Polaroids, also known as “digitals,” are a model’s essential tool if you want to work in this industry. Whether you’re a new model who has never done an official photo shoot / a job not a some photos with a friend who want to be e photographer, or a model with years of experience, good Polaroids are a gateway to more jobs. It is a standard industry practice for agencies and casting directors to request Polaroids, now called digitals, and it’s good idea to include these in your Model portfolio.
Agencies and casting directors require Polaroids before booking you for a job– not having them can cost you the job, because they want to see you in the “purest way”, no make up, just as you are.
Agency digitals used to be taken with a Polaroid camera, this is why we still call them like this. These days, “Polaroids” are done with digitals cameras but still keep the old name. It doesn’t make sense to use a real Polaroid camera when you use e-mails to send them, it would be a big waste of your time to scan them.
Polaroids show how you look like. It’s important for photographers and casting directors to know what you look like before the makeup, hair, lighting and Photoshop.
Clients needs Polaroids, and polaroids need to be update constantly because they assume you are going to the casting or the job with the same hair, weight and general appearance as in your Polaroid. This is very important. Polaroids/Digitlas are simply photos that show you in a natural way: with little or no make-up, no sophisticated light, no retouching, no sophisticated outfits. Keep it SIMPLE! You want these photos to showcase your unaltered look and they have to be renewed regularly or after important changes (weight loss/gain, tattoos, pregnancy, hair cuts/color change …)
SOME TIPS TO THE PERFECT POLAROIDS:
The best time to take the photos is during the day. Try to find a white or off-white wall to shoot in front of, preferably in the shade or on an overcast day. Direct sunlight can be too harsh for a quality Polaroid.
Generally it’s good to include a full-body front photo with a relaxed pose, a close up face photo, a three-quarter profile and a full profile shot.
For a fashion shoot, it is usual to wear a pair of shorts, leggings, jeans and a simple and plain bikini, black, white or brown and you will need a full body picture (from the front), full body picture (side), full body picture (back), portrait and profile picture.
For makeup, wear minimal to zero makeup. You can wear a light foundation, lighten up any blemishes, and put on some mascara and lip gloss. People want to see you without makeup on.
Your posing should also be natural. Don’t over-do it. Get some shots smiling if required by your agency or client. You really don’t need anything fancy.
Even if you don’t have an agency, you definitely do need Polaroids! As a freelance model, you’ll always need Polaroids available to send to clients who wants and need to see how you currently look like. They want to see an accurate representation, not photoshopped. Keep it very very simple and natural and be honest! There is no need to tell different sizes or to make some trick to have the job, they will discover it anyway. During productions and photo shoots they don’t like surprises, everything is planned so don’t be the inspected surprise.
You don’t need a profesional photographer to take these photos, but in case you don’t have any friend or agency that can take them for you, the cost of a Polaroid ro video Polaroids should not cost more than 25 Euros, tax included, and it will take 10 minutes maximum. Be sure to have the invoice of the Polaroids so you can deduct it from taxes.