Forums > Critique > Models: How have you branded yourself?

Model

Eleanor Rose

Posts: 2612

PASO ROBLES, California, US

Candie W wrote:
Feedback is important.  I haven't found my niche yet so I am open to all feedback.

Thank you in advance!!!

Hi Candie!

Bio: You seem newer than you are and clearly don't know what you want to focus on yet. I'm left unclear what you mean by soldier, since you then clarify that you have a full time job. Ultimately, I'm mostly just unsure what you do or what to expect of your portfolio after reading your bio. I'd really love to see you overhaul the bio to follow the format I shared in my presentation at the MM event last November: http://bit.ly/2j4txtc (I start talking about bios at 9:33). Overall, I peg you as a hobbyist trying to go pro, but would expect you to mainly receive tf offers.

Portfolio: First off, I want to say that you have a fantastic facial structure! Your portfolio is a little better than I'd expect from your bio, but it could be made much stronger by cutting out the weakest 4-6 images. I'd start with these two:
https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/140606/13/53921e592b6a3_m.jpg
This is a beautiful image but your hair appears to have changed since then and that really threw me off while looking at your portfolio.

https://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/34816704 - This image doesn't flatter you at all and really hurts your portfolio. It's also going to make people assume you do the eye candy and lingerie type images that your bio says you aren't shooting right now.

Conversely, these are your strongest:
https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/140411/15/53487111c4ee3_m.jpg
Though the image quality is low, making it grainy when viewed as anything larger than a thumbnail, this shot shows that you really shine in pinup images.

https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/160626/16/57706a931939d_m.jpg
This image hints at tons of potential for both pinup and alternative styles.

https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/161103/17/581bd600e77ab_m.jpg
And this is just A+ - it shows versatility, ability to pull of conceptual imagery, and a great badass attitude that can be difficult for some models to accomplish.

I think you could create a great portfolio by focusing on the pinup and dark/alternative conceptual work. I'd also be curious to see you expand your portfolio with some beauty, commercial, lifestyle, and/or fitness work, since I think you could shine at those too. Right now you really have the freedom to choose which direction to go, and I see a lot of potential in your portfolio. Just keep trading to improve your port and remember to focus on quality over quantity! smile

Jan 20 17 05:43 pm Link

Model

Candie W

Posts: 15

Washington, District of Columbia, US

Thank you for your advice.  I made some quick changes and I will make more later.

I thank you for your time!!!

Jan 20 17 06:30 pm Link

Model

Joannee

Posts: 96

Freehold, New Jersey, US

thank you so much . After hearing your review , yes , I  look back and seem so green .  I  will definitely change  , update and take your critique and use it.   your help is greatly appreciated. xo

Jan 21 17 04:43 pm Link

Model

Miss Pennsylvania 2017

Posts: 5

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US

Please tell me what you think! -xo

Jan 21 17 06:30 pm Link

Photographer

Mark

Posts: 2978

New York, New York, US

Although you do have some good input, I do think it's odd that you concentrate a lot on the bio section of a model's port as when it comes to "branding" that is the least important facet.  These are models not authors, public speakers, etc . This section is rather unimportant - the photos are what brands a model. A distinct, rather specific look in a portfolio is what makes a brand for a model.  Such as ..All American girl next door, edgy teen, vixen-1940's bombshell, androgynous something or other. 

It's an interesting topic..photographers do the same.

The best description I heard a professional photographer branding expert explain this concept was of  Bruce Webber.:  Heroic , All American sexualized youth. Of course he shoots non youths but most often his other subjects take on a similar "feel".

Jan 21 17 07:24 pm Link

Model

JessiLou

Posts: 3

Houston, Texas, US

If you have time, I would greatly appreciate a critique! Thank you for offering your time and experience in this way smile

Jan 22 17 08:24 am Link

Model

Eleanor Rose

Posts: 2612

PASO ROBLES, California, US

Jessicamayfitness wrote:
I would really appreciate your feedback!

Hi Jessica! It's clear that you're an experienced fitness model well worth hiring. However, there are several elements that weaken your brand. You seem a little scattered between genres, both as I read your bio and as I view your portfolio.

I'd love to see you create a more polished, professional bio focusing on your work as a fitness and glamour model. You can certainly carry off a wide range of genres, but you should focus on only one or two for your branding. You'll most likely still get just as many bookings for the rest, and it will make you look more professional. (It may help to also review the bio advice I gave other models.)

As for your portfolio, you have some truly excellent work. Your portfolio would best be served by trimming it, however. You have multiple images from several sets, and that detracts from the overall effect.  And there are some images that aren't up to par with the rest. I think you'll find that your portfolio will become significantly stronger if you pare it down significantly - I'm actually thinking somewhere around 30 images. Most of your images are great, but having so many from the same sets that look so visually similar is distracting and unfortunately detracts from the overall quality of your portfolio. (A nitpick: Your tear sheets currently look unprofessional, so you' might want to crop out the black bits if you'd like to keep them.)

Overall you have a clear brand as a skilled and versatile fitness model specializing in glamour work. Keep building that and you'll do great!

Feb 22 17 03:18 pm Link

Model

Eleanor Rose

Posts: 2612

PASO ROBLES, California, US

Alice Spiegel wrote:
This sounds amazingly interesting! Your thoughtful critique looks totally helpful, would be glad to get some as well!

