My modeling career began quite by accident when I went in for a casting call for J. Crew as a young, fresh-faced actor. I had assumed they were planning to shoot a commercial (something J. Crew has never done) but was surprised when they only took photos at the casting session and we had bit of a conversation. Later I understood that this was a casting for a modeling job but that they were looking for an actor more than a model if they could find one. Anyway, I booked the job and the next thing I knew, I was a model. In the years that followed I would travel to Europe, walk runways and work for a range of of editorial, catalogue and commercial clients.
In the past, models would carry with a physical portfolio (or “book”) of the their photo samples. These would include tear sheets (torn from actual magazines and catalogues) and prints from shoots. You would carry your book to castings and hand them to clients (usually a team of them sat at a table). The clients would spend anywhere from 1-3 minutes looking at your book and delibarating. Then you would get an indecernable look and a “thank you” before slinking away…. possibly on to the next casting. Fortunately for today’s model, those days are long gone.
Just for fun, here you can find some portfolio samples from my early days as a model.