Q. Okay, I've gotten in touch with a photographer willing to work with me on a TFP basis - what do I need to bring to my first photo shoot with him?
A. Ideally you should have asked this question to the photographer. In our case, we ask that the model bring lots of different outfits so that we can capture as many different looks as possible during our first session. Bring two of everything - different style or color - what you think may look good on you may not photograph flatteringly. The photographer will work with you to select the outfits that he thinks will work best for you and for the environment. Most likely your first photographic session will be in a studio where the photographer has more control over the weather, lighting, props, and you - the model.

Q. Is the modeling industry safe?
A. Just as safe as it would be for you to walk down the street at night by yourself. Will you be safe - most likely. Could it be dangerous - it could. It would be best for both the model and the photographer to meet prior to their photographic session or for you to get "references" from the photographer - names of other models that he or she has worked with. This way BOTH can get a feel for each other. If you are uncomfortable with a photographer then express that to them - there may be a legitimate reason. If you are not satisfied with their reply then obviously, don't work with them.

Q. Is it OK for me to bring my mother or boyfriend with me on a photo shoot?
A. Most photographers prefer not to have someone in the "peanut gallery". Too often a well-intented comment by the mother, friend, or boyfriend will break the pace and the mood of a photo shoot. Remember, the photographer is an artist and as such, depends on concentration - HIS and YOURS. If you must bring someone with you make sure that they understand that they should bring a book and leave you and the photographer alone during your photo session. To be sure if it's okay to have someone "tag" along ASK the photographer if it's okay with him/her.


"Scott--WOW, THOSE IMAGES ARE AMAZING!!!! I don't even know where to start!!! I am sooooo excited about this! Oh also, thanks so much for the suggestions on my OMP site, I'm definitely using them. Thanks so much, again, you are great!"

Kristin Michelle


Q. At what age should I start modeling?
A. The earlier the better. As with just about anything else you do in life, the more you do it the better you will be at it. However, there are special considerations that you need to know if you are a minor. All photographers will require you to sign a Model Release. This basically states that the photographer is taking pictures of the model; that he "owns" the Rights to the pictures, and what, if any compensation is being exchanged (ie: money). If you are a minor your parents or your guardian will need to sign the Release. Without it, any reputable photographer won't even consider taking your pictures. Most photographers take pictures because A) the photos will be a nice addition to their own portfolios (print or online); or B) they feel that they may be able to sell the picture to any number of clients or outlets. Know and understand and accept the fact that most photographers will post your pictures on his or her web site. So, if your parents have concerns over having your pictures on the Internet you need to discuss this with your parents and with the photographer. I'm sure that some sort of compromise can be agreed upon if your parents have concern.

Q. If the likelihood of me becoming a "Super Model" is so small then why would I want to become a model?
A. Just because an athlete doesn't make it into professional sports doesn't mean that he/she shouldn't enjoy the sport in their spare time. In other words, modeling is fun. It offers you a chance to learn; gain self-confidence; meet new people; travel; and, earn extra money while doing it. Besides, how can you be REALLY sure that you won't make it as a "Super Model"?

Model: Georgia
Photography by Jax Digital Photographer

Model: Megan
Photography by Jax Digital Photographer

Model: Rosalyn
Photography by Jax Digital Photographer

Model: Jocelyn
Makeup by Faythe Hall Mesic
Photography by Jax Digital Photographer
Published July/August DOWNSHIFT Magazine

Q. I'm in the process of putting together my portfolio to send out to agencies. I obviously want to present my BEST. What images should I include?
A. In my experience and considered opinion, the most important shots for obtaining work, in order of importance are as follows. This applies equally to both acting and modeling, glamour and fashion.

1). A fashion lingerie shot. This is the single most important image, revealing face, figure and modeling skill in a single shot. If a model can bring a fashion sense to a lingerie image without becoming cheesy or sleazy, she can handle practically any assignment.

2). A commercial bikini shot showing how her body really looks.

3). A glamour shot which tastefully reveals as much of his/her body as he/she is prepared to display.

4). A beauty shot revealing accurate eye and teeth color, the length and texture of her hair, and the extent of ear and any other facial piercing.

All other shots are filler, adding dimension and diversity, but these four shots are the foundation of a sales-oriented portfolio.