Hi Alice. smile I am blown away by how versatile you are!

Bio:
Your bio reads a little too formal. It's well written for a typical website bio, but I've found that on MM potential clients expect a slightly different structure. Your name, age, and location are easily available from the info on your page, so those first two lines aren't necessary. As for your line about acting, are you also an actress? If so, you'll want to say that clearly.

The rest of your bio info is good. The sentences seem a little awkward, but I'm assuming that's due to the language so you have a pass there. I would, however, like to see more info added on your availability and compensation expectations.

Portfolio:
You have some really wonderful work, but your portfolio feels very scattered. You have several rows of dark images, then suddenly a few rows of bright colors. I would work to rearrange your portfolio in a way that makes it more aesthetically appealing and cohesive. The image qualities vary as well, so it may be time to remove a few of the older images that aren't quite up to par at this point.

Overall, while I would say you definitely appear professional and versatile, you don't seem to have a clear brand. My biggest piece of advice is that you change your avatar - just based on seeing it when I got to you in this thread I expected a much lower skill level than is shown in your portfolio.

I hope this helps! smile Feel free to come back and ask for another critique if you make some changes.

Feb 22 17 03:31 pm Link

Model

Eleanor Rose

Posts: 2612

PASO ROBLES, California, US

David L wrote:
It would be a pleasure if you could look at my home page and portfolio and give me a professional critique. And please don't hold back any punches.  Thank you.

Hi David. smile I finally made it to you! I'm really thrilled to see yet another dedicated male model breaking the mold of what we usually expect from male models.

Bio:
Your bio doesn't really follow the rules I recommend, but it's (mostly) effective. I love your opening - you acknowledge your shortcomings in a way that makes them a strength rather than a weakness. I would remove your second paragraph, however. Though it's a nice bit of inspiration, it feels more like something for social media than a modeling bio. You really want to address potential clients and collaborators in your bio.

I would move your "rules" above the photos - most people don't scroll down past photos, especially if there are more than one. And I'd love to see information about whether or not someone should be expecting to pay you and how often you're available.

Portfolio:
While you got away with breaking my rules in the bio, you don't in your portfolio. The wall of folders is a turn off. Either minimize them or get rid of them completely - you don't need a separate folder for each set you've shot. You should be picking one or two favorites from each set and merging them together into a portfolio, not a collection of sets.

Much of your work is amazing. I particularly love the double exposures and the fruit. You have some stage photos and some clothed images that I don't think belong in your portfolio - they don't show your skill as a model or add to your portfolio at all. And the photos with the guitar are very repetitive - again, pick one to showcase and share the rest elsewhere. smile

Overall, you come across as a talented and experienced art model. I get the impression that you do live posing much more than photographic work, but you seem to be getting more comfortable in front of the camera. If I was looking for a male model you would be high on my list due to your professionalism and how seriously you clearly take this craft.

Feb 22 17 03:44 pm Link

Model

Eleanor Rose

Posts: 2612

PASO ROBLES, California, US

Meghan Congdon wrote:
I'd love to hear your opinion and thoughts. smile

Hi Meghan!

Bio:
Your bio leaves me unsure of whether this is a job or a hobby. I wouldn't know whether to expect trade or paid work from you. You're clearly experienced, and you do a great job conveying your bubbly personality while remaining professional and on topic, but I'd like some info on booking you: at least your availability and compensation expectations.

Portfolio:
Your portfolio tells me that you're still working on finding your niche as a model. You have a lot of lovely images in a variety of genres. I could see you doing well at pretty much anything, but it looks like lifestyle and commercial work might be where you're headed. I'd love to see you pare out some of the weaker work in your portfolio - going down to even 12 images will make your portfolio much stronger. Basically, take out your 3 weakest images, starting with these two:

https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/170104/09/586d3112a647c_m.jpg
This one looks nice, but does nothing for you as a model. It really doesn't help your portfolio: your face is hidden and the outfit is too baggy to showcase your figure.

https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/161212/12/584f02b2521c7_m.jpg
You just look bored here. There are other images that show your face and help you more.

In terms of the good:

https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/170105/10/586e90cc3666c_m.jpg
This is gorgeous and expands your potential to glamour and possibly even nude/art work. However, if you don't want to get requests for that sort of work you'll need to remove it from your portfolio.

https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/170104/09/586d2fbd78415_m.jpg
I'm not thrilled about the shadow on your face, but this is an excellent image to showcase your ability to pull off commercial concepts.

https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/141005/11/54319032e5c05_m.jpg
This image made me think you'll do great lifestyle work.

Overall:
I'm left thinking that you're a very talented newbie - probably doing this for about a year so far as a hobby, mostly trade. You have the potential to do this as a career if you wanted, and despite my lack of agency knowledge I would lean towards saying that you could probably get signed as a commercial and/or lifestyle model if you wanted to (and aren't already).

My Advice:
Continue working to improve your portfolio, and remember to keep replacing images. Old favorites will be replaced by new: if you get to a point where you're replacing the three I just said are my favorites right now that means you're doing things right.

I'd like to see you flesh out your bio without losing the bubbly voice it currently has. If you want to start getting more paid work you'll need to change a lot of the wording to set yourself up for paid work rather than trade. I recommend reading through my bio advice to other models in this thread, and feel free to message me if you have questions. smile

I hope this helps!

