Collaborating with Photographers/MUA’s to Keep Your Portfolio Fresh

  • Amy Bebbington

A models portfolio is the perfect resource to showcase your talent to clients. It should always be kept fresh, relevant and up to date. A great way to do this is to collaborate with photographers and make up artists who are looking to add to their portfolio too. In the creative industry, a lot of like minded people work together to help each other enhance their career. Here’s how.

Where to Find Photographers and Make Up Artists

Many individuals have friends in the industry that they call upon to help – or even friends of friends. However, if you don’t there are a few websites such as Model Mayhem that encourages collaboration. With lots of photographer and make up artist profiles to look through you can choose those that impress. Make sure you only connect with those that are professional and in your eyes are talented. Look through their images of work to get a good idea of their style.

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Social media is another way to find creatives to work with. Posting a shout out on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter may find the right partnership as photographers, hair stylists and make up artists will comment or message you showing their interest. This will naturally start a conversation and you will be able to look at their profile, which acts as a portfolio in itself.

Have Good Communication Prior to the Shoot

An in depth dialogue is very important to discuss what your needs are. Be honest with your requirements to see if they can meet them with their skill set. The last thing that you want is for you to spend your time posing all day for the images to not be to your standard. The more each party knows about the shoot prior to the scheduled date the smoother the photoshoot will run. Here is a list of ideas to talk about via email or phone.

  • The date and time of the photoshoot.
  • Their skills in their chosen field.
  • Will they edit the photos (this is a must) and how long this will take for them to do.
  • Do they have a studio for to use? Any that they know about to hire?
    The make up look that you are after – can they recreate it? Send ideas over before so they can practice.
  • Ask for them to send a link to their website or images of their work to gain a good idea.
  • Is there a fee for their work or is it based on you all mutually benefiting from the collaboration?
  • Are you going to sign a contract or a model release form to protect every party?

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Work for Free or Pay for Their Services

In collaborations such as these a lot of make up artist and photographer agreements are free. The partnership allows for all parties to gain with images for their portfolio. The risk you may take is that the photos and make up artistry is not to a high standard as they are a student or newly trained graduate practicing their skill. Each needs the experience to improve and fill up their portfolio. However, you may find a very talented new photographer or stylist who provide a professional service. It is up to you to judge based on their previous work.

For more experienced professionals you will have to pay for their services. To find someone within your budget look at their prices on their website to see if you can afford their time. If you do decide to go go down this route ensure their rate is agreed beforehand. Check their credentials to avoid hiring a scam artist.

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Always Be Prepared

Don’t leave all the details to last minute especially your model poses. Make sure that you know the kind of look that you are going for and practice your poses well in advance. Body awareness and how to stand is really important to capture stunning shots. Also, think about the variety of poses needed in your model portfolio to show your versatility and keep the interest of clients. Different outfits will also be needed to keep your portfolio fresh. If you need any help to learn to pose like a model, read our model poses for beginners blog post.

Keep Safe

As we always say your safety is super important when arranging photoshoots or talking to someone online. Do not meet with them at their house – even if they say the studio is there. Meet in a very public place and bring someone with you. Do not feel pressured to collaborate with someone just because you have messaged them. Trust your instinct. It is easy to hide behind a screen to con someone out of money or to take advantage of them. If they say that they have a studio at their house, explain that you would prefer to hire one independently.

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How to Shoot Model Portfolio Photography

The niche that you are wishing to enter will determine the type of photography that you shoot. Here are a few tips so that you capture the correct type of images for your portfolio.

  • Decide on the niche that you wish to enter and look at the types of shots that already exist in the industry.
  • Take into account the type of poses that would be suitable to the area that you are appealing to.
  • Make sure that you keep your poses varied, changing your clothes also to make your images interesting and creative. No one wants to look at the same picture over and over again.
  • Ensure that your photographer is experienced in fashion photography and that you direct him/her accordingly. Do not expect the photographer to be a mind reader. Be assertive and direct so that your vision is clearly understood.
  • Take a look at the photographs every so often so that you know that you are happy with the shots.
  • Make sure that they are willing to edit the shots as part of their cost so that your photographs look professional.

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Posted by Amy Bebbington

I express my love of fashion through writing, blogging and styling. My creative personality ensures that I produce unique and original work. I am a keen knitter and enthusiatic dancer.