Creating Your Body Painting Portfolio

To start, there are three questions you really need to know the answers to:
Katie McLaughlin applying makeup!
What are you trying to do?
What jobs do you want to get?
Who are you showing this to?

***When picking images*** Careful, this one gets skipped sometimes. 

Ask yourself, "Is the image tasteful?" 

If the image flatters your work AND the model, I'd say it's a good choice.

This leads into my next tip.
Know your target market

Are you trying to get hired by a local bar or an art director? Do you want to work with a Glam and Fashion Photographer or an Art Nude and Fetish Photographer? This is really important! Your portfolio is always going to be comprised of your best work but you will tweak and cater to different audiences.


Just Starting Out

Professional quality photographs are clearly ideal. If you’re just starting out, you probably don't have that luxury. At this stage of your career, you are trying to show skill. Choose images (or work toward creating images) that demonstrate
-Knowledge of Color Theory
-Understanding and effective use of the canvas
-Versatility (realism, abstract, tribal, pinup, etc)
-Thought behind the work. It can be very beneficial to include a few finished sketches.

How do I build my portfolio?
Get on networking sites and put yourself out there. Trade your time for quality images of your work so that you can get paid gigs in the future. See my blurb about creating a strong Model Mayhem profile.

Been Around for a While

Your portfolio should be consistent, as in consistently awesome. Remember that!
Show your best work, the ones that look and feel finished, well manicured, and refined.


Don’t show too much!
Get them to turn that first page but don’t tie them up for hours. Leave them wanting more. 
An effective fine art portfolio is about 12-20 images. If you can’t snag me in 20 images of your absolute best work, you need to really invest more time into your portfolio.

Where’s the beef? 

Goods first, fluff last.
Make them fall in love with your work before you hit them with the credentials. We want potential clients to have already hired us, mentally, before they ask, "How much?"
Images in the front, résumé in the back.

Ways to Present Your Portfolio

When selling yourself or asking for critique, be positive. Even on your networking profiles, be positive. 
Super Professional
-Prints of your work. They should be uniform, with a border that includes your name and contact info.
-A CD just in case. Never depend on the CD alone, not everyone cares to load it up.
-If you are mailing these away and you want them back, include a SASE (self addressed, stamped envelope). We did this in high school when we had to send away slides. They were super expensive to make so I can understand wanting them back. I'm not sure there are very many institutions left who ask for slides. 

-iPad portfolios are in. Less cumbersome than the entire computer, more reliable than trying to load them on your iPhone or android.
-Common, store bought portfolios. You’ll recognize ‘em. Black cover with sleeve pages. I took these to meet-and-greets all the time.
-Self-Adhesive Albums. Hey, they’ve come a long way since we were little. 

In my eyes, its pretty easy to polish your presentation and first impressions are everything. Don't believe me? Learn how an Art Director thinks in this blog entry from“The Art Department” on Sci Fi and Fantasy Illustrator portfolios. The author does a great job of explaining exactly why it's so important to have a printed portfolio. Now, cross-train your brain!

 Further Reading

Be here next Monday for more tasty bits o wisdom. Are you on facebook and twitter too?


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