Do Modeling Agencies like Natural Photos?
Someone asked this question, and, though the question yields similar answers that are contained in my model polaroid post, it can be approached in a slightly different manner.
This question can be answered in two parts. Polaroids, and portfolio. If you’re looking to be signed, these are some good things to keep in mind whether you have a portfolio or not.
Polaroids are solely for showing off what you look like without all the smoke and mirrors (aka photoshop and makeup). Clients and agents want to know what you look like and how you photograph. My Polaroid post goes into more specific depth. However, one thing that can be added to the conversation is the definition of “natural” in the fashion world these days.
When taking and submitting Polaroids to an agency, keep in mind that there is a such thing as too natural. You want good polaroids. If you’ve ever heard that your submissions don’t need to be professional, that would be wrong. There’s a clause to that statement. They don’t need to be taken by a professional, but they should look clean and somewhat professional. Because bad lighting, blemishes, and bad photos in general will not look good. I definitely went through this phase myself, early on in my modeling career. To the left is an example of a poor Polaroid on my part. It should be obvious but to someone new to the industry, as I was at the time, I thought that all the agencies wanted was to see a picture of me. This is incorrect, they wanted to see me looking fresh, in a quality photo that enhanced my assets. Poor (especially indoor, like my example) lighting and low quality images are definitely a no! Compare the lighting of the two photos in this post (see above). See the difference in quality?
For examples of a good Polaroid, visit the Polaroid post.
In regards to your portfolio, natural, raw photos in should usually be the main component, unless you have very high quality images that are more styled/editorial/avante garde/
The photos in your portfolio should showcase your modeling and your look, if they’re not showcasing an advertisement or clothing. Consider them Polaroids 2.0. A little more makeup, a specific clothing style style, and high quality photography are great to have. Your photos should show emotion, mood, and your raw beauty. Naturally.
Now, consider a different definition of natural. Natural movement, and a sense of ease. Agencies look at this as well. Though, if you don’t have this, but you have the right look, agencies could still take you in for polishing.
Having high quality “natural” photos in your repertoire of images will help brand you and attract clients who are interested in your look. I think it’s safe to say that the more natural your professional images look, the cleaner the slate you become, and the easier it is for a client to see you in their project.
What about conceptual photos?
Lastly, if you need to decide what to do with your edgy, cool pictures, that don’t really have the word “natural” attached to them, don’t fret! Supplement your portfolio with only the best of the best and aim to get really good tear sheets. While natural photos showcase you, tear sheets showcase your experience and look insanely good in your portfolio.
When in doubt, read up on Polaroids or on how to put a portfolio together.
Briauna Mariah (: