Frequently asked questions about modeling and portfolios
What is a portfolio? Modeling portfolios is a collection of your modeling pictures, your very first step towards a career in modeling. How many pictures you need varies. You should only keep strong pictures, you are only as good as your worst picture! Models should aim for quality not quantity! Avoid using 2 pictures of the same shoot (same look) Black and White is the favourite of the industry. 8 by 12 inches are the standard size. A basic but versatile portfolio would have a casual head shot, styled glamourous head shot / face close up, Full length shot, body shot in swimsuit or lingerie (optional), a fashion shot, an editorial / conceptual shot and even a typical catalogue shot.
How many photographs will be shot? A lot of pictures are taken to get the right shot. This may range from about 500 to over 700 shots. However quality is not important at all. It is the quality you are paying for. The task is to show you in the best possible manner. (when you watch a movie, you only consider the contents and not how many reels are there in the movie!)
How many pictures will I finally get? As many as you want. But it is always good to have only the best pictures in the portfolio which are very strong in every aspect and do nor show ant flaws at all. The images should show the model in his/her best. The presentation CD or website could have more images but the prints should be restricted to about 10. It's all a team work. any picture where the model or the make up artist or the photographer are not up to the mark does not make to the final selection.
What else is included in the portfolio?
Please refer to Portfolio features.
Do I get to select my photographs
yes, Since there are a lot of photographs i generally shortlist the photographs and among this set you can further choose the best ones you like. this makes your work much easier. At the end of the shoot as well as during the shoot, we’ll look at your photos on a computer screen and talk about which images / looks /expressions work best
Any instructions on or before the day of the shoot? A prospective model should prepare by puting together all that she needs for the portfolio before the actual shooting. clothes, props, accessories, whatever is required should be planned and ready. Although clothes , props etc are available at the studio, it's a good idea to bring in your own as well. remember it is all a team work. You should also practice your expressions and poses in front of a mirror, and check out for yourself as to what looks good and what is not so suitable. As a model, you need to be doing it as many times as possible. This helps, the facial expressions and body language to come through naturally. You shouldn't wear any tight clothing beforehand as it will leave pressure marks on the body that last for quite some time . For close up shots you may want to wear a tube top for bare shoulders, the strap marks may be difficult to remove with makeup. Or you may want to wear low waist jeans for the shoot, which may be lower than you usually wear. For the shoot you may wear a strapless bra but please no plastic straps. These look tacky and very disturbing in the pictures.
Does modeling mean a lot of exposure? No, exposure is not necessary. It all depends on the model. the extent of exposure is very relative. You always have the choice of doing assignments which do not have any exposure. For one model, wearing a low neck may be "exposure" and for another it may just be fine.
Do I have to expose in a portfolio? Again, not necessary. It all depends on the kind of work, you are looking for. If you are open to wearing revealing clothes then it should reflect in your portfolio as well. However, if your portfolio has a lot of exposure or some exposure, it does not mean that you have to take up simillar assignments only. Moreover it all depends on how aesthetically pictures have been shot. As a thumb rule, wear only the outfits you feel comfortable in. But that does not mean that you wear day to day outfits in the portfolio. The clothes should be glamorous and fashionable.
Do the clothes have to be expensive? Not necessary at all, they should look good and fit well, that is most important.
Do I have to bring my own clothes? If you have a good collection, do bring it. I do have a complete wardrobe but it is always better to have more options open. However, you will have to bring your own jeans, shorts, shoes, sandals or any other stuff which requires a specific fitting / size.
Do I get the music of my choice in the studio? Music does help in relaxing and making a person feel more comfortable. Although I do have a huge collection of all sorts of music, but in case you prefer a certain type of music which is not available do feel free to bring along your favourite collection.
How many rolls of film or number of pictures will you be shooting ?
The whole shoot is now a days done on high end digital cameras. This helps in shooting unlimited pictures without bothering about added expenditure of film and processing. You do not have to worry about the number of frames or number of rolls used anymore. Just concentrate on your looks.
Why should i get the portfolio shot in Digital? Are digital photos equally good or better?
what equipment do you use? There is no compromise here. I have always been using the best equipment. These include canon and Nikon cameras and lenses, Apple, Sony and HP laptops/LCD displays, Wacom tablets, Prolinchrom lights, imported as well as exclusive self made backdrops. However, technicalities are important but not as important as the aesthetics of the photograph.
Are you a modeling agency or attached to one.?I offer independent professional photography service directly to the models or through any modeling agency. But I am not employed or a part of any modeling agency.I do guide and promote my models.
Do you promote models?It's always my effort to promote my models. Moreover I prefer shooting with models I know are good. Anyways my best efforts are towards making a great portfolio so that your pictures speak out for you.
Will I be needing additional prints? Yes. After the shoot I’ll recommend a place to get prints for your album / book, composite cards and for distribution. You will need additional prints and composite cards to distribute among various modeling agencies.
Can i get my prints made from any lab ? No, only from the recommended labs. It is actually your final prints that are showing all the hard work gone into the portfolio, so never compromise on the quality of these prints. Always go for the most reputed labs.
How much do you charge? what all does the portfolio include.
How much are the other photographers charging? I am getting a portfolio for a much lower price as well....Different photographers may charge differently and may offer various packages. Yes, you may get a much lower price also, but remember that you are not paying for the number of photographs shot but for the quality of photographs. Every person is different. A good photographer will evaluate you well and shoot you accordingly in a way so as to enhance you to your best. This is what you are paying for.
How long will my photo session take?A complete portfolio generally takes up the whole day. Time for hair and makeup done at the studio is included in the photo session. It is a good idea to start as early as possible, say around 9am. the make up may take about an hour or so. the actual shot thus starts around 11am.
Are my photographs archived? yes, even after years, you may get your selected shots on a CD / DVD. However, you may have to pay a very nominal fees, as it may involve a thorough search though thousands of DVDs. It's always a good idea to keep a safe back up copy with you as well.
Is it fair to do the photoshop work. are these pictures acceptable in the market? yes, this is nothing but digital makeup. Just as you do conventional makeup to look your best, digital makeup is done to take it a step further. Just like photography a skilful hand is required to work on the photographs on a computer.
Do you guide the model during the shoot ?yes of course. Complete guidance will be provided during the shoot and all assistance will be given for posing and expressions. As the shoot goes on you are shown your pictures on a large screen, and suggestions given how best to improve the shots.
What is a composite card? It is card / photograph with a number of photographs / images printed together on the same sheet with all the relevant information about you on it.
I am not tall. Can I still be a model ?yes, certainly. There is a place for everybody. You may not be able to make it to the ramp but there are a lot of avenues in advertising print and television/film media. Having a good height is not the only criteria. A good and expressive face, body language and many other things also count.
Who are the famous models / celebrities you have worked with?Over the last about 15 years I have worked with some of the well known people in the fashion and film industry. to name a few randomly- Neha Dhupia(Miss India and film star), Nandita dass, Udita Goswami, Aparna Kumar, Vinod Khanna(actor), Gurpreet (Kahin to hoga- star tv), Navneet, Angela sharma(Arti), Sanjana, Shabina, Amal Sherawat, Moni Roy (Kyonki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi -star tv), Anoushka Shanker, Palash Sen(Euphoria), Daler mehandi, Bobby(Koi Mil gaya) Shibani Kashyap(singer), Saryu singh, Shonali nagrath......