Forums > Newbie Forum > Older Models Starting Now


Shaina Ruchel

Posts: 3

Chicago, Illinois, US

I am trying to break into the older model type jobs and have just started at age 53.  I am only 5'6" and weight about 118 lbs.  There seems to be a lot of photographer who want to shoot me for free and I am doing that now to learn.  How do I take the next step to get paid for work and how do I choose a photgraph for a portfolio?


Oct 04 12 07:11 am Link



Posts: 13051

Atlanta, Georgia, US

I think age goes with markets.  Chicago is a big market for commercial work and there is a need for models of all ages.  Obviously an agency could tell you more.

The problem is by now a agency expects you to already be expierenced.  So you may need to freelance more, build a book, and then try.  Maybe others in your area have better advice.

As for shooting for trade, yes but it's not free and you will continue to do trades and test over your entire career.  It's just a matter of working with the right people at your skill level.

Lastly about selecting images, well the feedback forum is a good place to check if you are not sure.  It can be very harsh but so is modeling.  The images you need are ones that sell you, so clean sharp simple images are good.  Nothing so over styled someone can't see what you look like.  A few of those are not bad but keep them at the end of your book.  Take a look at some of the top agencies in your market and what types of images do they use to sell their models.  Markets are different, a NYC/Chicago/Miami agency will look very different.

Oct 04 12 07:19 am Link


Jerry Nemeth

Posts: 31916

Dearborn, Michigan, US

This model may be helpful.  She is also 53 years old.   MM# 179934

Oct 04 12 07:20 am Link


Tony Lawrence

Posts: 21114

Chicago, Illinois, US

Shaina, you may find paid work from shooters hard to get without doing nudes and based on your profile you don't do them.   The model a member has suggested doesn't live here and does nudes.   A photographer has offered a great suggestion.   Commercial work requires a different kind of image then you display.   Very few on MM do commercial work and those that do charge.   You may be a bit short for commercial but contact    or   to start with.   

Sometimes agencies will want commercial models to come with a book but they may suggest photographers to work with.   A few are on MM.  Again I don't think many people will pay you from MM.   Although you are certainly beautiful.   Good luck.

Oct 04 12 07:32 am Link


Jhono Bashian

Posts: 2464

Cleveland, Ohio, US

Even thou your still beautiful and vibrant your portfolio is weak.  I would say shoot with the TF assignments to bolster your book.  Shoot the genre's that you want to promote.  Your book needs some great images and you can walk the walk to get paid assignments.   Maybe you be represented by an agency and get paid assignments thou you still need some good images to show.  If you have been in this business before you know you can't be thin skinned...  I would shoot with you!!    I have relatives in Evanston so I'm in Chicago a few times a year.  Good Luck and keep smiling.

Oct 04 12 07:33 am Link


JDF Photography

Posts: 1980

Marengo, Ohio, US

Good evening and welcome to the Mayhem. Your look certainly belies your age.

Oct 04 12 07:26 pm Link


Darryl Varner

Posts: 725

San Jacinto, California, US

Jhono Bashian wrote:
Even thou your still beautiful and vibrant your portfolio is weak.  I would say shoot with the TF assignments to bolster your book.

I'd have to agree. In my opinion, what you're showing is a collection of snapshots. It may be to your advantage to contact (good) local photographers - on and off line; explain that you're interested in getting into the business and ask if they'd consider a trade situation. Then, after you've done a few sessions, pick the best shots (I'd recommend using only one image per outfit per location - less is generally more) and start building a good portfolio. If you're trying to attract money, you may come out ahead by asssembling some good quality samples before you "open for business".

Good luck!

Oct 04 12 07:38 pm Link


Shaina Ruchel

Posts: 3

Chicago, Illinois, US

Thanks all for the input.  To be clear, I have just shot with 6 new photographers and the work that is now posted is not a modeling portfolio.  It is just images I had before starting.  Must say I am learning fast and can tell a huge difference in various photographers' work!

Oct 04 12 07:40 pm Link