- 14 Mar 2022
Portfolio Development and Comp Card Fees
Your portfolio is what sells you as a model. A client should be able to flip through your portfolio and see that you have the ability to deliver myriad poses, facial expressions, and that you fit their brand identity. So the biggest part of a model's investment for the year is for their test shoots. Test shoots are shoots conducted as a way to grow and update your portfolio and you will often pay for test shoots 2-3 times a year to refresh your book.
Portfolio development test shoot fees can average between $500-$1,000 per shoot, depending on a number of factors such as the level of the photographer, whether the shoot is in the studio or on-location, whether it is beauty or full body shots, etc.
When discussing fees, make sure you find out whether the rate the photographer is charging includes the makeup artist and stylist as a package deal. For new aspiring models, I generally do not recommend spending more than $700 to start your portfolio.
Once you've updated portfolio images, it's often a good time to create new comp cards with some photo updates. Your agency will often print your comp cards for you and charge directly from your paycheck or you can use a print service to print them yourself. Comp card fees for the year generally do not exceed $100.
It goes without saying that as a model, you are expected to look stylish enough to play the role. But not to worry! That doesn't mean you need to break the bank. However, there will be times when you need to update your wardrobe to include the basics. This type of wardrobe includes skinny black heels, skinny jeans, solid color tank top and fitted T-shirt, white Converse or kids type sneakers, a simple black or brown backpack to toss in your daily stuff for casting, etc.
Unless you push the envelope and turn to a designer, you can usually get your basic everyday wardrobe needs for $500 or less a year for casting and potential bookings.
Basic Studio Equipment
While this next suggestion is not necessary, it is becoming more standard for models and actors to self-tape from home to limit in-person auditions for clients. As a result, it is highly recommended that models make a one-time investment by purchasing a large ring light or softbox light. Softbox lights usually come in sets of two. This allows higher video and photo quality for your updated model to be taken digital, intro video and audition tapes if requested by your agency. A ring light and softbox can be purchased on Amazon for about $80 each.
If you don't have a solid white wall at home where they can do your photos and tapings, you'll also want to buy a basic white drop cloth to use as a background, which you can find for about $40.
While other small ad hoc fees can add up over the year, these are general ones you should expect as part of your journey to building a career as a model. Fees can fluctuate from year to year depending on the agency or agencies you sign on, what updates are needed for your portfolio, and items you've already purchased from your inventory. already crossed. Since some of these fees are not out of pocket and are charged from the amount earned through the agency, the total annual fee to advance your career can usually be handled with proper planning.
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