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What Should Digitals look Like? | Jessica VerSteeg image 15
June 19, 2017

What Should Digitals look Like?

Over the years I have had so many girls ask me, “What are Polaroids?” What Should Digitals look Like?

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 all of the makeup, hair, lighting and Photoshop. Agencies, Photographers, and Clients trust Polaroids to show a natural blank canvas.

The next question the girls ask, “What should I wear for my digitals?”. Different agencies and different jobs call for different digitals, if the client is casting you for a swimsuit calendar you should wear a bikini and if the client is casting you for the mom in a Babies R’Us campaign you should wear something casual.

But regardless of the client, you should always have clean hair and a clean face. This will not only show what your hair and face naturally look like, but your body. It will show if you have any tattoos, scars or even if you have tan lines. They need to see all of this to know what they may have to work around.

Here are a few key points:

– Agencies and casting directors often require Polaroids  – Polaroids, also known as “digitals,” are a model’s best friend. 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, hence the new name “Digitals”.Whether you’re a new model that has never done a shoot or a model with years of experience, good Polaroids lead to better bookings.

– Learn how to take Polaroids / digitals and update them often (usually your agency will take them for you, but for those without an agency or for the girls traveling and didn’t pack their agent)

– Know where the digitals are going or who they are for. If your agency is in Miami you will most likely be asked for bikini digitals, if your agency is in New York you will most likely be asked for casual digitals.

How to Take Polaroids:

– These should not be professional photos. Go into the agency and have your agent take them or if you have a friend with an iPhone that works too, just be sure to use natural light.

– Wear very little make-up (a little concealer, blush, mascara or lip gloss, but no more) if any at all.  Agents and casting directors want to see the length and condition of your hair, so it’s important to keep your hairstyle simple and well-groomed, but do not spend 5 hours styling your hair. If you have long hair take some photos of your hair down and some with your hair pulled back. These are meant to show what you really look like.

– The best time to take the photos is during the day. Try to find a solid color wall to shoot in front of, preferably in the shade to not wash you out (direct sunlight can be  harsh for unedited photos).

– For bikini, I usually do a head shot with my hair up and hair down + a three-quarter body shot + a fill body shot + a shot with personality (a smile) + a bum shot. For digitals in jeans I usually do a head shot + three-quarter body shot + full body + a good profile with hair up. I think it is best to pose with a relaxed pose / face.

In these bikini digitals I just went onto my balcony with very little make-up, just with what I had on from earlier in the day. The lighting changed a bit when clouds would cover the sun, but thats not a big deal, they know you are not taking these with a professional lighting crew.

Headshot with hair up and Three-quarter length body shot with hair up

jessica VerSteeg bikini modeling digitals  jessica VerSteeg bikini modeling digitals

Headshot with hair down and a full body shot with hair down

jessica VerSteeg bikini modeling digitals  jessica VerSteeg bikini modeling digitals

Sometimes swim shoots are sexy and sometimes they are playful so I like to give a shot with personality and a bum shot

bikini digitals jessica Versteeg digitals

For these jeans and casual tee shirt digitals, I went onto the same balcony as I did with the bikini digitals this time with no make-up at all. Don’t worry if you are having a bad break out the day of digitals, the people casting you know that this is all fixed in photoshop.

Headshot with hair down and three-quarter body shot with hair up

nyc modeling digitals jessica versteeg nyc modeling digitals jessica versteeg

Full body shot with hair down and profile shot with hair pulled back

nyc modeling digitals jessica versteeg nyc modeling digitals jessica versteeg

So thats whats digitals should look like in a nutshell. Sometimes clients want digitals and a video – here is a video I did for a client that requested I send a video ASAP. I was shooting for another job when I got the email from my agent so on my lunch break I went straight to my room, threw on a bikini, and shot a quick little video. In this case the client knew I was working and knew there was no way I would wrap by 5pm so since they already had digitals of me with no make-up they understood I could not wash off the makeup for the shoot I was on and they accepted the video as is.

Once you book a job and go to a fitting you will have more digitals, but those are just to remind the client of what outfits they liked you in best.

jessica versteeg digitals jessica versteeg digitals

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