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Monday, January 16, 2012

Tips for Resizing Your Own Modeling Pictures

(This blog post will be mainly useful for freelance models but is also ideal for agency represented models that submit themselves to freelance opportunities as well.)

While it isn't necessary for models to be super savvy about photography editing techniques, having basic knowledge about certain things in this category definitely comes in handy, especially since it allows you to be independent and not have to rely on someone else to handle your images.

I am very well versed in Photoshop and regularly retouch my pictures and also know how to use this software to create my own business cards, comp/zed cards and other related projects.

However, one of the most basic and useful photo editing techniques all models of any experience level should at least familiarize themselves with is resizing their photos. The good thing about learning this skill is that it doesn't require you to take any tutorials or classes. For those of you that are comfortable with software and playing around with its features, this should be fairly easy for you to do. The more you practice, the more comfortable you'll be.

So why is it important to resize your modeling photos? For one thing, it is often necessary when submitting your images to gigs. If you're sending pictures via email to a client, the last thing they want to deal with is an inbox full of huge image files. Not only does it take up room in their inbox, it can also take forever for them to download and view. It isn't uncommon for clients to post casting instructions asking models to make sure the total size of their image submissions doesn't exceed a certain amount.

Sometimes it is necessary to also resize your own photos if you're trying to set up a profile on a social networking site. I know of models that had a hard time getting their profile/membership accepted on sites like Model Mayhem because the size of their photo files was too big. One perk to having your modeling images resized is that it makes it much more difficult to people to reuse and manipulate your photos. If the photo is too small, it will become more pixelated if someone tries to blow it up to a larger size, so this discourages any shady practices that can occur when submitting your photos to people online.

The good news is that you don't have to invest in pricey software like Photoshop (although if you already have this program, that's great). While I love Photoshop, I actually use a much simpler program for resizing my images from hi resolution. Right now I currently use a program called Microsoft Office Picture Manager. Below are some easy, step-by-step instructions for when I resize my own modeling pictures:
  1. After opening the Microsoft Office Picture Manager program, select the image you want to work on and "Open" the file.
  2. Click "Picture" from the toolbar at the top, scroll down and select "Resize."
  3. Select any of the following options:
  • Predefined Width & Height: This gives you a drop-down list of various size options, ranging from Document sizes to Web and Email sizes. Choose the one that best fits the reason why you're resizing the image.
  • Custom Width & Height: You can enter your own dimensions if you need the picture to be a particular size that isn't in the Predefined option above.
  • Percentage of Original Width & Height: Do better with percentages? Then you can choose this option instead of entering your own dimensions.
In case you mess up, simply select the "Original Size" option and it will restore the photo back to its original size and then you can start over. I've found this program pretty easy to use after a few times of practicing. Don't forget to do a "Save As" each time so that you don't lose your original hi resolution image. There are other similar photo editing programs that can be used, but this one came automatically with my Microsoft Office software package that was installed on my laptop so that's what I know and use. So far I haven't had any problems with it.

I work on a PC that runs Windows 7 so, unfortunately, I don't know the equivalent of the program for Mac or if they have the same thing so that's something you Mac users will have to investigate on your own.

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