Get your portfolio done

The tools of your trade are your portfolio photographs and your resume. Portfolio is a model's basic promotional tool consisting of an album showing the best photos from tests and bookings.

Since the market is the deciding factor, you must place your product, i.e., your portfolio photos, in the market.A model's portfolio is their main selling tool. Presentation, quality and variety of shots are all very important factors to be considered.

Every agency, coordinator or producer will address this area differently. However, we all agree that the photos in your book should be only the best that you can provide. It does not matter whether you have more black-and-white photos than colour ones; great pictures are great pictures. Some photographers might suggest that you shoot more colour than black-and-white, since it works better and is often less expensive.

Your portfolio should 'read' just like any other book: It should have a terrific beginning, a strong middle and a sensational ending. The people looking at it should want to turn the pages with curiosity. And each page should satisfy that curiosity. It should display your strengths to potential clients and show what you are capable of selling, be it clothes, cars or cosmetics.

Your portfolio is your responsibility. When not in use, it should always be at the agency as they may have clients that come into the agency that they would like to show. This may be a reason to have a secondary portfolio, or better yet, an on-line portfolio that anyone with Internet access can view.

The total number of photos that you should use from each photo session depends primarily on the art direction. For an editorial spread, you might use as many as five photos - say, one large and four small. The large one could be displayed on one side of the spread and the four smaller photos opposite. If you have only one terrific photo, people would prefer to see it alone rather than displayed with a photo that clashes. For example, it would be a mistake to display a shot in a summer dress next to one in a salwar-kameez.

If possible, also try to include photos where you are interacting with other models. This will show prospective clients that you can work with others in a compatible way. However, do not include such a photo if you are not looking your best. If another model is the focus of the photo, your casting agent will wonder whether it is wise to show you next to competition.

At the beginning of your fashion modelling career, your portfolio should include:

* At least two head shots with two different expressions (one smiling and one serious, or one in the studio and one outdoors).

At least two fashion shots (one casual and one a little more formal). If you move well, you might like to include an action shot.

At least one full-length shot showing the proportion of your body (feet to knees, knees to thighs, thighs to waist, waist to shoulders, shoulders to the top of your head). You could wear a leotard or a body suit, depending on what makes you comfortable and flatters your figure.

A full portfolio consists of about twenty-four 9"x12" photos and tears (from magazines). Remember: it is better to have less photos, but ones that are really strong, than a full portfolio with photos that are mediocre. Every portfio needs a mix of commercial and editorial shots, location and studio. You will also need at least one great body shot (professional and tasteful - editorial style is best) and one beautiful B&W headshot with minimal makeup.

What is important is that you must 'become' the photo and direct and project every ounce of your energy and personality towards the camera.

No matter what your mood, you must always give it your best and leave any unhappy feelings outside the studio. If you are not really 'into' a photo, it will probably show on the film, even if the rest of the team has done a first-rate job. YOU are the key to the success of a photo.

If you are looking to assemble a portfolio for yourself on a budget, try an economic option: Get together a team of new talent - aspiring photographer, make-up artist, clothing stylist -and pool all your abilities to set up a shoot. Each of you can then use the photographs in your respective portfolios.

Models usually start by doing the rounds of ad agencies if their portfolio pictures are not flattering enough. If you think that your portfolio does you justice, simply post them to the agency coordinator, though you run the risk of the envelope bearing your pictures being put into the dustbin.

Getting a good portfolio is easy, considering the number of photographers who also specialise in this work.


A good portfolio will be shot over time by numerous photographers reflecting different looks/photography styles.
Some of the better known names are:

Gautam Rajadhyaksha:
Zaveri House,
N. S. Patkar Marg (Hughes Rd.,)
Mumbai 400007.
Tel: 3693150.

Dabboo Ratnani:

271-D, Oshiwara Industrial Centre.
New Link Road. O
shiwara. Mumbai - 400 104
Tel: 91 22 8780406,07
Mobile: 91 98200 64283.

Boman Irani:
51/L Paradise Shyam Nivas,
Bhulabhai Desai Rd.,
Mumbai 400026.
Tel: 3634976.
Mobile No: 9820030912.

Rafique Sayed:
2, Carmichael Road,
Mumbai 400026.
Tel: 3744193,
Mobile No: 9820022644.

Pankaj Liya:

C/41, Indradeep Society,
171, L. B. Shastri Marg,
Behind Hotel Airways,
Ghatkopar, Mumbai 400086.
Tel: 5148328, 5149839.

Mukesh Munim:

130, M. Karve Road,
Mumbai 400020.
Tel: 221955.

Madhur Shroff:

Chogle, Block A,
6 St. Francis Xavier Street,
Thakurdwar, Mumbai 400002.
Tel: 4440427,
Mobile No: 9821040444.

Israr Qureshi

51-L, Paradise, Shyam Niwas Colony,
Breach Candy,
Mumbai 400026.
Tel: 3682877.

Palash Bose:

42 Sea breeze apt,
Bullock rd. Bandstand,
Bandra Mumbai 50 .
Tel: 9820045853.

Sumiko Murgai Nanda:
B-104, Gulmohar Park,
New Delhi 110049.
Tel: 6865669.

Akhil Bakshi:

L-70, Basement,
Malviya Nagar,
New Delhi 110017.
Tel: 6442957, 6221421

Suvo Das:
B-127, Malviya Nagar,
New Delhi 110017.
Tel: 6224472.

No. 84, SFS Flats,
Ashok Vihar,
New Delhi 110052.
Tel: 7227533.

Waseem Khan:
36, Norris Road,
Alexandria Apartments,
Ground Floor C,
Richmond Town,
Bangalore 560025.
Tel: 2211364.

Anand S. Sharan:

Lakshmi, 2nd Cross,
No. 6, Vasanthnagar,
Bangalore 560052.
Tel: 2260576.

Pallon Daruwalla:

King's Crest Apartments,
8/8 Miller's Road,
Bangalore 560046.
Tel: 3330525.



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