Feb 22 17 06:13 pm Link

Model

Eleanor Rose

Posts: 2612

PASO ROBLES, California, US

NicoleNudes wrote:
Thank you pretty lady! <3

It did help smile
It's hard to figure out what other people think about your brand unless you ask them (and I'm bad at asking people lol). It's also interesting to know what stands out to other people too.

Yay! I'm glad I helped. smile

Feb 22 17 06:15 pm Link

Model

Eleanor Rose

Posts: 2612

PASO ROBLES, California, US

Cynthia Serrano  wrote:
hienvy

Hi Cynthia! There are multiple things making me think you're an experienced and talented model, but neither your bio or portfolio convey that as clearly as I'd really like. So this is probably going to be mostly tough love.

Bio:
Your bio confuses me. You state that you're mainly seeking paid work, but your bio and avatar scream amateur. You start out with a birth announcement nearly three years old, and while your little girl is adorable, that doesn't belong in your bio. You also have a long wall of mostly non-necessary information before you get to the bulk of what potential clients will want to know. If you choose to keep the info about your baby, your other profiles, and the model mentor stuff in your bio, I recommend moving it to the bottom so that potential clients can find the information they need quickly.

The section about paid vs trade work could be worded better if you want to start receiving more paid offers than trade. Right now anyone wanting to trade with you will just come up with a weird idea and pitch it, assuming that you care more about that than the quality of their images. Try just stating that you do limited trade and then discuss concepts with people whose work you like.

Portfolio:
You very clearly have two phases in your portfolio. I'm guessing the short hair is pre-baby, and the long hair post? As it is, I wouldn't know which hairstyle is your current one if I hadn't caught it hidden it your bio. You also have a wide variety in the quality of your images - I think you'd be well served by cutting back to about 16 images, 20 at the most, then setting up trade with some awesome photographers and slowly working up the quality of your portfolio, as well as slowly replacing all the older images with your current look.

Overall:
Right now I would guess that you're a passionate hobbyist mostly shooting trade. Based on your verified credits I'm guessing that you're a lot more talented as a model than your portfolio currently shows, so I'd love to see you really working to improve your portfolio in the coming months.

I hope this helps! Please feel free to post in here again if you make some changes and want to find out what I think of them. smile

Feb 22 17 06:29 pm Link

Model

Eleanor Rose

Posts: 2612

PASO ROBLES, California, US

ASmallWoman wrote:
Oooooooh, I'm interested!
Feel free to take your time - looks like you got quite a few responses here.

*quiet screaming* I sort of love you, actually. You're like a tiny little bundle of magic nude arty goodness. I'll try to give you something that helps. tongue

Bio:
....I did not expect it to be perfect. Holy shit. I hadn't read your bio before but it's, like, exactly what I teach in the ebook I'm writing right now. A+

Portfolio:
My biggest complaint is that your portfolio has a pet peeve of mine - it's fully sorted into folders which means that I have to press view all to see anything but the folder headers, and then what I do see is all sorted. I personally prefer portfolios that are well mixed aesthetically in a way that shows versatility while remaining balanced, so the folder system is sort of my nemesis. (I would not mind it as much if we could arrange how the images looked when someone presses "view all"...)

Outside of that, you have a stunning range and your images are lovely.

Overall:
....I really thought I could find something....

You're branded pretty damn solidly as an incredibly versatile pro. I guess perhaps you could have a bit more obvious branding for the genres you prefer, but I am feeling a lean towards moody intimate portraiture and outdoor figure work. It's subtle, but it's there, so I don't know that you really need to amp that up unless you feel a desire to rebrand or focus more on something in particular.

Really, my biggest thing is that I'd personally prefer you to rearrange your portfolio, but if you like the current setup then keep it.

My Advice:
Please make time to meet me when you're in the Bay in September?

Feb 22 17 06:50 pm Link

Model

Eleanor Rose

Posts: 2612

PASO ROBLES, California, US

Candie W wrote:
Thank you for your advice.  I made some quick changes and I will make more later.

I thank you for your time!!!

Joannee wrote:
thank you so much . After hearing your review , yes , I  look back and seem so green .  I  will definitely change  , update and take your critique and use it.   your help is greatly appreciated. xo

I'm so glad I could help you both! Please feel free to post again if you'd like me to review the changes you make. smile

Feb 22 17 06:52 pm Link

Model

Liv Sage

Posts: 431

Seattle, Washington, US

Eleanor Rose wrote:
*quiet screaming* I sort of love you, actually. You're like a tiny little bundle of magic nude arty goodness. I'll try to give you something that helps. tongue

Bio:
....I did not expect it to be perfect. Holy shit. I hadn't read your bio before but it's, like, exactly what I teach in the ebook I'm writing right now. A+

Portfolio:
My biggest complaint is that your portfolio has a pet peeve of mine - it's fully sorted into folders which means that I have to press view all to see anything but the folder headers, and then what I do see is all sorted. I personally prefer portfolios that are well mixed aesthetically in a way that shows versatility while remaining balanced, so the folder system is sort of my nemesis. (I would not mind it as much if we could arrange how the images looked when someone presses "view all"...)

Outside of that, you have a stunning range and your images are lovely.

Overall:
....I really thought I could find something....