Click HERE to see the Modeling Portfolio Video

Model: Steffy
Photography by Jax Digital Photographer

Q. I once worked with a photographer who said that I should NEVER wear a bra or panties on a shoot unless specifically directed to do so by him. Was he telling me the truth and, if so, why?
A. The photographer IS telling you the truth. There are a number of reasons why photographers prefer that the model not wear any panties, bras, or pantyhose while shooting. Straps or other portions can protrude, giving the image an unsightly look. They can cause an outline which can interfere with the outfit. Also, with thin material under strobes, they can reflect more (or less) light than the model's skin and create a distracting color or outline in the final image, even though they are not noticeable under normal lighting conditions. A good "rule of thumb" is - when in doubt, leave them out! Also, on arrival to a studio, prior to makeup, the model should remove her bra, panties, athletic socks and any other elasticized garments which might leave an impression in the skin. She should change into a loose fitting robe. By the way, you should also remove all jewelry.

An example of how thin material, under strobes, can reflect more (or less) light than the model's skin.

Q. It seems to me that it is the objective of all Glamour Photographers to get the model naked. Why is that?
A. The challenge in Glamour Photography is not to get the model naked, but to employ minimal garments effectively to create a visually pleasing, thematically intriguing image. In simple terms, Glamour Photography is all about the model, not her clothes. Less clothing means MORE model. I've said it before but I will say it again - modeling is a business and your BODY is your business. It's what's going to get you jobs!

Q. You've pointed out all the "DO'S" of being a model what are some of the "DO NOTS" of being a model?
A. You are right in assuming that there are definite DO NOTS to being a model - some of which if they are done will cause you to lose the job or worse, be "blackballed" by other photographers. The most significant of the DO NOTS is to show up late to a shoot or looking as if you just "rolled out of bed". Coming to a shoot ill-prepared or with a "chip" on your shoulder are some other definite DO NOTS. If the photographer has asked you to bring a specific outfit or "sport" a specific "look" then DO NOT show up to the shoot without it. If the photographer has asked you to wear (or NOT wear) something then DO NOT take it upon yourself to decide what's best - follow the instructions of the photographer to the letter! The photographer knows what is required to get the best images possible in the least amount of time. Listen to the photographer; learn from the photographer; be an exceptional and willing model if you ever want to be called back for additional jobs. It's important to note that a photographer's recommendation can carry a lot of weight with other photographers and agents. Be a cooperative and willing model. Remember this - the photographer wants to get the BEST shots of you. He can't do that if you aren't cooperative and unwilling to follow his instructions.

Q. I live in a small town can I still model or do I have to consider moving to a city?
A. While it is true that New York, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, Paris, and London are the major modeling cities, as we all know, you can be "discovered" in just about any place in the world. This is why posting your pictures on the Internet is such an important part of how you will "market" yourself. The Internet is an essential tool for "advertising" both the photographer and the model. On the Internet your pictures can be seen World-wide - because, you never know WHEN or WHERE opportunity will "knock".

Use the Internet to "advertise" your modeling skills. The Internet is going to be your best friend - use it daily to send out e-mails to photographers - include a picture, your stats (age, height, weight, measurements, etc.) and express that you would like to be considered to future assignments that the photographer may have. Use the Internet to "get your face out there!".

Q. Is it true that I should update the pictures in my portfolio at least every six months?
A. Yes, it is true! Your portfolio is a timely representation of WHAT you look like and WHAT you are capable of doing (ie: your modeling ability and style at any given time). Things such as experience, changes in hair color and  length, weight gain and loss, fashion trends, etc. all need to be reflected in your portfolio. Additionally, your portfolio should include any "Tear Sheets" you may have achieved in your modeling career.

Q. I had a PAID assignment with a photographer but at the last minute I needed to cancel. A few days later when I tried to reschedule with the photographer he told me that he no longer wants to work with me. I've heard from other photographers that I've been labeled as being "UNDEPENDABLE" and that they don't want to work with me either. What can I do?
A. Sorry to hear that this has happened to you and, we all know that emergencies (assuming it was an emergency since you don't specify WHY you needed to cancel) aren't something that can be planned for. However, your cancellation most likely cost the photographer TIME and MONEY. Suppose he had done that to you - I'm sure that you'd be a little annoyed too. There is a LONG line of models just waiting for you to "step out of line" so that they can take your place. Now unfortunately you've been moved to the "back of the line". To repair your reputation you could offer to reimburse the photographer for whatever additional cost he may have incurred as the result of your cancellation OR you could offer to work the shoot without pay. Whatever the remedy consider this a lesson learned - don't frivolously cancel photo shoots! Good luck!

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