Haverkampf Photography

And Video

205 750-0222

So You Want To Know How To Begin A Modeling Career!


Does Everybody Tell You That You Should Be A Model?  Well Maybe They Are Right.  I Can Tell You Beyond Any Doubt That The Number One Reason For Not Making It As A Model Is Never Getting Started.

It may sound silly, but it's the truth! So many people want to model but never act on it. Years from now they will only be able to look back and wonder what might have happened if they had started modeling.


Continue reading below to take the mystery out of starting a modeling career.


I want to help you start a successful modeling career!


Life moves so fast.  You are changing everyday and there will never be a better time to start your modeling career. Do you want to look back in 10 years and wonder what might have happened if you tried? But, how do you get started in modeling?  Maybe you've been looking around the Internet for modeling tips and that has just confused you more.  Well, I want to help!  You have read this far and that put you a step ahead of most aspiring models.  By the time you have read this entire page you will be miles ahead of those who didn't make the effort to get down to the truth about modeling.  Or maybe you already have a modeling portfolio but would like some different looks, better quality or just more recent portfolio pictures. I can help you no matter how far you've come in your professional modeling career.


 Whoever You Choose, I Want To Help You Choose A Model Photographer Who Will Help You Do The Most With Your Modeling Portfolio.


Whatever your situation, I want you to find a photographer who will make you look your best, who will treat you with respect during your session, who will do more than just give you your modeling pictures and leave you on your own. I love doing modeling portfolios.  It's a chance to be more creative;  a chance do some great work and help others succeed. But that's not the point of this modeling photography web page. The point of this web page is to warn you about the major mistakes that most models make trying to start a modeling career.  If you don't decide to work with me on your modeling portfolio, that's OK. I still want you to be aware of these major mistakes, so you don't make them yourself! You don't have time to learn these the hard way.


1 (Or More) Myths, Mistakes, And Misconceptions About Having A Model Portfolio Created - The Stuff Most Beginning Models Don't Know:


 Mistake #1  Is The Most Important Modeling Portfolio Mistake Of Them All!


Suppose you had a business and you wanted to hire someone to represent your business. You worked hard to build that business. You need someone who will make you look good. You need someone you can trust with your reputation! Some applicants bring in a well written resume on a fine parchment  paper. The applicant who brings some handwritten words in a spiral notebook probably isn't going to get the job are they. In fact, that would really be insulting to you! As an applicant, wouldn't you want to be someone who actually has a chance. Impressions are even more important in the modeling industry! You know what I'm talking about here. Trying to use modeling selfies to get modeling jobs just isn't going to give you the chance at a great modeling career that you deserve. Having a friend take some modeling pictures of you isn't either. Now, some modeling agencies will ask you to turn in selfies. There is nothing wrong with that. The reason they do that is because they want to help you develop your portfolio. Trust me, they aren't going to show perspective clients your selfies. However, most modeling agencies would rather you send them some professional modeling pictures to start with. It just makes you look better to have a professional modeling portfolio either way. If you really want to give yourself a fair chance; do it right! If you don't, someone else will! Suppose you spend a couple hundred dollars on a modeling portfolio. One good modeling job will get that back for you and leave you enough to buy yourself something nice.


Mistake #2 Probably Should Have Been #1


The only reason this isn't number one is because it's really more about your safety than creating the perfect modeling portfolio. Of course, your safety is the most important thing here! You must a model photographer who's motives are pure. Whether you choose to use me as your photographer or not, Please, please, please, make sure that your photographer is a true professional. Check references and take someone with you to all sessions for safety. Especially for this type of shoot you need to be extremely careful to use a full time professional with a studio in a public building.  Any other situation could lead to a disaster. The least of which is that you may become uncomfortable and that will show in your pictures. Please don't use someone from some site that will let just anyone register and say they are a photographer. I'm not going to go into horror stories here, but believe me I could. The kind of stuff you would find on Investigation Discovery. Safety concerns aside, you will feel much more at ease in a comfortable professional model photographers studio and have a much better chance of getting a great modeling portfolio.


Mistake #3 Is Easily And Often Overlooked!


