Why Every Model Needs Polaroids
- Agencies and casting directors often require Polaroids – not having them can cost you the job
- Learn how to take Polaroids and when to update them
Polaroids, also known as “digitals,” are a model’s best friend. Whether you’re a new model who has never done an official photo shoot or a model with years of experience, good Polaroids are a gateway to better shoots and more work. And, since it is standard industry practice for agencies and casting directors to request Polaroids.
Agency digitals used to be taken with a Polaroid camera, hence the name. These days, “Polaroids” don’t need to come from a Polaroid camera. A digital camera is fine!
What are Polaroids? Polaroids show what you look like when you walk through the door. It’s important for photographers and casting directors to know what you look like before the makeup, hair, lighting and Photoshop. “Clients trust Polaroids,” said photographer John Fisher, he added, “They assume you are going to show up for a casting or job with the same hair, weight and general appearance as in your Polaroid.”
How to Take Polaroids
How do you take a perfect set of Polaroids? First, these should not be professional photos. If you have a friend with a decent quality digital camera, that will be ideal.
Do not wear makeup or style your hair. You want these photos to showcase your unaltered look.
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.
While different agencies and jobs call for different things, it is hard to go wrong with Polaroids in swimwear. This will show not only what your hair and face look like, but your body. It will show if you have tattoos, scars or tan lines and how easily concealable they are, which is important for casting directors to know when choosing talent. Wearing heels is the one “cheat” you get, which will lean and lengthen your frame.
While the combinations can be left partly up to you as a model, 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.
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