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Model Headshots: Creating Images That’ll Get You Hired

If you are a model looking to get the best possible headshots, you have come to the right place! In this blog post, I will show you the tips and tricks I use with my clients so that you can make the most of your model headshots.

As a model, your headshot is often the first thing that potential clients and agencies see, which is why it’s crucial to get it right. You want to make a good first impression and showcase your unique features and skills in front of the camera. With the right preparation (and knowing your angles), it’s not that hard to get headshots that make you stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of landing modeling jobs.

In this post, I will share insights on what you need to know to get the best possible modeling headshots so you can book more jobs. Fortunately, none of this stuff is very hard so long as you stick to an easy to follow plan that I’m going to lay out for you in this post. So with that said, let’s dive in! 

First Get Inspired

To begin, it’s important  to first do your homework in preparation for your modeling headshots. To get the most out of your photoshoot, I recommend doing some research to first figure out what modeling agencies and brands you’d like to work with. Once you have a list of the brands and agencies you’d like to work with, you can then use the following method to build a targeted portfolio that resonates with your intended audience!

  1. Start by creating a list of brands you want to work with. This could be anything from high-end fashion brands to sports companies.
  2. Once you have your list, visit their websites and social media accounts to gather inspiration for the type of images they display in their marketing materials. Pay attention to the poses, expressions, clothing, and lighting used in the images.
  3. Based on the inspiration you’ve gathered, create a mission statement that reflects the type of images you want to create for each brand. For example, if you’re interested in working with a sportswear brand, your mission statement might be “I want to create images that showcase athleticism, strength, and confidence.”
  4. With your mission statement in mind, start creating your look book. This can be a physical or digital book that showcases your modeling skills, featuring images that align with your mission statement. Make sure to include a variety of poses, expressions, and styles that demonstrate your versatility as a model.
  5. As you create your look book, keep in mind the preferences of the brands you want to work with. Make sure the images align with their marketing materials and show how you can fit into their brand’s image.
model headshots

Note that if you want to maximize your chances of landing modeling jobs, I recommend getting two headshots. The first headshot should be a well-lit photo of you with a bare face (most agencies will want this when you apply to them). The second headshot should be stylized to target the brands you want to work with, reflecting your mission statement. By having two headshots, you can appeal both to talent agencies and directly to brands to increase your odds of getting hired.

Planning your Wardrobe

When it comes to creating quality model headshots, planning and styling your wardrobe can make all the difference in capturing the right images for your portfolio. Choosing the right clothing is crucial to showcase your features and align with the style of the brands you want to work with. Here are some tips on selecting clothing that compliments your features and reflects the style of your target brands:

  1. Choose clothing that fits well and accentuates your best features. Clothing that is too loose or too tight can be distracting in the final images, so it’s important to choose clothing that fits well. Opt for an outfit that highlights your best assets and draws attention to your unique features.
  2. Consider the style of the brands you want to work with and choose clothing that aligns with their aesthetic. By choosing clothing that reflects the style of your target brands, you can demonstrate that you understand these brands style and increase your chances of landing jobs. Look at the brands’ marketing materials to get a sense of their style, and buy their  clothes for your photoshoots or clothing of a similar style from their competitors.
  3. Always color coordinate your outfits so they look good together and accentuate your features. This will help you create a cohesive look that is visually pleasing and draws attention to your unique features in a flattering way.

Remember, your headshot is an essential part of your modeling portfolio and the first thing brands and agencies will see when they interact with you online. Dressing in their style will help them subconsciously think you’re perfect for the job, when in reality it was a planned operation all along. With the right wardrobe choices, you can create modeling headshots that showcase your unique features and style, and stand out in the industry.

Preparing Your Appearance For Your Model Headshots

model headshots

Planning and preparing your appearance for your modeling headshots is crucial when ensuring you look your best in front of the camera. While makeup and hairstyling are essential components, there are other aspects to consider, such as your haircut, hair color, and teeth whitening that can have a significant impact on the quality of your final photos.

Most of my clients start their photoshoot with a headshot without makeup, as this is the standard requirement for most modeling agencies. Once the bare faced agency headshot is captured, my makeup artist then steps in to create a look that enhances your features. We then capture another headshot with makeup that is perfect for use in your promotional materials, such as your model zed card. This headshot with makeup is then used to connect with brands directly on your model zed card, instagram, your website, etc.

While makeup is an important aspect of your appearance, it’s not the only one. It’s essential to put your best foot forward and prepare other parts of your appearance that will make a big difference. Getting your hair cut and colored and teeth whitened for instance can also have a significant impact on your final photos. Additionally, grooming your facial hair (guys), eyebrows, and eyelashes (women) are also essential aspects to consider. Remember that to get the best results possible, your appearance will need to be on point in camera before the images are ever brought into photoshop. 

Getting your appearance looking as good as possible in camera is the secret to getting the best modeling headshots possible. Therefore it’s important to plan out your personal care appointments leading up to your photoshoot for best results. You can use my  headshot session checklist here to help you make sure you don’t miss anything in anticipation of your photoshoot.

Finding a Photographer That Will Create The Model Headshots You Need

Choosing the right photographer for your modeling headshots is crucial to capturing images that help you connect with the brands you want to work with. Resist the urge to build a Pinterest board and ask a photographer to recreate a bunch of other people’s work. Instead you’ll want to find a photographer whose work look like the images you need for your zed card and other promotional materials. Here are some tips on how to find the right photographer for your modeling headshots:

First, do your research and choose a reputable photographer. You can start by reading reviews online and checking their portfolio to get a sense of their style and level of skill. Look for a photographer who has experience working with models and can create images that showcase your unique features and personality.

Another good trick is to look at the approved photographer list on the agency websites you want to work with. Working with these photographers will make your application more likely to be accepted since their images are the ones already being used on the agency’s website. These photographers have a proven track record of creating images that agencies love, so it’s worth considering working with them.

Once you’ve found a few photographers you like, take the time to meet with them in person or via phone or video call. Discuss your goals and vision for your modeling headshots and see if their approach aligns with yours. This will help you choose the photographer with a personality  you mesh well with. This is important because if you can’t stand the personality of the photographer, it will likely be difficult to collaborate with them to create good images.

Hire Me For Your Model Headshots

If you’re a model looking to create headshots that help you stand out from the crowd and land the jobs you want, I’m here to help. As a professional photographer, I specialize in creating images that showcase your unique features and personality, and help you connect with the brands you want to work with.

Whether you need images for your model zed card, model comp card, model look book, website, or social feeds, I have the skills and experience to create stunning images that make you stand out in the industry. I understand the importance of creating images that reflect your personal brand and style, and I work closely with you to ensure that the final images are everything you need and more.

If you’re ready to take your modeling career to the next level and create headshots that get you noticed, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I would love to chat with you about your goals and vision for your modeling headshots and see if I’m the right fit to help you bring your vision to life.

Together, we can create images that capture your unique essence and help you book more jobs with the brands you want to work with. So, what are you waiting for? Contact me today and let’s create some amazing images together!

Jason Guy

I am a portrait photographer based out of Sonoma, California. I create portraits for people of all ages with the goal of making images that are timeless. Portraits you will look back on decades from now, and still love them just as much then as you do today. While flattering lighting and pose are important, capturing how others see you is what I ultimately strive for.

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