What Are We Looking For?
First of all, please keep in mind that these are just guidelines. If you have pictures to submit that don’t exactly fit the descriptions below, that’s not a problem. Go ahead and submit what you’ve got.
Ideally, we like to see a selection of at least three or four different images that include at least one each of the following:
- At least one shot with a close-up of your face. This is either a tight face-only shot, or a basic head & shoulders pose.
- A basic full-length or 3/4-length view where you’re facing the camera. This could be casual clothing, swimwear, lingerie, or nude, depending on what sort of modeling you’re comfortable with. Either standing or upright on your knees is best. It should show from the top of your head down to at least just above the knee.
- A basic full-length or 3/4-length view where you’re facing away from the camera. This could be a side view, or a back view where you’re looking back over your shoulder or something like that. This could be casual clothing, swimwear, lingerie, or nude.
- At least one other pose of your choice.
If you don’t already have pictures to submit, but you have access to a digital camera (or digital scans of film images) then you can easily take a few quick shots using the guidelines below. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes in most cases.
How To Take Pictures For Submission
Now here’s a few things you should try to make sure you do:
- Fill the frame with the subject. We want to see the model, not the background.
- Use the whole frame. Don’t put the model’s head in the center of the picture and leave a big blank empty space above it.
- Remember to turn the camera SIDEWAYS when you take a vertical shot, instead of leaving big blank areas on both sides.
- If shooting indoors, use as much light as possible. Turn on every possible room light in front of the model. You may want to remove lampshades. Use your flash.
- If you do your pictures yourself, try to use a camera with a self-timer.
- If you can use a tripod, great, but otherwise try to put the camera on a solid surface.
- Position the camera at chest level or higher. Low angles are a bad idea unless the camera is quite a good distance away.
Next, here’s a list of things you should try to AVOID when you take your pictures for submission. These are all common mistakes that are easily avoided if you’re careful.
- Avoid trying to take the pictures yourself, if possible. Have a friend help out. It will go faster and easier that way. They don’t have have to be a “photographer” to get decent results if you follow these guidelines.
- If possible, avoid using a web camera. Most web cameras are very low-resolution, with lenses that can’t really be focused. Don’t use a web camera unless that’s your only option.
- A cellphone camera may be acceptible. Make sure the lens is clean and avoid shooting indoors in regular room light.
- Avoid trying to get too fancy. Don’t worry if the pictures are not “professional” because we really just want to get a reasonable idea of what you look like.
- Avoid shooting out-of-focus pictures. If you use a digital camera with a self-timer, review the pictures after taking them to make sure that they are focused properly. This is important because some cameras focus when you push the button to start the timer, rather than when the picture is actually taken.
- Avoid shooting against a busy, cluttered background. If shooting indoors, try to find a plain, solid wall without picture frames or windows. (On the other hand, if your only choice is your messy bathroom or living room, go for it!)
- Avoid shooting in direct sunlight if possible. Try to find open shade instead.
- Avoid shooting against a background that is significantly brighter than where the model is located. Otherwise you may end up with the model being a silhouette.
- Except at sunset or sunrise, avoid having the model face directly into the sun. This makes almost EVERYBODY squint and also results in deep, dark shadows. Try shooting in the early morning or late afternoon with the sun behind the model.
Keep in mind that we’re not looking for perfection here. If you have a picture you really like, don’t be too hung up worrying about whether or not if follows these guidelines. Just submit it anyway.