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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Snapshot Tips for Print Models Seeking Agency Representation

So I feel I've done a grave injustice to my aspiring print models out there. This is a post that should've been done a long time ago but wasn't really brought to my attention until recently...aren't you glad I don't proclaim to be a perfect, know-it-all? LOL

Okay, snapshots: I constantly go on about the importance of having quality, non professional, digital snapshots to submit to modeling agencies because they are the most effective way of getting one's foot in the door as far as agency representation goes. No mystery there.

What I failed to clarify, however, is that the snapshots I typically refer to (and provide photo examples of) are ideal for aspiring models that plan on pursuing fashion, runway and editorial modeling. Aspiring commercial/print and lifestyle models should also submit non professional, digital snapshots to agencies that represent their category BUT there are some distinct differences.

Below are what aspiring print models should keep in mind when putting together their snapshots for agency submission (unless told otherwise by the instructions on the agency websites!):
  • Smile! Print models are all about smiling so your snapshots should reflect this. No need for the serious, "mean-mug" face. Male print models, this includes you, too! For profile shots, however, do not smile and keep your mouth closed and relaxed.
  • You can wear clothes! Print models wear considerably more clothing in the majority of their gigs compared to their fashion counterparts. Female print models should wear dark skinnies or fitted shorts and a solid colored, fitted tank top or t-shirt. No shoes or socks! Male print models should wear shorts that aren't super baggy or casual jeans and a solid colored t-shirt, collared shirt or tank top. It doesn't have to be skin tight but it should be fitted in a way that makes it easy to see what your body shape looks like. Also no shoes or socks for male print models.
  • Hair (for women and men with longer hair) can be worn down, not in a ponytail away from the face. It should be in a style that appears natural and one you wear on a regular basis. Do not have any hair in your face! If you happen to have crazy long hair, don't wear it in front/over your shoulders because it will cover up too much of your upper body. Wear it down but tuck it behind your ear and have it behind the shoulders.
What should remain the same? Check out the following:
  • Print models should still have their snapshots taken indoors with good lighting, against a white or other light colored background.
  • Don't pose excessively. Having your arms resting comfortably at your sides is ideal. At most, you can put one hand on the hip.
  • The poses/stances remain the same: closeup headshot, profile headshot, full body frontal, full body profile, etc.
  • No makeup...with the exception of clear, pressed powder to tackle any shiny spots on the complexion.
Have you already submitted your snapshots to a print agency following the fashion/runway focused photo examples I've recommended? That doesn't necessarily mean you're screwed or will get rejected. Agencies with print divisions are okay with receiving snapshots like these because--bottom line--these are still photos that showcase a female or male model in his/her most natural state. But the updated recommendations I've listed above are geared more towards showing agencies what your potential would be for print work.

Here are a few reference images I could find to illustrate what I talked about above. Hopefully it will give aspiring print models a better idea of what to do for their snapshots:
I LOVE this headshot! This is the ideal reference photo for a headshot for female and even male aspiring print models. Note how her hair is down but not in a distracting way that blocks her face and how natural her smile is. She's also not wearing makeup.
This whole series of snapshots is great for aspiring female print models to follow. My only critique is in regards to the last, full body photo. Don't wear shoes in the picture and don't put your hands in the pockets. Keep them comfortably at your sides...you can bend a bit at the elbow like the model in the photo to give off a more casual stance. It does look like she's wearing a bit of makeup though, which I would avoid.
This is another ideal snapshot for a male print model's headshot. But unlike this photo, do not wear any clothing that has logos on it. Even though the purple bird on the right side of his shirt is small, it's still a logo and agencies don't want to see them. Notice how natural his smile is and the way the photo is framed. BTW: the original photo is really small so I made it bigger. The quality you're looking at now is not appropriate to submit to print agencies...it's too blurry. Any snapshots taken must be clear and crisp in quality.
It was very hard for me to find an ideal reference photo for aspiring print male models that showed their body. This is as close as I could get. However, please do NOT wear clothes with logos or distracting patterns/graphics. Also, do not have your hands/fingers/thumbs in the pockets of the jeans. Keep your arms comfortably at your sides. I do love his casual stance and the nice smile, though, so that is okay to replicate. In some instances, this would count as a "half body shot." The full body snapshot would be exactly the same, except it would show the rest of the lower half of the body...don't cut off the feet and remember, no shoes or socks!
In case you're asking yourself what's the big deal or the reason for pointing out these distinct distances, read on...