You're branded pretty damn solidly as an incredibly versatile pro. I guess perhaps you could have a bit more obvious branding for the genres you prefer, but I am feeling a lean towards moody intimate portraiture and outdoor figure work. It's subtle, but it's there, so I don't know that you really need to amp that up unless you feel a desire to rebrand or focus more on something in particular.

Really, my biggest thing is that I'd personally prefer you to rearrange your portfolio, but if you like the current setup then keep it.

My Advice:
Please make time to meet me when you're in the Bay in September?

I know! The folders are so annoying! I'm always hoping people are going to go to my instagram and look there...but that is probably wishful thinking on my part. I used to have them unsorted and was like, I can't figure out what is going on! And my former-archivist brain was freaking out, so I use the folders for myself mostly.

And you were right about the genres I prefer - intimate portraiture and artistic nude work (typically done outdoors). I only list art as one of my genres in the sidebar, and I hope that helps narrow it down...though the category is really broad so it might not. I lean more towards intimate portraiture, so I try to add a good deal of that and focus on that work on my social media accounts. Thank you for the review!! You are arty goodness as well and one of the first professional nude models I'd seen when I started doing this.

And yes - I'll be in the Bay in September. I'm not super-solidified on travel plans yet, but I would absolutely love to meet you!!!!

Feb 22 17 07:48 pm Link

Model

Luna Diosa

Posts: 13242

Elizabeth, New Jersey, US

Eleanor Rose wrote:
Hi Cynthia! There are multiple things making me think you're an experienced and talented model, but neither your bio or portfolio convey that as clearly as I'd really like. So this is probably going to be mostly tough love.

Bio:
Your bio confuses me. You state that you're mainly seeking paid work, but your bio and avatar scream amateur. You start out with a birth announcement nearly three years old, and while your little girl is adorable, that doesn't belong in your bio. You also have a long wall of mostly non-necessary information before you get to the bulk of what potential clients will want to know. If you choose to keep the info about your baby, your other profiles, and the model mentor stuff in your bio, I recommend moving it to the bottom so that potential clients can find the information they need quickly.

The section about paid vs trade work could be worded better if you want to start receiving more paid offers than trade. Right now anyone wanting to trade with you will just come up with a weird idea and pitch it, assuming that you care more about that than the quality of their images. Try just stating that you do limited trade and then discuss concepts with people whose work you like.

Portfolio:
You very clearly have two phases in your portfolio. I'm guessing the short hair is pre-baby, and the long hair post? As it is, I wouldn't know which hairstyle is your current one if I hadn't caught it hidden it your bio. You also have a wide variety in the quality of your images - I think you'd be well served by cutting back to about 16 images, 20 at the most, then setting up trade with some awesome photographers and slowly working up the quality of your portfolio, as well as slowly replacing all the older images with your current look.

Overall:
Right now I would guess that you're a passionate hobbyist mostly shooting trade. Based on your verified credits I'm guessing that you're a lot more talented as a model than your portfolio currently shows, so I'd love to see you really working to improve your portfolio in the coming months.

I hope this helps! Please feel free to post in here again if you make some changes and want to find out what I think of them. smile

Thanks for your critique. It's funny you say my avi pic screams amateur but that was from a paid shoot and the photographers loved my emotion and energy. I also have gotten more work because of it! I have a lot of old photos I still love and I put my baby info at top because I took a 2 yr  break from modeling and that was the reason. I have cutback a lot of images since I started shooting again maybe my genre is different from the norm but I love what I do and I love my images. No hard feelings though lol smile

Feb 23 17 02:08 am Link

Photographer

FFantastique

Posts: 2535

Orlando, Florida, US

"Models: How have you branded yourself?"

I've noticed that a lot of them have branded with tattoos! ;-)

Feb 23 17 10:11 am Link

Model

David L

Posts: 104

Macon, Georgia, US

Eleanor Rose wrote:
Hi David. smile I finally made it to you! I'm really thrilled to see yet another dedicated male model breaking the mold of what we usually expect from male models.

Thank you so much for the wonderfully constructive critique.  It all makes sense to me, especially concerning my portfolio.  I look now and see that I had been using it as a personal pat on the back of my self perceived diversity of work rather than viewing the portfolio as a marketing tool to gain opportunity.   The first way of thinking turns the port into an over exposed and cluttered extravaganza of David, where no one can really focus on the important quality images.  I paired it down quite a bit and am sure that I will revisit the port in a few weeks and edit even more. 

And thanks for the thoughts on my bio.  I did do a bit of editing, just to clean it up a bit.  I think it flows much nicer now.

Now the marketing work begins......

David

Feb 24 17 09:24 am Link

Model

Eleanor Rose

Posts: 2612

PASO ROBLES, California, US

Mark wrote:
Although you do have some good input, I do think it's odd that you concentrate a lot on the bio section of a model's port as when it comes to "branding" that is the least important facet.  These are models not authors, public speakers, etc . This section is rather unimportant - the photos are what brands a model. A distinct, rather specific look in a portfolio is what makes a brand for a model.  Such as ..All American girl next door, edgy teen, vixen-1940's bombshell, androgynous something or other. 

It's an interesting topic..photographers do the same.

The best description I heard a professional photographer branding expert explain this concept was of  Bruce Webber.:  Heroic , All American sexualized youth. Of course he shoots non youths but most often his other subjects take on a similar "feel".

Hi Mark. I'm glad you posted this.

