Model Mayhem 101: Adapting

This Model Mayhem 101 post is for slightly more experienced Model Mayhem users. You should understand how to adapt your profile with your experience as you progress.

Let’s say you’ve had a handful of solid photoshoots with great photos for your portfolio and the responses have been positive. However, you’re still mostly working for free and you haven’t changed your profile much, nor have you taken a serious look at your portfolio. These are the steps I would suggest taking.

Portfolio
As you shoot with more and more people, you will accumulate a lot of photos. Personally, I like to keep them very organized in folders by photographer (or event) and I make sure to obtain high resolution images so I have the option to print them.

It doesn’t matter if you’re represented by IMG and have amazing agency-type photos, MM might not buy it. If you’re going to be successful on the website, you have to gear your portfolio to what Model Mayhem likes. And try to accumulate comments by posting on the announcement board.

Take a look at Model Mayhem contests once in a while to get an idea of what images are more popular. The general feel is a more made up/glamorous/artistic/conceptual beauty shot with moderate to moderately-heavy Photoshopping and flawless photography. Photos that fit this criteria tend to get the most attention. Another photo type would be more glamor-type photos. Sometimes MM is drawn too much to the “hoochy,” less high fashion, less “raw,” photography, which is one downfall. However, you can work around that and only post your best and most tasteful images.

You will get a feel for which of your images are commented on most and centralize your portfolio around a similar theme. I’d say the theme of my own MM portfolio is versatility, always keeping it edgy and high-end.

Profile
There are different types of MM profiles. You can usually tell how new or experienced a person is by their profile. You should adjust your MM profile according to what you prefer and it should reflect your experience, professionalism, and personality.

Here, you can express individuality, a sense of humor, and background information with a more personal, fun profile. The advantage of this profile is that your readers will get a sense of who you are and know that you’re actually a real person.

You can incorporate additional photos in your profile if you’ve been a member long enough, too. This is a feature you can pay a membership for, but you acquire the ability for free after enough time. Remember that the code is BBC, which is different than HTML. For help on that, just Google BBC. Don’t put too many photos in your profile, as it can get redundant and annoying to have to scroll forever on a profile. I like to display my “MM Model of the Week” photos as well as image links to my other social media, to keep it connected–I always want to promote my Facebook page (I’m always on FB!).

For agency models, a common profile would be just a brief description and information on how to book through the agency, or simply an email contact. This could potentially hurt your MM potential because most people don’t want to take that extra step. There isn’t much benefit to this other than deterring less determined and experienced individuals from bugging you. If you have a rockin’ portfolio, it may not matter as much because legitimate people may want to book you anyways. This means MM will just serve as a supplement to your agency. It does not guarantee, however, that people won’t still try to contact you through MM to set up shoots.

Many people indicate what they’re willing to work for as compensation for shoots. Profiles often list whether they’re willing to do TF or not. If not, sometimes the person’s rates will be described somewhere in the profile.

Many people use their profiles as a terms & conditions, of sorts: What they’re willing to do, where they travel to, rates, who they’re looking to work with for collaboration, what details to message them with, etc. I don’t recommend listing rates in your profile for two main reasons. 1. Your agency prefers to set your rates and 2. sometimes you can negotiate them via messaging.

You want to keep your profile streamlined, clean, and professional. You don’t want it to look too scattered and messy. You can choose to incorporate all types of profile descriptions, or you can keep it to the bare minimum. I always suggest to have at least have a few describing sentences, a couple images and/or links, and some “terms & conditions.” This is a good way to set the bar and display your professionalism.

Friends
Some Model Mayhemers will indicate who they will accept as friends on Model Mayhem. When I started out, I only wanted to accept the people I knew and people I wanted to work with. Nobody listened to that rule though. I wanted people to leave some sort of message or comment if they wanted to friend me. Since that was unsuccessful, I decided, since “Friends” don’t really do anything on your profile anyways, to accept all friend requests.

The more friends you have, the more “popular” you look on MM. You should decide who you will accept on Model Mayhem. There are many people you may see come up again and again. I consider myself to be one of those active players. While I may not be as active as some, I’m somewhat known on MM. This is due to my on and off activity on the announcement board, participation in MM Model of the Week contests, interactions with other members, and a reputable profile and portfolio. Some other examples of active members (and quite talented, I would have to say) are Lucima, Mike Nguyen, Barry Druxman, many retouchers, and more. All of the above have excellent profile examples.

You are allowed to display and order up to 12 main friends on your profile (or display none at all). By default, MM will display the 12 most recently befriended members on your profile. I’ve adjusted mine to some favorite top people I’ve worked with, who I think are really great.

You can also Favorite some friends. I use this feature to keep track of the very talented photographers I want to work with whenever we might be in the same area. I try to keep this to a minimum, so I can manage it easily.

Keep up the good work and never stop shooting, producing quality images, and meeting wonderful people. MM is my favorite Model place to network. There are yet more features that can and will be discussed in another MM 101 blog post.

Be Fierce!!

Briauna Mariah (:

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