Commercial Model Portfolio for Rhoda

The model portfolio is one of the categories of photography that ArtChick LLC @ Church Street Studios is best know for. Looking back over 25 + years in the photography business, Joe Chielli and I have shot portfolios for top models from every major Philadelphia model agency.

The model portfolio is typically quite enjoyable to shoot. Both the model and the photographer have a great time. Model portfolios give the model a chance to experiment with poses, outfits, and makeup looks. They also allow the photographer artistic freedom to explore whatever seems appropriate and interesting in the realm of image creation.

It is the photographer’s responsibility to guide the session by wardrobe suggestions and with choices of location and lighting scenarios. The model cooperates by working expressively to bring alive the fashion statement or commercial concept in the selected location, and to try to understand and cooperate with the photographer’s vision.

There are basically two types of model portfolios. Fashion model portfolios are for models that have a “fashion look”. This generally means that they are young, attractive, slender, and taller than average. Fashion models tend to be booked to sell trendy clothes that require the provocation of unusual beauty and sexual energy to entice the buyer.

Commercial model portfolios are for models that have a “commercial look”. This generally means that they can be of any age, height, or build. Commercial models are booked to sell everything imaginable, and often are chosen because they look like the targeted consumer who is resumable a “real person” and who’s looks are for the most part average, and not especially noteworthy. Commercial models may also be chosen because they have an interesting or unusual appearance that attracts attention, but for reasons other than exceptional beauty and/or sexual allure.

A good model portfolio photographer should be clear about whether the person they are about to photograph would be best to image as a fashion model or a commercial model. That decision should be arrived at by considering their booking possibilities. The best Philadelphia Model Portfolio photographers are not only going to bring a high level of creativity and technical competence to the photo session, but also an understanding of the talent booking industry in Philadelphia.

Most of the model bookings in Philadelphia are commercial in nature rather than fashion. The credible model agencies in Philadelphia are constantly looking for good commercial models, and photographers who know how to photograph them in order to demonstrate their commercial booking potential; looks such as life style images, business looks, fitness, medical, parental etc. allow the clients to better appreciate a model’s commercial possibilities.

So how come so many model portfolios in Philly are loaded with half-naked young men and women striking sexually daring poses and expressions…the women’s eyes challenging any man to try and satisfy them…the men’s grimace, tough and aggressive, signaling that they are up to the most demanding sexual challenge with bulletproof invulnerability?

What’s going on? First, it should be obvious that the vast majority of “photographers” shooting model portfolios are having fun as “image creators” with their new digital gear rather than seriously trying to make a living as a professional photographer.

Second, it should also be clear that sex energy is quite stimulating as a force to drive creative tendencies, and most newbie/ wannabe photographers, both men and women, are quite under the influence of this “procreant urge of the world” as Walt Whitman put it.

Third, it is much easier to capture attention as a “hot”, “new” photographer with a fashion-esque photo of a sexualized model in lingerie, than with a commercial photo of a soccer mom type, clutching a bag of groceries as she climbs into her BMW.

Thus, in far too many Philadelphia model portfolio shoots, off come the clothes, and here we go with the shadowy lighting and the daring expressions and poses… perhaps you can understand part of the reason why we have such an abundance of model portfolios that are titillating but largely useless for booking purposes.

But all this actually opens the door to another dimension of model portfolio photography…a dimension that is far more personal and psychological rather than commercial and business oriented. In the next
segment Model Portfolio – 2 – “Personal Image & Rite of Passage” the ArtChick @ Church Street Studios Team will offer its thoughts on the personal / psychological dimension of Model Portfolios.