The first thing people do when getting into modeling is go see an agent. The agent evaluates whether they can market you or not. Before they can decide that, they need to know if you can move in front of a camera. If you don’t have photographs already and they feel it’s worth the investment, they may send you to get photographed. If you photograph well, they will build you a portfolio book and get you up to speed on your technique. A reputable agency will never have you pay for things like training, photographs, or composite cards.
Reputable agencies make money when you do. If you get a lot of no’s, don’t get frustrated, give in, and sign with whatever agency will take you. Do your research and make sure you’re signing with a good match. An agency that says all you have to do is get a portfolio, etc., “oh, and by the way, that will be x amount of dollars” doesn’t have your best interest in mind and most likely makes money off you instead of the client. Most “scam” agencies are a thing of the past, but still some exist.
If you don’t want to go the route of finding an agency, and decide you want to try it on your own, you will need to market yourself. In order to market yourself, you will need a portfolio book and composite cards. Depending on what type of modeling you want to do, you may also need to be able to walk down a runway. Later I will post some photo movement and runway techniques, as well as a link to a video for demonstration. We will also talk in more detail on how to break into your market, getting auditions and bookings. The first step is to start with a portfolio book, and then comp cards.
A portfolio needs to be black and measure between 9″X12″ to 11″X14″. The prints should also measure to fit the size of the book, and they should all be consistent in size. The pages of the book should not be removable and should have a pocket in the back used for comp cards. The book should consist of a variety of looks, including commercial and catalog, high fashion and editorial, beauty, figure, headshots, 3/4 shots, and full length, to name a few. This is to show your versatility and make you appeal to a wide audience. Some people specialize in certain markets and demographics, and build a portfolio that appeals to those specific clients. I specialize in beauty because I have high cheek bones, and bridal and cosmetics because of my location and area demographic.
A comp card measures about 5″X7″, has images on both sides, your name on the front and measurements (height, bust, waist, hips, shoe size, etc.) and contact information on the back. The front typically is of your best headshot and while the back has 4 other images that best represent you and provide versatility to your market and demographic. Again, something that shows your full length, a closer up shot like 3/4 length, and something that shows the condition of your body like a figure shot, to name a few.
For comp card printing, you can try MoldingBox.com for pricing and quotes.
For portfolio books, you can try Amazon.com. Pricing for a 9X12 book can run between $40-$70 depending on the quality.