As you might have read in previous posts from me, I (Annabell) recently changed agencies in London. A few months ago I joined LINDEN STAUB, who now represents me in the UK and are also in charge of placing me in other markets. For example, I was booked for a job in Zürich the other week and the day after my shoot I met five Swiss model agencies to see if they would like to represent me in Switzerland. Annnnd I'm very happy that I'm now represented by Scout Models in Zürich, find my portfolio here.

It’s been a while since we shared a model related post, so I thought I would write about why I think it’s important to do paid test shoots. 

In my first meeting with Linden Staub, the head booker Emma and Co-founder Esther told me straight away that they would like to represent me, but that I have to work on my portfolio. I totally agreed as I also felt like that my book needed an update! Although that meant I had to be patient and wait a bit until they had organised enough test shoots. 

Once you have been in the industry for a while, for me its been about 20 years (omg I’m old! ;)) your book will need to be refreshed every so often. Or you'll need specific photos in order to appeal to certain clients and agencies in a market you wish or are suitable to work in. My portfolio felt a bit too young and dated, so Linden Staub booked me in with 3 of their favourite test photographers (See images below) and after about 2-3 weeks we received the retouched images. My book immediately got updated and I was ready to go and meet their new clients. 

If you are investing money in a paid test, you should make sure that you're getting your money's worth by shooting with someone who has a lot of industry experience and a good representation. Be careful, since Instagram there are lots of inexperienced photographers out there. So always check their website portfolio and clients list as well as their Instagram to see if other agencies or maybe fellow models you know have worked with them too. Therefore you hopefully avoid wasting your time & money. I always ask for a mood board of images so I can get a feel for what the photographer is thinking and double check it is in line with what I need for the portfolio. 

Your portfolio is what you show to clients and other agencies and the stronger your portfolio is, the more likely you'll be able to book jobs. Although the initial investment may seem daunting, it will pay itself off pretty quickly if you're smart with the tests you book. Below you can see my recent test shoot images that were intended to show a slightly more mature and classy image that might appeal to a different set of clients. It may have cost some money but in return your portfolio is updated super quick and off you go. 

xx Annabell