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.
- 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.
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:
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.