The reason aspiring fashion and runway models are asked to submit snapshots of themselves in swimwear is because it's all about seeing their body type and shape. Models in these categories walk in runway shows and do shoots in designer clothing--all of which are directly related to the model's figure.

However, in the print world, these types of models won't be in high fashion runway shows or editorial shoots for fashion magazines. They'll be dressed in everyday, casual, business and/or formal wear. So it isn't necessary to see them in swimwear but rather in fitted clothing that clearly shows their body shape. There are cases where print models can cross over into these categories but right now we're just talking about snapshots to get your foot in the door with print agencies...once models are signed, then they can talk to their agents about doing other types of modeling work aside from print.

The reason for difference in hairstyle is also similar. Fashion and runway models are all about strong bone structure--prominent cheekbones, broad forehead, strong jawline, etc. The best way for agencies to evaluate a fashion model's bone structure is by having the hair pulled away, making their face appear more pronounced in the snapshots.

For print models, it isn't about bone structure. It's more about having an attractive, symmetrical face with a great smile, so it's not necessary for print models to wear a ponytail because print agencies want to see their natural, everyday appearance, which (in most cases) means wearing the hair down so that it frames their face.

So based on what I've described above, please prepare your snapshots accordingly, my future print models (this goes for male print models, too!). Submitting the traditional snapshots I've talked about before won't hurt your chances but it's always a good idea to err on the side of caution and have a set of snapshots that are more casual and tailored for your niche.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey dania

I'm russel 19 years old 6"1 skinny
I really want to be a male model but I'm currently living here in the Philippines
and I seriously think there is not much opportunity here for male model wannabes like me, I'm dreaming to be a international model specially new York . So here is my question ,if example I submited an application online and they really do like me what can I expect from them? would they help me get to new York? or would they just tell me to fly to new York? well I'm asking this cause I know it's hard to just fly to new York i know it's expensive but I can sure do if they promise me a contract but it's not just about the money how bout visa? would they help me with that? take ford for an example
and what's the real deal when it comes to applicants outside USA?

thanks in advance , I love your blog cause you help a lot of people

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Russel! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #554," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Hey I'm Estée and I was wondering if it's allowed for make and female models under 18 to model swimwear and underwear in runway shows and ads?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Estee! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #555," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Hey Dania, I just moved to LA for college and I wanted to know if you could be a part-time model while attending school full time? Also do you recommend any commercial modeling agencies in LA for female models 5'6"?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #561," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Shelby Pickens said...

Hi Ms. Dania! My name is Shelby Pickens. I'm 5 foot 8 and ever since I was little I have always wanted to become a model. I have went to three different agencies and all three have offered me a contract. I've even had an offer from hollister but I was only 16 and couldn't execpt the offer:(. I found that one agency was a scam so naturally I declined. The other teo seem more realistic considering I had a Ford model sitting next to me! I'm currently affiliated wit a company in Cincinatti but I have yet to book an actual job. I am on their website but I'm not signing a contract just yet. I live in a small town, one of the smallest in Ohio. I know my portfolio isn't the strongest but I feel like I can't build it unless I can book a job. I also want to keep moving up. could you help me find out how to find out about how to find jobs? Sorry for the small novel! lol

Mary Davies Stark said...

Hi there - You seem to imply that if you are a print model, you will never wear high-fashion clothing in print ads and that you won't do runway. I'm a print model but also do high-fashion print and runway from time to time. ;) I don't mean to be a drag - just want to ensure readers are not mislead.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Mary Davies Stark!

What you wrote is very true. I am also like you, in that I do print work but also runway and fashion shows. However, for this particular post I was focusing more on the subject of submitting to print agencies for representation only, not the other avenues of modeling print models can pursue.

But I did add an extra sentence to clarify that print models don't just do print work 100% of the time.

Thanks for your input and insight! :-)

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Shelby! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #565," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Break Into Modeling said...

Becoming a model at my early age is tough. I learn to become independent and open to spot lights where there is vagueness. Nevertheless walking in spotlights becomes my passion and brings inner peace in me.

Cathy Walker said...

Modeling industry doesn't only depend to its models but also it depends on the art photography that captures the beauty of spotlight.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dania, I am about to take my commercial modeling snapshots but I don't have a digital camera, what is an alternative that I can use?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #587," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Rita said...

Hi Dania! I really love your blog!
So I´m 14 and 5´9. My measurements are 33-24-33 and i´m currently wearing braces. I´m taking them off in 2 years time. Is 16 a good age to start modeling? And am I ok to be a runway model?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Rita! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #603," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Can you wear a little bit of concealer and mascara in your modeling snapshots?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #722," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!