Mistake #3 is not using a model photographer who is going to help you make the next step beyond putting together a portfolio and comp cards (Don't worry if you don't know what comp cards are.  I'll fill you in during our consultation). I'll help you get to the next step like a pro. There is more to this than just having the perfect modeling headshots. I'll give you contact names, phone numbers and addresses.

I can even get you on a real modeling web site.



Mistake #4 is not wearing the right clothes! This is very common. Even a top model wouldn't know what to wear that would help him or her look the very best in a still photo.  The "Art Director" would say what to wear! The model would just show up, and wear what has been arranged! The hair person does the hair. The Art Director plans everything and tells the subject what to do next.


 You see, most people don't know what really photographs well. Why should they?  I know.  That's my job . And I love it.  I'll help you select clothing that will help you look your very best in your modeling portfolio. That's why I give you a free modeling consultation.  Don't worry I'll help.


For example, the wrong clothing can make up to a 44 pound difference in the way you look in your portfolio!  44 pounds!!!


Now, most models want to look as thin as possible in their portraits. Clothing makes a HUGE difference in this area, so let's make sure your clothing is really perfect! There really is a lot more to it than this, but that is where the consultation comes in. I'm going to help your prepare to get the most out of your modeling portfolio photoshoot.


Mistake #5 Is A HUGE Destroyer Of Portfolios!


Mistake #5 is making mistakes with hair. Many models goof this up in several ways.  But also, most photographers goof this up, too, because they don't know how to photograph hair properly.


 This is such a big point!  As you know, your hair is a huge part of your appearance.  It can make or break how you look in your modeling portfolio.  We've all had "bad hair days" and if your model photographer doesn't know what he or she is doing, your photographs will look like a permanent "bad hair" day. It's one of those things you might not even notice if you get less than the best modeling pictures. You might never know how good they could have looked. But...the people who may or may not hire know the difference!


 One of the things that separates my model photography from that of most of the other photographers in the Tuscaloosa area is that I pay as much attention to the light that is lighting your hair, as I do to the lighting that is illuminating your face and they are completely different studio lights!


 You see, if you study Hollywood Portraiture of the stars, you begin to see how careful the photographers are about lighting the hair. Well, I've studied the best professional Hollywood photo masters and I'm going to use these very same techniques to create your pictures, to help you, and your hair look really, really perfect.


 For example, many models who go to other model photographers often complain that, if they have dark hair, that their hair seems to disappear into the background. Or, if they have light hair, that their hair has no "life" or detail in the photograph. Or if their hair is brown, that it doesn't look as great as they wanted it to. It's not just how they combed or prepared it, it's how it's lit in the photograph, too!


 Well, that's not going to happen to a modeling portfolio created by me, because I'm going to take the time and the care in the lighting of your hair so it looks absolutely perfect. It's as if one of these Hollywood Master Photographers just finished photographing the hottest movie star today, and now is going to do your model portfolio, and I'm going to put as much care into lighting you as they would!


Mistake #6 You'll Just Be Spinning Your Wheels Until You Discover This One!



   There are thousands of models out there.  To stand out you will need your own look.  A few different modeling looks, in fact.  I will work with you personally to be sure you are able to create the unique and individual look you are seeking which will make you stand out from the crowd and complete your modeling portfolio - whether you want to be a commercial, lifestyle, fashion, glamour or artist's model. I will even meet with you in advance of the session if you like to discuss every aspect of your plans for a portfolio. There is no selling involved in this "chat session" and you will walk away with more knowledge about modeling and about what type of modeling best suits you.  If you choose, we will even schedule a time for you to have your hair and makeup professionally styled.


Your first step should be to give me a call at 205-750-0222 so that we can talk about what you need to create an awesome modeling portfolio to put your best foot forward with modeling agencies and clients.


 During this no obligation chat, we can gather information about how you see yourself captured in your professional modeling portfolio and the type modeling jobs you are pursuing.


 I encourage you to ask as many questions about modeling as you like until you feel comfortable with your choice. When we both feel we understand the requirements of what you need, you can make a more informed choice when you are ready to choose your model photographer. Of course, I hope you will choose me but I can give you valuable information no matter who you choose.


