How To Model For Free!

HOW TO MODEL FOR FREEFree/Inexpensive Ways to Model and Build Your Portfolio

Some companies employ a strategy of handing out free products initially, and this works because it helps get the product ‘out there’ while providing people with an actual demonstration of how good the product is. In modeling, you can also go with this approach in order to easily build up a portfolio and to gain valuable experience.

Here are a couple of ways you can build your modeling portfolio and your brand without shelling out a considerable sum:

Test shoots

The term ‘test shoot’ has quite a few meanings, a couple of which we’ll detail here. One that’s become quite commonplace thanks to the Internet is when a model agrees to do a shoot with a photographer for a minimal fee (or even waived altogether) in exchange for some actual prints of the finished images. This is also known to some as ‘TFP’, or ‘time for print’.

A test shoot, in this case, is more of a collaborative effort, with the model providing the effort as well as a release, and the photographer providing the skills and furnishing equipment to make the shoot work. It even works best if you personally know a talented photographer who’s also starting out. You will both gain experience and a portfolio, and you’ll both be comfortable (more or less) doing the shoot.

Here’s another meaning. If you’re just starting out with an agency, you might be instructed to go to a test shoot in order to enhance your portfolio. Since these are usually done with the agency’s professional contacts, they really help a lot in making a portfolio look more professional and of higher quality.

Of course, keep in mind that terms like test shoot and TFP can mean different things for different people, so make sure that you understand what you’re getting yourself into, and what you’re getting out of an endeavor.

Make your own comp card

Another great way to get your brand out there is to make your own composite card (which also goes by the name ‘comp card’, ‘zed card’ or ‘z card’). Most industries have business cards, but models have comp cards. Sure, you can have it done by third-party providers, and there are even online services that can get you your comp card in no time and in the comfort of your own home.

Then again, if you know your way around PhotoShop, you can make your own comp card. It’s cheaper, and you have more control over how the end product will look. You can find many templates on the Web, or try something new. Of course, keep the basic requirements in mind: a portrait or head shot up front, at least four portfolio-quality photos at the back, and a summary of your vital stats and measurements.

Also, make sure you know the dimensions (it’s 8.5” x 5.5”), and keep the layout as well as the images simple and clean. Don’t be too click-happy on that airbrush tool. Once you’re ready, you can have the card printed. If you have a good enough printer, you just need high-quality paper and you can even print the comp cards yourself. After that, you can send them out to agencies and at events.
See? All it takes is some effort, creativity, and willingness to really market yourself. You don’t have to spend a fortune just to get noticed!

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