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There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Anatomy of a Modeling Website Pt II: Photo Gallery

I've already written about the importance of having a modeling website ("The Benefits of Having an Official Modeling Website") but I know how hard it can be for freelance models to get the ball rolling so I've decided to do another mini series of blog posts, with each post focusing individually on the most common meat and potatoes of a modeling website.

I've already written one post in this series, "The Anatomy of a Modeling Website Pt I: Welcome Page," so if you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, that link will take you right to it.

Hopefully with this detailed info, all potential freelance models will be able to transform their careers in a way that meets or exceeds their goals.

These are all suggestions based on my personal and professional experience in dealing with websites so the info in this post (and the posts to follow), are not 100% the law and can be modified to suit your freelance modeling preferences or specific situation.

Think of this info as a guideline to help you establish some of the basic elements of your modeling website. Feel free to tweak things as you see fit.

Now let's jump into the Photo Gallery section of a modeling website.

WHAT IS THE PHOTO GALLERY?

As the name suggests, this is the part of the website where models are supposed to showcase their professional images. It basically serves as an online portfolio.

WHAT TO PUT IN THE PHOTO GALLERY

Because an official modeling website should be polished and professional in appearance, the only images that should appear in the photo gallery are professionally taken photos. Unlike what's required of model newbies submitting to agencies, there isn't the need to include non-professional, digital snapshots. Freelance models are required to already have pro images in place to book work so focus on those.

Just as with a hard copy modeling portfolio, your photo gallery online should only contain your strongest pictures. They should be a combination of headshots, full body shots, etc. Any tearsheets (digital or scanned hard copies) should definitely be in the photo gallery and among the first pictures viewers will see.

HOW MANY PHOTOS SHOULD THE GALLERY HAVE?

The number of modeling images you post will be determined by the layout of your website. If you have a thumbnail gallery where the viewer clicks on a thumbnail and it opens up an expanded view of the image, then you can choose to have more photos on the page. You can see an example of this layout on my own website. As you can see, it's quite a lot of thumbnails but because they are organized and offer a preview of what the image looks like, it doesn't clutter up the page.

If the layout is a regular photo slideshow, then you may not want to have as many as you would with the thumbnail version. It is very important to be selective in the number and types of photos you end up adding to your photo gallery.

Make sure to not have several versions of the same "look." For example, if you did a formal shoot where you're in a red dress and gold heels, don't have 3-4 shots in that same "look" or outfit. Even if the poses are all different, it's technically the same "look" and doesn't make for a diverse looking portfolio. At most 2 photos of the same look should be the max.

WHAT IS THE BEST LAYOUT FOR MY PHOTO GALLERY?

That all depends on your personal preference. There isn't a right or wrong approach but the most important thing to keep in mind is to choose a layout/design that is organized and easy to for users to navigate.

You can choose to have all of your modeling photos mixed up together (my website photo gallery is an example of this), or you can opt to have separate galleries for each type of modeling you do (i.e. a photo gallery page/tab for Fashion, a photo gallery page/tab for Commercial/Print, a photo gallery page/tab for Swimwear, etc.).

With my modeling website, I originally had a separate page for each category of modeling. But after a while I felt that my website menu had too many tabs and was cluttered. So I chose to combine my photos using the thumbnail gallery layout. However, I did create a separate photo gallery tab dedicated to just my tearsheets. I wanted clients to see right away that I was a published model and make it easy for them to see what publications I had done, instead of fishing around for it on a regular photo gallery.

Take a few moments to think about how you want to present your work to potential clients. There's nothing wrong with looking at other models' sites to see what formats/layouts they've chosen. Once you've identified the "look" you like, test it out on your site and see how you like it. This will be especially easy if you're using a self publishing platform like Wix, Weebly (or the countless others) that allow users to create their own websites.

Remember, like any other modeling portfolio, you should update the photo gallery as you book more work and/or do test shoots to keep things fresh and show the progress of your career.

3 comments:

Daniel said...

Great job Dania! Your Modeling Website series have been superb so far and packed full of great information for models looking to market themselves, even with tight budgets by using sites like Wix to get started. Are you planning on doing one about integrating social media into a modeling website? Keep up the awesome work!

Screen Dreams said...

That's really a awesome information from you guys. This will be useful for my modelling website too. Im running an modelling agencies in chennai and bangalore. This helps me to optimize my website in a better way for better result.

Dania Denise said...

Thank you for the kind words, Daniel and Screen Dreams!

Daniel: I do plan on adding that topic to my latest mini-blog post series. I'm having a heck of a time trying to get the down time I need to keep my blog posts regular but with the Thanksgiving holiday coming up (plus Xmas, too), I definitely plan on getting back on track with providing new content for everyone.

Thanks for being a reader, I appreciate it!!!