your talent and your versatility to potential clients. A good portfolio must have impact. To have impact the work must be good, relevant to the interests of the client, demonstrate your ability your meet client needs, be well organized and be presented in a professional manner.
The portfolio of an established model would contain 20 to 24 photos from a number of shoots. A beginner model will have a simpler portfolio but she still needs one with impact. That means high quality professional photos with plenty of variety. The best choice for a photographer for shooting a portfolio is a professional photographer who specializes in model portfolios. Many full time professionals do wedding and portrait work, which is entirely different than model work and are strictly money motivated, creativity and profit are often two conflicting motivations. The best choice often is a part time professional photographer, preferably one who specializes in model work, for the part time professional is usually motivated by his love of photography, the creative process and is not concentrating on paying the mortgage. The part time pro, and serious amateur will often work on a TFP basis.
TFP is Time for Photos (some people call it Time for Portfolio) where the photographer and model each contribute their time and talent with neither being paid money. The advantage to the photographer is he gets to shoot a model for his personal project without a large expense for model fees. The advantage to the model is she gets photos for her portfolio at little out of pocket expense. The advantage to both is they gain experience. Years ago TFP was called testing. Photographers often needed to test new equipment and techniques as well as models for future projects. The largest benefit is the gaining experience in front of the camera and working with new photographers. Lauren Hutton , one of America's first super models said that when she was starting out she was often doing as many as eight test shoots a week. For some models comments on TFP
Who should be taking advantage of TFP? Models at the beginning of their careers with limited portfolios or experience. Experienced models looking for something new for their book. Any model who is not in front of a camera at least once a month for there is no substitute for experience.
Our workshops are TFP workshops where your compensation for your work is in the form of photographs from participating photographer. The photographers who attend the workshops are mostly part time professional and serious amateur photographers, many attend several workshops a year. Our models come from a modeling school / agency we have worked with for years, referral's from other models and photographers and models from the Internet. We use models of all races from 14 to 30, 5'1" to 5'11".
Indoor studio workshops are held at a 3000 sq. foot studio where we have at least four lighting set ups and different backgrounds. Models are encouraged to bring a wide selection of wardrobe so that you will get a variety of looks from the shooting session. We shoot swimwear, casual, sportswear, prom dress to work attire. More wardrobe tips follow later. All studio workshops are held on Sundays from noon to 5PM
Outdoor workshops are held at the Jersey Shore on a section of Long Beach Island that offers a rang of background options and of course being at the Shore we do shoot in the water. The site we use is easy to find with parking and restrooms available. Shore Workshops are held on Sunday evenings from 4PM till Dusk (around 8PM). This time of day gives us the best light and avoids the heavy traffic on LBI. We sometimes will use other locations and are always looking for suggestions for locations in the central NJ area.
How successful any shoot is depends on how much preparation goes into it. The first step in preparation is to determine exactly what you need from the workshop. Do you need headshots, bodyshots, legs etc. What type of photos or poses you need. What wardrobe complements these needs. If you are with an agency they can help otherwise you must critically examine you needs. If you do not have the right wardrobe items you will need to either buy or borrow what you need for you are looking for great results not excuses.. the shot would be perfect if I had different shoes or a different color blouse. When you are reading magazines clip out the poses and fashions you like. Then tell your photographer for if you do not tell him he cannot get the shot. Remember to make sure the wardrobe supports what you are looking for. A couple of years ago we had a lovely model who halfway thru the workshop said she needed leg shots for her portfolio. She did have good legs but at mid winter they were not really toned and her wardrobe did not emphasis her legs and a few suggestions prior to the workshop would have given her exactly what she wanted.