Very often I receive pictures of boys and girls who want to know if their photos are suitable for present theirselves to an agency. Most occasions are not. Maybe they could be good, but often the images I receive are terrible. I decided to write this post that answers the question “Do I need professional photos to work as a model?”.
Can I go to an agency with a book made by a non-professional photographer?
Yes, you can, but you do not want.
Nowadays business are selling millions of digital cameras. Many of them give a very high image quality. Huge resolution. Stabilized lenses. All of this is fantastic, but it does not make the person holding the camera a good photographer. It is important to say, too, that there are excellent amateur photographers and terrible professional photographers. Why should you choose a professional photographer? It’s simple: a person who spends a lot of time on a trade and gets to eat from it is quite likely to have the skills you need.
Let’s suppose an amateur photographer does very good pictures, are they worth it?
The problem is that you do not know. It is possible that you think your criteria is enough to distinguish a good photo from a bad one, and which photos are suitable for a modeling agency, but let’s be honest, you probably can’t tell. It is likely you don’t have enough experience, you have not looked at enough photos and you do need help to know which is better. If that’s not the case and you really have a spectacularly good eye, you should probably look for a job as a director of photography in a newspaper. In short: although they seem good to you, that pictures are probably not good enough to get you jobs.
Should I work with any professional photographer I find?
Let’s talk about cars. Let’s say you have big company and a known brand and you need a driver who gives you enough reliability to play a decent role in a rally. Almost certainly your decision will not be to choose to a taxi driver or a bus driver for that task. You will find a specialized person. It’s the same for your portfolio.
I do not like the idea of investing money in a session. What happens if I go with photos that my classmate has made me with the super camera that her father gave her at Christmas?
Chances are nothing will happen. As is. You send the photos and nothing happens. They do not call you, or they answer you telling you they don’t want you. On many occasions they will not explain to you that your pictures are bad. If you send photos that look right for you, but they are not professional material, you will be transmitting a bad image, mainly in two aspects: you are not a person to take this work seriously (and nobody wants to work with models that do not arrive on time, simply don’t show or make excuses) and also you don’t have the look to be part of that agency.
But there are agencies that will take any photo…
And so it goes. You just have to pay attention to the impression they convey. It is true that there are very different profiles, but that does not mean that any kind of photo works: perhaps everybody can be worth, but whoever he or she is, they will always want to see him or her well.
OK. I need professional photos to work as a model. Why shouldn’t I take the pics they offer me at the agency?
The main business of the agency is not taking photos, but finding work for models. The most common thing for agencies, even if it is not convenient for them, is that they choose novice photographers to cover their needs. Badly paid and inexperienced, you will be charged as a really good photographer, and that difference is a whole benefit for the agency. It is always better for you working with an independent photographer whose income depends on the photos he makes and how good he is. Your reputation is at stake.
In my town there are only three photographers and none of them seems to be specialized in fashion.
Life is hard. Maybe you’ll have to catch a bus! The portfolio is an essential part of your career. And anyway, the jobs that you may find as a model will not be in your village. If you can not find a suitable photographer in your population be ready to move.
So far, the post. I hope I have made it clear that, in summary, it is necessary having professional photos to work as a model. Surely you already know that I am a professional photographer and that I dedicate myself to making books for models, so if you need one, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the phone, with Whatsapp, +34 644459753. Tell me where you write from so I can provide information as quickly as possible. I work as a photographer mainly in València, Madrid, or London but if you prefer that we take your photos somewhere else, we can talk about it.