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Submitting photos to Models Direct: some useful hints and tips

What kind of photo is needed?

To process your application to become a model, we need to see at least two basic shots - a close-up head shot and a full-length body shot. You can also submit up to two further shots - for example, a half-body shot or a full-length profile (side view).

There's no need to pay for professional photography - have a friend or family member take your photos with a digital or disposable camera. Phone cameras may be OK provided they can capture enough detail - remember that they usually don't have flashes, so outdoors is best.

Make sure all photos are clear and well-lit to give a fresh, natural look. Soft natural lighting such as in early morning or late afternoon outdoors is ideal. Don't try for a moody shot by choosing a dark indoor location - we need to see what you really look like!

What are the technical requirements?

Photos can be in either JPEG or PNG file format (filenames ending in '.jpg', '.jpeg' or '.png')

Your photos should be at least 227 pixels wide or 284 pixels high. Please ensure the file size is no more than 2mb per photo.

Please submit photos in 'portrait' format rather than 'landscape' if possible (in other words, tall and narrow rather than short and wide). The ideal height-width ratio is 5:4.

How should I look?

  • Don't wear make-up. If you do use it, go for light make-up using simple colours.
  • Do not wear any hats, scarves or bandanas.
  • If you hair isn't long enough to tie in a ponytail, hold it back with a clip or band.

Look at magazines and catalogues to get some ideas for a good 'commercial' look. The most natural and flattering look is to pose with the head slightly angled. Try not to cut the picture off at any noticeable points, such as the shoulders, elbows, waist, or knees. Cut in between these points to soften the look and suggest continuation of the body.

Hints and tips for better photos

To make the most of photos taken by friends and family, suggest they follow these simple guidelines:

  • Avoid 'camera shake' by holding the camera steady. Use both hands, resting your elbows on your chest, or on a wall for support. Relax: don't tense up. You can buy affordable mini-tripods for use with digital cameras that will get rid of camera shake altogether.
  • Direct eye contact can be as engaging in a picture as it is in real life. Hold the camera at the model's eye level to unleash the power of those magnetic gazes and mesmerising smiles. For children, that means stooping to their level. Photos taken at eye level angle will have a personal and inviting feeling that pulls you into the picture.
  • A photograph is all about light, so think about how the light is striking the model. The best bet is to ensure that the sun is behind and to one side of the photographer. Lighting the subject from the front brings out colours and shades, whilst the slight angle produces shadow to indicate texture and form.
  • The best shots are simple, so move closer and remove any clutter from the picture. Filling the frame with just the face or even overflowing it will give your shot some impact.