Mistake #7 Is A "Silent Killer" Of Modeling Portfolios!


Most starting models don't understand (or don't want to admit) that they aren't completely at ease in front of a professional photographers' camera.  And they don't know what to do about it.


  You see, there are over 30 muscles in your face. And if you're tense, these muscles tense up, and therefore, modeling agents won't like the pictures. You won't know why they don't like them. They just won't. Not every professional model headshot photographer understands this.


  One of the keys to my success in model photography, is that I talk to the models I photograph in advance. And what's the purpose of this? Yes, we're going to talk about clothing, and all the other things.  We are also going to talk about modeling looks. This will help us put together model portfolio photoshoot that will be designed just for you.  This will give you the chance to get to know me and see just how well I am going to take care of you through this.


This is going to make an enormous difference in how natural and confident you look on the day of your modeling portfolio photography! It's almost like magic! You will be impressed!


 I can't stress this enough.  You see, most model photographers just are not willing to do this. Why? Because it takes time.  All they want to do is crank people through their photography studio like a "factory."  They want to do your pictures as if they were building a car. They want to put you on the assembly line, and run you through, click-click-click-turn this way - click, etc....Next person please. I will not do that to you.  I am going to treat this as if it were the most important photoshoot of your life - because it is.


  See what a huge difference this will make in how you feel on the day of your modeling portfolio shoot?  You'll feel great.  You'll know that what you're wearing is perfect.  You'll know that your hair is going to look perfect. You'll know that no blemishes will show!  So You'll be confident, and excited - not nervous and apprehensive.


Now, You May Be thinking, "Give me a break. This is just a photo shoot."


Well, yes, but it could be your whole entire future...your big chance at starting a modeling career!  All the people who matter are going to see these pictures! So let's be sure they're fantastic!  Right?  And that's what we're all about. That's what's so special about us.


It's not the camera we use. It's not the backgrounds we use.  (Although we use the best of everything!) The thing that separates us from every other model photography studio, is how sincerely we want to help you look absolutely perfect - stunning - fantastic - better than ever - in your model portfolio.


Mistake #8 Is A Little Technical, But

 Extremely Important To You!


Models (and an awful lot of model photographers) don't realize how important light is in photography. The wrong light, and the wrong direction of light can add up to 27 pounds to you on camera, and also, bring out your worst features! It's really a matter of life or death in modeling.  The light is the "paint brush" with which I "paint" your modeling portfolio.  It's very important!


 Now, one of the things that separates my model photography from so many other model photographers is that I have studied light from the true Masters of photography for over 20 years.


 I understand the different types and direction of light that will help your model portfolio look your VERY BEST.  And this is different for every person!  That's one reason I'll ask you to send a couple snapshots ahead of time, so we can determine the very BEST LIGHT for you and have it ready to use at your photoshoot day and time.


You see, there are five major highlight areas just on your face. And they must be PERFECTLY lighted in your portfolio shoot, or you won't look your best!


Also, I don't want to get too technical here, but if you're still reading this, you realize how important this modeling portfolio photo shoot is and you sincerely want to look your absolute best.  So... the "Transition Zone" of light, between the highlights and the shadows is what "paints" the contours of your face, and brings out your personality and "SPARKLE." So we want to be sure that this "Transition Zone" is perfect, too!  I could go on and on, but you get the idea. The light must be absolutely PERFECT if we are to create a modeling portfolio of you that truly "Sparkles".


 Mistake #9 is a Terrible One!


Nine out of ten beginner models don't realize how important posing is for models. The most important word when it comes to posing as a model is "NATURAL." You absolutely don't want to look stiff and fake! One of the most common comments we hear from our clients is how "natural" the modeling pictures look. Our models love how good they look, but they also love how "natural" they appear in the modeling portfolio images. You see, I understand that you want to look really great, but there are only certain pictures that should use dramatic posing. Yes, I will "guide" you so the composition and "look" of the pictures is perfect. You and I will work together to help you look confident, comfortable, and just plain great. Yes, you will learn to pose on your own as we go, but I will help you get to that point.