While yours is a common viewpoint, I've found that the opposite is in fact true. Though many photographers state that they don't care about bios, that text is in fact an enormous factor in how many and what kind of booking inquiries we models get. Have you ever read Blink? It's the same sort of principles at work. It may be more conscious for some photographers than others, but as freelance models (I'm sure it's different for agency models) we are always going to be judged by our bios, often before our portfolios are even viewed.

How professional do we come across? Does our language raise red flags? Do we seem like a diva? Do we make ridiculous demands? How easy is it for you to find the information you're looking for? Are we rambling about personal issues that have nothing to do with our modeling careers? Do we have travel plans from three years ago still sitting at the top of our bio? Is it clear whether we're here for paid or trade work? Photographers do care about and do look for the answers to these questions in our bios, and it is a huge factor in whether or not we're offered the gig.

For models who are struggling with receiving too many offers that don't interest them, there's often something in their bio text that is leading photographers to assume they might be interested in such an offer. Finding and changing that section will make a huge difference in their career. Similarly, models who want to rebrand will find that changing one or two sentences of their bio text can make the process much, much easier.

Even for a model with a clearly defined visual brand, there are important aspects to their overall brand outside their portfolio. We can choose whether we want to brand ourselves as exclusive or accessible, as fun and entertaining to work with or matter of fact and completely focused on the work. We can choose whether we want to specialize in working with big projects with full teams, with individual photographers, with students... These choices will influence who is approaching us and what our gigs are like, whether we're aware of it or not.

Look at successful freelance models such as Mosh, Vaunt, and Theresa Manchester. They each have a distinct visual brand that is enhanced by the rest of their online presence and informed by the language they use to describe themselves. The images tell you what to expect your camera to capture. The bio tells you what to expect the shooting experience to be like. Each is equally important.

I chose this particular topic to offer critiques on precisely because, as I stated, it is not typically offered. Everyone and their mother offers portfolio critiques - models need people to tell them what their bio conveys and where the weak spots are.  So yes, I spend a lot of time helping to offer models balance and meet an unmet need that will greatly benefit their careers. I'm going to continue to do so, in my critiques, teleseminars, and in the ebook I'm writing on the topic right now (Now available here for free!), until this information is widespread and every model has access to the information I wish I had when I started.

Thank you for giving me a chance to explain this in greater detail! smile I'll probably link to this reply in my OP so anyone else with this question can access the answer.

Feb 26 17 03:00 pm Link

Model

Eleanor Rose

Posts: 2612

PASO ROBLES, California, US

JessiLouHoo wrote:
If you have time, I would greatly appreciate a critique! Thank you for offering your time and experience in this way smile

Hi Jessi! Thanks so much for your sweet comment. I really enjoy offering these critiques. smile

Bio:
This is good. It covers most of the bases pretty well. I have no clue what type of work to expect from your portfolio, but I have some good info. I would move your publications down to your credit notes section and reorganize your bio into easy to read sections though. smile

Portfolio:
You really back up those multiple publications in this portfolio! Awesome tearsheets! You seem to be branded for ethereal fantasy, and pull off both dark and light fantasy very well. Your bottom two rows feel stronger than the top two, so I think some rearranging is in order.

I would like to see more variety in photographers, too- while it's good to have a portfolio that follows a certain style, yours has is a bit too many images that are all the same style, which makes me wonder how many photographers you've actually worked with.

And I'm going to note that these two are clearly your weakest and your portfolio would be stronger without them:

https://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/41312764
It's an awesome cover, but it doesn't show you or your skills as a model at all.

https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/160609/07/57597e758bf41_m.jpg
It's lovely, but the pose feels a bit awkward and the rest of your portfolio is much better.

Overall:
I'm getting the feeling that you're still either relatively new or a hobbyist doing this part time and have been lucky enough to form working relationships with some good photographers and get published early on. You're very emotive and clearly have talent, but your full body posing still seems a bit stiff based on the images I'm seeing here. I'd love to see you continue to expand and improve your portfolio.

My Advice:
For now, cutting your portfolio back to 12 and making your bio more easily readable will be a great start. Moving forward, keep shooting and expanding. I'm excited to see your portfolio grow!

Mar 01 17 06:33 pm Link

Model

Eleanor Rose

Posts: 2612

PASO ROBLES, California, US

ASmallWoman wrote:
I know! The folders are so annoying! I'm always hoping people are going to go to my instagram and look there...but that is probably wishful thinking on my part. I used to have them unsorted and was like, I can't figure out what is going on! And my former-archivist brain was freaking out, so I use the folders for myself mostly.

And you were right about the genres I prefer - intimate portraiture and artistic nude work (typically done outdoors). I only list art as one of my genres in the sidebar, and I hope that helps narrow it down...though the category is really broad so it might not. I lean more towards intimate portraiture, so I try to add a good deal of that and focus on that work on my social media accounts. Thank you for the review!! You are arty goodness as well and one of the first professional nude models I'd seen when I started doing this.

And yes - I'll be in the Bay in September. I'm not super-solidified on travel plans yet, but I would absolutely love to meet you!!!!

Hoping people will go to IG is probably a counterproductive way to do things. hmm You have to assume they're just going to stay on MM, and that's actually preferable - each extra step they have to take lowers our likelihood of getting hired. You want them to browse your MM profile and hit that message tab!

