One of the biggest issues with most models is the quality of images they present of themselves. Very few maintain sizable images in a book (portfolio). With really big images – say 12×30 area, you can really see the quality of image your photographer creates. Instead, most models only have a low res, online portfolio with small images. Just about anyone can make a good portfolio online and hide their mistakes in small, low res images. I often see images where editing is awful, people forget human anatomy, and the solution is to make people more like plastic. With a book with real images, this will stick out like a sore thumb. As a model, it is your goal to look the best you can be. Remember: image is everything. Also beware of people who don’t edit their images. One of our local photographers explains to models that they should shot with him because he has their images back to them within two hours of shooting – all that person does is cull their images and uploads them to their website for delivery. That is also not good.
What are some of the things I look at when viewing a model’s images? The first thing is the simple things – are there blemishes or dark colours that should have been removed, do they have the appropriate anatomy, that the model’s skin has a texture and hasn’t just been blurred, and if the little details have been taken care of. Is the skin colour or eye colour the correct colours for that model? A pet peeve is when the model’s eye socket was removed to get rid of the dark circles under the model’s eye. Another pet peeve is using blurring to hide imperfections in the skin of a model to the extent it no longer has any texture or it looks blurred. Skin should be edited to look naturally flawless, not look like it has been edited to be flawless. For darker skin colours, the true colour should be what you see. The key to editing is that it should only be done to enhance and make you look better, but it shouldn’t distort you. Hair is also one of the trickiest to edit – you want the fly aways edited out, but not to the extent you have a sharp edge to the hair.
Next are the questionable edits. Questionable edits are edits that depend on the use of the image. For instance, head shots should never have scars, moles, or similar removed. You want the images to reflect who you really are. On the other hand, if it is for an advertisement, they may be removed. Other things that are questionable are tattoos and piercings. If you are using the image to present who you really are, these should be left in the images. If they are for art or a campaign of a client, then they should be removed.
The last thing I look at is the backgrounds. I also try to see what the intent was with a model and if the background was lit correctly and has the right boca for the image. I also look for dirt, wrinkles in the background, and other flaws. These are all details that are important to take care of in your images.
Hopefully, you are starting to look at your images and evaluating them. Always make sure your images are edited by someone who knows what they are doing with them. This may mean checking to see if there is someone who is trained editing them or looking at large print images by the photographer who is shooting you. A blur tool should be used sparingly. Automated tools (plug ins) should also be used sparingly. More time and money should be spent on a good makeup artist over editing the images in post production.
As you look more and more at the images that have been taken of you, you will see who the good, professional images are taken and those who aren’t doing a good job. Do your research and work with those photographers who will improve your image and give you quality work. Try to avoid those that don’t. Remember, you image is everything as a model. Always show your best.