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Monday, February 13, 2012

Digital Tearsheets: The New Kid on the Modeling Block

By now, most of you already know how valuable tearsheets are to any model's portfolio. Nothing impresses clients and agencies more than a model that has proof of being published. However, times change and sometimes this requires taking on new territory. In this "Age of the Internet," a new version of the tearsheet has started to become more commonplace in the industry: digital tearsheets.

What is a Digital Tearsheet?

As the name suggests, a digital tearsheet is the same as a regular tearsheet, except that the source of the publication is from a digital form of media, such as a website, online catalog, PDF file, etc.

Do Digital Tearsheets Count?

Yes! Although having a tearsheet from a hard copy magazine, catalog, brochure, etc. is a great thing to have, being published online is also an accomplishment worth adding to your resume and portfolio. These days, there are tons of online lookbooks, catalogs, web banner advertisements and other forms of digital media that clients are always looking to hire models for. Should you snag such a gig, the digital tearsheets you'll get as a result will be a great addition to your portfolio.

How Do I Get Digital Tearsheets From My Projects?

This all depends on the client and who your contact person is for the shoot. In most cases, if you know the name of the website where the images will appear, all you have to do is go to the website and that's where you'll gain access to your digital tearsheets--this won't involve having to contact anyone.

But if you don't know that information or if the images aren't going to be published online right away, the best method would be to send a follow up email to your contact person for the shoot (casting person, photographer, etc.) and ask them when they think the pictures will be posted online. Most times they'll email you with the links once things are up and running on the site.

That's the beauty of digital tearsheets--if it's going to be published online for everyone to see, this gives you the convenience of accessing those images anytime you want--there's no one to bug about this or waiting around on a photographer to get you photos.

You may find yourself in a situation where the images aren't going to be on a website that's easily accessible, but could instead be used for a brochure, digital textbook or other similar project. So what then? This is where you can email your contact person and ask them if it would be possible to get a copy of the pages where your images will be used. For example, I've received digital tearsheets of myself from an online textbook shoot in a PDF format, which I simply downloaded to my laptop and can access and print anytime I need it.

How Do I Add Digital Tearsheets to My Portfolio?

Here is where a bit of effort needs to come from your end--but don't worry, it's not too much work. While it is nice to have links to show clients where your images appear on the Internet, it is important to remember that online images won't stay there forever. Websites constantly update their content, including their pictures. This is why it's important for models to have a hard copy version of their digital tearsheets printed out to add to their portfolios. So how do you go about doing this?

Depending on how web/tech savvy you are, there are a few ways to handle this. The easiest method is to print the actual web page. However, you never want to print digital tearsheets onto regular printer paper. Always use photo paper that is semi-gloss. Make sure you set the print quality to "Best"...failing to make this change in the "Properties" box before printing will result in those ugly lines running through the entire image horizontally.

For those of you that know Photoshop, you can copy the web image using the "Print Screen" function on your computer and "paste" the digital tearsheet into a new document (8"x10"). Resize the image to be larger or smaller, as long as it fills up as much of the document as possible. Save the digital tearsheet as a hi-resolution jpeg and set the DPI to 300, which is ideal for printing purposes (always check the DPI setting before printing...if it's set to 72 or some other number other than 300, it will affect the quality of the printed photo). You may find that changing the DPI could cause your digital tearsheet to appear even larger in Photoshop. Don't panic--simply zoom out and make sure the image is centered properly and then print like you normally would. You may have to tweak some things to get a final image that is suitable for printing.

Below are examples of digital tearsheets I've printed out for my own portfolio:
This digital tearsheet is from an online magazine that I appeared in. I got this image using the "Print Screen" method I mentioned above.
This is a page from a digital textbook shoot that I did. The client sent me the book as a PDF file and I simply saved the pages that had my photo in it as jpegs so that they were in the right format for printing.

Like any other business, the modeling industry is one of the many that has learned how to adapt to the changing times and new technologies. The great thing about digital tearsheets is that this gives models even more opportunities to acquire published work to enhance their portfolios and boost credibility.

4 comments:

kat said...

hi Dania what tips do you have for getting comfortable in front of the camera. I had my 1st test shoot yesterday and it went well but I was nervous the whole time. I want advise on what I can do to relax and get better pictures.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dania, what websites do you use besides MM to find castings and test shoots. I have another question would you be able to take a video camera with you on test shoots so we can see how you perform in front of the camera.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Kat! Instead of finding the answers to your question in the "Answering a Reader Question Series", you'll find it as a regular blog post, titled "Relax! Ways to Get More Comfortable While Modeling During Shoots." Thanks for reading!

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #315." Thanks for reading!