Anyway, the folder thing is annoying on a personal level but likely not too big a deal given how solid everything else is. <3

I look forward to meeting you! big_smile

Mar 01 17 06:38 pm Link

Model

Eleanor Rose

Posts: 2612

PASO ROBLES, California, US

Cynthia Serrano  wrote:
Thanks for your critique. It's funny you say my avi pic screams amateur but that was from a paid shoot and the photographers loved my emotion and energy. I also have gotten more work because of it! I have a lot of old photos I still love and I put my baby info at top because I took a 2 yr  break from modeling and that was the reason. I have cutback a lot of images since I started shooting again maybe my genre is different from the norm but I love what I do and I love my images. No hard feelings though lol smile

If you're getting more paid work because of it that's awesome! It's likely you may be in a genre/have a client base that I don't understand completely. smile Definitely take my critique with a grain of salt and go with what works for you!

Mar 01 17 06:39 pm Link

Model

Eleanor Rose

Posts: 2612

PASO ROBLES, California, US

David L wrote:
Thank you so much for the wonderfully constructive critique.  It all makes sense to me, especially concerning my portfolio.  I look now and see that I had been using it as a personal pat on the back of my self perceived diversity of work rather than viewing the portfolio as a marketing tool to gain opportunity.   The first way of thinking turns the port into an over exposed and cluttered extravaganza of David, where no one can really focus on the important quality images.  I paired it down quite a bit and am sure that I will revisit the port in a few weeks and edit even more. 

And thanks for the thoughts on my bio.  I did do a bit of editing, just to clean it up a bit.  I think it flows much nicer now.

Now the marketing work begins......

David

I'm so glad I could help! big_smile

Mar 01 17 06:40 pm Link

Model

winking_wonder

Posts: 5907

New York, New York, US

Would love to hear your opinion, Eleanor!

Mar 02 17 10:14 pm Link

Model

evavonrose

Posts: 55

Des Moines, Iowa, US

I'm new. Please offer me a thoughtful review so I can improve.
Thanks!

Mar 08 17 12:36 am Link

Model

Miss CBlack

Posts: 65

Brentwood, California, US

Oh my goodness, I would be so honored if you would take the time out to check out my portfolio and critique it! You are awesome and from what I have read have some great constructive criticism.

Mar 08 17 02:47 pm Link

Model

Aseeyah Sun

Posts: 44

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Like to hear your guided insight, thanks :-)

Apr 25 17 09:54 am Link

Model

Tiina K

Posts: 56

Anaheim, California, US

I'd like to know please

Apr 25 17 10:03 pm Link

Model

Julie Ann NYC

Posts: 714

New York, New York, US

Would love your feedback when you can get to it.

May 02 17 06:51 am Link

Model

MatureModelMM

Posts: 2843

Detroit, Michigan, US

Eleanor, I wanted to thank you for all the amazing reviews you are doing for the models here on MM.  Your insight is quite valuable and totally helpful.

May 02 17 07:42 am Link

Model

Miss CBlack

Posts: 65

Brentwood, California, US

Eleanor Rose wrote:

This is something I haven't really seen done, but it's one of the most vital elements you should be aware of with your online presence.

How it works:
Please post without telling me how you're trying to come across or what your goals are. (If you include this or similar info I will skip you, as it will bias my assessment.) I will look at your MM portfolio and bio and tell you how you come across when both are considered. I will not be cruel, but I will be honest. If your bio makes you sound like a diva, I will tell you. The same if your portfolio doesn't live up to your bio's claims. In addition, if you have enough work up on here I will tell you if I perceive a certain style that you appear to shoot more of, a specialty you appear to have, etc. This will allow you to evaluate whether you are actually marketing yourself the way you want to be, and create a plan to shift to your desired branding if needed.

This offer is for models only, and I'm happy to critique models of any experience and skill set. I intend for this to be a long running thread that I will work on at least once a month, so please feel free to post even if there's a long line. I'll do my best to stay current.

What makes me qualified to offer this critique?
I have 6 years of experience as a freelance model, much of that time as a traveling model. I have numerous publications under my belt, including Vogue Italia, Heavy Metal Magazine, and Playboy TV. My work has also been shown in the Louvre.

In addition, my focus over the last two years has been helping other freelance models grow their careers. I started my business, Empowered Muses, to help freelance nude models who are tired of getting all the wrong gigs gain the confidence they need to attract great clients. I am fiercely committed to helping freelance models of all genres build safe, fun, and profitable careers creating art they love. You can find many of my resources and videos on the Model Mayhem blog.

Why do I care about your bio?
Good question! I answered it in detail further on in the thread - click here to jump to that post.

I spent much of my career pulling apart what is important to a freelance model's success and discovered early on what a valuable tool my bio was. Over the last few years of helping other models in this process I have only become more convinced of its' importance, so much so that I include a training on how to create an effective bio text in my free teleseminars and am currently writing an ebook on the topic.

My advice given regarding bio texts is not just personal preference, it comes from just as much research and experience as my advice regarding portfolios. smile

With your experience I am very interested in what you have to say, so please have at it! smile

May 02 17 04:35 pm Link

Model

Eleanor Rose

Posts: 2612

PASO ROBLES, California, US

winking_wonder wrote:
Would love to hear your opinion, Eleanor!

Omgosh I remember asking you for a critique when I first started, how cool is that?!

