The perfect model portfolio: photos and shoots for models, interview part #1

How does every model start his career? With a good agency and a good modelbook! Whether for castings or jobs, the model book decides whether models get the campaign or not. We were allowed to meet great models – the international supermodel Alessandra Ambrosia, Karl Lagerfeld muse Baptiste Giabiconi and German top models like Antonia Wesseloh, Corinna Ingenleuf or Curvy Model Angelina Kirsch. Sometimes we also look behind the scenes and meet model managers like Yannis from Place Models. Today we were in conversation with Stephan Czaja from CM Models and wanted to know from him what models should pay attention to when building a book. Stephan gave us three simple tips: 1) Quality over quantity 2) International standards 3)Get the best right at the beginning. New! Check out our top photographers.

Tip! Interview with model agency boss Stephan Czaja(CM Models): Becoming a model

FIV Feature X CM Models

What should the perfect model portfolio for castings look like?

Especially for up-and-coming models, the question is important, how should their own model portfolio be laid out, so that they have the best chances at castings and jobs? Here are a few simple things to consider, exactly 3! “You always have to imagine the situation, for a production only a short casting period is scheduled, usually many models are invited here to see as many as possible. If the time is short, the client also has little time to look at your footage. Therefore, the most important rule is quality instead of quantity,” says model agent Stephan Czaja of CM Models.

Rule 1: Quality instead of quantity

“One of the most common mistakes models make at the beginning of their career is to lower their market value themselves. Of course, it’s tempting in the beginning to do lots of photo shoots with different photographers. However, most of these shoots will be on a freelance basis, if your face is seen too often, in freelance work (i.e. not paid), your exclusivity will drop. You should therefore make sure right from the start of your modelling career that you only work with selected photographers. Make sure that the upcoming photo shoot suits you at all. You should also always consider whether you need the picture material. It is often the case that some moods or facial expressions have already been photographed many times, while others do not even appear in the portfolio. Always remember to put value on this! So that your model portfolio shows that you are changeable and multi-faceted.”

  • Only selected test shoots, the footage should help you and build up your portfolio.

Rule 2 International standards of a model folder

“Standard usually prevail because they are the best through experience. It’s no different with your model book. Photos are printed in A4 format, or 20x30cm, so your modelbook should also be in this format. A book usually contains 20 transparencies, each of which is filled with two photos, one on the front and one on the back. You should always test the photos on different printers, in every shop the colours are different. When you have found a good one, you should always print your photos here to keep the standard. Again, quality is everything. You don’t have to fill your portfolio with 40 photos. Especially in the beginning it is enough if you have your strongest ones. Later on, blank slides are allowed.”

  • The international standard is a model folder in DIN A4 format with 20 transparencies.
  • Make test prints on different photo printers or at printing services
  • New Faces don’t have to fill all the slides, quality is important

Rule 3. the best at the beginning

“As mentioned at the beginning, casting director and marketing people often don’t have much time to look at the complete model portfolio of you during castings. Therefore, another golden rule is that the best photo material should always be at the beginning of the book. If you have a lot of material, the best has to come at the beginning. This is where it’s decided on, at first glance, who will win sympathy and who won’t.”

You can build your model book with these three simple rules! There are a few recommendations on his site at: Modelbook. Stephan Czaja, Head-Booker at CM Models, says: “As a model you should always take the time to ensure quality. If you shoot too much, you ruin your chances. Through exclusivity you build up your market value. When looking for photographers you should also always pay attention to quality and to the fact that you don’t have the picture material yet. Another tip for those who already have an agency, don’t forget to always have sedcards and business cards from your booker.”