We’ve all heard it, no matter the industry: “You’re only as good as your last (insert professional accomplishment here).”
As a fashion model you are only as good as your last shot. Before booking paid work, an aspiring model completes a series of test shoots to start a portfolio that will showcase their abilities to potential clients or large market agencies. It is ideal for a model to find an agent before starting to build a portfolio, so they may receive direction, guidance and instruction regarding their development.
As a mother agent in Oklahoma, it is important to be involved in the testing process. For me, as involved as possible. I start by shooting each PRIM model myself. When a model is working toward placement in a major market, each image in their book should be a curated, intentional reflection of that goal.
For an agent, model or photographer, there is nothing more frustrating than getting photos back that aren’t quite what you had envisioned or realizing a look would have worked better on another model, especially if something as simple as a bit more communication or observation could have made the difference. Re-shooting anything, if it is even an option, takes more time from all parties involved and can also cause a look to become stale.
To avoid this, I spend a great deal of time prepping each of my models for every test. As often as I am able, I am on set to make sure we get everything we need or at least leave my models with notes when I can’t be on set. Whether I am styling outfits for each look, compiling mood boards, or teaching hair and makeup for the right finish, I aim to remove as much of the guesswork as possible.
The modeling industry is one giant knot of chance and variable. As a mother agent, you have to become the constant to keep things grounded, because without controlling the input, there is no controlling the output.
Images shot, styled, and edited in house at PRIM.