First off, your avatar made me expect a beginner's portfolio, but you have some really lovely work! Unfortunately, you have way too many images that, like your avatar, pull down the great stuff and leave you looking like a less experienced model. They're lovely images, but either the angle is wrong or the image quality just isn't up to par with the rest of your portfolio.

Your portfolio would be a LOT stronger if you pared it down to your 12 strongest images. I think you really excel at lifestyle and commercial looks like these:
https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/170302/23/58b915b863457_m.jpg https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130523/18/519ec0387499c_m.jpg https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110413/12/4da5f75d2bc18_m.jpg https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/140321/13/532ca1498f14c_m.jpg https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130103/22/50e6770c6fc0f_m.jpg https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110410/23/4da2a560b60a9_m.jpg

This is a great tearsheet, I just wish you didn't get lost in the thumbnail:
https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130103/22/50e6744743ec2_m.jpg

And I'd like to see you do more natural lingerie work like this (without the photographer retouching you so much sad ):
https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110313/00/4d7c7a690e853_m.jpg

As for your bio, it reads as if you're an incredibly well natured hobbyist looking for a little bit of work along with mainly trade. I'm left feeling like you'd be fun to shoot with, but if I don't feel like paying all I have to do is offer trade and I'm likely to be accepted if I'm willing to wait a little longer. Which is all good if that's what you're happy with, but if you're aiming for more paid work I would advise changing up your bio a bit.

I hope this helps! smile

May 18 17 04:02 pm Link

Model

Eleanor Rose

Posts: 2612

PASO ROBLES, California, US

evavonrose wrote:
I'm new. Please offer me a thoughtful review so I can improve.
Thanks!

Hi Eva!

Oh my gosh, I LOVE your work. And your hair. You have pinup down so perfectly, and the pink hair just adds the most amazing twist.

A few nitpicks on your portfolio:
1. Like most everyone else, you would benefit from paring down your portfolio. You have a lot of awesome stuff, and some stuff that isn't as good and is pulling the rest down a little.I think cutting back to your strongest 20-24 would leave you with a really great portfolio.
2. Your avatar made me expect a bunch of alt-goth work. I really like it, but it may not be the best image to represent you as an avatar.

As for your bio, you set yourself up well as an enthusiastic vintage and pinup model, and you sound great to work with! Something to note - if you're struggling to get paid work offers it's not your portfolio, it's because your bio specifically says you're looking for trade. If you're looking to book paid work you'll want to change that wording (even if you still want to trade to keep growing your portfolio.)

Other than that, you've got yourself a great niched brand and portfolio. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work!

May 18 17 04:41 pm Link

Model

JT99

Posts: 93

Saint Paul, Minnesota, US

Hello!  I will gladly take you up on your offer.  Please and thank you!

And, as you requested, I will provide absolutely no information ahead of time for you.

May 18 17 04:41 pm Link

Model

Eleanor Rose

Posts: 2612

PASO ROBLES, California, US

Miss CM wrote:
Oh my goodness, I would be so honored if you would take the time out to check out my portfolio and critique it! You are awesome and from what I have read have some great constructive criticism.

Aww thank you so much Crista!

Portfolio wise, I'm going to be more nitpicky than I normally would be, because yours is pretty great. Typically, I want to make sure that any model I work with has their best images in the first two rows of their portfolio, since that may be all some photographers look at. For the same reason, I try to encourage that every genre a client wants to showcase be present in those top two rows.

Looking at your top two rows, I immediately see two images that I would remove from your portfolio completely, since they just don't hold a candle to the quality of the rest:
https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/170501/16/5907c3a38aeab_m.jpg
You look gorgeous in this, but the angle, cropping, and variegated lighting all combine to make it a little awkward, especially as a thumbnail. You have way better images that show the same skills/look. (It's so awesome that I get to say this, because for other models I might pick this as their best!)

https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/170501/16/5907cb918e88d_m.jpg
Again, you look gorgeous, but this looks grainy even as a thumbnail and the strange ratio draws ours eyes straight to it (and away from the fantastic image to its' right) as well as pushing down the second row so that it's not even visible without scrolling!

I would remove those two and then rearrange your portfolio so that those top two rows really showcase your best - basically, if you could only show a potential client 8 photos to sell them on working with you, what would you choose?

I'd also like to encourage you to mix up your portfolio so that images from the same look aren't next to each other, and to trim out some of the images that are either redundant are a little lower quality. I think for you 30-40 images would be your sweet spot.

Now let's talk about your bio. Your portfolio shows me a kickass, experienced model with a ton of experience in different genres who I would expect to be regularly hired for commercial, wedding, and lingerie shoots. Your bio, however, had me expecting a hobbyist and/or newbie with a decent portfolio, but nothing special. Right now, your bio did not make me want to pay you. Your portfolio started to overcome that, but I think a stronger bio would make a big difference for you!

I would LOVE to see you rewrite your bio with a focus on providing the information people need in order to hire you. I'm really struggling to condense that info into something short, so I'm just going to say that probably the best way to do that is to grab my free book here: www.empoweredmuses.com/ebook (I try really hard not to plug it in these critiques, but in this case I feel like it would really help you.)

I really hope this helps! <3

May 18 17 05:06 pm Link

Model

evavonrose

Posts: 55

Des Moines, Iowa, US

Eleanor Rose wrote:

Hi Eva!

Oh my gosh, I LOVE your work. And your hair. You have pinup down so perfectly, and the pink hair just adds the most amazing twist.

