Getting started as a model is not easy. It can be very confusing, very frustrating, and very costly. The most important thing to know is that to be successful you’ll need a portfolio that shows you’re experienced (selfies don’t count), you’ll need a network, and you’ll need a fan base.
Test shoots and trade shoots (commonly known as TF shoots – TFP, TFCD, etc.) are a great start to accomplishing all the above. As you do test and trade shoots you’ll build experience and the more often you do them the more experienced you’ll become. The photos you get from the shoots will continually improve as your experience level improves and the experience level of the photographers, stylists, artists, designers, etc., you’re working with improves. As the experience level of the teams you collaborate with improves you’ll continually do more creative shoots and it will show in the photos that make up your portfolio. Eventually you will have plenty of experience and a killer portfolio to show it.
Not only will you be building a great portfolio while building the experience you’ll need to get paid work but you will be meeting photographers, hair stylists, makeup artists, designers, wardrobe stylists, and many other individuals in the industry that will be involved in the photo shoots that you take part in. This will be especially true as the shoots become more and more creative. This is a great way to build your network as well as start your fan base. In order to build a network and a fan base it is important as a model to be approachable and likable so always remain professional at photo shoots but also always show you’re passionate about your chosen career and full of energy.
Remember, everyone had no experience at some point, even the highest paid individuals in the industry so by the end of the photo shoot your goal is for everyone involved in the shoot to feel like they’d love to work with you again. As the inexperienced people you’re collaborating with in test and trade shoots become experienced professionals in the industry they will need models for their paid assignments and if they like working with you you’ll be at the top of their list for casting calls.
Generally speaking trade shoots are collaborations of individuals with similar experience levels. At some point you may decide you want to pay for a photo shoot to work with a more experienced team to reap the benefits of their experience and get on a more fast track pace but if you’re willing to put in the time and effort this won’t be necessary. As your experience level increases more experienced photographers, hair/makeup, designers, etc., will want to work with you. So when you first start out you’ll be working with less experienced photographers in general that will only provide 1 or 2 photos (if any) that are worth adding to your portfolio so you’ll need to be patient.
Anyone with a camera these days can say that they’re a photographer also so you’ll need to check their portfolio to be certain they are legitimate photographers but as long as you use your head and do your homework you’ll find test shoots and trade shoots are a great alternative to paying for photo shoots and modeling school. After all, the best part about test and trade shoots is that they’re free but you don’t have to get what you pay for, you can get so much more from these shoots than most beginners realize.
The bottom line is that test and trade shoots are a wonderful way to build the experience, portfolio, and network you’ll need to get hired as a model. If you’re serious about becoming a working model and you understand that it is very difficult to become a successful model (it doesn’t just happen overnight) and it takes lots of hard work and perseverance, then I can help you take your portfolio, experience, and network to the next level.
I would love to share my experience with you and help you get started as a model but you have to be willing to put in the time and effort. I may even be able to help you start getting paid but like I said, you have to be very serious about putting in the time and effort. So if you’re really serious about modeling and you're located in or traveling to the Mount Pocono Pa area, contact me now and let’s discuss some test or trade shoots.