Finding Models and Building a Portfolio
Every Talented Photographer had to start somewhere. Many photographers are faced with the dilemma of wanting to showcase their skill and ability but not being able to find models. You could continue down the path of photographing scenery and hope that will be enough to catch the attention of potential clients. Or you could do what the more successful Photographers do and seek out your own models.
You might feel a little uncertain asking for help from friends and family members at first. But if you seek out the right individuals they will be flattered by your request to have them model. I suggest seeking a diverse group of models to display your variety of talents. There are a few types of photos I believe should be in everyone’s portfolio, regardless of the direction you want to take with your photography. The best portfolio building categories are as follows:
1. Striking photos of an elderly person. There is something beautiful and awe inspiring about these photos. Try getting close ups of the fine lines in their hands as they do something they love. Take a few stills of their faces. Many photographers neglect to include these portraits in their portfolios because our society likes to push our elderly in the background. But a true artist will see the beauty in the wrinkles that show decades of life experience.
2. Photographs of a small child playing with their parent. Many photographers make the mistake of over-posing their subjects. Try to catch a parent and child in their natural element. Bring some blocks and puzzles to a well-lit location and begin snapping away. This will give potential clients a better idea of your ability to take candid photos and it will give your models something to appreciate for generations to come.
3. Individual portraits. These photos are easily done and if you choose the right person to photograph you will have no trouble showing off a more diverse, commercial side.
So you found your models. What now?
Even though you may be working with friends and family members it is important to view this as a professional endeavor and behave accordingly.
You will need to pack the following:
1. Your camera and lenses.
2. Your flash equipment if needed.
3. A charger and spare battery. (I love my Nikon MH-23 Quick Charger!)
4. At least two compact flash cards - I like to buy cheap compact flash cards with plenty of space.
5. Any props you may need your models to use.
If you follow this formula to grow your photography portfolio soon you will be turning away jobs!