A few nitpicks on your portfolio:
1. Like most everyone else, you would benefit from paring down your portfolio. You have a lot of awesome stuff, and some stuff that isn't as good and is pulling the rest down a little.I think cutting back to your strongest 20-24 would leave you with a really great portfolio.
2. Your avatar made me expect a bunch of alt-goth work. I really like it, but it may not be the best image to represent you as an avatar.

As for your bio, you set yourself up well as an enthusiastic vintage and pinup model, and you sound great to work with! Something to note - if you're struggling to get paid work offers it's not your portfolio, it's because your bio specifically says you're looking for trade. If you're looking to book paid work you'll want to change that wording (even if you still want to trade to keep growing your portfolio.)

Other than that, you've got yourself a great niched brand and portfolio. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work!

Thanks so much for taking the time to look and write back. As far as pairing down, what would you suggest keeping or cutting. I see to have a hard time deciding.

May 18 17 08:24 pm Link

Model

Julie Ann NYC

Posts: 714

New York, New York, US

Julie Ann NYC wrote:
Would love your feedback when you can get to it.

I was skipped? :-/

May 19 17 06:28 am Link

Model

winking_wonder

Posts: 5907

New York, New York, US

Eleanor Rose wrote:

Omgosh I remember asking you for a critique when I first started, how cool is that?!

First off, your avatar made me expect a beginner's portfolio, but you have some really lovely work! Unfortunately, you have way too many images that, like your avatar, pull down the great stuff and leave you looking like a less experienced model. They're lovely images, but either the angle is wrong or the image quality just isn't up to par with the rest of your portfolio.

Your portfolio would be a LOT stronger if you pared it down to your 12 strongest images. I think you really excel at lifestyle and commercial looks like these:
https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/170302/23/58b915b863457_m.jpg https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130523/18/519ec0387499c_m.jpg https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110413/12/4da5f75d2bc18_m.jpg https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/140321/13/532ca1498f14c_m.jpg https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130103/22/50e6770c6fc0f_m.jpg https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110410/23/4da2a560b60a9_m.jpg

This is a great tearsheet, I just wish you didn't get lost in the thumbnail:
https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130103/22/50e6744743ec2_m.jpg

And I'd like to see you do more natural lingerie work like this (without the photographer retouching you so much sad ):
https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110313/00/4d7c7a690e853_m.jpg

As for your bio, it reads as if you're an incredibly well natured hobbyist looking for a little bit of work along with mainly trade. I'm left feeling like you'd be fun to shoot with, but if I don't feel like paying all I have to do is offer trade and I'm likely to be accepted if I'm willing to wait a little longer. Which is all good if that's what you're happy with, but if you're aiming for more paid work I would advise changing up your bio a bit.

I hope this helps! smile

Thanks so much for your critique. I really appreciate it!

May 19 17 09:38 pm Link

Model

Miss CBlack

Posts: 65

Brentwood, California, US

Eleanor Rose wrote:

Aww thank you so much Crista!

Portfolio wise, I'm going to be more nitpicky than I normally would be, because yours is pretty great. Typically, I want to make sure that any model I work with has their best images in the first two rows of their portfolio, since that may be all some photographers look at. For the same reason, I try to encourage that every genre a client wants to showcase be present in those top two rows.

Looking at your top two rows, I immediately see two images that I would remove from your portfolio completely, since they just don't hold a candle to the quality of the rest:
https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/170501/16/5907c3a38aeab_m.jpg
You look gorgeous in this, but the angle, cropping, and variegated lighting all combine to make it a little awkward, especially as a thumbnail. You have way better images that show the same skills/look. (It's so awesome that I get to say this, because for other models I might pick this as their best!)

https://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/170501/16/5907cb918e88d_m.jpg
Again, you look gorgeous, but this looks grainy even as a thumbnail and the strange ratio draws ours eyes straight to it (and away from the fantastic image to its' right) as well as pushing down the second row so that it's not even visible without scrolling!

I would remove those two and then rearrange your portfolio so that those top two rows really showcase your best - basically, if you could only show a potential client 8 photos to sell them on working with you, what would you choose?

I'd also like to encourage you to mix up your portfolio so that images from the same look aren't next to each other, and to trim out some of the images that are either redundant are a little lower quality. I think for you 30-40 images would be your sweet spot.

Now let's talk about your bio. Your portfolio shows me a kickass, experienced model with a ton of experience in different genres who I would expect to be regularly hired for commercial, wedding, and lingerie shoots. Your bio, however, had me expecting a hobbyist and/or newbie with a decent portfolio, but nothing special. Right now, your bio did not make me want to pay you. Your portfolio started to overcome that, but I think a stronger bio would make a big difference for you!

I would LOVE to see you rewrite your bio with a focus on providing the information people need in order to hire you. I'm really struggling to condense that info into something short, so I'm just going to say that probably the best way to do that is to grab my free book here: www.empoweredmuses.com/ebook (I try really hard not to plug it in these critiques, but in this case I feel like it would really help you.)

I really hope this helps! <3

Jun 28 17 10:46 am Link

Model

Miss CBlack

Posts: 65

Brentwood, California, US

Thank you so much for taking the time out to critique my profile, it has helped a lot! You are very kind to take so much time out of your day to critique so many models, I commend you for that!

Jun 28 17 10:49 am Link