This article will attempt to deal with the following areas - your online identity and how to portray yourself, providing evidence of your abilities, contacting and casting for models, personal development.
I recognise that some people wish to remain anonymous on sites like this for fear that their day to day jobs could be jeopardised or that their husband/wife/partner might not be too impressed with your hobby but think carefully before choosing your online name - try to avoid words that will make you sound like a pervert; anything that is a play on words for the female anatomy or involves puns about indecency are likely to get you relegated to being known as a GWC before a model even looks at your portfolio.
Look at your portfolio notes, I mean, really look at them and ask yourself if they are a true representation of your abilities and experience. Most models can spot bullshit a mile away and will just laugh at you behind your back. If need be ask somebody impartial to read them and respond to what they tell you.
Tell your audience something about your photographic background or interests - don't simply rely on one or two lines, a minimalist approach is more likely to show you cannot be bothered.
Model's really don't care what equipment you use or what letters you have after your name so drop the lists of cameras, lenses, lights, qualifications etc. etc. etc.
Let your portfolio do your talking for you
Info and Workstyles
Fill as much in as you can and be honest and realistic with yourself
A couple of pictures in the local rag, reader's wives mags or some pictures you've done for Auntie Flo does not make you a professional, or even semi-professional. There is no shame in saying you are an amateur - we all started somewhere.
If you select "very experienced" regardless of your pro/amateur status you'd better have a damn good portfolio to back that up. Pictures of cars, pets, landscapes etc. can be the best in the world but if you don't have high quality photographs of models err on the side of caution and select "no experience", you can change this at any time as your experience grows.
As a newcomer to Internet modelling you WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR MODELS so don't try and kid yourself into thinking you can offer TF and I can guarantee you will certainly not be getting paid.
This is it, the big one, no matter what you say in your notes you will be judged on the quality of your images so make sure they are your best.
Try to include examples of every genre you have said you work in.
Do not include more than a couple of images from each set you take unless there is a dramatic variation in style.
If your portfolio does not live up to anything you have claimed in your notes prepare to be ridiculed.
Contacting Models and Casting Calls
If you are new to model photography and have little to no demonstrable experience in your portfolio you are going to have to pay for models in the genres in which you wish to work. Be prepared to spend more on experienced models rather than working with novices - more often than not models who have experience can teach the photographers a thing or two, learn from them.
Forums, Mentoring and Workshops
Do not whinge about models in the forums, this is in instant turn off.
Do not complain that you cannot get TF in the forums - the responses you will get are all covered in this article - and the bottom line is "Improve your photography"
Don't be afraid to ask for help in the forums - you will get more respect amongst the online community for this than if you constantly upload dull, badly lit photographs of bored models.
Ask for critique - start a thread or post in an existing thread - take on board the responses you get.
Some photographers run workshops; in groups or 1-2-1's, if you like their work get in touch with them and see what they can do to help.
It Is Not Just About Internet Models
If you don't have a budget to pay for models, don't lose heart. Ask friends and family, your mates down the pub and in turn ask them to ask their friends. You would be surprised how many people want portraits or shots of their loved ones and will be prepared to sit for a beginner rather than paying for a professional.
Of course, don't be offended if they do go and pay a professional afterwards just work on improving your skills for next time.
- Be honest with yourself and your target audience
- Showcase your best work
- Be prepared to pay for talent
- Ask for help. Learn. Practice - Repeat ad infinitum.
It really is as simple as that.