This Is Extremely Important To You!  Don't Miss This:


You want to be sure to select a model photographer who will not "manhandle" you with the model posing. Almost all the model photographers in Alabama tend to touch their clients and push them around way too much when posing them.  (In my humble opinion) The posing of a model is so important, and should not be done by sticking you in the middle of your back if you aren't sitting up quite straight enough!  But that's what so many model photographers do. Not only does this make you really uncomfortable, but it also makes you look stiff! That's why I call it "guiding".  I will guide you.  This is so important to helping you feel comfortable!


 However, I am really picky.  I'll be very careful, and very attentive to detail. I may pick a little at your hair if something is out of place. I straighten your collar or sleeves.  I straighten your shirt if it has a funny wrinkle in it.  Don't worry about a thing! We'll make sure you look great!  We're very picky, but we don't manhandle you - and we won't drive you "nuts" with being overly picky either!


Mistake #10 Is Of Enormous Importance!

 Don't Miss This One!


This mistake has ruined so many professional modeling portfolios!  It's the mistake of not choosing a photographer who GUARANTEES THAT YOU WILL BE THRILLED - and who will give you all your money back, if you aren't!


Here's our guarantee: "You will be THRILLED (not just 'satisfied') with your modeling portfolio, or we will do whatever is necessary for you to be thrilled, or we will return every penny of your money. No hassles and no hard feelings either. We want you to be THRILLED with your pictures, and will spare no effort or expense to see to it that you are! We absolutely guarantee it!"


 You see, only a photographer who really believes in his product and service is going to be willing to have such a powerful guarantee.  So his guarantee is your first indication of whether or not you even want to work with him.  I just can't stress this enough.  Ask about the guarantee.  Listen to their reaction. That will tell you if you want to trust your portfolio to that photographer.


Mistake #11 Is So Obvious, And Yet Most

 Models Don't Know It!


What's this mistake? Not asking lots of questions when you're talking with model photographers.  Now, if you're still reading this, you certainly have the questions to ask a model photographer, right? Remember, you are the customer - you have all the rights! You have the right to ask the tough questions, before you make any decisions! You ask them first about their guarantee, and see how they respond. Then you ask them if they will talk with you in person, at no charge, to discuss the clothing, locations etc,. Then ask them about how they light the hair perfectly. Ask them if they have studied with the greatest photographers of all time.  Ask them if they understand the importance of the correct lighting of the "Five Major Highlight Areas."  Ask them if they know what a "Transition Zone" is.  Ask them if their model posing is natural, or more "posy and stiff." Ask them if they have a professional model photography studio in a commercial space.


 See how much you have learned so far?  Pretty amazing, when you think about it, isn't it?


Mistake #12 Can Ruin Everything!


What's this mistake? It's choosing the WRONG PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOUR MODELING PORTFOLIO.  Everything depends on that one decision. Hopefully, now that you know these major mistakes that most beginning models - you won't make those mistakes! You'll be able to chose the right model photographer for yourself, based on all this new found information you now have!


 Now, I may not be the right Alabama model photographer for you. But the fact that you're still reading this means I probably am. Because I care about all the things I've talked about to you here.  But the only way you'll really know for sure if I am right for you or not is to call now.


It all begins with a Phone Call ...


During this no pressure phone call, tell us about your modeling goals, what you expect to get out of your model photography photoshoot, and have all your questions about me or my model photography answered.  While this is fresh in your mind, please call (205) 750-0222 or if you have other questions or to schedule a complimentary interview with us today. You will have an enjoyable experience and there's ABSOLUTELY NO OBLIGATION!


  To call me on the phone to chat (no cost, no obligation) about how you can have a model portfolio created that will show you are serious about modeling ....


NOTE: Your privacy is very important to me and I will NEVER give your email address to any third party. -


All the risk is on me so give me a call at 205 750-0222. No one will try to sell you anything and there is absolutely no obligation. I'll help with any questions you may have about modeling or my model photography.


Best Wishes,



Dale Haverkampf


205 750-0222




Model Portfolio photoshoot time is always limited so call (205) 750-0222.  And get your modeling career started.