Basics of modeling in India: model’s polaroids

Many fresher models don’t know what polaroids are and how to click them. But they can be asked to send polaroids (or shortly “polas”) not just by clients but even by modeling agencies they want to start working with. And not every agency bothers to explain to future models how they supposed to do it (not mentioning it’t usually modeling agencies job – to click it). So I want to help you with it.

Also check: How to make model’s portfolio in India?

Polaroids aren’t supposed to be professionally clicked pictures. They are simple, straight, shot from different angle pictures + 2 videos: catwalk and introduction. Polaroids can be clicked by anybody: your friend or relative. They can be perfectly clicked even by phone with a decent camera. But why do you need them to work as a model at all?

Polaroids are meant to show how the model looks in real life, without any make-up (normally, but many people still do put some basic make-up, though it is a little bit of cheating), and without any retouching (it is better be, because the clients will get to know if your polaroids were edited – what if you come to the job much fatter than on the pictures, suppose?). The reason to ask for polaroids for clients is usually their inability to call you for castings. India as modeling market often has direct booking jobs (booked by pictures, without the casting). Not everybody here asks the models to send their polaroids, as well, but yet, it can happen, so you better be prepared. For fashion shows people often ask just a catwalk video. And introduction videos are usually used for getting video-jobs or contracts abroad. Yes, polaroids are mandatory (!) for International models bookings – all the international models have to send them after the international modeling agency got interested in them by seeing their portfolios. And only after seeing their polaroids the agencies do make a final decision, so don’t underestimate the importance of polaroids.

Polaroids do include:

  • Full body pictures: front, both sides, back, both 45-degrees angles. A few full posing shots can be added as well;
  • Medium shots (knee length) are not necessary but can be added also, in the same angles as full shots;
  • Portraits: front, sides, back, 45-degree angle, with open and with tied hair, with the smile and without it;
  • If you have any tattoos or big scars on your body – the pictures where they can be properly visible must be added too;
  • Walking (catwalk) video;
  • Introduction video.

What to wear to shoot polaroids?

  • Polaroids in India are usually shot in tank tops/ spaghetti tops and leggings/shorts for girls (it can be also jeans but shorts or leggings are better) and t-shirts and jeans for guys. Neutral colors are preferred, especially black. The most important is not to wear loose clothes for polaroid shoot but something that shows your figure very well!
  • Female models also supposed to wear high heels. Better do not wear small heels for polaroid shoot – otherwise you will look shorter;
  • No accessories have to be worn for polaroid shoot. Make up supposed to be really very basic, almost invisible (especially for polaroids for international contracts – do make it NOT VISIBLE, just hide pimples and dark circles, no mascara or lipstick);
  • If you want to work for bikini/ lingerie shoots, or if you want to get international contract, you will be required to make polaroids in bikini.

Other tips for polaroid shoot:

  • It has to be done in natural lighting. Studio is not necessary, it can be clicked anywhere outside or inside. However, you need to take care of the lighting – it should be natural. It should not be too dark and too bright in the room. Your skin color on these photos supposed to look the way it is naturally;
  • Choose preferably plain white wall as a background to shoot polaroids, if possible. The decorative backgrounds will distract the viewer;
  • The person who is clicking your polaroids should keep the camera such way that your figure would look the way it is in real on the photos. It is actually very important: if the person clicks you from the top angle, you will look shorter on your polaroids (and this is not something that will benefit you as a model for sure). But also do not let the person to sit and click your polaroids from the bottom angle (like people do when they want the legs to look longer on the pictures) – it will make your legs to look way more fat and your top body not proportionally small. Both cases will make you just look deformed. Normal natural pictures are the only good option for polaroids – the camera should be at your chest level preferably. Also, of course, do not send blurred images;
  • For introduction video you need to say a few words about yourself: your name, age, height, you can tell your measurements, as well (but it’s not necessary) and your hobbies if you want, can turn around to show your profiles too;
  • For catwalk video you need a little bit of space because very short walk doesn’t look good, since it will make you to walk slow – and you need to show your proper professional ramp-walk. But better do not walk too fast also. You can switch on some music if you wish, it can make it easier for you. You need to walk straight front and back. Don’t forget to turn like on the ramp 🙂 ;
  • The last thing is: polaroids are not the one time thing to click in your career. People want to receive fresh polas from the models, especially for international contracts. Otherwise, if you aren’t going anywhere, you supposed to click them every few months, maximum once in a year, or any time something changes in your look. You can be also asked to click different polaroids or videos by some certain client for his job additionally as well, according to specifics of the job (like, in different clothes, with different poses, or different catwalk on the video). If you have an agency, they will be the ones who supposed to click most of your polaroids, however, they still can ask you to click the urgent ones (for some certain bookings) at home, but if you are free lancer – then you need to click them by yourself every time.

P.S.: Do NOT make collages like on example images for your polaroids. Every picture should be separate.

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